Rabbits Running

A/N: 6218 words. For and beta'd by [info]cee. Notes on the title are below. Coda to 2x05, Simon Said.

Restlessness sets in just after the job with Andy, who can make people do whatever he wants. Who could make Dean give him a joyride in the Impala, but who left the keys in the ignition, not a scratch on her. Not a killer, until he met them.

Sam decides to stay at the roadhouse for a day or two, doing some cross-checking with Ash, and Dean announces he's gonna take off for a day or two, go make some money. Sam looks at him sideways, but doesn't say anything beyond can you at least try to stay out of trouble?

Dean makes no promises.

He drives at night, not far. One town flashes in his rear-view, then two, and when the next lights come up on a bright little sign (Welcome to Our Town, Home of the Unique Roadside Attraction!) Dean pulls into a little bar on a corner of the main street, and sits down at a table. He orders whiskey, neat, and a beer.

It takes him a while. The lights are flashing, jukebox playing, Thursday night and the locals are out. When finally one of them catches his eye, it's not the one he was expecting.

He came in looking for a sweet young thing, maybe a college kid home on break; someone with dark hair, dark eyes and an easy smile, no questions asked. The one at the bar - a thirtysomething with red highlights and a rack to write home about - she's not what Dean was after at all. When she tosses back her shot, the move is practiced and fluid. Her eyes hold too much; no questions, but only because she already knows the answers to the ones Dean would ask. Come here often. What do you do. Anybody ever tell you you've got great eyes.

So he asks the waitress to add one of whatever she's drinking to his tab, and lets it go at that.

He watches the bartender bring her the shot, and point him out. When she looks, he raises his glass.

He should smile. He should go over there, charm her out of her scepticism. That's how this works. But he stays glued to the seat, sips his beer and leans on his elbows on the table. Still not the right time, he guesses. Still in the wrong place.

And then the chair opposite him pulls out, and he looks up, surprised.

"Hey," she says, sitting down with the shot that he bought her. She sets it down on the table and pushes it toward him. "You look like you need this more than me. I don't usually share the private stock, but I think I can make an exception this time."

He picks up the glass and laughs a little. "Private stock? They keep a bottle behind the bar for you?"

"No," she says, smiling as he tilts the glass against his lips. It burns like a son of a bitch, spicy and warm, makes him cough a little because he wasn't expecting it. She leans back in her chair. "I make it."

It warms his chest, his fingertips, and he smiles at her now. (Apparently, his body has only just remembered how to be charming.) "I didn't think you'd come over," he says, and feels like an idiot in the next second.

She looks away, across the brightly lit room with all its bodies and conversation - some young things, some easy laughs - and shrugs. "I felt like some company," she says, and it seems to Dean like she means more than she's saying.

"I know how that goes," he says, and means that a little too much, too. "I'm Dean," he tells her.

She smiles at him, and tells him her name, and they shake hands to seal the deal.

He doesn't ask why she's lonely in a room full of people from her own town. She doesn't ask why he's blowing through town in a classic car if he wants to get to know someone. He lets it lie that she doesn't seem to have a car, and she fails to mention that it's odd, how it seems the passenger side seat of his car wants someone else in it.

Dean, being Dean, can't help but look over at her as they pass under the streetlights. Her thighs shape the beaten old jeans, pressed and creased over the gentle curves. Her jacket's got a patch on the arm, something military, faded and folding. She looks a little tense, scanning the sides of the road as casually alert as he would be.

Dean starts to say something about that - are you sure about this, Miss, I could just drop you at home - but realizes just as he draws in the breath he'd need to start talking that, if he said it, it'd sound dumb. He'd sound like he thinks she doesn't know what she's doing. It'd sound like he was condescending to her.

He just came to get laid, he thinks. He doesn't need twenty questions. If she doesn't want this, she'll say so.

"Turn right here," she says. "Pull into the driveway, right... Right there. See it?"

He turns, obedient, and pulls in, past the draping trees that slide over the Impala's roof. It's a long driveway, and she guides him all the way to the back, away from the street. When he cuts the engine, the streetlights seem far away. He turns to her, puts his arm up on the back of the seat, and before he can say hey-listen-I-think-we-should-maybe, she's across the seat and pressing up against his chest, her mouth on his.

