Title: Isle of Lost Souls
Author: Disasteriffic Kaz
Info: New coordinates from Dad and a simple ghost hunt that becomes anything but on a small island off the coast of Connecticut. Post 1x06 "Skin" hurt/comfort/awesome!sam/dean
Author's note: Yes, yes. This one starts off as a tag of sorts to "Skin". It's not an ep I've tagged before so I figured, good a place as any to put this. :D The idea for the story itself began as a 1 shot for Janice for the 2nd Edition of the Reader's Special Reward stories. You can read it there if you like. It's chapter 16 or just stick around. It will be included herein. The location just begged for a complete, multi-chapter story and I've finally gotten around to it.
The island is a real place described to me in detail by Janice herself and MAN talk about a rich history. Lol so much to work with! Hopefully you'll all enjoy this one as much as I do! On with the show!
Do please Review once you've read. :D Every comment and vote of support helps keep me writing. Not to mention if I've pooched anything, someone can always tell me. :P
Charity fled through the tall grasses. The moon lit her way and sparkled off the tears flowing down her face. She looked back over her shoulder but saw nothing and yet…she knew it was following. It had chased them half around the island and Steve…she hiccupped a sob as she ran with the memory of his dying screams in her ears. She tripped and fell; rolled back to her feet and ran on. She couldn't stop. If she stopped it would find her.
She ran and panted for breath. Her side hurt. Her legs tired and her chest burned with the need to rest. She ignored it all and crashed through the trees. She had to get away; find help. Charity staggered out of the forest and dropped to her knees with a sob.
"No! No. No. No please no!" She covered her face with her hands and let the tears take her to the ground. The land bridge between the island and the mainland was swallowed by the tide. The ocean waters roiled across where it had stood and there were hours yet before it would recede. "Oh god." Charity stared at the water and desperation drove her back to her feet. She couldn't wait. It would kill her. She would swim for it. She had to. "I can…I can do this." She took three stumbling steps toward the shore's edge and screamed as a freezing pain exploded in her chest and her breath misted out before in a cloud. Her heart seemed to stutter and she could feel cold breath on the back of her neck. It had her. Her screams were swallowed by the waves and wind as her body dropped into the sand; dead.
Dean watched his brother climb out of the car like an old man and cringed. It didn't matter that the Shapeshifter had hurt him; the bastard had been wearing his face when he'd done it and Dean wanted to go back and kill the son of a bitch all over again just for that. "You gonna make it, princess?" He called instead and managed a smirk when Sam glared at him. "I could get you a wheel chair."
"Bite me, Dean." Sam shook his head and pulled his laptop out of the car with a soft groan. His face hurt. His chest hurt. His back hurt…he rolled his eyes. His everything hurt really. He wanted a bed and some uninterrupted sleep with his real brother safe beside him, though he wouldn't say that out loud. Dean would just mock him for being a girl.
"Whatever, bitch." Dean grinned and walked past him to open the motel room door. "We could have stopped three states back if you hadn't been so gung ho about following Dad's coordinates." The text had come in not an hour after they'd left Becky behind and Sam, ever obsessed with finding their father and the thing that had killed Jess had convinced him to drive through. Fourteen hours later he'd finally put his foot down and found a motel in nowhere Pennsylvania. Charles Island, Connecticut could wait for tomorrow.
"It's only four more hours you know." Sam said as he walked into the room, continuing the argument from the car.
"Shut up, Sam." Dean lightly slapped the back of his head as he passed and then had to grab for him when he hissed in pain and wobbled on his feet.
"Maybe don't…hit the guy…with the damn concussion." Sam gasped between breaths.
"Shit, Sammy. I'm sorry. Come on." Dean's irritation turned into contrition as he led his brother to the far bed and sat him down.
Sam snorted. "Jerk." He heaved a relieved sigh to be sitting somewhere other than the car and decided Dean had been right to pull off for the night.
"You gonna live?" Dean asked with a smile.
"Not if I'm lucky." Sam groaned and let himself topple over to his side on the bed. "Knock me out. Wake me up next week."
"Don't tempt me." Dean shook his head and watched as Sam dropped into sleep inside of a minute. He bent and wiggled Sam's sneakers off before pulling the blanket out from under him and tossing it over top of him. He laid down salt lines at the door and windows and then decided a hot shower would get him the rest of the way to sleep. Dean gave Sam a last look and went in the bathroom. In minutes he stood beneath the hot spray and let it pound the tension out of his back from spending half a day driving. The image of shooting himself played on a loop behind his eyes and made him shiver. That was one memory he could do with forgetting.
