Title: Unexpected Encounters
Sequel to: Sincerely Yours, God
Universe: Footsteps Series
Characters: Chloe/Sam, Dean, Ed, Harry, Dinah, Zatanna, Helena
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe joins a reality show filming in a supposed haunted asylum on the off-chance that something actually happens. Ed and Harry, founders of the Hell Hounds Lair website, aren't the only unexpected people she encounters.
Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt Used # 122: Take-Away Apparition
A/N: Mentions Supernatural Season One's Episode: Hell House.
Warning: Spoiler for Smallville Season 4 Episode "Spirit" & "Spell"...and Season 5 Episode "Tomb".
When God took the time to send you a personal shout-out and scolding via a know-it-all kid prophet it tended to make you stop and think. Also, when He decided to follow the age-old stereotype of knowledgeable beings being purposely vague while delivering what was obviously an important message...well...that was annoying as hell. If God figured it was of vital importance that you know you 'had to jump' one would think He'd at least leave a little hint as to what you would be jumping or why it was imperative that you did so.
It was questions like these that plagued Chloe even months after meeting Tyler Thompson and her mother Susan. Said thoughts were distracting as Chloe tried to get back into her routine working with the League while hunting on the side. Of course now her hunting was different, with the League in the know and keeping close tabs on her. Once or twice Dinah and Zatanna had joined her on a hunt when their specialities could come in handy, and Helena (or Huntress, as she was also known as) had expressed interest in tagging along out of curiosity. Chloe also suspected though that those three wanted to have an opportunity to have an in-depth talk with her away from the boys about leaving the League to start their own 'girl team'. The guys weren't taking the idea seriously but Chloe could tell Dinah, Helena and Zatanna were really invested in the idea.
They'd even produced some possible names for their would-be team. "Lady Justice" and "Birds of Vengeance" were being thrown around, and Chloe had jokingly offered up "Arrow's Exes" considering that the girls, herself included, had all dated the blonde archer at some time or the other. The girls had laughed and declared "Arrow's Exes" would definitely be in the running for the name of the new team, and Oliver just rolled his eyes before flinging an arm around Chloe's shoulders, scolding her for always trying to get him in trouble with the females.
From what Chloe had gotten from Dinah, Zatanna and Helena's insinuations whenever the boys weren't around or paying attention, they were really interested in breaking away and forming a girls only team that would be allies of the League yet not under their jurisdiction. They'd mentioned offhandedly to Chloe that as their Watchtower she would be able to fulfill her capacity easily from whatever location she wanted to be at, since all she needed were her computers and a link up to the satellite and space station Oliver had had made for and given to her as a gift during their relationship.
To be truthful, Chloe was intrigued by the idea of an all-girl's 'league', and if any of those three ever came around to asking her directly if she would Watchtower for them she'd agree to the deal...and deal with Oliver later. Chloe loved working with the boys but she knew that she'd had fun during the solo missions the women would sometimes take, and there was a lot that she'd learnt from the women, one of the most important ones being how one didn't need a flashy suit and a mask to hide one's identity. A wig, tight clothes, and makeup were enough to drastically change one's looks.
It was this method that Chloe was implementing on her hunts, having a stash of wigs and different style clothes and makeups and accessories...such as fake moles or tattoos or whatever. Always something different, making herself look completely different from whatever persona she'd taken up for her last hunt.
This hunt she was going for a cross between Lois and Helena. She'd chosen a long silky dark brown wig, a sleek yet sexy little dress which was tight enough to accentuate her breasts and yet loose enough to not be indecent. She rocked some boots and finished the look with her favorite little black leather jacket, which had hidden inner pockets filled with ammo and two guns that were small enough to keep hidden and not leave her suspiciously bulky. Inside of her boots were places to hide her blades, an idea she'd gotten from Dinah, and the two chinese sticks in her hair were actually weapons, and gifts from Helena. Zatanna, refusing to be outdone, had blessed and placed a protection spell upon one of Chloe's favorite necklaces, Nathair. It depicted two tangled serpents, coiled around a small clear crystal upon a circular disc. It was called Nathair because that was the celtic word for snake. On its own, without Zatanna's blessing and protection spell, it made a powerful token of wisdom and guile, with the snake frequently being revered as a creature that embodied those qualities. Wearing the amulet helped to focus Chloe's thoughts when she was in need of patience, and this way find greater wisdom to guide her actions.
She didn't understand why hunters weren't required to wear one at all times.
"As you know, the whole place is filled with video cameras which will be streaming live to our online audience." The fastidious little man in charge of the event declared. "There's no place that doesn't have a camera in it, bathrooms included, so if you need to go do so knowing that you're taking a whiz in front of the world."
"I should have gone before we came here Ed!" One of the contestants, a short geeky dark haired boy, whispered to his blonde, bespectacled friend.
"Harry, this is our big chance, so if you need to flash your junk in front of millions to get us the publicity we need, you're going to flash." Ed declared, placing his hands on Harry's shoulders in a 'this is for the greater good' sorta way.
"Before we start, we want you all to introduce yourselves one by one for the camera and our audience, and tell us a little about yourself." The manager declared, snapping his fingers for the cameraman to head towards the only other girl in the group, a blonde with big...eyes...
