Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.
Sam waited until he could hear the shower running then set his computer aside. For once he hadn’t had to clean up after their dinner and the small table was free of greasy containers. It hadn’t escaped his notice that his brother hadn’t enjoyed his meal as much as he usually did. Or that something was going on between Rhomy and Dean because they’d hardly said anything to each other. Mostly it had been Dean and for some reason Sam found himself feeling a little bad for Rhomy.
Dean looked away from the TV he hadn’t really been focused on, at Sam. He didn’t say anything aside from a raised eyebrow.
“You wouldn’t look at her and barely said a word let alone finished your burger.” Sam explained wearing a pained expression. “What happened?”
“Nothing.” Dean scowled and turned back to the TV. He didn’t see why Sam was getting nosy when he’d been the one complaining from the start about Rhomy.
“Back. Off.” Dean warned, green eyes hard.
Sam stared at his brother for a moment before he turned back to the laptop. He didn’t say anything else as he tried to focus on the file Rhomy had downloaded from her cell phone. The more he tried to figure out Dean’s behavior the more he got annoyed. They were stuck with her because Castiel had told Dean to protect her. The demons wanted her and now that they knew it was because of the key, they couldn’t do anything because she wasn’t going to hand it over or tell them where it was. Sam wasn’t feeling so badly for Rhomy now because this fight he was blaming on her. It occurred to him that once again they’d been arguing over a girl.
‘Except this one isn’t a demon.’
Again Sam glanced at Dean. His eyes were glued to the TV watching a movie but Dean was thinking about the walk back to the hotel.
“This is my place.”
She’d said it with conviction, sure of herself and with him… he’d felt-. Dean shifted, his body trying to find a comfortable spot even though he knew it had nothing to do with the bed. It was all about him and Rhomy and the way he felt around her; just a little better, not so guilt ridden. He could breathe a little easier; her presence calmed him even as she unnerved him with everything he still didn’t know. Her faith- it should’ve bugged him, the fact she was trusting in something he still wasn’t able to believe in however much he wanted to. It just wasn’t right, how? How could HE let all those people suffer?
“We make our own misery.”
They’d been given free will. God had given man free will…
So where was his? Why was he being told to do things he didn’t want to? Why put him in a place HE knew Dean was going to screw up? What was the point to all of it?
More than ever, Dean felt tired.
Rhomy woke feeling confused by the unfamiliar room. She sighed and wondered if it would always be the same. She supposed that it might be worse not waking up confused because that would mean she’d become used to the vagabond life. Her thoughts turned to the brothers. Where they used to it? The thought didn’t make her feel good, thinking the boys had lived this way for so long that any hotel room was as good as the last… she frowned. All they had was each other, the duffels with clothes and the Impala. She tried to picture them as little boys, the way her brother and cousins would play or the family would get together on the holidays and birthdays… But Rhomy couldn’t. All she could see were two boys alone in a hotel room. She felt bad for them, the things other kids had experienced the Winchesters hadn’t been able to enjoy. It couldn’t have been easy and she found it difficult not to criticize their Father. The man had lost his wife, found out there was another world, a darker one than he’d imagined existed… It didn’t change the fact Rhomy wished he’d thought more about his boys than revenge.
Quietly, Rhomy pushed back the covers and got up. She made it a point not to disturb either man, not wanting them to wake and ask what she was doing. She might be used to waking up at the crack of dawn but Rhomy had realized the Winchesters weren’t usually early risers. She’d also come to realize that Dean was grumpy on those days he was woken too early he hadn’t gotten enough sleep.
With her sneakers in hand she closed the door softly behind her and headed down the hall. It was just a little after five in the morning and hopefully, with her luck, they’d still be asleep when she got back from her run.
He really did not want to get up. The sun wasn’t even out and it was- he squinted at the too bright screen on his cell- “5:18.”
How the hell could she be up so damn early! How did anyone manage that?
Of course, that’s why he tossed the blankets off and sat up. The couch creaked but at least it was more comfortable than the floor had been. He rubbed his face and unsuccessfully tried to restrain a yawn.
