“Man I’m glad to see the end of this town. Maybe we could swing by Bobby’s for a little R&R. How about it Sam?” Dean was busy loading the trunk of the Impala with their gear plus a few odds and ends that Akira tucked in citing that they may come in handy. One was the last grenade that they had used. At first Dean tried to offer it back but Akira said that he would probably need it more than she or Angela did. It took some time but Dean became convinced that there was no ulterior motive to the offer. Now that the job was done, they were going to hit the road.
When Sam failed to answer, Dean looked up from the trunk and looked around for his brother. He found him leaning against the car staring at nothing in particular but was rather deep in thought. Dean couldn’t tell what he was looking at but it was downward. Dean spoke again, “Sammy?”
Sam heard Dean the second time and said, “Yeah fine whatever.”
Dean shut the trunk and walked over and leaned next to his brother, “Fine my ass Sam. Come on get on with your chick flick moment.”
Sam gave a scowl at Dean, “Shut up… Jerk.”
“I will if you give me a reason, Bitch.” Dean grinned back at his brother. His eyes then strayed down to Sam’s forearm. The tattoos were still there looking like they were done fresh that day. Dean frowned slightly before asking, “Weren’t those supposed to go away?”
“When the job was done.”
“Well it’s done so what if they aren’t gone. Chicks dig tattoos Sammy,” Dean replied giving a pat to Sam’s back.
“Then why don’t you get one.”
“Because I’m the oldest and the handsome one.” Dean gave that cocky smile was a signature expression guaranteed to start the name calling.
“Sam just ask Akira to take it off. I’m sure she would know how. She’s a walking encyclopedia like you. Come on.”
Sam rolled down his shirt sleeve and was going to say something when the door opened. He looked over to see Angela coming out. She didn’t acknowledge them though and went around to the garage in the back. The next few sounds were the door opening and the roar of an engine which turned off briefly and the sound of the car parked in front of the Impala erupted and pulled into the back, disappearing from view.
Dean had caught the roar of the engine from the garage and said, “Now I know one of those chicks appreciates a classic.”
“Dean you don’t even like her.”
“What do you mean?”
“So?” Dean frowned slightly at Sam. “I may not like her much but I like that she knows cars. I’m betting she was the one who gave my baby a spit and shine. Now I’d like to see what kind of ride she’s got.”
“Why so you can get a car orgasm?”
“Shut up Sam.” Dean started to head to the back leaving Sam to shake his head.
Sam watched his brother disappear to go ogle at whatever ‘beauty’ Angela pulled out from the garage. If it wasn’t women, it was cars for Dean. Sam decided to go back to thinking about how to best get rid of the tattoos or just appeal to Akira for help. He had avoided Angela ever since that fight on the island for reasons he wasn’t sure of yet but he found that he missed her company. He had been worried when he regained consciousness to find that she had passed out and had a nasty cut on her forearm that looked infected.
As it turned out, it was some type of supernatural poison that had been on Goren’s blade. It wasn’t fatal since Angela fought it off during the night. She did say a few things that Sam overheard when he went to get a glass of water. He hadn’t meant to eavesdrop but he couldn’t tear himself away as she kept saying, “Please forgive me… I’m sorry… please…”
When she woke up, she retreated and went about preparing to lock up the house. If anything though, she avoided both him and Dean during that time and Akira just gave knowing smiles and took to willfully ignoring everything. She even ignored it when Angela worked herself to near exhaustion claiming that she was not in the mood to lose a limb or two even though she knew Angela needed to take a break. It was somewhat because of that Sam hadn’t approached Angela about the tattoos she had given him. Now that the house was ready for the next set of hunters, they were getting ready to leave and Sam had one last chance to find her and talk to her.
He actually didn’t have to go anywhere for out of nowhere Angela appeared in the same spot where Dean was earlier and she asked, “How’s the head?”
Sam tried hard not to jump but he did slightly much to her amusement. He replied, “What is it with you sneaking around like that?”
Angela shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Just a habit. I’ve been at this game far too long to change too much.” She gave a playful bump with her shoulder, “So really how’s the head?”
“I’ll live. Dean’s fine too by the way.”
