Title: Calls Me Home
Summary: A journey through fifteen 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.
Chapter Thirty Two
A month went by and there was still no sign of Ava. The three hunters had even stayed behind in Peoria in hopes of finding her. Missing person posters were all over town. Various news articles and reports had gone over her case. No one seemed to know anything about what had happened to Ava though. It was frustrating and Ruby was worried that Sam might be next. Hearing his voice, she snapped out of her thoughts as he ended the call on his cell phone.
"That was Ellen. Still nothing, but there is a possible case over in Cornwall, Connecticut. Two freak accidents in the past three weeks at a local hotel." Sam shrugged looking over at Ruby and Dean.
"What's that got to do with Ava?" Dean looked at his brother in confusion.
"Nothing. It's a job. Maybe. Look, I've combed through all the agencies. Federal, state, and local. No one has heard anything about Ava." He sighed shaking his head.
Ruby pushed her hair away from her face. "So what makes Ellen think this might be a hunt?"
"A lady drowned in a bathtub then a few days later a man fell down the stairs. His head turned a complete one eighty which isn't exactly normal. It might be nothing, but I told Ellen we'd think about looking into it." Sam explained to them.
She nodded her head thinking it over. "I mean, we've looked into less."
"Yeah we have. I'm just surprised that Sam is so gung ho about leaving. We've spent a month here trying to find Ava." Dean pointed out.
"I know, but I was the one that told her to go home. Now her fiancé is dead and some demon has taken her to god knows where. Look I'm not giving up on her, but I'm not going to let other people die either. We've got to save as many people as we can."
Ruby smiled and hugged him lightly. "Now that's the Sam I know."
"Wow. That attitude is just way too healthy for me and I'm officially uncomfortable now. Thank you." Dean made a face then chuckled lightly.
Sam ducked his head and laughed as Ruby ruffled his hair playfully.
"Alright. Tell Ellen we'll go check it out." He nodded his head at his younger brother.
While Sam went to call Ellen back, Ruby and Dean went around the room taking everything about Ava's case all the walls. It was news articles, the missing persons poster, notes, and a few other various pieces of paper. They then packed and started to load up the Impala. Despite how much they wanted to find Ava, Ruby was relieved to get Sam as far away from the demon that had taken her as possible.
The roads were slick as they drove through the town of Cornwall. It was a little hard to see through the mist that lingered after the storm that had rolled on through. Pierpont Inn wasn't too hard to find though. It was a large two or maybe three story old fashioned white building. There was a similar smaller building on one side and an area with a swing set on the other side. Dean parked the Impala and the hunters grabbed their bags before walking toward the front steps.
"Dude, this is sweet! I never get to work cases like this." He smiled at the thought.
"Like what?" Sam gave him a confused look.
"Old school haunted houses, fog, and secret passageways. Sissy British accents. Might even run into Fred and Daphne inside." Dean paused closing his eyes and grinning softly. "Mmm Daphne. Love her."
Ruby smacked him upside the head playfully and smiled. "Upstairs brain, please."
"Hey guys, check this out. I'm not so sure that haunted is the problem in this case." Sam stopped and gestured to an urn near the door that had a symbol etched into it. "That's a quincunx. It's a five-spot."
"Five-spot. That's used for hoodoo spell work, isn't it?" Dean looked at his brother.
"Yep. You fill this thing with bloodweed and you've got a powerful charm to ward off enemies." He explained to them.
"Except I don't see any bloodweed and this place is a little too, uh, white meat for hoodoo, don't you think?" Dean glanced around.
Ruby shrugged her shoulders. "It's definitely something to keep in mind though."
"Yeah, that's true." He nodded his head following Sam inside of the building.
The blonde walked in behind them taking in their surroundings. "It's pretty nice compared to where we normally stay."
"Welcome. In town for antiquing? It's one of the town's most popular attractions." A frazzled woman that couldn't be that much older than Dean walked behind the front desk greeting them.
"Uh yeah. Hi." Dean gave her a confused look then smiled.
