.-.-.-.Death Markers.-.-.-.

Summary

During a hunt concerning missing people who actually reappear, Dean ends up being kidnapped and awakens tied to what looks like a medical table, when Sam tracks him down will that be the end of it, or is the dark force in play determined to finish what it started? Based about mid season 2 so it'll contain a few spoilers.

A little Authors notes:

I need my supernatural fix, I've been playing this story through my head for a couple of weeks now but still haven't managed to quite get to the end (hell, I'm probably not even at the middle yet). It's a Dean story mostly. I think it started as a dream but then I kept adding bits during my waking hours but after reading a few fanfics, I decided I might try and write the story down, that way I might also be able to get to the end… not that I'm expecting this story to have an abrupt ending. As I've seen up to Croatoan, I guess it's based somewhere in the middle of season 2.

Anyway, please bare with me, it may start slow but hoping to get into it quickly without making it too rushed.

Disclaimer: As much as I wish I owned them and their sexy bods and smart ass wise cracks… I don't. But a girl can still dream… mmm, Dean.

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1. A hunt like any other hunt

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It was just going to be a hunt, just like any other hunt. It wasn't there first hunt after their dads death and it would be far from their last. There were things still unsaid between the brothers, things that needed saying but not yet. Not just then. They would come out in their own time, whether the brothers wanted them to or not. But for now, they were back to a relatively normal pace.

Sam looked across at his brother. Their fathers death had hit him the hardest, though he hated showing it, even after admitting how he felt. Sam looked back at the laptop on his knee. It didn't make sense to him, the pattern that Dean saw but he had to trust his brother. Disappearances were a common thing looked for when investigating and this town had plenty of them. But they all came back, they came back and acted as if them being missing was no big deal and that it was deliberate and they'd actually planned to go missing for a few days, weeks or even a month. So, Sam saw nothing supernatural, just a bunch of stressed out people wanting some time out.

Look at this one, Susie Chambers. Dean had said, She disappeared for a week. She was on holiday and just passing through the town. She wasn't even going to be there for a week. Why would someone do that?

I admit, it's a little strange but maybe she had a fight with her husband. Sam had pushed his opinion in. Also, there's no pattern. It's not like it's been happening for fifty years, it's just been the last couple of months and not everyone's missing for the same length of time.

That's what we're missing and that's why we need to go to the town to investigate. There is a link between them, I just know there is. And that's when Sam decided there was no changing Dean mind. He was stubborn like that and also, still on edge. Not as badly as right after… He couldn't even think it, he found his throat clogging with emotion.

He felt Dean's eyes on him, "Dude, you okay?"

"I'm fine." Sam replied, "Just spacing out."

Upon entering the town, it was normal, just like a thousand towns they'd seen before it. Though if he pointed this out to Dean, he'd just throw back that in half those towns something freaky had been happening. Sam ruffled his hair a little and closed the laptop, "Where do we start?"

"First, we eat." Dean said.

Sam just looked at him.

"I'm hungry." Dean smiled at him.

And so they ate. In one of those little café's that these types of towns had. Sam was tempted to walk straight back out, being that as soon as they had walked in the pretty little thing dressed as a waitress had her eye on Dean. Had he noticed? Did he have time to turn them both around and get out before Dean did what he usually did?

Dean sat himself down in one of the bays. Nothing. Sam sighed, he probably would have preferred Dean to flirt shamelessly with the long legged blond who was walking towards them. He flashed her a smile, she blushed and Sam felt his heart skip a beat. But that was it, that little spark of Deans was nearly extinguished after… Sam stopped himself again, he had to admit to himself, he seemed to be blaming their Dad's death on a lot of things, but mainly for Deans serious and at times edgy behaviour. He'll be back to being himself soon, Sam thought.

Food was ordered and a slightly disappointed waitress left them to themselves, heading back to the kitchen. Fifteen minutes later when she came back over with their food, Sam struck up conversation with her.

She perked up as he spoke, "Don't suppose there are any places nearby to stay at?"

"Well, there's a B&B just up the road from here. Though it's more bed than breakfast as the breakfast can hardly be called edible."

Okay, so it could hardly be called a conversation but Sam had spoken, she'd replied and then she left them to themselves again. Where they ate in silence.

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After renting a room in the B&B, the boys decided it was high time they got down to business.

"So what's your theory?" Sam asked him.

Dean shrugged, "I dunno, can probably rule the majority of ghosts out. Maybe it's doppelgangers."

"Doppelgangers?" Sam sounded disbelieving.

