The ride back to the motel was eerily quite. As expected Dean had thrown a fit at seeing his car haphazardly parked and abandoned. Sam had attempted to explain why the car was left in its current state only to be met by a 20 minute lecture by Dean on the proper handling of his car and how his driving privileges would be revoked if he didn't comply in the future. Sam simply nodded in agreement, not believing a word of the threat considering that at the moment he was the one driving the car while Dean sat in back and nursed his wounds. After Dean's rant ended silence had blanketed the car.
Angela didn't speak a word except for the occasional command of 'left' or 'right' as she gave Sam directions back to her house. None of the Winchesters truthfully believed that Angela bought the explanation that she had been fed. Dean had explained to her how they had met in the bar and had begun discussing the local legend about a ghost who kills farmers. Then, after a few too many drinks, they had all wandered into the woods to see if the legend was true. Dean had managed to fall and cut himself on a rock and that of course was when Angela woke up and ironically, she was no longer drunk.
Angela had raised an eyebrow at the story but hadn't uttered a word about doubting it. It didn't really matter if she did. By the time she managed to retell the odd tale to her friends or God forbid the local authorities, Sam, Dean and Shane would be far away from this small town hell.
As directed, Sam dropped Angela off a block away from her house. Sam theorized that she didn't want any of them knowing the exact location of her house, most likely out of fear. She mumbled a quick 'goodbye' and 'thanks for the ride' before slipping out of the front seat and hurrying off towards her house. She twisted her head around once to glance back at the car full of watching eyes before picking up her pace and scurrying down the street.
Sam waited until she was fully out of view before he revved the engine and sped off towards the direction of the motel. The rest of the ride was filled with the sounds of Metallica which Dean had insisted Sam blast from the stereo and Sam's occasional question of "are you okay?" directed towards the back seat where Dean and Shane were seated, Dean steadily lip-synching to the music, Shane resting her head against the window in an unsuccessful attempt at sleep.
At a little after 3:30 am Sam pulled into the motel parking lot and jammed the car into park. Half an hour later the three of them were in the motel room working out sleeping arrangements. There were only two beds and three people to accommodate.
"I'm wounded, I get a bed." Dean smirked as he slipped off his shoes and hopped into the bed closest to the door. Shane was amazed at how quickly Dean had regained his strength. On minute he's leaning on her for support, the next he's only swaying slightly as he makes his way into the motel room.
"I don't mind taking the floor." Shane replied as she pulled a spare blanket out of the closet only to have it ripped away from her by Sam.
"No," he said, holding the blanket above his head and out of Shane's reach as she grabbed for it, "you can take the bed."
Shane dropped her hands in mock surrender. "Well, I've never been one to argue." She smiled as she sat down on the bed that had previously belonged to Sam.
"Liar." Dean said as he slipped under the covers. Shane smiled at him and shrugged.
Sam grabbed the extra pillow from under Dean's head, earning him a punch to the arm. He dropped the pillow on the floor between the two beds and curled up with the blanket. Fifteen minutes later, soft snores and the rustling of sheets filled the room as all three drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, well more like afternoon since none of the occupants of the motel room cracked their eyes open until well after noon, was an insightful one for all of the Winchesters present.
Sam had woken up first and was surprised to see his brother's eyes open a half an hour later. After the usual half asleep morning greetings and hot showers, Sam asked Dean to sit down so that they could have a talk. Dean rolled his eyes. Sam almost always tried to force some form of heart to heart conversation after a near death experience and Dean had grown tired of trying to deflect them.
They were now sitting in the Impala in front of the motel room so that they're talking wouldn't wake Shane.
"So what'd you wanna talk about?" Dean asked cynically, "You wanna have an Oprah moment? Talk about our feelings and hug it out?"
Sam shook his head, trying to hide the smile that had formed. "No, it's not like that."
Dean shot him a sideways glance, "Then what? You're gonna lecture me on the consequences of going to a bar without a chaperone?"
"I'm not the one feeling the guilt on that." Sam replied. Dean looked at him with a raised eyebrow. Sam gestured towards the motel room window with his chin. Dean allowed his eyes to follow. "You scared the crap out of her by going missing like that."
Dean rubbed his forehead, "You know I didn't mean too."
