Disclaimer: See all previous. Nothing's changed.
Caleb walked to the beach, leaving his rental car in the dirt parking lot near the path to the ocean. He hated the ocean. There were too many bad memories in his past that he associated with it but this is where she told him to meet her and she had outright refused to do this elsewhere. For Dean, he would swallow his phobias for a while to get what may save his friend.
He could see her, right where she said she'd be – next to a sun-bleached driftwood tree. The book he was here for was resting on the wood. He was surprised at her appearance. Tall and lean muscled, not the soft, petite type women his best friend usually sought for company. She was kind of a tomboy if he'd label her as anything with her short wild hair and baggy t-shirt. But when she looked up at his approach, he could see what it was that attracted Deuce to her.
She was beautiful in a wild and free sort of way. Earthily breathtaking, like a glacial lake. She stood there with a quiet challenge in her stance and there was a fire in her hard eyes that burned hot and fierce. Caleb was a firm believer that the eyes were windows to the soul and with eyes like that; there was nothing that was going to stand in her way without her trying to mow it down. She was strength and determination and Caleb understood Dean's captivation with her. A woman like this didn't come into your life every day. Leah was a force of nature not to be taken lightly.
The psychic reached out with his mind to read her as he walked casually over the surf rounded stones on the beach. Her mind was as sharp and fierce as the rest of her, and it was centered on helping Dean in any way she could because she cared about him. She was wary of Caleb – but that didn't surprise him. All she knew of him was that he was the hunter friend of Dean's who would have killed them all if Sam had died in that fight. He could see her trembling slightly, and he knew it wasn't in fear. She was stressed and angry and sad and all these things were raging inside her and threatened to get out of control. He hoped she didn't phase right there in front of him. He didn't want to have to defend himself from her because of how much she obviously meant to Deuce.
"Hello Leah," he said casually as he drew nearer. "It's nice to meet you." The surf was pounding to his left and it was all he could do to block it out.
She nodded. "Thank you for contacting me."
Sam had called Caleb after Dean drank himself into oblivion the night they fled Forks. It wasn't unusual for Deuce to tie one on in search of an escape, but the guy had put himself into an all day stupor – at least when his head wasn't buried in the can anyways. That was another day wasted and there weren't many left for Dean so Caleb was willing to grasp at any straws dangled in front of him like a carrot on a fucking stick. Sam had told him about the Quileute lore books Leah had mentioned to them and that was all Caleb needed to track her down in the phone book.
"Is that the book?" He gestured towards the old hand-bound leather tome on the driftwood tree.
"Yes." She picked it up and held it to her chest for a minute before handing it over to him. "I was looking at it earlier. There are some ancient chants in there, and some old magic. I think they may help him find the demon. There's even a mention of a demon named Vehpotse which loosely translates to Lily. I don't know if that is any help in finding this Lilith, but…"
"It's wonderful. Thank you Leah." He held the book carefully in one hand looking over the rough leather covering. "Did you manage to convince the Elders for their permission for us to use it?" Caleb asked as he raised an eyebrow at her.
"No. They wouldn't. So I took it." She looked down at the ground as she said it as if she were ashamed of what she'd done. She'd stolen from her tribe – true – but not for personal or monetary gain. It was to save a good man's life. Not that she fully understood the depth of the whole situation. As far as he could read on her mind, there was some connection to the demon Lilith and Dean's dying and for that alone she was going to do what she could to help him.
Caleb understood why Dean admired her.
"Try to get that back to me someday," she looked up from the ground, "…Okay?"
"I'll have it back to you in a few weeks. I'll hand deliver it."
"No offence… But I'd rather Dean bring it back."
Caleb smiled at that. "No offence taken. I'd rather he deliver it too." She bit her bottom lip, gave a short nod and turned and walked away down the beach without saying another word.
Caleb watched for a moment before turning back for the path he'd walked down. There wasn't a whole hell of a lot of time left to squander. He had to get back to Port Angeles, return the rental car at the small airstrip and catch his flight back to Seattle. From there it was off to South Dakota and Bobby's. If anyone was going to make any sense out of this book it would be him. Bobby was really excited about the book when Caleb told him he was coming here to get it – said that he'd never gotten his hands on this kind of Native Lore but that there was lots of stories and legends about it. And Caleb couldn't squash the faint glimmer of hope that flared to life when Leah had mentioned a demon named Lily. Coincidences didn't happen in their line of work.