“New rule.” He grumbled standing, though first he had to make a quick trip to the bathroom. Dean reluctantly admitted if it hadn’t been for the toilet flushing he wouldn’t have noticed her leaving. Or when she opened the door…
The cold water did the trick. He grabbed his jacket and left the room without a word to Sam. She had at least ten minutes on him so Dean scowled at his cell and dialed. He listened, pushing the lobby door open only to feel the cold sea air.
“Morning.” She answered.
“Not really.” Dean replied gruffly. “Where are you?” He could hear her panting and hurried to the Impala, keys in hand.
“Heading to the park. Once around and then I should get ready for work. I won’t be long-.”
“Damn right.” He cut in. “It’s not safe for you-.”
“I am fine.” Rhomy assured. “And I’m not alone; they won’t bother me, Dean.”
He sat in the Impala staring at the street. She wasn’t alone?
“An old friend, Tamryn.” She answered. “I’ll see you in a few minutes, Dean. Don’t worry.”
The line went dead and he still sat there, staring at nothing. A thousand thoughts went through his mind all at once but the name… Tamryn…. That was the angel Rhomy had mentioned the day they’d met. Her so called guardian angel…
“Everyone, stay together!” Nailah called to the group raggedly following behind her. The sun had felt warm and the usual outdoor activities in the garden area had been put off in favor of a long walk along the beach. Theodore hung at the end of the group with two of the boys while Rhomilly walked in the middle. The new addition to the staff was fitting in well, she listened to the kids, spoke to them in a calm soothing tone that didn’t sound at all patronizing. Nailah wondered if it had to do with the young woman’s faith. There was something about Rhomilly, her presence was calming and Nailah had found herself feeling peaceful whenever she was around. The past three days had been the easiest Nailah could remember having, not since Ray…
Her eyes searched the beach thinking back on better days as her fingers fiddled with the locket at her neck. They’d come out to watch the sun set, had sat on the dune below the steps leading up to the home. She hadn’t meant for it to happen, had never once imagined she’d be one of those women…
It hadn’t been her fault. She’d told herself that many times but that didn’t change how she felt. If only she’d been stronger, had said no and distanced herself… but ‘ifs’ weren’t going to change what was.
Nailah jerked around, her eyes searching for Theodore and the reason for his shout.
“We aren't swimming today, Zaire!” Theodore shouted but the girl was already halfway down the dune, she’d disappear from sight in a moment…
“Zaire!” Nailah called breaking away from the group.
“I’ll get her.” Rhomilly called even as she ran over the sand. Nailah hesitated, glanced at the seven kids still looking around confused. She couldn’t leave Theodore with them; there were too many kids-.
“You can’t leave me!”
Nailah gasped, her body felt cold and a sudden gust of wind threw sand at the group. There were shouted complaints and just as quickly as the wind had blown in it died out. The kids were left to shake the sand from their hair and clothes while Nailah squinted trying to see the figure on the dune-
“Get them to the home.” Theodore ordered as he ran towards the water. He didn’t wait to see if Nailah complied, more concerned for their new counselor and Zaire. The girl barely spoke to anyone; they’d never had a problem with the teen and now this?
On the beach Rhomilly tried to pull the girl away from the waves but there was something there, something that wasn’t letting go however much she yanked on the girl.
“Leave her!” Rhomy ordered putting herself in front of Zaire. She glared at the sea only to feel something knock her aside. She hit the sand with a grunt. “I command you! In nomen Jesu, licentia hec puella!” she ordered getting up again. The girl hesitated, her steps faltering even as the water lapped at her feet. “I command you, leave.” Rhomy re-iterated grabbing onto Zaire’s arm and holding her in place. They stood on the beach with the waves crashing around their calves. Both saw the boy standing waist deep in the surf. He was pale, eyes ringed dark and lips blue but it was the malevolent stare that unnerved Rhomy and frightened the girl at her side into a scream.
“Hush, he can’t hurt you.” Rhomy assured turning towards the teen. The girl trembled, her eyes wide and frightened even as Rhomy turned her towards the beach and led her out of the surf.
