Summary: Set at the end of season 3. Dean's deal is just weeks away from coming up due and Sam thinks they should be focusing on finding Lilith. Dean has other ideas. Namely investigating a set of unsolved murders. But this time they may be in over their heads.

Disclaimer: Sadly, I still don't own Supernatural. I did not create the Winchesters. I'm not making any money off of this either so please don't sue me.

Author's Note: This story very, very loosely works as a prequel to You Can't Get There From Here. It's also my first try writing Sam. I hope I don't screw him up too badly. More chapters to come. Please let me know what you think.

Oh and for the curious the title comes from a Led Zeppelin song. I'm sure Dean would approve.


Chapter 1

They were sitting in the cracked vinyl booth of a diner, in a town just left of the middle of nowhere, when they heard the magic words. Those words that always had their ears perking up no matter what they were doing. Dean stopped with a fry halfway to his mouth. Sam's eyes slid in the direction of the conversation they'd just silently decided to eavesdrop on.

At the little table crammed into the corner sat two women. One had a curtain of dark hair and enormous eyes that made her look permanently terrified. The other's hair was a shade of red not previously found in nature. Her dangly earrings jingled every time she spoke.

"It's really weird," said the dark haired woman. Her hair fell forward as if it were trying to hide her from view. "I mean, it's horrible, but it's so weird, right? Poor Anne. First Tom dying and now Jeff. It's like she's cursed or something." She shook her head and leaned further over the table towards her friend. Their heads bowed together over the formica tabletop. "People are calling her a black widow."

The red haired woman put her lips to her straw, poking it into the ice at the bottom of the cup and trying to suction up the last drops of her soda from it. The sound was insanely loud compared to their whispered conversation. She shook her head setting her earrings to ringing again. "Not a chance. She really loved Jeff. Can't imagine walking into that. Can you?" She looked at her friend for confirmation and a complicated look passed between them. When they were done their eyes had doubled in size. "I heard there were… parts missing."

The first woman laughed a little shrilly. She looked down at her rapidly congealing tuna melt. "I can't believe people are trying to blame her. Just because of Tom…" She shook her head again, a little harder this time as if she could negate the entire conversation. "No. Nope. There's just no way. I've known Anne since preschool. She won't even dye her hair. Thinks it's a sin. She wouldn't kill anyone."

The redhead nodded again. "Gives me the shivers. What if the person who killed him was still there? They could've gotten her too." She shuddered and both women fell silent.

Sam and Dean sat listening in case there was more but the two women just stared at their half eaten food. After a while they started talking about something they'd seen on TV, plastic smiles glued firmly in place.

The brothers bent their heads together.

Sam was the first to speak. "We're busy."

"With what?" Dean popped another couple of fries in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully. "Wouldn't hurt to check it out."

A scowl creased Sam's face. "We're busy."

The waitress swung by their table, neatly interrupting the conversation before it could turn into an argument. "You boys need anything else?" she asked after she'd topped off their coffee.

"Check," Sam said.

"Pie," Dean answered at the same time, shooting Sam a hard look. "Was that apple pie I saw when we walked in?"

After a quick glance between the brothers, she nodded. "Best in town."

Dean ordered two slices and went back to ignoring Sam's glare while he finished his food. He wouldn't say it was the best bacon cheeseburger he'd ever had but the bacon was so thick it was practically a meal all by itself. He chased the crispy scraps around the plate when he'd finished everything else. He could feel the heat of Sam's eyes on him but he'd had decades of practice at pretending not to notice.

"Bobby's expecting us," Sam reminded him.

"Don't think he'll mind waiting until after I've had some pie."

"I was talking about the murder. We can't stay."

"Oh. That." The vinyl seat squeaked as Dean moved to make way for the little plate of pie the waitress dropped in front of him. She deposited the other in front of Sam who made a sour face at it. "Dude, don't blame the pie." Dean picked up his fork. "Besides, what else are we gonna do?"

"How about find Lilith?"

"Bobby's working on it. You've had your nose buried in moldy books for weeks. So far we got nothing. Why not hang around here and check out the freaky murder case?"

Sam's frown threatened to crack his face in half and plop onto the table in his untouched pie. "You're going to Hell in less than three weeks if we don't find her," Sam hissed. "At least pretend to care."

Dean chewed his pie carefully. Not bad. Just the right amount of cinnamon. Not too tart. He took another bite, waiting until after he'd swallowed to answer. "I care, Sammy. A lot. But, again, we got nothing. The bitch might as well be invisible 'cause we can't find her. I'm not gonna spend my last few weeks as a free man pulling my hair out." He stabbed into the middle of his pie so hard the fork scraped the plate.


He put up his fork to stop Sam. "First, I'm going to eat my pie and if you don't start eating yours I'm eating that, too. Then I'm gonna get a newspaper and do some snooping on this Anne chick and the freaky deaths because that's what we do and, if by some miracle this is our kinda job, I'm gonna enjoy taking apart the son of a bitch who's responsible." His grip tightened on his fork and he looked back down at his plate. Most of the pie seemed to have disappeared while he was talking. He couldn't even remember eating it. He waved his fork in the direction of Sam's plate. "You gonna eat that?"