“I know. Otherwise he wouldn’t be drooling over my car right about now.” Angela grinned up at Sam. Instinctively her right hand rubbed her wrapped forearm in an absent minded fashion. “Always did like the classic muscle cars.”
“That and Dean’s taste in music.”
Angela let out a chuckle, “Not really. I tolerate it but truth be told I like different kinds of music. I just like being irritating with it.”
Sam couldn’t help but laugh along with her. It took his mind off the white gauze wrapped around her arm. “I can see that. Well I heard that when we were in the car. And you were in a dress.”
Angela gave a smack with her hand before laughing. It really was funny that she had gotten worked up over wearing the damn thing. She decided to pay Sam back in his own coin, “Right back at you preppie.”
“Fine you win,” Sam conceded. “So… where are you heading to now?”
“The princess has to get back to the Academy. Me… just traveling wherever until I find a job. That’s how it usually works.” Angela shrugged as she gave a sigh. She was looking forward to the next job but she also had some uncertainties now that the Winchesters were aware of her existence.
“Do you always go alone?”
“Usually I do. Few members of the order can stand me. I’m pretty much the outsider and some make sure I know that I’m there on sufferance.” Angela leaned heavily on the Impala and placed one of her boot heels on the toe of the other and tapped it as she crossed her arms.
Sam didn’t say anything for a few moments. In a way she was a freak like him, the outsider; the one that didn’t really fit in. Yet they were different. He had his brother but who did she have? From what he saw, she and Akira were friends, close ones but it wasn’t the same. “At least you have a few friends,” he finally said.
“Yeah I suppose. Makes life a bit more bearable but in the end time has a funny way of dealing a blow,” Angela replied. Realizing that she was going into a ‘revealing your whole feelings’ moment, she quickly backed off and added, “I suppose you’re trying to find the right words to ask me about your arm?”
Her bluntness caught Sam off guard but he wasn’t completely fooled. He recognized that tactic well. Heck he and Dean used it on each other when they didn’t want to discuss feelings though it was more like Dean to do that. Thinking about that had Sam chuckle a bit. Seeing the curious look on her face, he explained, “Just a memory but yes I wanted to ask you about them.”
Angela nodded. She then smiled mischievously, “I suppose you don’t want to be a chick magnet do you?”
“You’re just as bad as Dean at times you know that?”
“Are you kidding? I’m better at it than he is. I’ve had practice… years of practice.”
“Fine you win again,” Sam returned with a smile. He then rolled his sleeve up to show her the tattoos. “Can you remove them?”
Angela peered at the markings she had given him when she dream walked. She recalled just pulling out the marker and drawing. She had no idea what she was doing at the time but it felt right and necessary. Now she peered at them as if looking at them would help her recall the words. The job is never done but this one is. Then as if something were prodding her mind, the incantation came to her. She muttered the words and then the markings were gone. “There. Now you can bother me when and if I go dream walking again.”
“Like that’s going to happen.” Sam uttered the reply automatically as he rolled the sleeve back down. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Angela leaned against the Impala before pushing herself back to an upright position. “Before you and Dean take off, you might as well grab a bite to eat. Akira will be disappointed since she made pie.” She gave a shrug of her shoulders as if it weren’t a big deal before turning to head back into the house.
Sam watched her go in before looking back at his arm. Sure enough they were gone but he caught a glimpse of Angela’s eyes. It was as if she knew that the job was never going to be over but she was going to remove it anyway. She was a peculiar woman and a good hunter. He recalled vividly how she caught her sword in midair and executed that move. His dad would have been impressed if he had seen her. John Winchester had spent years training both his sons to go through physical endurance tests in order to hunt. It was something to think about as Sam fixed his sleeve and went to pry a drooling brother away from the mysterious muscle car in the back.
“Thanks for the pie. It’s the best ever!” Dean indicated his pleasure with his fork heedless of the fact that some of the pie was spraying out of his mouth.
Akira said nothing as she shook her head in amusement. Dean’s lack of table manners made Angela’s obscene love of unhealthy food seem like a mere after thought. She briefly wondered what Dean would say if he knew that it was Angela who made the pie and not her. She glanced over at Angela who was giving a slight smile as she focused on her piece. Akira then replied, “Glad that you like it. I made an extra one for you boys to take on the road.