Chloe took this opportunity to eye the large abandoned hospital for the mentally insane which had been abandoned near fifty years ago. It looked ominous and almost deliberately scary, and she wondered if the film crew hadn't come before filming to make things look scarier for their show. Her shrewd eyes took in everything, from the bars on every window she could see, to the suspicious green material around the base of the asylum. It looked too much like green kryptonite for her tastes, but considering the age of this establishment it was impossible it was green!k. Right? Then again, Kryptonians had come to earth before...
Uneasy, she nearly didn't hear the two males next to her.
"I'm Ed Zeddmore, professional paranormal investigator." Ed declared, grabbing the lapels of his jacket as he puffed out his chest proudly. "Many of our viewers have probably seen my website Hell Hound's Lair, where we discuss paranormal events and have evidence we have gathered ourselves."
The cameraman turned to Harry, who looked less sure of himself than his friend. "Harry Spangler...I'm also a p-proffessional paranormal investigator and co-runner of Hell Hound's Lair."
The manager rolled his eyes.
The cameraman turned to Chloe.
With her suit, the dark makeup around her eyes acting as its own sort of mask, and long brunette wig, Chloe was more than sure she was unrecognizable as she smiled assuredly into the camera despite never having liked being in the limelight herself. "Wendy Tower, I've always been interested in the paranormal and this is my dream come true." She had tried for vapidly innocent and excited, but wasn't exactly sure she'd pulled it off.
Thankfully the cameraman continued on to the man on her other side, and finally returned to the manager.
"Just to repeat for our audience's sake," the small man declared. "The ten of you will be let loose into the old Edgar Asylum and after you enter the doors will be locked. This asylum hosts the most 'missing people' to date, and many paranormal activities have been caught by other paranormal investigators but we want to show more than anyone else has. You will be forced to stay in the asylum unless it proves too much in which you can signal to one of the cameras and you will be escorted out, but should you stay there the whole night until dawn's first light you will receive five thousand dollars." He smirked. "And internet fame."
The fame she really didn't care for, but this could turn out to be a legitimate hunt and she could do always do with the spending money.
"Again, nothing has been hidden from the viewers, every single room has a camera installed in it and you are all wearing a wireless camera on your person which must remain on at all times." His eyes warned them of hell to come should their cameras turn off for any reason. "Now go! And good luck."
Harry gulped loudly.
Ed more subtly.
The blonde giggled, giving a little bounce causing her...hair...to bounce distractingly for the males.
Rolling her eyes, Chloe pushed forwards through the large gothic gates towards the asylum, quickly flanked by the others. She was the first to enter the asylum, followed by the other men, and gazed around, taking in a deep breath. Mold and mildew were in the air. She made a face, tightening her hold on the only thing the show's people had given each of them, a flashlight. It wouldn't do any good if something was really in this place and attacked them, but for now Chloe was content playing the part of an intrigued civilian.
As Harry stumbled into the building the doors were shut and audibly locked behind them, the sound obviously enhanced in an attempt to create an ominous atmosphere, both for the viewers and the participants.
One of the guys gulped, while another whistled, turning on his flashlight as the setting sun was leaving them in a darkening place with no electricity.
"This place is so spooky." The blonde declared.
"Don't worry babe." One of the better looking guys smiled at her. "I'll protect you."
Chloe rolled her eyes, wondering why he'd want to make himself look like a smarmy douche on live streaming footage.
"I know we've already introduced ourselves to the public watching," a redheaded male smiled at everyone. "But I think we should introduce ourselves to each other."
"Whatever." One of the other guys, one who favored leather, rolled his eyes.
"I'm Ed!" Ed declared, clearing his throat. "And this is my associate, Harry. We are real professionals at ghost hunting. You probably saw our clip on the internet of the Mordecai Murdoch haunting in Richardson, Texas."
"No, we haven't." The swarmy douche from before replied.
"Wait, I did." The shortest of the guys declared. "Dudes, you were screaming like pussies. Those other two guys though, the brothers? You really couldn't see them good with your shoddy filming abilities but everyone could see that they had their business downpat."
"The Winchesters are utter tools." Ed declared, glaring. "We are the real deal."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock as even here the Winchesters were somehow involved in her hunt. She wondered if other hunters had this happen to them or if somehow she chose cases that ended up bringing her in contact with people that had met and interacted with the Winchesters.
"I'm Heather." The blonde declared, bringing the attention to herself.
"Heath." The shortest male made a face, folding his arms over his chest. "Her brother."
"No way." The smarmy douche blinked in shock before turning his attention back to the blonde. "They call me Meat."
Of course they did.
"Zachary." A handsome African American sporting a varsity jersey declared.
"Nick." An emo-looking guy declared.
"Max." The one with the leather and attitude mumbled.
"Wendy." Chloe declared when she realized they were waiting for her.
"And I'm Jonah." The redhead smiled. "This is exciting, isn't it?"
"You don't really believe there are ghosts here, do you?" Max sneered.
"If you don't believe in ghosts why are you here?" Heather wanted to know.
"Five thousand for sticking around in some dump for a couple of hours seems like easy money to me." He replied with a shrug.
"Well I believe in ghosts." Heath pushed his glasses higher up his nose. "And I think this is a really bad idea. I'm just here because someone needs to keep an eye on Heather."
"Well, you can leave her in my hands." Meat grinned.
