Author's Note: Wow, time flies! I meant to update this story weeks ago, but real life got hectic . . . anyways, here's the latest chapter! Please enjoy!


May 15th, 1987

It had started with simple things—a misplaced book, saline being placed down and then repapering somewhere else, the lights occasionally flickering. I hadn't worried at the time and had chalked up all the randomness to my lousy memory and the clinic's bad electrical wiring. After all, it was an old building and while that it had made it easy to purchase, it sure gave me a lot of headaches. Still, I had ignored the weird uneasiness in my gut and pushed back the doubt.

"No, Nancy," Isobel whispered, voice tight with worry. I froze on the stairs and watched as one of the newest nurses on staff poured out her story to my Head Nurse. "I saw something last night. It was like a woman, but she was covered in blood—"

"Oh, come on," Nancy chided gently. "You've been watching too many horror movies before bed, haven't you?"

"Well—" Isobel began sheepishly.

"See?" My head nurse replied. "Probably was all in your head."

I nodded my head in agreement, yet the bad feeling in my gut wouldn't go away.


It was a week after the "incidents" began that I saw her.

She stood in the middle of the clinic, blonde hair stained crimson as blood dripped off of her pale hands and splattered onto the floor. She stared up at me with icy blue eyes and opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out.

And then, she was gone.

After I had regained my senses, I rushed back upstairs and pulled out the little card that John had given me, a year ago. Pounding the numbers into my phone, I prayed for him to answer.

"Hello?" He sounded absolutely exhausted and I bit back the apology on my tongue. There was a ghost in my clinic and John was the only one that could help me.

"John? It's Mariah." I told him, my voice shaking.

"Mariah?" He sounded more alert now and I could hear him rising up from a bed. There was the sound of a door opening and then closing behind him. "You okay?"

"I think a ghost is in my clinic." There was a pause as he absorbed this information and I waited with baited breath.

"Are you okay? Did it hurt you?" He asked urgently and I smiled softly. I had never heard him so concerned before. It was nice to have someone care about me, for a change. Still . . . John and I were just friends. That was all we would ever be and besides, it's not like I wanted to be involved with him anyways.

No.

No, I was not having this conversation with myself now! God, I was acting like a middle school girl who had been told that the popular boy had a crush on her. There were important matters to focus on now—the ghost in my clinic for one thing.

"I'm fine," I assured him. "I just saw her tonight. John, I need your help."

"I'll be there in the morning, okay? Is there somewhere you can go for the night? I'd feel better if I knew you were someplace safe." No, those weren't butterflies flying around in my stomach because John was just concerned for his friend. Besides, he was married for God's sake! He still wore his ring—

"Mariah?" He prompted.

"I'll figure something out." I assured him. "See you in the morning."

"Stay safe." He ordered gruffly before hanging up.


Nancy never asked why I had suddenly shown up on her doorstep and let me in without a comment. She made me a nice makeshift bed on the couch and with a grateful smile, I feel asleep.

The ghost stared at me, eyes sucking me in. I was drowning, my lungs were burning and God, I was going to die—!

I sucked in a shuddering breath as I sat up, wiping away beads of sweat on my forehead. I had only been asleep for a couple of hours, but the sun was beginning to rise and after leaving a quick thank you note for Nancy, I slipped out the front door and headed to the clinic.

My town is small—not too small though, but small enough so that you got the sense of whom everyone was and you ran into neighbors at least once a week. Being the resident doctor, I had shared my life with many of these people and I wondered if the ghost in my clinic had been someone that I had known. She hadn't appeared familiar to me, but then again, she was memorable somehow.

Entering the clinic, I put on a pot of coffee and waited a few minutes before I saw the Impala come rumbling onto the street, an unfamiliar pick-up behind it. Pouring myself a quick cup, I headed outside. John stepped out of the car, saying something to Dean and Sam, both of whom were almost asleep in the backseat. I chuckled softly at them—they were so cute!—and then let my focus return to John.

"Hey." I greeted.

"Morning," He said, a tired grin on his lips. "You okay?"

"Fine," I reported. "Coffee?" I extended the hand with the mug and he gratefully accepted it. An older man stood behind him in a baseball cap, jeans and a flannel shirt.

