Calls Me Home @daddyslilheartbreaker
Something Wicked

Title: Calls Me Home

Summary: A journey through seven seasons of Supernatural through the eyes of two Winchesters and a Singer.

Characters: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Ruby Singer, Bobby Singer, John Winchester, and a whole ton of others.

Disclaimer: Everything you see here belongs to Eric Kripke and Co. The title belongs to the song "Calls Me Home" by Shannon LaBrie.

Author's Note: I would just like to say that the timeline is so screwed up at some points. It's almost mind boggling.

Chapter Seventeen

They were having breakfast in a small town in Iowa when Dean's phone made a noise. A look of relief appeared on his face as he looked at the coordinates on the screen. John was okay. At least he assumed he was okay since he managed to send a text. Sam had a similar look of relief after his brother showed them the text. Ruby, however, was a bit apprehensive especially after what had happened in Chicago. It didn't stop them from looking into the coordinates to see what they were dealing with though. Sam found that the coordinates would land them in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. He and Ruby got to work researching recent cases in that area while Dean drove there. Frustratingly, by the time they arrived, they were still empty handed.

"Are you even sure those coordinates are right? Maybe he typed them in wrong or something." Sam frowned as Dean approached them after leaving the local diner.

"They've never been wrong, Sammy. Maybe Dad wants to meet us here. If not then I'm sure there's something worth killing around here." Dean handed a coffee to Sam.

Ruby glanced around as they stood just outside of a small park that was mostly just a playground. "Uh guys, what time is it?"

"Ten after four. Why?" The younger Winchester looked at her in confusion.

She gestured in front of them at the playground that was empty aside from the one little girl playing in it and her mom sitting on a bench. "Doesn't this seem odd to you? Kids should be out of school by now."

"Yeah she's right. This place should be crawling with kids." Sam agreed as Dean went to go talk to the mom.

Ruby placed a hand on his chest stopping him though. "I got this one. It's okay."

"Um, alright then." He stayed back with Sam watching her in confusion.

The blonde placed her hand on her stomach and sat down on the bench beside the woman who was reading a magazine. "Sure is quiet around here."

"Yeah, it's a shame with all the kids getting sick. Oh. How far along are you?" The woman glanced at her and then smiled warmly.

She blushed glancing down at her stomach before looking at the woman again. "Eight weeks. Getting sick, huh? Should I be worried?"

"Well congratulations. Welcome to the club. Oh well, not that there's many pregnant women in town currently, but you should be fine. The sickness seems to only be affecting children that are already born." She assured her with another smile.

Ruby nodded sighing in relief. "So how serious is it? Do the doctors know what it is?"

"It's only been five or six kids so far. Pretty serious though. Like staying in the hospital serious. The parents are pretty anxious though. Lots of fear going around that it may be contagious." The woman looked out at the playground watching her daughter play. "We've lucked out so far. I just hope the doctors figure out what it is soon."

She rubbed her stomach lightly and agreed. "Yeah me too. Well best of luck."

"Is there something you guys want to tell me?" Sam chuckled once they were out of earshot of the woman.

Ruby shook her head laughing softly. "No, sorry. You're not going to be Uncle Sammy just yet. I simply figured she'd be more open to talking to a fellow mother or at least a mother to be, you know?"

"At least warn us ahead of time. Now you've got to play pregnant for the rest of the hunt." Dean sighed though he couldn't help staring at her stomach.

"Which means no coffee." Sam snickered only to get shoved lightly by her.

While the Winchesters went to the hospital, Ruby went down to the local library to do some research on her own. She found basically the same information that Doctor Hydecker would end up telling the boys. That it all started about five weeks ago and that it seems to strike siblings. She met up with the Winchesters a short time later and they drove over to the most recent victim's house. Bethany was the younger of two sisters. Mary being the older one and the one who got sick first. Ruby thought it was ironic that out of all the names, her name happened to be the same as the Winchesters' mother. The three hunters made it into the home undetected and upstairs to Bethany's room. They went around with EMF detectors and kept an eye out for anything unusual.

"I've got nothing." Sam looked around as the EMF detectors remained silent.

"Yeah, me either." Dean sighed still looking around.

"Maybe it is just pneumonia..." He trailed off stopping by the window. "Actually, no, you're right. It's definitely not pneumonia."

