Disclaimer I don't own any of the characters and haven't profited from this in any way, shape or form. But I will fight you all with one hand tied behind my back for Jensen Ackles... and I have strong feeling I would profit from him in some way, shape or form...

Please be kind: this is my first Supernatural fic. I have been so inspired by the wonderful stories I have read here , so I thought I would give it a shot. Please let me know what you think, and especially if the punchline caught you off guard!

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If I didn't know you... I would want to hunt you...

He picked up the trail again just outside of some one-horse town in Maine, the furthest north-east he and his brother had ever gone. Assfluff, Maine. Trying to cross the border into Canada maybe? There were easier—warmer—routes. But it was a pleasant enough journey along roads straight as an arrow, the sun strobing madly between trees as tall as he'd ever seen, sending him perilously close to terminal migraine.

Maybe he'd hit a moose, he wondered idly, as the Impala ate up the miles. What was that movie set in Maine where the kid came back 'not right'? Pet Sematary. Appropriate, much?

He didn't ever really doubt that it had to be this way. But sometimes he wondered how it was that he just didn't know his own brother any more.

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Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight…

She watched over him as he slept, lanky body poured, for want of a better word, across the back seat, cheek resting against the window.

He never slept easy. Eyes twitching uncontrollably beneath closed lids, frowning, lines of tension and unrest, clenched fists. Only recently had he conceded the watch to her. She didn't need the sleep after all. So she watched him as he slept, her fingers curled loosely around the bona-fide demon killing knife. Just in case. And maybe sometimes she placed a cool hand on his brow and whispered words meant to soothe in his ear when the sounds became most pitiful and he wept.

It had been four months of this now. He wasn't really coping. Awake he had the shakes, eyes guarded, ever-present purple shadows of exhaustion underneath them making him look haunted. Which, she guessed, he was really.

Her car wasn't big enough. Typical single chick car. She knew he thought wistfully of the Impala with its mile-wide seats. His brother's car. His brother who was coming to kill him. Not on my watch, dickwad.

So maybe sometimes she lay back against him and maybe sometimes, not really awake or aware, his arm wrapped around her and he clung on for dear life – and she held him just as close. Maybe it was some kind of comfort, for them both. Strange, this… caring. She had always known he mattered in the big picture but this was different. Intimate, and to be treasured. Did he ever remember the need for closeness when he woke?

Maybe sometimes she even slept a little there with him too, but never for long. Not with the other one out there, coming closer and closer.

They kept moving.

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Hey bro. Just letting you know how I'm doing. How's the bitch? It'll be so good to finally catch up to you both. Dude, I am so looking forward to that day…

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He'd been circling the drain when she found him, overwhelmed by the loss and the grief, overwhelmed by the hunt, and the fear, and the terror. He hadn't recognized her at first, even as she dragged him back up from the drink-sodden delirium and panic. Ruby?! He hadn't wanted it. Too many bad memories. But he never really fought her. Just a token resistance, really. When had he become so fucking pathetic?

When had he come to rely on her so much? Strange, this… caring, this feeling that she mattered.

The panic was ever present. Even so, she soothed it in some weird, twisted way. He knew she erased the cellphone messages too, had been doing so these last few weeks after coming back from her supply run to find a catatonic wreck curled up down between the seats of the car, phone still clutched in his hand. She'd ditched it then and there, a perfect pitch into the dumpster they were sleeping behind. Lifted a new one before they left town.

But somehow he always found them and the messages still came. Not the same now though. The menace, the threat, now mixed with… resignation.

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Pick up dude… it would be so good to hear your voice. You know this isn't what I wanted. I want to save you. But it's the way it has to be. I don't know you anymore. And I will find you. Maybe I already have.

Spoken in soft, level, reasonable tones. Just the way it had to be. So totally calculated, so totally guaranteed to send his brother spiraling.

I'm coming for you, Dean.