Both turned up to look at Theodore. He jabbed his hand pointing behind them and as Rhomy turned to look a big wave hit their legs. Cold water soaked through their clothes but Rhomy shoved Zaire towards the beach even as she felt something grab at her ankle. More water rushed up around her and she pulled in a deep breath. No sooner had she done so than water engulfed her completely and even Theodore’s shouts were muffled by the roar of the sea. Rhomy struggled to swim to the surface; she tried not to panic even as she felt herself dragged further in.
“Father, help me.” She let herself go limp, stopped struggling and tried not to think of how little air she had in her lungs.
“She can’t leave me.”
Rhomy opened her eyes; the boy floated in front of her, his hands gripped her arms.
“I won’t let her! No one can have her!”
His face pressed against hers, anger blazing from the dead eyes. Her limbs grew cold, a tingling like ants all over her skin and all the air left her mouth in a burst of bubbles.
“She’s the only one who understands…”
Something pulled her up and the boy let go. She could see him, an arm reaching out towards her but he was left in the dark cold sea.
“I’ve got her!”
Rhomy coughed, she tried to breathe but swallowed a mouthful of saltwater and gagged.
“Out, that’s right, we don’t breathe water, Rhomilly.” Theodore half joked as he pounded on her back but he couldn’t mask the fear. “Get me something dry!” He yelled to the group assembled on the beach, far from the water as they could stay. “Ok, come on. Let’s get inside.” He said helping her stand up once she was able to drag in a few breaths. “I don’t know about you, but I’m freezing.”
“Ditto.” Rhomy agreed in a hoarse voice.
Sam glanced up as the door opened and was surprised to see Rhomy. He’d been expecting Dean to show up with their lunch; then again he’d only been gone half an hour.
“You're back early.” He noted with a slight frown as she closed the door.
“Huh?” She seemed startled. “Oh, yeah.” She nodded hurrying towards her bag and pulling out a change of clothes.
“Ooo-kay…” Sam watched her head into the bathroom, then looked back at the open duffel, confused. “Rhomy?” He stood up and went to the door. “Hey, are you ok?”
“Yup, I’m ok.” She called back but there was something off about her tone and Sam was even more curious.
“So, uh, you got the rest of the day off…” it suddenly occurred to him maybe she’d gotten fired. It was only her third day-.
“Oh!” Rhomy jumped back though Sam was just as surprised by the suddenly open door. “I’m fine, Sam.” She repeated pointedly looking at him, standing in her way… he felt his face grow hot and backed away. Rhomy set her clothes on the nightstand, neatly folded and grabbed her brush. She sat on the edge of the bed and started to comb out the tangles grimacing as more sand fell out of the inky strands.
“So what happened?” Sam asked watching her.
“Where’s Dean?” She countered barely flicking a glance in his direction.
“Getting food.” He answered starting to frown. “You know, we work together, he’s my brother and this… whatever it is you have against me-.” Sam drew in a breath, frustrated. “Cas may have told Dean to protect you but I’m part of this too. He’s not alone in this.”
“I know.” Rhomy replied after a moment. She was there to help him, for Dean… She eyed Sam and it made him uncomfortable, the way she looked at him. “The more you hide things from Dean the more you push him away.”
Sam stiffened, his jaw clenched and he glared at her. She didn’t know anything about them, about him-.
“You don’t know anything.” He said.
“I know you're doing something he wouldn’t approve of. Something you're hiding because he’d make you stop or maybe you're afraid he’d think differently of you but its there all the same.” Rhomy assured still looking at him, studying him. “It’s your eyes, Sam. You're putting yourself in his hands. You know it.”
“Shut up.” Sam growled heading towards the door. He didn’t need a lecture especially by some ‘holier than thou’ martyr-
“Its not too late, Sam. You can turn back, you can stop-.”
“I said, shut up!” Sam shouted. “You don’t know anything! You have no idea-.”
The door opened again and Dean walked in, his eyes going from Sam to Rhomy and back again.
“What the hell are you doing?” He demanded of Sam as he set the box with their food on the table with a thunk. He stood glaring at his brother only having heard the last shouted comment. That was more than enough to get upset with his little brother. “Sam.”