"Whoa there." Sam chuckled as a little girl ran past them going around his legs.
"Tyler, be careful. I'm sorry, that's my daughter." She let out an exasperated sigh. "So a single king size?"
"I'm sorry. I was just playing with Maggie." The young girl admitted then wandered off.
Realizing what the woman thought, Ruby chose that moment to make her presence known. "Two rooms please, if possible. I'm sorry we didn't make a reservation ahead of time. We were driving through and this place just seemed too charming to pass up so I told my fiancé to stop."
"Of course. My apologies. I'm Susan Thompson. Uh let's see, yeah we have two adjoining rooms available. They have a door that connects them if that's alright."
"That's fine." Dean smiled and paid for the rooms.
"Okay great. Don't mind the craziness. You actually might be our last guests. I'm packing up and selling the place." Susan handed over the room keys to them.
Ruby flashed her a sympathetic smile. "That's a shame. It's a bit old fashioned, but it really is quite a nice inn."
"Thank you. Business dried up, my mother fell ill, and I just can't really do it on my own, you know? It's bittersweet because my mom grew up here and then she raised me here." She explained leading them upstairs to their rooms.
Her head nodded as she noticed the photos that were in frames along the wall. "So these are of your family then or past guests?"
"Family though there might be a few of some regulars around here somewhere." Susan gestured around then stopped in front of the rooms. "Bar downstairs is open until eleven. We do provide meals if you're ever hungry though there are also some good restaurants in town. Pool's closed for the winter. My mother's upstairs, but please don't bother her. Uh, I think that about covers it."
"Sounds good. Thank you." Sam nodded smiling softly at her.
Ruby was sitting on Sam's bed watching Dean pace around while Sam looked into the recent victims in the case. "Interesting decorations."
"Yeah that's normal." Dean stopped and gestured to an antique wedding dress that was framed on the wall.
She shrugged her shoulders smiling softly. "I think it's neat. It adds to the history of this place."
"Okay so the first victim was Joan Edison. She was forty three years old and the realtor handling the sale of the inn. The second victim was Larry Williams. He was moving some stuff over to Goodwill." Sam spoke up filling them in.
"So their immediate connection is this inn getting shut down. Maybe someone here doesn't want to leave and is using hoodoo to stop the sale." Dean suggested to them.
The blonde stretched a bit thinking it over. "Yeah but who? Susan obviously wants to sell the place. We should look into the history of this place and into the backgrounds of whatever other employees are around."
"Yeah and maybe see if we can find any other signs of hoodoo around here too." The older Winchester sibling added. "Also why do they always assume we're gay?"
"Well you are kind of butch. Probably think you're overcompensating." Sam chuckled at his brother.
"Right." Dean let out a mocking laugh.
She laughed slightly as she returned to the room with her laptop. "Without noticing me, you are just two guys traveling the road together. What are they supposed to think?"
After a bit, Ruby chose to take a break and walk around the inn a bit. Dean went with her then went in a different direction to see more of the inn. The blonde came upon a door marked Private. She hesitated for a few moments before knocking on the door. It opened a few moments later revealing Susan. There were boxes on the floor behind her and porcelain dolls seemingly everywhere.
"Oh hi. Is everything with your room okay?" Susan looked at her in surprise.
Ruby gave her a reassuring smile. "Yeah the rooms are fine."
"Oh good. Well I was just, um, packing." She gestured to the boxes.
The blonde nodded her head at that. "I can tell. I don't think I've ever seen so many porcelain dolls in one place outside of my grandmother's house. They always gave me the creeps."
"Yeah they can be kind of creepy." Susan laughed softly. "They were my mother's when she was a child. Been in my family forever and passed down through the generations. They have a lot of sentimental value."
Ruby smiled then something on the floor caught her eye. "I bet. Hey is that the hotel?"
"Exact replica. Custom made actually."
The blonde reached down picking up a broken doll. "Well this is a shame. His head got all twisted around. I wonder how that happened."
"Maggie's being mean to me!" Tyler ran into the room going to her mom's side.
