He had it all planned out. They'd already done all the prep work and Dean was determined to finish it off tonight. Since opening the devil's gate, finding and exorcising demons had almost become routine. So Dean didn't think he was going to have much of a problem, even if he was hunting solo.

Sam was actually the one who suggested they check this place out, after noticing a few omens surrounding the town. It didn't seem that significant at first, but they were nearby and with the amount of demons around lately, they felt obligated to check it out. Sure enough, they found a few grave robberies in the past week or so. The police were baffled; they'd never seen a crime like this before in their town. Eventually they caught the guy in the act, a man named Frank Jaeger. They arrested him in the main tomb of the cemetery, though strangely he was released by the police shortly after.

While Sam followed up on the police report, Dean talked to a few of the neighbors to get some more info on the case. Frank's neighbors said exactly what he expected. He was nice guy but "all of a sudden" he started acting differently.

He didn't know what the demon was plotting, but he was going to stop it. Hopefully the demon was stupid enough to come back to the scene of the crime. Seeing as how his visit got cut short by the cops last time, there was a good chance he would. He headed to the tomb that was broken into last, a small dark building that probably housed the founders of the town or something. Dean always thought fancy graves were a huge waste of money. Salt and burn'em that's all they really need.

With the devil's trap in place and a bottle of holy water in hand, it was only a matter of waiting for the demon to show up. He was hoping this would go smooth. Get in, exorcise, and get out.

Normally, he was glad to have the opportunity to send another demon back to hell. But it was getting late, and he was starting to wonder if Frank would show up at all. He was anxious to get this over with and get back to the motel. This is taking too long.

As much as he hated to admit it, he was actually feeling nervous about this. It's not like he hadn't hunted alone before, but something about this didn't feel right. He compulsively checked the devil's trap and looked over the exorcism to make sure he was prepared. He'd certainly hunted worse things then this dumb son of a bitch. So why do I feel like I'm in over my head?

Right then he heard a faint noise coming from outside. Like someone was trying to get in. Dean grinned, already feeling the adrenaline chase his nerves away. There ya are Frank, right on schedule. Guess I had nothing to worry about.

By now it had gotten so dark that the room was practically pitch black when he flicked off his flashlight. Dean listened closely to Frank as he entered. He hovered around the devil's trap and waited. Come on, come on.

He froze as he heard the demon approach. He unscrewed his bottle of holy water as quietly as possible, ready to douse the fucker as soon as he got close. It took him too long to realize that the footsteps had stopped and before he knew what was happening he was down on the ground and the bottle had flung from his hand.

He reacted more than thought, grappling with his attacker while trying to feel around for the holy water. For once luck was on his side, and he found the bottle was only inches away. Dean quickly splashed what was left of the precious liquid onto the demon face. Then he was all but forgotten on the floor as the demon tended to the more pressing matter of his face burning off, giving Dean the best opening he was going to get.

He landed a kick square in his opponent's chest, sending him backwards and closer to where he laid the devil's trap. The demon recovered quickly but Dean was already on his feet, promptly sending the demon back down to the ground, right inside the trap. "Stay down."

"All right you got me." Frank got to his feet, chuckling at his own failure. "Didn't exactly expect you to be here."

"Yeah well, I hate to be predictable," Dean grinned humorlessly. He pulled the exorcism out of his jacket pocket and prepared himself for the task at hand. He'd been trying to memorize the damn thing since that incident with Casey in Ohio, but he didn't feel comfortable enough to test it out in the field yet. Usually he'd just let Sam handle it, but obviously that wasn't an option at the moment. He turned on his flashlight and started looking for the right page.

"Whoa hey buddy, aren't you at least curious about what I'm doing here?"

Dean looked up briefly, a little surprised by the question. "Uhh, not really." In fact he was a little curious, but he wasn't about to let this thing bait him.

He went ahead and started the exorcism. Frank's eyes flashed black and he grunted in pain, his body wracking with spasms the further along Dean read.

"I know who you are." the demon growled through clenched teeth. "You'll get yours, you and you're brother! One way or another...!"

The vehemence in his tone made Dean falter momentarily. "Doesn't look like that where I'm standing," he shot back, searching his book for where he left off.

"Doesn't matter what you do to me, there's plenty to take my place. Everyone's looking for Sam Winchester and his brother." Dean stopped again, the words coming at him like a slap in the face. He knew Lilith had a hit out on his brother, but to hear it straight up from some random demon made it that much more real. Frank could see his comment had the desired effect. "Ha, not so tough now," he panted, clearly enjoying Dean's shock. "But hey, Sam's the one everyone really wants. I'd suggest getting as far away from him as you can, if you wanna keep breathing."

What? "Shut the hell up." He was completely pissed now. So much for not letting him get to me, a voice in his head chided him. "I ain't taking advice from a piece of crap like you. You're done here. And tell your friends to stay the fuck away from my brother." He quickly resumed the exorcism, happy to hear his victim again moaning in pain. He was almost finished when he heard a sound at the door. Quickly, he glanced out the window, for the first time noticing the flashing lights of a police car. Oh shit.