“I saw Raymond.” Rhomy said into the long silence. It served to draw Dean’s attention from Sam and the staring contest. She hadn’t meant for them to start arguing. All she’d wanted was to try and help Sam turn from the darkness that seemed to be pulling him in.
“You what?” Dean demanded turning to her. He noticed she’d changed into a pair of work out pants, her feet were encased in fuzzy socks and she was wearing a wooly sweater. “What are you doing here so early?” He frowned.
“I got the afternoon off.” Rhomy answered shifting on the bed until she sat indian style. “Sort of had a little accident but it worked out.”
“What accident?” Dean demanded striding to her side and staring down at her.
“Take a seat. I’ll tell you my tale.” She patted the bed with her brush and tried to lighten their mood. “Sit down.”
He did so reluctantly and Sam moved towards the couch. She hadn’t kicked him out so apparently she’d been waiting for Dean to tell them what happened.
“We took some of the kids down to the beach, the same one Raymond was found-.”
“Are you kidding me?” Dean snapped glaring at her.
“No, now be quiet or I wont tell you what I found out.” She warned eyeing him. His jaw clenched and Rhomy nodded satisfied he wouldn’t interrupt her, not yet anyway. “He’s haunting it.”
Both started asking questions at the same time though Dean was upset with her for having been on a haunted beach without him. She waited patiently, combing through her hair until they’d both quieted down. Seeing them waiting for her to either answer their questions or continue she told them about Zaire and how Raymond’s ghost had drawn the girl to the water intending on drowning her. Instead she’d interfered, got the girl away and had been dragged into the surf for her trouble. Dean clenched his hands but otherwise kept quiet waiting to hear the end before he started to reprimand her for being foolish.
Rhomy’s voice dropped as she went over what Raymond had said, the sound of his voice, the anger and then his distress… She’d felt his rage, had felt the same desolate desperation at loosing the person he’d thought loved him…
“What- the counselor?” Sam asked incredulous.
“It makes sense.” Dean concurred, green eyes on Rhomy. “She was there before this whole thing started and she’s tormen…” he trailed off, looked to Rhomy in apology but she nodded.
“She’s tormented by spirits, a spirit. Raymond’s.” she said. Sam didn’t miss the gentle hand she placed over Dean’s or the way his brother threaded his fingers through hers.
“What do you mean, tormented by spirits? How do you know?” Sam asked frowning at her. Both turned to look at him, still holding hands and it was almost as though they were presenting a united front to him. It made Sam feel like an outsider, like he didn’t belong and he hated that.
“I can see them, when someone is tormented there’s a darkness in their eyes and that’s how I know.” Rhomy explained, her eyes didn’t leave Sam’s for a second and he felt suddenly anxious. “Those people, they open themselves to demons, Sam. They become-.”
“How the hell would you know that?”
Rhomy didn’t respond she just kept looking at him and he knew. Had she seen him with Ruby? Had she seen him drinking from the flask? Sam almost patted himself to make sure it was still hidden in his pocket but caught himself.
“What the hell’s wrong with you, Sam?” Dean rose, glaring at his brother, feeling torn and confused. Rhomy’s fingers slipped from his and he felt it, felt the warmth leave his hand and he was alone again.
“What’s wrong with you?” Sam retorted, hazel eyes glaring at Rhomy who still hadn’t said a word.
“Me? I’m not the one hollering like a maniac.” Dean retorted. He could see the mulish tilt of his brother’s head and sighed. There was a lot more Dean wanted to say, things that had to be said but found himself reluctant to bring up. He was tired of fighting, of arguing with Sam over the same things time and time again. Sam still didn’t get it… “Look. We have a ghost to deal with. I say we go talk to his counselor-.”
Both turned to Rhomy but Sam wasn’t going to wait to hear her reasons. He grabbed his jacket and let the door slam shut on Dean’s voice calling him back. He wasn’t going to wait around on either of them. He wasn’t taking orders, not from her. He sure as hell wasn’t going to let her talk to him like he was a kid who didn’t know any better. For one, Sam was a grown man, he made his own decisions. Hell, he was older than her! He’d been hunting his whole life, it’s who he was. Sam knew what he was doing. Nobody was going to tell him otherwise, not Dean and certainly not Rhomilly.