"Actually, your hands are the last place I'd trust her in." Heath snorted in dark amusement.
Chloe decided she kinda liked the guy.
"What about you, Wendy?" Nick wanted to know, eyeing her. "What's your stance on the afterlife?"
"Morbidly fascinating." She replied easily, still not sure which persona she was falling into for this gig, though she doubted vapid was going to work this time.
Zachary smirked. "I agree wholeheartedly."
"Look at that, a jock who knows words over two syllables long." Nick mumbled.
Zachary ignored him.
"Dude, you are not going to believe this!" Sam declared with a chortle of laughter as he turned to Dean. "It's those guys from the Tulpa case in Richardson!"
"Huh? The little douchebags?" Looking up from where he was cleaning one of his many rifles on his bed, Dean got up and joined Sam by the table, leaning over his back to gaze at the laptop's screen. "Deadly Asylum Investigations Live?"
"Apparently it's some asylum somewhere that's known for being haunted." Sam frowned, leaning forwards, gazing at the menu and the many different screen options. "From the description I read, this is a reality special in which ten people have volunteered to go in there despite the fact that the locals won't go near it...and if they stay there for the whole night then they'll win money or something."
"That's stupid." Dean shook his head.
Sam watched as the participants, which included two females and eight males gathered together in the foyer, their flashlights on since night had fallen on them. "From what this says here, we can either watch it from the cameras in the rooms or we can cut into the camera of one of the participants."
"I can't believe people would actually agree to do something like this. Are they insane? What if that place is really haunted? They won't know what to do!" Dean made a face. "I mean, the girls are wearing heels for crying out loud! How do you try to run in heels?"
"Well, the brunette has wedge heels, from what I learnt from Jess they aren't that bad." Sam hesitated for a moment, like he always did when thinking of his lost love, before sighing and returning his attention to the screen. "So what do you think? We watch and if something really happens we investigate?"
Sighing as if the burden of the world were on his shoulders, Dean grabbed a seat and dragged it next to Sam's, sitting down as he eyed the screen. "Stupid ass people."
On the screen, the group decided to split up and investigate different parts of the asylum, and for a moment Sam was confused and not sure who to follow, but he figured it was better to follow the two Hell Hounds Lair founders, and tapped into Harry's camera, watching the image rattle as the guy hurried with Ed after the brunette, who'd left right as one of the other guys had obviously been about to offer her his company.
"Wendy!" Ed called as they hurried after her. "Wendy!"
"Miss Tower!" Harry joined.
Sam's eyes narrowed slightly, not understanding why that made him wary.
The girl stopped and turned towards them, giving Sam the first view of her up close. She was extremely petite in every sense, with long silky brown hair and eyes that were blue or green and framed by dark kohl and shadowy eye color that somehow enhanced her eyes so much that it distracted one's attention from the rest of her face.
They were pretty eyes.
Sam gulped, shifting slightly in the seat as her gaze turned to Harry, thus seeming to be looking directly into his camera...at the viewer.
"Yes?" She looked from one man to the other.
"Can we go with you?" Ed wanted to know, pushing his glasses up his nose. "The others kinda took off in their own directions."
"And it's not s-safe for a g-girl to be alone anyway." Harry stammered, obviously nervous.
She looked between them before her lips twitched as she nodded. "Sure, if you can keep up."
"Is it me, or is there something kinda familiar about her?" Dean wanted to know, looking confused as he leaned forwards.
Having thought so himself, Sam felt a nagging suspicion as he brought up information on the players of this game, finding a short little blurb and a picture of miss Wendy Tower taken while she was unawares of the camera on her. She stood against the sunset, wind playing with her hair, expression sharp as she studied the building they'd entered. There wasn't much information on Wendy other than the fact that she was single and interested in the paranormal.
Sam stared hard at the picture, trying to figure out where exactly he'd seen her from. It was there at the edge of his mind, taunting him, and it annoyed him to hell and back that he couldn't figure out where he'd seen her before.
Cutting back into Harry's camera feed for a closer look at what was going on, Sam realized that the trio were looking through some of the patients rooms.
"These rooms are small." Harry mumbled as he panned the camera's view. "I couldn't have been a patient here. The claustrophobia would drive me insane."
"Then you would be a prime patient for here." Chloe snarked, shining her light around the decrepit room.
"Right." Harry nodded. "Insane Asylum."
"So." Ed cleared his throat. "Not a lot of girls are into the paranormal and ghost hunting and all that. So what got you interested in it?"
She paused, turning to look at him as she wondered how to answer this. If she'd already figured out what persona she was going as it'd be easy, but Wendy Tower was actually harder to pin down than she'd previously thought. "I've been possessed before. Three times actually." She didn't know why she was going for the truth, but she supposed that if she couldn't think of anything convincing then this was the best way to go. "The first time was by the spirit of a girl who was running against me for Prom Queen, I won but I don't remember because she was there instead. She tried to get revenge of the school for not choosing her and for hating her for being such a bitch, but a friend helped exorcise her out of me. And then the second time I got possessed it was a mass possession as my cousin and my best friend were also possessed by witches who'd been in my friend's ancestry and had had unfinished business. Once again we were exorcised. And the last time I was possessed by the spirit of a dead girl who'd been killed and walled up in the wall of my apartment. Her killer was still alive and very close to me, and after she was able to let the truth of what'd happened to her and who'd done it be known...she left."
