Author's Note: So, this is my first foray into Supernatural fanfiction, so any constructive criticism is totally welcome. I'm a little nervous about this story. I'm going to tell you right now, it's a Dean/OC paring, though I don't plan to have it be one of those where each brother has his girl and it's one big, happy cross-country demon-hunting roadtrip complete with Winchester babies. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Please review, let me know what you think!

They had set themselves up strategically in the bar: Dean was at the pool table—which not only allowed him to see almost the entire bar, but also to make money at the same time—and Sam was sitting at the bar, keeping an eye on the back entrance. They knew what they were looking for: that one person who was just a little bit too smooth, who really sold what they were saying. They would be sitting in the corner, which was oh-so-conveniently shrouded in shadow, with that person who was too far gone, who had had one too many drinks. There were too many bodies in too little space for Sam to smell the demon, and too many shadow-shrouded faces.

"Anything yet?" Dean asked Sam as he crossed by him, pool stick in hand.

"Not yet. Too damn many people," he answered under his breath.

"My money is on that corner booth over there. Shadowy, and she looks like she's about to crawl across the table and into his lap."

"You can't even see her face," Sam muttered. "She might be chewing him out, for all you know."

Dean grinned a knowing, wicked grin that didn't quite reach all the way to his eyes. Sam could see past the grin, the devil-may-care attitude. Dean was tired of hunting, tired of the struggle—as was Sam. They both knew it, but wouldn't allow themselves to voice those thoughts—not anymore, when this was so important. Giving up wasn't an option. So instead, they did their best to soldier on, pretending that everything was going to be alright.

"Oh, trust me, Sammy. If she's chewing anything it's—"

"Okay, thank you for that lovely image."

"You know, why is it that all the good-looking women are dangerous?" Dean wondered aloud. Sam couldn't suppress a small smile, despite his grim mood.

"Occupational hazard, I guess. I'll just take my nose over there and have a sniff around," Sam answered, setting down his drink and rising from his chair. Dean watched as his brother made his way over to the booth—conveniently positioned beside the bathroom—staggering all the way. Any unsuspecting person—or even a suspecting one—would think that he was a drunken patron. After all, he had been sitting at the bar for the past three and a half hours. Sam stumbled next to the booth, catching himself on the table.

The smell of the demon—burnt and faintly surfuric—brought on a rollercoaster of feelings for Sam. He and Dean had worked so hard to kick his habit, his dependency on that vile stuff, and somehow, sometimes he still yearned for it. He turned towards the young woman to offer an apology, only to find that the smell was fainter. She wasn't the demon.

"'Scuse me," he said, looking towards the man. The smell was stronger, and he quickly pulled himself off the table and into the bathroom. He tried to pull himself together, to push the yearning away. After several deep breaths and some cold water to the face, he emerged and staggered back to the bar, where Dean stood waiting, pool stick in hand. He was just finishing up a game, and his opponent did not seem happy about the money he was about to lose.

"It's the man," Sam whispered. Dean arched an eyebrow in surprise.

"Well, that means that we've got to find some way to get her the hell out of there before she makes a deal," Dean said, his voice determined. Immediately, he began looking around for some way to clear out the bar, because a crowd of people wasn't exactly ideal hunting conditions. Especially when their primary weapon was a sawed-off shotgun. "We've got to clear this place out."

"Fire alarm?" Dean shook his head. The building was so run down it probably didn't even have a fire alarm. Any fire marshal that set foot inside the building would have a heart attack on sight. A bar fight wouldn't work, because it would just draw attention do them and get them thrown out. No, they needed something that was going to get the attention of the entire bar. Dean's gaze fell on the bottles of liquor behind the bar, all sitting neatly on their shelves. He and Sam eyed each other, each knowing exactly what the other was thinking.

"I don't suppose we could just ask nicely?" Sam muttered bitterly under his breath. He missed the old days when he wasn't worrying about being the antichrist, when all they had to worry about was getting killed. Now, with each passing day, death came to be a more prominent part of their lives, and the chances of surviving with souls intact seemed to get smaller and smaller. But this demon was their chance to make their odds a little better, so they would have to do whatever it took.

"Yeah, that'd go over real well. Excuse me, if all demons could please form a single-file line at the door…You ready?" Sam nodded with a sigh. Dean's face was grim, but part of him was hoping for a good fight, for the burst of adrenaline that could temporarily push everything away—the chaos, the demons, the angels, destiny (whatever that meant). Any minute he wasn't thinking about how desperate he was would be a minute of relief.

Dean quickly knocked the last ball into the correct pocket and stood to face his opponent, a burly, bearded man who looked like he'd drunk a gallon of sour milk. Dean grinned and collected his money, taking special care to count it obnoxiously loud. When he finished he looked over at the man and called, "Hey man, good game. You up for another?" He watched the man stiffed as his mocking tone registered.

