Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
They’d been at Bobby’s almost two weeks. Her recovery hadn’t been difficult, whatever Cas had done-. They’d let her go after two days, sent her off with some pain meds that she refused to take even though they could see she was still hurting. Her wrist ached and the bandages wrapped around it were a constant reminder to him of how close she’d come to dying- his failure yet again.
“You're… staring. Again.” Rhomy murmured from the table across the room where she had pretended to be reading another dusty old tome of Bobby’s on demons. It was interesting and in Greek which they’d been surprised to know she could read and understand.
Dean looked away.
“What are you thinking, Dean?” Rhomy asked closing the book and setting it aside. Dean took long to answer trying to piece it all, what it was that bothered him about her ‘situation’. She was blindly obedient; she didn’t question any of it, nothing they said-the angels-. Why was she so willing to die? Because that’s how it always ended with any of them. Dead. He didn’t see it being any different with Rhomy. Weren’t they all getting their orders from on-high?
“Why are you here?” Dean finally asked. Rhomy blinked, hadn’t he been told why she was there? Hadn’t Castiel told him at least the basic reason for her joining them on their mad hunt? She’d tried explaining it before but Dean had only gotten upset. He wasn’t ready to hear the whole truth.
Rhomy could answer glibly, say that he’d driven her to Bobby’s with the excuse she needed some recovery time. But maybe…
Dean was silent, waiting though he didn’t look too receptive.
“I really believe in this. That I’m helping in some way-.”
“Bull shit.” Dean cut in; his expression was stormy, not exactly angry though the emotion was there. He couldn’t believe she was still going to defend the fucking pigeons that let her get hurt in the first place.
“Why are you so upset?” She wondered and her voice carried a hint of curiosity that Dean didn’t appreciate. Hell, she didn’t seem to appreciate the danger they put themselves in on a daily basis and here he was, supposed to protect her. But he couldn’t when she agreed to use herself as bait.
“Why aren’t you?” He demanded. “Why aren't you questioning any of it? Why are you going along-.” He cut off abruptly, more upset by the image his unspoken words brought to mind. Her wrist was a glaring reminder of what had come so close to happening and he didn’t like the feeling that gave him.
“Like a lamb to the slaughter?” Rhomy finished for him. She wasn’t at all perturbed by the conversation, too calm but he hardly ever saw her loose her cool. Was that normal?
Rhomy drew a breath; she tried to find the right words with which to explain her fearlessness, because that’s what Dean had a problem with. The truth was she was afraid but there was nothing she could do with that fear. It wasn’t going to help her stay alive and it didn’t matter where or when because Rhomy knew where she was going in the end. She stood up, slowly walking towards him as she spoke.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“Please.” Dean scoffed turning away. He didn’t see anything ‘light’ about her burden.
Rhomy frowned; the one thing she wouldn’t let him make light of or ignore was her faith. There were sacrifices to be made and she wasn’t the first one to have to make them.
“You can turn from HIM, ignore HIM even and it won’t make a difference in the end because you cant change the past.”She put her hand on his arm, felt his body tense.
“I won’t be a puppet.”
She shook her head wondering at how he could be so stubborn. Hadn’t she been telling him they all made their own choices?
“Free will.” She repeated again, softly. Rhomy knew that sometimes a little guidance was helpful, but you had to ask for it. “Its no ones fault but our own.”
Dean didn’t see it that way because what choice had he been given? There hadn’t been one- not for him. He wasn’t going to let Sam go, he couldn’t give up on the brat however much Sam pissed Dean off. They were family and family stuck together.
“You chose to help, to be a soldier for God-.”
“No.” He denied but couldn’t look at her.
“Denying it doesn’t change the facts.” And the fact was Dean was on the good guys’ side. “You do your best to stop what’s happening.” He was a Soldier of God like it or not, he wasn’t a very obedient one but…well, that was his charm. She could see he was getting more upset, he didn’t like the title. “HE has a plan for everyone but most people are too blind by this life and its temptations to realize they are-.”
“I am not.” Dean said through clenched teeth. “I’m not going to loose the only family I have left. I won’t!”
He was stubborn. That was good… and bad, but it would help Dean stay strong.
