Author's Notes: Huh, a reasonably timed update? I know, I surprised myself too. This is sort of a one-shot of an idea I had where we kinda address how alternate this universe is. In terms of the supernatural. Have fun.
Fear not, there are actual plots points scattered around and more towards the end so we actually do need this chapter as well. Plus Benny and Charlie. I like them.
Show: Fuck it, everything is Destiel and everything hurts but sweet Jesus its basically canon. Seriously, Dean not warding the place against fucking angels all on the OFF CHANCE that Cas would come back to them/him. Yeah, if that's not a Winchester version of love I don't know what is.
Song: Ok, so the song I listened to for the chase scene (you'll see) is Run Boy Run by Woodkid and is totally worth a listen to because it kinda MAKES that part of the chapter even more awesome.
Yeah, don't have a beta anymore so expect mistakes.
Chapter Rating: M (Language)
Disclaimer: I'm a fanfiction writer. This is a fanfiction story. You are on a website called fanfiction. net. I hope this clears everything up.
The building sat in shambles, all the windows cracked or broken, stained cloudy with dirt. The wallpaper was dark and peeling, the paint chipped and murky. The dark night sky did nothing for the atmosphere as shadows seemed to crawl of from the structure and stretch outwards, sucking the life from where they touched. The trees surrounding the building appeared dead with their bare branches that rattled in the wind to clack against the windows.
"This is bullshit," Dean Winchester said, "there's no such thing as ghosts."
"Have a sense of mystery and adventure, Dean." Charlie smiled as she tucked back some of her long red hair, looking over the three laptops set up across their equipment. On two of them blinked several image feeds from cameras that had been previously set up inside the building. On the third laptop Charlie seemed to be playing some fantasy video game. "Dragon Age Origins." She whispered and winked at Dean.
"Besides, Winchester, what do you care if ghosts are real or not," Benny said from where he was leaning against a tree, smoking a cigarette, a gray beret pulled down so his eyes were covered, "you're getting paid either way."
"Y-yeah." Dean admitted. He's so cool, is what he was thinking though. Benny was every inch the legend Dean had heard about. The same height as Dean, but wider and with quite a bit more muscle. The way he walked, Dean had noticed, more like a stalk with his feet making no noise. This guy clearly knew his way around a dangerous situation and it was actually incredibly smart for Harry and Ed to get a guy like this on their team...not that anything was going to happen.
Dean realized he was staring and quickly looked away, face bright red.
"Ok team," Ed said as he swaggered up, "time to do the checklist before we set out."
"Everyone make sure you're prepared," Harry proclaimed, "for tonight, we will capture our first recording of a ghostly spectral to prove to the world they exist!"
"First, cameras ready?" Ed looked to his side where Spruce was holding the nicer large camera on his shoulder, he was still reading the manual but gave a thumbs up. Maggie stood next to him with her small handheld camera and had already started recording. "Alright, check." Ed literally checked off on a tiny sheet of paper. "Next, all scanning equipment and computers a go?"
"Well, I just hit level 25 as a mage." Charlie said, then perked up and looked around. "Oh! Oh, yes," she quickly scanned the computers, "all interior cameras recording with night vision on, and I've got the scanners working: EMF, UV, and any others you guys need." She smiled and waved at Maggie, who waved back confusedly.
"Right, equipment check." Ed checked something off again. "Vest of Destiny?" He looked down at himself. "Check. Spectral fighting arsenal?"
"Right here, bud." Harry said as he dropped a duffle bag at everyone's feet. Something made of glass sounded like it shatter when he did and Dean repressed a sigh. "Ah, that's probably one of the flasks." Harry muttered. "It's fine! There's more." He opened up the bag and first took out an iron poker. "Iron!" He exclaimed. "Very useful against ghosts, it seems to disrupt them or something." He then reached out a pulled a small sack of salt. "Salt purifies the area, if shit starts going down just pour a ring around you and you'll be safe."
"Salt?" Dean frowned. "Seriously?"
"The muscle hasn't been introduced yet!" Ed snapped. Dean repressed another sigh.
"Then we have our holy water!" Harry pulled out two flasks, one metal and one glass. It looked like regular water to Dean. "Throw some of this at a demon and they'll think twice before coming after you again."
"I thought we were just dealing with ghosts?" Dean asked, arms crossed.
"You can never be too prepared." Ed replied and gave an exaggerated wink towards the camera. "Arsenal, check. And lastly our muscle of the group, Benny Lafitte and Dean Winchester!"
"'Sup?" Benny nodded at one of the cameras. Dean just glowered.