She tastes like ripe, tart raspberries. Dean's only human.

He lets his hands settle on her hips, gripping hard onto the denim. He pulls her closer and she comes to him, settling against his body. They break for air, and Dean can smell clover and lilac drifting in from the garden. The lights seem brighter, and he feels a weight lift off him, just a little.

"Dean," she whispers, rubbing his cheek with her thumb. "Come in with me."

"Okay," he says, and smiles at her.

He has to wait on her front porch, his hands in his pockets, as she opens three or four locks. "Can't have anybody pawing through the money tree," she says, smooth as anything, and leads him inside. She locks everything behind him, and a door chain. Dean feels like he’s secretly in the Bronx.

"Take off your boots," she instructs, toeing off her sneakers and padding off into the house.

Dean kneels down and picks at his laces. He's about halfway done when he feels someone staring at him. He looks up at a pair of wide, yellow eyes, watching him intently. "Here, kitty," he beckons, and holds out his hand. The black and grey furball streaks off, scratching at the floor, just as the woman walks back in carrying two mugs. She's lost the jacket, and her dark hair falls softly across her shoulders, bared by the wine-red tank top she wears. A gold cross sparkles low on her chest, just brushing against the tops of her breasts. Dean looks up at her, shrugs and smiles. "I guess she doesn't like me."

"He doesn't like anybody," she smiles, and holds out a cup. "Coffee?"

Dean stands, pushes his boots into the corner, and takes it. "Thanks. Black and sugar, how'd you know?"

She nods, barely smiling. "Just had a feeling," she says quietly. "Come on."

When she starts to climb the stairs, Dean just stares after her, unsure. He hasn't had a woman in a long time. Too long, he'd thought, and so here he is, but now he's standing in front of her, all the reasons he shouldn't be are creeping in at the edges. Too much to do. Sammy's left alone, Demon's still out there. It could get him, it could be coming. The fucking thing is always coming, Dad tried to warn them, but.


She half-turns on the stairs, her eyes glinting in the dark. "Come on, Dean," she says again. "Don't forget."

She starts climbing again, and he blinks, confused. Forget? He puts the coffee down on a table to climb up after her. "Forget what?"

He walks up zigzag stairs, and instinct makes him note the drying fennel, acacia and yarrow flowers hung in the window. Maybe they're just wildflowers, he thinks. Maybe not. She's wearing a cross, though, so that's reassuring.

It's dark upstairs, and it smells like baking, like sugar, with some kind of sour aftertaste, if smell can have that. "Forget what?" he asks again, feeling his way down the hall. "Hello?"

A door opens, down the far end, and she's there, a silhouette. "Sorry. I don't need the light, so."

Cautiously, warily, he makes his way toward her. "No problem. " The light is warm, low, and he can see a thick carpet under his feet and wallpaper on the walls; there’s nothing to get upset about. "What do you want me to remember?" he asks again, and he can see the curve of her cheek as she smiles.

"What you're here for," she says, and her hands come to the hem of her shirt, and up higher, over her head. She tosses it to him, and heads into the room, treating Dean to a view of her perfect breasts, offered up to Dean in a pretty green satin package.

He smiles, the fabric warming his hands. "Right. That'd be downright criminal." He follows after her, pulling his jacket off his shoulders.

It’s dim in her bedroom. The roof is angular, and both it and the floor are bare-boarded. There are hand-knotted mats on the polished honey floorboards, and above Dean's head, she's painted it a deep ruby red. He lays his jacket by the foot of her big, heavy, wood-framed bed, and comes up behind her.

She's dropping jewelry down onto the nightstand, a piece at a time. Dean lets his hands slide around her stomach, his hips press against hers and his mouth trace over her shoulder. She keeps letting rings and bracelets chime down into the dish, right up until the minute his hands reach her bra and his thumbs trace under the wire. Then, she stops. "Dean," she says, and her voice is whispery and good.

He hums against her neck, lets his hips sway against her and opens his mouth. He can smell spice on her, organic and earthy.

"One second," she whispers, squirming in his arms. "Just one. Second, baby, hold on to that thought." She turns, kisses his mouth swiftly, and he smiles at her with a little devil in it, because he can see her cheeks are flushed, and her eyes are darkened. She just huffs a little breath and scoots over to her dresser.

