a/n Time to wrap this party up, people! Don't worry. I have some random side stories, and plans for a sequel. (But that has to wait until we're sufficiently into the sixth season for me to insert the girls.) Also, just fyi, the case Bobby calls them with is based on a Maryland folk tale, and I just made a few changes. Check it out, if you want. "Black Aggie".
"So you're an honest-to-God angel?"
The other three hunters watched in amusement as Castiel winced. "I would appreciate it if you would not use my father's name in that manner, Elizabeth."
Lizzy rolled her eyes, skipping happily forward. She didn't bother to lower her voice when she announced to Sam, "Yep. He's a holier-than-thou, sanctimonious, non-swearing servant and messenger of the Big Guy. Cas here doesn't approve of drinking, hustling pool, sex, or any of the other fun vices, does he?"
Dean wrapped an arm around the angel's shoulders, who tensed up at the contact. Ignoring Castiel's discomfort, he nodded. "Got it in one, doll." Slapping Cas firmly on the back, Dean moved forward to his spot at the front, leading the ragtag group to the diner.
"Well, where are your wings?"
The set of the angel's jaw suggested he was trying to decide whether the blonde was being facetious, or was legitimately curious. "They cannot be seen by mortal eyes."
"How 'bout the halo and harp?"
Now Castiel was sure he was being mocked, and the straight lips were pulled down into a displeased frown.
Gabrielle quickly stepped up and smacked her small cousin on the back of the head. "Ow!"
"Lay off, Lizzy. Flirting with an angel will probably only lead to you ending up somewhere full of hellfire and damnation."
Lizzy pouted, while the angel in question's eyebrows shot up. "Do you mean to imply, Gabrielle, that Elizabeth was expressing a sexual interest?"
Gabs grinned widely. "What I'm saying is that Lizzy doesn't have an off button, and she flirts like a fish breathes water."
Between the cultural reference and the analogy, Castiel had become sufficiently lost. Perhaps later he would ask Dean to clarify the older woman's statement.
"Here we are, guys!" Dean spun around, grinning like someone had handed him the world on a platter. He waved at the diner he and Gabs had visited the night before the hunt. "Best pie in the state."
"What is your obsession with pie about?" Gabrielle couldn't help but ask, as they trooped into the old, yellow and brown building and squeezed into a leather booth.
"It's pie, woman," was all the answer the oldest hunter gave.
As Lizzy went back to flirting with Cas, who had the look of a lamb watching a wolf stalk closer, and Sam read through the menu, bitching about the lack of a decent salad, Dean caught Gabs' eye. A silent conversation passed between them.
You ever gonna tell Liz?
He raised an eyebrow.
Okay, maybe not. Why?
A casual shrug. Just doesn't seem right.
When you made that deal a few years back, were you planning to tell Sam?
Hell no! But this isn't the same.
Her smile was sweet and tinged with condescension. Right.
Dean gave up and pulled out his own menu, grinning at the pictures of cheeseburgers, fries, and the twelve flavors of pie.
Gabs' phone started ringing. She checked it, then flipped it open. "Hey, Bobby. What's up?...Yeah, I'm fine...You sure?...Okay, hang on a sec."
She grabbed a napkin and then stopped the passing waitress. "'Scuse me, do you have a pen I could borrow?"
"Okay, Bobby. Go for it."
After scribbling something down in writing that was illegible to either of the brothers, she nodded. "Got it. Thanks Bobby...I'm fine, dammit!...Right, yes, I promise I'll call. Bye."
Snapping the phone shut, she stared down at the napkin, then looked up at her cousin.
Lizzy immediately shook her head. "No way, Gabs. I at least get a milkshake before we book."
Sam had a good idea what was going on, but curiosity won out. "What is it?"
Handing the pen back to the waitress, with a quick "Thanks!", Gabrielle sighed. "Some statue in Maryland, kept on a family plot, out in Druid Hill, that's supposedly cursed. Apparently, it killed off an idiot from a fraternity who was in the cemetery as part of Pledge Week. Two other boys went blind from looking the thing in the eyes.
