Soldier Of God

Family

HE makes his Angels winds, HIS servants flames of power.


Sam finished dressing quickly. He could smell dinner and though he felt uneasy and wasn’t happy about their current situation… his stomach was growling. Stepping into the hall, Sam heard the front door and wondered if Dean had gone out. It wasn’t likely, there was no reason since he’d brought up both of their duffel bags. He hurried into the living room and stopped just inside as he took in the stranger. The man was young, likely in his middle to late twenties. He had a mop of dark hair, just a little long. The hazel eyes narrowed, staring at Sam and still neither said a word. The slight scowl on the strangers face said he wasn’t at all happy to find Sam there especially with his damp hair and half buttoned shirt.

“Rhom!”

“Who are you?” Dean demanded in his gruffest voice coming up behind Sam. “And how’d you get in?”

Sam was startled by Dean; he hadn’t heard his brother’s approach or felt his presence.

“What are you yell-.” Rhomy paused just inside the sitting area, her brown eyes taking in the scowls on their faces and sighed. “You can stand down.” She said striding towards the new guy. “It’s ok.”

“You sound like Gramps.” The guy snapped with a glare. “It’s not cute. And why do you have two guys up here? Alone.” He asked with a look at the brothers.

“One.” Rhomy raised a finger, brown eyes hard. “My apartment. Two. Big girl. Say hello.” She ordered hooking a thumb towards the brothers.

“Riel’s on speed dial.” He warned showing her the cell phone. Both Sam and Dean frowned watching the exchange with varying degrees of curiosity and annoyance. Rhomy just shook her head, her lips twitching and Dean could see she wanted to smile. It was even more obvious to the stranger in the foyer.

“Sam and Dean Winchester.” Rhomy said turning towards them. “My cousin.” She hooked a thumb towards the guy at her side. “Lazaro Stormont.”

“Cousin.” Dean echoed as he looked the guy over once more. It didn’t go unnoticed but he didn’t care, even if the guy was about as tall as Sam…he’d taken his baby brother down plenty of times…

“Uh…hi.” Sam said. Beside him Dean gave a suffered sigh in response to the lame ‘Hi’ and it annoyed Sam.

“Rhomilly.” Laz warned eyeing the brothers.

“Go wash up.” Rhomy ordered with a shove. “Dinner’s ready and you said you’d be hungry.” She reminded him.


Dean glared at Sam. It was bad enough his wimpy brother had pretty much kept quiet during the questioning at dinner but now he was refusing to go listen at her door.

“You can’t go over there-.”

“Like hell I can’t!” Dean hissed. “You're the one who wanted me to get some answers.”

“By asking her, Dean. Not listening at her door like some-.”

“Asking got me more questions and this whole thing about a key- I mean, a key!” He threw his hands up in frustration. “A friggin key’s got the demons after her and She’s not giving it up.” Dean said scowling. “Woman’s too damn stubborn.”

Sam scoffed, rolled his eyes and turned back to his bed. Dean noticed and it only irritated him more but he was already in a foul mood. Because of her, because she wasn’t afraid and this whole ‘I asked’ krap- what was that? Why did anyone want to ask for… this! For his life… it just didn’t make sense and he wasn’t going to argue the finer points of eavesdropping with Sam.


Dinner had been…interesting. A little uncomfortable what with all the staring going on between her cousin and Dean. Rhomy had not been amused and she’d tried to break the macho man contest to no avail. Until she kicked Laz. Of course it didn’t stop them but both made an effort not to be obvious. Until they started with the questions that had felt more like an Inquisition. She knew what it was and that annoyed her to no end. And she wasn’t the only one who had to suffer the ‘boys’ protectiveness. Her cousins had made a nuisance of themselves with all five girls since grade school.

Between each short, choppy response and the hard looks in their eyes, both men fired off question after question though most of them Dean didn’t answer.

“You were rude!” Rhomy stated as the door to her bedroom closed quietly. Laz just snorted and walked towards his cousin where she sat in the middle of the bed.