Dean pulls off his t-shirt as the sound of a striking match fills the air, and the brief scent of sulphur. A candle flickers to life, and then a second, a third. She flicks it out with a twist of her wrist, and then opens a drawer and sifts through it, quick.

As the soft light of the candles paint the room, Dean relaxes. He's not a worrier, he never has been. He'll worry himself into a heart attack if he's not careful, and one was enough, thanks. He stretches his arms up over his head and reaches for the sky, feeling the burn of tired muscles soothe and loosen.

She turns back to him carrying a narrow, slick cardboard box, and has to pause to look him over. "Damn," she smiles, and tosses the condoms on the table so she can lay her hands on his chest, touch him slow.

He smiles and drops his hands, watching her do what she wants for a moment. She didn't mention his scars. That's rare.

Her fingertips travel over the swells and ridges of muscle. She brushes across his nipples and he shifts, but she moves down over his ribs, her palms against him, soaking up the heat. When she leans in to press a kiss to his sternum, her mouth is soft and wet. "Aren't you gonna touch me?" she murmurs, her hands coming delicately up over his back as she pushes her breasts against him. "You're not shy, are you?"

Dean takes her by the shoulders and pulls her back, just an inch or two so she'll look up at him. When he can find her eyes, he traces a thumb over her cheek. "Honey, I've been hustled by a lot of people, but no question, you're one of the best I ever met."

She looks at him, struck. "I'm not hustling you," she says indignantly. "That's pretty harsh." She tries to pull away, but he holds her around the waist.

"What are you after?" he asks, searching her eyes. "You want me, fine, but what else is there? I know there's something. You're jumpy as a hen in a foxhouse." She's soft and she smells nice; Dean might be suspicious but he's still a man.

"What are you talking about?" She demands, eyes fiery. She pushes away from him and he lets her go this time, lets her pace away and cross her arms over her chest. It makes her cleavage deeper, plumper, and Dean knows he's being played, but he just can't bring himself to care. The candlelight is deep and mellow, and he feels it echo in his gut.

He walks up behind her and puts his hands on her shoulders. "What is it? You can tell me. Boyfriend treat you bad, need someone to throw him out for you? You wouldn't be the first girl in the world to have a problem the cops won't handle."

She laughs. Right out loud, and turns around to face him. "Honey, believe you me, there is no problem around here the cops won't handle."

There's darkness there, a grim amusement that sets Dean back on his heels. That felt like the truth.

"Okay," he says. "So it's not that."

"I oughta smack you," she says, putting her hands on her hips. Dean's eyes are drawn instantly down, which is tactically bad, but he just can't seem to help himself. And it twigs, yes, of course – something going on here, something not right – but even so, Dean isn't threatened. Something about this girl, the way she acts. Maybe it's the cat fur on that one rug, the cross around her neck. Maybe it's the patchwork quilt, or the way she's acting spooked, even though she's not exactly jumpy. Truth be told, even though those candles smell like dark oil and cedar, he can't bring himself to be afraid of her.

Besides, he can handle it. She's just one girl.

She shoves him then, hard, and he stumbles. "Hey," he exclaims, catching himself on the low post.

"God, you're so arrogant."

"Maybe I am," Dean allows, his calves pressed against her bed. "But you haven't put your shirt back on."

"Observant," she huffs, and comes up to him again.

Dean can't stop himself; he draws a soft fingertip down her arm. "What do you want from me?" he asks, soft.

"Just this," she says, shivering with the touch. "I'll even make you breakfast, if you want, in the morning before you go."

Dean lowers his head again, he wants to taste that tart sweetness again. She opens up for him perfectly, her arm wrapping around his neck. Her body glides against his and Dean closes his hands on her waist, lifts her against his chest.

She moans into his mouth, easy as that, and his fingers tighten. He feels her gasp, clutch his shoulders, and then it seems he's falling back, the bed coming up to support him, springy and soft.

She spreads out over top of him, straddling his hips. Dean, she whispers, kissing his jaw as he fucks with the hook parts on the back of her bra. "Please, yes."