"Well tell Maggie that I said to be nice, okay?" She gazed down at her daughter with a soft smile.
A slight pang of envy struck Ruby though she pushed it away trying to focus on the case. "Oh hey Tyler, I see you broke your doll. Want me to fix it?"
"Oh I didn't break it. I found it like that." Tyler admitted.
She smiled a bit. "Ah well maybe Maggie broke it then."
"No neither of us did it. Grandma would get mad if we broke them." The little girl pouted.
"Grandma wouldn't get mad, sweetheart."
Ruby's brows raised at that. "Grandma?"
"Grandma Rose. These were all her toys." Tyler gestured around the room.
She nodded her head at that and smiled. "Ah well how about we fix this doll and then we can show her? I'm sure she'd appreciate that."
"Uh no, I'm sorry. She's been very sick. My mother is up in her room and she's not taking any visitors." Susan spoke up rather tensely.
Ruby fixed the doll placing it back into the mini hotel. "Oh my bad. I hope she feels better. Well there I fixed it so you don't have to worry about it, Tyler."
A short while later, the blonde returned to Sam's room relaying her findings to the Winchester brothers. Dean then revealed that he found another urn with a quincunx etched into the side. The urn was found sitting in the hallway inside of the building. It still didn't bring them any closer to figuring out exactly what was going on, but they had a potential lead in deciding to investigate the grandmother. It didn't take long for Dean to notice that something was bothering Ruby though.
"Hey, you alright?" He pulled her a little closer to him.
Ruby couldn't help smiling softly at him. "Yeah I'm fine. Just seeing Susan interacting with her mom got to me. That's all."
"You miss your mom. That's completely normal, Ruby." Dean assured her.
She sighed a bit. "I miss her and I miss everything that I never got to do with her. It's just not fair, you know?"
"Believe me, I know. But we're here now. We're going to make sure that little girl doesn't have to go through what we did." He promised pressing a kiss to her head.
The flashing lights caught their attention later that night. They could see the cop cars and coroner's van outside. Dean and Ruby went downstairs while Sam stayed by the window. The pair stayed off to the side out of the way with Susan watching everything.
"What happened?" Dean asked her softly.
"Oh, the maid went in to turn down the sheets and he was just... hanging there." Susan admitted.
"That's awful. Was he another guest?"
"He worked for the company that bought the place." She sighed. "I don't understand."
"What?" His brows raised at her.
"I don't know. We've just had a string of bad luck around here. Look if you guys want to check out, I'd be happy to give you a full refund."
Ruby shook her head giving the woman a reassuring look. "That won't be necessary. We don't scare that easily."
The two of them made their way back upstairs only to find Sam sitting alone in the dark. "There's been another one. Some guy just hung himself in his room."
"Yeah I saw." Sam muttered darkly.
"So we've got to figure this out fast. What did you find out about Granny?"
"You're the boss." He looked at Dean.
"Wait what?" Dean looked confused.
"You're bossy... and short." Sam snorted laughing a bit.
Ruby adjusted the light and sighed when the several empty bottles came into view. "Oh Sam."
"Are you drunk?"
"Yeah. So? Stupid." Sam chuckled at him.
"Dude, what were you thinking? We're in the middle of a case!" Dean grew upset at his brother.
"That guy who hung himself. I couldn't save him." Tears welled up in his eyes.
Ruby frowned as she knelt beside him. "Oh Sam. None of us could save him. We just didn't know."
"That's an excuse. I should have found a way to save him. I should have saved Ava too." He admitted.
"We can't save everyone. You've said it yourself." Dean pointed out.
"No. You guys just don't understand, alright? The more people I save, the more people I can change."
Her eyes widened a bit. "Sam..."
"Change what?" He looked at his brother in disbelief.
"My destiny, Dean!"
"Okay. Time for bed. Come on, Sasquatch." Dean grabbed his brother by his shoulders lifting him up.
"I need you to watch out for me." His voice cracked a little.
Ruby's heart broke for him. "Sam, we are always going to watch out for you."
