AN: All right, I've never written Supernatural before and I've never written a three part short story before so please give me some slack here.

After Thursday's episode, Tall Tales, this idea hatched. So I thought about it and decided to write this story in first person from Bobby's POV. Now, I'm a 24-year-old young woman so I thought it would be interesting to get in the mindset of a 40-something hunter. I apologize if the set-up seems a little long; I need space to get things rolling as I'm sure you can all tell from my writing. Tell me what you think.

I don't own this or make any money. CW and Kripke and other people do.

Spoilers: Born under a Bad Sign and Tall Tales, maybe a few from last season. The show is so ingrained into my brain I don't know if I'm spoiling or not.

And there is no spanking in this chapter or really bad language so I don't think I need a warning. But there will be in next chapters – really, I can't write a story without CP, it seems. But you all know that if you've read my other stuff.

And it's not beta-ed, so I apologize for any typos.

Anything else, please email me so I can change it. Thanks!


I have to admit, I was surprised to hear from the boys. And so soon after Sam's possession and Dean getting shot. I had thought they would not get on the horse again so soon, so to speak – I expected them to take some time off or hang out or do anything besides jumping right back on the hunt. Don't get me wrong – the hunt's great. Nothing like it, the danger, the excitement, that moment when you could die, and then once you pull it off. Man! Like real good sex with a cooler full of beer beside the bed. Not that I've had that many women, but you get my drift.

But these guys hadn't taken a break – just jumped right back in there.

And now they were stumped. So they called me.

I got to tell ya, I was not expecting that. I mean, I've helped them out before, sure, but they've usually come to me at my place. I don't mind; they're John's kids and pretty good boys, and I'm sorry I couldn't have helped out more after John was killed. I admit I'm not really good at this stuff. Not the hunting stuff – the feelings. I'd fight beside John any day of the week, but I had trouble asking questions about his family or how he was handling his grief over losing Mary. He would leave after we finished the kill, without much talk, and I was relieved each time.

But he was gone, and now they had called me.

John had gotten calls from them, too. When things really got tight, they had called him for help. Most of the time he hadn't answered. I don't have a family, so I'm no expert, but it seems to me like it would take guts of steel to ignore a cry for help from your own kids. The fact that they would call him at all proved they still needed his help, but that s.o.b. ignored them, didn't even call back to check on them.

I could have ignored them, too. Pretended to be out of town, or dead, or uninterested, but I came anyway. It wasn't that far, and after all the trouble Sam's possession, I found myself driving well over the speed limit to get there. Was this a trap? Had one of them been possessed again? It still kinda gave me the creeps, remembering Sam's face after he had taken a sip of that beer. Nice Sam, polite Sam, usually the caring one, the one that showed his feelings more than that bonehead of an older brother. Dean meant well, I guess, but the way he kept losing his brother was beyond me. Seemed every time I turned around, I was hearing a story about how Sam disappeared again. Really, how can you lose a guy that big and tall? It's not like he can hide easily in a crowd.

Once I got there, I went to see them directly. They were in some kind of weekly rented hotel that looked about right for a couple of hunters: dark, dreary, and dingy. I parked my truck and hiked it up the stairs.

I knocked, and Sam opened the door, Dean behind him.

I glanced them both over, trying to look casual. They didn't seem possessed. Tense, high-strung, and emotional about something, but not possessed. I had a flask filled with holy water in my jacket, and I briefly considered throwing a little on each of them. If they weren't possessed, the water might at least distract them from whatever had made them so irritated.

I settled for a tight smile instead.

Then we got down to business.

Now, I don't have a family as I've said before so I don't know a lot about children. I stayed with a cousin for a week once, and she had twin four-year-olds that were into everything and always squabbling with each other. That was years ago, and I'm sure the twins act better now, but I swear the two boys in front of me were acting like those twins – grouchy and needing a nap.

Instead of telling me the story straightforward, they kept interrupting each other, trying to get the story right according to each of them. I was led to believe that Dean was a blatant womanizer, guzzling alcohol and cruising tramps, and then I was supposed to believe that Sam was a prissy brat who wouldn't stop talking nonsense. As they went on, their stories grew more and more exaggerated. Sam was all sentimental, hugging and crying over strangers, Dean was a glutton and crashed computers with porn, Sam was mad because Dean took his computer, Dean took his money because Sam messed up his car. What a headache!

Mid-way through the story and after breaking up the second fight, I figured out what they were dealing with. Now, a trickster can be, well, tricky, for lack of a better word. They get your attention fixed on something else, and they screw with your head like crazy. Not fun, very frustrating, and probably not what these two needed after a demonic possession. Yet, it was a trickster, and I let their story go on to end before I told them.

The squabbling between them did not bother me so much – they had to get on each other's nerves after a while. Dean could be a smart-ass with those comments and that wise-guy attitude, and I bet Sam's self-righteous huffiness grew old, especially when he traded that huffiness for sneakiness whenever he wanted to do something on his own and Dean said no.

