AN-This is pre season one Dean, so don't equate him to the present season 8/9 Dean.
Info from Wiki- not mine- Neith was a goddess of war and of hunting and had as her symbol, two arrows crossed over a shield. Her symbol also identified the city of Sais. This symbol was displayed on top of her head in Egyptian art. In her form as a goddess of war, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when they died.
Something walked into the bar.
Dean couldn't tell what it was just by looking over his shoulder but it was definitely other, the kind of 'other' that made the hairs on the back of his freckled neck stand on end, the young hunter going quietly for his gun, repositioning it for quick draw, and palm one of his knives in casual gestures so as to not alarm anyone else in this small town dive to his intentions. Things could get ugly real quick and he wanted to be ready without interference from some drunk dipshit hick.
The something's beauty alone was enough for anyone with functioning eyes to take notice like finding a star floating in a muddy puddle, knew intrinsically that her presence here was an anomaly, that was if anyone bothered to look at her. All eyes in the bar seemed to gloss over her, as if looking directly at her was disconcerting, the shadows in the corners of their vision playing tricks on them.
Maybe it was. Maybe she was just that kind of monster.
Dean was pretty damn used to the disconcerting though, being in his line of work pretty much since preschool. John Winchester hadn't been too shy about exposed his oldest to the life of hunter and all things that went bump in the night, though he had guarded his youngest son Sam from it as long as he was able to. Probably was the reason why Sam was always looking for some sense of normal, had left the only family he had to find it at Stanford to find paradise lost. Shoving all that aside because thoughts like those were distracting and hurt more than they should, Dean focused on the now instead of things he had no hope of changing at the moment. About the only thing he was good fixing was cars. Dean knew where his true talents lie. He was a natural born pro at breaking.
Ignoring the humans like they were made of smoke, the being swayed her hips to and fro in a languid pace to cross the space between them, her movements accented further by the loose clothing she wore, a simple sleeveless red dress with bangles of turquoise and gold decorating her delicate wrists, ankles, and graceful neck. She was barefoot but that didn't seem to bother her or Dean. For some reason, it struck him as perfectly natural for her to do so. The jewelry chimed sweet metallic sounds, a strange melody that Dean could hear even over the baring country music in the bar's background. There was nothing come hither about that walk though, the woman moving like a big cat would, all heavy grace on tip of claw toward its prey which Dean realized with a sinking feeling was him. No one approached her and all patrons of the establishment parted to let her pass whether they realized it or not.
Straight, waist length black hair and black eyes rimmed in kohl were inky dark and near fathomless, shiny to the point of wet, set in and against skin the color of bronze, rich and metallic but with the glitter of moist vitality that dried out habitual sunbathers somehow lacked. Her lips were full and perfect yet naturally so, a rare desert flower red all dusty, dark, and plush, and when she smiled, her teeth were sharply white as a crescent moon. She was the movement in the dark of night, the pad of predator's paw that made sleep impossible, and she sat herself down next to Dean like she belonged there at his side. Dean arched a brow at her to let her know just how unimpressed he was by her though he was considering otherwise, like how damn quickly he could make it to the door before all hell broke loose or she eviscerated him. She arched one perfect brow back with a smirk like she knew what he was truly thinking. For all Dean knew, perhaps she did.
"What do you want?" Dean feigned further disinterest as he took a too casual sip from his beer, his other hand gripping the silver blade he kept on his person at all times. He had no idea what effect it would have on her but hopefully it would be of the dying quick and painfulvariety.
"I think I want a beer." the other smiled, her voice low, husky, and speaking with an accent the hunter couldn't place but sounded lyrical. Her voice reminded Dean of a storm of razor wind he had heard blowing once across the Badlands of the Dakotas. The other leaned up on the bar in elegant gestures to rest her chin against her folded hands, the very picture of innocent relaxation as she batted her eyelashes playfully at him and pursed her lips in thought.
"Are we going to have a problem, lady?" Dean snorted, licking his lips even as he flagged down the bartender to order two more bottles.
