AUTHOR'S NOTE:

This chapter is kind of the chapter that starts to involve the "romance" so…there's a lot to it.

There are also lots of twists and turns, so bear with me, okay?

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

ENJOY!

****

Dean stroked Grace's hair, smiling softly and pulling back as she ran her hands along his arms. He ran his nose along hers and then made eye contact, Grace smiling at him and then slipping her fingers into his hair. It was just kind of gentle and slow, and Dean was feeling at peace for the first time in a long time.

"You sure?" Dean asked her suddenly.

Grace just nodded and kissed him, both of them pulling back slowly when her cell phone went off. She reached down into the pocket of her jeans, pulling out her phone and looking at the cover, biting her lip. Dean ran his fingers through her hair and nodded, knowing that she was going to answer the phone. From the look in her eyes this was important, and she knew that no matter what she wanted, this phone call took precedence, and that was that.

"It's Jeremy." Grace explained, holding up the phone and showing Dean the cover, smiling sadly. "I haven't talked to him really since I took off…not about things that mattered."

Dean nodded and kissed her forehead, his fingers absent-mindedly running along her bra straps. He understood that she needed to talk to him and that she was feeling pretty vulnerable, and he backed off, going for his shirt and swallowing when she flipped the phone open and started talking to him. It was still weird for him to realize that he was becoming someone else…and yet not changing who he was at all.

"Hey, Jer." Grace said merrily, glad he was calling. "How have you been? How's Mary?"

Jeremy smiled a little. "Mary's fine—I'm actually calling about you. About you, Thea, Lucifer, your Dad…all of it, Gracie."

"I figured it wasn't a house call." Grace replied, looking up as Dean headed out of the room and closed the door behind him.

Grace just nodded and then told Jeremy to hang on, pulling her shirt on and then telling Jeremy to come to Bobby's and they'd talk then. She didn't want to be away from Dean right then, and it wasn't even about their 'relationship' or about sex or any of that—it was that Jeremy was around and there were things she wanted to talk to Dean about. There were things that she wanted him to know…things that she wanted him to hear from her.

"I wanted to be close to Dad because I knew he knew things." Grace admitted when she made it to the living room, Dean settling into the couch.

Dean looked up at her and raised his eyebrows. "Come again?"

"I didn't come back solely for the purpose of reconnecting with my father." Grace said, feeling the tears welling up as she thought about it all. "Yeah, I've forgiven him, but that doesn't erase all of the pain I felt when he killed my mother. I was so young, and I know he was trying to protect me, but…she was my mother. I've grown up knowing about hunting—knowing that my father was a hunter. I knew about demons, and about angels, and I've killed my fair share but…there was always something missing. Dad knew Mom before she was Mom. He knew things about her that I'm only just getting to know. I thought that in the gaps that maybe…maybe all of this angel stuff would make sense."

"Grace…you don't have to—" Dean tried.

"—don't shut me down here!" Grace said forcefully even though the intent of it was soft.

Dean just nodded and stood up as Grace wiped her eyes, shaking her head and feeling like a terrible human being. There were so many things that had been running through her head for years—so many things that only Bobby could connect the dots to—and Grace needed to know them. She loved her father, and she always had…she just felt so bad for lying to everyone about her motives. Grace needed answers…and she needed her father.

"I've always known there was a plan for me, Dean." Grace told him, smiling sadly and shaking her head. "I've always known that my mother died…because of menot because of my father."

Dean made another face. "Wait a minute…I don't understand…"

"The way my aunt explained things to me, my mother was Thea's true vessel—just like you're Michael's and Sam's Lucifer's. The catch was that my mother wanted a normal life. She was in love with Dad and she wanted a family and she wanted everything just right…but she couldn't have it like that. Somehow it was laid out that I was going to be special—that I was going to be a link." Grace explained, her lip trembling. "The demon wasn't just having fun. She said she was, but…I pulled that trigger not just because I was upset about the demon laughing about my mother's death…I pulled that trigger because it was my fault that that demon possessed my mother."

"Grace, you can't believe that." Dean told her, going over to her and gathering her up in his arms, wiping away her tears. "It was not your fault that your mother died."

Grace's tears spilled out again. "That's not what Gabriel said."

