Story: Narrate by youthere

Beta: Don't have a beta... anybody looking to adopt?

Disclaimer: I own'em! I own'em! They're mine!... wait, who was that guy with the glowing hand...?

Rated for language and possibly minor gore...

A/N: I had a whole thing going about Dean's deal and Sam's destiny and the Apocalypse and everything. Then I watched TIOMS and figured "Y'know what? Kripke's got it covered...". So here's one set in the early 3rd season and pretty much just about the guys running into something... odd. Still might write that other one too, though... hm.

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NARRATE

I.

It was just... awkward.

The Winchesters had tracked a number of mysterious deaths to a local witch acting alone and, as her guardian demon seemed to be nowhere in sight, decided to take the direct approach. They'd caught her with her guard down and despite a large reserve of interesting threats, she hadn't offered much resistance. Of course she had been more than a little angry and seemed about a breath from actually stomping her foot (honest to god) when Dean trashed her altar.

She'd watched them sullenly (yeah, definitely the foot- stomping- type) as they made their way to the door of her apartment. Then, with a swiftness neither brother had anticipated, she'd snatched a small object from a nearby table and thrown it at Dean, hitting him just over the right eyebrow with enough force to draw blood. Time seemed to freeze for an instant as both brothers stared down at the fallen object, Sam with his heart in his throat, Dean more stunned than anything. It took a second to realize just what the hell it was.

Now they all stood silently and stared down at the object, the brothers in mute amazement, the witch looking slightly embarrassed. It was just awkward.

Dean was first to break the silence."Did you just throw a PEBBLE at me? That's just..." he paused for a moment, struggling for the words to express his indignation."...lame." He finished... lamely.

The witch made no reply and, with a disappointed shake of the head, Dean deliberately turned his back on her (after subtly assuring himself that Sam would have him covered, no reason to be insulting and stupid at the same time) and stomped out the door.

X

He was fuming by the time they got back to the car. He was a badass hunter for chrissake! Things tried to kill him, they did not throw pebbles! It was just... disrespectful! Witches! Sucked!

"I can't believe she threw a pebble at me, man." he grumbled. "What the hell? Did we just destroy a black altar in Kindergarten?"

Sam wrinkled his brows. "That's a really disturbing sentence..."

"You know what I mean!" Dean poked at the small cut above his eyebrow in the rear view mirror. "Ow! Sonovabitch!"

Sam just grinned, since the fact that his brother had just said 'ow' proved he was not actually in pain. But the younger Winchester still didn't feel completely at ease. "You know, she was still a witch. We should maybe look into that thing, be sure it wasn't anything dangerous."

Dean just scowled. "Yeah Sam, we better figure this one out soon. Maybe it was a werepebble."

Sam mumbled something about Dean's head getting turned to stone probably not making much difference, but his words were lost as Dean hit the volume on the car's tape deck.

X

They made quick work of packing their stuff, deciding to hit the road right away, since the witch had been so quickly taken care of. Sam insisted on putting a couple of butterfly patches on Deans forehead first, though, earning himself the evil eye for "being a drama queen, it was a friggin' pebble. " Just over an hour later they turned onto the highway stretching out nearly empty in the muffled sunlight.

Sam leaned back in his seat closing his eyes to half mast. They'd dealt with the witch easy enough but the werewolf before her had been a hard kill and werewolf hunts still tended to get to him.

He let the music from the tape deck wash over him and tried to catch what rest he could.

He actually quite liked Zeppelin, not that he would ever let Dean know that. Sam was pretty sure that if he'd failed to roll his eyes when Dean popped the tape in, he would have been in negligence of a brotherly duty of some sort. Complaining about the music was practically part of his job description, but the ancient tapes were part of Dean's and without them, the Impala would feel that much less like home.

Thinking that Sam had fallen asleep, Dean turned down the volume and Sam resisted the urge to smile to himself.

X

It was already late by the time they got to their next temporary home.

Dean went to book them in as James and Ernest ( "guess who's Ernest" ) Goldman, while Sam started getting their stuff out of the trunk. He had finally convinced his brother to stop using celebrity names as aliases, when the FBI started hunting for them. It would just be too stupid if the thing that finally got them caught was a trail of mullet rocker's motel bills.

Formalities taken care of, Dean hit the shower while Sam lay back on his bed resting his eyes and taking in the sounds of their new residence. The A/C clanked (but thankfully worked) and he could hear the distant hum of cars on the highway, over the sound of running water and Dean humming. He could also hear the quiet but insistent drone of a voice coming from the next room, probably a TV set. It was an annoyingly persistent sound but infinitely better than some of the sounds they had heard through paper thin walls, giving them more insight into their neighbour's past times than anyone would ever want.

Sam opened his eyes and ran them over the room. It wasn't too bad actually. No unidentifiable stains in the bead spreads, no weird smells and, best of all, no crazy themed d├ęcor.

His eyes stopped on a desk under the window. Lying innocently on it was... huh...

Just then, Dean emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of steam.

"Uhm... did you bring the pebble with us?" Sam asked.

"What?"

"The stone the witch threw at you. Did you take it with us?"

"What? No. Why the hell would I do that?"

Sam didn't answer, but looked back at the desk. Walking over and leaning down to the table top, he squinted at the small pebble resting on it. It was the same one, there was even a small smear of Dean's blood on the side. Sam was pretty sure not a lot of different pebbles had Dean's blood on them.

Then, as he put his face closer to it, he realized the droning voice wasn't coming from the next room. He straightened up.

This just couldn't be good.

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A/N Hey there's a weird little button down there... wanna check out what it does? :)