Dean’s eyes lit up at the prospect of more pie. He reached over and grabbed the last of the pie and continued eating.
“Dude, you need to work on your table manners,” Sam said as he pushed his plate away.
“Shut your pie hole Sam.”
Nothing more was said until Dean was finished and everything cleared. Sam and Dean grabbed their bags and headed out the door. Akira followed holding the pie just smiling at nothing in particular. It got larger when Dean opened the driver’s side of the Impala and he burst out, “Oh hell no!”
Sam was laughing while Dean was batting his arms wildly trying to get the kachina off of him. He said, “I think she wants to say good bye Dean.”
“I don’t care if it does the hula. I just want it off of me and we’re not taking it with us!”
The kachina gave a sad chirp and grabbed Dean around his neck. It had a death grip on his jacket heedless of the annoyed look on Dean’s face. It chirped again and clutched tighter. Dean gave an annoyed toss of his head and said, “Look you were good in a fight but I don’t want some possessive kachina hanging around.”
“Dean I think she’s going to come no matter what,” Sam replied still laughing at his brother’s discomfort.
Dean was about to retort back when Akira said, “She can’t leave anyway. She’s bound to this house.” Her face then went thoughtful and she added, “Unless…”
“Don’t you start on the ‘unless’ part unless you want me to gank you,” Dean warned.
Akira gave a slight narrowing of her eyes as she smiled slyly. She then said in complete defiance, “Unless it chooses its companion.”
Sam’s grin got even wider and he had a hard time trying to keep the laughter in. Dean was scowling at Akira who merely smiled. Dean said, “Come on this isn’t funny.”
“I’m completely serious. I knew it the moment she jumped onto you. I was hoping it was rather a phase but it seems that she’s rather attached to you.” Akira shrugged her shoulders as if to apologize but her smile said otherwise.
“At least there’s one woman who wants to be with you Dean,” Sam was laughing.
Dean was going to say something when the kachina stood upright on his shoulder. Dean looked to find Angela standing very close and was startled but her attention was focused on the kachina. She muttered something and the kachina gave a chirp that sounded agreeable and in an instant it turned back into the still statue it was before it declared its devotion to Dean. Angela smiled as she picked up the kachina and handed it to Dean. “It’s yours now.” She then turned and walked away to lean against the stairs where she continued to watch the debacle with an observant face.
Dean held the kachina now turned statue and waved his hands as he spoke in a sarcastic manner, “Thanks a lot. Why didn’t you just take the damn thing?”
“Dean just put the kachina in the car. It’s obvious they’re not going to take it back,” Sam said shaking his head and smiling. He opened the passenger side of the car to get in.
“Don’t forget your pie,” Akira smiled sweetly while she held out the pie to Sam.
Dean looked at Sam and Akira who were enjoying his discomfort at the fact that a doll had the hots for him. Sammy is so going to get it later. Even though he felt like crushing the damn thing in his hands, he gently set it on the dash. He gave a final scowl, “Come on. We’re burning daylight Sam.”
Sam gave an amused shake of his head as he took the pie from Akira. She didn’t let go right away but instead said in a voice low enough for Sam to hear, “Tell Dean to remember the word I said when I showed him how it works.” She then released her grip and turned to walk away towards the car Dean had been drooling over.
Sam got in the Impala trying to make sense of the whole thing. He had a puzzled frown on his face as he put the pie down between him and Dean. The motor of the Impala roared its familiar purr as Dean shifted gears and said, “Well let’s get the show on the road.”
Sam looked out the window and saw Angela still leaning against the staircase. She glanced back at her car and then at the Impala before pushing off to head to the back. Watching her, Sam made a decision. “Hold on a moment Dean.” He then opened the door and got out even though the Impala was reversing.
Dean stomped on the brakes as soon as Sam sprang out of the car. “Dammit Sam!” He watched as Sam jogged up the driveway calling out to Angela. He grinned slightly though. Sam you sly dog. I didn’t know you went for the freaky. When he glanced at the kachina it looked as if the thing was laughing at him. He said to it, “Shut up.”
Sam jogged back up the driveway, “Angela. Wait.”