When they got to the part about the fight over the money, I resisted the urge to smack both of them on the back of the head. Arguing was one thing – everyone gets into a spat sooner of later, and they had been together a lot, and not in the best of circumstances. So yell, argue, and (I'm sure in Sam's case) cry, but physical fighting was something else. Two guys that size taking shots at each other, and someone was going to get hurt. Sam was taller, but I would bet on Dean be stronger; that boy looked like he could fight dirty if he had to. And in a hotel room what with beds and tables and a TV that the managers would charge them for if they broke it . . . and the fact that someone might hear them banging through the ceiling and come up to investigate . . . and the fact that Dean was wanted by the Feds, and they didn't have an honest way of earning any money beside scams . . . !

I had to bite my tongue to keep back my temper. How did John do it? When they were little, sure, you put them over your knee and paddle that sass right out of them. But they were grown now, both in their twenties and quite frankly old enough to know better.

So I finally told them the truth about the trickster. Dean pretended to know what had been going on the whole time; Sam was just ready to take care of it and be done.

And we came up with a plan to distract it and then attack. The boys would pretend to split up, and Dean would stay at the college and pretend to barge in. The trickster, thinking he was alone, would go for Dean, and Sam and I would arrive as backup.

While Dean had hung around in the front of the building, Sam and I got Dean's car fixed. I knew it would only take a little air in the tires, I guessed the rims hadn't really bent too much, but Dean put up a fight when I told him that part of the plan.

"No!" he had said stubbornly. "Let Sam wait and I'll help you with the car."

"No," I had replied calmly, " the trickster will be expecting you to make Sam wait. Then if he charges in, the trickster will know something is up because Sam isn't the charge-in kind of guy."

"I could be," Sam had protested.

"And the trickster doesn't know us that well," Dean had chimed in.

"Dean stays," I had said firmly. "And the car will be fine. I know how to put air in the tires without blowing up the dang thing."

Dean had cast one last agonizing look in the direction of his beloved Impala. "Okay," he sighed, "but if she has a single scratch . . ."

"She won't," I had answered, rather tightly. I mean, really, I had been driving long before this punk was born.

But for all Dean's worrying, the plan went on without a hitch. Well, only a hitch or two. I had no been expecting that chainsaw-welding maniac or the porn stars on the stage. The chainsaw guy gave me a moment of panic, not sure that Sam had seen him, but the porn girls just frustrate me. Dean took way too long to get over them and get to work. I don't know what John had told him about slutty girls when he was younger, but I wondered if John would approve of his focus now. I mean, the boy was practically drooling, and he knew they weren't even real. Probably another reason Sam felt annoyed. I wondered if Dean's need for sex every got in the way of their hunting. I didn't see Dean as the kind of guy who would stay in at night to research when he could out and hunt chicks.

Now, I saw nothing wrong with playing a little poker or pool at night to earn some much-needed cash. That was a different story – we don't exactly have good pay and job security with this gig. But chasing after chicks – that only cost him money what with buying them drinks and food and such.

"Where are we going?" Sam asked from the front seat as we left the college campus. Dean was driving, and Sam had automatically taken the front seat beside him. It might have annoyed me, what with me being the oldest guy and they called me and I figured out the whole thing while they bickered, but I let it slide. No need to start pointing out little things after we had taken care of a trickster.

"I don't know," Dean admitted to his brother. "We got to stop by our room – our stuff is there, but then we can get the heck out of town."

We should have packed up before confronting the trickster, but it had taken me and Sam a while to repair the Impala and gather up extra weapons.

"My truck is near there," I said, leaning up to talk over the shoulders of the front seats. "Why don't we go to the next town, and you two can find a cheap motel room before you leave tomorrow? I'll drive back to my home –

"No, Bobby," Sam looked back at me. "You came for us, to help us. Let us put you up for the night."

Dean glanced over at Sam, a quick look that implied something about not having enough money.

"I have enough," Sam told his brother. He might have said something about it being polite to repay a favor, but he fell silent.

Dean turned onto the street where the hotel room was, and I said, "Look, if we can find a room with three beds, that's fine. Otherwise, I won't put you guys out."

Dean relaxed the least bit, but his voice was blunt as he said, "We paid for tonight with that room, but I don't want to risk getting caught, either. Next town will be fine. We'll just hurry to pack up."

"Good boys," I said, leaning back in my seat.

I thought that was a nice thing to say, a couple words of encouragement, but the atmosphere in the car turned icy. Dean shot another look at Sam, and Sam tried to look casual as he shifted in his seat, looking more stressed by the moment.

I watched the both of them, noting that Dean gripped the steering wheel even tighter as he pulled it to a stop by the curb, and Sam didn't even wait until the car was stopped before jumping out.

Had the words I said hit a nerve? I didn't see the problem – they were both boys and they had been good, therefore "Good boys" seemed appropriate. No need for anger or irritation or mad looks. Unless . . . had John said that to them before? Maybe on a hunt? Maybe when they had helped save him or done something that pleased him. What would he have said – "Well done, you two"? "Nice work, Dean and Sam"? Or simply "Good boys"?