"Well, I dunno. Maybe there's a group of them using the town as an exchange." Dean added, not convincingly. He found it to be an absurd theory himself, bordering and just downright stupid. But he had to have some kind of theory. He needed something to back up his thoughts. He knew something weird was going on in this town and he wanted to know what.

"Yeah, and maybe aliens have been abducting them." Sam scoffed.

"Yeah, or that."

Sam sighed again, Dean could feel himself getting desperate. "Dean…"

"Look Sam, I don't know what. But I do know something is happening to these people that keep disappearing. Our kind of thing, I'm sure of it." Dean noticed he was nearly pleading with his brother, "We just need to ask some questions and find out what."

"Then I suggest we start with the people disappeared but are still in town, haven't moved or whatever."

"And who would that be, college boy." Dean smiled, knowing his brother could find the answer easily.

Sam opened his laptop and compared documents against each other, printing a few out and tossing a couple at Dean.

"Okay, so over the past three months, six people have gone missing. All six of who returned completely unharmed and in the exact same mental state they went missing with. Four lived in the town, the other two were just tourists. Two of the four still live here." Sam said after a while.

"Okay, what happened to the other two?" Dean asked.

"One of them was killed and the other just moved." Sam said.

"Who was killed?" Dean asked.

"Freak accident, Dean." Sam said, "It was an accident at work, nothing more and certainly nothing supernatural about it."

"Who was it?" Dean repeated.

Sam tossed the paper over. Dean skimmed it, Kyle Greyson, he went missing for the whole month. In fact he was the first to go missing. But he was the third to come back. Dean looked at Sam and it was like he read his mind.

"It doesn't mean anything Dean."

"But what if the others are in danger? Where are they now?"

"Well the second and fourth people to go missing are still in town. Mrs Janet Hall went missing for three days and Mr Jerry Teague was missing for a week and a half. I got their addresses right here."

The time close to half one, the brothers felt they were getting no where. Neither Janet nor Jerry were home, after walking half way down the path to leave Jerry's, they heard the door creak open behind them and saw a woman peering at them. Hey eyes seemed to be stained red as if she'd been crying and her hair slightly at sorts but not messy enough to be called unkept.

"Can I help you?" She asked, her voice dry. It sounded to Dean as if she'd only just got it to stop shaking.

"Err, yes, we're looking for Jerry Teague." Dean said.

"He's not home." She said simply, though Dean noticed saying this seemed to pain her.

"Would you mind telling us where he is ma'am?" Sam asked.

"Why are you looking for him?"

Sam and Dean looked at each other, checking to see who was going to come up with a cover story first but before they opened their mouths to explain, she spoke again.

"This has something to do with him leaving doesn't it?"

Dean found himself in a shrugging nod, "Kind of, yeah."

"Well, when you find him. Tell him, I'm changing the locks. Once is bad enough but a second time…"

"A second time?"

"Yeah, this morning. He woke up, got dressed and when I asked where he was going, he just said he'd done his job and he had to go." Tears were swelling up in her eyes, Dean found himself moving towards her in a comforting way, "So where has he gone?"

"We don't know. We were actually going to ask him about what happened the first time. Did he ever talk about it?" Sam has posed this question.

She shot him daggers as if to say he was being inconsiderate and this was not good timing.

"I know this seems awkward but we think something may have happened to him and if we figure out what that was, we might be able to find him." Dean said softly, he was right at the door, offering himself sympathetically to the woman.

She shook her head, "He wouldn't tell me, he got angry if I ever asked, telling me he'd needed a break and that was it. He said he'd gone to the old school."

"Old school? Metaphorically speaking?" Sam said.

"No, I dunno. Maybe, but at first I thought he was talking about the one near the centre(can you tell I'm English) of town but that doesn't make much sense. Why would he go there?"

Dean smiled at her, "That could be helpful. If we find him, we'll let you know."

He turned back down the path, "If you do find him, deck him for me."

Dean laughed, she was clearly annoyed with her husbands behaviour as well as upset. When he turned back to Sam, he was being stared at in disbelief.

"What?" Dean said. Sammy smiled and shook his head but Dean repeated his question, "What?"

"Just you, being caring."

"Dude, I'm a very caring person."

"Okay, and what now?" Sam found himself asking.

"Well, you keep trying to get in contact with that Janet and her family, find out if she's been acting a little weird or decided to just walk out and I'm gonna get some information on the school."

"What you thinking like?"

"I dunno, maybe another Ellicot. Maybe a school teacher gone bad." Dean said, he saw Sam flinch slightly at the mention of Ellicot, as if Dean was holding the name against him.

"You thinking it could be ghosts afterall?"

"You thinking it could be supernatural?" Dean shot back with a smile.

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To be continued…

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