“K, you were down right nasty, Laz. Grams would be seriously pissed and I don’t doubt she’d have you over her knee.” She frowned. Rhomy tried keeping her voice to a low whisper because she didn’t want the Winchesters to hear their conversation.

“I’m too big for her knee, cousin.” Laz replied dropping onto her bed and making himself comfortable. “Now, what’s going on and don’t start your ‘I’m a big girl’ speech.” He warned with a raised finger. He knew that would annoy her and the change of subject was good for him. The last thing he needed was Rhomy to sick Grandma Syd on him. Rhomy rolled her eyes and slapped his hand down just a little irritated with him. “What happened this time?”

Rhomy drew in a breath and let it out slowly. Her brown eyes stayed on Laz.

“I’m going with them.”

The silence stretched while he stared at her. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking- except that he was thinking and in her nervousness she almost blurted out some smart-aleck comment on how he shouldn’t strain himself when Laz tilted his head and got that look in his eyes.

‘Uh-oh.’

“Which one?”

Rhomy bit her lip wishing Laz wouldn’t have asked that but mostly she wished he hadn’t figured it out. He wasn’t stupid, none of her cousins where. Lazaro just happened to be more observant and he knew the family history…

“I’ve heard the stories, Rho. And… you do what you're told…” he sighed because that’s what worried everyone, his cousins and his brother. Even Grandmother Syd worried about Rhomy going on the ‘job’. “What do I tell the family- because they’ll be ask- and Riel!” Laz rubbed both hands over his face not happy to be the ‘bearer of news’, didn’t the messenger always get the short end of the stick? “He’s going to give me hell for letting you go with, not one, but two, you hear me? Two males…” he trailed off with another heavy breath. “I hate me.”

Rhomy couldn’t help her amusement at the mournful tone. She shoved at his long legs barely smiling because she knew exactly what her brother was going to say and she felt just a bit guilty leaving Lazaro to face him alone. Especially when he’d have to explain to Riel his little sister was off traipsing across the United States with two men. Alone.

“First off,” Rhomy said smacking his knee to get his attention. “You tell them not to be questioning HIM.” She pointed up but they both knew whom she meant. “As for my brother, he’s got my cell number. You tell him to yell at me.”

“Right.” Lazaro scoffed with a chuckled. “So he can yell at me when you hang up on him?”

“What,” Rhomy sat up straight, an inky eyebrow raised in mock surprise. “You're going to stick around while he dials?”

He chuckled again, shaking his head. They’d have to understand- they would but that didn’t mean Riel was going to like it. Lazaro was a bit relieved it wasn’t his sister going off. Sloane was just too impulsive, she didn’t think too much on consequences- nope. His sister wouldn’t last long in Rhomy’s place.

“So he doesn’t know.” Laz watched Rhomy drop her eyes to the coverlet in her hands, plucking at the dark plum satin. He could tell she was worried-concerned… about where she was going? She was leaving her family, the life she’d known, the stability and safety of having them around if she needed the help. But she’d be leaving and all the backup she would have was those two guys down the hall…

“Not yet, Laz.” She shook her head, a heavy sigh slipping past the dusky lips and he couldn’t miss the sadness in her soft voice. He nudged her, a little too hard because she had to put a hand out to stay sitting up.

“I don’t get it.” He said to her frowning face. Of course he knew the family history, they all did. There wasn’t a family gathering that someone didn’t recount part of their past. His grandparents were adamant everyone needed to know. Not one of them could be ignorant. All in all, his family could be put on the ‘weird’ list compared to most of the ‘normal’ families out there, unaware of the darkness surrounding them all.

Rhomy gave him a look.

“I mean, I know.” He assured. “And it’s important. I just…” he sat up, concern evident in the furrows in his brow. He took her small hand in his big one, engulfing it completely and looked into her hazel eyes. “Its going to get bad, morena…” he could feel it and he was afraid she’d get hurt; hurt so bad this time she wouldn’t be coming home to them.