Dean leaned against the side of the Impala and steadfastly pretended he couldn't hear Sam bitching into the phone not ten feet away. Seriously. Sam wasn't fooling anyone with that stage whisper. Deaf people could have heard him complaining. Death wish, blah, blah, blah. Stupid, blah, blah. Waste of time, blah, blah. Dean had heard it all before with increasing frequency over the last year. This was exactly why he'd tried to keep the deal a secret. Couldn't even let a man die in peace.

Dean glued his eyes to the newspaper and finally found what he was looking for. The story had even made the front page of the little local paper. He was impressed. Then again, mysterious deaths were always a big draw even if the cops tried to call it a botched robbery with a side order of murder.

According to the article, one Anne Montgomery had gone to visit her fiancé after work and found him lying in a pool of his own blood, very dead and possibly missing some of his more important organs. The article was nice and vague but Dean got the gist of it anyway. Violent attack. Alibi for the time of the crime. No suspects yet. It was all a little unusual for a small town but nothing so far outside the realm of normal as to draw major suspicion. Maybe Sam was right.

Then again, maybe he wasn't.

The girl at the diner had mentioned something about another guy and this girl Anne. This was the part where Dean would have sicced Sam on the computer to do some research. Of course Sam was still on the phone with Bobby and, from the sounds of it, they were both in agreement on Dean being an idiot. He refolded the newspaper and tossed it into the backseat.

"Sam, I'm gonna use your computer to check out some porn. You cool with that?"

It was like flipping a switch. Sam was off the phone and at his side in a heartbeat.

"Don't touch my laptop."

Sam towered over his brother as if that would intimidate him. On the contrary, Dean smiled. "I need to look something up."

"No, you don't."

"It's research."

"Busty Asian Beauties is not research." Sam made a face, no doubt recalling a psychologically scarring moment between Dean and his favorite porn site.

"Hey, the female body is a beautiful, beautiful thing. But that's not what I meant."

The motel room was wallpapered with a giant palm leaf pattern in a particularly violent shade of green with orange veins. A wicker lattice stood between the door and the beds offering the illusion of privacy without actually providing any. Pillow thick comforters in green and golden yellow smothered the beds but the sheets beneath were tucked with military precision. And for once the floor was free of mystery spots on the carpet. All in all, it was probably one of the nicer places they'd stayed.

"Why did I let you talk me into this?" Sam asked as he dropped his bag next to the door of their newest motel accommodations.

Dean was already on the bed nearest the door, legs stretched out and hands tucked behind his head. "Because I'm awesome," was his response.

Sam ignored him in lieu of setting up his laptop at the little round table beside the room's only window. In no time, he was tapping away at the keys with a familiar wrinkle between his brows.

"Find something?" Dean asked. He was off the bed and headed Sam's way when he thought better of it. He backtracked to his duffel bag, pulling out his portable arsenal and arranging it on the bed beside him. Nothing spelled relaxation like field stripping his favorite gun. While he was at it, he could sharpen his knife, too.

"Yeah. Maybe." Sam glanced at him, taking an extra moment to eye the gun Dean was dismantling. He sat silent, watching his brother struggle with the barrel a second before it came free. "Woman at the diner mentioned some guy named Tom," he said, turning back to the laptop screen with a frown. "Name was Tom Jones." Dean chuckled. "Like I was saying, Tom was Anne's fiancé. Found their engagement announcement from a few years back."

"Thought she was engaged to that Jeff guy," Dean said without looking up from his gun. He'd laid the pieces out on the bed beside him and was already checking everything over with a critical eye.

"She was engaged to them both. Tom died about a month before their wedding, again under mysterious circumstances. No suspects. Case it still unsolved. That was two years ago."

"What about fiancé number two?"

There was more tapping of keys and different windows overlaying each other on the laptop screen. "Jeff Tyler. Engaged to Anne Montgomery," he read, eyes scanning the page he'd just pulled up. "Mother and father deceased. Wedding was set for a month from now."

The slide clicked back into place and Dean set his reassembled gun aside. "Anything else?"

"I still think this is a waste of time."

Dean grinned. "Duly noted and ignored." Then he started rooting around in his bag for his whetstone. "So how did dear ole Tom die?"

Sam let out a huff of air and more tapping ensued. "There's only so much I can find without getting into the official records."

"Thought you were a genius hacker," Dean mumbled, hunched over as he ran his knife along the stone with a scrape. "I'm disappointed in you, Sammy."

"Can you put that away?" Sam slid the laptop back so he could turn in the chair. "What are we even doing here, Dean? A murder is hardly suspicious. We should be at Bobby's by now."

"I dunno but I got this feeling. My Spidey sense is tingling or something." Dean looked up. "Just… humor me. There's something here."

"Your feelings have been wrong before," Sam reminded him with a smirk but they both knew the battle had already been won. At least for now.

"You're just pissed 'cause I got all the instincts." He held up his knife to the light inspecting the edge for nicks. "Perfect. We can hit the morgue and check out the dead guy tomorrow."