"Why would you say that?" the other laughed as she sat up, taking her beer in hand to click it to Dean's own. The amused sound of her voice was full, throaty, and well rounded, making Dean think that she was the sort of being that only laughed when she thought something was actually funny. Taking a long pull from the bottle, the other sighed at the drink's taste, wishing it was something else but settling for what was. Watered down shit the color of piss or not, free beer was free beer after all.
"You're not human. I don't know what you are, but human you ain't, sister. So why don't we finish up here and take this outside?" Dean said, titling his head toward the door. There were too many people in here, too many civilians who could get in the way or get themselves killed. Ideally, Dean also preferred an open space when dealing with an unknown monster. Unless they were fliers. Damn, he hated harpies.
That made the other looked pleased with him which made Dean worry, his eyes taking note of where the fire alarms were. If he needed to empty the bar out quick that would be his best bet.
"Observation is key in a good hunter." the other said in a warm tone that made Dean's skin tingle but not in an unpleasant manner. She smelled like ancient spices, honey, and sun bleached sand, earthen scented salt yet arid. "You have so much potential in you, so much unraveled fate, and a destiny that would break lesser men."
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm just a guy." Dean shrugged, feeling suddenly very uncomfortable. Someone was not only walking over his grave but was river dancing around the damn tombstone while they were at it.
"Then how did you know I was something different, something dangerous when I walked in and not just some woman looking for an easy lay or a free drink?" the other beamed, reminding Dean of how proud parents looked when their kids did something unexpected yet wonderfully intelligent.
"Hell if I know. I just did. Still do. You…I dunno…felt wrong to me. Off." Dean finished his beer, starting to stand up when a hand placed lightly on his forearm made him pause long enough to start going for his knife. "So are we taking this outside or what?"
"Dean, Dean, Dean. I'm not here to fight you or hurt anyone here. So relax, order us another round, and stop fidgeting with that knife. Silver won't work on me anyway. Your bullets will be just as useless." the being told the hunter, waving down the bartender for them while gesturing at their empties in the timeless sign of more. Dean noticed that her fingernails were golden, not painted but actually metallic. He tried resisting the urge to check out if her toenails were the same. The other gestured to the hunter to sit again with a soft smile, like she was amused yet pleased all at the same time by something. Retaking his bar stool, Dean noted with mild appreciation that her toenails matched.
"How did you know my name? What are you?" Dean asked carefully. It didn't look like she was going anywhere fast, and he couldn't just leave her here in the bar with all these people. He remained on high alert though, his fingers starting to twitch from all the adrenaline running through his system, the hunter tapping his foot against the bar to release some of it. It was never a good thing when the bad guys already knew your name, but he wasn't getting an ugly vibe from this being. There was no doubt in his mind that she was dangerous.
This other was heat, the baked air shimmering over asphalt hot enough to cook an egg on it, glowing from within with the light of a hunter's moon, soft and shimmering and secretive. This being was blood and sharpness found on the end of any blade, leaving behind pain, death, and the taste of wet iron in the mouth. This woman was the killer's cry in the pitch black, the subtle shifting of reeds in too still water, and the hungry patience of the watchful waiting. She was all this and so much, much more but Dean wasn't getting the heebie jeebies from her near presence. He wasn't about to let go of his knife though.
"What am I?" the being blew out air from her pursed lips, thoughtful yet seemingly at a loss for the right sort of word. "The simplest answer is that I am a goddess."
Dean broke out into surprised laughter until he realized that she was being completely serious, the self proclaimed goddess giving him a sour look. "Um, ok. I'll bite. Which one are you then?" he asked, trying to keep his grin to a minimum. It probably wasn't a good idea to piss her off but it was kinda surreal, even for him, to be drinking brews with a deity if that was what she really was.
"Neith." the goddess answered, sighing when she noted the hunter's blank look in return.
"Never heard of you." Dean admitted, watching as the goddess sank down on the bar's top to sulkily rest her head in folded arms, reminding Dean of a slighted cat.
"I'm not surprised. This is not a good land for my kind as it is, even more so for my own pantheon." Neith muttered, playing with the brown bottle, balancing it on its edge to spin it around with her fingers. The glass emitted sweet notes whenever it grazed her golden fingernails.