“HE’s got a plan, Laz.” Rhomy place her hand over his, a soft smile lifting her lips as her face relaxed. “You know we’re in good hands.” She assured with quiet confidence. Laz envied her that peace, that calm sureness with which she spoke. Their Grams was the same, it seemed nothing could bother them- not for long.

“Guess I’ll be praying now.” His lips turned up in a wry smile.

“You haven’t been?” Rhomy questioned with mock shock. “Tisk, tisk cousin. Grandma Syd’s not going to like hearing that.” She warned with a little shake of her head. Laz made a face and lightly flicked the end of her nose as he got up.

“Got to sleep.” He ordered heading towards the door. He wasn’t surprised by the threat and Grandma Syd was just a little scary when she was mad. “Mitotera.” He said over his shoulder.

Rhomy stuck her tongue out at him, a very childish gesture but around Laz it was easy to revert to being five years old again. Of course he ignored her and quietly closed her door.

Laz hadn’t taken more than two steps when he noticed the dark shadow in his way. What little light did shine through the window partially revealed Dean’s face. There was a slight scowl on the blond. In response Laz raised a dark eyebrow, slightly mocking but didn’t say a word. Calmly, he stepped past Dean and headed to his room.


“Shut. Up.”

“We could’ve stopped for the night, Riel.” Because he didn’t mind sleeping in a hotel.

“Laz said it was important.” Riel replied with annoyance coloring his words.

“And he didn’t say anything about Rhomy being hurt or in trouble.”

“Joel.” Riel warned.

“Man, bad news travels fast.” Joel grumbled as he followed Riel to the front door.

“Its gonna travel a lot faster if you don’t shut up.” Riel warned stopping in the hall.

“You're definitely grumpy when you don’t get your beauty sleep.” Joel said and tried to cover his yawn. “Aunt Ro always said you were a fussy baby.”

“I’ve got better dirt on you, Joel.” Riel stated with a scowl.

“Dude, come on!” He exclaimed.

“Shut up already!” Riel hissed as he stuck his key in the door.

“You seriously need sleep.” Joel grumbled at his side.

“Do you want her to wake up?” Riel demanded standing back from the half opened door. Joel seemed to consider that and ended up shaking his head.

“Nope. Nah-uh. Shutting up.” He said pressing his lips together.


Dean woke from a fitful sleep with a start. It took him a second to figure out why and then he was up. The gun hidden under his pillow in hand and aimed at the dark figure too big to be Rhomy. Sam would’ve called his name… He had a second to wonder if it was her cousin and the hesitation was enough time for the intruder to swing a heavy bag at him. Dean winced as he felt something hard slam against his forearm. Dean glared, pissed he’d lost his grip on the gun as it bounced on the bed before thunking onto the floor. He reacted just as he’d been trained, kicking up and landing a solid blow into the intruders gut. It doubled him over and Dean pressed his advantage coming in with a left jab.

Sam sat up, confused as to why he was suddenly awake. The sound of running feet had him up and to the door. Pulling it open he called out for Dean as he wiped a hand over his sleep befuddled face. Sam found himself face to face with a dark figure a few inches shorter than him and not the size or shape of his brother, turning towards him. He didn’t ask who because down the hall Sam could hear the sounds of a fight going on in his brother’s room. The intruder ducked the first punch and then Sam felt his side ache while a fist headed for his face.


Laz threw the covers aside, not happy with all the noise and intent on giving the brothers a piece of his mind. Couldn’t they wait until morning to get into a fight? He yanked his bedroom door open and stepped into the hallway. He could barely make out the brothers but it definitely looked like they were in a fight.

“It’s too damn early for this krap.” Laz snarled, slapping a hand on the light switch. The hall lit up with a soft glow from the recessed bulbs in the ceiling but it was enough to see that Sam wasn’t trying to get a choke hold on Dean.

“Joel?”

“Help- Riel!” Joel managed to choke out as Sam slipped his forearm around his neck.

“What?” Laz shook himself and jumped on his brother and Sam. “Let go!”


Rhomy opened her door very annoyed with all the noise the boys were making and was shocked to see Laz and Joel ganging up on Sam.

