Title: Meat
Author: Mad Server
Rating: T
Characters: Sam, Dean, OCs
Word Count: 2000
Summary: Sam and Dean go up against a witch. Sam has a bad time.
A/N: This is a remix of Soncnica's fic "Like Moths Upon Old Scarves." Big smiley thank you's to Enkidu07 and Innie for the sweet, snappy betas.
Disclaimer: I don't own these guys.


It's the clothes that draw Zannie's attention. She sees cashmere, and suede, and a ton of fine stitching. She thinks, Expensive.

The wearer of the expensive-looking clothes is a woman with long, coal-black hair, who's peering past the glass into the butcher's display case with a raptness Zannie finds unusual, even a bit creepy. Around the woman's neck, there's a pendant on a chain: gold, with a bulbous red jewel set in the center.

That looks expensive, too.

Zannie really only came in for some hamburger meat, and her rent isn't even due for another week, but the necklace is so nice, and the woman so zoned out, that Zannie can't pass this up. What the hell.

Zannie trains her eyes on the roast turkeys and the salami and sidles over, slips in close to the lady. The lady doesn't so much as blink, because Zannie has a knack for this, for getting into people's spaces without their noticing she's there. She concentrates on making herself seem friendly, and harmless, like she's their best friend or their lover, and she moves very slowly. It's only me, is what she thinks.

Zannie gets right up beside the woman with the long, dark hair, close enough to smell the rose scent she's wearing, and then she makes sure both butchers are with other customers. She pulls out her Swiss army knife, snaps the woman's chain in the space of two heartbeats, and stuffs both the knife and necklace back into her jeans pocket.

The lady turns her head, catching Zannie in her frosty gaze. One eye is blue, and the other's green, and that startles Zannie enough that for half a second she forgets to smile. Then it's up, warm and casual, one bored customer to another.

The lady's nostrils flare, and her eyes waver back to the meat behind the counter.

Zannie saunters off, toward the loaves of bread. Then she's out the door.

She swings by the pawn shop on her way home, but Mark, who gives her all the juiciest deals, is off today.

---

Sybilla unwraps the pork loin slowly, savoring the smell, the weight of it in her hands. Under the paper it's cold, and moist, and she runs her fingertips over it, slips it into her palm. Her thumb caresses the taut meat, teases slow circles into it, then applies a little more pressure - more - plunges in. It's fibrous inside, and deliciously wet.

It's not until later, when it's in the oven, that she realizes her amulet's gone.

Hands trembling, she dredges up a city map from one of the boxes stacked in her dining room, fans it open. It covers the entire table.

"Show me," she commands.

When it's finished burning, only one building is left.

---

"In town for a week, and she's already eaten three guys. Can you believe it?"

Dean's got them parked in the street, near the end of her driveway, cozied up to the big iron gate that surrounds her property. Tall trees arch up over the Impala, their bare branches almost touching across the wide expanse of pavement. It's dark out, coming up on seven-thirty at night.

Dean shifts in the driver's seat, rubs grit out of his eyes, and shrugs. "Moving makes you hungry."

"Everything makes you hungry," Sam counters.

"This stakeout's making me hungry," Dean admits. "For steak."

Surveillance is so much better with two people than it is alone. As part of a duo, Dean can nap, pee unhindered, and talk to fend off the heavy boredom that otherwise settles over him in the long, long hours of absolutely nothing happening. They're three of about eighty reasons Dean's glad Sam's decided to work with him after all. Sorry about your girlfriend, kiddo, but man it's good to have you back.

"Hey." Sam's sitting up straighter, his eyes fixed on a point beyond the fence. Dean's eyes follow his, lock onto the rising garage door. "There she is."

"It's about time."

A sleek blue car darts out of the garage, comes barreling straight toward them.

"Son of a bitch." Dean pulls out his Glock, holds it at the ready.

Just short of the fence, the vehicle screeches to a stop; a woman launches herself out and fumbles with the gate latch. She climbs back in without so much as a glance in their direction, then tears off down the long, tree-lined road. Her fence is still wide open.

"Huh."

"Someone's in a hurry," Dean agrees, pocketing the gun. He starts the engine, pulls out after her, and follows as closely as he dares.

She's a crazy driver, but Dean is crazier.

"Did she look scared to you?"

"Yep."

"What do you think would do that to a witch?"

A cyclist with no reflective gear looms up in the Impala's beams and Dean swerves to avoid him, narrowly misses a parking meter. "It's called a light, pal!" He ignores Sam's warning chuff, Sam's hand gripping the dashboard. "What did that book say about her, again?"

---

Dean fingers the flamethrower, watches her disappear inside the apartment building with a swish of black hair. He's pretty sure he can make her think he's a Jehovah's Witness, despite the weapon.

"Are we sure it's her?" Sam asks.

Reason number eighty-one Sammy's good to have around: he likes to get it right.

"We know she likes to live alone; we know that either somebody with her MO just moved into town, or else somebody local just developed her MO; we know six houses were sold in the area last week, and that the other five didn't go to the witch."

Sam drags a hand through his hair; his brow furrows.

"Basically we need to see the eyes."

---

All the lights in the apartment are on. And she's trashing the place.

"Looks like she lost something, doesn't it?" Dean gives Sam a happy nudge in the ribs. They're crouched beside the TV, peering around the corner into the kitchen.

"I don't think she's wearing it." Sam squints in the general direction of her chest. "Wow. Do you think?"