"So there are more of you?" Dean asked to receive a dour sideways look from Neith, a look that told him to stop asking stupid questions. He shrugged in response. If she didn't like it, it was her own damn fault for talking to him.
"Of course there are. Gods tend to come in sets after all. Even the Christian Judeo god can be viewed as a trinity." Neith said, seeming more intent on peeling off her beer's label than properly answering.
"Where are the rest?" Dean didn't like the idea of gods just running around, looking like people, blending in. Monsters and ghosts were bad enough. Finding out about the existence of gods just raised the bar of 'oh fuck, that it bad' kinda monster to an entirely different level.
"Out and about. Doing what gods do or don't do anymore." Neith spoke with reluctance, reminding herself of why she was here as she shook off her brooding.
"I'm not following." Dean huffed. He hated it when the supernatural was vague, which was most of the time.
"We, some of us at least, are in decline, being not as fashionably as we once were anymore. Worship and devotion, sacrifice and faith are what makes up a god. A notation in a book and a passing mention in conversation might as well be a eulogy for our kind. The beginning to a very long and drawn out end." Neith said, leaning back now so that she could look at the hunter straight on.
"Long story short then- it sucks to be a god." Dean summarized with a slight smile at the thought. Apparently not all that glitters is gold, even for gods. It was kind of comforting in some small way knowing that gods didn't get to have an apple pie life either.
"Yes and no. Our existence pretty much follows the idea behind the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When it is good, it is very good. And when it is bad, it is horrid." Neith sighed out the admittance, as much as it pained her to do so.
"So why come to me? You need some help moving on or something?" Dean hazarded a guess. As on edge as he was, part of him hoped that she would pass. For a deity and a supernatural, Neith didn't seem too bad.
"Or something. I've come to make you an offer." Neith said quietly, suddenly growing very still.
"One that I can't refuse?" Dean grimaced, waiting for the other shoe to finally drop.
"You can if you want to. I am hardly in any position to make you do anything against your will." Neith shrugged much to Dean's surprise.
"Oh, that's comforting." Dean grumbled. "You're not going to Jedi mind trick me into doing what you want?"
"You never asked me what I am the goddess of." Neith smiled, though the expression seemed cheerless to Dean, too thin and dead around the edges.
"Alright. Neith, what are you the goddess of?" Dean asked, taking a better look at his company. Yes, she was beautiful but now that he was used to the overall bigger picture, the hunter took note of the finer details about the goddess at his side. Her crimson dress, which at one time must have been glorious to behold in its heyday, was threadbare and fraying in places. Her jewelry was the real thing but worn, the turquoise chipped in places. Her figure was svelte and lithe but too thinly so. The kind of thin that came from starvation and didn't it make Dean wonder how a goddess could go hungry.
"I am the goddess of the hunt and war, water and weaving. All that and so much more, but mostly of the hunt. Can you guess why I'm interesting in you now?" Neith told him things about herself that she had not revealed to any human in a long time, even for one such as her.
"I think I'm starting to put two and two together. You're shit out of luck though." Dean said with a shake of his head, wishing he could be a lot drunker to have this conversation.
"Why? You haven't even heard what I have to say yet." Neith frowned, watching the hunter start to shut down and raise walls against her.
"I don't pray." Dean answered simply, mentally fucking it as he ordered another round for them.
"I don't expect you to." was Neith's answer, unexpected enough that it caught Dean's full attention again.
"That's part of it though, isn't it? You pray to gods." Dean said after a moment, gnawing his bottom lip. He knew the drill having been around the religious and devout in some form or aspect most of his life. As familiar as it was, it didn't mean he believed or partook.
"Not always and I have no time or tolerance for people who grovel." Neith snapped, flipping her long midnight hair over her shoulder in a dismissive gesture of disgust. "I have standards. Even now, I still have them."
"I'm tired of this and I want to get my four hours some time tonight so let's just cut to the chase. What do you want? Better yet, what do you want from me?" Dean could feel the buildup of something here between them. He didn't know what it was but he wasn't about to be caught up into something that ran this deep unawares.
"Nothing specific. Just keep doing what you do best. Hunt." Neith told the hunter, looking into Dean's eyes, holding them with her own, infinite night sky communicating something almost desperate to finite green earth.