Rhomy moved closer, made it difficult for him to look away, to hide what he was feeling and thinking. She was supposed to be helping him, supposed to make accepting things easier, give him strength to do what needed doing but she didn’t like this, that he wanted nothing to do with it. He wasn’t a coward, she knew it and he had to realize it but there was something in the way, something that wasn’t letting him see the bigger picture.
“You can’t make Sam-.”
Because that was one reason for Dean to be so damn stubborn. He clung to Sam, to the one family member he had left and though Rhomy didn’t know what it was like, to know it was just the two of them… She could see how much Sam’s lies and secrets hurt him. How much Dean wanted to be able to trust his little brother, know it was them against the demons… like it had been, but it wasn’t like that anymore. Things had changed. Things were said. Things they couldn’t take back or erase or even pretend hadn’t been said even if that’s what they tried doing because it was all there, where all the things they didn’t and couldn’t talk about were kept.
“Like hell I can’t.” He glared.
“You're a stubborn man.” Rhomy murmured staring at his eyes, they were a darker green…filled with anger and more… “You sold your soul for him. You were dragged to hell and had Castiel not pulled you out you’d be there still. Suffering eternal torment.” She saw his eyes shift, knew he was uncomfortable with any mention of hell and him or Sam but there was more to it. The fact she’d even brought up the subject again, after finding out the way she did…waking up in the middle of that fight. A fight he'd been trying to avoid, because really when didn’t he and Sam fight?
He was pulling away, putting up his walls and it was frustrating. Rhomy knew there was something he needed to get off his chest, she was close to figuring it out and he didn’t want that.
“You saved him, Dean. You’ve protected Sam long enough. It’s ok to be a little selfish at times.”
God knew he deserved it.
Dean snorted. Hadn’t he been that way his whole life? Doing as he pleased, enjoying the freedom of the road and not thinking about anything besides his family and the next Hunt? That was his life. He was comfortable in it. He’d stopped wishing he could have been a different man, someone…better-.
“You don’t know me.” He said moving away. He wanted to distance himself, hide what she could see in his eyes. “You don’t know Sam.” But in that he wasn’t so sure. Rhomy had figured out plenty in the short time she’d been with them.
“You don’t know Sam.” Rhomy frowned, hands on hips as Dean turned a glare on her. He was mad but he was also aware that things had changed between them, him and Sam. When he didn’t deny it, didn’t even say anything in defense it only reinforced what Rhomy already knew. Dean had his suspicions about what Sam was doing, he’d seen some things- did Rhomy know more than she’d said so far?
“Stop carrying the world on your shoulders, Dean.” Rhomy sighed slowly moving to his side again, hesitant. “Let HIM help you.”
“Like HE helped my Mom?” Dean snapped, not letting her touch him. “Or my Dad? Or me before I-. There’s a million other people out there.” He flung a hand towards the windows. “Suffering-dying, where’s your God, Rhomy? Huh? Because I don’t see HIM lifting a finger to help any of them.”
Rhomy shook her head, how many times was she going to tell him it wasn’t HIS fault? People did what they wanted and when things went wrong the blame went to God. Why?
“You can’t help the ones that don’t want it.” It was almost as if she’d hit him. She could see him recoil; it was his eyes, so green and full of his own guilty recriminations. “We do it to ourselves. You think HE likes watching us destroy one another?”
“Excuses.” Dean snapped but there was less anger in his tone than he wished. “I think HE gets a kick out of it or else HE’d be doing something.”
“Like what?” She demanded. “You want your parents back? Your Mom and Dad and everything to be all rosy and perfect? I keep telling you…” she let out a breath. “HE lets us choose. All that suffering you've seen, all the pain- we do that. Us. God had nothing to do with it.”
“Don’t spout anymore verses.” Dean warned seeing her mouth open. She gave him an annoyed look because that wasn’t what she was going to say.
“HE wants you to be happy.”
“No.” He shook his head, adamant. “What HE wants is for me to keep Lucifer down! What HE wants is to watch me run around trying to keep those damn seals closed! He’s not doing a damn thing to help any of us! HE doesn’t ‘reveal’ anything to his own angels, angels Rhomy. They’ve got no clue what’s going on. Castiel said as much…” The anger drained out and Dean sat on the couch. “They’re killing each other, one side wanting this thing to start and the other side trying to save us…” He was just tired of it, worrying about Sam, trying to figure out how to keep him from making a huge mistake and Dean didn’t even know what that was. He didn’t know anything anymore.
