AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Okay, so…you guys can really view Grace as you will, but I hadn't expected to get the reaction about her that I did.

HaHa.

So she's being developed more this chapter.

WARNINGS: Language, Controversial Topics, Dark Themes, Sex, Violence, Blood

ENJOY!

****

Present…

Grace effectively pushed Dean off and he cocked his head to one side, completely confused.

"I don't know what that was, but…no, Princess." Grace replied softly, a blush rising in her cheeks.

Yeah, she thought that Dean was rather attractive, but Hell she thought that about a lot of people. In fact she even thought Sam was attractive, but that didn't mean that she was simply going to jump in bed with either of them. That wasn't how Grace operated and she was feeling bad, because she was feeling like this whole situation with her and Dean was all her fault.

"Sorry, I thought that was why you started touching me." Dean told her, waving it off and feeling guilty too.

Grace nodded softly. "I have a habit of invading peoples' personal space when I get upset and you weren't listening to me."

"Because I think your plan is ridiculous." Dean replied, looking at her hard. "Sorry, I jumped you."

"Don't apologize, Dean—it's fine." Grace said, shrugging it off. "Now just stick to the plan and we won't have a problem."

Dean nodded and with an awkward glance between the two of them, they parted and Grace went back over her plan while Dean went to talk to Sam.

**

60 Hours Earlier…

Sam glanced back at Grace in the back seat and smiled a little as he watched her working away on her laptop. She was biting her lip, which seemed to be a habit for her whenever she was stumped or thinking really hard. Dean glanced at Sam glancing at Grace and grinned a little—looked like Sam had a crush.

"So, Grace…how long have you actually known Bobby?" Dean asked into the silence, trying to help Sam to get some more information about her.

Grace looked up. "Only a couple of weeks now. It took me a while to find him after Mom died, and then when I did, he wanted me to make sure that what I had seen was what I had seen and in the meantime we got to know each other better."

"We're really sorry you lost your mother." Sam told her honestly.

"Me too…but I'm not the only one. 'A hunter's life is sacrifice'—that's what my mother always said and it seems to be true. Even so, my life has been pretty awesome." Grace recollected with a small shrug. "I just wish Mom was still here so I could share it with her some more."

Sam nodded and so did Dean, both catching on to the hitch in her voice as she spoke about her mother. The wounds of her loss were still too fresh, and yet she was being as strong as she could be…focusing on killing her mother's killer. It was kind of obvious that she had been raised as a hunter…but she'd also been raised as a person.

There wasn't anything about Grace when she was settled in, that really made it like she hardened or cynical. She had an attitude, sure, and she wasn't incredibly trusting at first, but she had this optimism about her that was rare for a hunter. When you were raised to be a hunter you knew the cardinal rule: Never trust anyone.

"Get off on this exit." Grace said as she caught the road sign. "We're just about there."

Dean nodded and took the exit, following all of Grace's instructions until they got to a large house. There was some stray police tape, but the investigation was over and they had moved on from the house. Grace got out of the Impala slowly and looked up at the house, smiling slowly and remembering some times with her mother on that swing in the front yard…the good and the bad.

**

15 Years Ago…

"Mommy, I just wanna swing." A ten-year-old Grace told her mother firmly, obviously very upset about something.

Her mother nodded at her. "All right, Gracie…but then we have to talk about what you saw."

"I don't want to." Grace mumbled, and her mother smiled a little and nodded, sitting on the swing next to Grace as she started to pump her feet into the air.

Grace had seen the demon—she'd seen what the demon could do and it was something she had to deal with. She had been raised to know about the supernatural, but she'd never seen it up close like that before...never seen so much blood in one place. Still Grace was determined to believe that there was a reason for everything…that God had a plan and she just had to accept that.

"I think for your birthday next week we should go to an amusement park." Grace's mother told her daughter, sitting still in the swing and watching as Grace went higher and higher.

Swinging was Grace's way of getting her mind off of things. There was something about the rush of air, the feeling of moving through the air and getting closer to the sky that made her feel so much calmer. Every time she went just a little higher, she was that much closer to God, and that made her feel safe.

"I like amusement parks." Grace admitted with a small smile. "He had to die?"

Grace's mother nodded. "Yeah, Sweetheart…he had to die."

"It was God's will?" Grace asked, swinging a little higher.

"I should think so." Grace's mother replied, laughing lightly.

Grace nodded firmly, closing her eyes and feeling the air and the flopping of her stomach. "Then everything is fine, Mommy."

**

Present…

Grace couldn't focus on her plan and she knew that—it was especially hard when Castiel popped into the room. She knew that on some level Dean had thought that she as interested in him, but honestly as attracted as she was to him, she wasn't the type of girl that he was used to. She wasn't going to just give him a good time because she could…she wouldn't respect herself if she did that.

Grace looked up to see Castiel standing there, studying her, and she felt the blush rising in her cheeks again. It really didn't help her that she was currently with three incredibly attractive guys and she couldn't put a handle on the flopping of her stomach. Good news was that Grace was in control of her outer actions, and Castiel looked like he had some news for her, so she gave him her full attention.