"This is Bobby Singer," John informed me and the older man held out his hand and I shook it. "He's another hunter."

"Mariah Tate," I told him cordially. "Thank you for coming out so quickly."

"John's told me he owes you a few favors," Bobby told me with a dry chuckle and I nodded. "Sides, until we know what we're dealing with, it's best to have an extra set of eyes."

"What did you see?" John questioned.

"A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and blood dripping to the floor. She looked at me for a few seconds and then she was gone," I reported. "One of my nurses, Isobel, saw her too. Maybe you could ask her—?"

"Ask me what?" And speak of the devil, Isobel had suddenly arrived.

And before I could even open my mouth to offer an excuse, both John and Bobby pulled out badges.

"Special Agents Monroe and Wilson," Bobby stated calmly, like he had done this routine for many years—maybe he had—and I bit my lower lip to prevent myself from gaping at the blatant lie. "FBI. We're looking into an old case. We were wondering if you could spare a moment to talk to us?"

"Oh, yeah, sure." Isobel replied quickly and Bobby led her a little ways away from the cars.

"Wow," I mumbled. "You guys always carry around badges like that?" John nodded. "So, what now?"

"We dig," John reported quietly. "Figure out who the spirit is and then deal with it."

"Okay," I replied. "What do I do?"

"Stay out of the clinic." He ordered.

"But John—!" I was the only doctor in town and the local hospital was a good 20 minutes away. People depended on me daily. I couldn't just stop doing my job!

"Mariah," He hissed, gripping my arm tightly to prevent me from moving anywhere. "That thing in your clinic is dangerous and you going in there is just going to give it an open invitation to start taking people out."

"I can't just stop doing my job—"

"I'm not asking you too," He said with a sigh. "Just make house calls for today, okay?"

"Okay," I relented. "And what are you going to do with the boys?"

"Probably check them into a motel—"

"Let me take them with me," I interjected. "I could use the company."

"Fine."

"Good." I smirked and then headed over the Impala. Opening the door, I grinned as two pairs of sleepy eyes met mine.

"Mariah?" Dean mumbled, drowsiness still evident in his tone.

"Hi there," I greeted. "Want some breakfast?"


Turns out that both of the boys loved pancakes.

The local diner was famous for them and after saving one of the chefs from choking to death, I got free meals there now. Melody, the matronly waitress who also co-owned the diner with her husband fawned over the boys.

"Oh, Mariah, they are adorable!" She cooed. "Whose are they?"

"I'm just babysitting them for a friend in town while he deals with some business." I replied politely.

"Oh, a 'special' friend?" She drawled as her eyebrows wagged and I nearly choked on my coffee.

"No, no!" I retorted. "He's just a friend."

"Sugar, with the way that you're blushing right now, I doubt that." And with one more glance at me, she sashayed away. Dean eyed me oddly and I avoided his gaze, too embarrassed too speak.

"Mariah?" Sam asked, his tone clearly implying that he was concerned by my sudden silence. Smiling brightly, I faced him and took a bite of my own pancake. That seemed to assure him.

Breakfast went on.


After an interesting day—treating a few colds, bandaging up a few cuts—I was relieved to head back to the clinic. The boys were certainly getting attention from everyone in the town and if I heard one more question asking if they were mine, I was going to scream. I mean, yes, I viewed Sam and Dean as family—their dad had saved my life after all—but having it acknowledged in town wasn't helping with my growing feelings for John. There had to be a reason he was wearing his wedding ring, right? Still, it wasn't my place to pry, despite how much I wanted to.

"Well?" I asked as we approached the clinic later that night. John appeared grim and Bobby was shaking his head as he stared at the building. "What?"

"You're not going to like this." He stated.

"What?" I repeated, needing to know the news.

"We couldn't find a damn thing on the girl," Bobby told her as he stepped away from the clinic. "There's been no violent deaths in this town, nothing strange or unusual going on—"

"But I saw her!" I protested. "So, did Isobel."

"That won't help us figure out who she is," Bobby retorted. "There are plenty of blonde, blue-eyed girls everywhere. Tracking down our girl without any leads will take weeks, even if we're lucky."