With a loud cry, the man ran at Dean, who easily sidestepped him and gave him the tiniest push—right over the bar and into the shelves of liquor. Several bottles shattered and patrons turned to face them—slightly alarmed, but not ready to leave just yet. They were ready to leave, though, when the man stood behind the bar and began hurling bottles across the room. Puddles of alcohol formed on the floor and the bar. Sam quickly ducked and stepped towards his brother, "accidentally" dropping a lit match to the floor.

The alcohol went up in flames, and screams filled the air. Drunken patrons pushed and pulled at each other as they desperately tried to get to an exit. Sam beat them out the door, running around back. Dean tucked himself away in a niche, waiting for the right moment. The young woman and the demon calmly stood—something odd amidst the stampede of people—and began looking for an exit, in no apparent hurry. They found the back exit and began moving towards it. Dean followed, unnoticed in the crowd.

The minute they stepped out the back door, the demon froze. He stared in disbelief at the symbol Sam had drawn in chalk on the dirt, trapping him inside. Unfortunately, the young woman was inside as well. In the blink of an eye, the demon had his arm around her, pulling her against him, a knife to her throat. The brothers froze.

"Let me out, or her blood is on your hands," the demon spat, his eyes glowing red. The two brothers exchanged a look, neither particularly inclined to put their guns or holy water down. The demon pressed the knife closer to the woman's throat. She clenched her jaw, trying not to scream. Her hands grabbed uselessly at the demon, at her clothes, at anything, trying to find some way out.

"You let her go, or you're going back to Hell," Dean said, his voice hard.

"I don't think so. You can't perform an exorcism with her in here with me, so I think I'll just hold on to her," he replied smugly.

"I don't think so, you son of a bitch." Before anyone realized what was happening, the woman was pouring water onto the demon, steam rising from his wounds. In shock and pain, he let her go and she stepped out of the circle, leaving the demon trapped alone inside. Sam and Dean looked at each other, stunned for a moment at what they were seeing. Before anyone had made a move to stop her, she pulled knife out of her bag. Dean recognized the symbols on the blade—the same symbols that had been on the blade that could kill anything. Just as she was preparing to throw the knife, Dean grabbed her arm.

"No! You can't we need him!"

"You need him alive?" she asked, sounding completely shocked.

"Yes!" Dean said, stepping between her and the demon. This was not exactly a position he had ever thought he would find himself in. Ever.

"Really?" She was clearly frustrated, her hands on her hips. Dean nodded.

"Well, too bad. I need him dead," she snapped, throwing a punch at Dean. It connected with his chin, sending him to the ground. Dirt flew everywhere, breaking the circle. The woman tried to throw her knife, but Sam grabbed her arms and was restraining her. Before Dean could grab the demon, he was gone. With a shriek of frustration, the young woman pulled away from Sam and immediately began swearing profusely at them.

"You son of a bitch!" she yelled, pointing her finger a Dean. "You let him get away!"

"I let him get away? If you hadn't punched me—"

"If you had moved, I wouldn't have had to punch you so damn hard, Dean Winchester."

He froze upon hearing his name, and stared at the person who had spoken it. She was tiny—maybe five and half feet tall, in three and a half inch heels—but that didn't seem to have any effect whatsoever on her presence. She had red hair—it shone bright copper in the firelight—that framed an odd face. Her nose wasn't perfect, though it probably had been at one point. There was a tiny scar across the bridge, probably acquired when she'd broken her nose. Her eyes were green, bright with temper right now, staring at him from beneath strong brows. Her mouth was twisted into a bitter smile.

After several moments—long moments—Dean took a step back, and for the first time in a long time, he dropped his weapon in shock. Sam watched as the blood ran from his brother's face; his hands began shaking as he found himself at a complete loss for words. The woman just stood there, the same bitter smile on her face.

"It's been a while, yeah?" she finally said. "I didn't think you'd recognize me without all the blood. But it's okay. If I hadn't been looking for you, I probably wouldn't have recognized you either. I guess the rack will do that to your perception."

Sam looked in shock at his brother, then back at the woman. "The rack?"

"You know, the medieval torture device? Causes the joints to separate—among other things. I don't recommend it. Extremely uncomfortable," she quipped, grinning harshly at Sam. Dean continued to stare at her, not sure of what he was seeing. When he finally spoke, his voice was oddly hoarse.

"What's your name?" he whispered. Her expression softened.

"Lena. Lena Colt," she answered, taking a step closer. He took one back. Sam stood silently, trying to process the scene before him. Several moments later, her words finally registered.

"Colt? As in—"

"The gunsmith? Yes. I would be one of those Colts."

Dean visibly cringed at her words. Finally, he spoke again. "H-how is that possible?"

"The climb out of Hell? I'm surprised you're asking, Dean. I mean, after all, you managed it."