After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.
She’d promised not to go out, had fully intended on keeping that promise but things had certain way of working themselves out. And not always for the good.
The car wasn’t supposed to leave the driveway but Prudence buckled Ceana into her seat anyway. Drake was out again, and someone had called her, said she needed to pick him up. Prudence was upset, it was only six in the evening, still early but Drake had been at the bar again. He was drunk and it saddened her that Ceana would have to see him that way. Riel had picked up Sawyer from school, a boys evening and that meant video games and junk food but it wasn’t an everyday thing so she let it go. It was better this way; Prudence didn’t want any of her children to see their father-not like this… As for Aislyn, the baby was safely being spoiled by Sloane and her cousin would drop her off in a few hours.
‘Thank the Lord for these small blessings…’
Prudence sighed, a tired sound full of disappointment… Trivial things, everyday tasks went through Prudence’s mind as she followed the wet road into town. Lightning forked in the darkening sky and Ceana pointed it out, the pretty lights she wasn’t afraid of. Strange, for a little girl her age not to fear the lightning or the thunderous rumble that followed moments later…
The road stretched far and the soft rain only served to lull Sasquatch into a deep slumber. Dean flicked his eyes to the back seat where Rhomy was still awake. She was watching another movie and by the soft chuckles he heard occasionally it must've been one of the comedies. He turned back to the road, his mind going over what she’d said the night before. And that brought up other conversations, things that now he though about, confused him.
“Hey.” He waved a hand over his shoulder trying to get her attention. “Rhomy, hey.”
“Are you sleepy, now?” She pulled the earphones out setting the movie aside and scooting to the edge of the seat. Dean made a face, his not amused expression and even if he were sleepy he’d never admit it. He’d look for the nearest hotel and pull in for the night.
Or wake up Sam.
“Just thinking about what you said.”
That was pretty vague considering she’d said a lot of things to him over the last few months.
“What’d I say?” Her brow furrowed in confusion as she leaned on the backrest of his seat, her face turned towards him.
“All of it.” Dean answered a little exasperated. He had questions about everything.
“Chronological order; umh…school?” She pillowed her chin on her arms, one hand held out with four fingers folded down.
“Nuns.” Dean almost smirked, almost but it was the picture in his head of Rhomy in her schoolgirl uniform…
“Hey, that helped and I’m grateful.” Rhomy protested thinking he’d probably start teasing her like everyone else who assumed catholic school was a joke and all about praying and brainwashing kids with religion. Or they thought all the boys were being molested by the Priest’s.
“I can’t even imagine just staying in one school.” Dean muttered with a slight shake of his head. It didn’t help get the image of Rhomy in a school girl uniform out of his head and Dean kept flashing back to the Aerosmith video of the two girls sneaking out of the bathroom window and the sight of Liv Tyler’s ass encased in white cotton panties-.
“You’d still have been a heart breaker.” She nudged his shoulder. Rhomy wished Dean wouldn’t think of the negative experiences in his life. But that wasn’t all he was thinking of…
Dean scoffed-mostly half choked and cast a side glance in her direction. She didn’t seem to have noticed his wandering imagination and then her words sunk in. He didn’t hide the smirk playing about his lips at that description.
“You've got an answer for everything.” He noted.
“No,” Rhomy denied. “I really don’t.” Because if that were true she’d know exactly what to say to Sam.
“Coulda fooled me. You seem…perfect.” The word just came out. It made him uncomfortable all of a sudden, knowing she was a breath away from him and he was saying things he normally didn’t say.
“No one is perfect.” Rhomy said quietly. “All you can do is try.”
But that was just it. Dean was trying, he was doing anything and everything he could but it just wasn’t good enough. They were loosing.
“How do you do it?”
“Do what? Try?” she glanced at him confused but Dean just shrugged.
“You follow the rules, Rhomy…”
“I still break them.” But he didn’t believe that, it was in the look he sent her. Green eyes slightly narrowed, blond eyebrows raised in disbelief… “I’m not supposed to kill. It’s one of the commandments… and I have. I didn’t want to… But I couldn’t see another option and tt’s easy, to say I didn’t have a choice but I – I just… didn’t want to die.” She admitted with a guilty shrug. It was them or her…
“That’s the first smart thing I’ve heard out of your mouth.” Dean said.
Rhomy frowned at him because apparently he didn’t think much of her brain.
“You wanna elucidate on that?” There was a sting in her voice but he didn’t seem to hear it.
“You let a demon almost kill you, Rhomilly.” Dean said on a breath loaded with exasperation.
