First A/N: The song "Will It Go Round In Circles" is by Billy Preston.

Second A/N: I really had no plans to expand this fic. As far as I was concerned The Ring (or Ourobos) was finished. As my muse would say: NOT. This story also took an unexpected turn, which is why it's necessary for me to include this next bit: Castiel does not show up in this fic to heal Dean, not now, not ever. Just thought I'd get that out of the way right now. I don't see the point in writing a Dean whump only to have Lieutenant Columbo show up and magically fix everything. I'd rather see the Winchester brothers support each other, care for each other and deal with whatever life throws at them on their own.

There are graphic scenes of weirdness in this and other chapters. You have been warned.

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or The Ring. This is for entertainment purposes only, and not for profit.

Chapter 2 – the perks of the job

Will it go 'round in circles?
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?
-Billy Preston

Two months later

Dean doubled over, and his head bitched in response to the change of position. The room spun around him. Colors faded to various shades of grey. He'd had a pain-free week, but now the headache slammed into him with a vengeance, an icy hot spike of agony right between his eyes that made him bite his lips to keep from groaning out loud.

Hey there, kiddo. I'm back, the pain gushed eagerly. Did'ya miss me?

His duffle was at the foot of his bed, on the floor. He didn't trust himself to stand up and walk, so he crawled across his bed to the edge, stretched his right arm out and down, and groped around until he snagged the handle of the bag. The top of his head throbbed so much it felt like it was going to explode. Dean closed his eyes.

That was a little better.

He did everything by feel from that point. Luckily the aspirin was tucked away in a side pocket. Dean somehow managed to uncap the bottle and shake four aspirin out onto his palm. He dry-chewed them and then curled up in a fetal position on the bed.

His head pounded in time with his heartbeat. It was worse when he moved, so he waited and breathed in short, quick pants.

Sam was out interviewing civilians, which was just as well. Dean had no desire to spook his not-so-little brother with just a damn headache. That was all, and he sure in the hell wasn't gonna cry about it. He could outlast this bitch. Sure he could. He'd done it before, right? No problem. No big deal.

The pain cradled him tightly. Dean waited with his eyes closed, and at some point he dozed off.

The pictures inside his head were tinted red.

Something he couldn't see screamed, high pitched, screechy, like a tea kettle on high flame. He watched the chair spin around all by itself. Hundreds of maggots writhed in the water, and sometimes they looked like people. The older woman with the long dark hair smiled thinly at him as she combed her hair in long, slow strokes.

He didn't like that smile. And he didn't like her.

The severed fingers in the wooden box jumped and jittered like Mexican jumping beans. The tree caught fire next. The horses didn't like the pictures inside their heads either, so they ran to the ocean and drowned themselves.

Dean wished he could gank himself too. He hated the part that always came next. He didn't want to see that little boy.

He was a chubby little fella with blond hair. Couldn't have been more than four or five. The kid always had a smile on his face and a straight razor in his hand. He never stopped smiling, even when he sliced off the tips of his ears, or his fingers, or his nose, and chewed and swallowed them like they were jelly beans.

Dean tried to look away, but he couldn't.

The water was ice cold in the dark place. Dean clenched his jaws so that his teeth wouldn't chatter, but that didn't do any good. It never did. The ring of white light above him filled the sky, and he couldn't feel his arms and legs anymore and he couldn't reach up, he couldn't get out-

Dean opened his eyes.

He blinked at the same lousy drab beige walls, breathed in stale air that smelled faintly of disinfectant.

He was still alone. Sam hadn't come back yet, so Dean lay there listening to the harsh rasp of his breathing, in and out, in and out, and after a while breathing and living and just being became easier. The headache settled down to a dull throb.

This he could deal with, so he sat up. Slowly.

Huh. The aspirin bottle was half empty now. He'd been scarfing the damn things down like peanut M&Ms lately. He put the aspirin bottle and the duffle back where they belonged. The more he moved around, the better he felt.

He knew exactly where those freaky pictures came from. That job with that little girl a couple of months back. That happened sometimes, horrific stuff he'd seen on hunts coming back at him months or weeks later.

Sure, sometimes this life got to be too much. The mind has a funny way of dealing with weirdness. Dean realized that early on, and even when he was a kid he kept all that to himself. He never let Dad know. Dude had enough on his mind. Sam? Same rule applied. The way his body reacted sometimes came with the territory. That was it. That was all.

The headaches? Well, maybe there was something in the air. Allergies. Dust, maybe. Yeah, that was probably it. He'd never been bothered by allergies before, but there was always a first time. Most of the skeezy motels they stayed in definitely weren't the Ritz Hotel.

Maid service? What the heck is that? I've heard rumors.

During the past two months he and Sam roamed from state to state, endured desert heat, extreme cold, and everything in between. His body was just reacting to the changes, that was all. So far the headaches and the dreams hadn't directly interfered with hunts, so he decided that he was going to pretty much ignore them until he couldn't ignore them anymore. That was a plan Dean could live with.

Right now he had work to do. He still needed to sharpen those two evergreen stakes they'd need for that job tonight.

Those pagan gods needed killing in the worst way.

TBC next week.

As Rufus said, you can't fix stupid, especially on the internet.