Sam nodded in understanding. He wanted to get to the real reason he had sat Dean down for this talk but was unsure how to begin. He decided to just cut to the chase. "Her mom," Sam began but paused. Dean leaned in towards him imploring him to continue, "The demon took her like he took our mom." Dean exhaled sharply. A sense of understanding suddenly settled over him. The loss of her mother explained why her defenses were clamped so tightly around her. And Dean should know, he maintained the same demeanor. Fortunately for him, he had Sam to deflect those guards when the time called for it.
"And her Dad," Sam continued, "was killed by a werewolf."
"Jesus." Dean shook his head glancing back at the window. "Well, that explains a lot." Dean said with a vague shrug.
Sam nodded, "Yeah, I know." He looked back at Dean, "Just thought you should know."
"Thanks." Dean replied.
They both exited the Impala and headed for the motel room. Upon entering they saw Shane making the bed. The fact that she was awake didn't surprise them, it was her outfit that took them aback. Shane was donning a blue floral sundress, strappy black sandals and strings of layered pearls hung around her neck.
Dean cleared his throat causing Shane to stand up straight and look at them.
"Hey guys," she smiled. She then glanced self consciously at herself when she noticed them staring at her with confusion.
"Going somewhere?" Dean asked.
Shane smiled and soothed down her dress, "No, the hunts over." She explained, "I'm allowed to be girly now." The statement forced a laugh out of both Sam and Dean.
"I'm going back to the clearing." Sam finally said as he reached out and snatched the car keeps from Dean. "I wanna fill that hole up before someone stumbles onto it. Or into it."
"I'll go with you." Shane said as she advanced towards Sam.
"Dressed like that?" Sam asked eyeing her up, "I don't think so."
"I can change." Shane said mildly hurt.
Sam laughed, "It's okay, just stay here and relax."
"I'll go with you then." Dean said as he reached for his jacket.
"No," Sam said as he backed towards the door, "you're still recovering."
Dean scoffed, "I'm fine."
Sam shook his head, "Stay here Dean. Watch T.V., don't wander off to any bars." Dean rolled his eyes as Sam exited with a smile on his face. Dean waited until he heard the reeve of the engine before he turned his attention to Shane who had taken a seat at the kitchen table in the corner of the room and was absently flipping channels. Dean sat in the chair next to her and stared at the T.V.
He glanced at her occasionally as if studying her. He sighed carefully before asking, "How'd you do it?"
Shane glanced at him before turning back to the T.V., "Do what?" she asked.
Dean hesitated. He wasn't entirely sure how Shane would handle the series of questions that he intended to ask. But his curiosity and need to feel the connection that he and Shane shared prevailed over his desire to be discreet.
"You lost both your parents but you still manage to be so," Dean paused searching for the right word, "strong."
Shane licked her lips and muted the T.V. She placed the remote on the table in front of her and turned all her attention to Dean.
"Sam told you?" She asked. Dean nodded. "Remind me to kick his ass when he gets back." She smiled but the smile wasn't reciprocated from Dean. He was obviously in desperate need of knowing the answer. "I handled it by turned my life into a mission to kill anything with the connection to or the ability to destroy someone's family like mine was destroyed. The same as you."
Dean shook his head, "It's not the same though." He insisted, "I had Sam and my dad, you were-"
"Alone?" Shane cut him off. She shrugged. "It hurt for awhile. I cried for awhile. Blamed myself for awhile. But eventually everything went numb and I was blinded by the mission." Shane paused, "I don't cry anymore."
"You sure about that?" Dean asked noticing the tears beginning to well in Shane's eyes. She turned her face away from him and blinked rapidly, suppressing the tears.
"I don't mean to sound like a dead philosopher or something but," she turned her face back to Dean, the unshed tears less noticeable, "my strength is fueled by my pain."
"I'm sorry." Dean sighed, unsure what to say. He knew how if felt to lose a parent and no words imaginable could ever remove that pain.
"You don't have to be sorry." Shane said, "It wasn't your fault." It was mine, she thought to herself. "Anyway, I do what I gotta do now. I survive." Shane shrugged, "Besides, it's not that bad being alone. At least you don't have to worry about people wandering off and getting caught by crazy blonde possessed girls." She smirked.
Dean laughed. He looked at her for a second before reaching out and placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "Yeah well, you're not alone anymore." He gave Shane's shoulder a squeeze and smiled, "You got us."