"No! No no no, you have to watch out for me, alright? And if I ever...turn into something that I'm not.." Sam paused as Dean got him onto the bed. "You have to kill me."
"Sam, I'm not killing you."
She shook her head. "We could never kill you, Sam."
"Dean! Dad told you that you have to do it so you have to."
Her anger flared up at the mention of that. "No, Sam. Just because John said that doesn't mean it's true. John told you guys a lot of things. That doesn't mean they were all right."
"That's.. not true. Who knows what I might become? Everyone around me dies."
"Ruby and I are still here, Sam. Jo, Ellen, and Bobby too." Dean pointed out.
"No please. You're the only one that can do it, Dean. Promise me." He gripped onto his brother begging him.
"Don't ask that of me."
"I promise." He relented with a sigh.
"Thank you. You are.." He trailed off holding Dean's face in his hands.
"Yeah yeah." He pushed him off getting him settled into bed.
"Night." Sam turned over onto his stomach hugging his pillow.
Ruby took Dean's hand leading him back to their room. "He's wasted, you know. That's one promise that you don't have to keep."
It was the next morning when they found Sam hungover and sick in the bathroom. Ruby was worried about how all of this was taking a toll on him and knew the hangover was probably not going to help matters much. It was Dean who couldn't help messing with Sam a bit though.
"Hey Sammy. How are you feeling? Bet mixing whiskey and Jager wasn't such a good idea, huh?" His voice was a bit louder than usual.
"Ugh. I think I can still taste the tequila." Sam groaned kneeling in front of the toilet.
"You know there's a really great hangover remedy. It's a greasy pork sandwich served up in a dirty ash tray."
"Oh, I hate you." Sam heaved again.
Ruby rolled her eyes at him. "Leave him alone, Dean."
"Fine. Well while you were nursing your hangover, I went downstairs to get breakfast. So get this, when Grandma Rose was a tyke, she had a Creole nanny who wore a hoodoo necklace." Dean filled them in.
"So you think she taught Rose hoodoo?" Sam looked over at him.
"Yeah I do."
"It's time that we have a talk with Rose then." He groaned flushing as he stood up from the floor.
"First you brush your teeth and then we'll get going."
The blonde huntress shook her head at them. "Guys, I don't think that's a good idea. Susan herself said that her mother was sick. What if she wasn't using the hoodoo to hurt anyone? If she fell ill, that would certainly explain why the hoodoo wasn't working anymore."
"I don't know. I mean, it's plausible." Dean sighed rubbing at the back of his neck. "Alright let's split up and see what we can find."
Ruby scoffed at him. "And let you two chuckleheads go interrogate that poor old lady alone? I don't think so. Besides I think I know where to find her."
After Sam got dressed, the blonde led them down the hall to the door marked Private. She tried the knob and it was unlocked. They walked inside seeing that just across from them was another door which was wide open. They cautiously made their way through the door and up the dimly lit stairs. It led them up to a hallway where a door was ajar at the end. The three hunters went through that door only to see an old woman sitting rather still in a wheelchair facing a large window watching the rain.
"Mrs. Thompson? Mrs. Thompson? Rose?" Dean spoke softly as they approached her.
Ruby noted that the old woman was trembling. "It's okay. We're not going to hurt you."
"Rose? Mrs. Thompson?" Sam tried though it only made the woman tremble harder. "Guys, I think she had a stroke."
"Hoodoo is hands on. You've got to chant, mix herbs, and build an altar." Dean pointed out.
She bit her lip in thought. "So I might be right. She had a stroke and that stopped her from doing the hoodoo."
"Or she's faking." Dean suggested.
"Yeah well what are you going to do? Poke her with a stick?" Sam remarked then his eyes widened. "Dude, you're not going to poke her with a stick!"
"Excuse me, what the hell are you doing in here?" Susan spoke up looking alarmed at the three hunters that were near her mother.
