Chapter One

Cal was raging at someone on the phone again… he could hear her clearly even over the radio and the water of the shower he was in the middle of taking. Couldn't say he was surprised. The girl had been stationary for close to two months straight thanks to her self-imposed temporary break from hunting. After an entire year of being on the road six weeks of staying in one place seemed like forever. Add to that it being the middle of winter and the result was one Caitlin O'Sulivan suffering from just a tad bit of cabin fever. Good thing he knew how to deal with it… heh heh.

The song on the radio had changed to a little number by the band 'Air Supply'. Grinning to himself in anticipation of her reaction he reached past the shower curtain and cranked the volume as loudly as he could get it to be sure she heard it…then took a deep breath and started spewing out the lyrics himself at the top of his lungs as he soaped up.

"Oh…I 'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you

I know you were right believing for so long

I 'm all out of love, what am I without you?

I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong…"

A loud click and a sudden rush of cold air told him she'd cracked the bathroom door open a bit. He would have heard the padding of her naked feet on the bathroom tile had his voice and the radio not been so loud. Even as he started to rinse himself off he was bracing himself for it….

"Oh…I 'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you…"

The shower curtain flew open

"I know you were right believing for so long"

Laughing blue eyes took in the sight of the hunter before her clad in nothing but soap and a shower cap belting out one of his least favorite tunes just to make her laugh.

"I 'm all out of love, what am I without you…"

"You have got to be kidding me! Dean Winchester, you are such a tool!" Cal laughed as he leaned over for a big sloppy kiss soaking her clothes in the process. The big goofy grin got wider as he waggled his eyebrows and closed the shower curtain against the cool air from the open door.

"I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong…"

Cal stood there, half soaked and grinning widely herself. What on earth had ever possessed her to take off on this guy?

When she turned the music down he poked his head out again and raised a brow at her. "So are you just gonna stand there all morning or you gonna hop in here with me?"

Well now… that was probably the best offer she'd had in quite some time… well, at least since waking up that morning. Too bad she'd have to say no.

"Sorry Winchester…I've got to get changed and head out in a few minutes."

"Oh?" He didn't like what he was hearing. There was something in her voice, in the way she was looking at him that spoke of trouble. Something was bugging her…a lot.

"Yeah…I was thinking… maybe it's time for us to hit the road again…"

"This happen to have anything to do with that call you just got?"

She had his attention now… he was wrapping a towel around himself and pulling her toward the bedroom.

"Oh… you, uh, heard that did you?"

Not that he didn't want to hit the road again… he'd been feeling the burn himself for a couple of days now. But those damned shifty blue eyes, that mildly embarrassed look… yeah, she was definitely trying to hide something.

"Would have been hard not to the way you were shouting. Okay, enough Cal. Spill it. I haven't seen you act this way in months. Not since you tried to hide that cut of yours."

Clad in nothing but jeans and a stern expression he was the picture of intimidation. Ha, it would take more than a look to intimidate this girl.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Her defiance was clear. She was giving him the old "won't back down". Great. Well, he should have expected it. The last two weeks had been nice and quiet. 'Nice and quiet' were two things that just weren't possible around that woman.

"Right. Sure you don't. Okay then, who were you talking to?"

"What, so now you're my mother? I need to tell you who I talk to, where I'm going and who I'm going to see?"

Whoa. Where the hell had that little outburst come from?

"It was just a question Cal." Seriously, he was just trying to get to the bottom of this major mood swing of hers. Something was wrong. He could feel straight down to his bones.

"Franny. It was Fran. She's in New York. Apparently somebody told her what city I was in…"

Franny… Fran… why did he know that name?

"Who's Franny?" How the heck did the man expect to pull off that look of pure confusion?

"Don't even try it Dean. You know who Franny is… from the bar back home."

Ah…right. The chick who'd pulled the sawed-off on them when they went in to ask about Cal.

"So, little miss trigger-happy is in New York? What does she want?"

"I don't know. To see me I guess. I think she got scared after you guys showed up looking for me. Says she wants to see for herself that I'm okay… and she's mad as hell that I lied to her about where I was going." Although why she would be was beyond Cal. She hadn't been straight with anyone about her travels except her father… and now the Winchesters.

"Anyway, I had to agree to meet her for coffee. It was the only way to stop her from calling the cops and declaring me a missing person."

Took a lot to surprise Dean Winchester. Guy was cute when he was thrown off like that. Too bad he didn't stay that way long.

"You want me to go along?" he asked puffing out his chest a little.

"Why on earth for?"

"Oh, well… you know." Glint of mischief "To show her you've got a big strong man watching out for you and keeping you in line…"

"Watch yourself Winchester. You might just find yourself out on the balcony to sleep tonight."

"Nah." He pulled her into his arms. "Sammy would take pity on me and let me in when you're not looking."

Well, he had her laughing again. That was a good sign at least… right?

"You better get going She-Ra. That Fran chick's temper is as bad as yours. Wouldn't want you to be late and piss her off on my account. You're a lot prettier without bruises…"

She wasn't looking forward to it… but he was right. Cal hated it when he was right. Scowling she pulled on her jacket and was surprised when he kissed her soundly again. Now, there was the smile he was looking for. It stayed pasted in place as she grabbed her keys and left.

Now, Dean Winchester is a lot of things… and one of them was most definitely curious. Dude would kill to be a fly on the wall at that particular reunion… in fact… he pulled on his own coat and boots too. Things had been too quiet lately anyway. Even if she caught him following her… well the entertainment sure would be worth the excitement.

