Dean stood across the lounge glaring at Bobby.
'I told you for the last time, I'm not talking about this any more.' He shouted.
'He's your brother, Dean.' Bobby growled.
A loud thud followed by a polite knock at the front door interrupted their shouting match.
'What the hell?' Bobby exclaimed, swiveling in his wheelchair towards the origin of the dull thud, which seemed to come from the verandah outside the front door. 'You expecting company?'
Dean shrugged a silent 'no' and picked up his sawn off shotgun from the worn out red suede couch beside him and moved silently to the window. He peeked out from the yellowing moth eaten lace curtain just in time to see the backside of someone bent over the railing of the verandah, puking their guts out.
Dean sighed in annoyance.
'Well, who is it?' Bobby half whispered, impatiently.
'It's Sam,' Dean grumbled as the simultaneous sound of Sam vomiting and the knock at the door came again, 'and he brought a friend.' Dean said trying to peer around the corner to get a visual on the person knocking at the door. Bobby wheeled back around to the door as Dean took up position just out of sight, his gun at the ready.
Bobby nodded back to Dean and pulled the door open.
Standing in the doorway, swaying a little, was a beautiful 20-something red head girl staring back at him with bright green eyes. Her red and white racing leathers and black boots were spackled with thick globules of ruby red blood and a black tube was strapped to her back.
'Hi.' She said, a little too enthusiastically.
'Can I help you?' Bobby replied, immediately suspicious. Another bout of gagging sounds rouse up from behind the girl and Bobby leaned forward to catch a glimpse of Sam looking white as a sheet and disheveled, leaning heavily against a verandah post, trying not to throw up again. Before Bobby had time to address Sam the girl spoke again.
'Yes you can.' She replied, her musical voice and chipper tone failing to hide the fact that she was obviously drunk. 'I'm looking for someone. He's about yay high,' she slurred, swaying as she lifted her hand above her head to demonstrate the height of her quarry, 'and he gets around in a suit with a black tie and a disapproving frown on his face. Answers to the name Castiel.' She smiled sweetly, ignoring the surprised look on Bobby's face. Casually, she reached into her bike jacket pocket and Dean emerged from his hiding spot, trailing her with his gun.
'Stop. Don't move.' Dean commanded, raising the gun to his eye and aiming at her chest. A small pistol materialized in Bobby's hand also pointing at the girl.
'Relax.' The girl laughed, pulling something from within her jacket.
Instinctively, Bobby pulled the trigger, hitting the girl square in the chest.
'Ouch.' The girl exclaimed in surprise. Dean and Bobby looked on in shock as the girl continued to pull a hip flask from her jacket, unscrew the lid and take a swig, undeterred by the impact of the bullet that had penetrated her clothing. As she tipped the flask, its contents spilled down her front from the new bullet hole in its side. The liquor rolled off her leathers, washing away some of the blood as it streaked down to the ground and stained the weathered boards dark. 'Urgh. You'd better have some good booze in there.' She growled as she tossed her now empty flask over her shoulder and brazenly pushed past Bobby and Dean. She wandered into the lounge, and began opening cupboards, searching for a liquor cabinet.
'Sorry bout the landing, Sam. You really shouldn't fly air angel when the captain's been on a bender.' She shouted out to Sam. 'Jackpot. Literally.' She added to herself, grabbing a bottle of Jack Daniels from the cupboard and jumping onto the old couch with a thud. She lounged across its length, legs outstretched, feet on the armrest and proceeded to down half the contents of the bottle in one hit.
'Sam.' Dean shouted angrily staring at the girl, making herself comfortable with the couch cushions, still not removing the black tube from her back, though it seemed to be the cause of her discomfort.
'Hey Bobby.' Sam acknowledged sheepishly as he squeezed past and followed the sound of Dean's angry voice into the lounge room. 'Dean.' Sam said in way of an awkward greeting.
'Perhaps you'd like to introduce us to your little friend over there and explain just exactly what the hell you are doing here in the middle of the Nevada desert?' Dean spat, venom in his voice. Before Sam could reply the girl started giggling. She waved the bottle around her head at Dean, Sam and Bobby, who had stopped just short of the archway that served as the entrance to the lounge. 'What a heart warming reunion. Really stop it, you're making me all teary-eyed.' She laughed and sculled the remaining contents of the bottle and threw the empty bottle into the cold fireplace, smashing it into a thousand glittering pieces. She sat up abruptly, and suddenly seemed very sober as she addressed them.
'If you're done, I really need you to tell me where to find Cas, like right now.'