The world tilts a little as the green scrap comes off. Dean feels something small and soft fall down his ribcage and onto the bed. "What's that?" he asks, and looks down just in time to see her scoop a little cloth bag off the bed and toss it over the foot of the bed.

"Just a little potpourri thing I carry around," she whispers, her nose pressed up behind his ear and her nipples poking his chest. "Don't worry about it."

He buys that like he'd buy that cops hate donuts, but it doesn't stop him rolling her over and kissing down her neck, over the delicate bones at her collar and down to her breasts. True to her word, it smells like an herb garden in the warm crease, but Dean kisses and licks anyway, and tastes licorice in with her salt. He cups her in his hands, bites at her skin, and she just gets hotter, twisting and making sweet little noises for him, high in her throat.

His hands pull at the button on her jeans, popping it open. "Yeah," she huffs, trying to help. "Mmm, yeah, please."

The air in here seems hazy, close and heavy. Dean feels it swirl around them, thick. The candles, maybe? It's hard to care, because he tugs the scratchy blue fabric down and her scent rises up from between her legs, her sea-green panties hiding her from him, the tease. His cock throbs insistently in his jeans, the same heavy thud he can feel in the air, and on her skin.

He nuzzles against her and she spreads open for him, wide and wanting. He feels her fingers in his hair clutch and pull, "Do it, god, do it."

He draws the scrap of fabric aside with two fingers, brushing against her, and she bites her lip hard, her hips tense.

Carefully, he presses two fingers into her. She's tight, but she's ready, and he smirks a little as he blows a little puff of air over her, teasing her like she's played with him.

She whimpers high in her throat, and rocks her hips against his hand. The scent of her is dizzying, spiced and hot like the fruits of her still, and Dean leans in to taste.

She moans loud and long when his tongue slides over her clit; she clamps down on his hand and pushes against him. "Dean," she demands. "Dean, please, I need you now."

"Hm-mm," he murmurs, shaking his head and licking at her again. He wants more of this, wants to hear her cry out and come for him, feel her slick up his fingers and beg some more. But then there's a sharp pain, she's tugging at his hair, making him lift his head. He looks up at her, growls his displeasure, but she's sitting up and tugging at his belt, so he loses his train of thought and presses his tongue to the roof of his mouth, feeling the ghost of her burn against his lips.

Clever little fingers slide his zipper down, shove at the denim. "Help me," she says, breathless, and he does just that. He's almost free of them, twisting and kneeling, when she pulls on his arm and he falls onto his back on the bed, his jeans at his ankles.

She's on top of him instantly, straddling his knee and tossing her hair over her shoulder so she can drag her tongue up his cock. "Son of a bitch," he snarls, shoving his hand into her hair.

She opens her mouth over the head, slow and savoring him like he's made of candy; she moans a little and Dean thinks he might die. When she starts to suck on him, her little fist wrapped around the shaft and squeezing, that's when he starts to think longingly about the condoms on the table.

Her lips are soft, her mouth is wet, and against his knee her pussy brushes, hot. She mouths over his cock, all sloppy and soft, and he drags in a breath through gritted teeth. "Stop," he grinds out. "You have to stop."

She makes a little whine, deep in the back of her throat, and then she's crawling up his body and settling across his lap, rubbing against him like a cat. "Dean," she whispers. "Please."

Her hand slides between them, gripping him hard, and he can feel himself stabbing against her as she pushes her hips at him. "Wait," he says. "Condom..."

She just shakes her head. "Not yet," she says, and then things line up right and she sinks down onto him, making them both cry out.

His hands clamp down on her hips. "Stop. Stop, god, you have to stop."

She's pulsing around him, her head thrown back, mouth open. "No, no stop, Dean, please... " She twists against him, grinding her clit down against him, and she shivers and groans, her cunt clutching at him.

But Dean has never gotten a girl pregnant and he is not about to start now. He lifts her up, slides lower on the bed and out of her. "Condom," he says firmly. "Or we're done."

She sighs. "Fine," she says, and leans down to kiss him. Dean figures that's safe enough, a kiss, and lets her cup his face and flick her raspberry tongue over his lips. When she's done with that, she leans over and grabs the little box, tears it open and pulls one out. "Can I put it on you?" she asks, and Dean nods and leans back.