Ruby decided to speak up before one of the boys said something stupid. "I'm really sorry, Susan. We heard a noise and it sounded like it came from above us. After what happened to that poor man last night, we just wanted to make sure that everything was alright."
"I.. I appreciate that, but please leave before I call the cops. Look at my poor mother. She's terrified." Susan checked on the older woman.
Not fighting it, they went back downstairs and packed up. The three of them left the room keys at the front desk then left in the Impala.
"Have you started packing yet?" Susan asked her daughter a short while later.
"No. I don't want to leave." She pouted.
"I know, sweetheart, but we have to. It's going to be good for us. I promise." Susan assured her daughter.
"But Maggie says we're not allowed to leave."
"Tyler, enough. You're too old to have an imaginary friend and I'm done pretending. Now go pack." She huffed in annoyance and walked away heading downstairs.
Maggie narrowed her eyes at Susan sinisterly. "I don't like her."
Grabbing a packed box, Susan carried it outside placing it into the trunk of a small red car. A breeze brushed by her creepily and she glanced around. The sight of the swing set moving on its own caught her off guard. She approached it cautiously and watched as the swings moved faster. Susan reached out grasping the teeter totter ceasing its motion. The small red car revved up behind her. Before she could react, she was carefully tackled out of harm's way by Sam.
"Are you okay?" He asked moving off of her.
"I think so." She checked herself over then let him help her up.
"Let's get you back inside." Dean led them along with Ruby back into the inn.
She was understandably shaky as they led her into the bar area. They sat her down at a table and Ruby gave her a reassuring look.
"Sure. I know the feeling." Sam moved to pour her a glass of whiskey.
"What the hell happened out there?" The shock was slowly starting to wear off.
Ruby bit her lip. "Well we thought it was some sort of hoodoo curse, but that out there? We're definitely dealing with a spirit."
"Here." He set the whiskey down in front of her.
"Thank you. You're insane, by the way." Susan grasped the glass taking a long sip. "None of this used to happen. Business was drying up and then Mom had a stroke about a month ago. It's been downhill ever since."
"A month ago? That's right before the deaths." Sam pointed out.
Ruby gasped softly. "So I really was right. Rose was using the hoodoo to protect them. That's why the five point urns are there. She was warding off the spirit."
"I.. I don't believe this." She shook her head in disbelief.
"Listen, sister, that car didn't try to run you down by itself. I mean, I guess technically did, but the spirit... forget it." Dean stammered a bit.
The blonde shook her head. "What he's trying to say is that it's okay if you don't believe it. But you've seen first hand what it can do. The lady in the tub, the man that fell down the stairs, the man that hung himself, and even the car going after you. Susan, we need to get you out of here."
"She's right. You and your family are in danger. We need to get everyone out of here. You, your mother, your employees, your daughters, everyone." Sam advised her.
"What? Uh, I only have one daughter." Susan corrected him.
"But I thought Maggie..." He trailed off looking confused.
"She's my daughter's imaginary friend."
The three hunters shared a look at that. "Susan, where's Tyler?"
Susan set the glass down and led them upstairs. They were back at the room labeled Private. This time all the dolls were scattered around the room smashed to pieces. The young mother looked horrified. She ran out of the room calling for her daughter. It was only seconds later that she ran back into the room.
"She's not here!"
Ruby tried to help her calm down. "It's alright. We'll find her. What do you know about Maggie?"
"Um, I don't know. Tyler didn't really start talking about her until after Mom got sick." Susan shrugged her shoulders.
"Did you ever know anyone by that name?" The younger Winchester asked.
"Uh no, I don't believe so."
"Susan, please, think really hard about this. Maybe it was someone that lived here or stayed here once. Someone that may have even died here." Dean instructed her.
"Oh. Oh my god. My mom. She had a sister named Margaret. She barely spoke about her though." A look of realization spread across her face.
"Did she die here by any chance?"
"She drowned in the pool." Her eyes widened in horror.
The four of them ran downstairs and out of the inn. Susan led them through the gardens over to the building that housed the pool. The door was locked tight. They all pounded at the door though it was no use. It wasn't budging.