“I’ve already explained.” Rhomy replied rubbing at her temple. “It had to be done-.”
“Because the angels said so, yeah and that’s exactly my point.” Dean said looking at her. “You do what they tell you.”
“Of course.” She replied. “I’ll do as I’m told. HE knows why-.”
“He’s not talking to them, Rhomilly.” Dean cut in glaring at the road. Why wasn’t she getting it? What else had to happen for her to tell them to go shove it and just live a normal, demon-free life?
“That doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t just walk away from this because God isn’t directly commanding HIS angels. They’re messengers of God, Dean. They do HIS will on earth…” but he was too stubborn to listen to that because he was angry at them, at how he was being used.
‘He used my full name.’
Rhomy realized he only did that when he was upset with her-when he worried…
“You're going to die.” Dean hated knowing he was right. About this he was certain.
“We all die.” She said softly, her hazel eyes searched his face but Dean kept his eyes on the road. He could feel the slight pressure of her hand on his shoulder. “I’d rather there was a purpose to my death. Being faithful, serving God… I’m ok with dying. There’s a promise of something better, something more.”
Dean couldn’t get Tessa’s words out of his head. How it was all a lie everyone told because people were afraid of the unknown.
“Sounds as if you don’t like it here.” Dean said.
“Of course I like it here.” Rhomy protested. “There’s plenty to see, to do, to learn… but it isn’t everything, Dean.”
Because it couldn’t be everything. The life… Rhomy needed to believe there was more, that things really happened for a reason. What had been the purpose of it all if there wasn’t something else? Something more…
Dean scoffed, looked at her like she didn’t know what she was saying.
“I’m close to thinking you’ve been brainwashed.” He said turning back to the road. He didn’t see the hurt flash in her eyes hearing that. That Dean believed her to be no more than a robot who followed without question, because that’s all he wanted to see. He was too stubborn for his own good.
“Don’t.” Rhomy said softly, sitting up. “I’m not a stupid little kid that hasn’t seen the world. I know about the darkness, I’ve seen the nightmares walking among us-wolves clothed as sheep and I’ve dealt with my share.”
She certainly had, in more ways than she cared to think of or remember and sometimes it wasn’t easy to banish the nightmares or find some peace in sleep.
“Don’t you think it scares me too?” Rhomy asked but she could see he didn’t. He really didn’t think she was afraid of dying and she only had herself to blame for it. Hadn’t she said it repeatedly? How she didn’t mind ‘the end’ because there was something else waiting for her?
“Thinking about it, about dying-. Will it hurt? Is it over quickly? Am I going to fail-will I be alone when I die? Or am I responsible for others when it does?” she shook her head. “A million other things go through my mind, Dean. It’s overwhelming and it- it suffocates because I don’t know if what I’ve been told- what I believe, is true… But, like I said, I have faith. Whatever comes next, I’ll endure. Because eventually… there’ll be a light. You just have to believe. Even a tiny little bit.”
It was all any of them had in the end.
Dean stared at the road, rain peppering the windshield, glistening with the light from the dash.
“How does that work?” Because he heard the strength of Rhomy’s conviction in her words, saw it plain as day on her face as she spoke. He wanted that, to be sure-just once. Oh yeah, it was all a load of krap, no doubt about that but he wished he could have just a little of her innocence…
“Faith?” Rhomy questioned. She could see his discomfort and again she rested her arms on the seat rest. “It’s pretty much self explanatory. And a lot harder to do.” She ended on a sigh, her expression thoughtful. “Just believe. Trust in HIM. But don’t sit on your ass expecting HIM to do all the work.” She smiled, her words getting a chuckle out of him.
“You said ‘ass’.”
And of course Dean would pick up on that from everything else she’d said. Rhomy shoved his shoulder gently, rolling her eyes, but she grew serious again.
“You have to realize that it isn’t you doing these ‘miracles’, you're not all powerful. It’s HIM through us, we are just a vessel.” Because was man not God- even if they were made in his image.
Dean thought about that, how easily she gave over to the angels and Cas, he was wearing some dude- had the man given over too? What were they getting in return? Happy lives once they were done? Or…
“Your parents. When did they meet?”
“Before I was born?” Rhomy teased but it was only a cover for the sudden nervousness she felt. His tone had been sharp, as though he’d caught onto something and it made her nervous.
“What a comedian.” Dean replied with a little frown. “I mean, how? You told me about the others, Jahna, Great-Grams Cal and your Grandmother Syd, the scary WWII nurse. But I haven’t heard about your Mom…” he remembered again why he didn’t push Rhomy on that story. Romela died helping a Hunter.
