Title: Use Your Illusions
Rating: R overall
Warning(s): blasphemy, violence, language, sex (slash)
Spoilers: Up to and including the promos for 6x19, "Mommy Dearest"
Pairing(s): Dean/Cas, past Dean/Lisa, past Sam/Eve (promise it'll make sense once you start reading)
Authors: wanderamaranth and quantum_witch
Summary: In trying to defeat Raphael's armies, Castiel has employed a desperate and dangerous gambit which backfired in the worst way, and now must turn to the Winchesters for help. Meanwhile, Dean slowly comes to understand he doesn't have all the time in the world to accept his 'stupid girly feelings'. And Sam finds himself, quite literally. Every possible wall comes tumbling down, for everyone.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction. No profit is being made from the creation, promotion, or publication of this work of fiction. We're not taking ourselves too seriously, and don't expect you to, either.
NOTE: This is a S6 AU set post 6x18. This was fully outlined prior to 6x19 airing and is based on what we thought would be a cool direction for the show to go, and is based on nothing except spoilers, photo stills, and our own pure speculation from 6x18 onward. While some things are similar to what has aired since then (dialogue, scenarios, etc.) that's just the result of us being excellent at speculation. Either that or physic. (Originally published 4/29/2011 on wanderamaranth's LJ)
Grant's Pass, Oregon
He'd Fallen for a smile.
He remembered that now. Her smile, and the desire to escape the drums of war had pushed him over that edge, had made him think that perhaps Heaven was not all it should be.
But it was mostly the memory of her smile.
She was God's first feminine creation. She'd been made as a plaything, but she was not a tamed beast. Lilith was fierce, immovable, one of the most powerful of His creations ever crafted, and she had willingly abased herself at His feet. Such a mighty creature subjugating herself to His will had been enough to amaze, to inspire awe, in all angels.
It had not, though, been enough for Him.
When He'd tired of her, He'd remade her into flesh and tried to pass her off as the other half of his human experiment. To think that Lilith would be satisfied with being cast aside, to being told that her mate was Adam, God's clumsily animated bit of clay, was ludicrous. It had not surprised him when she fled the Garden.
Afterwards, the archangel had tried to follow the carrying-on of God's humans, he did. He saw the formation of the second Lilith, saw how Adam (ungrateful creature that he was) refused her touch after witnessing her creation. He saw how Lucifer lead that Lilith away, how he whispered into her ear and promised her things that were beyond his power to grant her, saw how Eve was then made. Heard how the Host had sung, celebrated the fact that their Father had finally managed this, making his man a suitable mate.
Is that where the phrase third time's a charm came from?
The question came from a different corner of himself, and he smiled.
Yes, he thought, and that curious part that he still held, the Sam part, smiled as well.
Sam, he mouthed, trying it out. Mentally, he nodded. Yes, that's his name.
"Samael," Lilith—no, Eve, he reminded himself—breathed. He blinked and shook his head, trying to clear what seemed to be plaster dust from his eyes. Somewhere above him, someone was screaming, long and wordlessly.
Samael, he thought, rolling it around in his mind. Yes, that was his name, too.
Eve took a step towards him, hand outstretched, a look of relief on her face. And then she smiled. It was the same smile she'd given him on their first proper meeting.
He'd tried to follow the fallacies of the newly-burgeoning human race as they were born, bred, and died, but it was Lilith (it was too difficult to think of her as Eve just yet) who'd fascinated him.
Generations of humans passed from the earth, but not she. Lilith had not partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; she was outside punishment for that particular wrong, and so lived on and on.
He'd not known that he'd craved a connection with another creature until her. As an archangel, he'd been created to be fairly autonomous. Yet as he watched her, down there on earth, wandering, he could not help but wonder if she had been created the same. If she was content in her solitary existence, floating with no clear destination, no place to call her own.
So he went to earth to find out.
Where most of God's creations would have blanched at even his most modest representation of his true form, Lilith had not. He'd appeared before her, and she'd smiled.
He knew then that he was lost.
"It is you," Eve said, taking another step towards where he was sprawled out upon the ground. His chest burned; it was hard to breathe. "Oh, Samael, look what has been done to you."
He'd left Heaven, had taken Lilith as his wife. But then God stepped in.
He told Samael that he had to choose. And so help him, he had. He'd locked Lilith away, sealed her within and outside herself, and buried her bones under the Mediterranean Sea. Doing so left him essentially human, his grace so weakened that he'd never be an archangel again. He was just a regular angel, a foot pad, a shadow of his formal self. He'd essentially been castrated, and for what?