**

Sam wasn't quite sure where to even begin with Sara, but he bought her meal and they began to talk—about everything. He couldn't control himself it felt like and he told her about him dying, and the psychics and Dean dying and going to Hell and about the Apocalypse…he even told her about his demon blood addiction. For a moment he felt like he was coming on way too strong, but Sara just smiled sadly at him when he closed his mouth, down verbally committing all over her.

She had a feeling that Sam's life was hard, but she never expected it to be like that—never expected him to have to go through that much. It scared her a little, but at the same time her leads to Sam had brought her here, and she had things to talk to him about too and sitting there across from her…he really didn't seem scary at all. He was still Sam Winchester—albeit a little more damaged—and she was still Sara Blake…she was still willing to be there for him.

Sam Winchester risked his life to put strangers first, and ever since their first meeting Sara had been attracted. She hadn't even known about the good deeds that Sam did at first, but she had accepted it…she had accepted him. Sara didn't even really like hunting. She had never thought about taking it up, and she didn't have the nerve to kill anyone or anything, but she definitely couldn't stop thinking about Sam—no matter how hard she had tried to…no matter how many times she told herself that she could move on and have her own life.

"I think it's safe to say that you've had a rough time of it since you left." Sara told Sam, reaching over the table and taking his hand in hers. "I'm sorry about that."

Sam just kind of stared at her. "Really? After all of that you just…really?"

"It's that surprising?" She asked him.

"Well…yeah." Sam told her, nodding and feeling a sudden calm wash over him. "I mean its demon blood…I started the Apocalypse…most girls would run the other direction."

Sam smiled at him and nodded. "Well, Sam—I'm not most girls."

He nodded at that and then motioned his head for the door, Sara nodding and grabbing her jacket, following him past Jeremy, out of the diner. She wanted to see what Sam had in store for their meeting up, and she wanted to make sure that Sam was in good hands—that he was happy. He certainly didn't sound happy, and that made Sara incredibly down-hearted—Sara had always wished for good things for Sam.

"There's a couple of people that I want you to meet." Sam explained, walking her towards Bobby's. "You were really looking for me?"

Sara smiled at him and the happiness in his voice when he asked that. "I do have a little business here that doesn't have anything to do with you, but uh…yeah. I missed you even though we never really got to completely know each other. You saved my life though, and you gave me a chance even though your heart was healing and I just…I was scared you were dead. I mean you kind of were but…"

Sara trailed off and Sam laughed a little, both of them laughing together and then Sam felt his stomach lighten as she reached for his hand. Their fingers interlaced and she looked up at him, amazed to see him, and hoping that she could keep him this time. If that meant having to use her newly honed skills to help them to research and talk their way into things then so be it…she just wasn't so keen about the killing part.

"So who am I meeting?" Sara asked Sam as they walked in sync.

Sam smiled and nodded a little. "Bobby Singer and his daughter, Grace. They live just up the way and uh…he's like my Dad and she's becoming a very dear friend of mine."

"Sounds like fun to me." Sara replied nodding. "How is Dean?"

"Dean is…we've all been better." Sam admitted shrugging a little.

Sara nodded and instantly felt ridiculous about having asked such a question when she knew that Dean had been in Hell. She also knew that Sam and Dean were having some brotherly problems that they needed to work out, but she had faith that they would. Sam smiled down at her as he opened up the front door and they walked in, Dean holding Grace on the couch and obviously both of them were distraught.

"Sara?" Dean asked suddenly when he looked up.

Grace wiped her eyes and forced a smiling, wiping her hands on her jeans and then standing up and extending her hand. Sara took it and shook her hand, surprised that Dean remembered who she was, but flattered all the same. She was also a little surprised at how beautiful Grace was, but by the looks of things, Grace's heart was not interested in Sam—it was interested in Dean.

"She knows everything, so you don't have to sugar coat anything, Dean." Sam explained, looking at Grace and running his hands on her shoulders. "What happened?"

Dean gave Sam a look. "Everything?!"

"Everything." Sam repeated and then looked back at Grace. "Is there anything I can help you with?"

"You can help me to get all this 'Gabriel' stuff out of her." Dean told him, shaking his head. "She goes off and says he talked to her and then clammed up."

Dean was frustrated and Sam knew that, but it wasn't because of what Grace had said entirely—it was because she had been obviously crying and Dean couldn't get her to stop. Sam had known that there was something more to Grace than she was letting on, but he hadn't expected so many angels to be involved. He knew right then and there that though he wanted to so badly, catching up with Sara would have to wait—this had to do with the Apocalypse bearing down their throats.