'I have no idea who you're talking about, sorry sister.' Dean snarled.
'That's cool. I heard he was rolling with you guys these days, you know turned his back on his own kind and all that. But, hey, if my intel is wrong. No harm, no foul.' She raised her hands defensively and stood up.
'Well, okay then. Thanks for stopping bye. Cya.' Dean stepped back, indicating for the girl to leave with a sweeping hand gesture towards the door. The girl walked back to the liquor cabinet, swept up a bottle of southern comfort and walked past Dean. But instead of heading out the door she turned to the staircase.
'Oh, sorry sugar, but I'm not going anywhere until I have a little tête-à-tête with my old pal Cas. So I'll be upstairs getting toasted if he decides to flap on by.' She winked at Bobby and within a second she was nowhere to be seen.
Dean and Bobby turned simultaneously to face Sam, the same questioning expression of each of their faces. Sam scratched the back of his head, trying to figure out where to start.
'Well, I guess you've met Ezriel. She's a little drunk and a little cranky right now, but she's kinda cool when she's sober.' Sam tried to explain, jumping in at the end of the story, hoping to calm the fury rising in Dean.
'Ezriel.' Dean rumbled. 'Let me guess, another angel. Great, just what we need. Another psychopath gunning for us.'
'Angel, eh? Guess that explained her being bulletproof and all. So how do we ditch her?' Bobby asked, addressing Dean.
'No, wait.' Sam interjected. 'I don't think she's a threat.'
'No offense, Sammy, but your judgment has been a little off, say, for the last few years.' Dean replied dismissively.
'No. I mean it Dean. She saved my life back in Greenridge.'
'Right so we should trust her. No way.' Dean scolded, brass checking the chamber in his gun before turning for the stairs. Sam grabbed his arm, stopping Dean's ascent.
'Look, you weren't there. The bar I was working at was completely surrounded by more than forty demons. She could have just let everyone inside die and flew us out of there, but she stayed. Dean, she massacred every one of those demons in less than five minutes. It was incredible. Very ninja.' Sam said in awe.
'Right, so the Ninja angel…' Dean snapped.
'Ezra.' Sam interjected.
'Right. Ezra the ninja angel just stopped by your bar and slaughtered a bunch of demons out of the goodness of her heart and now we're supposed to trust her. I don't think so.' Dean scoffed, shrugging Sam off.
'Dean wait.' Bobby interjected. 'Maybe she's not one of the bad angels.'
'Don't you think Cas would have mentioned it if he had other angels on his team, Come on, Bobby, this is bad for us. We have to kill her now before she tells the other angels where we are.' He rumbled.
'Yeah and you know how to kill an angel with a sawn-off, do you?' Bobby asked with scathing sarcasm.
'Well no.' Dean conceded. 'But we can't sit here and do nothing. We'll all get slaughtered.'
'I don't think she's in any state to do much right now.' Bobby added, alluding to Ezra's obvious drunken state.
'Look guys. I know she was a little, well, difficult just now. She's a bad drunk but if you ask her nicely, she'll stop being drunk and then you could just talk to her and find out what she wants. I owe her that.' Sam pleaded.
'Well I don't owe her anything. Angels lie, Sam. And how is she drunk anyway? No, I vote we kill her then get the hell out of Dodge.' Dean replied.
'Maybe you could listen to me and make up your own minds if I'm a bad angel before you decide to just kill me.' Ezra said, reappearing at the top of the stairs. She tipped the now empty bottle in the air. 'Needed a refill.'
She descended the stairs, stepped around Dean and went back to the liquor cabinet for a third time. Sam cleared his throat. Ezra turned around to see the three of them staring at her from just inside the archway.
'Talk, right.' She said and sat down on the couch again, twisting a second bottle of Jack in her hands. She shook her head slightly and rolled her shoulders. 'Right, I'm sober. So let's talk.'
'What do you want with Cas?' Dean demanded.
'Just to talk, I swear.' Dean and Bobby looked unconvinced. 'Scouts honor?' Ezra replied, holding three fingers up.
'I think you need to tell us more if you want our help finding Cas.' Sam urged.
'I heard about what's going on, with Cas killing other Angels.'
'What so you thought we'd help you stop him? Think again, sister.' Dean growled. 'Who told you to come here? Who sent you?' He shouted.
'Some of the Angels came to me and asked me to come here, not to fight. Just to talk. I told them I could never hurt Cas. They know that. They just wanted me to try to get him to see reason, to stop killing Angels. That's all.'