"Get a grip, idiot." He told himself and turned off the shower. He toweled off and pulled on his sweats. Dean picked up his toothbrush and then stopped, hearing something. "Shit." It was Sam's voice in one of his ever present nightmares. He went quickly back out into the bedroom and to his brother who had already worked himself up to thrashing in the bed. Sam moaned 'no' over and over and Dean grabbed his shoulder and gave him a shake.
"Sammy. Wake up." Dean held on to him and gave his shoulders another solid shake. "Sam!"
Sam was caught in a nightmare with his brother's face staring down at him as he choked. He fought vainly to pull in one last breath, just one as he watched Dean's face fade above him and knew he was going to die. He felt himself being shaken. He heard Dean's voice and shied away. He was dying. Dean was killing him. His mind spun with confusion and he remembered; Not Dean…the shapeshifter and he had watched his brother kill the thing with his face. Yet he could still feel those familiar hands around his throat. Dean's voice called to him again and he fought to open his eyes, to see. Sam's eyes shot wide as he lurched upright and stared around the room, settled on Dean and then he flinched back in momentary shock, still seeing the nightmare.
Dean's heart sank with the reaction. He didn't give in to the urge to back off. He gentled his hands on Sam's shoulders and moved a hand to his neck in his age old gesture of comfort. "Just me little brother. Promise."
"God. Dean." Sam dropped his pounding head into his hands and groaned. "Sorry. I'm sorry."
"Instant replay of yesterday?" Dean asked and got a short nod. "Figured. Don't apologize, Sammy. Not for that." He watched Sam curl an arm over his stomach. "You alright?"
Sam looked up finally and gave him a watery smile. "Sorry. Yeah." He rolled his eyes when Dean scowled at him for apologizing again and smirked. "Sor…I mean…oh hell." He dropped his head back and wrapped his arms around his stomach.
Dean rolled his eyes with a soft chuckle and squeezed his neck again. "Hang on." He went to the bag on his bed and dug through it until he came up with the painkillers and shook two out then grabbed a bottle of water and took them over. "Here." He'd given his brother the once over after saving him from the shifter. He knew how bad the bruising on his chest, back and stomach were and was frankly surprised he'd gotten up and walked at all. "You'll sleep better."
Sam considered arguing and then shrugged, taking them. "Thanks." He was a misery of pain. He rolled back into the bed and then realized he was still in his clothes. "Ah hell." He sat back up with difficulty and pulled off his flannel. Getting his t-shirt off was another matter. His back had stiffened up enough from its impact with the bookshelves that he couldn't quite get his arms up. "Screw it." He muttered and dropped back down, pulling the blanket up over his head when Dean chuckled. "Shut up."
"Didn't say a word." Dean smiled and turned off the light. He twitched the blanket more securely over Sam then climbed into his own bed with a grateful sigh.
Dean woke to the smell of coffee and groaned, cracking one eye open to find a mug held in front of his face. "Gimme." Sam chuckled and handed it to him. "Time is it?"
"Little after ten." Sam went back and sat at the small table with his laptop. "Figured I'd let you sleep in after driving all night." It was his way of silently saying 'thank you for knocking some sense into me and making me sleep' that wouldn't make Dean roll his eyes at him.
Dean grunted with appreciation and slid up in the bed to savor his first sip and surreptitiously check out his little brother. Sam was moving better. He couldn't say he looked better since his face was still a patchwork of bruises and likely would be for a week. The unmistakable imprint of his own fist high on Sam's right cheekbone made him shake his head and get out of bed finally.
"You figure out why Dad wants us out there on a damn island?" Dean asked as he headed for the bathroom with his coffee.
Sam nodded. "Seven dead with their hearts apparently crushed inside their chests." He waited for Dean to come back after the toilet flushed and raised his brows. "No outward signs of trauma."
"Come again?" Dean made for the donut box beside his brother.
"There are no injuries. It's like something reached through them and squeezed their hearts into pulp." Sam sat back and saw the flicker of interest in Dean's eyes. "So my money's on a spirit of some kind."
Dean nodded. "Probably. What's out there?" Dean filled his mouth with jelly filled goodness and dropped into the chair across from him.
"A lot and not much anymore." Sam smirked at the scowl on his brother's face. "Ok, so there was a resort. That's been abandoned and taken back by the island, a Monastery, same deal."
"Monks?" Dean snorted. "So maybe ghost Monk is ninjaing people's hearts?"