He feels the tightness of it sliding on and over, feels her carefully pinch at the tip (which sends a shiver down him) before rolling it down, crinkling in his ears.

"There," she says, and starts to slide on top of him again.

When Dean grabs her around the waist and rolls them over, her on her back and him looming over her to kiss her, she squeaks and laughs, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him back.

Dean lifts over her and pushes her legs apart. She holds him to her, kissing at him. "Do it," she says, and reaches down between them again. Dean waits for her eager hand to close on him, hot and tight, and then bucks against her, kisses her mouth as she groans.

"Put me inside you," he tells her, low and rough, and watches as she turns her face away and colors bright pink, biting her lip. "Do it," he demands, pushing against her hand, and she shivers, a tremoring little sound escaping her.

Her fingers guide him to her entrance, and she wraps her legs around him. "Dean," she pleads, and he can't hold it back.

His first thrust inside her is deep and full, and the air seems to go solid for a moment, unbreatheable. She isn't breathing either, and Dean pulls out just enough to slam back in again.

She clings to his shoulders, her nails biting into him. She's making tiny little nothing sounds, her legs so tight around him that he can hardly move. Her cunt wrings at him, making him gasp.

Dean rams his hips against hers and it works, she loosens up around him, but not before she makes his eyes flutter closed with how good it feels just to give it to her, hard and perfect. "Dean," she cries again, and he starts to shove against her, setting a strong, hard rhythm.

"Right here, baby, come on, give it up."

Her nails dig in as he shoves against her; he can see she's biting her lip, her eyes screwed shut. The light in the room jumps and flickers, candle flames leaping, and the air presses in again, hot all around them. "Dean, please,” she begs, and he grinds against her clit, wanting to make her come, she hasn't come yet. That shouldn't be possible. He gives at least three; it's a personal standard.

Her hands scrape down his back to his ass and she grips him tight, sealing them together. "Oh, god," she groans, her eyes closed and fluttering. And then he feels her fingers pressing closer, feels one of them close, too close, and she pushes inside him without so much as asking, and bears down on his cock, he can't breathe, and Jesus fucking Christ, it's too much, too much...

He slams into her and against her, twitching inside her as he comes, lightning firing all through his nerves, over his skin. He barely registers her grinding herself against him, screaming with pleasure as she tightens around him, finally, finally.

When Dean returns to himself, it's to feel her wiggling out from underneath him. Being a gentleman, he rolls carefully to the side and flops onto his back. The motion pulls him free of her, and he shudders.

She cuddles up to his side. "I'm gonna hit the little girl's room," she smiles, kissing his cheek. He turns to her and kisses her mouth, feeling ultimately mellow. As she stands up and scoots out of the room, Dean watches her go, smiling. The candles leap and flare when she opens the door, and again when she closes it behind her. His arm under his head, Dean waits, satisfied.

Perhaps it's a shift in the air. Some open door somewhere, or a little noise. Whatever it is, it seems to tug at the edge of his consciousness: Dean, it says. Why don't you go and check on her.

It's only as he rolls out of bed and starts to pad out of the room that he realizes: something is missing.

He is not wearing a condom.

But that makes no sense. He felt it go on. He heard the sound of it. He knows the difference between latex and no latex, he can tell, it's impossible. Suddenly angry, Dean pulls open the door and slips down the corridor, listening for any sound. Halfway down, he almost trips over the stairs to the attic, going up.

One by one he takes the stairs, shifting his weight slow so he makes no sound. Up at the top, he can hear her voice, low and muttering. The air is thick up here, too, full of incense and heat, the tingling weight he felt in the bedroom. Pushing past it, Dean climbs up higher, crouching on the floor of the attic as he makes his way closer. The flickering light of candles isn't the easiest to see by, but he's good at making his way when he can't see. There are trunks and boxes aplenty to hide among up here, just like a normal girl's attic.

Where she stands, there's a clearing. A table in front of her is laden with a dozen different items, and Dean's instincts in, making him try to focus his eyes through the heavy haze. He catalogs the clutch of bone wrapped with twine, the poppet and the feathers, the wax and the shining, double-bladed knife. A music box, a handkerchief, a compass: relics.

Between her thighs, Dean can see a glistening.