I remained silently as I followed the two of them up the short stairs to their room.

I once heard someone say that nothing makes a criminal more nervous than returning to the scene of the crime. For these two, it was like returning to the scene of all the frustration and strife brought back those same emotions. Three steps into the room, Sam snapped at Dean,

"Gah, look at all your stuff! Dude, can you not clean up after yourself, or do you like living like a complete slob?"

"Can it, Martha Stewart," Dean retorted. "You'd be putting up curtains in the Impala if I let you."

"No, but I do pick up the trash every now and then," Sam grabbed a duffel bag and began stuffing crumpled clothes on the bed and floor into it. "If I left it up to you, we'd been searching through five feet of trash in the back seat to find the weapons."

"Guys," I spoke up, "the trickster is gone. There's no need to keep hounding each other."

Dean shrugged with a sneer that tried to turn into a smile but didn't make it. Sam rolled his eyes at his brother and kept packing.

I've packed up in hurry before; that's kind of a requisite with hunters: learning to leave in a hurry and not forget anything. But with these two, I thought we'd never go, especially since they spent every other second barking at each other.

"Dean, don't forget your dirty socks in the sink."

"At least my socks are clean," Dean retorted, collecting up shirts and throwing them towards his brother.

"And we're not taking your food," Sam decided, finishing with one duffel bag and moving onto another. "We leave it here, and maybe they'll throw it out on the street so a dog can get sick."

"That's not the only thing that would make a dog sick," Dean muttered.

It wasn't a good comeback, or one that even made sense. I stood there, watching them pack and argue. The earlier feeling by the car– the one where they tried to apologize to each other and couldn't, making me want to roll my eyes – that was gone now. It was like the afternoon all over again, except now we were trying to pack up and go, not figure out the problem.

"Guys," I crossed my arms, "we really need to hurry."

"We could," Sam grabbed a handful of clothes and stuffed them down in the bag, "if someone hadn't thrown his stuff all over the place."

"So I spread out?" Dean snapped. "I'm sorry I'm not all tight-assed about where I put my clothes, and cleaning up, and wanting each little thing in its right place. We're hunters, dude, not OCD chicks."

Sam straightened, and I could the storm gathering. So I stepped in, afraid we would never leave at this rate.

"Dean, go get your stuff in the bathroom. Sam, help me search through the cabinets."

"There is nothing in the cabinets," Sam said as Dean stomped into the bathroom.

But I had already opened a low cabinet. I blinked and pulled something hard and heavy out of the cabinet. "Is this yours?"

"My computer!" Sam rushed forward and grabbed it.

"That's a laptop?" I asked casually, pretending that I understood all that fancy computer stuff.

"Yeah, but they're calling them notebooks now," Sam slid the computer into a backpack-case thingy that had pockets and a strap. "You're not supposed to have them on your laps because they can overheat and burn you. Guess what genius let it get overheated on his lap and nearly dropped it on the floor?"

Sam jerked his head towards the bathroom where Dean was banging around.

"Well, you found it, so it's all okay," I searched through the rest of the cabinets, but didn't find anything.

"It's not okay," Sam argued. "It froze up on a porn site."

"You think the Feds will track you down for that?" I asked, glancing up at him. "As long as it's not kids or anything too bad, I think you're safe."

"That's not the point," Sam said adamantly. "This computer is supposed to be for research, not porn. And it's mine. The other got all torn up, and I had important college stuff on there. I had a little data backed up so I transferred it to this computer. I don't want Dean messing around with it and breaking it. I'm surprised he can figure out how to turn it on at all."

"You think I don't know anything about computers?" Dean charged out of the bathroom, holding what looked like a plastic bag filled with wet socks and other clothes.

"You thought myspace was a porn site," Sam said snidely.

"It should be," Dean insisted. "Come on, myspace? Sounds pretty dirty."

"Stay off my computer!" Sam clutched the backpack thing to his chest as if he was protecting something very special.

"You think you're the only one who gets to use it?"

"I'm the only one who can! If you did the research, we'd be sitting in libraries, doodling pictures of naked chicks!"

"I know how to do research," Dean snarled. "Dad and I did just fine without you and your high-tech computer."

"Yeah, but it took you forever," Sam returned. "With looking through books and having to talk to everyone and trying to find any scrap of information - no wonder he couldn't find The Demon faster!"

Then they both froze. They stood there, looking at each other, breathing very hard. I could tell that Sam's eyes were glassing with tears, but Dean just looked plain angry. They were seconds from attacking each other. But this time wouldn't be about money or silly pranks. This would be an all-and-all-out fight, and we did not have time for that.

"Boys!" I said in my sternest voice, hoping to distract them from jumping one another. "Get your stuff right now. We don't have time for this. We are leaving right now without another word. Dean, you follow me in the Impala. Sam, you're riding with me."

"But –" Sam began, only I held up a hand.

"Both of you move right now," I ordered.

They glared at each other silently, but then they grabbed their stuff, Sam still clutching his computer bag, and headed for the door.

I sighed before following them. And I had thought killing the trickster would be the hard part.