He'd never be trusted in any of the earth-bound garrisons, not after having taken human wives. It took several millennia, but Samael became resentful, restless. When the Heavenly Host began to sing of the birth of the Righteous Man, Samael looked down with the other angels, saw the joy of John and Mary Winchester, and wanted to feel with them, to bask in their happiness just as his brethren were, to hear his kin sing words of love for the child, one of God's very special ones.
Instead, all he could hear was the renewal of the drums of war.
Something in him broke. He was heartily sick of it all.
So he reached inside himself, grasped his grace, and pulled.
"Sammy!" Dean Winchester screamed brother. He could see the man straining towards him, fighting the monstrous arms that held him back.
Sammy. His thoughts wavered. Sammy. Yes...yes, another one of his names.
If he were honest, it was the one he liked the best.
Samael felt as Sammy Winchester—the human soul-reached for that part of him, that part of them that could exorcise demons, scrambling and pushing at the corners of his mind, straining to reconcile the influx of foreign memories (not foreign, part of him chided gently, just long forgotten) which made him Sammy, not Samael, not even Sam.
You didn't need the feather to fly. You had it in you the whole time, Dumbo.
Why, Sammy'd asked Ruby when she'd said that. Why him?
Because, she'd said, it always had to be you.
Now he understood why.
Two lifetimes, disparate in length but equal in emotions felt and experiences garnered—snapped together and coalesced.
It was exhilarating and peaceful. Life-demolishing and affirming. And yet it was extraordinarily simple: the young man who'd always known himself as Sammy Winchester, who'd felt a bit hollow in his own bones, and Samael, the archangel who abdicated from Heaven to escape war and a long-regretted decision, became one, and in doing so, finally felt complete.
Sam lay on his back, focusing on breathing, in a pile of rubble that had formerly been a wall.
He'd knocked it completely down.
o - o - o - o
24 Hours Earlier
"So this is it?"
"Yup," Sam said, climbing out of the passenger seat of the Impala. He stretched his arms over his head, yawning. "Grant's Pass, Oregon."
"Huh," Dean said. "I was expecting more Zombieland, less Pleasantville."
"Just 'cuz it looks quiet doesn't mean it is. Especially if she's got a clue we're comin'." Bobby tilted his head, gently cracking his neck.
"Yeah, well, if she does, I'm glad that we have Smitey McSmiterton on our side here," Dean quipped, gesturing to Castiel. The angel lifted a brow, but didn't comment. He hadn't seemed to enjoy the car ride there, but that, Sam conceded, could have been due to the difficulty they had in reaching the town. As soon as they had passed state lines into Oregon, it seemed that something was determined to make things as difficult for them as possible.
Dean blamed Fate, (now that he knew she was able to take a corporeal form, he'd been blaming her for a lot) Sam blamed poor luck, Bobby blamed both Winchesters and Castiel blamed them all, claiming that if they'd allowed him to transport them in his manner, there wouldn't have been a problem.
The squabbling was not unusual for three grown men (and an angel of the Lord) trapped in a car together.
What was unusual were conveniently missing road markers, sections of highway that had been either washed away by flooding or impassible with crater-sized potholes, and directional signs that were reversed, sending them on wild chases to the opposite side of the state from where they needed to be. Finally, after driving back from Idaho three times, the quartet managed to figure out what was happening, and Sam turned his Blackberry's GPS on.
"You couldn't have done that before?" Dean had snarked at the time. The GPS did its job though, and now they were at their destination.
"Ok," Sam said, "according to what Bobby was able to piece together, this town should be crawling with demons and monsters alike." Gesturing out towards the idyllic scene spread before him, he asked, "So where the hell are they?"
"Damned if I know," Bobby groused. All three turned to look at Castiel, who shrugged.
"I've already mentioned that the Mother is invisible to me and all other angels."
Dean said, "Yeah, but what about monsters? Demons? Any tingles on those fronts, spidey?"
Frowning, Cas canted his head to one side. Sam thought he was going to ask Dean what he meant, but instead the angel closed his eyes and appeared to concentrate on something deep within himself. When he opened his eyes, he shook his head.
"I can sense nothing."
"Great," Dean muttered. "Guess that means we're going about this the old-fashioned way. Bobby, Cas, why don't you hit up the coroner's office, see what you can find there. Sam and I will start knocking on doors."
o - o - o - o
Hours later, in the relative privacy of an abandoned house on the outskirts of town, they'd exchanged information.