Ruby walked over to see what he found only to see a handprint rotted into the wooden windowsill. "What the hell leaves that kind of print?"

"I get it now. I..I know why Dad sent us here. He's faced this thing before. He wants us to finish the job." Dean's face paled as he stared down at the print looking like he might be sick.

Before either could respond to him, Dean turned around and made a beeline for the Impala. They followed him out locking the home behind them. The drive was silent until they neared the hotel. That was when Dean finally spoke again telling them that they were hunting a shtriga.

"What the hell is a shtriga?" Sam looked over at his brother puzzled.

"It's.. kind of like a witch. I don't really know too much about them." Dean shrugged his shoulders.

Ruby sighed watching them. "Well I've never heard of it and it's not in your dad's journal."

"Dad, he hunted one in Fort Douglas, Wisconsin, about sixteen.. maybe seventeen years ago. Sammy was there. Don't you remember?" He glanced at his brother as he parked the car.

"Not at all."

"Well Dad probably recognized the signs and gave us the coordinates to finally end the son of a bitch." Dean sighed turning the car off.

"Hold on, if Dad hunted it, how the hell is it still breathing?"

"Because it got away." He got out of the car shutting the door behind him.

"This is dad we're talking about here. Things don't just get away from him, Dean."

"Yeah well I don't know. Maybe he didn't have his Wheaties that morning or something." Dean moved to grab his bag.

Ruby got out of the car biting her lip. "What else do you remember?"

"Nothing. I was just a kid, alright?" He responded defensively and walked toward the motel office.

A mother was working there with a little help from the older of her two sons. Ruby watched Dean as the mother told the older brother to get his younger brother some dinner. From their view, they could see the boy pouring the younger boy a cup of milk. She could tell just by seeing his face that it was reminding Dean of his childhood with Sam. She inwardly cursed John for putting them through that. It wasn't fair to either of them. Snapping out of his daze, Dean took his credit card and the key to the room from the owner. He thanked her then led the way to the room. The three of them got settled then Sam jumped right into research mode.

"Huh, Dean was right. Not easy to find, but he was right. Shtriga is a kind of witch, Albanian, but legends about them trace all the way back to Ancient Rome. They feed off spiritus vitae." Sam read from his laptop screen.

The blonde looked over at him raising her eyebrows. "Spiri what now?"

"Vitae. It's Latin and translates to breath of life. Like your life force or essence." Sam explained with a slight chuckle.

"The doctor did say the kids bodies were wearing out." Dean pointed out.

"Yeah. She takes your vitality then maybe your immunity gets shot to hell so the pneumonia takes hold. Shtrigas can feed off anyone, but they prefer children." He nodded his head. "Probably because they have a stronger life force. Get this, shtrigas are invulnerable to all weapons devised by God and man."

"No, that's not right. She's vulnerable when she feeds."

Ruby looked at him in surprise. "And how would you know that?"

"Uh, Dad told me. I remember. If you catch her when she's eating, that's when she's at her weakest and you can kill her with consecrated wrought iron... buckshots or rounds, I think." Dean recalled with a troubled expression on his face.

"Did he happen to mention anything else?"

"Uh no, that's it." Dean shrugged his shoulders.

Ruby glanced up from looking at Sam's laptop screen. "Well finding this thing isn't going to be a cakewalk, fellas. It takes on a human disguise when it's not hunting. It could be anyone in this town right now."

"What kind of disguise?" Sam looked at her and then at the screen.

She shrugged her shoulders. "According to this, something innocuous. It's usually a old woman which is probably how all those witches as old crones legends got their start."

Dean crossed the room grabbing a map and laid it out for them to see.

"So check this out. I marked down all the victims' addresses. Now these are the houses that have been hit so far and dead center?"

"The hospital." Sam looked up from the map.

"The hospital. When we were there, I saw a patient. An old woman." He admitted.

"An old woman? In a hospital? There is probably a few of them there." Sam chuckled slightly.

"Yeah well listen smartass. This one had an inverted cross hanging on her wall."

Ruby sighed shaking her head. "That's great and all. Except we can't do anything to her unless she is feeding."

"We can at least verify that it's her. Plus with all the kids currently in the pediatric ward, how do we know she won't be feeding on any of them again?" Sam pointed out the possibility.

She couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't the right next step, but she knew that she wouldn't be able to dissuade them. "Fine, but I'm staying here just in case."