“Let it go, Dean.” Rhomy murmured, her hand on his shoulder while he stared at the floor, head hanging.
“I cant do this.” Dean mumbled, he wiped his face tiredly. “Cant save them…”
“Yes,” Rhomy assured kneeling in front of him and making him look at her. “You can.”
She stared at him, her dark hazel eyes full of trust and Dean couldn’t- he just couldn’t.
“No.” He shook his head sitting back, pulling out of her hands and wiping his face again.
“You will.” She said firmly. “Dean, you are strong.” She pushed off his legs and stood, looking down on him where he sat feeling guilty and sorry for himself.
“They’re betting on the wrong horse. I-.” Dean held a breath, eyes on the ceiling. He couldn’t look at her and then he was saying it, saying… “This- It’s my fault.” Telling her what he’d done, what she was close to figuring out just like she’d figured out he’d gone to Hell for Sam. Pieced it together from bits of conversation and questions she’d asked Bobby, Sam and him though he’d never said a word. Not until she’d woken up to them arguing…
‘Help me understand.’
Because she didn’t know what to do for him. He sat there swamped in guilt, berating himself, tearing into himself as though the world itself was suffering because he couldn’t save them when she knew it wasn’t up to one man-
“I broke the first seal.” He could barely hold her eyes and when she didn’t say anything he finally looked away. Telling her was worse than worrying she’d figure it out. There was no going back now; no way would she look at him the same, with that… Dean didn’t try to name it, but he liked it. He wanted that look to stay in her eyes when she saw him… He wanted to feel that comfort- the acceptance she gave him just by being…
Rhomy knew he wouldn’t stop blaming himself, not until he was ready and it seemed there was a long road yet to travel on that path. She just never expected it to be for something so- now she understood why the seals where so important to him, why he grew short tempered easily…
“So you feel unworthy?” Her soft voiced question kept him in his seat. Now that she understood where his reluctance stemmed, all his guilt and stubborn refusal to accept his role she was going straight to the issue. “You fight against Castiel and what you're being asked to do because of it? Or do you think HE’s punishing you?”
Dean was silent. He didn’t know how she did that, how she could know that much when they’d had a handful of conversations and mostly about her. He knew more about her than she did of him and she still managed to understand what he was thinking. Rhomy saw him, what he was feeling and sometimes he thought she knew what he was thinking as well.
“HE is not like that, Dean.” She stepped around his leg and curled into the couch beside him. Her hands easily slipping into his. He felt her fingers thread through his and he hardly believed she wasn’t blaming him. “God doesn’t punish us. We do a better job of that on our own.”
That and so much more but Dean knew that. He knew all too well what people could do… what he could do…
Sam wandered into the kitchen not at all surprised to find Rhomy making lunch. Bobby had taken her into town the day before and they’d stocked the fridge. Dean wanted a pie, so did Bobby and Sam had quietly chimed in.
“You guys are going to get tired of my pies.” Rhomy said turning from the sink.
“Dean isn’t capable of that. He loves pie.” Sam replied getting a cup and filling it with the pineapple juice she’d made that morning.
“I’m starting to believe it.” She took the vegetables from the sink and started dicing, her back to Sam who watched her quietly, her dark hair was pulled into a messy knot at the back of her neck and the gold chain glinted in the sun streaming through the window. He knew she was wearing the cross, she always did. Around her neck or wrapped around her wrist- her Grandmother’s rosary…
“You’ll have to decide, Sam.”
Sam frowned, pulled out of his daze, confused.
“Hot or cold.” She didn’t look at him.
“Umm…”Sam glanced at the pot simmering on the stove. He wasn’t sure what she meant-.
“HE doesn’t like us to tread in the middle but you're not so far you can’t come back. You just have to choose.” She said glancing at him over her shoulder.
Sam felt cold, the old Priest saying there was evil inside him and Rhomilly once again hinting at things she shouldn’t and couldn’t know. That he had demon blood in him or that he’d spent the first few weeks after Dean came back hiding the fact he’d been using his demonic powers to save people. That no matter what Sam did, he’d never be able to wash the stain of demon from himself…
“Did you dream that?” Sam asked snidely. “Or is it my eyes again?”
“It’s you.” Rhomy answered on a sigh. She faced him again. “It’s Dean. What neither of you wants to talk about and the tension-.”