"Vampires," Bobby said.
"Vampires?" Dean asked, incredulous.
"Lots and lots of vamps," Bobby confirmed. "Some staked, some beheaded, all twice-dead. Why, what'd you find?"
"A whole lot of jack-diddly. No demon portents, not even a sniff of sulfur...no, I take that back. There was one suspicious smelling old lady, but we gave her the old Christo test. Passed with flying colors."
"And definitely no sign of vampires," Sam added.
Castiel walked forward, extracting a fistful of paperwork from inside his trenchcoat. "I can assure you, there is a significant vampire presence in this town." He laid the papers on the room's tiny table. Dean reached forward and spread them out; they were coroner's reports on at least two dozen cadavers.
"Cas, did you steal these?" Sam sputtered.
Blinking, Castiel said, "...Yes."
"Awesome," Dean chortled, slapping a hand on the angel's shoulder. He lurched forward, clearly not expecting the physical contact, and gave Dean a dirty look.
The reports proved Bobby's words (not that the Winchesters had needed verification to believe the older hunter): there was, or at least had been, a large vampire population in Grant's Pass.
"So now what?" Sam asked. "Do you want to go out, question more people? Get our hands on more dead man's blood?" They'd brought some with them, but not much.
"Let's catch a couple hours sleep, maybe eat somethin'. Go back out tonight, when the vamps will be active. Think it's pretty clear from canvassing earlier that the townies aren't going to be telling us anything."
o - o - o - o
Afternoon gave way to dusk by the time the foursome left the house. It was during their second sweep of the cheerful town square that Sam saw Lenore. She looked exactly as Sam remembered, except that her dark hair in was a bit shorter, the soft waves now brushing her shoulders. But it was unmistakably her.
"Psst, Dean!" he hissed.
"Dude, I'm right here, what-"
Sam made a slashing motion across his throat, then nodded significantly towards the vampire. Dean's eyes widened.
"Lenore," he said. "Think she'll talk to us?"
"Who the hell is Lenore?" Bobby whisper-shouted.
Castiel, who had been walking to the left of Dean, paused, looked to where Sam and Dean's attention was fixed, but did not seem to notice anything unusual about her. Then his eyes widened. "A vampire," he declared, in a loud enough voice that the young-seeming woman definitely heard him. Her head snapped up in their direction, and they all froze for several heartbeats. Then Lenore was running, and Dean was cussing.
"Nice, Cas, just fucking great!"
"Do you require her, Dean?"
"Yes, we fucking req-"
As soon as the word yes left Dean's mouth, Castiel was gone. He reappeared with a disheveled, stunned Lenore, and then all five of them appeared in the musty basement of the house the males were squatting in.
To say that Lenore had been freaked out and unhappy about the situation would be stating it very politely.
The presence of an angel of the Lord and three hunters did a lot towards getting her to talk, though. She told them everything she knew about the Mother, even as she warned them that she suspected that Eve could see and hear everything that Lenore did.
"So why tell us anything at all?" Sam asked. "Ow!" he complained, when Dean elbowed him in the gut.
"Sammy, shut up when the nice vampire is telling us what we want to know, ok?"
"No, it's a fair question." Licking her lips, she said, "I'm not doing it out of the goodness of my heart. You have to do me a favor now."
"A favor?" Bobby asked, clearly not liking the sounds of such an idea.
Nodding, Lenore said, "Yes. A favor." Her eyes met Sam's as she said, "You have to kill me."
The response to such a suggestion was not, Sam was sure, what Lenore hoped for.
"Kill you? Are you fucking kidding me?" With a scoff, Dean added, "Monster pacifist. Crazy, suicidal monster pacifist." He gave a dramatic little sigh. "Is this about whole Meyer thing? That had to have been really weird for your clan."
"Dean!" Sam hissed, disbelief coloring the word. His brother really was missing a sensitivity chip or something. Just because he'd had a hate on for that author ever since-
A flash of memory lanced across his skull. Dean in a gaudily decorated room-red walls, hanging beads, black lace-holding a book and snickering at a random passage. He winced, a headache forming behind his eyes.
It had been happening more and more frequently, whenever a sliver of memory from his soullessness returned to him. It wasn't something he'd shared with Dean; his brother was terrified enough of the possibility of the wall in Sam's mind crumbling, and he didn't want to feed into that fear with the fact that he was getting ever-increasing headaches and snatches of odd recollections (usually triggered by something simple, just as this one had been).