“Stop it!” She ordered heading towards them. “Right now!” She exclaimed, horrified with her cousins-

‘Riel!’

He’d been with Joel last she’d heard and Joel was there… A heavy thud sounded and she turned towards it, all the while praying it wasn’t them. Her feet carried her to the open door of Dean’s room and she flicked on the light. Her gasp went ignored by the grappling men on the hard wood floor.

“Stop it!” She demanded yet again and rushed across the room careful to avoid any flailing limbs. She winced as Riel got in a hit and Dean grunted in pain.

“Gabriel!” He was fighting dirty but then Dean got the upper hand and reared back for a punch she was sure would damage her brother.

“No! Stop hitting each other!” Rhomy ordered shoving on Dean’s shoulder. He barely avoided hitting her and got suckered for his trouble.

“Gabriel!” Rhomy exclaimed getting in his way as Dean bumped against the bed and sat down hard on it. Seeing her brother advance on Dean she grabbed onto the arm he was intending to brush her aside with. She muttered a hasty ‘Sorry’ and planted her heel on his calf while pulling the arm she held up and behind his back.

“Son of a- Rhomilly!” Riel yelled as he was forced to kneel on the floor.

“Stop with the fighting!” She yelled back letting go of his arm and keeping herself between him and Dean. She didn’t trust Riel especially with the thoughts going through his head. “No more hitting each other!” She warned with a glance over her shoulder at Dean who was glaring at Riel.

“You know him?” He asked.

“Yes.” Rhomy answered letting out a breath. “Gabriel Colt. My brother.” She turned to him glaring. “Why are you beating up on our guest?” She demanded.

“Hey!” Dean protested because he sure as hell hadn’t gotten beat up. The blood on her brother’s face was proof of that.

“Guest?” Riel snarled. “Since when do you have strange guys sleeping over? Alone.” He demanded taking a step towards her. “And when I showed you that move I told you not to be using it on me!”

“And I told you to knock it off!” Rhomy yelled back planting an open palm on his chest and shoving. It didn’t move him much but it certainly got Riel out of her face.

“Dean?” All three turned to the door where Sam got the full on glare of Riel.

“What the hell is going on?” Riel demanded as a second half naked guy he didn’t know showed up in their home.

Laz found himself the target of two very pissed off relatives. He held his hands up in surrender and shook his head.

“Hey, they were already here when I arrived.”

Rhomy rolled her eyes exasperated.

“Boys.” She grumbled because all they ever did was cause trouble not to mention interrupted her sleep time.

“Start explaining, Rhomilly.” Riel ordered.

“No.” She snapped resting her hands on her hips. “I’m going to sleep and so are the rest of you.” She shoved at her brother moving him towards the door while Sam moved into the room and out of their way.

“No…? Rhomilly-.” He turned around. “I want answers!” He yelled deflecting her hands.

“Then you wait until I get another four hours of sleep!” She yelled back.

“Shit.” Joel muttered stepping away from his cousins.

“She’s pissed.” Laz stated moving away as well. He glanced in Sam’s direction with a shrug that said they were on their own.

“Good night.” Joel called and got a glare for his trouble.

“You get the pull out.” Laz said as they walked into the bedroom.

“Yeah, I think it’d be safer.”Joel agreed because the last thing he wanted was to spend the night bunking with his cousin. “Shoulda pulled over for the night.” He muttered with a shake of his head.

“What are you doing here anyway? And why were you going in there when your usual room’s down the hall?” Rhomy demanded pointing.

“Explain why you've got two guys sleeping up here.” Rile glared.

“Bec-.” Rhomy caught herself before she blurted out things she wasn’t supposed to say and the brothers heard more than they needed to. Ignoring Dean’s presence behind her she pointed at her door. “My room. Now.”

With a grumble and a last glare over her head at Dean and lastly at Sam, Riel stomped into her bedroom.

