After the Fall

Chapter 31

"Well I never figured you for the flowers and candy type."

Jody spun around at the grumpy yet familiar voice. "Bobby!" she threw herself at the old hunter wrapping her arms around him before stiffening and pulling back. "I'm not going to have to shoot you in the head am I?"

"That won't be necessary, he's real; newly acquired wings and all." Crowley said from his spot by the door. "Hello Robert, you're looking a lot more angelic since we last met."

"Crowley, you're looking just as demonic as you were the last time I saw you." Bobby growled.

"Now is that any way to treat an old friend, and after everything I've done for you too." Crowley said.

"Everything you've…" Bobby snorted. "I suppose buying my soul and then snagging it when I had the pearly gates in my sights was helping me?"

"Now, now. As I recall you offered up your soul in exchange for finding out where Death was." Crowley said. "And I threw in your legs at no extra charge. As for snatching your soul, you sold it of course I was going to snatch it. It was my property after all. And I didn't stick you on the rack and try to turn you into a demon; I simply confined you in one of the outermost levels of hell."

"And I suppose you planned to just leave me there to rot." Bobby growled.

"Oh please, I knew the moose and the squirrel wouldn't leave you there too long." Crowley countered. "I wanted to make sure that even Dean could find you. I all but put up neon signs saying 'Singer this way' with arrows pointing out the direction."

Bobby growled and took a step forward before Jody stepped in his path. "Okay let's dial back the testosterone fellas."

Verchiel popped into the office, "Sheriff, you only have 15 minutes to arrive at your dinner destination. Your reservations were for 6:30."

"Thank you Verchiel, keep everyone in line would you?" Jody smiled and picked up her purse and the flowers.

"Dinner?" Bobby questioned and then noticed Crowley's suit and the carnation tucked into his lapel. "Wait a damned minute! You are going to dinner? With Crowley?"

"And then to the off-Broadway tour of Spamalot. So Jody dear, if you're ready your chariot awaits." Crowley said holding the sheriff's coat like the proper 'gentleman' he had been raised to be all those centuries ago.

"Jody, please tell me that I'm wrong and you are not going on a date with Crowley." Bobby growled.

"Actually, I am." Jody said slipping her arms into the coat. "Crowley has been the perfect gentleman and Sam will turn him into a pile of ash if he steps out of line."

"Yes," Crowley agreed uncomfortably. "Our Boy King is not to be trifled with. I had to suck up what was left of Azazel, Ruby and Brady with a Shop-vac. Demons are almost more terrified of him than they are of Lucifer."

"Well Sam ain't gotta wait until you step outta line. I'll exorcise you right now!" Bobby started to take a step forward only to find his way blocked again, this time by Verchiel.

"Crowley has asylum as do other selected demons. The order for Asylum comes from the archangels themselves." Verchiel said. "We follow the orders handed down to us. Michael awaits you; he ordered your presence here for a reason Robert Singer. You should not keep him waiting."

Sam leaned back in his chair and sighed. He could feel the beginnings of a headache pushing against the back of his eyeballs. "The only way to alleviate the problem would be to release the trustworthy. Unfortunately there isn't a way to tell which of the nephilim could be trusted and which ones will turn on us to gain a few brownie points with Hadrian."

"Well Sugar, if we don't do something we won't have any more room for the souls destined to be here." Spicy said. "Robert Singer and I tossed around a few ideas but nothing came of it. We thought Purgatory might be a good bet, but you and you brother both escaped and he was carrying Benny with him the first time. We can't trust that the place would hold them."

"It's too bad we can't give them a lie detector test." Jake said. "That would weed out who could be trusted from who can't."

"Or have Veritas question them. She could smell a lie a mile away." Sam said. "Too bad Dean and I killed her."

Belarus looked thoughtful. "Perhaps she was not the only one. Each pantheon of gods in a way duplicates itself. Thor is the god of thunder but the Greeks had Zeus who was also a god of thunder. Perhaps among the scattered pagans there is still one who is capable of seeing truth."

"Well I doubt very many of them will be willing to help after the destruction of the Egyptian pantheon. The Norse are Gabriel's family and the Hindu's are just scared of us because of Lucifer." Sam said.

"You mentioned Gabriel, did he not walk among them for centuries as one of them?" Belarus said. "Perhaps he still knows of others in hiding, he may be able to help us locate a truth seer among them."

"That's not a bad idea. Spicy just hold it together a little bit longer, I'll speak to Gabriel and see if he can help us." Sam said standing up. "We need to go, Death is bringing back Samael tonight and we need to be there for Dean."

Tessa looked at the healthy green fern sitting on the table between her and Dean. "Dean, if you can't even kill a houseplant, how do you expect to kill nephilim and other creatures that will seek to kill you?"

"I don't know how to wish a plant dead!" Dean grumbled. "Besides, the Colt will kill anything."

