17.

Sam closed his eyes, he felt the burn of bile rising to his throat, felt the weight of the spirit's words and what they implied settle over him. Then the rising heat of fury, becoming so intense his body trembled. He wanted to rip Ellouise out of Melody with his bare hands. If he thought he could get hold of the spirit by physically tearing Melody apart, he knew he would do it, in a heartbeat. And he felt something else, deep down, start to build and grow, starting to spread, beginning to fill his very soul. He recognised it, he welcomed it, this was power. He needed time. He opened his eyes, his hatred blazing from him to the woman in front of him. When he finally spoke his voice was lowered, calm, but his tone left no uncertainty as to just how dangerous he was right now,

"Why?...You twisted bitch whore...Why did you do that to him? Answer me you pathetic little spook. Tell me."

Ellouise ignored his insults, instead she licked her lips salaciously, never taking her eyes off Dean,

"I want himmm...I want to beeee in himmm...I want to...feel himmm."

Sam heard a soft chuckle, quickly followed by a cough and a moan of pain coming from his brother. He turned to Dean who was now laid with his head on Bill's lap whilst Bill, his face set with an expression of determination, held his gun steady, never shifting his aim from the figure of Melody. Sam looked at his brother's way too pale skin, noticed the way he shivered as the blood flow retracted from his extremities, trying to concentrate on protecting vital organs. Dean was rapidly going into shock. As Sam's eyes revealed the depth of worry he felt, Dean winked at him,

"See Sammy?...I'm so hot even the ghosties want to make out with me."

"Dean I..."

"Haven't you got a job to do little brother? Now….do it."

Sam felt the tears building as he watched Dean squeezed his eyes closed, heard him whimper and saw his body tense, sweat forming on his brothers forehead as he battled against his spiralling pain. Slowly Dean's eyes opened again and met Sam's. Dean looked deep into Sam for a moment, then gave a short nod before his body went limp as he passed into unconsciousness.

Time stood still for a second, then Sam lowered his head and closed his eye's, the book dropping from his hand to the floor. As it fell, Ellouise began to laugh. With the spirit's laugher surrounding him, Sam mentally reached down inside himself, re-connecting with his anger, his hate and, finally, his raw power.

Ellouise's laughter died as Sam suddenly raised his head, opened eyes that danced so dark as to be almost black and, with knowledge he wasn't aware he had, began the incantation. Ellouise faltered, stumbling backwards as Sam's words filled the room. She shook her head wildly,

"Noooooo. You caaannn'tttt. Ssssstopp."

She raised her hands, trying to counter Sam. The red glow began to form, the colour becoming more intense. Sam didn't falter, the words still falling easily from his lips as he simply waved one hand towards Ellouise, and her light went out.

Her final screech as she was banished from both the body she inhabited and from the spiritual plane she had existed in would stay with Bill for the rest of his life and would, on occasions, return to haunt him in nightmares to come.

As he spoke the final words of banishment, the power which had driven Sam faded, retreating back to where it was hidden, deep inside. Suddenly drained, Sam collapsed to his knees. Melody's body lay in a crumpled heap nearby. Bill stared at both of them,

"Sweet Jesus!"

Sam raised his head, his voice weak,

"Bill...Go check on her."

Bill gently laid Dean's head on the floor and grunted as he struggled to stand before slowly limping over to Melody. Lowering himself carefully down by her side he reached over to her, placing two fingers to lay over her carotid artery. He let go of the breath he was holding and glanced back at Sam,

"She's alive."

Sam nodded, then on hands and knees he made his way to where his brother laid. For a while he simply knelt by Dean, finally able to see the other injuries which had been inflicted on him. Shakily he stretched his hand forward, reaching for the cutting shears buried in his brother's side. Grasping the handles he pulled them out of his brother's body and let them clatter to the floor. As Sam sat, staring blankly at the wound where the shears had lodged, he heard Bill struggling to make his way over, felt his hand on his shoulder,

"Sam. I'm so sorry man."

Sam didn't respond. He could have been made of stone he was so still in his grief and loss.

Bill sighed,

"Sam? Is there anything I can do? Someone I can call?"

Still Sam didn't respond in any way. Bill lowered himself down to sit next to him,

"Sam. We can't stay here like this. I need to get Melody to the hospital and..."

Bill's sentence died on his lips, suddenly Sam felt the older man squeeze his shoulder, hard, and he noticed the tone of Bill's voice change, becoming more urgent,

"Sam! The wound. Where those shears were. Sam...it's bleeding!"

At first Bill thought Sam hadn't heard him, or hadn't registered what he was saying. He was about to repeat himself when he jumped back, startled, as Sam suddenly sprang forward,

"DEAN!"

Dean groaned softly at the sound of Sam shouting his name and mumbled quietly in complaint,

"T'loud."

xxxxxxxxXXXxxxxxxxx

Epilogue

Sam sat looking round at all the high tech equipment monitoring Dean's condition. He tuned in to the regular beep of the heart monitor, noted the quiet hiss of the oxygen feed, was aware of the sounds of hospital life going on outside his brother's room. Sam smiled, right now those sounds were the best music Sam had ever heard. This was the music that said his brother was alive, that the damage to his body had been repaired and that Dean was going to be ok. Dean hated hospitals, he'd made that very clear for the hundredth time earlier in the day. For Sam, however, being here was fine by him. His chair was as uncomfortable as hell, the coffee took vile to a whole new level and the food was only just passable, but Dean was here and that made the hospital the best place in the world to be as far as Sam was concerned.

Dean had been asleep when Bill popped in with Melody earlier. During their regular visits Sam had noticed how friendly the pair had become towards each other and how they seemed to be spending a lot of their time together. Bill had just grinned whilst Melody blushed when Sam had mentioned it, but he'd seen the look that passed between them. Sam smiled to himself again, they made a good couple.

He and Dean had talked about what happened, and how come Dean hadn't died when Ellouise was finished. Dean had made Sam go through every detail, again and again until he was satisfied that Sam had left nothing out. Dean's belief was that you could "never trust what a skanky spirit said." When Sam recalled the moment when Ellouise had looked thoughtful, Dean had leapt on it, pointing to that as his evidence "There. Right there. That was it Sammy." He guessed she knew what the book meant and what Sam was going to do. It was then she tried to save herself by making Sam believe that Dean would die if anything happened to her. They hadn't needed to talk about why Sam had gone on to deliver the incantation. They both knew that, without Dean's push, Sam would never have done it.

Movement from Dean's bed broke into Sam's thoughts and he leant forwards as Dean opened his eyes immediately searching for Sam,

"Hi Sleeping Beauty. Need your pillows plumping?"

"What time is it?"

"Nearly time for the drinks trolley. Honestly, I don't know how you do it! You always manage to be awake when Abigail is due."

Dean grinned,

"Yeah well. The coffee might be crap, but you gotta agree, that Abigail's worth waking up for. Help me sit up before she gets here."

Dean smiled and winked at Sam as they heard the sound of the drinks trolley come to a halt outside Dean's room. The door opened and a very pretty little blond came into the room carrying two cups of coffee and humming along to her I-Pod. Dean turned on his knock 'em dead smile as she handed him his coffee. She removed her earphone,

"Hi boys. Both as gorgeous as ever I see."

Sam immediately turned pink as Abigail unabashedly ran her eyes over both of them. Dean laughed,

"Stop embarrassing my baby brother girl! What're you listening to on that thing?"

"Oh, an oldie but a goody, Unchained Melody..."

END.