“I’m so sorry.” Rhomy apologized turning to Dean. “Really.” She grabbed his door and started closing it. “I’ll explain in the morning, ok?” But the door closed and he wasn’t given a chance to reply. Dean just stared. Cas had said ‘protect her’ but it damn well felt like she didn’t need him to!

“Ow.” He grimaced as his face began to throb.

“Huh.” Sam grunted still staring at the closed door.


With the door to her bedroom firmly shut, Rhomy turned to her brother.

“They’re supposed to be here.”

“Why?” Riel growled standing with his arms crossed at the foot of her bed.

“Because I’m leaving with them.”

“Like hell-!” Riel exclaimed dropping his arms.

“Lower your voice and listen!” Rhomy hissed glancing over her shoulder at the door. “I can’t stay anymore. There’s too many of them.” She said looking up at him. “They know it’s me.”

“Wh- but… NO.” He shook his head. “No. You're not alone, Rhomy. We-.”

“I know.” She cut in. “HE’s not throwing me to the wolves, Rie. That’s why they’re here.” She assured. “Sam and Dean, they’re Hunters. They know what they’re doing and Castiel’s told me what’s going on.”

“Castiel?” Riel echoed. “Is…?”

“An angel.” Rhomy smiled nodding. “He’s trying to help them.”

“With what?” Riel questioned, suspicious.

“You know with what, Riel. The signs are all there.” She answered, frowning slightly. He didn’t want her leaving, didn’t want her going off alone and exorcising demons either but that’s what she was called to do. Rhomy wasn’t the first, their Mother had done the same when it had been her time and the signs of approaching doom were easy to see if people would just look. Riel, the boys, their whole family could see the signs and everyone was preparing.

“My little sister is not getting in the middle of Armageddon!” Riel exclaimed hotly. “And you sure as hell aren't going off with two Hunters!”he spat the last word, anger glinting in his eyes which she ignored.

“That’s what we do. You know that.” Rhomy snapped.

“Dad hasn’t gotten over Mom, Rho.” Her brother reminded her and it made her feel just a bit guilty. She still couldn’t do anything about it. She’d asked and now there was no going back.

“You’d rather it was one of the girls?” She demanded scowling at him. “You think Sloane could do better? Or Xexi?” she proposed. “We both know Prudence can’t and Zúlema's not interested.” She glared at him. It wasn’t as though they hadn’t known, the family was aware of their responsibility. Grandmother Sydony had spent all her time with them, teaching them, telling them the stories, reminding them of what there was to lose.

“This is bull!” Riel shouted. He swung a fist at her bed post making the whole thing shake. “Where the hell’s yours, huh?” He demanded glaring down at her. “Mom had Dad to help her with this burden. Grams and Grandfather worked it out too. So why are you alone with this shit?”

“I’m not.” Rhomy replied calmly. She kept her eyes on Riel and tried not to show her nervousness. She hoped he wouldn’t ask her because she didn’t want to lie. She just couldn’t tell them, she couldn’t risk they’d tell him- it just wasn’t the right time.

Riel just stared at her. He didn’t want her to go and he couldn’t stop her from going either. That’s not how it worked with their family. Disobedience held too high a price to pay and that’s why he couldn’t take her place however much he wanted to. He wasn’t supposed to let anything happen to her, they were family and family took care of each other. It didn’t matter Rhomy had been going out on those ‘exorcism’ outings of hers. She’d had back up, at least she said so.

Riel stomped to the door and yanked it open without another word to her. He was sure his little sister was going to get into the worst trouble their family had ever seen and he couldn’t figure out a way to stop it. The door slammed shut behind him, echoing in the silent apartment. A moment later a second door slammed shut. Rhomy lay down, she felt anxious and tired. She hated fighting with Riel or any of her family. She much preferred it when they were all happy and laughing, having a good time…

How long would it be before she was part of that again?


Morning found the Winchesters sitting in the living room with Rhomy’s cousins, sipping at their coffee. That was all they’d managed to get before the siblings started arguing. Again. It had seemed a good idea to get them out of the way and now Joel cleared his throat shifting uncomfortably in his chair. He glanced at his brother who was busy listening to the argument and looked at Sam.