The air bears down on him, closing in. Dean can see stars in his vision as he struggles to breathe, and as her voice gets stronger, he hears a hollow roar in his ears, blinks and shakes his head.

He is standing in her kitchen. There she is, but nothing like she is now – instead of standing, she curls in on herself. Instead of challenging, she's trying to be invisible. Dean goes to her, but she can't see him.

Just as he reaches her side, he hears a clatter – silverware spilling down over the floor. A tall man holds her drawer in his meaty fist, and smirks at her. The light glints off the gold star pinned to his chest.

"Think you're untouchable up on this hill?" the man demands. "Hidden back in your trees, you think nobody can see what you do. Well, I see you, missie."

Slowly, the man starts to stalk toward her. His whole bearing is menacing, designed to intimidate. He's a heavy guy, probably bench two hundred or more. Dean thinks he could take him pretty easy.

"You're selling that pig piss like it's gasoline. What'd you put in it? Your... female juice, is that it?" Dean cringes. The man's got spittle on his lips and an unholy fire in his eye. He advances on the girl, Dean's girl, and doesn't seem to see the disgust in her eyes.

The man continues: "Pretty girl like you oughtn't to be messin with such... un-Christian things," he breathes, sour into her face. He touches her cheek, too hard. "Ought find yourself a man. One as can... handle a filly like you."

Dean feels a powerful urge to do violence. His fists itch. If he is nauseated by the man's behavior, it's nothing compared to the look on her face.

"Sheriff," she whispers. "Go to Hell. And take your filthy squad car off my lawn."

The sheriff laughs. It's a sick sound, vicious and stupid. "Girl, you know who you're messin with? I think you're getting a bit big for those britches of yours." He advances on her, his hand out as if he'd show her the britches in question.

He watches her smile, and in this half-light he can see the light thicken around her body, slide into his. "I don't think that's necessary, Sheriff, do you?" The light tightens on him, and his face becomes confused. "I think," she continues, "that you want to turn right around and go on home. Nothing for you to see here."

"Yeah. I'll go home," he repeats dully, and turns around. He walks out the door, and closes it behind him. Dean hears the cruiser start up a few moments later.

She sags against the counter, her face ashen. As she struggles to get her breath, the little black and silver cat pads in, and rubs against her legs. "Helo," she sighs, sinking down to sit on the floor and pet the cat's head. Helo purrs, and rubs his face against her some more. She strokes him, her hand shaking. "I can't do this by myself," she confides in the blissfully purring kitten. "I'm going to need some help."

Pressure singing through his head, Dean slides down the stairs, hitting the bottom hard. He clutches his head, staggers back against the wall and listens to the ringing in his ears, sure that he's going to pop an aneurysm any second.

The house holds its breath, waiting.

And then, like a heavy thump to the chest, Dean feels something vital rush out of him. His legs won't hold him; he falls to the floor, and passes out.

"Dean? Dean? Damn stupid kid, why would you get out of bed? Dean! Wake up!"

His vision clears again to see her crouched in front of him, practically glowing with how gorgeous she is. Dean’s in the hall, still, but the air is clear and the stairs to the attic are gone.

Not just folded back up; gone. When he looks up at the ceiling, he can't see anything, not a line, not a cord.

"Dean?" She's got a hand on his cheek, soft and gentle, and she looks into his face, all concerned. He stands up with every intention of shoving her back against the wall and demanding to know what the fuck she thought she was doing, but finds himself dizzy and weak, leaning against the wall before he knows he fell back against it. She shakes her head. "Come on, now, sugar, you better lie down. You fainted. It's the altitude, happens to lots of people up here."

He looks at her narrowly, hand pressed to his chest. "All due respect, lady, because you know I don't like to insult witches when they got the better of me, but it ain't the freakin altitude."

Her eyes go wide, and she takes a short little breath. "What?"

"You heard me," Dean says firmly. "You wanna tell me what you took outta me, and when you're planning on giving it back?"

She breathes heavy, her eyes round and pretty. "Well. If that don't beat all." She sits down on the floor, scoots back a little so she can lean against the wall next to him. He glares at her, but really, it's the way he glares at Sam.