"I was sleeping with my peepers open? Hah!" Sam laughed as they pulled up to the motel returning the next morning from visiting the old woman at the hospital the night before.

"I swear, it's not funny! I almost smoked that old girl."

"Oh man, you should have seen your face." The younger Winchester snickered at his brother.

"Yeah yeah, laugh it off. Now we're back to square one." Dean rolled his eyes parking his car then saw an upset looking Ruby along with the owner's eldest son who was looking sad. "Hang on."

Ruby frowned as the Winchesters approached her. "I..I screwed up. I wasn't able to protect them."

"Hey no, you didn't screw up. No one expected you to take her on alone." Dean assured her and then looked at the young boy again. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"My brother's sick. It's my fault. I should have checked the latch on the window again." The little boy frowned.

The boy's mother came rushing out just then telling him to put the No Vacancy sign up. She was so frazzled from the situation that she dropped her things which Sam helped her pick up. The boy begged to see his brother and argued with his mom a bit. It was through that exchange that the hunters learned that his name was Michael and his brother's name was Asher.

"Hey Michael, why don't you go easy on your mom, huh? I know what it's like. I'm a big brother too. She's trying her best." He assured the boy and then glanced toward her. "You're in no condition to drive. Why don't you let me drive you over there?"

The woman reluctantly agreed and walked over to her car after letting him take her keys.

"We're getting this son of a bitch. I want it dead, you hear me?" Dean whispered to Sam and Ruby before getting into the car.

While he was off at the hospital, Sam and Ruby went over to the library to do some more research. They were able to trace the shtriga back to at least 1893 and figured out her pattern from there. She struck every fifteen or twenty years leaving behind dozens of dead kids in her wake each time. They were even able to find information from her last appearance which was John's hunt in Fort Douglas. A bunch of kids there got sick and fell into a coma only to later die then she disappeared without a trace. While Ruby was filling Dean in on this information over the phone, Sam was looking at a photo of a group of doctors with one of the sick kids from back in 1893. His green eyes widened when he realized what they had missed.

"Guys, I found a picture of doctors with one of the sick kids. Dr. Hydecker is one of the doctors."

"Okay so it's not his first time dealing with this then." Dean glanced around.

"Definitely not. This picture is from 1893." Sam revealed surprising them.

Ruby gasped softly and then nodded her head. "That.. just makes so much sense. He'd be trusted as a doctor. Could come and go as he pleased. He'd have access to the sick children. Also explains why the hospital was the central location between the victims' homes."

"Alright, meet me back at the motel. This son of a bitch dies tonight." Dean hung up and went to check on Asher again.

To say that they were worried about Dean would be an understatement. Ruby and Sam weren't stupid. They could tell from the moment Dean realized that they were dealing with a shtriga that there was something he wasn't telling them. They met up with him back at the motel where he told them that since the shtriga went after siblings, Michael was the next logical target.

Before he could say anything else, Ruby huffed at him. "No, Dean. We're not doing anything until you tell us what the hell is going on. We're not idiots. Clearly something about this case has you shook."

"It's my fault, okay! If I hadn't of screwed up, these kids would be fine." He admitted and then sighed.

"Dean, what are you talking about?" Sam's gaze softened as he looked at his brother.

"Fort Douglas, Wisconsin. It was our third night in a crappy motel room. Dad went out to hunt the damn thing. I..I just wanted some air and there was some arcade games in reception which was only a few feet away. Sammy was asleep so I figured one game wouldn't hurt." Dean recalled with a frown. "I played a few then left when they closed for the night. Came back and there was a strange light in Sammy's room. I grabbed the gun and crept in there. It was leaning over Sammy. I guess it heard me cock the gun cause it reared up and hissed at me."

"No wonder I don't remember. I was asleep."

"It scared me, okay? I was terrified and I hesitated. Dad burst in with his gun at the ready yelling to get out of the way so I ducked. Dad shot at it a few times, but it jumped out of the window. He checked on Sam then glared at me wanting to know what happened. So I told him the truth. He never looked at me the same way again." He sighed shaking his head. "We booked it out there to Pastor Jim's about three hours away. Dad dropped us off then returned to deal with the shtriga. It was long gone by the time he got back. He.. he looked at me different, you know? Which was worse. Not that I blame him. I almost got Sammy killed."