"What?" Dean yelped, defensive. "That shit is traumatizing! I was embarrassed, and I was only a vampire for a day! That, Sam, is a very good reason to wish for death."
"Or maybe," Lenore growled-and ohshit it looked as though she was ten seconds away from decking Dean, pacifist or not- "it's because I have no wish to be caught in some sort of holy war between Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, and am uncertain how much longer I'll be able to resist that bitch's call, dragging me right into the middle of it."
"We can not accede to your request at this time," Castiel stepped forward, and held up a hand to forestall any protests.
"You don't know what she does to me, how hard it is to resist her!"
"I'm sorry," he said gravely to Lenore, "but right now you are the only creature of our acquaintance that will be able to lead us to her. We cannot kill you, not until we are within range of the Mother."
Hope lit the back of Lenore's eyes. "But after?"
"Cas," Dean said, warningly, but the angel ignored him.
"Certainly. Afterwards, we will kill you."
"Good," Lenore said, nodding jerkily. "Well then I can take you to her."
Sam exchanged a look with Dean; the corner of Dean's mouth was twisted into a grim frown.
"Well alright then," he said. "Let's go gank ourselves a Mother."
o - o - o - o
There was outwardly nothing to differentiate the diner from a million and one that they'd seen before. A little more than half of the sign was lit, so the buzzing red neon read "Din" instead of the full "Diner", but other than that, there was nothing remarkable about it.
Sam leaned against the passenger door of the Impala and incongruously wished for a cigarette. He'd never smoked, not that he could recall, at least, and didn't know where the urge came from. Perhaps it was a remnant from his soulless days. He turned to ask Cas if he knew if he'd taken up smoking during that time, but then recalled that he'd had to wing up to Heaven for some sort of emergency war-based thing. He'd insisted that it shouldn't take long, that there were simply a few things that he needed to delegate to new angels since Rachel's death, and if they got to their destination before he returned they were to pray for him, and he'd temporarily move his delegating duties onto yet another soldier.
The entire thing sounded tediously autocratic to Sam, but if Cas said he needed to do it, then he needed to do it. Sam just wished he would hurry.
Bobby crawled out of the Impala's backseat, Lenore directly behind him. The grayed hair that splaying out from under the hunter's trucker cap was wet, and he smelled faintly of Irish Spring. It was comforting in its familiarity. A sawed-off was in his right hand, a machete strapped to his left leg.
"This is where I leave you," Lenore said, climbing out of the Impala's backseat.
"Whoa—you're not coming in?" Dean asked from his spot, hunched over the Impala's trunk fishing for weaponry. Sam rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to give him a smart answer, but Lenore beat him to it.
"Pacifist, remember? I brought you here to her because I don't want to fight, not to throw myself into the middle of one. And if I walk in there, I'll be hers." Tilting her head towards the diner, she said, "She's inside. Don't worry about sneaking in. She already knows you're here."
"And you know that she knows this because...?" Bobby asked.
"I just know," Lenore said impatiently. "Good luck." She seemed to brace herself, chin lifted high and neck exposed.
"Uh, what are you..." Then Sam got it. Jesus, she was waiting for them to kill her.
"Yeah, Lenore, actually, about that whole killing you thing," Dean said, "We're not gonna do it."
Lowering her chin, Lenore sputtered, "Excuse me? We had a deal."
"No," Dean corrected, "You and Cas had a deal. And as you can see, he's not here right now. So this is how we're going to work this. Sam, Bobby and I are going to go in that diner, we're going to see if the Mother is there, and if she is, we're going to kill her. We do that, come back out and you still want to die, then fine, we'll do it. But if she's not there, or if she manages to, I don't know, poof away from us or somethin'...we're gonna need you. Alive." Shrugging, he said, "Alive-ish. So we can find her again."
"You...you..." she began, then shook her head. "No, I don't think so," Lenore said. Between one breath of air and the next she was gone, causing Dean and Bobby to swear. Sam wanted to snicker; they really were pretty jumpy for seasoned hunters.
"We should call Cas now," he said instead, and to his surprise Dean glared at him, jaw set in a stubborn line.
"No," he denied firmly. Sam was fairly certain he didn't imagine the flicker of guilt that passed over Dean's face, but it passed so quickly he might have. "That Rachel chick was a grade-A bitch, but she had a point. We shouldn't be calling Cas for every little thing."