"Dean you wore his ring. That left a trace of his power somewhere deep within you." Tessa explained. "You don't need the Colt when you have the power of death inside of you. You just have to learn how to access it."

The sound of feathers had Dean turning to find Raphael standing behind him. "I understand that you wished my assistance. I do not comprehend how I can help you reaper. I am heaven's healer, mine is the power of life, the polar opposite of yours."

"I am hoping that seeing your power will help Dean find the opposite of it within himself." Tessa answered. "Perhaps if he witnesses the death of the plant and it's rebirth he will be able to pinpoint his own power."

"That would seem to be a reasonable theory, and time runs short." Raphael said. "We only have until tonight's full moon to prepare his to take his place. Kill the Pteridophyta and I will return it to health."

"Wait a minute; I don't see any flying dinosaurs around here." Dean said looking around in confusion.

A chuckle from the doorway announced Sam's presence. "Pteridophyta is a fern jerk. Pterodactyl is the dinosaur."

"Sam, you have handled the issue that the demon brought to you and are prepared for tonight?" Raphael questioned.

"Actually no, I was looking for Gabriel. We have a plan but we need his help." Sam said.

"Gabriel is with Michael and Lucifer. They are finalizing plans for tonight's exchange." Raphael said. "You can perhaps pray for him or wait in the library with Robert Singer."

"Bobby is here?" Dean asked. "Why didn't anyone say anything?"

"Because you do not need to be distracted and Singer is complaining loudly to Castiel and Balthazar." Raphael said. "It seems he is put out by the fact that Crowley is taking Sheriff Mills out for dinner and the theater."

"Um, yeah." Dean said. "That would set him off. Why don't you go talk to Bobby bitch? You can explain why you let it happen and I'll just work on killing this ptera-whatsit."

"We are going to have to let Sam and Dean know that we suspect Abaddon is back." Gabriel said. "If Hadrian is still planning to summon Death at this point, there can only be one reason why."

"To bring back Samael and the others who were destroyed during the cleansing." Lucifer said. "Good thing we're getting Samael tonight. Let's just hope we can get him to see things our way."

"I have no doubt in your ability to influence him brother." Michael said. "You have always been blessed with the ability to seduce others to your way of thinking, even at the risk of their own existence."

"Yep, butter wouldn't melt in your mouth." Gabriel agreed. "We'd better get back though. Singer is at the bunker and Sam is calling out for me pretty desperately, something to do with the overcrowding of nephilim in hell."

"Spicy took my advice then." Lucifer said. "And I will need time to determine the words that I will speak to Samael. And I believe that you had plans to send the old grouch out with Garth to find Marcus?"

"Are you sure that's a good idea, Mikey?" Gabriel asked. "Death is going to run out of patience if we keep bringing the guardians down here."

"I wouldn't worry about it. Those we returned we had good reason." Michael said. "Besides, Death has been very reasonable, I think that our father's influence is responsible for that."

"Well I guess that means we all have our missions, I will leave the two of you to yours and go to the garden to meditate on my conversation with Samael." Lucifer said before he silently vanished.

Michael and Gabriel arrived in the library to find Sam looking like a kicked puppy while Bobby growled and raged about Jody being off with Crowley.

"You know Singer, the way you're raging like a maniac, one could easily come to the conclusion that you are jealous." Balthazar said as he sipped a glass of champagne. "And while I have to admit that you are amusing, Sam does not deserve to bear the brunt of your fury."

"Jody Mills is an adult woman and Sam respects her wishes." Castiel added.

"We are talking about Crowley!" Bobby yelled.

"Yes we are, Crowley who is Lucifer and Sam's regent in hell." Gabriel pointed out. "Which means Jody Mills is as safe as heaven and hell can make her with him. Losing your job in hell does not mean unemployment, it means oblivion. Crowley is well aware of that. Sam you needed me for something?" Gabriel said changing the subject."

"Yeah. We're hoping you know someone with the same ability to discover lies that Veritas had. Unfortunately…" Sam started.

"Yeah, I know you and that muttonhead of a brother of yours killed her." Gabriel sighed. "And the pagans are scared of Lucifer." The archangel shook his head. "They should do a tally; you and Dean have a higher body count than Luci."

Gabriel paced back and forth for a bit. "Erlang Shen was even better at spotting a lie than Veritas. But he's going to want to know why we need his skill and he'll be able to sniff out a lie a mile away."

"Well if we can tell which nephilim can be trusted, we won't have to keep packing them in hell. We can find somewhere else to put them so they don't resurrect." Sam explained.

"Not a bad plan there Bullwinkle." Gabriel nodded. "It may take me a couple of days to find Erlang, I'd better get started." The archangel snapped his fingers and disappeared.

"Now that Sam's issue is handled," Michael started. "I have a mission for you Robert Singer."

A/N: Erlang Shen or Erlang is a Chinese God with a third truth-seeing eye in the middle of his forehead. From Wikipedia

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