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Witches

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It was just another case; a day like any other.... Or so the Winchester brothers thought.

Sam and Dean - along with Madelyn, the 22-year-old daughter of a hunter the boys and their father, John, had once worked with - were hunting a group of witches in Sioux City, Iowa when they hit a rough patch and the trail went cold. No strange deaths in four days, so they decided to stay in town for a bit longer and see if they caught any leads before just taking off.

They were staying in a small motel room, much like the others they'd used in the past; Two beds, a couch and, of course, Casa Erotica on PPV.

After waiting in vain for a new lead for three days, the boys decided it was time to call it quits and move on. Dean was going to the front desk to pay the bill while Sam and Madde finished packing up. That's when he saw it.

A rather suspicious looking woman lurking outside the motel, sniffing around the impala. Dean went to confront her, suspecting she might be one of the witches they'd been hunting, come to plant a hex bag in the car.

The woman, spooked at the sight of the hunter, quickly began an incantation and then fled the moment she'd finished. In the spot where Dean had been standing, now stood a dog.

He stood a little over 2 feet high, about 70 lbs with a tan coat and black markings about his face and ears, resembling a Belgian Malinois or a German Shepherd. The poor thing look shocked, distressed, but most of all, dumbfounded, with a very plain look of "what the hell was that?" on his face.

Back at the motel room, Sam and Madde were just packing up the last of their gear when they heard a scratching, scuffling noise outside the door. Madde went to look outside and when she opened the door the dog came rushing past her into the room.

While Madde and Sam tried to brush off the shock, the dog began frantically rushing around the room. He went, first, to Sam, trying in vain to get through to him. When Sam started to pet him and treat him like, well, a dog, he knew it was pointless so he decided to try his luck with Madde.

Madde knelt down to look for any sign of tags but found nothing.

"Hey there, baby." She said, scratching at his jaw. "Where'd you come from?"

"Better be careful, he looks mean." Sam pointed out.

The dog looked up at Sam and groaned.

"What?" Madde scoffed "Ok sure, I'll grant you, he could definitely rip you a new one but look at this face!" She continued, mushing the dog's face and scratching his ears, "He's a lover, not a fighter. Just a big sweetheart." The dog sighed and rested his chin on Madde's knee.

"And you would know that how, exactly?" Sam laughed, skeptically.

"It's in his eyes." She replied, sitting down cross-legged on the floor as her new friend laid down in her lap.

"Yeah, well," Sam started. "Don't get too comfortable. We're taking off as soon as Dean gets back."

The dog picked up his head and began whimpering, jumped onto the bed and began pawing at the leather jacket laid out at the end.

"Whoa!" They both cried, racing for the coat. "No, no, no! Not the coat! Dean will have a coronary!"

With that, the dog tugged at Madde's pant leg, pulling her towards the door. She and Sam followed him as he ran over to the impala and sat down by the driver-side door.

"What's the matter, buddy? You wanna go for a ride?" Madde wondered.

The dog barked and whined and began pacing by the car door.

"Oh, no!" Sam said, "Dean will throw a bitch-fit if that dog gets anywhere near his Baby!" Sam paused for a moment. "Where is Dean, anyway?"

This only made the poor thing fuss and fidget more.

Sam pulled out his phone to call Dean but was concerned to hear the muffled sound of Dean's phone ringing by the back end of the car. Following the sound, they found a small pile of Dean's clothes on the ground as if they were just dropped and left there. In the pockets they found his phone, keys, his wallet, and his gun, half hidden beneath the grey plaid shirt he'd been wearing that morning.

"Ohh, that's not good." Sam stated nervously.

Madde began looking around for any sign of Dean, but found nothing. The dog, of course, completely slipped their minds and was now doing everything possible to get their attention.

Madde turned around to find the dog frantically pawing at the driver-side door of the impala.

"What is it? What?" Madde said, opening the door.

The dog started sniffing around by the gas pedals and pulled out a small brown pouch.

"Sam!" Madde cried, holding up the pouch, "A hex bag. Under the gas pedal."

Sam took the bag and looked at it. "Great!" He shouted, beginning to worry even more.

Sam looked in Dean's wallet and, finding no money missing, he took it that their room hadn't been checked out of yet. They went back inside and started brainstorming, trying to come up with something. Anything. But nothing could be found. It was going on 3:00 AM and still nothing.

Madde's hand slipped from under her chin and sent her head hurtling forward, jolting her awake again.

"Why don't you get some sleep," Sam said groggily, "I'll be right outside. I need some air."

Madde was both physically and emotionally exhausted from worrying and wasn't about to argue. She sleepily stumbled her way to one of the beds and fell face-first onto it, pulling herself up to the pillow by her arms. Laying on her stomach, she reached one arm backward toward the dog and motioned with her fingers. He went over to the bed and nuzzled her hand as it hung over the edge.

Jumping onto the bed, he snuggled up next to Madde as she quickly drifted off. A short while later Madde felt a stir. She rolled over to find the dog watching her. She extended a hand to scratch his ear, moving down to his jaw. He licked her face as she sat up, propping herself against the wall.

"Not back yet, huh?" She asked, noting Sam's absence.

She peeked out the window and saw him sitting on the hood of the impala.

"Dean," she sighed. "Where the hell are you?" She forced a soft smile as the dog crept closer to her, whining quietly.

