Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural."

Author's Note: Firstly, spoilers for episode 3.03 abound! Then hehe, this is actually a disclaimer to the content of this story. :P I neither adored Bela nor hated her. She did provoke curiosity in me. I think I could possibly enjoy her as a villain... as long they don't try to make me like her by giving her a sob story past and telling me that excuses her behavior. Thus this story.

'tis AU. Before we see any more of her I'm filling in blanks. Bobby was familiar with her alias but she's fairly young-- my take on why. Also, no name was given for the kitty, so uh, I named it Kitty. :P

Ooodles of thanks to Lembas7 who beta's this stuff for me even though it spoils her! Thanks, hun!


"Using Legosi again, huh?"

Bela smiled, recognizing the voice, and shifted away from the computer screen. She settled back against the sofa, letting herself sink into the plush cushions. "I like that one," she conceded. "Been a long time."

"Sure has. You been gone a good while."

"Have I? How good of you to notice. Are you in the neighborhood perhaps?"

He never was, but she couldn't resist.

An aggravated huff. "Couldn't pay me enough to—"

"To what do I owe the pleasure, then?" she interrupted, having heard his opinion of the city one too many time before.

"You shot Sam Winchester."

A laugh rose up and she released it softly into the receiver. "Aw, sore about that are we?"

"You can't mess with those boys, Bela."

"They looked fairly grown up to me, Uncle Bobby."

"Don't call me that!"

She chuckled, reaching down under the coffee table to stroke Kitty. The sun had set and it was getting dim in the living room. Kitty liked to cuddle in twilight.

"Anddon't mess with those boys." He continued, "You know who their Daddy was - you don't wanna be makin' enemies of'm."

"If you ask me, their reputation is rather inflated."

"Well, then it's a good thing I don't go around askin' little, sticky fingered girls anythin', ain't it?"

She laughed again, sitting up. Kitty jumped onto the end of the sofa, stood there watching her with curious eyes, "Did you really call just to scold?"

He hadn't. He worried.

"You go around crossin' 'em, and there's nothing I can do, Bela. You shotSam. I'm kinda surprised you're still breathing, actually."

"I believe the element of surprise came into play in my favor there." She wasn't stupid, she knew they were deadly when they wanted to be. She knew she had very likely made an enemy for life of Dean Winchester; had heard that he didn't forget those who threatened his family.

"Don't get snooty with me, girl! I ain't tellin' you this for my health. You stay away from those boys or I'll be makin' a couple phone calls overseas."

She straightened a little, frowning. "You would tell on me?" she asked archly, not really believing it. What was left of her family was blind and in deference to her father, Bobby would keep it so.

"You ain't got no call to be markin' Johnny's boys," he insisted.

"I haven't -"

"You're plannin' to. I can smell it off ya all the way over here."

She laughed again, leaned back further and tucked her feet under her. "They're just so… amusing."

"Until they put a bullet in your head."

"Yes, I suppose that would put a damper on our relationship."

"This isn't a joke!"

"And I have no plans to do anythingwith the Winchesters."

She lied. They'd cost her 1.5 million dollars, there had to be repercussions for that. She had a reputation to uphold.

He practically growled at her. "I'm trying—"

"To watch out for me, which is quite sweet of you. But honestly, darling, I wouldn't mess with Johnny's boys. I do know better."

There was silence on the line and she cringed. She had laid it on a tad thick there; been a tad disrespectful.

"You really expect me to swallow that load of bull?" he asked her gruffly, sounding genuinely pissed.

A nervous tingling started in the pit of her stomach. "Well, I—"

"Those boys have enough on their plates without you popping up to make things harder for 'em."

"I am a bit disappointed that your concern is solely for them," she teased.

"Dangit, Bela, I'm being serious with you! You wanna turn it off for a couple seconds?"

Turn it off. Sometimes she forgot it was even on to begin with. She took a deep breath and released it slowly, trying to unwind before she alienated one of the few people in the entire world who actually knew her name. "I'm listening," she answered.

"You won't get the drop on 'em again. Way you made yourself known – they'll shoot to kill if you catch 'em on a bad day. Stay outta their way. They got things to deal with. There's a war coming and those boys -"

"The war. Yes, I have heard. I understand they play some pivotal role in the grand scheme of things."

"That's right and you need -"

"Tell me Bobby, when have I been concerned with the grand scheme of things?"

There was tension in the phone line suddenly; and just like that, she knew where this was going; should have known as soon as his voice had come through.

It wasn't a surprise. Her way of life always led to this.

"I side with them on this, Bela."

A smile touched her lips. It was just like him – simple, direct, no room for misunderstanding. "Of course you do. I would expect no less. You are a hunter, as they are."

"You--"

"Are not," she cut in, straightening and placing her bare feet on the floor. Kitty jumped to floor and snuggled up to them; a gray blur in the dark shadows.

"I told them your name."

"Also, not surprising," she whispered, though it was a bit hurtful.

She knew what this was now; not a check-up, not a warning – a goodbye.

"You should go on back home or travel some more," he prodded. "Gotta be a place you ain't crawled around in yet."

"Ah, but my current plan places me in the US and I do so enjoy New York City," she responded, turning it back on.

"Enjoy it some other time. Get the hell outta dodge -"

"That suggestion just isn't plausible at the moment. I have several job lined up. In fact, I was in the midst of researching one when your call came through. Perhaps we can continue this chat some other time."

She knew they never would; this chat had gone on as far as it ever would. There was nothing to add. He knew that as well as she did. Nothing he said would change her. She had chosen this life.

The line was silent for a moment, then he said gruffly, "If you need somethin' -"

"I won't, darling. You were my father's contact, not mine."

She flinched a little as the words left her mouth. They were meant to hurt him; still, it stung her to even say them.

He didn't push it; it was the reason why this friendship had worked between them. She'd always known it wouldn't last, though. He was a hunter and they always chose the grand scheme.

"You take care of yourself, then."

"Always do."

It's all about number one. Dean had accused her of as much.

"I'll keep an ear out on ya," he added.

She nodded, but didn't say anything; not sure if those words were meant as a comfort or a warning.

The dial tone echoed in her ear abruptly.

It bemused her that he hadn't said the words.

She closed off her end of the line and set the phone down. Perhaps he was a bit more sentimental than he was given credit for.

She was not.

She was the only child of a man he had considered a friend. She had once drawn him a picture full of broken cars and puppies and of a big man who fixed them all. She had once asked him for stories with a happy ending.

But that had all been a very long time ago . . .

"Goodbye, Uncle Bobby." The silence of the apartment swallowed the words, making them sound as final as she meant them.

. . . another life ago.

She reached down and scooped up Kitty into her arms. The light from the computer screen illuminated the dark loft, reflecting off glass cases and jeweled antiques. With single-minded determination she returned to her research.

There was a talisman in a family home in Chinatown used to ward off evil spirits - it was made of jade and gold and would fetch a nice nickel.

"So you know the truth about what's really going out there, and this is what you decide to do with it?"

A smirk tilted her lips; Dean's disdainful question had been posed to her by many.

Many who knew her past, had known her father, of her mother; many who had raged that she had no reason, that her parents' memories and training deserved better.

Better was exactly what she wanted.

So simply put: yes, indeed, thievery was her choice. She'd chosen for her life now to have no room for the grand scheme—and she greatly preferred it so.