"Dude, be serious." Sam shook his head and took a donut for himself. "There was an amusement park, also gone and reclaimed by the island. Some houses, torn down. Basically it's trees and sand and grass and some old foundations." He closed his laptop and sat back. "No telling what's hiding under the ground out there."
"So we drive out, have a look." Dean shrugged. "No problem."
Sam cleared his throat. "Uh, about the driving part…can't. Only access to the island is a land bridge that's only there during low tides."
"Not…cool." Dean groaned. "So either we hurry it the hell up or we get stuck out there for what…twelve hours?"
Sam nodded and smiled. "Roughly. Upside. It's summer. We won't freeze if we do get stuck." He chuckled at the disgusted look on his brother's face. "I figured we'd stop at the local library. See if there's any local info to dig up on known spooks and legends for the place."
Dean finished off his donut and stood. "Yeah I'll drop you off and then go find some other way to make my eyes bleed."
Sam chuckled as his brother went into the bathroom and shut the door. He waited to hear the shower running and then indulged himself, folding over the table top with a low moan to relieve the incessant ache that still held sway in his back. "Crap."
Sam leaned back in the tortuous library chair in Milford's public library and groaned long and loud as the muscles protested being hunched over the micro-fiche machine for so long. He looked longingly over at the library's computer and its 'out of order' sign. His research could have gone so much more smoothly. He looked around and saw the librarian giving him a severe look again. She'd taken one look at his bruised and battered face and decided he must be trouble. He snorted. She'd obviously no idea that it was actually the grinning, green-eyed menace of an older brother beside was the actual troublemaker. Dean was, at that moment, somewhere across the room in the adult stacks. Sam knew this because the occasional paper airplane came winging up over the shelves in his direction, always when the librarian's back was turned. He had a collection on the floor around his chair.
"I expect you to clean up your mess when you're done, young man." The librarian snarled as she stalked over to Sam and toed several of the offending folded papers before turning her nose up and walking away.
"So much for teacher's pet, huh Sammy?" Dean asked with a chuckle as he came around the corner and grinned at him.
"You…are a jerk." Sam said with feeling.
Dean chuckled and picked up one of his airplanes. "Bitch." He launched it at his brother's face and threw his arms up in the air with a silent 'score!' as it hit him between the eyebrows.
Sam batted it away with a smirk and grabbed the stack of papers he'd printed off. "Can we go now? Preferably before she comes back and hurts me?"
"Come on, grumpy." Dean laughed and pulled Sam up out of the chair. He held on to his arm when he hunched slightly before straightening. "I want food."
"You always want food."
"I'm a growin' boy." Dean grinned again and tossed a salute to the scowling librarian as they passed her and left. The late afternoon sun shone down on the town as they stepped outside and the warm summer air broke them out in an instant sweat. "Saw a diner down the street." He steered Sam to his left and rubbed his hands together. "They have pie in the window."
Sam rolled his eyes with a smile. "So, I think we're just going to have to go out there and hope we get lucky." He waved the sheaf of papers at Dean before tucking them into his bag. "There have to be at least a dozen different local legends about ghosts. It's a mess."
Dean shrugged. "So, we go look. Find Casper and figure out which it is then you figure out where he's buried."
Sam chuckled. "More or less. I think it's the only way we narrow it down." He looked over at Dean. "Unless you want to spend time digging up half the old graves in at least four cemeteries around town."
Dean snorted. "No thanks. Besides, how many ghosts can there be on one tiny island?"
"You didn't say anything about having to wade out to this place, Sam." Dean said in a disgusted tone as water washed up and over the little sandbar to drench his boots. The island was some sixty yards further on. Sam had said there was once a resort but Dean couldn't see how anyone would have paid money to friggin swim for it. The sandbar was the only way in and was solidly underwater at high tides.
Sam snorted a laugh ahead of him. "Well if we'd gotten here an hour sooner it would have been dry."
"Hey, you try saying no to fresh baked apple pie." Dean smiled remembering.
"Dude, you were drooling at the waitress, not the pie." Sam rolled his eyes when Dean smacked his lips behind him. He looked over his shoulder at his big brother. "It was sad."
"You're just jealous." Dean said and then growled when a wave washed over up to his knees. "Aw come on! We may as well swim for it."
"Bad idea." Sam grinned over his shoulder. "There are rip…" He broke off when he felt the sand beneath his feet shift as a wave curled around his legs up to his knees. He had nothing to hang on to as it pulled him away and toppled him into the water.