'Oh, I believe her, don't you?' Dean aimed his sarcasm at Sam. Sam cringed but remained silent.
'I'm telling the truth. Cas is the closest thing I have to family. I would never do anything to hurt him. But I can't let him continue to hurt my brothers, continue to damn himself. I won't stand by and let him destroy himself and the world with him. Lucifer will win by default of numbers if Cas keeps kill us. It has to stop.' Ezra pleaded with earnest. 'Please, help me. Tell me where he is so I can talk to him.'
'I'm right here, Ez.' Castiel's deep gravel voice appeared behind Dean. Dean stepped aside surprised at Cas' sudden appearance.
'Cas.' Ezra shouted with elation, beaming at Cas as she lunged from the couch, across the room and into Cas' arms. 'I've missed you.' Cas shifted away from her, looking suddenly uncomfortable.
'I've missed you too.' He replied, patting her on the shoulder.
'Still got the emotional range of a plank of wood, I see.' Ezra teased, the humans in the room all but forgotten in her excitement.
'I'm excited to see you on the inside, Ez.' Cas replied, a slight smirk on his face.
Ezra put her hand on Cas' forehead.
'Cas I think you just made a joke. Are you feeling okay? You're not possessed or something are you?' She laughed.
'No, I have not been possessed or something.' Cas replied in his usual stiff tone.
'Must be the human contact rubbing off on you. And I swear I almost saw a smile back there, too. I'm shocked and amazed.' She gave Cas another quick embrace and stepped back.
'You shouldn't be here, Ez.' Cas said his expression more serious than usual.
'Are you kidding? It's the end of the world, baby. Where else am I gonna be?' Ezra exclaimed, with a sly smile on her face. 'Plus, I was getting bored with the party scene in Mexico anyway. So I thought I'd look you up and here I am.'
'That's not why you're here.' Cas disagreed.
'But it's why I'm going to stay. Plus if you think I'm going to miss the battle of eternity, you've got another thing coming. We're on the brink and I'm aching for a bit of a skirmish.'
'Battle?' Cas' face flashed with uncertainty.
'Yeah, I sort of came to warn you about that. Hell on one side, Heaven on the other and we're standing at ground zero. This place is about to explode. It's gonna be awesome!' Ezra's eyes lit up as she spoke. 'So what do you say? Come with me now, back into the fold, and we'll tear it up, side by side, till death or glory!' She stopped her rant and looked imploringly at Cas, a manic smile on her face. 'What do you say?'
'Battle, here? Now?' Cas asked, looking past Ezra, at the now frightened faces of Sam, Dean and Bobby.
'Well, if it the end of the world, I'm gonna need a drink.' Bobby added, wheeling himself towards the cabinet. As he past Ezra, she put a hand on his shoulder.
'Why don't you walk there, Bobby. And get me another bottle, I'm about sick of all this serious talk. Time to get wasted.'
Bobby stopped wheeling himself and looked first at Ezra and then down at his feet. He tried to wiggle his big toe in his thick socks and the sight of the movement sent a cry of jubilation through his stunned lips. He moved the foot plates of the wheelchair away and put his feet on the ground. Bracing himself against the chair he looked uncertain as he stood for the first time in weeks, his legs working like his spine was never damaged.
'You're welcome. Now about that drink.' Ezra smiled kindly, as a tear escaped down Bobby's smiling face. Ezra turned her attention back to Cas as Dean and Sam crowded around Bobby.
'So how about it?'
'I…don't know.' Cas replied slowly, confusion in his dark eyes.
'Think about it. But know whatever you decide, I'm with you now. Till the end.' Ezra smiled sweetly and turned away from Cas' shocked face.
'You can't…' Cas started.
'I can. I decided and now it's done. You can't get rid of me now. Looks like you'll just have to put up with me.' Ezra suddenly stopped smiling. 'I'll do everything in my power to protect you. And your humans if that's your desire. But I won't kill our brothers. Not ever.' She looked Cas in the eye and all Cas could do was nod that he understood her conditions. 'Drink?' She offered, smiling again as she passed the bottle of Jack to Cas. Cas looked at it with curiosity. 'You most well enjoy the forbidden fruits now, Cas, they might not exist too much longer.' Ezra coaxed him. Cas looked around to see Bobby swig at a bottle of Jamaican rum then hand it Dean.
'When in Rome.' Cas said as he opened the bottle and pressed it to his lips.
'I am such a bad influence.' Ezra chimed.
'Yes, you are.' Cas spluttered as the liquor burned his throat with a surprisingly comforting warmth.