**

Bobby and Castiel arrived at the diner moments after Sara and Sam had left, Jeremy nodding at them—he knew who they were. Castiel stood next to them and then sat down, Bobby wheeling over and smiling a little, glad to see his nephew in one piece. He had heard that Jeremy was going to settle down and that he wasn't involved in this hunting nonsense really, but he hadn't expected to feel so fatherly.

It wasn't that Bobby wasn't used to the feeling—it was that he seemed to be feeling fatherly so much more often these days. Dean, Sam, Grace—they all needed him and he knew it, but he felt like such a hassle to them…he felt like such a nuisance these days. There were so many times that he thought about just sticking that gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger, but at the same time his days were getting better.

He finally was starting to feel a little more whole—a little more like he had a purpose in life now that Grace was back. She counted on him, and she depended on him, and though it was painful to talk about, he got to reminisce about his wife with her and tell her things she wanted to know. Grace had missed out on having a father and a mother because of a demon, and Bobby wanted her to feel like she could know them.

Bobby swallowed as Jeremy looked Castiel over, trying to assess whether or not he could trust him. Jeremy knew that there were people he had trusted before that had turned out to be bad for him and bad for his family, and he didn't want to make the same mistake about Grace. He had already lost his mother tragically, and he didn't want any harm to come to the cousin he loved like a sister—he didn't want harm to come to the only person who knew all of his secrets.

"We have come about Grace." Castiel explained, not enjoying the silence at all. "It is very important that you tell us what you know."

Jeremy nodded at him. "I don't think it's fair to tell you anything unless Grace is there to know too. I called her, and though she seemed a little pre-occupied, she wants me to come…meaning you didn't tell her that you told me to come."

"I…I didn't know what she could or couldn't handle yet." Bobby admitted, feeling like a terrible person for lying to his daughter again. "She came up against the demon that possessed her mother and she killed her."

"What?" Jeremy asked him, his eyes widening. "How is she coping with that?!"

Bobby gave him a look. He knew that Grace was having a rough time and that anyone who knew how her mother had really died would be worried about her, but it was all in Jeremy's tone. Jeremy knew something that Bobby didn't, and Bobby wanted to know what it was, and he wanted to know it right then and there. What was going on that Bobby knew nothing about?

"What is going on here?" Bobby asked him.

Castiel looked at Bobby. "We should continue this conversation in a more private place."

"Castiel couldn't be more right." Thea explained, smiling at them from her red-headed body and tilting her head a little to the side. "Castiel…it's been a while."

"Thea." Castiel said nodding.

Unlike the other angels, Castiel didn't feel the need to hide from Thea—he didn't feel the distrust for her. She had never steered him wrong in the past and she had been running from Zachariah and Castiel trusted her—he trusted her with Grace…he trusted her with the Winchesters. Bobby noted the look on Castiel's face before he spoke to Thea, finding that it was hard to find the right words to say.

"You're a big part of this puzzle." Bobby told her.

She nodded at him. "I am indeed…and I need you all to understand something and understand it now—we need to protect Grace."

"That's what I'm trying to do." Bobby explained to her, giving her a look. "You mind telling me what you're doing here?"

"Jeremy has Karen's journals—he just doesn't have the whole story." Thea admitted, looking around the diner. "We should move to your house."

Bobby agreed with her and he wheeled his way out, Jeremy and Castiel following him, all four of them going with Thea to his house. Grace looked up, the only one in the living room right that moment and she swallowed. Sam and Sara were in the kitchen making some food and some tea, and Dean had gone out to the car to grab some things. Grace went for Jeremy first and they hugged each other close, Jeremy stroking her hair and she rested her face in his neck.

"I've missed you." Grace whispered and then her voice cracked. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you everything before I left."

Jeremy nodded and pulled back. "What are you hiding, Gracie?"

"What is going on here, Grace?" Castiel asked her, and then he looked at Thea. "What is the master plan?"

"Too many questions." Thea answered, not looking at Dean as everyone else did as he came back in the front door. "The first thing we need to focus on is Gabriel…and his connection to Grace and Jeremy."

Note: OMG I threw ANOTHER curveball at you! Two in fact if you count the Jeremy stuff. What about Jeremy? What is Grace hiding? Where is the third Horseman? Feedback is always appreciated!