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The room was quiet and peaceful, but for some god awful reason Sam had woken up anyway and could not get back to sleep. Reluctantly he opened his eyes, still feeling very much like he got shit off a cliff. He sat up and looked around, slowly so as not to agitate his pounding headache. The first thing he noticed, besides the fact that he was alone again, was the brown paper bag sitting on the nightstand next to his bed. He reached over to look inside, and noticed a small note scrawled on the back of a receipt:

Get some rest. Be back soon.

The handwriting was unmistakably Dean's. Inside the bag there was soup, crackers, sports drinks, medicine; all the stuff their dad use to get when he got sick. Sam smiled to himself. Ah Dean, always gotta be the big brother. The more he thought about it though, the more it depressed him. Once again big brother had to come to the rescue. Sam hated himself for being such a burden. It wasn't fair. Sam wanted so bad to save Dean for once, but apparently he can't even take care of himself, let alone keep his brother out of hell.

He sighed and decided the only thing he could do now was focus on getting well. As usual. So he cleaned himself up, determined to look presentable when his brother came back so he could stop worrying about him.

While he was feeling better after a shower and some food, he was concerned that Dean still wasn't back yet. It was already dark, he noticed worriedly.

I hope he's all right. What if his brother was in trouble? God knows the guy could find it just about anywhere. But what kind of trouble could he be in?

Right then a scary thought crossed his mind. What if Dean decided to finish the hunt without him? The scariest part of that was that it was probably true, and Sam wanted to kick himself for not realizing it earlier.

Shit shit shit! This was bad. It may have seemed like a simple exorcism, but Sam had a few suspicions he never got a chance to share with his brother about this particular hunt, and if they were true then Dean would need his help, sick or not. Sam quickly grabbed his gear and set out to find his brother before it was too late.

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The rest of the exorcism began frantically spilling from his mouth at the sight of the police car, but it wasn't quick enough. A police officer was already heading for the house. Oh well what's the worst that can happen? he tried to reassure himself. Not like I haven't been arrested before. The door burst open and before he could even begin to explain he was pinned against the wall by a familiar, invisible force. Dean stared at the officer, completely stunned. Clearly he underestimated the severity of the situation. And unfortunately, he knew from experience that there was nothing he could do about it. Dean struggled against the hold anyway, angry at himself for allowing this to happen.

"Frank?" the police-officer-slash-demon asked as he took in the situation. Frank was still recovering from the almost successful exorcism, but Dean spotted the smug look forming on his face. Apparently the cavalry had arrived. And he was fucking screwed.

"Don't come close, it's a trap." At Frank's warning the officer stopped at the door. Dean didn't exactly expect the same trap to work twice, but damn it he wished it did. The lights suddenly flicked on and when he could open his eyes he found himself being scrutinized by a very young looking officer. He noticed the name tag on the uniform.

"Fresh out of the academy, 'Officer Campbell'?" Dean joked, trying to put himself at ease more than anything. Campbell frowned but said nothing, instead turned to face his partner in crime.

"So this is one of them?" A nod came in response. It was kind of cool being famous, besides the whole price on his head thing. But he was used to monsters wanting him dead. What he couldn't get was why he was still alive. The two were just talking, completely ignoring him. If only I wasn't stuck to this freaking wall.

"Hey I'm still here you know," Dean complained loudly. No response. He was getting frustrated. Here he was, helpless and without back up or a way to escape, and the bastards didn't even have the decency to give him the time of day. "You gonna kill me or what?"

Finally, Campbell turned back to him, still frowning. Dean couldn't figure out what his game was. Certainly he should be dead by now. The demon came right up to his face and spoke. "I have a deal for you."

If the situation were less serious, he would be laughing at the absurdity of the statement. Nevertheless he grinned at the officer. "I think I've had my share of demon deals but thanks anyway."

"Yeah I know about your deal. Mine's better." Dean actually laughed at that. Campbell went on, unfazed. "It's simple. You give us your brother and we leave you alone. And by we, I mean all of us. Even your friend, the 'crossroads demon' as you call her."

"Heh, if even I thought you were telling the truth, you really think I'd give my brother up to a pair of jokers like you?"

"Well yeah. It's a good deal. Why should you have to die just because Lilith wants his head? "

"Just kill him already!" Frank piped up from his assigned spot on the floor. "We can find the boy on our own!"

"I agree with Frank there. You might as well just kill me. But you're not getting Sam."

Campbell glared at the two of them, clearly frustrated. "Of course we can find Sam on our own. But that's not the point. The point is you can get rid of your troublesome brother and get immunity! We'll even let you join us. Hasn't Sam caused you nothing but trouble since you've known him? It makes no sense for you to keep protecting him the way you do. How can you pass up this opportunity?"

"Maybe because I'm not an evil bottom feeder like you? I'm not giving him up."

"Oh come on! Being bad has its perks. And we can use someone like you on our side. What do you say?" Campbell smiled, releasing his hold on Dean just slightly.

Dean smiled sweetly in return. "Go fuck yourself."

Campbell's smile quickly turned into a disgusted grimace.

"Fine then! Have it your way you stupid human! You've now been downgraded to bait."