"Our vampire-based momma monster attuned GPS cutting out on us and going after the Mother of All Evil are now considered little things?" Bobby asked, bushy brows disappearing under the bill of his hat. "And besides all that, Cas wants to be here for this, Dean. He told us to pray him on down before we confronted her."
"Just..." Dean lifted one hand in the air and then clenched it into a fist in the way that he did when particularly vexed. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and when he opened them pinned first Bobby, then Sam, with a look that Sam had privately dubbed "The Commander". It was the look that Dean pulled out when he expected to be obeyed without further question. Their father had taught Dean that look, but his brother had perfected it. "We're not calling Cas. Not unless we absolutely have to. And this? Not an absolute necessity. We have the ashes. All we have to do is go in there and gank her. That's it." He slapped the lid of the Impala's trunk a little harder than necessary. Dean turned and stomped across the street, clearly expecting Bobby and Sam to follow.
"Well, ok then," Bobby said to Sam. "Wonder what happened to the Dean who was glad Cas was here to do some smiting if necessary." They exchanged worried glances but still picked up their feet to follow.
The interior of the diner was just as unremarkable as the outside. The walls were painted a probably-at-one-time-cheerful yellow; the seats were upholstered with faded burgundy vinyl that was cracked in some places and repaired with multi-colored duct tape in others.
No customers were present, but then, according to Lenore, there weren't many left in the town who hadn't be turned into either a vampire or a demon, so unless there were diner-food loving demons around, there wouldn't be anyone to patronize the place.
There was, however, a server.
"Be with you boys in a minute," a cheerful voice called, and a smiling brunette bounced around behind the counter, humming as she prepared a fresh pot of coffee. Her dress uniform was the same faded yellow as the walls, and her apron was splattered with stains that could be from either berry juice or blood. The battered nametag pinned on her dress read Angela. "Go ahead and have a seat while you're waiting."
They all moved forward, Bobby with them, and the young woman snapped her head away from the coffee maker. Her hands were still perfectly performing the motions, but her eyes were all for the older hunter. "Mr. Singer," she warned with obviously false cheer, "just the boys. You are more than welcome to sit in one of the booths by the window and wait, though. This meeting is for me and them. I'm sure you understand."
"Eve?" Sam asked. From what he could tell she looked like the young woman in the security feeds in Cleveland, but he was thrown by her behavior. She certainly wasn't acting like a pissed creature out to kill them all, as the Khan worm had warned them she was. The brunette turned to him, voice a happy sigh.
"Sam," she said, like his name was the best thing to pass her lips in ages. "Just a few more moments and I'll slice you a piece of your favorite. It's still blueberry, isn't it?" she asked, gesturing towards the pies displayed behind a low glass counter.
"Uh...I guess," he said, exchanging a bewildered glance with Dean. "What are you..." he started to say, and changed midway to, "How did you..."
"Know?" Eve asked, bustling to pick up two plates that had simply appeared on the prep counter. A stacked burger fought with thick cut fries on one, and with a mixed salad on the other. "I know everything about you," she said, the tone suggesting that an affectionate "silly" had been dropped off the end of the sentence at the last moment. Setting the plates on the counter in front of two stools, she said, "Sit, please." She turned away, heading towards the pie case. "And Dean, what kind can I get you?"
"Umm," Dean started, eyes flicking from the stools that seemed to wait for them expectantly and Eve's smiling face. "I'm not sure, they all look so good." Sam wondered what his brother was playing at but it became clear when he saw his hand dip inside his jacket and flick off the stopper to the bottle that held the phoenix ashes and take a step closer to the case, and thus, to Eve. "How about..." he hedged, taking another step, and then, "how about this." Standing on his tiptoes, Dean leaned over the counter and upended the ashes over top of Eve's head.
She obligingly erupted into flames, screaming.
As suddenly as they started, the flames went out. Eve stood before them, panting, her uniform singed and with streaks of soot on her cheeks. Other than some redness that looked about as lethal as contact dermatitis, she appeared completely unharmed.
"Ow!" she pouted, shaking herself. "That hurt, you little bastard!"
Dean turned to Sam, mouthing the words Oh, shit. His huge green eyes found Bobby, who dove (and Sam hadn't known that Bobby could even move that fast anymore—when Crowley fixed his legs he must have given him a mobility upgrade) behind a booth, where he began praying for Castiel, softly and fervently.
"And I was going to give you an extra large slice, too," Eve chided, shaking her finger at Dean and giving a little laugh. She frowned and looked at the plated burgers on the counter. "Look what you did! Your brother's salad is now all ashy and gross." Picking up the plate, she took it to the trash bin and dumped it.
