Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural, or Sam and Dean, or The Raven.

Summary: The Raven is a hotel opposite a haunted house a few miles outside Baltimore. Sam and Dean are there on a boringly routine job. Then Sam finds a package of letters under a floorboard, a mysterious ghost with sad eyes insists Dean is going to kill his brother, and the world's creepiest doctor shows up claiming he can cure Sam, who's suddenly starting to spike high fevers for no reason Dean can figure out.

Rating: PG13

Spoilers: Through to 8.10, Torn and Frayed.

Warnings: Minor language, horror elements and violence.

Author's Notes: This is my entry for this year's Big Bang! Art is by the wonderful eyestoowide; if you want to see it (or if you want to read the whole story at once without waiting for the chapter updates here), it's on my fic journal.

Thanks go to Cheryl, who patiently read everything and pointed out loose ends I would've missed, SandyDee84 for listening to all my rambling about plot, and Scribble2Much for keeping me at it the last couple of weeks!

The Raven

Prologue: Lady of Mercy Hospital, Baltimore

Detective Fuller hurried to the nurses' station. "I'm here to –"

"See Dr. Jenkins?" Nurse Andrews asked, her smile wide and full of meaning. "She told us you'd be coming. Go through to her office."

Detective Fuller smiled back, but his heart wasn't in it. Dr. Jenkins – otherwise known as his longtime girlfriend Dora – had sounded anxious over the phone. As an ER surgeon she'd seen some unpleasant things, and she didn't call him unless it was serious.

His instinct was to burst into her office unannounced, but he forced himself to knock. Sometimes she had patients' families in there with her and he didn't think they'd appreciate having their heart-to-heart interrupted by Fuller kicking the door down.

The door opened a crack and Dora's eye peeked out. When she saw it was him, she opened the door the rest of the way, relief clear on her face.

"Jim. Come in."

Fuller slipped into the room and shut the door. It was when he turned around that he saw the stranger.

The stranger was a man. Mid thirties. He was tall – a couple of inches over Fuller's five-eleven. And there was something about him… Fuller couldn't judge build or musculature under the fourteen layers of shirts he was wearing, but he didn't need to judge build or musculature to know the stranger was trouble.

The stranger's resentful green eyes raked Dora, and Fuller resisted the urge to thrust himself in front of her.

"Hello," he said instead, carefully. "I don't believe we've met."

"Mr. Smith, this is Detective Fuller. He's with the Baltimore police. Jim, this is Dean Smith. His younger brother was brought in earlier with severe trauma."

"Oh." Fuller relaxed, just a little. Worry about a family member might explain Dean Smith's belligerent attitude. "I'm sorry to hear that, Mr. Smith. Is he…"

He turned to Dora.

She didn't smile. "Sam Smith came through surgery," she said briskly. "He's in the ICU. Rob says he's doing as well as can be expected."

"Then…" Fuller turned from Dora to Dean Smith. "What's wrong?"

Dora crossed her arms and glared at Dean. "I suspect abuse."

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I know it's a short prologue, but there's more coming. :-)