"So, what? We just let her—" And there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her through the window. Abandoning my sentence, I rushed inside, only for the door to lock behind me.

"Mariah!" John bellowed. Summoning my courage, I moved to the center of the freezing room.

"Who are you?" I called into the darkness. "Show yourself!"

Doctor . . . can you help me?

There she was, blue eyes full of tears, blood coating her face and hair as it spilled onto the wooden floor.

"Yes," I told her automatically. I could hear voices shouting outside and I knew that I had to keep this spirit calm. Getting her riled up could get me killed. "What's your name?"

Anna.

"I'm Dr. Tate." I told her.

Dr. Tate, please help me.

"I will," I assured her. "You just need to tell me what happened." Anna's face twisted up with pain.

Thomas hit me. It hurts, Dr. Tate.

"I know," I murmured, glancing at the door, which was being hit at with something outside. "Listen, my friends outside can help you better than I can. Could you let them in?"

No.

The temperature in the room dipped and I shivered involuntarily. I could hear electricity buzzing in the air and I glanced around the room. My equipment began to shift around and I held my hands up in a gesture of placating.

"Calm down," I ordered her. "Just relax."

I'm lonely, Dr. Tate. Will you join me? We could be friends.

"No." I told her definitely.

And that's when she started throwing stuff at me. Dodging, I ran about the room, avoiding IV poles and needles. It was right as the door burst open that I felt something sharp hit my head. I fell to the floor and the last thing I remembered before I fell into the dark was seeing John call my name.


When I came to, Sam was snuggled up onto my left side, asleep and Dean was passed out on his father's lap. John sat in a worn down chair and Bobby stood against the wall, observing me.

"Hey," I greeted. "You get it?"

"You mean after you gave me a fucking heart attack?" He whispered, voice deadly. I winched slightly and then placed my hand to the huge bump that I had sustained curtsey of Anna. Other than that, I couldn't see any more injuries. I glanced around and saw that I was in what looked like to be a motel room. The clinic must've been a mess after what Anna had done to it.

"Sorry about that." I mumbled.

"We got it," Bobby assured me, minor amusement twinkling in his eyes. "Banishment spell. She won't be able to get into your clinic again."

"I'm glad." I told him with a small smile on my lips.

"You know running into that was the stupidest thing you could've done, right?" John informed me and I smirked.

"It worked, didn't it?" He chuckled and Sam shifted slightly. I grinned down at him and then at Dean. Both boys were absolute angels when they slept and they looked so cute too. "How's the clinic?"

"A bit worse for wear," Bobby admitted. "But nothing a good cleaning won't fix."

"Thanks again for all your help." I told them sincerely.

"No problem." John answered and then feeling absolutely drained from my experience, I let my eyes shut.


"I'll see you two boys soon." I told Sam and Dean as they sat in the back of the Impala. "And next time you come, we'll go get more pancakes."

"Really?" The two boys exclaimed in unison.

"Really." I grinned.

"Alright, boys, that's enough," John chided gently. "So, if you have anymore problems—"

"I'll call," I promised. "And if you need patching up—this goes for you too Bobby—stop by anytime." Bobby nodded respectfully in my direction before getting into his car and John smirked.

"Okay then." He said, shifting awkwardly.

"Yeah." And then before I could think about it, I leaned forward and hugged him quickly. "Thanks." I let go before the situation grew even more awkward, though my cheeks flamed.

"See you around." John said with a smile as he got into the car.

"See you." I waved and watched as they drove away.


"So," Isobel asked, a few hours later, once the clinic was cleaned. "Are you dating that FBI guy?"

"Nope."

"You sure?" She pressed, always eager for gossip.

"I'm sure." I said with a small sigh.

"Because he totally—"

"Isobel." I hissed and the younger nurse quickly quieted.

John and I were just friends. We barely knew each other and so what, if he was a little handsome? It didn't change the fact that we were only friends. Not to mention the fact that he wore his wedding ring. There was a story there and until I knew it, we would just remain friends.

That was all.


Author's Note: I think that in his early years as a hunter, John could've been quite handsome and charming. I mean, Dean had to have gotten it from somewhere, right? Anyways, sorry again for the long wait! Please review if you have a few seconds. Thanks!