“Got yourselves some eye candy.”
Sam jerked around at the sound of the familiar voice. She was leaning on the wall just out of sight, hidden in shadows.
“Ruby.” Sam walked over to her glancing over his shoulder but the street was occupied by strangers.
“Ugh,” she turned her face away, nose wrinkling. “You stink like her.”it was that ‘heavenly holiness’ just like the angels but easier to bear than the real thing.
“What? Why are you here?” he asked a little confused by her reaction. He sniffed himself surreptitiously but couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
“I can leave…” she said smirking. Ruby turned and started walking, her eyes on Sam.
“Wait.” He took a hesitant step in her direction, further into the shadows… Ruby waited, growing just a little impatient with him. “I’m…” his eyes dropped to the ground hating the way he felt, asking her… He didn’t see the gloating smile and when she cupped his face he didn’t resist her kiss.
“I know.” She whispered trying to sound comforting and failing as she drew away. She could see the anticipation in his eyes and pictured a puppy. An over excited little thing trying hard not to piss itself with the want of his shiny toy. She almost smirked again only there was something else she needed. “What’s she doing with you boys?”
But there was a whole lot more Sam wasn’t saying and Ruby could tell.
“Your girlfriend made the demon news.” Ruby cut in, taunting him.
“She’s not-.” Sam clenched his jaw, annoyed. “What do you mean?”
“She’s got something they want.” Something the demons needed and she had to figure out what and where it was. “They won’t stop hunting her…”
“We know. Cas told us to protect her.” Sam muttered.
Ruby arched a dark eyebrow; the angels were involved but they weren’t directly protecting their little soldier…that could be good or bad, depending. She reached into her jacket and took out a silver flask which she held out to him. Sam stared, hesitating but knew he’d take it in the end, like the time before, like he always did.
“The angels want her safe so they stick the little soldier with you boys.” Ruby mocked. She didn’t miss the glare and then he was drinking. She chuckled, it was getting too easy. “Dean broke the first seal and now you've got a martyr on your hands-. I say she gives up her seal, what do you think?” she eyed him, calculating but Sam was feeling stronger now that he’d had his fix.
“Rhomy doesn’t have a seal.” He frowned hating to hear about Dean and hell and what had happened there. It was all Sam’s fault anyway, and he knew it. They both did even if Dean didn’t say it; that the only reason he’d made the deal and gone to hell was to save Sam…
“It has to be.” Ruby insisted. “There’s a legion of demons on her trail, they’ll be coming for her Sam. What else would they want?”
“The key…?” Sam wondered trying to imagine a legion of demons, how where they supposed to fight that?
“…key…” Ruby murmured. “Why a key?” She asked him drawing his attention. Sam shrugged and then Ruby reached up, wiped the corner of his mouth with her thumb. She drew it across his bottom lip staining it red and rose on her toes. The faint glimmer of her knife flickered in the shadows. There was a flash of momentary alarm coursing through Sam but it faded quickly. Ruby flicked strands of dark hair over her shoulder, the blade pressing against the pale skin of her neck. Blood welled in a thin line and he heard her faint hiss of breath but she tugged him down. Sam didn’t hesitate; he pressed his lips to her neck, felt the tangy sharpness on his tongue and wrapped her in his arms.
He stubbornly insisted on having the ‘conversation’ with Nailah even though Rhomy had explained she could do it herself. Dean wasn’t about to let her go alone and that was why they were sitting in front of Nailah’s house too early for Dean not to be grumpy. Sam hadn’t returned to the hotel room either and that was bugging him. A lot about Sam was bothering Dean, like the arguing. What had Sam been yelling about when he walked in? He’d get a straight answer from Rhomy, he knew that and she’d tell him the truth but Dean was hesitant about going into it. Sammy was a tiring subject and it was too damn early and they had work to do. Work that Sam was missing because he was God only knew where.
“She’s going to recognize you.” Rhomy said softly, shifting in the seat so she was facing him.