"You don't have to pray quietly on my account," Eve called to Bobby over her shoulder. "It's long past due for Castiel and I to have a powwow anyways."
Bobby stopped mid-prayer as Sam and Dean each unconsciously took a step back.
"What, he didn't tell you?" Eve smirked as she casually dropped the now-empty plate back on the counter. "Boy, is my face red. I thought for sure he would have shared such an important information with you...what, with you all being such good friends and all." She gave Dean a significant look at the word friends, a smirk playing along her lips. Dean's entire body tensed in a way that told Sam that Dean was holding himself in check, barely.
"Information?" Sam pressed. He stuck his hands in his jacket pockets, the right curling around the comfortingly familiar grip of his knife. They didn't know for sure it wouldn't work on her; they'd never tried it. Just because the ashes hadn't didn't mean-
"Why, yes." Eve batted her eyes (and wasn't that just disturbing) and said calmly, "He's the one who ordered my release."
"No," Dean ground out. Fists clenching, Dean stepped back up to the counter. "You're lying. Cas would never-"
"Yes, he would," Eve insisted, with a slight air of impatience. "Would it be easier for you to believe if I looked like this?" A shift of her shoulders, a puff of displaced air, and the attractive brunette was gone.
Mary Winchester stood in her place.
"Mom?" Sam croaked, and Eve winced. "I'm sorry, honey. I know this must be really awkward for you, but your brother is a bit dense. You see, Dean-"
A loud crack split the air, like a single roll of thunder, and a shapely black-haired woman appeared directly behind Dean. Snarling, she reached for him, grabbed the back of his neck and tossed him several feet, like child chucking a doll during a tantrum. A sniff of the air, and her dark eyes narrowed as she advanced on Dean's crumpled form.
"Dean!" Sam shouted, going to his brother's side. This whole venture had turned pear-shaped, fast. He'd been thinking that their best option would be to get out, regroup, and try to find another weapon to use on Eve. But that had been before the arrival of yet another preternatural strong woman seemingly bent on their wholesale destruction. They were, Sam thought, in a word, screwed.
"Ziz!" Eve snapped, stepping out from behind the counter. They made an odd pair, Eve as Mary Winchester in her waitress uniform, and this newcomer in low-slung jeans, belly top, and jangling beaded jewelry. The dark-haired woman stopped her advance and turned towards Eve, a frown marring her features.
"Lilith," she began, voice ringing with a faint, unidentifiable accent, "this one has used my child's ashes. The ashes of a true death of one of my own." Her body fairly quivered with restrained emotion, but at least all of her focus was on Eve, for the moment. Sam used the opportunity to heave his brother into a sitting position. Dean was okay; a trickle of blood leaked down over one brow, but he was awake, aware, and struggling back to his feet.
"Shit," Sam said, with feeling. "Lilith?" he choked, a sense of bizarre disconnect settling over him. It was stupid to draw attention to himself, but he couldn't seem to stop his mouth from forming the word. He looked beyond Eve-as-Mary or Lilith or whoever-the-hell she was and the strange woman she called Ziz to Bobby, who was holding his shotgun and mouthing something. He just made out the words ("the knife, idjit!") when Eve twirled towards him.
"Oh," she waved her hand in the air, and Bobby crumpled as if his strings had been cut. His head lolled loosely on his neck, and his trucker cap flopped off and to the ground. "I don't go by that name anymore. You'll have to excuse Ziz. She's been out of the loop for a while." Tilting her head in a practically apologetic manner towards the other woman, she said, in a conspiratorial tone, "It's Eve now. I thought it would be a cute play on words. Eve of darkness, Eve of destruction...plus, the irony of me using the mother of humanity's name to bring about the end of mankind's time here on earth? More than I could resist."
Ziz shrugged the hand on her arm off. "Very interesting, I'm sure. But the ashes of one of my children have been spread here this day." Face hardening, she directed her black-eyed stare directly at Sam, and said, "And I am certain who is to blame."
"One mother here to another, Ziz, I can't say that I blame you for your anger," Eve said, trying to gain the other woman's attention. "And your baby phoenix packed quite a punch, not gonna lie. But this-"
The mother phoenix didn't wait for Eve to finish speaking. Instead, a softball sized fireball formed in her fist, and with a snarl, she threw.
It struck Sam square in the chest, slamming him through the diner's support wall. As he slid down to the floor, his vision faded to black.