“Hey, uh, sorry. About… you know.” Joel finished and ignored Laz’ eyes.

“Oh.” Sam shifted in his seat as well drawing Dean’s attention. “Yeah. Me too.” He flicked his eyes towards Dean and inwardly groaned at his brother’s expression.

“Aww.” Laz mocked. “You girls.” He said with a shake of his head. Dean snickered seeing the glower on Joel’s face, it was almost as bad as Sam’s.

“Your fault.” Joel grumbled, frowning.

“Hey, I called and told you to get your asses over here.” Laz defended because the fights last night had not been his fault. He hadn’t told them to go ape shit over the guests and having Rhomy smack his brother upside the head was just… Laz chuckled, remembering his little brothers lame attempt at explaining himself. She’d had none of it and then Riel had started to lecture her which had been the perfect time to escape the kitchen.

“Yeah, yeah.” Joel waved him off in a huff then turned his attention on all three. “So when am I getting some info here? Cuz I’m clueless, bro.”

“I know.” Laz drawled with a smirk. He could see his brother was not amused so he drew in a breath and turned to the guests. “Fine. Sam and Dean Winchester.” He pointed to each in turn. “This is Joel. My pain in the ass little brother.” He said. “Mama’s boy.”

“Stuff it, Laz.” Joel growled in annoyance.

“Make me, jerk.” Laz smirked. He enjoyed ruffling his little brother’s feathers and it wasn’t that hard to do. Dean noticed and smiled at them.

“Oh, please.” Joel shook his head, disgusted and gave up the verbal sparring. It was the easiest give over Dean had ever seen between siblings.

“Is that…?” Sam tilted his head, brow furrowed as he listened to the raised voices.

“Spanish.” Laz confirmed. Beside him Joel perked up, slightly turning in his chair to listen in.

“Spanish?” Dean echoed, eyebrows raised.

“Yep.” Laz agreed. “We all know it. Grams’ idea.”

“She says we should know our roots and where we come from.” Joel explained. “Grandfather Elian was a Spaniard.”

“That’s not-.” Sam began to question.

“Japanese.” Joel said.

“She speaks Japanese?” Dean questioned sitting up in his chair.

“Only because she doesn’t like to curse and you really can’t.” Laz shrugged with a grimace. “It’s not the same.”

“She’s got good combos.” Joel cut in. “Remember that one with the monkey balls and the pig…?”

“Right.” Laz chuckled. “Hilarious.” He told them.

“So… who…?” Sam looked confused trying to figure it out because they sure didn’t look Japanese.

“Oh. Grandfather Dahlos, his Mom was Japanese and our Great Uncle Heath married Nozomi- There’s like four or five in the family. Franco knows them all. It’s his side of the tree.” Laz said forgetting about counting on his hand so he didn’t get lost in the family tree they were all supposed to remember and Grandmother Sydony quizzed them on it whenever she felt they weren’t behaving as they should.

“This was before the whole WWII stuff and the camps.” Joel said.

“That wasn’t a fun time for the family.” Laz added.

“We speak Italian.” Joel sighed as he remembered. “Mama Stormy made the best lasagna.”

“Mama Stormy?” Dean questioned wanting to laugh at the ridiculousness of the name.

“Hey, she said it made her sound ‘hip’.” Joel defended. They had a few memories of her but then she’d died and the rest of the kids had missed out on the funny old woman who’d loved to tell them stories about her childhood and make them cookies.

“Shit.” Laz sat up turning to the raised voices. “He’s gone ruskie.”

“Huh?” Sam and Dean looked at each other. Pots banged and they half rose out of their chairs when the front door opened.

“How many keys does that door have?” Dean demanded with a frustrated huff.

“Not enough fingers to count ‘em.” Laz replied standing. He walked to the door to greet the new arrival. A tall young man with a thick swathe of black hair and dark brown eyes.

“Hey, T.” Joel greeted.

“Morning.” He said scanning the living area.

“What are you doing here?” Laz questioned drawing him into the room.