He knew that, had spoken to the woman, questioned her regarding Raymond and she’d lied to him. To him- an FBI agent! So what he was faking? She hadn’t known that.
“Good.” He got out and headed towards the front door. Rhomy sighed wondering why the men in her life were so stubborn. She got out slowly, following Dean at a leisurely pace. The door had barely opened, revealing a half dressed woman as Rhomy went up the steps to the porch.
“Can I help you?” Nailah asked eyeing the FBI agent in confusion. “Rhomilly?” She frowned seeing the new counselor stand beside the agent.
“Can we come in Nailah?” Rhomy asked in her usual calm tones. She was already moving forward, expecting to be let in and Nailah opened the door.
Dean followed Rhomy inside not sure if he should be annoyed by how easily she had gotten them into the house.
“What is this about? Why are you with the FBI?” Nailah asked coming to a sudden stop just inside her living room. She turned to look at them, trying to make sense of things.
“You lied to me.” Dean promptly accused with a green eyed glare. He looked rather intimidating and Nailah took a hesitant step further into the living room.
“Please.” Rhomy placed her palm on his chest with a slight shake of her head. He relented, letting her ask the questions while he kept his intimidating expression on the woman.
“Nailah…” Rhomy drew in a small breath. This next part would be difficult, she’d have to get Nailah past the shock of being found out, get her guard down in order to find out why Raymond was haunting her. “I know what happened.”
“What?” Nailah’s voice was low, harsh. She reached to her neck, fingers clasping at the silver chain to disappear into the folds of her robe.
“You know it was wrong. He was confused, he needed help.”
“I – don’t know what you're talking about.” She denied backing away.
“Raymond.” Rhomy said following her. “He was troubled, lost. You crossed the line, Nailah. You comforted him and Raymond grew dependent on you. He loved you thinking you felt the same way but you know it was wrong. What you did with him…”
Dean was shocked. Where was Rhomy getting her info? How did she know the woman had been sneaking around with the kid and why hadn’t she told him before? Was it true?
“That’s not true!” Nailah denied. “I didn’t -.” But she couldn’t deny it. Her eyes blurred, tears rolled down her cheeks. “It wasn’t like that.”
“You heard him. On the beach, you heard him.” Rhomy stood beside her, a hand on her arm while Dean glared at them. She hadn’t said anything about the ghost talking to the woman. “He’s here because of you, Nailah. He won’t leave…”
“I couldn’t-.” Nailah shook her head and sobbed. She dropped into the overstuffed chair, the locket clenched in her hand.
“You tried to stop.” Rhomy consoled. “Told him it was done with-.”
“No. Yes but I-.” Nailah covered her mouth, stifling a sob.
“Raymond drowned those people.” Dean snapped scowling at them even when Rhomy turned a frown on him.
“He’s dead!” Nailah protested, still defending him.
“He’s a ghost.” Dean retorted glaring.
“Nailah, please.” Rhomy turned the woman’s attention towards her ignoring Dean. “You know he’s still here. He’s…around, you've seen and heard him. You saw him on the beach yesterday. He was trying to drown that girl- she saw him.” Rhomy straightened; hazel eyes steady on the crying woman. “I saw him.”
“No.” Nailah shook her head, she didn’t want to talk about it, she didn’t want to remember Raymond pleading with her to leave the home and go with him. Asking her to leave a job she loved and start a life with him, somewhere they wouldn’t be known, somewhere they wouldn’t be judged. But she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t leave everything behind, have to start over again and what would Raymond do? What could an eighteen year old junkie do? How were they going to live? She’d told him all that, asked him what he thought was going to happen but he’d had no answer. He couldn’t say anything to her aside from he’d thought she understood…
“He went out there, to the dune and sat watching the sun set. He waited…hoping you’d change your mind. He wanted to believe there was someone who cared, someone that understood and when you didn’t show, when the moon shone on the waves and it got so cold he felt numb… Raymond walked into the surf. He kept walking and he died, Nailah.” Rhomy sat on the edge of the coffee table making her listen. The silence lengthened and Dean couldn’t not stare at Rhomy. The things she’d said- where had all that information come from? Who had she talked to? When?