"This had better be worth it." He growled.
"Alright!" Ed turned completely to the two cameras. "Tonight, we enter the haunted Wesson Hall of our school. Maggie?" Spruce turned to her and Maggie handed her camera over to Harry.
"Well, Hunters Academy was built in 1873 by our founder Samuel Colt as part of the pact made with the United Academies to build schools for gifted young people from young children to higher learning adults. Anyways, the school was struck by lightning in 1971 during the strongest recorded thunder storm in all of Kansas and the entire campus burned to the ground except one wooden bench and a single branch from a willow tree. The foundation of Wesson Hall, though, was salvageable and new construction built on top of the existing beams instead of completely renovating like the rest of the school was. As soon as the mid 80's rumors began to spread about the building being haunted and several eyewitnesses reported seeing ghosts. Then after a series of freak accidents the school suddenly labeled the building as 'unstable' and shut it down from public use without another comment."
"I smell a cover up." Harry said to his camera.
"The government always knows about these things." Ed agreed.
"And tonight exactly is the 140th anniversary of that fire and storm!" Maggie added. "If any type of spectral activity were to happen it would be tonight!"
"And we'll be there to make contact." Harry said. "And if need be, put down any lingering spirits." He handed the camera back to Maggie.
"Alright guys," Charlie started, "It's 10 PM, if we're gonna do this it better be now. Once midnight hits it'll be too late."
"Why?" Dean asked as Harry and Ed started handing out supplies.
"After midnight its no longer today. It'll be tomorrow." The redhead replied easily. "I'm sure that means something important in the spirit world."
"I guess." Dean said flatly. Harry came up and handed him one of the iron pokers.
"In case the worst should come to pass," he said grimly, "I've given Benny the other poker and some holy water. Also, here's your earpiece so you can hear Charlie. The rest of us have the salt and a few trinkets Spruce bought on EBay."
"Research on the effectiveness of praying is so far inconclusive at this time."
Dean had to think about that thousand dollars and, more importantly, that gift card to Holly's Pies. Holy shit those were the best pies ever, but they were expensive as fuck. Gabriel had taken Dean and Sam to the bakery in Kansas City and that apple pie was literally the best thing Dean had ever eaten in his entire life, even Sam (a treacherous cake lover) had enjoyed his peach pie, but for those three slices it had been close to $40 and Dean's mouth had almost dropped to the ground. But he couldn't deny the quality.
"Ok, let's do this." Dean said and swung the poker up to rest on his shoulder.
"Ghostfacers!" Harry and Ed yelled and they all walked towards the abandoned building, except Charlie, who sat monitoring the feeds.
"Good luck, you guys." Dean heard her say through the headset.
He and Benny brought up the head of the group and were the first to reach the broken down double doors, a huge padlock chaining them together.
"There must be a way to pick the lock." Maggie said.
"Yup." Benny answered and pulled out something from the messenger bag Dean just noticed he was wearing.
"Is that a screwdriver?" Ed asked.
"Sure is." Benny said and placed the blade of the driver between the lock and the loop, so it was on top of the lock. He then whipped out a small hammer and hit the screwdriver as hard as he could the lock popped open.
"Couldn't you have just picked the lock?" Dean asked, who had just been about to offer his services.
"That takes finesse," Benny shrugged as he put away his tools, "I prefer this method."
"Whatever works." Dean agreed and they opened the doors.
The main hall was dark, the electricity had been cut from the building, slick with moisture, and everything lay in tatters. Somewhere far off something was creaking. The hair on the back of Dean neck stood on end as he walked in, the silence oppressive and thick.
"The first people to step in this building since it was closed down." Ed whispered and Dean sorely doubted that. Other kids must have broken in at one point in time.
"Anything from your end, Charlie?" Harry squeaked, then cleared his voice and Dean saw him give a reassuring smile to Spruce's camera.
"Nope. Just you six at the entrance."
"Where are we going?" Dean asked.
"To the basement," Maggie said, "it's where most of the original structure is left."
"First we have to check all the rooms on this and the second floor, though." Ed jumped in.
"To check for ghosts, duh!"
Dean gave up. "Dude," he said to Benny, "you lead the way."
Benny shrugged and tapped his earpiece. "Charlie, where are the stairs?"
"Right hallway then on your left."
"Thanks." He nodded to Dean and moved off, everyone quickly trailing behind him. They went down the right corridor and with no windows it was suddenly suffocating. The air pressed tight against them, shadows dancing in the corners. Stairs came into view, dark and dank like the rest of the place. A few steps had crumbled away and were nothing but a jumble of cement and wood. Something was smeared along the wall leading up.