"I think this is our lucky day."

And he does. Because while the flamethrower will probably work, it'll probably work so well that it'll take care of the entire apartment block along with the witch, and possibly Sam and Dean - and the guns probably won't work at all. But the magical necklace containing a drop of her blood encased in glass and set in gold, dating back to the late 1500s, when a healer saved her from near death with a little help from a demon? Find that before she does, send it up in flames, and they'll have themselves a nice, clean kill.

She turns toward them and they jerk back into the living room.

"You see that?" Sam hisses. "One green eye and one blue eye."

"Yeah. It's her. And I think she saw us."

A voice comes floating in from the other room. It's deep, and female, and it resonates with authority. It says, "Something smells good."

Sam and Dean exchange a look.

Automatically, Dean nods toward the kitchen - This one's on me, Sasquatch - he's going to distract the witch while Sam looks for the necklace. Sam nods gravely, and Dean brings up his weapon.

A deep breath, and Dean plunges around the corner.

She's not there.

Her voice booms out through the apartment again, this time from the living room. "Sammy, isn't it?"

---

Dean finally finds the necklace in the bedroom, in a dresser drawer, rolled up in some socks. Looks just like the drawing in that book of Sam's, Seventy-Seven Famous Witches or whatever it's called. And it looks nice and flammable, too.

---

They're pressed against the wall, like lovers. Sam's head is on her shoulder; her hands are on his hips. His posture though is weird, half-crumpled, and on closer examination, actually defies gravity.

"Hey, bitchy-witchy," Dean calls, stepping fully into the room. "Leave him alone."

Her head snaps around, and Dean suddenly has a better view of Sam, of the head lolling weakly against her throat. The kid's flushed and panting; his hair's damp with sweat, and his face is all tearstained. Dean twinges.

Lady, your ass is so mine.

"Looking for this?" He holds up the pendant on the broken, glittering chain. "Well, you can't have it, bitch."

Sam groans, and she turns back to him, whispers something in his ear that makes Sam shudder visibly, makes him make a feeble, miserable sound. Suddenly Sam's face changes, and his mouth opens wide and the veins on his neck stand out and he's beet-red, looks like he's screaming, only it's completely silent.

Dean wonders why he isn't making any noise. Then he wonders how many times in the last ten minutes Sam's screamed like this.

The witch lifts up her hand, and he sees why Sam's screaming: her finger is coated in his blood. She licks it off, watching Dean with those mismatched eyes. She looks so happy.

Enough of this crap. Dean pulls out his Zippo, lights up the necklace. The blood in its center bubbles, turns to smoke. The witch burns on the spot, and Dean rushes by her as Sam crashes to the floor.

---

Her finger was coated in poison. Dean tries to wrap his head around it: coffee, breakfast, brush teeth, coat hands in poison, car keys.

---

Sam can make sounds again. He's making a lot of sounds as Dean pours the antidote into the finger-sized hole in his hip, on the floor of the trashed apartment. Always come prepared, right, Dad?

"Shh, Sam." Sam bucks on the floor, his long body writhing under Dean's. There's sweat pouring off him, and more tears. Dean almost wishes the witch were alive, so he could kill her again. "Not so loud, kiddo."

---

Getting home from the movies, Zannie finds the door to her place half-open. Heart racing, she peeks into the apartment and sees two guys on the floor, and a big mess.

Goddamn it.

Zannie's not about confrontation.

---

It's cold outside, and Dean can feel Sam shivering as he helps him down the short flight of stairs in front of the apartment building, dead leaves swirling at their feet. There's a girl on the sidewalk, drunk and giggling, teetering toward them.

"Hey, boys," she slurs.

"Not now, sweetheart." Dean's hands are hovering close to Sam, his eyes on the road, watching for an opening in the traffic so they can cross.

She laughs nervously, stumbles right into him. He brushes her off.

"Some other time, OK?"

It's not until later that Dean realizes his wallet's gone.

---

Dean grits his teeth as Sam mulishly pops his door open, pushes himself up out of the car while Dean's still taking the keys from the ignition. He sees Sam waver alarmingly, sees him steady himself with the side mirror.

"Hey." Dean's there, wrapping an arm around him, carefully avoiding the wound. "Where's the fire?"

He grimaces at his own choice of words, pictures the witch on fire. "She was somethin' else, wasn't she?" Dean's helping Sam up onto the sidewalk outside their room, fiddling with the lock. "A real piece of work." He takes a good look at Sam's face, assessing. "Seriously, how bad did she get you?"

"Not that bad." But Sam's leaning on Dean's shoulders pretty hard.

---

Dean's not surprised when Sam has bad dreams that night. He tosses until the bandage on his hip bleeds through.

Dean changes the gauze some time around three, smoothes new medical tape onto his brother's skin. Sam watches him, flushed, not speaking. Dean isn't sure if he's awake.

---

"This sounds like maybe her," says Sam, pale and smudge-eyed in the passenger's seat, a newspaper in his hand and Famous Witches in his lap. "Number fifty-four. 'The Feather,' she's called. Has this thing about peacocks... and smotherings... and lately, in Augusta, there's been -"

"Yeah, I don't know, Sam." The field out the window is green, the sky a brilliant blue. "What've you got without any witches in it?"

---

end


A/N2: Soncnica's remix of Enkidu07's "North of Normal" and Enkidu07's remix of my "Boogeyman" are going up today. Watch for them!