God Loves You...
Everyone Else Thinks You're a Moron.
S s S s S
Disclaimer: They're not mine. Gosh darn it. Set before "The End" and therefore will no doubt take an AU route to get to where it's going. Wherever that is. Not a death story. As if.
S s S s S
It had been two months, six days and eleven hours since Dean had last seen his brother. Not that he was keeping track. God was not in his heaven and Lucifer was leading them a merry dance.
"Penny for 'em." Bobby rolled across the kitchen floor, running over Castiel's foot in the process, the angel leapt backwards suppressing a pained yelp and Bobby shot him a surly smile. "Oops."
Dean dropped the pendulum he had been half heartedly swinging over a faded and yellowed map.
"This isn't working. If there's a pattern to these attacks, I'm not seeing it." Dean stretched, locking his fingers together and reaching for the ceiling, his vertebrae cracking in loud succession. "We can't even be sure if it's Lucifer and his minions' handiwork, anyway." He glared despondently at the map, dropped his hands with a loud sigh and flicked the crystal pendant across the table. Bobby caught it as it tumbled off the edge.
"Don't be bitching at me. Your heavenly host here is the one who fingered the culprit. Hey," Bobby spun his wheelchair around, "why are you still here anyway? I though you were off God-hunting again."
Castiel looked grave; a thoughtful expression on his face that Dean always thought made him look constipated. "My Father is being elusive. I can only hope that it is part of his plan."
Dean snorted. "Yeah, I had one like that. Screwed me over to the point I don't know which way's up anymore. Bastard," he added with some affection.
Castiel shifted uncomfortably as if to confirm Dean's suspicions. "I thought that finding out why Lucifer is sacrificing these people and burning their temples might help us understand his plan. And I am perfectly aware of which direction up is in." He waved a finger heavenward.
"Plan? What is there to understand about world domination and wiping out humanity? I should introduce you to some James Bond movies. Might give you an insight into the evil super villain routine," Dean offered. "You know, Satan ain't all that original when you get down to it. Bet he doesn't even feed people to blood thirsty sharks. It would make this end of times crapshoot so much more entertaining."
Castiel looked perturbed his eyes met Bobby's, who shrugged and raising his forefinger circled it suggestively at his temple.
"I saw that." Dean yawned and wondered for the millionth time where Sam was, and what he was doing.
"You should call him." Bobby rolled backwards until he was level with Dean. "Because if I have to keep looking at that miserable moping face any longer I am going to shove this goddamn chair off the nearest cliff. With you in it. Now give me that freaking map." Bobby grabbed the parchment from the table, stuck it between his teeth and hands on wheels trundled away to the living room.
Castiel gazed after him, cocking his head. "I find it hard to keep up with his changing emotions. Is it because he can no longer use his legs?"
"Not so much. Always had more mood swings than a roomful of premenstrual teenagers has our Bobby. God bless him. Wherever the fuck he is." Dean yawned again. After a promising start the apocalypse was proving to be something of a bore, even an appearance by Zachariah and his oily crew would a least provide some entertainment. There were some distinct disadvantages to being hidden from the omnipresent view of so many ethereal nosy parkers.
"Dean, it grieves me greatly to hear you use those profanities when talking about our Father." Castiel was starting to fidget and despite his apparent censure of Dean's words seemed more interested in what was going on outside the kitchen window.
"No shit." Dean left the table. "You're starting to twitch. Come on, you can't find God, Lucifer's playing 'Where's Waldo?' and I feel like mixing it up. Sitting here isn't going to help any. There was something on the local news last night about the increase of lice infestations in schools. Could be a sign of something."
"Lice?" Castiel glanced sideways.
"Yeah, you know. Bugs, nasty itchy little devils. Sam was always picking them up from class and I would always end up with nit duty." Dean shuddered, "I hate them. Microscopic fuckers." He looked hopefully at the angel, who edged away from him.
"I was unaware that such things were a portent of the arrival of Lucifer."
"What? They totally are. I looked it up. Biblical plagues. Apparently camels going belly up are another one. We should probably check out any zoos, see if their dromedaries are still up and running."
"Dean." Castiel sighed and then stretched forward, as if trying to catch a glimpse of something through the smudged glass.
"Those are plagues unleashed by the wrath of God. They are not of Lucifer's hand."
"So God's a dick too. Nice." Dean stuck his hands in his pocket and waited to be chastised. Castiel ignored him, he kept quiet for a few seconds but the angel's attention was firmly fixed elsewhere. Dean sighed, getting a rise out of angels used to be so easy.
"Come on Cas…"
"There is an old green truck outside the gates. Is it anybody you or Bobby know?"
Dean peered worriedly over the angel's shoulder. "Damn. We're not expecting any visitors." He turned and yelled into the next room, "Bobby, heads up. We've got uninvited guests. Get those wheels spinning."
A low mumble of expletives drifted across the kitchen. Castiel looked as if his intestinal troubles were making themselves known again. Smothering a grin, Dean tucked his gun into the back of his pants and pulled open the kitchen door. Action of some sort at last, he hoped.
"Stay loose," he advised Castiel, who frowned back at him and then leaned with exaggerated nonchalance against the kitchen sink.
Dean trod carefully around the house and down the driveway toward the truck. A man was climbing from the driver's side, around Bobby's age and height, twice as round, his plaid jacket straining at its buttons. He was fiddling with a small piece of paper and squinting at the house.
"What can I do for you, buddy? This is private property." Dean braced his legs and with crossed arms did his best to look intimidating. He needn't have bothered, the man jumped, visibly startled and Dean relaxed minutely, he hadn't even been noticed by their visitor. Probably not a threat. Definitely not a hunter and he'd never known demons to pick vessels quite so portly.
"I'm looking for Bobby Singer." The man came up to the padlocked gate and crinkled the paper at Dean.
"You've found him."
"Oh." The man looked a little flustered and then collecting himself looked Dean straight in the eye, "I was told he was in a wheelchair."
"It's a miracle," Dean smiled tightly.
"It's okay Dean. I'll handle this." Bobby's voice came from behind him. "I'm Singer. Do I know you?" Bobby stopped at his side, pulling back on the wheel rims and catching Dean's ankle with one of the foot plates.
"Ow. That thing should be a registered weapon." Dean hopped away, keeping his eyes on their visitor.
"Cry me a river," Bobby growled. "Yes?" He barked at the man peering in through the crisscrossed wires.
The man's uncertain gaze shifted between them and he cleared his throat nervously. "My name's Ed Baines and I've got a message for you. I promised I'd deliver it. And, well, I owe the guy so... " He stopped and shook his head, "This is harder than I thought."
Dean found himself tensing and almost of its own accord his hand came to rest on the gun at the small of his back. Bad news, he could smell it on the air. Bobby seemed to sense it too, his hands gripping his chair tightly as he propelled himself forward.
"Spit it out man, I ain't got all day."
Baines cleared his throat. "I promised him I'd tell you what happened and that he's sorry,' he paused and then carried on, only his voice was quieter and Dean caught a note of genuine sorrow in it. "I promised I'd let you know. That Sam Winchester died."