“Mom was…” Rhomy stared at the raindrops hitting the windshield, hands clasped and Dean wished she hadn’t let go of his shoulder. “Wild.” She smiled a little; he could see her full lips tremble slightly. “She was raised to believe, to know about this, our duty… but she was a flower child- free love and all that.”
That wasn’t what he expected to hear. The women before Rhomy, these…Soldiers of God, they certainly hadn’t adhered to the rules of their times but…a free spirit? That was… it was just…
“A hippie?” He questioned.
“She broke away for a couple of years.” Rhomy explained. “Did just enough to grow up… But Mom always said she wasn’t really happy. It’s not easy, forgetting what and who you are and everything you’ve been taught. Deep down, my Mom knew what was missing. And she came home.” Another smile lit her face, this time a lot happier. “It was like Dad was just waiting for her. He was all the things Mom had run away from to begin with. Responsible, mature, not too religious but enough for Mom to bolt. Again. She said Dad was too ‘pretty’.” Rhomy laughed, turning towards Dean. “Maybe she was right.”
With a little sigh her expression changed, became wistful. He could see it in her eyes, glancing at her, so close to him, her cheek resting on her arms. There was an unnatural shine to her eyes, glimmering like tears but she wasn’t crying.
“Dad’s the tall athletic type. Mom liked his hair. I remember he’d let it grow just long enough she could run her fingers through it. You know,” she raised her head from her arms, smiling at him. “When I was little, I could get him to let me braid it. Little red bows and everything.” The smile wavered but Dean could see it didn’t reach her eyes and then she was quiet, her head resting on her arms once more. He tried to picture her as a little girl, her Dad suffering the small fingers tugging on his head and the red bows she was threading into his hair… What had Rhomy been like?
“You don’t have to…” Dean murmured flicking his eyes towards her and to the road again but he was curious, more so than he had a right to be.
“I kinda look like her.” Rhomy said in a whisper. Dean glanced at her, listening, but she wasn’t looking at him, not really. “Same color hair, shape of my eyes… mouth.” She trailed the tips of her fingers over her lips staring out at the rain drenched road. “He made her laugh, my Dad. They were always happy- it’s why she said yes.” Rhomy sighed shrugging. She sat up, both hands rubbing at her face then pushing the inky strands back over her shoulders as if to disperse the sadness she’d felt weighing her down.
“How did they know?” He was curious but even so it took Dean a while before he asked her and the silence had made him uncomfortable.
“About…? Oh.” Rhomy drew in a breath. He was asking about the ‘chosen one’, the soul mate thing. Rhomy wondered if he’d figured it out yet. “Well, it’s different. Grandma Syd and Grandfather Gareth both felt it, they knew. Great Grams Cal sort of…just announced it to Great Grandpa Thane, kinda shocked him. With my parents… Mom sorta, uhm, she heard it and a brother at church confirmed it. But my Dad was persistent too.” She chuckled. Just the memory of her parents telling the story filled her with a bitter sweet happiness. It reminded her of better times, when it was all four of them…
“What about you?”
“Me?” Rhomy turned towards him confused, her head resting on her arms as she leaned on the seat again.
“Do you know who? Have you met ‘him’ yet?”
The question was like a bucket of cold water. She was frozen in place, her mind whirling in a thousand directions at once but nothing was sticking.
But she couldn’t tell him the truth.
Dean went against everything he was being asked and these were angels of the Lord doing the asking. Was it so wrong to hope for something better than what he’d given the angels when she did come clean?
“Yes.” She hoped her voice remained steady. “I’ve met him.” She hadn’t lied but wasn’t really planning to lie either. It wasn’t her way and she wasn’t good at lying anyway. She told the truth because it was the right thing to do, because it was right for her. Rhomy knew who ‘he’ was. She’d met ‘him’ roughly five moths ago and ‘he’d’ saved her life-sort of.
“Oh.” Dean kept his eyes fixed on the road, not sure he wanted to know anything else. His guts were churning, like he’d eaten something bad. “What’s he like?” The question was out before Dean knew it and he’d sounded…
‘Like a jealous boyfriend.’
