A/N: Hi everyone! Here's a brand new, hot off the press, much longer update for your reading pleasure. I think this chapter flows nicely and I hope that you enjoy it. The evil plot bunnies had nothing to do with this. It was all me.
A/N: As usual, any and all mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural" or any recognizable characters.
She was surprised how quickly she had grown accustomed to the new life she had just been given. Well, more like the life she took. The woman was beautiful, long, flowing locks of brown hair, hazel green eyes, and a subtle beauty mark on her cheek that she quite admired. On top of the outer beauty, the woman was innocent and pure at heart. To be frank, she was the exact opposite of what her new tenant was known for. Single, successful, beautiful, shy and funny, qualities that made her an easy target. She admired her new meat, having changed out of the woman's conservative look and into a more flashy and revealing one. Ever since she'd made herself at home in the woman's body, she'd been thinking about the recent events that transpired. She had had to find a new vessel since the Winchesters had already seen the former one. In order to keep them on their toes, she had learned long ago to change bodies whenever possible, and Liz had suited her perfectly.
The Winchesters. She felt the anger rise inside her at the very thought of them and their new friends. She had to be patient. Biding her time and thinking of a new plan to overcome them. Surely her master would approve of that. She'd been feeling like a failure for far too long. Sure, she'd managed to trap Sam and Dean last year to make sure Dean held up his end of the deal, but she wanted more. There was just something about them that didn't sit well with her, besides the fact that they wanted her dead. Ever since those angels came into the picture, she'd had an even stronger sour taste in her mouth.
Standing near the woman's bedroom window, glancing up at the moon, she smiled to herself for a moment as the wheels were turning and forming a new plan. Her expression changed completely when she sense someone standing behind her.
"I did it," came the exasperated voice behind her. "It's all done. Now you can make your move towards victory."
"My next move?" she asked.
The figure behind her stared at the back of her head, completely dumbfounded. "Well, yes. Your plan...you can go ahead with it now. The problem has been taken care of."
Lilith turned around and faced him. Her arms were folded over her chest. He'd seen that look before. And he knew he was screwed.
"And what do you know of my plan?"
"The one you're here for. You asked for my help and I have given you all the help I can provide. I killed her."
"You're playing games with me. You said you needed her taken care of, our of the way."
"It's done. I killed her myself. Without her, there is no way Dean Winchester will be able to do this alone."
"You did that for me? You went over there and killed Stephanie for me?" Lilith smiled, put her hand on the woman's chest as a gesture of gratitude, and walked towards her accomplice.
"For you, yes."
Lilith walked closer to him, so close their noses were almost touching.
"Yes," he whispered.
She smiled again and kissed him. Just as she was breaking her lips away from his, she stabbed him in the chest, instantly killing the man, and the demon possessing him.
His body dropped to the floor. "Idiot. Don't these demons know that I get the news updates quicker than they deliver them to me? I am so sick of them kissing my ass, trying to get ahead." The demon laughed. "They're all so stupid. It really is so hard to find good help these days." She kicked the corpse for good measure, and because it was funny.
When the body remained lifeless, she crouched down beside it and whispered, "Ya see, smart ass, I know for a fact that Stephanie is not dead. She's alive and well. So even if I had asked you to kill her, you still would have failed, and you'd still be dead." She giggled to herself. "Really now, you think I'm that stupid? Sending someone to do my dirty work for me? No. I will do it myself." The demon stood up. "I wonder what she looks like inside out."
After what felt like forever, Stephanie was glad to finally be out of her sticky, ripped, stained clothes. She headed upstairs after she regained her balance and the room stopped spinning to take a shower and change. The bathroom quickly filled with steam from the hot water flowing behind the curtain. Even after her long, hot shower, she still felt cold and weighed down. She sighed when she told herself that she'd just have to get used to it again. Throwing the damaged clothes away, she headed back downstairs to see what the others were doing.
To her surprise, she had found that the all had resumed their usual duties and carried about their business. Trying not to attract and unnecessary attention to herself, she tip-toed into the kitchen to get some coffee. While she was gone, Bobby and Jerry had meticulously and routinely cleaned up the mess from the kitchen table. If anyone would have walked into the house they never would have known that any of the day's earlier events had have ever happened. The only exception was the garbage pail filled to the top with blood-stained towels. Stephanie felt a shiver run down her spine. As she reached for a clean coffee mug, she made mental note to remember to take the trash out later before the smell made everyone sick.
A voice came from behind her. "How you holding up?"
"Damn these old, creaky floors. I guess I wasn't being as quiet as I thought," she said, filling her mug with the hot, dark liquid. She didn't need to turn around to know that it was Dean. When he didn't reply to her weak attempt to be funny, she said, "I'm fine."
"You sure?" He hesitated, but took a few steps closer to her.
"Yeah, I'm sure," she said, taking a sip.
"Oh, okay then. Just wanted to make sure." He turned to leave, but she sensed he had followed her for a different reason.
"Dean, I know."
He stopped and looked at her. "Know what?"
"Why Cas did what he did," she said. He stared at her. "I was dead. I was at peace. Gone, happy...free. I wanted to stay with my Mom. I wanted out of this life. And he brought me back. Again. And I couldn't understand why. I was angry. I wanted answers, and something better than 'righteous blood' or whatever." She paused when she saw the look on his face.
He didn't say anything, so she continued. "But then I saw you. You were standing there, and you actually looked worried." He straightened up and tensed.
"I knew that you had asked him to save me. Why? I have no idea. I was under the impression you thought I was out of my mind to say what I said to you and to go as far as forgiving you for everything." She paused again. She was making him uncomfortable, but he wasn't going to walk away. "We were both free of me. You could go ahead and do what you need to, fight the good fight with Sam by your side, just like you always have. But there was a part of you that realized you need me. And I can't necessarily hold a grudge against a reasoning like that."
Coffee in hand, she signaled the end of the conversation by walking away from him and towards the living room where Bobby, Sam and her family were, Dean couldn't help but stand dumbfounded.
He couldn't believe it. She wasn't angry at him for asking Cas to save her, to bring her back to him. She was right, she needed to hear the truth, and it decided it would be best if she heard it from him.
"Steph," he said.
She turned. "Yeah?"
"I asked him to do what he did, because I believe what you said."
"Believe what?" Whether she was asking just to mess with him, he'll never know. He replied anyway.
"That I deserve to be saved."
She smiled widely. "Finally! Dean Winchester has seen the light! You better start making a habit out of believing other people, my friend. You gotta trust the people you have on your side. If not, all hell will break loose."
"Aren't you curious why?"
"Nope. I'm just glad to hear you're starting to agree."
"You were right. I realized that I do need you here with me." His guard was down, and admitting it out loud didn't make him sound like the strong, confident, cocky Dean Winchester the world knew. He didn't know what it was, but there was something about her that gave him a odd sense of comfort; like her being there with him made victory feasible. Sure, he had Sam. If there's anything, or anyone, in the world he's always had, it's Sam. But lately Dean had been questioning his brother's loyalty. He used to think that he had a chance to hold onto Sam, even with Ruby in the picture, but now he's not so sure.
"Dean, I can't convince you to forgive yourself for your actions. And I sure as hell can't help save you from whatever demons you're fighting in the melon of yours."
She stepped towards him. "But maybe we can help each other. And who knows, maybe you're on the road to forgiving yourself. Let bygones be bygones. Move on. We'll work as a team, and we'll face whatever fate has in store for us together."
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