"Is that blood?" Spruce asked and there was a sharp intake of breath from Harry.
"Or some kid's idea of a prank." Dean rolled his eyes.
"Nah, it's blood." Charlie piped up. "The UV light is picking up some serious contrast with that smear. Its not glowing on the blacklight because the blood is probably long dried, if you want to spray some Luminol on it I can better tell y—"
"It's human blood?" Maggie paled and went a little green.
"Oh, there's no way to tell."
"Probably a wild animal's." Benny agreed. "Too much blood to be a human's—well, unless that human died." The was a squeak of distress and Dean wasn't surprised to see Ed try to compose himself and do a manly cough to compensate.
"Age before beauty." Dean gestured to Benny and the older boy laughed.
"Keep an eye on the stairs." He cautioned the others.
"OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT!" A scream sounded off and John Winchester's training kicked Dean hard and he spun around, crouched low and ready to attack. In front of him scurried a small, and probably terrified, rat. Spruce and Maggie's cameras followed the critter all the way down the hall. Someone had thrown salt at the little guy too.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Dean growled and looked at the screamer; Harry.
"I thought it was a T.O.S.H!"
"Trans-dimensional opaque spectral humanoid." Maggie helpfully added, increasingly nervous.
"Glad to see I'm running with the hardcore." Benny quipped and continued going up the stairs. Dean followed, more sure than ever that there was nothing haunted about this place. It was creepy as fuck and in dire need of an interior decorator, but besides that it was like any other old dilapidated building Dean had been in. Although maybe he was not the best person to ask as he and Sam had played among the wreckage and bones of old cars as children and found that perfectly natural.
The first four rooms on the second floor held nothing special. Broken desks and scarred whiteboards. One room the floor had given away and they could see down to the first floor where a small family of possums were living. The last room on the left, one of the windows were ajar and as they opened the door a bird flew out and Harry had screamed like a girl while Maggie had thrown all her salt at it. The only thing of interest lay in the last room to the right, where someone had peeled all the wallpaper away and scrawled 'YOU ARE ALL DEAD' in, what Dean suspected, was charcoal. Ed spent the next ten minutes going over what the souls of the dead were trying to tell them and made a show of waving his EMF scanner around with Harry repeatedly going on about how the room had gotten much colder. Benny spent that time standing by the window smoking.
"How much longer?" Dean asked Charlie out of sheer boredom.
"First floor only has two huge lecture rooms in it," Charlie responded, "one of which you saw has little furry occupants. Then it's just the basement. We'll definitely be done by midnight."
"Sweet." Dean took out his cell phone to text Castiel, realizing he hadn't told anyone where he was going, and was frustrated to see his battery had died. Cas was so going to chew him out for this. But it was an easy grand and then he could take Sam shopping and buy some fucking delicious pie at the end of it all. So worth it.
"Alright Ghostfacers! To the first floor!"
Almost worth it.
"Do we need to see both rooms?" Spruce asked.
"No, just the one without the caved roof should do," Ed mused, "plus its about time we got to the pièce de résistance." Dean honestly wasn't sure if he was pronouncing it correctly.
They checked out the one lecture hall and some idiot, probably the one from earlier, had scrawled 'TURN BACK NOW' on all the whiteboards in red. At first everyone had thought it was blood again until Charlie had told them there was nothing from the cameras and when Dean and Benny went closer, the latter flicking on his lighter, they did indeed see it was spray paint.
Harry and Ed just took it in stride, though, and had them do another take where they walked in the room and much more dramatically discovered the words and they were only supposed to call it 'dried blood' and Maggie had to do some fake crying while Spruce shook the camera around a bit and asked if they felt the wind change and everybody said yes, even though it hadn't.
Dean looked over at Benny and saw the other young man looked like he was starting to regret his decision as well and felt a little bit better. His beret shifted as Benny met Dean's eyes and suddenly winked at him. Dean looked away incredibly quickly and pretended his face wasn't hot and sweaty suddenly. He was taken dammit and pretty sure he loved Castiel. Stupid crushes.
"And finally," Ed whispered as they walked down a flight of stairs to the basement, "the place where the spirits will have the strongest hold."
"And power," Harry added.
Maggie turned the camera on herself. "Most of the basement is still from the original structure and is where a majority of the ghost sightings were reported before the building was closed down."
Another door stood at the end of the stairwell, but half of it was peeled inwards towards the basement with huge scratch marks like something had gripped the metal and tried claw its way out and Dean had to admit, it looked a little unsettling. He and Benny broke the lock on this door as well and forced it open, dust pouring from the door frame and coating everyone.