Harry's eyes widened. "Whoa. That's awesome."
"Not really." Chloe shook her head. "I was either a total bitch, or power-hungry, and the last one ended with my best friend wanting to have me interned in one of these very same places, despite her having been possessed once before as well."
"So you're what, a medium?" Ed wanted to know, seeming like he was trembling with excitement. "Because if you are this is so awesome! We'll most definitely get more paranormal activity going on around us tonight and people will be watching our cameras!"
Chloe paused, eyes narrowed, never having thought about that,
Did she have some latent medium-like abilities?
Was that why it was such a common occurrence for her to be possessed?
Suddenly the door behind them swung closed and the sound of it being locked echoed throughout the room.
They turned to face the door as one, Ed and Harry reaching for each other.
Although wary at so quickly executed manifestations, Chloe couldn't help but look at those two with amusement before returning her attention to the door. "Hello?" She called out just in case there was a reasonable explanation for this. "If someone is trying to mess with us it isn't funny."
The sound of screams in the distance caused Harry and Ed to hold on tighter to each other.
Chloe's eyes narrowed and she reached down into one of her boots, pulling out her iron dagger, taking a few cautious steps away from the door.
"You have a knife?" Harry sputtered incredulously.
"Unless it's escaped your attention, ghosts can't be stabbed!" Ed exclaimed.
Chloe rolled her eyes. "Its made from iron."
"Huh? What does that have to do with anything?" Ed made a face, and then let out a scream so loud it hurt when the door was violently pushed forwards and a glowing figure, deformed and sneering, stared at them.
"I want to go home!" Harry started screaming, racing to the window. "Let me out! Let me out!"
Chloe tightened her hold on her dagger.
The ghost shrieked as it raced at her.
Waiting until the last minute Chloe dodged it and twirled around, slicing through its back with her dagger, the iron causing the creature to shriek as it disappeared.
Ed watched her, mouth open, eyes wide. "Dude! You just killed a ghost!"
"I didn't kill it." Chloe shot him a look. "I told you, the blade is made out of iron, and as you already must know since you're professionals, iron repels ghosts."
"It does?" Harry squeaked from the window.
"Of course its does!" Ed cleared his throat loudly. "Uh, explain it for, uh, Harry."
Chloe made a face as she looked between them. "No one knows for sure why, but the use of iron to repel ghosts is connected to the electromagnetism theory, since striking a ghost with an object made from iron grounds the ghost's electric charge, disrupting them and warding them off until they're able to recover."
Ed only managed to reign in his own look of shock before clearing his throat once more and turning to Harry. "Shame on you for not knowing something so...basic. And you call yourself a professional!"
Harry turned to him. "But Ed! You didn't know that either!"
"Of course I did!" Ed sputtered.
"Did not!" Harry glared.
"Did too!" Ed huffed.
"Liar Liar Pants On Fire!" Harry cried.
"Ladies!" Chloe snapped, causing them to look at her. "Unless it escaped your attention, I said repelled. That thing will be back here once it's recuperated."
Harry's eyes widened as he went to the window, banging on it. "Let us out!"
"Harry! We can't leave now!" Ed declared. "This is gold!"
"But Ed!" Harry tried...before shrieking and jumping away from the window when it began to frost over before shadows began to climb up the transparent glass, leaving outside visibility completely impossible.
"A-a-a-are you f-f-filming that, Harry?" Ed stuttered.
Somewhere, Heather could be heard screaming at the top of her lungs.
Chloe turned back towards the doorway. "We need to find the others and get everyone out of here before someone gets hurt." She darted out of the room, dagger in one hand and flashlight in the other.
"Don't lose her!"
Two hurried footsteps quickly joined her.
"What the fuck?" Dean was radiating tension as he leaned forwards. "Is this real Sam? Or is this a television stunt?"
Sam typed rapidly, bringing up the cameras on the outside of the building as the people from the crew tried to break down the doors, the glass...but nothing. It was as if everything was made from stone. The windows had all been covered by this black liquid that seemed to burn whatever touched it, and one of the technicians had had to be taken to the hospital. "This seems legit, Dean."
"We need to go there! We need to help those people!" Dean shot to his feet.
"This is six states over,, we'd never make it on time." Sam tried to rationalize as he watched the different cameras as the contestants were terrorized by the apparitions, all running in different directions and screaming for help. "There must be hunters in the area who will go and help."
"Goddamn it!" Dean hissed, sitting down, obviously hating being unable to do anything.
Sam's eyes widened as he saw the girl, the blonde with the ridiculously large breasts, alone and calling for her brother, crying in terror. She leaned hard against the wall, shinning her light around her in the darkness, screaming Heath's name as suddenly hands reached through the walls and grabbed her, beginning to pull her through it. She was halfway through, screaming and begging for help, when her brother finally found her and grabbed her arms, grunting and trying to pull her free.
On another screen the redheaded male was surrounded by what seemed to be ghastly apparitions of female nurses, all with terrifying syringes in their hands.
The jock and the emo were running in different places, alone, obviously terrified.
The one whom Dean had turned a 'douchebag' and whom Sam thought was to smarmy for his own good, was in a corner, crying and rocking back and forth.