"Bobby thinks it will be a basic salt and burn. The stories say that the ghost haunting and controlling the statue is a woman named Aggie Agnus. He thinks her husband killed her and stuck the statue over her grave as a kind of penance. But now something must've woken her up, and she's taking it out on the men who come wandering through the graveyard.
"And if that weren't enough, there have been a series of women miscarrying for three months. One of the other stories claims that Aggie was pregnant when she died. So we get to go lay her to rest again before anyone else gets killed or blinded."
Dean scowled. "Well that sounds like fun."
"Actually, Dean, it sounds quite depressing," Castiel chimed in.
The hunters all rolled their eyes.
"It's sarcasm, Cas. I seriously need to teach you how to use it."
The angel just did that puzzled, head-tilt.
"When do you think you'll leave?" Sam asked earnestly.
Gabs laughed, and turned to Dean. "He's doing that puppy-dog-eyes thing again."
Dean reached across the booth and lightly punched his little brother in the arm. "Dude, you're sad."
"Don't hit me, Dean!"
They fell to squabbling like a bunch of kids, and the angel watched in befuddlement. But he was also pleased to see Dean and Sam happy. It was rare, these days. Any moment of joy was one Castiel was glad for.
A few hours later, they (minus Cas, who had disappeared off on his "quest" again) all stood in the parking lot staring at each other.
Their shit was packed and in the cars, and the job was done. There was really no reason to hesitate about splitting up. But over the past few days, they had changed from acquaintances to actual friends, and that wasn't something to brush off easily.
Eventually, Lizzy strutted over and stood on tiptoes to sweep her lips across Dean's cheek. "See you 'round, hot stuff."
He grinned down at her. "Same to you, Liz."
Then she literally threw herself into Sam's arms and laid a kiss on him that made Dean think of porno movies, and had Gabrielle rolling her eyes. When the blonde finally stepped back, Sam's tan face was bright red, and he looked as dazed as if someone had taken a bat to his head. Licking her lips, then smirking, Liz slapped the tall brother's ass. "Just so you won't forget me. Later, Sammy."
Slowly coming back to himself, Sam shook his head, amused. "I don't think anyone who meets you could ever forget you, Lizzy. Stay safe."
"Will do! Later, boyos!" Turning, she hopped into the passenger seat of the Shelby and stuck in her ipod earbuds.
Which left Gabrielle leaning against the side of the car. With a frown, she stepped up and held out her hand to Sam. As he shook it, the woman spoke. "Don't forget what I told you."
Sam nodded. "I won't. Thanks."
Stepping around Sam, who stole a page out of Liz's book and retreated into the Impala, Gabs came to stand in front of Dean.
They both felt awkward, standing there. Then Dean muttered, "Screw it." and jerked the girl to him, holding her tightly as he planted a kiss on her lips.
She didn't retreat, just met the kiss with a slow, honeyed response. They pulled back at the same time and she grinned. "Take care of yourself, Winchester."
"I always do, Gabs."
"Liar." Pivoting, she walked around to the driver's door of the Shelby. Just before she swung in, she called over the cars, "Don't be surprised if I call to check up on you."
"What are you, my mother?" Dean scoffed, pleased and exasperated all at once.
"No, asshole. I'm your friend."
"There is that," he responded sagely.
She laughed. "Oh yeah. And tell that angel of yours thanks."
He rested his weight back against the Impala, and watched as the Shelby pulled out and away, heading west.
Getting into his own car, he turned the key, then a thought struck him. "Hey, Sammy."
The younger brother looked over at Dean, expecting a comment about Lizzy's display. "What, Dean?"
"Why'd the vampire cross the road?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "You're a dick."
With a roar of laughter, and the loud sounds of Metallica vibrating through the air, the Impala drove off down the highway.
a/n Holy crap, I actually finished! Wow. Let me sit back and marvel for a minute or two... Anyway, thanks to everyone who read and commented on this story, and I love these characters. I'm going to be posting a sort of epilogue tomorrow that just involves Gabs' reaction to finding out that Sam took the jump into Hell, and talking with Dean. I'm gonna have to wait a bit to start the sequel, since I want to set it during season six. WHICH HASN'T STARTED YET! WHY, GOD, WHY? Must go get a Jensen Ackles fix. *snort* Later, folks!