"Light a flare," Charlie suggested, "I don't have any cameras down there so its just the feeds I'm getting from Spruce and Maggie."
"Right." Benny pulled out a flare from his apparently magically messenger bag and lit it, throwing it further into the basement as everyone crowded in. Light crept into the shadows and the room became more defined as Dean's eyes adjusted.
Astonishingly the basement was in almost brand new condition compared to the rest of the building. The floor looked dusty and there was a leak or two in the corners, probably from the top floors, but the concrete was whole and smooth, the walls relatively clean and not vandalized. All in all, it would make a super cool secret hideout where no one was likely to come looking, if the ten-year-old in Dean was allowed to speak.
"Huh." Dean said as he walked closer to the flare, the others spreading out.
"Well that was anticlimactic," Benny chuckled, "that door had me goin' for a minute."
"My records didn't show anything like this," Maggie frowned, "this basement should be in ruin like the rest of the building."
"Fuck," even Spruce looked unhappy now, "it's really cold guys, can we leave soon?"
Ed and Harry were waving their EMF devices all around the room like crazy and Dean thought it was pretty fucking funny and watched. "There has to be an answer to this!" While Harry seemed to be genuinely worried about his show being a total bust, Ed actually looked more excited, like a puzzle had just revealed itself to him.
Dean sighed, "Anything on the camera feeds from Spruce or Maggie?"
"Nope, not a nothing," Charlie replied, "although I'll have to do some more tests and run them through lighting programs I set up to scan for different wavelengths as they have a limited spectrum right now."
"Great, any other useful tidbits?"
"It just turned midnight."
Before Dean could get any type of quip out the room plunged into complete darkness and all sound disappeared. The hairs on Dean's entire body stood on end as he blinked rapidly, trying impossibly to see more. Guys? Only he didn't speak the words and Dean stretched his hand out, walking to his left were he knew the wall was only a few meters away, but he kept walking even when he knew for certain he would have hit the wall. A cold sweat broke across his skin.
There are no such things as ghosts. His yelled was deaf and hollow and something cold trickled up his spine. Run.
Finally he heard and sound and Dean turned around, the blessed noise of water trickling down and he figured he must be close to one of the leaking corners. Hello? But nothing. The noise grew stronger and it wasn't trickling water but a waterfall and everything was rushing towards him fast, too fast. Run!
Dean looked down and realized his feet were soaked and the water was everywhere, rising to his knees. Did a pipe burst? Did something cut off his hearing? God, he couldn't see anything. He realized the iron poker was no longer in his hand. The sound of crashing water grew intense and it was coming straight for him. RUN.
Something like a tidal wave hit Dean and even though he was floating(falling) through the water he was running, feet cutting through the water as sleet pounded upon him from all directions. He ran, no stairs came into view, nothing did, but he kept running. Water spun and danced along his feet, dripping from the walls and clinging to his neck as the darkness ate at him. Crashing in warning again and again the waves called and the wind tore at his face as he ran through(into) an empty space, tiny droplets colliding with his face in slow motion as he tried to shield himself.
He couldn't get enough air, but he was(wasn't) out of breath. He had to keep running. Don'tstoprunning. The water lay everywhere and rained down on him, it was circling and swirling, waiting but chasing. It crashed into him all at once and Dean was drowning, nothing around him but everything was pulling. He wanted to cry but the water was everywhere. He reached out but the pull was stronger, not falling—no up, pulling up. He was falling upwards with the water. He couldn't inhale, the water pressed down on his chest but he wasn't lightheaded, just a buzz in his brain that itched through his skull as panic(terror) screamed around him through the water.
Dean threw his head back with as much force as he could muster and broke the surface, falling hard back onto the grass. He gulped down deep breaths of fresh air and shivered in the night as the cold air bit him.
"Wh-what?" Dean coughed as he opened his eyes. He had rolled onto his side and was laying in the grass by a tree. The air was crisp and cold with frost dusting everything, but not a drop of running water anywhere. His clothes were dry, his skin clammy with sweat. Dean touched the ground, to make sure it was real.
He sat up quickly and looked around, surprised to see he was still at Hunters Academy. He had somehow managed to run(fall) up a flight of stairs and out of Wesson Hall all the way over a small circle of trees and bushes that patterned all across the campus. He had ended up in the middle of the little thicket where there was just grass and lay surrounded by the trees and shrubs, where he knew for a fact Andy and his friends used as a smoking spot because of good coverage, but he could see Wesson Hall several hundred feet away.