Angela didn’t bother to pretend not to listen. She turned around and asked, “What is it Sam?”
Now that he was in front of her, Sam was not sure of what to say but he knew what he wanted to say. He said, “Thanks for helping us out on the job.”
“Somehow I get the feeling that’s not what you wanted to say,” Angela replied. When Sam started to protest she raised her hand slightly to stop him. “It’s all right Sam. I’m not used to working with others but this was a good experience. If anything I should be thanking you and your brother.”
Sam looked at Angela with a puzzled look, his mouth slightly open. He was speechless for a few moments and then he managed, “Can I see your phone?”
Angela wondered what he was getting at and gave a slight smirk. She pulled out her cell phone and handed it over. She said, “Please don’t mess with the specs.”
Sam took the phone and flipped it open as he teased, “Nothing like that. I’d much rather not be on the receiving end of your sword.” He gave a slight smile. He entered in a set of numbers. When he was finished, he handed the phone back still open. “This is my number. Um if you need help on a job. Give me a call.”
Angela looked at the numbers entered on the screen and then glanced at Sam. It was an act of friendship and it was offered without reservation. She clicked on the save button and put it back in her pocket. “I’ll keep that in mind. Let me see yours.”
Sam handed his over and she repeated his gesture and entered in her cell number. “Here’s mine. You guys ever in trouble or just need a bit of muscle…” She handed the phone back.
Sam took his phone back. “So I guess I’ll see you around.”
“Yeah,” Angela replied with a smile. “Right back at ya. Now I think you should go before Dean gets any funny ideas.”
Sam smiled at the thought. Dean would probably tease him about exchanging numbers or something equally worthy of the gutter. He then looked at Angela who was looking at him with a strange look. It was quickly gone and it had Sam wonder if he was imagining it. He said, “Well take care of yourself.”
“You and your brother do the same.”
Sam nodded and headed back to the Impala. As soon as he got to the car, it started raining lightly. Getting in, he said, “Let’s go Dean.”
Dean threw the car in reverse and backed out. Once they were a couple of blocks away and heading on the highway, Dean said, “So you got her number?”
Sam rolled his eyes slightly. “Get your mind out of the gutter Dean.”
“Come on Sam. I never thought you’d go for someone like her.”
“I just gave her my number just in case she ever needed help on a job.”
Dean gave a laugh clearly indicating that he didn’t believe a word Sam said. “Sure Sam.”
“Hey, I’m not the one that a kachina doll latched on to.”
“That was low even for you Sam.” Dean went quiet for a moment. “You think we’ll ever see her again?”
Sam kept his gaze forward. He got the feeling that they would meet again. Thinking about it, there was something about Angela that was familiar like they might have met before. “I don’t Dean. Maybe.” He turned to gaze out the window at the landscape as the Impala drove onward towards their next destination.
The Mustang ate up the miles as it sped down the highway. The radio was blaring out Bon Jovi and the tune was accompanied by Angela singing as she beat the rhythm on the steering wheel. Akira looked over at her friend as they sped towards the Academy and gave a slight smile. “You’re in a good mood.”
Angela delayed answering for a moment to finish the song. Being polite, she turned down the radio. “Just enjoying being on the road again and I get to dump your ass back at the Academy.” She looked over and flashed a grin.
“Glad to know that I’m held in such high regard.”
“Ah don’t be an ass wipe. Fang boy will kill me if I give you back to him in that state.”
“He does have a name you know and his friend is rather sweet on you.” Akira gave a knowing look at Angela. She gave a playful punch along with the look.
“Please. He’s never done anything more strenuous than taking down Fang Boy in a match. Not impressed.”
“I see. Someone else impressed you”
Angela didn’t say anything at first. Then she said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Akira gave a knowing grin. “I think the name was Winchester but which one?”
Nothing more was said as Angela drove. As she drove, she thought about what had happened during the last couple of days. As she told Sam, normally she worked alone. The couple of times she was paired with someone, they resented her. This was different. The brothers could have easily turned on her with her blunt ways. Dean had been won over with the fact that she had kept Sam from harm but more so with her car. Sam had been the persistent one in being friendly. Perhaps maybe she was on the path she had been seeking all her life: the path of absolution.
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