Hopefully this time Fran will have left her shot gun at home.

Two whole weeks had passed since Dean had burst into Cal's apartment. He and Sam had taken over the spare bedroom…or rather Sam and their stuff had...Dean had claimed a corner of Cal's bedroom…among other things…

It was the most natural thing in the world for the boys to settle in and make themselves at home. Sam had to smile at how easily his brother had slipped into domesticity. Oh, he and Cal still argued a lot… especially since she'd started getting stir crazy… but being with her suited him. Finally, Dean was getting the chance to taste 'normal'. Okay, so nothing about Cal and Dean could be considered normal… didn't matter. They were still great for each other.

She was probably the only other person in the world who could fully understand Dean, accept him for who he was and want him because of it rather than in spite of it. Sam's smile got wider. For two people so obviously in love it was funny to see them avoid the word so completely.

As nice as it was to see Dean happy Sam's joy was bittersweet. Often lately thoughts of Jess and what he'd lost had snuck up on him. Would she have accepted him so completely had she known about his past? About the hunting? He never would know for sure.

Funny how he hadn't realized what a comfort Dean's snoring in the other bed was until it wasn't there anymore. Just wasn't the same filtered through the wall. Nights were harder now. He'd spent every last one of them awake and sitting at the computer screen browsing the usual sites… looking for something supernatural… something close by to hunt… something they could all sink their teeth into. Anything to keep his thoughts off the past. It's what he'd been doing when his cell phone had gone of at two in the morning a week earlier.

Private name, unknown number…

Only you would call me at two in the morning Dad he thought to himself as he lifted the phone to his ear. "Hey Dad."

Instead of John Winchester's deep gravely voice he was met with a loud, angry and very female voice. "Excuse me? Do I sound like a man to you? Jeeze, and Cal said you were the nice brother." What? Cal had said what to who now?

"I'm sorry but, um, wrong as I might be you're the one who called me in the middle of the night… who the hell is this anyway?"

"Well there's a fine how-do-you-do considering how nice I was to you two the last time you were in town. It's Franny… Cal's friend." Oh great! He remembered Franny alright. It might not have been the first time he'd been escorted out of a bar at gunpoint on Dean's account before… but it sure as hell had been the first time it had happened just because of a few polite questions. What had Dean said? Tread carefully man, this chic is psycho. Grumpy as he was Sam was in no mood for careful.

"Right… if that's you being nice I'd hate to see you get angry."

"Hey! You guys were pushing it. I told you all I knew… not my fault you two didn't believe me. A girl's got to protect herself and what's hers you know." Yeah, Sam had heard someone say something like that before… Cal actually… to his brother…had been after she'd kneed him? Or after giving him that black eye? He was starting to understand why Dean had been so annoyed.

"Whatever. So what can I do for you Fran? To what do I owe the pleasure of a two a.m. phone call?"

"Don't take that condescending 'let's humor this one' tone with me. That's no way to treat a girl. I'm looking for Caitlin. She gave me an address and a phone number in Vermont but I checked, she's not there. You boys were looking for her… I'm willing to bet she's with you and probably not by choice. I swear if either of you have touched a even just a hair on her head…well you'd better have a good health plan is all I have to say."

"Huh? Well excuse me little miss 'sunshine'. I'm not saying she's here, but if she was what makes you think she wouldn't want to be here. Dean and I aren't kidnappers for God's sake."

"Look, that girl and I practically grew up in my Dad's bar together. She likes to put up that whole 'lone wolf' front but I know her better than that. She lost her Dad earlier this year… now Billie who was the closest thing to a sister she had… and JC turning out to be a psycho… the girl needs her friends around her right now."

Well, he could certainly see where Fran was coming from… couldn't say he agreed with the approach…or the fact that she'd automatically assumed the worst… but from a brother's point of view… yeah, he could definitely see where she was coming from.

"Alright. I get the concern. She's like family isn't she?" He'd taken out that soft voice… the one Dean teased him about incessantly. It didn't fail him.

"You could say that, yeah." Her own voice had become soft too, obviously she cared an awful lot about Cal… and she was really worried. "Do you know where she is Sam?"

He couldn't not answer her.

"She's been here the whole time. At her apartment in New York. We only just caught up with her a week ago."

"What? Son-of-a… ma petite menteuse! She lied to me? Just like her Dad that one… I can't believe she lied to me…And since when does she have an apartment in New York of all places? The girl just doesn't do 'settle down'."

"From what she's said so far…a couple of years now. Listen, uh…I'm sure she had her reasons for…"

"The address Sam… her address and the phone number. There are a few choice things I'd like to say to mademoiselle O'Sulivan and I'd like to do it in person."

"I can't do that Fran."

"And why the hell not?!"

"Because if Cal had wanted you to know where she was she would have told you herself. She's got her reasons for keeping secrets."

"That girl likes to think she knows what's best for everyone but when it comes right down to it she has no idea what's best for herself." She was thinking aloud rather than making a statement to Sam.

Well, he certainly couldn't argue her there.

Maybe if he gave Fran Cal's cell number… seriously, what harm could it do? They'd get to talk… Franny would know for sure that she was okay… and if Cal got mad he had Dean as a buffer, right? Chances were good he'd come out of it in one piece… if he didn't give her the number and Fran ever caught up with them he might not be able to say as much. That thought alone was enough to make up his mind.

"Tell you what… why don't I give you her number. She'll give you her address if she wants you to come down and see her…"

"You know, I wasn't so sure at first…I'm starting to think Cal might have been right about you Sam…maybe you are the more reasonable brother."