“Playing mediator, I’d guess.” He replied staring at the Winchesters. “You know I can hear them in the hall?” He said to Laz.

“That bad?” Laz questioned.

“Riel’s gone Irish.” He said looking at his cousin as though that was obvious.

“He’s pissed.” Joel shrugged.

“No shit.” Laz frowned. All three turned to the suddenly silent kitchen. They looked at each other in surprise before glancing at the brothers. Whatever she’d yelled at her brother in the end had something to do with them and Dean wanted to know what.

Before he had a chance to ask, Rhomy appeared in the second sitting area. She stopped, seeming surprised to find them all there and she hesitated.

“Tahan.” She said catching sight of the new arrival. Her lips quirked up in a small smile as she quickly walked over to him.

“You survived.” Tahan quipped bending down to give her a hug.

“You... heard?” Rhomy forced herself not to look at the Winchesters. She still had some explaining to do and really didn’t want to. She had no idea how to even begin let alone how to phrase it so she didn’t sound like a lunatic. So far, they hadn’t seen anything good especially with Riel and Joel’s welcome from the night before.

“We sure did.” Tahan said. “Which one?” He asked in a low whisper at her ear.

“He doesn’t know!” Rhomy hissed back and hoped her cousin wouldn’t say anything out loud or in their presence. Tahan released her and chuckled.

“A repeat of Grandmother Cal?”

“No.” Rhomy hissed lightly hitting his arm. “Quit it.”

“Did Laz call you too?” Joel asked.

“You know,” Tahan frowned. “I get the feeling I’m not welcome…”

“Of course you are.” Rhomy assured with a back handed smack for Joel who frowned and moved further away from her. At her side, Tahan chuckled. She rubbed at her temples ignoring the boys and wishing the day was over because then she’d only have to worry about Sam and Dean and whatever questions they’d bombard her with. The whole thing with the key bothered Dean, she could tell and that was going to be one major point of contention because he’d want her to hand it over. Not to the demons, of course, but he’d demand the angel’s take it and that wasn’t even an option.

“Come on.” Tahan draped his arm over her shoulders and led her towards her room. Dean watched them go, scowling.

“Who the hell is that?” He demanded pointing after them.

“Tahan?” Joel questioned with raised eyebrows then noticed the look on Dean’s face. “Krap.” His surprise turned into a chuckle and he nudged his brother jutting his chin in their direction.

“Huh?” Laz grunted, shook his head and wondered if Riel had figured it out yet. “That was our cousin. Tahan Dahlos.” He said.

“How many of you are there?” Dean demanded. He was getting more and more exasperated and ready to leave but he kept hearing Cas and the angel’s words- protect her-

“Five.” Joel answered. “Not counting the girls.”

“Five?” Sam echoed.

“You haven’t met Franco.” Laz explained.

“They will.” Riel’s voice drew their attention.

“Looks like he survived too.” Joel quipped and got smacked in the back of the head for it.


“Riel is just worried.”

“Don’t start.” Rhomy warned tiredly. “I know- I understand. I just… He’s such a…!”

“Pain in your ass?” Tahan supplied with a smirk.

“He gave me a headache!” Rhomy whined as she dropped onto her bed pouting. He didn’t say anything for a moment, just watched her rub at her temples and thought of what Grams had said.

“Aunt Romela’s death-.”

“I know.” Rhomy cut in putting both hands over her face and rubbing.

“Uncle Judson hasn’t-.”

“I. Know.” She glared. “I know, I know!” She stood up, her brown eyes bright with gathering tears. She, better than they, knew how hard it had been for her Father. It didn’t help he blamed himself for it, for not saving her…

Tahan watched his cousin wipe the tears from her eyes. The last thing he’d wanted was to make her cry but girls always cried. He’d accepted that- he grew up with a sister!

“So.” He said sitting on her bed. “Grandma Syd called me.”

“When?” Rhomy asked turning around to face him. She sniffled but the tears were gone.

“Two days ago.” He replied. “Said she wanted me here by today.”