Dean quickly clutched his head, he didn't know what just happened, or how the hell it had happened. There were no such things as ghosts. It was something his dad had repeated his entire life with ice and conviction in his voice and Dean believed him. He did, he did. That wasn't a ghost. Impossible. There were no such things as ghosts.
Something cold tickled against his neck and Dean swallowed as his dreams of drowning rushed to him. It was probably a better thing he didn't have dinner.
"—and honestly it's moving much more quickly than I thought." A voice filtered through the leaves and Dean, body still high on adrenaline, was pressed against a tree and hidden in a bush before he could process much else.
"You were right, this place is even easier than our own." Nothing distinct, voices were almost like scratches in his brain.
"Because the sickness runs that much deeper. We have much work to do, the worst cases are always the easiest to see." Something clicked finally in Dean's mind and he knew who that voice belonged to; Michael.
"I'm surprised no one's notice. We've already purged what—fifteen, twenty of them? Within the first five last time someone noticed." And that was Raphael. They were coming up the path that lead past Wesson Hall. As grad students they were probably patrolling for curfew violators, which Dean and the others totally were. Shit! The others!
"Because this place is filled with filth, and the ones so far have barely needed a push. They wouldn't have made it regardless of our intervention, we just sped the process up. The next batch will be more difficult, much like what we faced last time."
Dean peeked his head around and scanned the area around Wesson Hall. Some of Charlie's cases were still there but all of the computers and tech was gone, along with her. Smart girl. Benny, also, was nowhere in sight and Dean hoped that he had made it out as well, however the hell he could. Something happened, otherwise Charlie would still be out there. Leaned up again the wall right outside the door to Wesson was Ed, Dean saw, waking up as well and looking sick about it. Harry was shivering next to the lamppost in the little quad area in front of Wesson Hall, on the bench next to it lay Spruce, laying in the fetal position and hugging his camera. Maggie was further away and actually closer to Dean, near the outskirts of the thicket Dean was concealed in, crying silently.
"What about ours that have integrated?"
"They can still be saved, we will just need to push them to remember their loyalty, I've a few plans in motion for the most helpless, like my ridiculous brothers—who's there?"
Dean saw Harry, Ed, and Spruce all jerk up from their positions, but their movements were shaky and Dean knew they couldn't run far or fast. He quickly glanced over to Maggie who had frozen in fear at the voices. Dean waved his hand and her eyes snapped to his. She hadn't been spotted yet, she had a chance.
'Run!' He mouthed and she listened, bolting an instant later. Her footsteps covered up by Michael and Raphael's own as they charged over to where the three other boys were. Dean watched, unable to move out of lingering fear, as Raphael tackled Harry to the ground as he tried to run. Spruce had had the sense to start trying to run as soon as he heard voices and had made it as far as Ed and pushed the camera into his hands.
"Go!" He yelled and turned back to Michael, shouting at them to stop and stay where they were, throwing his body at the older man and giving Ed time to run off, taking the last piece of evidence linking all of them together with him.
Dean knew if he didn't leave now he would get caught and he couldn't let that happen, he didn't trust Michael. So he turned and ran, a bitter taste in the back of his throat for being unable to help Spruce and Harry. Maybe they'd been annoying but he'd never hated them and breaking curfew, especially after the number of times Harry and Ed have been caught, could result in suspension.
The trees and night sky swung around Dean as he ran through the campus, knowing the paths that were safest. The fear was still there, in the back of his mind. It felt like it would always be now but Dean kept wishing(hopingwantingpraying) to go to bed and wake up tomorrow and find it had all been a nightmare or a twisted night just getting out of hand and things would go back to normal.
His dorm came into view and Dean knew the window to their "living room" had a pencil jammed under it so that it never locked. He slid in, grateful that no one was up studying late and went straight to his room, shaking as the adrenaline wore off and close to tears although he couldn't for the life of him say why. He didn't even take off his clothes, just kicked off his shoes and pulled the covers tightly over his head.
He was four again, but his mother wasn't here to tell him angels were watching over. Just his father's hard stare as the water rushed into his mind, drowning in darkness and reaching out.
There's no such thing as ghosts.
To Be Continued...
A/N: Yeah, massive drop in reviews and views but that's to be expected when you don't update. So a SUPER big thanks to all of you who did review and stick with me and I was totally happy and grateful and humbled. Honestly, thank you for taking the time to read this and review it, it means the world to me.
Next chapter shit starts to get serious plot-wise. A bit more Destiel and some pining in the Sammifer department. I'll see if I can squeeze in some smut too (I should be able to, no fear).