The one with the leather jacket and attitude had found the brother and sister, and was trying to help the smaller guy pull his sister out of the wall and out of the clutches of those hands. But more hands joined in, grabbing hold more and more of the blonde, dragging the crying and pleading woman deeper into the wall.
Suddenly Wendy Tower (followed by Ed and Harry) turned the corner and didn't even seem to take time to take in the situation, instead racing toward them and slicing at the hands with her blade, causing said hands to disappear and for the two men who'd been holding the blonde to fall back on the ground as the girl fell to freedom.
"Ed!" Harry screamed as he was lifted in the air.
Wendy turned and threw the dagger at him, the iron piercing the spirit behind him right through its forehead, disrupting its pulse and causing it to disappear as Harry was dropped.
"Behind you!" Dean suddenly snapped at the monitor, seeing the manifestation before Sam.
Wendy seemed to sense it because she quickly dropped as the thing reached for her, and slipped her fingers into her other boot, pulling out another blade and turning in time to slice at the apparition of the nurse who'd been about to stab her with the horrifying syringe.
With a shriek, the nurse disappeared.
Sam's eyes widened. "She has to be a hunter."
"What sort of hunter goes on a show like this?" Dean wanted know, confused.
"The type that anticipated something like this happening." Sam replied.
Picking up her other dagger from where it'd embedded in the wall, Chloe turned to the group she found herself in. "Is everyone okay?"
Heather cried, hugging her brother tightly.
Heath held his sister tightly and nodded. "Yeah, I think so."
"What the fuck?" Max was on his feet, pacing. "Those were ghosts!"
"Yes, they were." Chloe nodded, alert. "This place is full of them."
"I can't believe they're real. Fuck!" Max ran his hand through his hair. "They weren't supposed to be real! This was supposed to be an easy five thousand!"
The sound of something hurriedly coming at them from both sides caused Chloe to yank out her other blade as well, ready, but Nick appeared around the corner and Zachary from the other, both stopping and cursing in shock and fear until they realized that the ones they'd nearly run into were the other contestants.
"There are fucking ghosts chasing me!" Nick snapped.
Zachary turned behind him with a nod.
"At least we're all here and we're all alright." Ed declared, taking in a deep breath.
"Not everyone." Chloe frowned, going over the small group with her. "We're missing Jonah and Meat."
"We're all here...except them...I mean." Ed flinched.
"I want to leave here." Heather cried into Heath's chest. "I want to go home! I'm sorry for dragging you out!"
Chloe gave the crying blonde a look before sighing, decision made. "Okay we're all going to head for the exit."
"We can't just leave those two behind." Zachary frowned.
"Screw you man!" Max snapped. "This is every man for himself!"
"What if it were you who was out there all by himself in the middle of this mess?" Zachary growled.
"Well I'm not! And I'm not going to be!" Max growled back.
"Both of you back down now!" Chloe snapped. "We're going to the exit, and once you all are out to safety I will come back and look for Jonah and Meat."
"You?" Zachary made a fell. "Oh hell no. I'm not going to safety and leaving a little thing like you to come back here in my place."
"Dude. She's Xena." Harry put in.
"They're right." Heath declared. "Before you arrived she kicked some ghost ass."
"I don't give a crap. Grown men shouldn't run and hide while they send their women out to do the hard jobs!" Zachary declared, turning to Chloe. "I'll help you take them to safety and then I'll come with you to find them."
"Harry and I too." Ed agreed.
"We are?" Harry squeaked.
"Yes, we are." Ed nodded, grabbing onto the lapels of his vest and clearing his throat. "We are the professionals. They'll be needing our help and expertise."
Harry looked like he wanted to cry.
Chloe turned to Zachary before reaching into her pocket and pulling out one of her guns, causing everyone's eyes to widen. "It's filled with rocksalt, which won't hurt the ghosts, but it'll disrupt their frequency and cause them to leave for a while."
Zachary eyed the gun before taking it and nodding.
"As one, let's head back." Chloe ordered.
As one, they obeyed.
"Dean..." Sam's eyes widened.
"What?" Dean frowned, turning to his brother.
"I know who she is." Sam brought his hand to his parted lips, shaking his head, unable to believe it. "This whole time I've been trying to figure out who she is, I knew I'd seen her somewhere before! I couldn't figure it out until I just saw her take control of the group. I can't believe I didn't figure it out sooner!"
"Who?" Dean raised an eyebrow. "Someone you knew from Stanford?"
"No." Sam turned to his brother. "That's Watchtower."
"What?" Dean blinked in surprise before turning back to the screen, narrowing his eyes, obviously remembering the member of the superhero squad they'd met some time ago. "Can't be her! Watchtower was a redhead and had a pixie cut."
"Dude, there are such things as wigs. The pixie cut could have been the wig, this could be the wig, or they both could have been wigs and she has black hair for all we know!" Sam grinned, unreasonably excited. "Think about it, not only did Watchtower say she hunted, but this girl's name is Wendy Tower. You know? Watchtower. Wendy Tower. W. Tower." Sam shook his head, gaze on the girl as she led the motley crew through the twisting and turning halls, obviously having no idea that those outside were unable to get in and that it was attracting a media frenzy. "That's Watchtower."
"Dude, you've been obsessing over her identity since we left, are you sure you're not-."
Sam glared at him.