“Why?” Rhomy watched him reach into his jacket and bring out a box. He held it out to her, the familiar vine trellis carvings had darkened over the years. She took it gently knowing what it contained and almost afraid it would turn to dust, that’s how old it was.

“I think it’s broken.” Tahan frowned. “I couldn’t get the damn thing open and you now I’m no hack at puzzle boxes.”

Of course she did, he was a genius when it came to puzzles but what she held wasn’t an ordinary puzzle box.

“Thank you.” Rhomy said quietly.


“My sister,” Riel clenched his jaw, wishing there was something he could do to change her mind. He knew that disobeying never ended well for his family. It was the reason none of the boys could take her place and Riel would have done anything to change places with her. “She’s important to us.”

Dean’s gaze flicked to each of the men in the room. They stood silent, their support evident from their expressions.

“I can see that.” He answered quietly. He was still confused as to why he was the one supposed to protect her when there was obviously five cousins willing and capable of doing that. He winced inwardly, remembering the welt on his cheek from the fight. So why had Castiel put her in his care?

“We know about Hunters.” Riel continued. He couldn’t hide the undertone of anger in his voice.

“They’re…?” Joel asked pointing at them. He shook his head realizing that had been the whole reason behind the arguing.

“Your kind do a lot of good.” Laz said ignoring the snort of derision from Riel. His cousin had reason to scoff at them.

“And you die young.” Riel cut in. “Or get others killed.”

Dean stiffened at the accusation. He knew the risks of being a hunter; he knew that innocent people always died especially when they tried to help a hunter.

“We’ve met a few…” Laz added as explanation, eyeing his cousin.

“Our Mother died helping a Hunter.” Riel snapped. “So I’m not happy my little sister’s going off alone with two. I don’t care if you do have the angels on your side. You keep my sister alive.” He ordered jabbing a finger at each of them.

Sam could see Dean’s jaw clenched tightly and knew his brother was ready to grab onto that finger and snap it in two. He put a restraining hand on the tense arm and watched as Riel stomped off towards the bedrooms.

“You guys talk to angels?” Joel asked a little awed. They’d all heard the story, of the huge angel taking up one side of Riel’s bedroom- until He’d freaked and the angel disappeared. “Ow!” He glared at Laz, one hand on the back of his head.

“They’re douche bags.” Dean scowled. Because all they’d done so far was cause more trouble.

“Dean.” Sam reproached. He knew the angels hadn’t been…‘co-operative’ and sure they kept getting them into difficult situations and they’d burned out Pamela’s eyes… but they rescued Dean. They pulled him out of hell…

“What happened to their Mother?” Dean asked ignoring Sam. Laz and Joel looked at each other and Sam wasn’t blind to the silent communication. He and Dean did the same thing but Sam had assumed it was because they lived with each other 24/7 with hardly any breathing space.

“A Hunter,” Laz said. “He was one of the older guys. He was after some demons.”

“Aunt Romela and Uncle Judson got involved-.”

“How?” Dean cut in, annoying Joel.

“Who?” Sam asked at the same time.

“We don’t know.” Laz answered glancing from one to the other. “After it all went down nobody saw the guy again.”

“Uncle Judson won’t talk about any of it either.” Joel added shaking his head. “The guy was a fanatic.” He said remembering how creepy the old hunter had seemed.

“Literally.” Laz agreed. “He was crazy religious and drove around in an RV.”

Sam and Dean looked at each other, it didn’t go unnoticed and Laz took a step towards them.

“He’s dead.” Dean said looking away from Sam.

“What- how?” Laz asked in shock. “How do you know that?”

“We heard from another Hunter.” Sam answered stalling his brother because Dean looked mad. He didn’t like being questioned and all they were getting from the guys was questions. Sam had more than a few of his own.

“How’d he die?” Joel asked. “When?”

“It’s been about two years.” Said Sam who shook his head in exasperation as Dean had to add more.

“Bastard got chomped on by a vampire.”

“Vampire?” Joel echoed wide eyed.

“You mean, they’re real?” Laz asked.


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