“You knew.” She said staring down implacably at the older woman.
“I couldn’t.” Nailah whispered hoarsely shaking her head. “Start over somewhere else…its not…he didn’t understand.” Her voice rose, a little anger threaded into each word, shining from her eyes. “Ray thought it would be simple. That love fixed everything… like him…” she broke off, her eyes flicking up to Rhomilly but the young woman had no compassion for her.
“He couldn’t stay anymore.” Rhomy explained for Dean’s benefit. “The Home only takes in teenagers. Raymond was eighteen and there was no place for him to go.”
“You weren’t going to take him in.” Dean shook his head, disgust in each word because the woman had pretty much used the boy and tossed him. The kid hadn’t been all that well to start with and the counselor had fucked him but good… literally.
“The system is flawed-.” Nailah began. She- like everyone else- was placing the blame on the system. The one place it was most convenient.
“Don’t.” Rhomy ordered sharply. “Accept your part because that boy placed his trust in you, Nailah. You crossed the line.” She reached out and grabbed the chain yanking it from the trembling fingers. The locket shone in the dull light coming in from the bay window. Nailah exclaimed, shocked and in a little pain as the chain had cut into her skin. She half rose from the chair reaching out for the locket but Rhomy tossed it towards Dean.
“You put his picture in there.” Rhomy murmured. Dean caught the locket, just a little confused by the far off look in her eyes as she spoke. “You told him it was so he’d always be close to your heart…”
Dean opened the locket and almost spilled the little braid of hair.
“You've gotta be shittin’ me.” Dean said sounding exasperated. “Ray’s hair?” It was enough to make a guy go nuts and he couldn’t believe the hunt was going to be that easy after all.
Sam was sitting at the table staring at the scarred wood without really seeing it. Everything he was doing; going off with Ruby, drinking demon blood- he couldn’t tell Dean. He wouldn’t understand and Sam wasn’t going to stop, not yet. He had to kill Lilith.
The door opened jerking Sam out of his thoughts. Dean hesitated on the threshold seeing Sam in the room but he moved in allowing Rhomy to walk past. She glanced at Sam but didn’t say anything other than the slight inclination of her head acknowledging his return. He could almost swear she’d wanted to smile…
“Job’s done.” Dean said shortly. He grabbed his duffel from under the bed and started packing up his stuff.
“What?” Sam frowned, his eyes flicking to Rhomy who sat quietly on the far end of the couch Dean had been sleeping in. Every hotel, every stop, where ever they were, his brother gave up the comfy sleeping space to her without complaint, without being asked… Dean hadn’t tried to get her in the sack, not once had Sam seen Dean make any of his usual comments, try a pick up line or even make a pass at her. All Dean ever did was stare at her.
“Found what held Ray here and burned it. Job’s done.” Dean repeated without looking at Sam. There was nothing else to say, only Dean really wanted to say something. He was pissed at Sam for taking off, for being such an ass, for all the things he was hiding and Dean was tired of all of it.
“Oh.” Sam got up, stood awkwardly for a moment then decided to get his duffel and pack up his stuff.
Rhomy watched them, a little annoyed with both but she kept silent. Anything she said would make the situation worse and she didn’t want to be the catalyst for what was to come. During the trip back to the hotel she’d wanted to ask him about hell but restrained herself. She had to wait for Dean to tell her, when he was ready, and she had faith. Dean would eventually confide in her, just as she was going to have to start doing with him. She couldn’t expect to get anything in return without putting forth the effort.
“I’ll see you later today.” Rhomy said suddenly. She got up and headed to the door.
“Where are you going?” Dean asked dropping the clothes in his hands and moving towards her.
“I still have to go to the Home. They’re expecting me to show up and I have to tell Director Gaetz I’m leaving.” Rhomy explained with her hand on the door knob. “Don’t worry, Dean.” She gave him a small smile knowing he was. She opened the door and stepped into the hall before he could make up his mind about taking her there himself. Maybe without her in the room they’d finally get to talking.