"Fine." Dean raised his hands in submission. "I'm just saying..."
A knock sounded on the door.
Dean and Sam exchanged narrowed looks as both grabbed their guns, Dean getting up and going to the door and opening it. His eyes widened at whoever was on the other side before he grinned that smile Sam secretly called the 'Panty Dropper'.
"Is it my birthday?"
"Believe me." A female voice announced. "You wouldn't want me at your birthday party."
Dean smiled more intensely. "I don't know about that."
There was a pause before the female cleared her throat. "Are you Dean Winchester and if you are, is your brother Sam Winchester here as well?"
All of a sudden Dean's smile vanished, his eyes hardening as he opened the door wider and pointed the hidden gun at her. "Okay, who are you and how the hell do you know who we are?"
Sam's eyes widened as the door opened to show a beautiful dark haired woman in a...magician's...outfit.
"I'm with the league, Watchtower is in trouble." The woman pushed the gun away from her and walked into the room. "Doomsday has risen once more and most of our colleagues are engaged in battle with him, and you two are the people Watchtower told us to default to in case something should happen supernaturally and she wasn't around."
"I knew it! It is Watchtower!" Sam stood, turning to his brother. "I told you!"
"So you know of the situation. Good." She replied. "Get what you need prepared and I will take you there."
"It's six states away." Dean narrowed his eyes.
The woman's eyes flashed an inhuman blue. "We'll make it."
Sam nodded and stood, getting his things together.
"Are we really doing this?" Dean frowned. "Sammy, we don't know if she's telling us the truth. She could be a demon for all we know!"
"I'm a magician." The woman scoffed, folding her arms over her chest. "And you're wasting valuable time, Dean Winchester."
"Dean." Sam pleaded.
Dean made a face. "Dammit." He pointed at his brother. "If we get screwed over you are in so much trouble!"
The sound of an agonized scream bombarded them as they reached a crossroads.
Chloe stopped, eyes wide as she turned towards the sound. "That was Jonah."
"Uh. Guys!" Harry whimpered, looking behind them.
They turned to see four ghosts, all deformed and demonic looking, coming towards them.
Chloe turned to Zachary. "Get the others to safety. You're the only one I trust to take them there safely."
The reluctance was obviously there, but Zachary knew that with the ghosts upon them he didn't have time to fight, and nodded, turning to the people. "Come on! Hurry up! Run! You know the way!"
Harry and Ed were terrified, the desire to go with the others obvious, but they stuck with her.
"Go." Chloe urged. "They're going to need your professional help."
Harry and Ed quickly nodded and rushed away.
Taking in a deep breath Chloe did what one never should in these circumstances and left the relative safety of the group, screaming loudly.
Ghosts fed off of fear, and she hoped that they would follow her, the lone girl, and leave the others alone.
"Sonofabitch!" Dean cursed as they were encircled by light and in the blink of an eye found themselves outside of the Edgar Asylum, a bit apart from the media frenzy as people tried to explain how this sort of thing could be happening and skeptics trying to give it a reasonable explanation.
"Goddamn it!" A female voice snarled, and he gazed up to see that there was an unmarked van next to them, the back door open to show two women inside.
One was a gorgeous blonde with a pixie cut and a painted on mask who paced the van anxiously.
The other was a delicious-looking dark haired woman with a short hair cut as well who was clearly unhappy with what she saw on the computer screen.
"I have them." Zatanna declared, drawing the attention to them as she stepped in. "Girls, meet Dean and Sam Winchester. Boys, these are Black Canary, and Huntress."
Black Canary, the blonde, nodded curtly before looking them over critically.
Huntress didn't even look at them. "She's separated from the group and the ghosts are following her."
"Damned stupid move. Predators will always go after the lone one." Black Canary continued to pace once more. "And they have no idea that they can't get out through the front door."
"Why have the ghosts begun acting so violently all of a sudden?" Sam stepped up into the large van as well, dropping his duffle bag.
"Heather and Heath? The brother and sister? Their ancestor was the only one who got out of the asylum alive after the massacre. She'd hidden somewhere and was later found by the police two days later, everyone else having been killed by the Jacobin brothers before they turned on each other and killed each other in the lavatory." Huntress replied, tapping her fingers impatiently. "It's why Watchtower decided to join in on this in case something should happen. She didn't think it would since Laurel hadn't had a part to do with the killings, she'd been interned for depression, but sometimes blood-relations are enough to cause disturbances...or so she says."
"But the ghosts we've seen were faculty." Dean finally joined in on the conversation, entering the van as well. "What do we know about them or where they're buried?"
"Oh, that's easy. No one was able to be recognized and everyone were buried in a mass grave in Potter's Field." Black Canary replied curtly. "The only ones who were identified were Dr. Krueger and Dr. Mansfield, and they were both cremated."
"You, Houdini." Dean turned to Zatanna. "Can't you just flash your eyes and get those doors open?"
"One, never call me that again." Zatanna folded her arms over her bountiful chest. "Two, I'm going to have to use a lot of power to run interference with the cameras so that we can do this Black Ops style for your benefit." She raised an eyebrow at them. "And Three, it's a bit more difficult than just 'fashing my eyes' as you put it. Normally I could open doors easily, but there's magic, dark magic, keeping them closed. I could only keep them open for a couple of minutes, and only from the outside. It's going to drain me to do this, so I won't be able to do it more than twice, which is why I went to find you two."