"And? That can't be it. You want something. Why else would you be here talking to a smuck like me?" Dean countered, looking levelly back at her. Goddess or not, he was going to hold his own, damn it.
"I am proposing a simple agreement between you and I. You hunt down your monsters, your ghosts, or whatever else you happen to come across and kill. All I ask is that before you do, say the words 'I dedicate this hunt to Neith'. Failing that, before you kill anything, say 'I dedicate this kill to Neith." the goddess of the hunt explained, her voice as steady and purposeful as an arrow's flight.
"And why would I do any of that?" Dean leaned back, breaking off eye contact to consider the finer points of his beer bottle and the stranger aspects of his life.
"I can be that little bit of extra luck to you, this kind that tips the scales in your favor when things are most dire. It will not be much, not at first, but even feathers had weight enough to them to change destinies and sometimes even turn fate's hand aside." Neith said low though Dean heard her well enough over the ever-present white noise of the bar. He wondered if it was a god thing. He found himself wondering about a lot of new things actually.
"You're dying." Dean pointed out bluntly, gesturing to Neith, her dress, her everything, all faded and worn around the edges, making the goddess wince.
"Fading….fading would be a more accurate term for our kind of demise. Gods do not often get the kindness or the dignity of a swift death. We linger on the fringes of things because we are kept on the brink of human's minds until one day we are not. There was a time when the ink faded from the pages and all the scrolls and books crumbled with our names along with them. We would pass from story to legend to whispers to nothing, not even a grave marker, and then we could end, truly so. This age of information has been particularly cruel to us in that regard, where everything remains in the in-between keeping us along with it." Neith lamented, though more to the bar itself than to Dean. She looked tired, almost entirely human in a way, and for some reason it made Dean's heart wrench to see her so. It didn't sit right with him for some reason, though he would be able to tell anyone why.
"Dean, I can't make you do anything. You either do it or you don't. Think of it like a car. The more gas you give it, the fastest it will go." Neith said with a crooked smile. "I don't care how good or bad you have been. I'm not the kind of deity. I don't give a damn about who you fuck or steal from, or even if you treat your body like a temple or a brewery. I'm not here to forgive or condemn or even save you. In a nutshell, all I care about is the chase, the capture, and the kill. Nothing more. Nothing less."
"Say I go along with this, which I'm not. What happens? You don't get nothing for free, not even from gods." Dean mused, toying with ideas, even crazy ones. Those mad notions were always the most fun after all.
"Especially from gods, my clever hunter you." Neith chuckled, the noise rich and dark as diner coffee, the goddess's amusement a warming thing to Dean. "Long story short- your life goes on like your brand of normal, I get a sacrifice made in my name every once in a while, and everybody is happy. Along the way, you might find extra bullets that weren't there before when you need them, openings in fights when or where there should be none, and maybe even a little nudge in the right direction when you lose track of something. There are no special days to observe, you don't have to wear anything weird, or cut in or off any body parts. I'm pretty low maintenance and hey, as an added bonus, I guard your remains when you die."
"Huh…." Dean found himself considering things he had never thought were possible before.
"Think about it." Neith said, leaning in to Dean's personal space, making his skin goose pimple and his breathe run short as she pressed her lips to his ear. "You should really answer that."
Dean blinked in surprise at the heady rush of the goddess's perfume as it washed over him. A persistent yet familiar noise at his side reminded Dean about the existence of his phone, the hunter answering numbly, noting that it was his dad calling him. Never one for idle chitchat, John informed Dean about a hunt, but damn if he could remember anything pertinent about the conversation other than what he jotted down on a bar napkin for reference. By the time that Dean was done and had gotten most of the important details which mainly consisted of an address three states away and some vague references to a haunting, the goddess was well and truly gone though Dean had not seen her leave. All that remained of her were a couple of empty beer bottles and even those were disposed of soon enough by the bartender.
Finding himself alone, Dean worked on finishing his beer. He had to get his four hours after all, be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Down the roads he would travel, there was a hunt waiting for him with things to kill and people to save. Rolling certain words and a name around in his head, Dean smiled into what was left of his beer and remembered the play of golden nails that had been lion's claws on brown glass.