“You're the only tension!” Sam accused raising his voice. The cup slammed onto the counter but Rhomy held still, covering her slight flinch at his reaction. “You and whatever you're putting in his head-.” He clenched his jaw. He wasn’t going to talk to her about it. He didn’t need another person to tell him he was wrong or that he shouldn’t go after Lilith and he didn’t see the angels being so concerned with him using those powers, not when they got whatever information they wanted-. “Forget it.”
“He knows you're different.” She said to his back. “He isn’t stupid and he isn’t blind and he’s known you you're whole life, Sam. Do you really think you are that good a liar?” she was pushing him. Using Dean and Sam didn’t like it, not at all because that was his brother, his family and all Rhomilly had done was make the chasm between them grow wider than it had been.
“Stop telling me what you think you know!” Sam snarled at her, hating that she was closer to Dean than him because of what they’d said to each other, because Dean wouldn’t believe Sam hadn’t meant those things, that it was all the Siren’s fault... “Because you don’t know us, not me and not Dean.” The door slammed shut as he stormed out of the house.
“I know enough.” She sighed but it was going to take more to get through to Sam and break the hold the demon had on him.
It was nice out, the sun high in the sky warming the day just a little.
“We do our part.” She said softly, leaning into his shoulder. “That’s all we can do so stop beating your self up for the seal.”
It was easy enough to order him to do it but not so easy to forgive himself or even accept that it was somehow supposed to happen. When he didn’t respond and his expression stayed just as glum as it had been when she found him sitting alone, Rhomy smacked his arm lightly. She saw his mouth twist up slightly with amusement and stuck out her tongue. It was childish and completely out of the blue and Dean laughed.
“You're stubborn.” He noted because she hadn’t stopped trying to make him feel better about what was done or convince him it wasn’t his fault. The seal was meant to be broken and it just happened to fall on him to do it- the thing only he could do that no one else could do.
“El burro hablando de orejas and that means the donkey talks about ears.” Rhomy made a face as soon as the words were out of her mouth because that made no sense in English. Some sayings were just not meant to be translated- at least not literally.
And then Dean was laughing. She couldn’t hide her own smile, hearing him- of course her phone decided it was a good time to ring…
“You're gonna have to answer that eventually.” Dean chuckled.
“Not really.” Rhomy shot back and sent the call directly to voicemail with a triumphant little smirk.
“They’re just going to keep cal-.” He frowned at his cell and seeing the ID turned to Rhomy with a look. He answered the call before she had a chance to tell him not to but Dean couldn’t get out a ‘hello’. Her brother’s voice came through clearly; loud enough both could hear Riel demanding to know what was going on with his sister.
“She’s not answering her damn phone.” Rhomy retorted loudly as she leaned towards Dean.
“It’s for you.” Dean said handing it to her. Rhomy frowned but took it looking annoyed.
“Que quieres, latoso?”
Dean snickered recognizing the last word. It meant annoying and by the sound of Riel’s voice he didn’t appreciate it.
Rhomy had been getting calls more frequently since leaving the hospital. He’d caught her checking in with her cousins a few times, not that she hadn’t done that before but it was more frequent now. She’d said it felt like she was a kid with ten parents, all of them needing to know where she was and how first hand. Dean was just glad Rhomy was ok and he felt…happy, about them checking up on her. She had a family that cared and they weren’t above showing it. A very big family by the amount of calls he’d seen flooding her in-box. He’d checked it after they left the hospital, the damn phone had been buzzing annoyingly and Rhomy had been asleep… cousins, aunts, uncles, her grandparents… and Dad.
Dean only hesitated a second before dialing that number. He still felt that cold chill sweep through him remembering the older man’s voice and the worry lacing each word as he asked for his daughter. Concern wasn’t close to what they were feeling and other voices had risen in the background asking for news. Dean told the truth, didn’t hide anything from her Father and did his best to assure him everything was ok. As soon as Rhomy woke Dean had her on the phone talking to them…
“Rie, you're being a dummy.” She snapped. “Fine. Just make them stop calling me every two seconds.”Rhomy looked at Dean, eyes narrowing slightly. “I’m blaming this one on you.” She whispered pulling the phone away from her face. “And don’t get all sufrido either.” She warned.
Dean snorted, amused.