"I see." Sam nodded, apparently getting it. "We'll go in while the civilians get out, and then bring Watchtower out."
"Why can't Birdie and Purple do this?" Dean wanted to know, eyebrow raised.
"Once I work against the magics on this building I'm going to get a backlash, and I'm going to need one of the girls with me to help me as I'm going to be drained." Zatanna replied. "And the other is going to be working on the crowd and trying to disperse them."
"Also?" Huntress stood, going towards Dean, her eyes narrowed. "You call me Purple again I'll make you into a eunuch."
"That wasn't the 'also'." Black Canary declared. "The 'also' is that only one of you is going to go into the asylum to help Watchtower. We need the other to go to Potter's Field and find the bodies and salt and burn them. Z checked the place out and says there's protection on it, so you're going to have opposition."
"Wait, you want to separate us?" Dean frowned. "No. This is all too fishy."
Sam stepped forwards. "I'll go into the asylum."
"Dude!" Dean threw his hands up in the air.
Sam, Houdini, Birdie and Purple all ignored him, discussing their game plan.
Dean glared at them, yet listened in.
Chloe turned the corner and came to a complete stop, shaking her head. "No."
There, bloody and broken on the ground, was Jonah. He had stab marks all over his body, like millions of jagged syringes had pierced through him before he'd been left to bleed out, which he had.
"Jonah." Chloe whispered, going towards him, anger and guilt filling her for having not been able to make it on time.
"T-they were a-all around me." His voice was hoarse and pained as she knelt down next to him, drawing him into her lap, barely holding onto life. "I-I didn't want to die alone like my mom did."
"You're not." She replied, resting his head comfortably on her lap, knowing he was slipping as they spoke. "I'm right here." She reached for his bloody hand.
He tried to squeeze it but didn't have the strength. "My mother died in that big train wreck last month. She was trapped beneath all that metal for two days before she died of her injuries." His voice choked. "I wanted to come here to find p-proof of life after life so I could...know...she didn't just disappear in such a terrible way."
Tears began to gather in her eyes but Chloe kept them back with a gulp, smiling down at him as his eyes began to haze.
Jonah looked up, a brilliant smile lighting his face as tears dripped from his eyes. "Mom?"
He stretched out his hand and seemed to clasp someone's unseen one...before the life fled his eyes and his fell lifelessly to his side.
Chloe bit her bottom lip and closed her eyes tightly.
This was her fault.
She should have been more prepared! She should have anticipated that this could have happened! She shouldn't have let everyone split up!
Hearing a male scream, Chloe looked up, eyes wide.
Resting Jonah on the ground, she got up and raced towards the sound, praying that she wouldn't be too late this time.
With Black Canary dealing with disbursing the crowd by causing the equipment they were using to explode one by one violently via bursts of sonic-boom screams, and Dean off to Potter's field, Sam went to the door amidst the chaos and screams, Zatanna and Huntress next to him as the magician began chanting a language he had never heard before, her eyes going inhumanly blue as she raised her hand towards the door. The black goo covering it fought yet slowly was repelled, and suddenly the door flew open and a young African American stumbled through, his side of the door shot up, obviously proving that he'd been trying to get out of it for a while.
"Everyone out!" Sam hurried to the door, helping the young man through and watching as most of the contestants rushed through, scared and bruised yet otherwise fine. He sent a look to Zatanna when the last member was out and raced inside, the door swinging shut behind him, leaving him in the dark, decrepit building. Duffle bag over his shoulder, shotgun at the ready, Sam's eyes narrowed as he hurried down the hallway. "Watchtower!"
There was no answer.
Feeling something, Sam turned in time to see the ghost of a nurse lounging at him, only to receive a gut full of rocksalt and flicker away.
Behind her, another ghost waited, this one looking like a deformed patient.
Letting off a shot, Sam turned when the ghost disappeared before he could be shot, and the young hunter raced down the hallway, shooting at the ghosts that appeared in front of him trying to block his way.
A male scream filled the air, and he hurried towards it, turning the corner at a crossroads and stopping for a moment as he came upon the bloody body of one of the contestants.
Another scream sounded from up ahead.
This time it was female.
Eyes narrowed, Sam pumped his shotgun and hurried towards the voice, following the sounds of struggles along the twisting hallway before stopping in front of an open door. In the corner of the dark room the smarmy dude, Meat, was wearing a hospital gown and rocking back and forth, eyes wide and blank, a tear of blood running from one of his eyes.
"Let go of me!" Watchtower was being held down on an operating table, ghostly figures in doctor and nurse outfits looming over her.
The lead doctor held an icepick-like instrument close to her face, reaching for her eye, obviously about to perform a lobotomy.
Suddenly Meat's bleeding eye and behavior made chilling sense.
"We'll make you all better." The doctor assured Watchtower.
"Hey!" Sam yelled, raising his gun, bringing the ghosts' attentions to him. "I'm checking her out of this place." He then shot through the doctor, the icepick-like instrument falling harmlessly to the ground, and shot at the nurses as they charged after him. He made quick work of them before rushing to Watchtower's side and undoing the leather binds that held her down.
"Sam?" She gasped, eyes wide, kohl runny, hair messing, clothes a mess, skin dirty.