“Mmm…I don’t… I don’t think I’ll ever know him well enough to answer that.” Rhomy admitted. She looked ahead, at the rain falling just a little harder, thinking. There was a lot about him she didn’t know and it wasn’t for lack of trying. He wouldn’t let her in, not really and it hurt because there was so much they could share, that they could do…
“On first impression… I can say he’s a man of action. He sees what needs to be done and he does it. He’s not afraid to go against the norm. There’s something…” she sighed, brow furrowed as she looked for the right words to express what she saw in him. “He’s been though a lot, it’s the way he hods on- in his eyes, I guess. I can see that… and he’s gruff sometimes but I think it’s just a cover to hide how he’s really feeling. There’s also this…I don’t know but it’s like he can’t help himself.” Rhomy didn’t like that about him, didn’t like the pressure he put on himself.
“He just takes too much on, responsibility for things out of his control and he doesn’t accept there’s nothing he can do to change things… Stubborn.” Rhomy shook her head, her eyes flicking over to Sam who snored lightly. “He can love… He’d do anything for those he loves. Sacrifice without thought for himself… I- that’s what I … admire in him. His capacity to love with so much of himself, with such strength.” And Rhomy hoped she’d be counted among those few someday. When it was time.
“Sounds like you know him pretty well.”
The way she spoke… he heard the warmth in her voice, talking about this guy… His guts churned yet again but he wouldn’t admit it, wishing that she’d talk about him like that too.
“There’s more to him. A lot more, but I don’t think I’ll get the chance to really know him.” Rhomy admitted sounding just a little bit sad.
“Why not? Mr. Fantastic being a douche?” Dean asked sneaking a quick glance at her.
“No, he’s always been…nice, to me.” She shrugged. Maybe ‘nice’ wasn’t exactly correct but she couldn’t rightly agree with the douche bag description. All he’d done was protect her…
“He’s not ready. Maybe he’ll never be ready.” The thought hurt, it was a constant worry, a fear she buried deep and tried not to dwell on. To know that you were so close to the person you were meant for and it wasn’t going to be…
“He’s got a problem with this? With your…’job’?” he turned towards her. “Does he think you're going…’rebel’. Like your Mom.”
Rhomy was quiet, his words and the look in his eyes slightly challenging- she wasn’t going to bite. She wasn’t going to rise up and defend herself because there was nothing to defend. But Dean was upset, again.
“I haven’t done anything I should be ashamed of.” Her hazel eyes were steady on his and then he felt the warmth of her palm on his cheek. A gentle touch turning his face back to the road where he should be focused. “I try to live without regrets, Dean. Since we met…well, I don’t.”
“You think he’d be ok with us sharing your pillow?”
Of course Dean would bring that up.
“Like I said, I haven’t done anything wrong. All we did was sleep.”
That was the truth; they’d been perfectly PG13 from the very start. He couldn’t say otherwise.
“So what’s this Fantastic guy look like?” Dean asked. He wasn’t doing a very good job of changing subjects but she hid her smile. There was no doubt he was just a little bit jealous and it gave her a little hope not to mention this nice warm feeling in the pit of her stomach.
“Physically? Well,” she looked- happy. That was the only word Dean could use seeing her expression. “He’s strong. Very tall, I think- well, no- it’s a tie between his eyes and the way his arms feel when he’s holding me. I like that, the warmth… I feel safe with him. He has a great smile and when he laughs… he’s… kinda, ‘pretty’-.”
Dean snorted, glanced at her.
“Sounds like a pansy.”
Rhomy smiled, amused by his statement.
“You think so, huh.” Rhomy laughed. “I’ll remember you said that.” She promised flicking at his ear.
Sam had given up his web search an hour ago and now sat thinking over the last bit of their conversation. They’d thought he was asleep and he had been. Off in dream land…and then-
It was her voice- sort of longing and Sam knew about that. Her words registered, just the tail end of the conversation.
“…pansy…” Dean had said and she was laughing, quietly because they thought he was sleeping.
Why didn’t his brother see it? Was he blind? Because it was making sense. All of it.
She turned over, brow furrowed. She’d fallen asleep almost as soon as Dean had gone out. Sam realized she must be having a bad dream.
‘Maybe God’s telling her something she doesn’t want to hear.’
It was spiteful, yeah but Sam was pissed. He wasn’t good enough for the same deal?
No, because he was tainted. With demon blood. Because it made him into a freak. Sam was poison, everyone around him died…
Sam frowned, leaned slightly trying to catch her muttering but it was broken, a bunch of muttered nonsense. What was she dreaming?
Sam was startled by the ringing phone. On the second ring she sat up, her hand stretched out, reaching for something…
“Your phone…” Sam nodded towards it just as it rang again. She cleared her throat, looking at it apprehensively. On the fifth ring she scooted closer to the edge wiping at her face with both hands. When she picked up the phone and saw the caller ID her eyes closed. Sam was even more curious. Rhomy looked…afraid. He listened as she answered, her voice just a whisper asking what happened. It didn’t take long before the first tear fell.