She does her best to look contrite, and leans her drawn-up knees. "I'm sorry, Dean. I swear I didn't take anything. Just... borrowed. Couple of days and you'll be good as new."

He gives her a hard look. "You didn't think of just asking me?"

She can't hold back a little laugh. "Dean, honey. Be serious. I might know a thing or two, but I can't read your mind. How would I know that you know how things are?"

He goes to answer her but feels his head roll, the beginnings of a headache. "You hurt my head," he grouses, and she rubs his arm.

"Aw, baby. I really am sorry about that, but you should have stayed in bed. Coulda just gone straight to sleep."

Dean snorts. "I'll keep that in mind for next time," he says, in a voice thick with sarcasm. "How long did you say before I'm a hundred percent?"

"Couple of days," she promises, tracing an x over her breast. Dean pays attention to that. Can’t seem to help himself. "I'm good for that breakfast, anything your little heart desires. You won't even notice it, I bet, after a few hours sleep."

Dean laughs. "Oh, no, I think I better be going right now," he says. Carefully, he stands up, and she stands up with him, reaching to steady him.

"Dean," she tries. "Sit down. You know you can't drive."

"I can drive," he slurs, as they make their way to the bedroom. "I've driven in worse condition than this, believe me."

"Of course I believe you," she soothes. As they pick their way through the door and over to the bed, Dean feels a dreamy kind of lassitude taking him over. The flickering candles steady, and he feels warmed by their golden light, their cedar scent. Her hand is warm on his arm, and he needs to sit down to put on his pants anyway. Why not the bed? It looks soft. She eases him down and pushes on his shoulders, a gentle smile on her face. "Easy, there, tiger. Why don't we get some sleep? You'll feel better in the morning."

That sounds like a great idea; Dean's exhausted. He pulls himself up on the bed and finds a pillow. She curls in beside him and he wraps his arm around, cuddling her close.

She's a nice girl.

Dean breezes into the roadhouse. "Sammy!" he calls. "Come on, up and at 'em, let's hit the road!"

Sam drains off the rest of his cup of coffee and stands up. Ellen nods at them, vaguely distant, as always. "Thanks," Sam says to her. "I really appreciate you, uh. Letting me use your genius for a while."

He gives her a shy little half-smile, and she can't help but laugh. Sam hollers a goodbye to Ash and then they're gone.

"Where's Jo?" Dean asks as they head out to the car.

Sam looks at him skeptically. "Getting salt, I think. Why do you ask?"

Dean shrugs. "I dunno. She's supposed to be there, she wasn't."

"Sure," Sam says, and despite the fact that his brother's totally off the mark (again), Dean lets it lie. There's an easy silence for a bit while Sam stows his gear and climbs in the front seat. They pull off the dusty gravel, heading for the interstate.

"So," Sam says, once the road's turned paved under them. "How'd you make out?"

"What?" Dean looks at him sharply - has he gotten more psychic? Cause that'd just be awkward.

"Making money?" Sam drawls out expectantly. "The reason you left? How'd you do?"

"Oh, that," Dean says, laughing a little. "Not so good. I got distracted. I met up with this witch..." Over the next ten miles, Dean tells his brother about most of the details - the attic room, the woman with the problem, hoodoo on the loose and lo, in the morning I got homemade pancakes. Standard Winchester terrain. Sam laughs at him, of course Dean would get into trouble like that, and Dean laughs too. It's nice to laugh - he hasn't done it in a good long time.

"So," Sam says, still grinning. "What was her name?"

"...Um." Dean wracks his brain. "It's right there, tip of his tongue. Uhhh. I'm sure she told me."

Sam shakes his head. "You're a dog."

"No, man, seriously. I was at the bar, and I ordered her a drink, and she... "

Rolling his eyes, Sam glares at Dean hard. "Do you remember the name of the bar?"

Dean stares at him.

"Name of the town?"

They stare at each other.

Finally, Dean just shrugs, and turns back to the road. Sam shakes his head. "You wanna come up with an excuse for why you can't win at pool, dude, you gotta do better than that."

"...Man, shut up."

the title, rabbits' running, is a few things. first, it's the name of the town. there are rabbit trails all over. second, it's a lyric from [ season of the witch ], and i would like you all to please that it's the dr. john version, yes indeed.