Should there be a DISCLAIMER up here? In that case: There's nothing original in here. And Dean, Sam and Bobby belong to Supernatural's Erik Kripke.

First come first served

The first thing on Sam's mind when he woke up was an acute awareness of danger nearby, there was something behind him and he had to fight it. He couldn't see anything, where did the streetlamps go? And why couldn't he turn around, what were the thin, rough threads that seemed to be in his way everywhere he turned, was he stuck in some sort of reed? Or a particularly tough fern? Sam had been taught to be silent while he fought, a piece of advice he had been given and then taken to heart after too many close encounters. So he overruled his instincts, to call for help, and instead silently redoubled his efforts. Why couldn't he turn around? He felt like he was drowning.

"Easy there, Sam. Easy. I am trying to stitch up a cut in your shin. Easy. You want to bleed to death?"

Sam stayed and listened, he realised that the woman had been saying the same thing over and over. What woman? What cut? How bad was it if he couldn't move? For some reason he had a flash vision of a sheep getting tangled in a barbed wire and, while fighting to get loose, would struggle in fright against the person helping. He drew a deep breath, forcing himself to relax and find out what was going on. He didn't quite recognise his voice as it came out, shaky and hoarse, urgent:

"Who are you? What happened? Where am I?"

He wanted to know where Dean was too but bit back that question, he wasn't going to ask until he knew who he was talking to. Years and years of training told him not to give anything away before he knew if he was supposed to have a brother, a cousin, a friend, a business associate or a partner. Or if he was pretending to be on his own. And as far as he knew Dean might be close by, waiting for his chance to jump someone. And he wouldn't appreciate being made. He felt he was confused and not up to current events. But even though Sam was high on adrenaline, a painful sting in his right leg made it through to his mind anyway. Annoyed at not being able to see and frustrated with the things that kept getting in his way when he tried to move he still listened for an answer, both from the woman and the wound she had spoken about. The woman's voice had dropped a notch when he had ceased struggling and was now almost a murmur, she seemed absorbed in whatever she was doing and spoke slowly:

"I will tell you in a bit, I will. But I have to concentrate on his for a minute or two or you will end up losing more blood. Cuts like these don't heal very well on their own and they bleed a lot when they open. Some stitches will take care of it."

Sam found himself laying motionless and stiff, striving to hear what she said, her murmured words punctuated by sharp stings in the leg that was already throbbing with a feverish fire. He felt hypnotised. Hypnotised! Witch! The word sent a mental bucket of cold water over his body and mind and he immediately tried to push himself up and was again frustrated.

But this time he had regained his senses enough from whatever stupor he had been in to recognise the hindrance for what it was - ropes. It was ropes that kept him down. Ropes meant caught. Ropes meant danger. Cut free! He gathered his strength, found the points where they cut into him, and yanked at them with all his might. Again and again, panicked, angry, determined not to be helpless. And he felt the pressure of the cloth covering his eyes, blinding him. With hard earned routine his mind went into intuition mode, no longer trying to see with his physical eyes, unconsciously taking note of the places where the rope gave the most and concentrating his efforts around those places. Not wasting any energy in asking questions. He felt the movements of someone leaving their place by his leg and coming closer to his face and then a soft click of something held above his chest. He stiffened, thinking it might be a gun, but the only thing that happened was that the woman spoke in her calm, unhurried voice:

"You have a brother, don't you? Want to see him?"

Sam felt an instant tightening in his stomach, his brother was in enemy hands! What condition was he in?

"Dean. DEAN! Where is he, what have you done? Please, don't hurt him! Please. What do you want? Just tell me. Please don't... Dean!"

Sam felt his voice catch in the throat, bringing out the last words in a croak as he struggled harder against the ropes and heard another soft click from the thing held above his chest, but this time he had greater fears than a gun. The woman spoke again:

"Relax, as far as I know your brother is free, probably looking for you. Now, let me see if I can't finish this. There is a last stitch to be tied and then we'll talk."

She didn't wait for him to answer, just went back down to his leg and he felt the pull of a thread. Sam had had cuts sewn together on a regular basis since he was eight and he knew that she wasn't lying about that, at least. Who the hell was this woman? He wanted to keep her talking, both so that he'd know where in the room she was and to find out more about his situation.

"Who are you? And how do you know my name?"

Being temporarily out of other options for action he tested the limits of his movements, taking care not to move the leg she was working on. He quickly found out that he could only raise his head and upper body a few inches and that the ropes only went across his wrists, being tied firmly onto wood about 10 inches away from his body. A little wriggling told him there had to be holes in the wood that the ropes loped through. Good. A possible weakness. Now, about the legs... Just then the woman spoke:


And with that he felt the familiar, bearable burn of alcohol on a fresh wound and he drew a deep, slow breath, letting the pain run its course.

"And that should do it. You can move the leg now though I assure you the knots I tie don't come off."

She rose, making sounds that made him think she was packing away a medical kit. Sam immediately tried lifting his legs but found that, though he could move them a bit more than the hands, they were bound seperately and stretched down to something very solid, not allowing enough room for a serious muscle attack. The only thing that gave when he pulled was the rope itself. Meaning it had to be the wrists he would concentrate on. He drew another deep breath and asked again, through gritted teeth:

"Who. Are. You."

There was a brief hesitation in her movements and then in her voice as she said:

"Call me Maggie. If you have to. I have a call to make, it will take about half an hour. Why don't you spend that time rubbing your wrists raw? I know you will even if I tell you I have no intention of hurting you."

There seemed to be the trace of a mild regret in her voice as she spoke the last sentence and Sam snorted.

"Right. I am here for my health, am I?" he asked, letting fury mask his fear.

"See what I mean? Well have fun."

And with that Sam heard her leave the room and felt her presence disappear. A wooden door was thrown shut but not locked. Where was Dean, did he know he had been captured? He couldn't tell how long he had been unconscious, he couldn't even remember how the abduction had happened. There had been someone behind him... But if Dean knew he was missing he'd be searching by now, and he'd find him, eventually. He only hoped it wouldn't be too late. Sam kept working the ropes around his hands with the same blind flair he employed when picking a lock while he turned to thinking about his captor. Who was she? Why had she bothered with his cut? Had she made it? What did she want? Her words about "not hurting" him were none too easy to believe, considering that he was so tightly tied down that he could barely move.

Sam had had some experience with evil females, having known some bad witches, and bitches, before and they did not always cut right into you, wanting you to die. Nor did they always want to threaten him first thing. Coercion was a usual tactic. And once or twice there had been other things on their minds than blood or sacrifices... The memory of a voice rose in his mind "...shh, this won't hurt, you'll like it..." But those were not times he wanted to think about. There was a definite feeling of power around her and that, together with the hint that she had taken his brother as well, had made him panic. Why had she said that if she hadn't? He thought about the clicking sound, that he had first interpreted as a gun, and felt sure that it had something to do with that. He took another deep breath, held it, then slowly let it out as he pressed the back of his head against the thin mattress and focused fully on the ropes with renewed patience born of survival instincts.