She was so much prettier without the mask.
"Are you okay?" He asked, gazing down at her. "Did they-?"
"No, they-." Watchtower flinched and turned away from him, gazing at Meat. "I was too late, again."
"Did they lobotomize him?" Sam asked although he already knew the answer.
She nodded before going to Meat. "We need to leave."
Meat just continued to rock back and forth, not seeming to notice her or her words.
"Watchtower, we need to leave, now." Sam growled, refilling his shotgun as his breath came out in visible puffs of frigid air.
"C'mon big boy." The woman placed an arm around Meat and helped him to his feet, the large male letting her lead him around like a child.
Sam turned towards them and fired, the nurse who'd been about to stab her disappearing in a shriek. "Can you handle him?"
"Can you keep them off of our backs?" She countered, already moving Meat towards the door and through it.
Sam watched her go and a grin twitched his lips before he hurried after.
"You've got to be screwing with me!" Dean snapped as he gazed at the large plot of land this supposed mass gravesite was apparently in. Thing was that there was no markings or hint whatsoever that such a grave had existed here many years previously, grass green, trees admittedly eerie in the night, and nothing close to a headstone in sight. Not even a commemorative plaque. And yet the Tantalizing Trio were sure this was where the bodies were buried.
What did he do now?
And that was when the ground began to rip apart beneath him, skeletal arms piercing through.
Chloe wasn't sure exactly what Sam was doing there or how he'd known she who she was or that she was in the asylum in the first place, but she thanked her lucky stars that he was there as he'd saved her from the lobotomy from hell...unlike how she'd been unable to save Meat. Guilt weighed heavily on her, heavier than her human charge, and as they neared the door she felt herself growing distracted by it. That was why, the second the door opened and she gazed up to see Helena and Zatanna, she didn't notice the spirits reach up and grab her legs until it was too late. She was dragged through the floor, disappearing before she could even scream.
Chloe fell through the air before landing hard on one of the dusty old patient cots, the dust flying and she coughed, rolling off of it and onto the floor.
Despite being in pain she forced herself to stand, groaning as she gazed around her.
Reaching into her jacket she pulled out her other gun and narrowed her eyes, alert, waiting.
Coldness filled her and she looked up at in time to see Sam Winchester fall through the ceiling as well, landing on the bed as she had, dust flying. His dufflebag just missed falling on his head.
"Sam!" Chloe gasped, hurrying towards him. "Are you okay?"
He groaned and nodded, slowly sitting up. "The good news is that the guy is outside in safety." He stood up, a hand on his back. "Bad news is the door closed and your friend said she'd only be able to open it twice, and that was the second time. We're stuck."
"How did you get stuck in here?" Chloe asked, utterly confused. "If Meat got out how did you not?"
"I did." Sam replied, straightening. "But I came back in as the door was closing."
Chloe looked up at him in silence, unable to believe what she was hearing. "You came back in for me even though you knew that you'd get locked inside here with a bunch of homicidal ghosts?"
He cleared his throat and wouldn't look at her.
The blonde pulled a strand of her wig's dark brown hair behind ear, before reaching out her hand to him. "Chloe."
Sam turned to look at her and for a moment didn't react, but then he grinned brightly and took her hand in his larger, calloused one, shaking it. "Nice to finally learn your name, Chloe."
Dean hadn't wanted to admit that he was outmanned, but he had been until Black Canary arrived from having dispatched the crowds of onlookers, and used her sonic scream to explode the skeletons as they came towards him. The things kept coming though, reassembling themselves as best as they could and hobbling closer. If things had been less dire Dean would have joked on how the skeletons seemed to have a bone to pick with them, but he didn't want her turning those lungs on him so he tried his best to figure out how in the hell to get rid of these things. This wasn't like the usual case. You couldn't dig up the whole Potter's Field to salt and burn remains...not when the remains were above ground and trying to tear you apart!
This was all too black magic for him!
"Do something!" Black Canary ordered, as if he was enjoying this somehow.
"I am!" He snapped back, trying to remember if he'd read about anything like this in his father's journals.
"Do something useful!" She growled.
Dean's eyes narrowed at her.
She better be glad she was hot and in leather.
"What do you think?" Sam asked, eyes narrowed.
"Trap." Chloe murmured, arms over her chest.
"I thought so too." The tall male sighed, eyeing the swirly black portal that'd appeared in front against the brick wall. "But we don't have any other choice."
"Adam before Eve." Chloe motioned with her chin towards it.
Sam narrowed his eyes, pumped his shotgun, and led the way, stepping into the portal.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe stepped in after him.
With the blink of an eye, the portal disappeared.
"What do you mean the skeletons just went back underground?" Huntress blinked in utter confusion.
"What do you mean Sammy and Watchtower disappeared?" Dean snapped angrily.
"Something intervened inside there." Zatanna finally spoke from where she was sitting down, seeming quite worn out, pale as death. "I could feel it, and whatever it was it was powerful. There was a portal. They were taken somewhere, but I can't even try to look for them, not right now, I need to regain some strength."
"Whoever has taken them better not lay a hand on Watchtower." Black Canary glared.
"Or my brother!" Dean exclaimed.
Zatanna nodded in agreement before sighing and turning to Dean, expression determined. "It seems we will have to work together a little while longer."