"You know, I keep waiting for him to come walking through that door." She confessed, absentmindedly playing with the silver pendant that hung 'round her neck. It was a small silver vial with a screw-on top, filled with salt.

"Dean gave me this after my first hunt. Whenever I need reassurance for, well, anything, I find myself playing with this." Madde went on. "It's kinda like a 'what would Dean do?' kind of thing."

Madde paused for a moment, thinking to herself.

"You now, it's strange. For as long as I can remember, I've always looked to Dean for the answer to just about everything. From the smallest, simplest, most everyday matter, to the most elaborate plan of attack, I had all the confidence in the world that Dean would know what to do."

Madde exhaled sharply. "He never thinks he deserves to be happy and have that normal life, that real life, that I know he wants." she mused. "That man has more self worth issues than I do and that's saying a lot! He's so afraid that everyone's gonna leave him and he'll be alone. But he wouldn't have to be if he'd just open his damn eyes!"

Madde needed to vent. The only people she had to talk to were Sam and Dean, which makes things difficult when they're the ones you need to vent about. But now she had someone she could vent to who would just listen. Not try to give advice, just listen. If Madde had known, however, she never would've opened her mouth.

"I know he needs Sam, I know that, I do. And he should! Family comes first, that's how it should be. He needs family. It's the closest thing to normal the poor guy's ever had. I just wish he'd open his eyes and realize that..." Madde's voice caught in her throat. "He doesn't have to worry about being alone. I mean I'm right here, for Christ's sake! Maybe it's not much but I'm not gonna leave him. As long as he wants me around, if it means coming back from the grave and haunting his ass, I'll do it! I'm staying! Cause whether he admits it or not, Dean needs someone... And I need him."

Madde looked down to see the dog still laying there, with his head rested on her lap, just looking at her. Seemingly hanging on her every word. She noted how, short of getting a little worked up over her venting session, she felt more calm and at ease with the dog there with her. She just felt like everything was gonna be fine. He seemed to have the same comforting, reassuring feeling that she always got from Dean.

Madde scratched the dog's head and kissed it and rolled over to get some more sleep. The dog moved to the other side of the bed, creeping in between Madde and the wall and under her arm. She hugged him and nestled in comfortably, pulling the covers up further.

******

Meanwhile, outside, Sam was getting tired and just about to go inside when he heard a twig snap behind him. He turned to look toward the trees that lined one edge of the motel parking lot. Sam was rushed by the same witch that Dean had seen skulking around the impala the previous morning.

She had a knife, which Sam struggled to get away from her. They fought for a short while before Sam was able to wrestle the knife away from her. The witch lunged toward Sam, knocking him backwards and impaling herself on her own knife.

******

About an hour or two later, after burying the witch's body a short ways out of town, Sam came back through the door. He made his way in the dark to the other bed and sat down to take his boots off. First one, then the other, fell on the floor with a loud clunk.

"Hiya, Sammy." came Dean's voice, quietly out of the darkness.

Startled, Sam quickly reached to turn on the bedside lamp.

"Dean?!" He cried

"Sam?!" Dean asked, confused. "Wait, you can hear me?!"

As the light came on, Sam was shocked to see Dean lying in bed next to Madde, who was just starting to stir.

"Dean, oh my god!" She cried, sitting up and nearly falling off the bed before Dean caught her and pulled her back up. "What-? How did-? Where the hell were you?!" She stammered.

"And why are you naked?" Sam added.

"Oh, I've been here the whole time." Dean explained, covering himself with the bed covers. "And the reason for this, well, apparently your clothes tend to fall off when a witch turns you into a damn dog. I friggin' HATE witches, man!"

Sam and Madde stared at each other for a moment in dismay.

"Into a-? You were the-? Oh my god..." Madde gasped, sounding as though she might be sick. She clamped her hands over her mouth in horror and embarrassment.

"That was you the whole time?!" Sam asked.

"Yeah!" Dean replied in a sarcastic tone. "Nice job figuring that one out, Sherlock!"

"Wait," Sam started "the witch. Long brown hair, kinda looked like a crazy hippie, reeked of patchouli?"

Dean nodded. "Yeah, that's her, evil bitch. Why?"

"I think just killed her. Must be why the curse wore off." Sam concluded.

Dean turned his attention to Madde who was still sitting there looking horrified at the thought of spilling her guts about Dean, TO Dean.

"You okay?" He gave her a soft smile.

"I'm gonna go walk into traffic..." She said, completely humiliated.

"Uh-uh." Dean said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer. "You're not getting out of it that easy." Madde looked at Dean, questioningly. "You promised." He said. "You're gonna stick around for a long time yet... Cause I need you."

Dean twirled a bit of Madde's hair in his fingers before leaning over to kiss her. Sam rolled his eyes and, picking up one of the pillows from the bed, slipped his boots back on and headed for the door.

"I'm gonna go sleep in the impala." He said.

"Mm-hmm" Dean mumbled between kisses.

Sam chuckled and shut the door behind him as he stepped out into the bright morning sunlight. He blinked his eyes and looked at his watch. 7:24 AM. Sam sighed and climbed into the backseat of the impala to catch a couple hours of sleep. Something told Sam they wouldn't be leaving the motel immediately anyway....