“I don’t know why I let the two of you drag me to this,” Dean grumbled, trailing behind Sam and Jess.
They were practically skipping to get in line for “A Haunted Home,” the new Halloween attraction in Lawrence.
“Come on Dean, it’s supposed to be the best haunted house in Kansas,” Sam said, shooting Dean the patented “Sam Winchester puppy-dog eyes.”
Dean scuffed his boots along the gravel. “Just because some rich assholes buy a supposedly ‘haunted’ house and turn it into whatever this is, doesn’t mean shit. We’ve been in this house Sam. It’s no more haunted than Uncle Bobby’s scrap yard in Sioux Falls.”
Jess abruptly stopped, hands on her hips. “It doesn’t matter if it’s actually haunted, Dean Winchester. It’s about the experience. And if my friends at the hospital are right, it turns the whole haunted house attraction on its head. Now stop whining and see if you can enjoy yourself.”
They bought their tickets and joined the line of people waiting to enter the house.
“Hiya,” a shorter man with golden eyes greeted them at the door. “How many people in your group and do you want to go by yourselves?”
“There’s three of us and we would like to go on the tour alone,” Sam piped up.
“Ahhh, adventurers, I see,” the man smirked. “Well don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. Especially you Rapunzel.” He nodded towards Dean.
Rolling his eyes, Dean started to push past the guy to open the door before a hand locked on his elbow.
“Did I say you could go in yet, bucko?”
“What are we waiting for?” Dean huffed.
“Just because you’re going in alone doesn’t mean you won’t have a guide,” the man sighed. “We don’t just let people wander around of their own free will.”
“It’s okay, Gabriel,” a husky voice piped up. “I can take them on the tour.”
Dean whipped around to see a guy in black jeans and a dark gray T-shirt with wildly messy dark hair.
“I’m Castiel and I’m your tour guide for this evening,” he smiled at all of them. “Follow me please.”
The four of them walked through the lower floor of the mansion as Castiel told them about the history of the house. Dean hadn’t realized the amount of murders and suspicious deaths that had plagued the property. Cas somberly spoke of the supposed curse that had been placed on the house in the late 1700s.
Before they began walking up the main staircase, Castiel turned to face the trio. “If you experience anything at all, let me know. Especially if feels,” he paused as if trying to find the right words, “wrong in any way.”
“Wouldn’t any type of haunting be wrong?” Dean huffed.
“Ghosts aren’t broadly good or bad by nature. However, some ghosts can become malignant entities depending on the manner of their death,” Castiel somberly said. “We haven’t had any bad experiences yet, but I always like to warn people just in case.”
Jess sidled a little closer to Sam, but bravely said, “Thank you. We’re not planning on chickening out yet so let’s head upstairs.”
As they headed upstairs, the air cooled a bit around them. Dean shivered and found himself edging closer to Castiel.
Castiel continued telling stories about the history of the house but the faint sound of children’s laughter echoed from further down the hall.
“It’s okay,” Cas huskily said. “They don’t mean you any harm.”
Suddenly, a door slammed at the end of the hall. Dean noticed how Castiel tensed up. A gust of wind blew through the hall.
Without warning, Dean felt a burning sensation on his arm. He yelped and pulled back, falling into Castiel. A sense of dread and the urge to run flooded his senses. He scrambled towards the staircase and was about to throw himself down it when a warm hand grasped his.
Dean spun around only to lock eyes with Castiel. “It’s okay, Dean,” Castiel softly said. “They can’t hurt you.”
Then Castiel turned around, hand still grasping Dean’s. “You are not welcome here. Those who mean harm to those of us still living, you are not welcome here. Get out,” he thundered.
The temperature in the hallway rose a few degrees and the overwhelming dread left Dean, but he refused to let Castiel’s hand go.
After they finished the tour, Sam and Jess spoke with Gabriel, raving about the experience. Dean slumped against the porch railing, wishing they would just leave already. A glass of water entered his view and he looked up to see Castiel.
“I thought you might want something to drink. Encounters with spirits can really take it out of you,” he softly said.
“Thanks man,” Dean said, taking the glass. “And thanks for everything you did in there,” he motioned towards the house. “If I didn’t believe before, I certainly do now.”
“Spirits are naturally drawn to bright souls, so it’s no wonder you were more strongly affected,” Castiel said.
“Cas, are you hitting on me?” Dean smiled.
Red flooded Castiel’s cheeks. “I, uhm, I mean…”
Dean reached out, nudging Castiel’s face up so he could look him in the eye. “I wouldn’t mind if you were. Plus that whole casting spirits thing out was pretty hot.”
Castiel smiled, as he twined his fingers with Dean’s. “Really?”
Dean squeezed Cas’ hand. “Hell yeah.”