"Tyler!" Susan yelled out catching her daughter's attention.
"Mommy!" Tyler yelled back as she stood on a ledge above the pool.
Grabbing her wrist, Maggie shoved her forward watching her fall into the pool with a scream. "It'll be over soon, Tyler."
"Is there another way in?" Dean looked over at Susan.
"Yeah around the back."
"Alright let's go. You two keep working." Dean ran around to the back with Susan.
Tyler came up out of the water struggling for air. Maggie reached into the pool pushing her head back down. Dean tried to kick the back door in, but it wouldn't budge. Sam and Ruby kept pounding at the door until the younger Winchester had an idea. He grabbed a heavy flower pot tossing the plant within it aside. He then lifted it banging the pot against the door. A few hits later and the glass shattered. Sam carefully wiggled his way in through the opening then sprinted toward the pool. Ruby reached in carefully unlocking the door then opened it following him quickly. She got there just in time to see Sam leap over the railing landing in the plastic tarp covered water. Ruby watched helplessly as he pushed past the plastic to reach Tyler. She rushed down to the pool just as Sam carried the little girl's limp body out of the water and the back door could be heard breaking. Dean and Susan rushed over as Sam laid Tyler onto the ground.
"Oh my baby!" Susan wept as she knelt down beside her little girl.
Tyler coughed suddenly and woke up.
"It's okay. You're okay. Mommy's got you." Susan took her into her arms making sure that her daughter was okay.
Ruby swallowed hard looking away though she was grateful the little girl was alright. They made their way back into the inn after a few minutes. Susan was insistent that she get her mother and then they would be leaving. Her scream echoed through the inn and the hunters ran upstairs only to find Grandma Rose slumped over in her chair dead. After the initial shock wore off, Susan called it in. Paramedics checked Rose over before the coroner took over. They then moved over to Tyler examining her before advising Susan that her daughter would be alright.
"Tyler's okay. They said mom had another stroke. Do.. Do you think Maggie had anything to do with it?" Susan frowned a bit.
The blonde sighed in relief that the girl was okay then bit her lip. "I don't know. It's possible. Your mom had been protecting you guys until her stroke. It's possible that she might have sensed the danger Tyler was in and... offered herself to Maggie instead."
"That's... oddly comforting. Thank you." She smiled softly at her.
"Susan, I'm sorry." Sam frowned at her.
"You have nothing to apologize for. You've given me everything." She gestured to her daughter. "Ready to go, kiddo?"
"Yeah." Tyler walked over stopping beside her mom.
"Are you sure Maggie isn't around?" Dean asked her gently.
"I'm sure. I'd see her." The little girl assured him.
"Well alright then." He smiled at her. "I think whatever was going on here is over."
"You two take care of yourselves, alright?" Sam held the car door open for her.
"Thank you. All three of you." Susan said then gave Sam a tight hug.
Dean couldn't help smirking at that. They watched Susan and her daughter leave then walked back over to the Impala. After getting in, Dean drove away chuckling softly.
"You could have gotten in some MILF action. I think she really liked you." He teased his brother.
"Yeah that's all she needs." Sam rolled his eyes.
"Well you saved the mom and the girl. You saved the day. Feels good getting back into the saddle, don't it?"
"Yeah it does, but it doesn't change what I said last night, Dean." Sam pointed out.
Ruby huffed from her seat behind them. "Don't you even start, Sam. Dean is not going to kill you. He was willing to die with you during that whole Croatoan fiasco."
"Ruby.." The younger Winchester frowned.
She shook her head. "No, Sam. John had no right putting that crap on Dean's conscience. You find out that there's a slight chance that your kid goes dark side and you fight like hell to keep that from happening. You don't tell his big brother that he might have to off him one day. So no. He's not going to kill you. I get that you feel hopeless about this situation. I really do. But we're not killing you."
Sam didn't say anything and just sat there brooding while Dean continued driving. Ruby hated being so harsh with him, but she wasn't about to let him put that kind of burden upon Dean either.