He reached the car and flipped carefully though the rough pages. He didn't understand any of it but was confident that Bobby would. Or at least he and Sam would have their hands full translating it. He stopped at a page halfway though the tome, lifting the rough page and leaning in close to study the drawing. It was a ceremonial blade of some sort. He couldn't read the text that was handwritten underneath it but something was pulling him towards the picture and no good hunter ignores a gut feeling.
He pulled his cell out of his pocket and called Sam. The kid answered on the second ring. "Dude." He said in lieu of a greeting. "Tell me what that demon bitch Ruby's knife looks like again."
"Serrated blade, some sort of antler for a handle. Why?"
Caleb nodded to himself as he studied the drawing in his lap. Yup. There were no such things as coincidences in this line of work.
Three weeks later:
Leah was lying down on her bed in her room staring at the ceiling. She had her dad's old Pink Floyd CD playing and she was trying to find some peace. Her stomach had been killing her for days. Just a lump of worry and angst in the pit of her stomach that had a name she wouldn't – couldn't – voice. It was eating her from the inside out and the mellow tunes of Roger Waters were doing absolutely nothing for her right now. She wouldn't be surprised if she were giving herself an ulcer – the last couple weeks had been really rough on her emotionally and physically.
She tried to concentrate on the lyrics of 'Comfortably Numb' even going so far as to answer the questions.
'…hello. Is there anybody in there?'
No. No there isn't.
'Just nod if you can hear me.'
If you can't see me, how will you see me nodding?
'Is there anyone home?'
No. Leah isn't home right now. Please leave a message and she'll call you back when she gives a fuck.
'I hear you're feeling down.'
'I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again.'
If it involves booze, I already cleaned out mom's liquor cabinet last week and she's going to be pissed at me when she finds out.
The house was empty thankfully. No one at home to witness her wallowing. Just the ball of worry and angst that had taken up residence in her stomach. The same ball of wretchedness that kept her up at night and whispered in the dark. Burning, tearing and eating her from the inside out. She half expected it to burst through her chest like the alien babies in the old Sigourney Weaver movies.
So she didn't pay too much attention to the crunching of gravel out in the driveway. It wasn't until a moment later when she realized that her mom hadn't come in from the car and Leah wondered if her mother needed help bringing in groceries or something. She didn't feel like being helpful at the moment, but it would just be easier to go and help her mother than to listen to her harp at her for it later.
Dragging her feet as she walked, she headed down the hall to the kitchen and out the door. She glanced up when she saw that it wasn't her mom's Buick in the yard, but an ancient, primer riddled Chevelle. She didn't know this car, and she certainly didn't know the older, gruff looking man that got out of it. He was wearing a grease smeared vest and a dirty trucker hat, sporting a grizzled beard and eyes that looked as if he'd seen all the pain in the world and had somehow survived to tell the tale.
But it was the way he looked at her – like he knew her and knew what she was that sent shivers of alarm skirting down her spine. He knew… but wasn't afraid. That thought sent the ball of darkness in her chest into a frenzy because anyone who knew what she was should run in fear but there was no fear in this man.
Just unbearable sadness that radiated out from him in tsunami-like waves that broke on her like the rocks on the beach.
She didn't know what to say to this man, to ask who he was or what he wanted – she just stared into those tortured eyes. Eyes that had seen entirely too much pain.
It was when he leaned back into the car and stood back up with a book – the tribal book that she stole – that she got it.
She. Fucking. Got it.
And the ball in her chest burst through as she grabbed the railing on the step when her knees buckled.
A/N: Vehpotse isn't a Quileute word. It's Cherokee and it really means flower (that's what the on-line translator I used gave me so that's all I can go on. Take it with a grain of salt.) And Lord knows what language Bobby was chanting in in 'No Rest for the Wicked' when they were trying to locate Lilith. It was probably Latin, but it could have been Quileute. Vehpotse could be the name that Bobby was looking for because 'with the right name and the right ritual, there ain't nothin' you can't suss out.'
Again, thanks to all of you who made this experience so wonderful for me and I hope to see you all again in my next story.