"Castiel…did you find the monk?" Grace asked him.

Castiel shook his head. "I apologize."

"It's all right, Castiel…it's really not your fault." Grace told him, and she swallowed and tried to perk up when she realized she couldn't mask the disappointment in her voice as well as she had hoped. "Is it…is it possible it wasn't a monk?"

"It is possible, but highly unlikely." Castiel replied, cocking his head a little to one side and noting her reactions to him.

In being in the company of Dean more and more lately, Castiel had started to pick up on human behaviors. Sure he'd seen humans interact for centuries, but for some reason he had never really truly studied them on their own…and Grace was just as interesting a specimen as Dean. Like Sam she had a moral compass and she was incredibly gifted intellectually, definitely wanting to make a name for herself and being taken seriously without relying on anyone else, but like Dean she didn't trust easy. She also didn't take to calling him 'Cas' like everyone else and Castiel wondered why…he was getting used to it and he wanted Grace to trust him.

"So…are we back at square one?" Grace asked aloud, rubbing her temples. "This is truly frustrating!"

Castiel nodded at her. "Is it possible that something was overlooked? A golem should leave more traces."

"Unless…unless this is bigger than we thought." Grace replied, the wheels turning in her head as she smiled up at Castiel—he'd just given her an idea to perfect her plan.

**

60 Hours Earlier…

Dean stepped up next to Grace and looked down at her as her eyes fixed on the swing and he didn't know what it was that he was supposed to say. Sam was normally the one that had comforting words to impart to the bereaved, and yet he wasn't saying a damn thing to her and Dean didn't know why. Obviously Sam could tell that Dean was having a moment here and needed his help, but Sam was staying perfectly still.

He knew that Grace was having a moment and she needed a nudge, but Sam had also noticed that for some reason Dean cared. Dean never really gave a rat's ass visibly about anyone or what they were going through when they were just passing through. On the other hand Dean held Bobby in the highest respects, and Bobby had made them promise that they wouldn't let anything happen to Grace.

"She, uh…her room is upstairs." Grace said, smiling a little softly. "I'll show you."

Sam and Dean were both surprised that Grace was so willing to do this, but they followed her into the house. Neither of them hurried her along either, because they knew that it was the first time she'd set foot in the house since her mother had been murdered and it was hard for her. Besides, she was handling this so much better than they had expected, and they didn't want to hinder progress.

"My mother had a lot of faith." Grace explained to them with a soft smile as they ascended the stairs. "I went to church every Sunday, prayed every night, and…no matter what, you know? Even if we were in the middle of a hunt, Mom and I always went to church bright and early Sunday morning. It's the only place I've felt truly safe…God's house. Unfortunately…I haven't been since she died."

Sam swallowed and nodded. "Well, you're still grieving Grace."

"Eventually there comes a time when you have to accept what has happened and move on…even if the ache in your heart still remains." Grace told him. "Mom always told me to keep moving forward."

"She was a good Mom." Dean said softly, feeling happy to meet someone so put together—someone who honestly didn't let this job get to her like most.

Grace nodded and smiled at him, making direct eye contact with Dean. "She was the best."

**

Present…

"Absolutely not!" Dean exclaimed at Grace when he heard her lay it all out there for him. "You are not going to be bait!"

Grace rolled her eyes. "Come on, Princess, I've been bait before."

"You're father told us to make sure that nothing happened to you!" Dean explained to her.

"Dean's right, Grace—it's too risky." Sam agreed, Dean thanking Sam for being on his side as Grace glared at them.

She understood that they had promised Bobby and that Bobby meant a lot to them, but at the same time this was her hunt. Bobby had made her wait for the boys because she needed back-up, but she didn't appreciate in the slightest, having her hunt jacked from her like this. They were supposed to be listening to her—since when was it now they're place to make the decisions? It wasn't.

"This is my hunt, and I'm going to go through with this with or without you." Grace told them firmly.

Castiel stepped in as Dean looked livid. "Grace's plan is solid…we just have to back her up in order to keep her safe."

"Honestly, Cas?" Dean asked him, sighing and nodding when Castiel nodded at him.

If there was one thing that was evident even to a blind person, it was that Dean Winchester trusted Castiel no matter what. The two of them had a bond with each other that was definitely endearing, and Grace smiled because it meant she was getting her way since Castiel was willing to support her here. As far as she was aware there was only one way to get to this golem…and she was going with it.

"All right so…I'm going to need your help with the summoning ritual, Sam." Grace told him with a smile. "You up for it?"

Sam smiled wearily. "Yeah…I've got your back, Grace."

"I'm glad to hear that. Thank you." Grace replied, and then she followed Sam over to his duffle in the motel room and Dean watched her go, Castiel assessing the entire situation as Sam explained to Grace how it all had to go.

Note: Sorry for so much back and forth with all of the time-fluctuations. I have a purpose I swear. Just one more little bit of time flopping back and forth and then it will stay in the present with some flashbacks every once in a while. Feedback is always appreciated!