"You were just a kid." Sam frowned speaking softly.

"No, don't. Dad knew this was unfinished business and that's why he sent us here. He sent me here to finish it."

Ruby didn't know what to say, but had a whole newfound surge of anger toward John Winchester for what he put his boys through. None of them liked it, but they really had no other choice except to use Michael as bait. The boy thought they were crazy at first and almost called the cops. It was Dean that was able to convince him from a big brother's point of view. With everything set up, the blonde was nervous as she watched on. If this didn't work, she was worried about what effect that would have on Dean. From their vantage point, they watched as the window slid open and a creepy looking arm appeared. They watched with bated breath as the shtriga climbed through the window entering the room. It approached the bed and the light appeared as it began to feed on Michael. They waited another moment before jumping into action. Ruby grabbed the boy sliding beneath one of the twin beds covering him protectively. The Winchesters got tossed around by the shtriga. It leaned over a prone Sam and began to feed again. Gunshots rang out and Ruby peeked only to see Dean holding his gun up. The energy the shtriga had stolen was released from its mouth. Dean shot it again and more energy escaped. The shtriga fell in on itself disintegrating completely. After a few tense moments, he checked on Sam then let Ruby know that it was okay to come out. She slid out from under the bed letting Michael up. They ensured that he was alright and then sighed in relief.

"Asher's going to be fine. It's like a miracle. No one can really explain it. They're keeping him for observation overnight, but then he's coming home." Joanna, their mother, grinned softly relieved that this whole ordeal was over with and that her son was going to be okay.

"That's great. How are all the other kids doing?" Dean smiled asking her curiously.

"Oh they're good. Real good. A bunch of them should be back home in a few days. Dr. Travis says the ward's going to be like a ghost town."

"Dr. Travis? What about Dr. Hydecker?" Sam raised his eyebrows at her.

"Oh I don't know. He wasn't in today. Must have been sick or something. Come on, you can go see Ash now." She smiled at her son then laughed. "I better get going before he tries to hot wire the car or something."

They watched them leave and Sam sighed.

"It's too bad. He'll always know now that there are things out there in the dark. He'll never really be the same, you know? Sometimes I wish that..." Sam trailed off and frowned.

"What?"

"That i could have that kind of innocence too." He admitted.

"If it means anything..." Dean looked at him. "Sometimes I wish you could too."

They shared a look then joined Ruby in the car. It wasn't long before they were driving down the freeway. They stopped for food a few hours later and Ruby was relieved to finally be able to drink coffee again much to Sam's amusement. She kicked his shin playfully and he rubbed it lightly.

"What? It's just a shame we didn't get to see you play it up a bit more." He teased taking a sip of his own coffee.

Ruby shrugged her shoulders watching Dean leave a message on John's voicemail. "If another case calls for it then maybe I will. Right now I'm pretty content with not being pregnant and enjoying this coffee as much as I want."

"Uh huh." Sam followed her gaze and smiled softly. "Go talk to him. I'll give you guys a few minutes."

Before she could ask if he was sure, she was nudged in Dean's direction. "Um, hey."

"Hey. You alright?" Dean slid his phone back into his pocket.

Ruby nodded staring at his handsome face. "Yeah. I feel like I should be asking you that question though."

"I'm fine. Really."

She sighed rolling her blue eyes at him. "Look, I get it. He's your dad. But John Winchester is also an asshole."

"Hey!" He glared at her defensively.

Ruby huffed at him. "Dean, you were only like eight years old. He knew that thing targeted children, but instead of making sure you two were safe, he left you alone. You just wanted a moment to be a kid which no one could ever fault you for wanting. What happened was not your fault. It was never your fault. That kind of responsibility should never have been placed on you. So please, I know it's hard, but please stop blaming yourself."

"It's not that easy. I've been looking out for Sammy since I was four years old. I get it. Dad wasn't the best dad, but he was obsessed with keeping us safe while also finding mom's killer. Look, the shtriga is dead. That's one weight off my shoulders, right?" His hands absentmindedly brushed against her flat stomach.

She nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah. Hey, I'm not actually pregnant, you know? We're okay."

"Good because Bobby would gank me first then ask questions later." Dean chuckled softly at the thought pressing a kiss to her head then moving to get into the Impala where Sam was already waiting.

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