"Sam!" Dean watched him fall as if in slow motion. Sam's head vanished beneath the swirling water to the side of the sand bar. Dean saw Sam's head surface for a moment yards away and go under again, arms flailing. "Hang on, Sam!" He picked up his feet and ran the length of the sand bar as fast as the rising waters would let him. The last rays of the sun picked out Sam's dark hair again as he bobbed to the surface and Dean gasped in a breath when he reached the shore before turning and sprinting along the beach after him. "Sammy!"
Sam choked in sea water and fought for the surface and air. The current had a hold of him and pulled him along willy-nilly. He tumbled and his head broke the surface. Sam spat out water and sucked in a much needed breath before he was dragged under again. The crazed current pulled him down and up, teasing him with short gasps of air before shoving him to the bottom and scraping already abused parts of his body along rocks. It was becoming harder and harder not to give in to the need to breathe as he flailed and kicked trying to break free.
Sam nearly did inhale a gale of water when he felt hands close on his reaching arm and suddenly his head was pulled above the surface. He coughed and gasped and saw Dean's face before he was turned and pulled with his brother's arm around his chest, holding his head up.
"I gotcha." Dean panted and pulled desperately for the shore. Sam kicked weakly trying to help and Dean could hear him roaring air in and out in his ear. "Almost there." The terror of losing him to the ocean was beginning to fade now he had hold of his brother and could hear him breathing. The bottom finally came up under his feet and he stood, pulling Sam with him. He drew Sam's arm over his shoulders and together they stumbled out of the surf onto the dry sand where he let Sam down and dropped beside him. "You ok?"
"Rip currents." Sam coughed up some more of the ocean and managed a small, exhausted smile. "There are…rip currents around here."
"No kidding." Dean slapped his shoulder. He looked out to the sand bar…or where it had been and sighed. "So, we're officially stuck here for the night."
"Good thing you were carrying the bag." Sam saw it sitting further back on the beach. "Or we'd be hunting this ghost empty handed."
"You stand?" Dean took his arm when he nodded and got him to his feet with a grunt. He studied Sam for a moment and decided he was steady enough. "Next time you wanna take a swim, tell me. I'll find you a pool."
Sam chuckled and followed him up the narrow beach to the bag where Dean shouldered it once more and took out two flashlights. He handed one to Sam and turned toward the heavily forested island. The sun was down now. Fading dusk colored the sky in deepening orange and blue as the night birds woke on the island and sent their calls out on the evening wind.
"What's left of the resort should be…that way." Sam pointed to the North-East. He let his head fall forward and reached an arm back to rub along his lower back, trying to relieve the new pain and wondered how many new bruises he was going to be sporting.
"Hey, pay attention." Dean swatted Sam's shoulder when he stumbled over a root.
"Sorry." Sam said sheepishly. He was exhausted from his near drowning and it was starting to wear on him, not to mention the numerous bruises he could feel from being battered against rocks on the bottom. "You know Captain Kidd is supposed to have laid a curse on the island." He smiled when Dean looked at him surprised.
"Nice. Maybe there's a rum stash somewhere." Dean grinned then looked over at him in the light from their flashlights. "Wait. What kind of curse?"
Sam shrugged. "No idea. It's just a rumor."
"Ok, you see an 'x' anywhere, leave it alone." Dean chuckled. "Just to be safe."
"Dude, it's not Treasure Island." Sam rolled his eyes and went wide around the bole of a large tree. His clothes were sodden and weighing him down. He could see Dean swinging his arms and sending water in arcs into the trees from the drenched fabric. They were squelching as they walked. "I think we've lost the element of surprise." He laughed.
"Too bad salt water doesn't work as protection." Dean shook his arms again and dearly wanted dry clothes. At least it wasn't cold. It was a balmy summer evening but the humidity and sodden clothes were beginning to make him sweat.
They reached the site of the old resort in less than a half hour. It was the only site on the island not reclaimed by the trees. The moon had risen and the silvery light caught on the outlines of old foundations laid out in patterns through the tall grass. Dean walked out into the wide open space as Sam went wide beyond him. The bodies had been found at or near the site so the Ghost had to be lurking somewhere nearby. He put his flashlight away and took out his EMF meter, flipping it on. The needle climbed into the red.
"Head's up, Sammy." Dean called and saw his brother nod. Something was close by.
Sam paced carefully across the field, stepping over the bases of long gone walls and buildings. He startled when he realized the night had gone silent. "Dean." Sam looked over and opened his mouth to warn his brother when there was a crash. Dean's mouth opened in an 'o' of surprise as he fell from view with a shout. "Dean!"
To Be Continued…