“Right.” Rhomy scoffed shaking her head sadly. They were just as stubborn and more likely to end up fighting than talking. Sometimes she really didn’t get why boys were so stupid.
“They are men.”
Rhomy laughed softly.
“Yeah,” she turned to the angel at her side. “Where am I going, Tamryn?”
The angel looked at her impassively, both walking along the street. Tamryn said nothing and Rhomy followed her. No question, no doubt and Dean would’ve been pissed to see her go so docilely with the angel.
But he wasn’t there and Rhomilly had someplace to be.
Lee Gaetz sat behind the old mahogany desk staring at the woman who’d worked for over four years at the Elsner Recovery Home. He couldn’t quite grasp what he’d heard but he knew he had no other option.
“I’ll need your card and keys, Ms. Halloran. The board will be informing you of their next action regarding your future.”
Nailah quietly took her id cad and keys, set them on the desk and got up without saying a word. She’d done enough talking- her career was over and nothing else mattered.
Director Gaetz did not want to speak with anyone else but he still had another appointment. Taking the items from the desk top he dropped them in the drawer and waited. The door opened a moment later and their newest counselor took the vacated seat.
“Please, no bad news for the moment.” He said on a long sigh trying to smile.
“I’m sorry.” Rhomilly answered genuinely. Gaetz groaned, reclining back in his leather chair and closing his eyes. “I’ll have to leave at the end of the day.”
“Three days.” Gaetz said staring at her. She didn’t flinch or show any discomfort at all. He sighed. “I suppose there’s nothing I can do to make you stay.”
“Sorry, no.” Rhomy answered.
“Well, can’t say I didn’t know it was coming.” He muttered. “I should be upset.”
“I wouldn’t blame you.” Rhomy agreed.
“But I’m not.” Gaetz said. “Go on then.” He nodded towards the door and Rhomy stood. She couldn’t help feeling like a kid being dismissed by an older uncle and she could see on Director Gaetz face that it was the same. She smiled, gave a little shake of her head and walked out.
Rhomy continued through the main hall then turned left at the last door. She walked out the French doors onto the second terrace and down the stone steps into the gardens. She continued through the picnic area set up for the teens and counselors alike, past the garden sheds and the storage building. There was a path a few yards into the line of trees, one she’d never have found without Tamryn. It led away from the beach and sand of the dunes, it was an hour’s walk but Rhomy didn’t complain. The sight of the little round building was beautiful in a lonely quiet way. She paused under the thin trees, staring at the vines growing along the outside walls. There was a single stained glass above the door, miraculously still in tact.
“I’m here.” She murmured and headed towards the old wood door. She couldn’t help admiring the rusted ring handle or lightly running her fingers over the splintering wood. The smell of the sea was faint and she struggled to get the door open. It groaned, creaking loudly as she pushed on it gaining just enough room to squeeze inside.
She had to sneeze and quickly covered her face with both hands. Her echo bounced back at her. The floor had a thick coat of dirt and dust, her sneakers had left clear prints but it wasn’t as though anyone would be checking up on the place. No one had been to the little church since the Jesuit Priests had abandoned it. The locals had never wandered far enough into the trees (you couldn’t really call it a forest) to have stumbled on it and even then it wouldn’t have been easy to find…
“Okay… where…” Rhomy mumbled looking around the empty room. There were no other doors aside form the one she’d just opened and there were no other rooms in the building. The roof had cracks in the boards and streaks of fading sunlight pierced the dark interior. Rhomy walked cautiously towards the far wall, where the shadow of a prie dieu was barely visible. She stretched a hand towards it, the cushion puffed up a cloud of dust. Rhomy had a difficult time holding back her sneezes and again her voice echoed. Once the dust settled she reached into her jacket and took out the box Tahan had given her the day she left.
“Sera lo que sera.” She murmured letting out a heavy breath. Slowly she set the old box on the prie dieu, her fingers lingering over the box her family had passed down from the first servant until now. Rhomy stepped back, her feet unerringly finding their way to the door and the fading sunlight. She squeezed out and pulled the door closed once again.
“It’s done.” Her words carried on the breeze but she was alone.