“The others…they’re- is everyone-?” she fell silent but Sam couldn’t make out anything, even the one side he did hear didn’t give him much.
“Mmm-hmm.” She nodded, her face turned away, one hand wiping at her eyes but it didn’t stop her tears.
Sam frowned, he stood up unsure if he should approach her or not but he was curious. He stood at the table, a bit awkward…
“Keep them safe.” She whispered. A moment later she dropped her hand, the cell phone sliding out of her fingers. She just knelt on the bed, head down and quiet. Rhomy was crying but she wasn’t making a sound.
Sam walked towards her, not sure how to ask what was wrong because of her silence. It wasn’t - it couldn’t be normal.
The door creaked open and Sam jumped, startled like a guilty man only he hadn’t done anything to feel guilty for- well... Dean walked in, the door closing behind him. He took one look at them and started towards the bed, shooting Sam a glare.
“What the hell, Sam?”
“What- I didn’t-.” Sam protested but he could tell his brother clearly didn’t believe him. “She got a call…”
Dean ignored him. The last time he’d walked in on them alone Sam had been yelling at her. Now she was crying and Sam looked guilty.
“Rhomy?” He smoothed the dark strands out of her face and sat on the bed.
“They’re dead.” She whispered closing her eyes. “I should’ve …”
“What? Who’s dead?” Dean asked but she was quiet, silent tears sliding down her cheeks. He turned her face towards him, wiping at the tears. A sob escaped her and then Dean had his arms full of Rhomy, her face buried in his chest, crying softly. He felt her arms wrap around his waist, her fingers tangling in his shirt.
“Shhh.” Dean soothed, one hand rubbing her back in circles awkwardly. He looked up at Sam, not knowing what to do- he didn’t know who was dead and by the confused expression on Sam, he didn’t either. “Rhomy…sweetheart, you gotta tell us what’s wrong because…” Dean trailed off. He didn’t know how to help.
He felt her nod and she pulled away a little.
“Grams called… she-.” Rhomy drew a shuddering breath, clapping a hand to her eyes as if that would get the image out of her head. “…accident, and my cousin- Cea…” she couldn’t stop crying, seeing them…Pru and the kids- little Ceana… she was just a little girl, still innocent and now… she hid her face against his chest again. Grandmother Syd wasn’t blaming her, or anyone else but Rhomy knew she was at fault. They’d wanted her and when she didn’t cave they went for the others and Rhomy hadn’t warned them.
“Sloane?” Sam asked coming closer.
“Did something happen to them?” Dean asked but she shook her head.
“Prudence.” Rhomy clarified even though she knew they wouldn’t know her. “I have to go home.” She looked at Dean, her dark hazel eyes filled with tears. “Please, take me home, Dean.”
He nodded. Right then he would’ve done anything to erase the look in her eyes. Her sorrow cut at him and Dean felt helpless- unable to do anything about it.
“Sam-.” He didn’t finish.
“I’ll call Bobby. Have him send another Hunter.” Sam took his phone and slipped out of the room already ahead of his brother. He had the unsettling suspicion this was something else he was to blame for. One price to pay just to get Lilith.
“Rhomy, what happened?” Dean asked when she grew silent. She pulled back, her hand yanking on her shirt collar.
“This.” Rhomy showed him the gold cross, the same one she’d been wearing on and off since they’d left her apartment. It was old- her Grandmothers, sort of flashy for everyday use but it was a rosary. The beads were small, strands of gold woven into delicate spheres and the cross wasn’t solid. It was woven, the ends flaring into three rounded points with a clear stone set in the center. “It’s what the demons want.”
Dean couldn’t believe the key had been under his nose the entire time. He wrapped his hand around hers, holding it- the little bit of gold all the demons were fighting for…
“I should’ve warned them. I should’ve told them to be careful-. It’s my fault…” her voice broke on another sob.
“No- listen to me.” Dean insisted when she started to shake her head. “You told me- you said, said others had died protecting this.” He shook it, the chain pulling on her neck a little but even that little sting was welcomed.
“She has a family- children…” Rhomy dropped her head, tears spilling from her eyes again. He could understand that, why she felt guilty because she’d effectively taken away their Mother… like his had been taken.
“Had.” Dean said quietly, there was nothing else to say that would make her feel better and he understood. Dean let go of the cross, wrapped both arms around her and pressed his lips to the top of her head. He just held her, rocking slightly without even noticing and stared at the wall.