We only ended up staying in town till a little after noon. A friend of the boys called, Bobby Singer, and he needed their help with a case. Sam said that Bobby said that it was a shape shifter. Seeing as they already had all the information and the only thing left was the actual killing part, I would most likely just be hanging around the house for a few hours while they went out and saved the world. Yay, I can’t wait to be bored and useless. Oh well, if I got too bored I could probably just call Gabriel to entertain me, he usually did.
We had been in the car for two days, Sam and Dean took turns driving. It was around eight at night and we were almost at Sioux Falls, having entered South Dakota not too long ago. Sam was dozing off in the passenger seat and I was curled up in the back with the second book of the series, having finished the first one a few hours ago. Castiel and Gabriel, being angels, claimed that the car was too slow when they could just fly there in the blink of an eye, and told us to call them when we made it and they would meet us there.
Dean had been on the phone, letting their hunter friend know we were almost there. About fifteen minutes later we were pulling into the driveway of a blue painted house. There was an oldish not really that old guy wearing a ball cap and standing on the front porch waiting for us. My guess was this was Bobby Singer, seeing as the boys hadn’t mentioned anyone else living with him.
Sam and Dean got out of the car, leaving the bags in. I followed their lead and walked behind them up to the house. I watched as their faces lit up with smiles as they embraced the older hunter. From what I observed and what I had read, their real father wasn’t around much. My guess was this Bobby guy was their father figure.
Once he was done greeting the boys he turned to me, eyeing me curiously. “So this is her? Abigall Spiers, the one Gabriel rescued.” I nodded shyly, not sure how he would react to me. He smiled and held out his hand. “Welcome to the family.” I let out a relived smile as I shook his hand. He might seem a bit gruff around the edges, but I had a feeling he softened up once you got to know him.
Once we had brought all the bags in and gotten comfortable, we were seated around his kitchen table, a beer in front of each of us. Gabriel and Castiel had appeared not too long after we arrived and were standing near the table, Cas next to Dean and Gabriel between Sam and I.
“So as far as I know the shifter is pretending to be Melissa, the children’s doctor. I’m not sure why she chose this town or why she is choosing her victims, but the important thing is that she is stopped. My plan is to go out early tomorrow morning and kill her quickly, before she checks in for her shift.” Bobby said, debriefing us on the situation. The boys nodded, agreeing. The faster the monster was killed the more people were saved the happier everyone was.
Bobby ordered us some take out and within the hour we had all eaten and headed up to the guest rooms, ready for bed. The boys had an early start tomorrow so they needed all the sleep they could get.
I walked out of the bathroom to see Gabriel already sitting on my bed in my chosen room, eating a slice of cake. I rolled my eyes and sat next to him, taking the fork out of his hands and taking a bite before he could protest. I smiled innocently and swallowed the chocolate desert. “Hey Gabriel.”
He rolled his eyes, still sad that I had taken his food. It wasn’t even a big bite either; he was just making way to big deal of it. Drama queen. “I worked hard snapping my fingers to create that you know.”
“Uh huh, I’m sure. So what brings you to my room this time?”
He shrugged, taking a bite of the cake. “Dean hated me and Bobby doesn’t trust me. And you seem to like me more than Sam so I came to where my presence would be most appreciated.”
I nodded, fair enough. “Okay. Well hate to break it to ya but I haven’t gotten much sleep these past few days and I can’t sleep in a car. So I was planning on going to sleep and sleeping in tomorrow as I have nothing better to do.”
He nodded. “Fine, just leave me to be all bored by myself. Ah well you deserve sleep. Goodnight Abigall Spiers.” And with a snap of his fingers I was out.
Five months. That’s how long I had been out of hell and with Sam and Dean. It was a little after the middle of August and by now I had grown quite used to the boys company. It didn’t take the boys long to become as attached to me as I had become to them, even if they wouldn’t admit it out loud. But actions spoke louder than words. They would protect me and I would do whatever I could to keep them safe, even if all I could do was research, considering they still wouldn’t let me join them for the actual hunt part of a hunt.
The three men and two angels would occasionally stare at me like they were trying to figure me out, but as soon as they noticed I was looking they would quickly look away and act all innocent. Whenever I tried to ask them about it they would brush it off and the conversation would soon die until someone changed the subject. I didn’t blame them though, I was confused too. I still didn’t know why I had been brought out of Hell, still didn’t know what made me so special. Countless times I had woken up to see Gabriel staring at me as though I was a puzzle and he was trying to see where I fit in. But he never seemed to regret his decision on dragging me out. I even had the guts to ask him about it once, even if I was slightly intoxicated when I did. And maybe it was just because he didn’t think I would remember the conversation come tomorrow, but he had told me it was one of the best decisions of his life. And whether it was for his sake or mine I did pretend to have forgotten those shared words.
Castiel and I eventually got used to each other; it was no longer long awkward silences when we were alone. Slowly as Dean started to trust or at least tolerate Gabriel more, Castiel started to keep an eye on me while Gabriel joined the boys on their noble quest to rid the world of all evil. After a while I figured out Cas was actually pretty decent to have a conversation with, even I he didn’t always understand a reference and sometimes took things too literally. But he was getting better. When the others were out and it was just Cas and I, I would sometimes pop in a movie so Cas could understand what Dean was talking about when he made a joke. The long silences we shared were now comfortable, friendly. I actually almost accidently got him drunk once, making the angel slightly hint at his hidden feelings for the green eyed hunter. It was obvious; Sam, Gabriel, Bobby and I all say it. It seemed like the only ones blind to it where Cas and Dean. As much as I wanted to play matchmaker and just get them together already, I knew that this was something they would have to figure out themselves.
They trained me though, like they promised. Between jobs we would stop by Bobby’s for a few days and Sam and Dean would take turns getting me used to handling various weapons and defending myself. Gabriel was always around to heal me if I accidently cut my arm or something. And unfortunately I’m not as graceful as I would have liked to be so that happened quite a lot. But with more practice I slowly got better. After the physical part I would go inside and cool down before joining Bobby. He taught me about different demons and monsters, how to identify them and kill them. He taught me a bit of Latin for the various exorcisms and made sure I knew how to make any sigils or devils traps I would need.
I would occasionally train with Gabriel too, although not as much. He would use his trickster and archangel powers to make a scenario so I would actually have to use what I learned, the fighting and exorcisms and all. He would create a new unfamiliar setting that I would have to work with what resources I had, and find a way to go without the ones I didn’t. He would make fake demons that I would have to kill or exorcise, depending on the situation. But they could hurt me just as easily as I could hurt them. If things got too intense or it was obvious I would lose, which honestly wasn’t as often as I would have thought it was and became far less often over time, Gabriel would just snap his fingers and make it all disappear. I didn’t mind though, it was good practice. If it were up to me I would have trained with him a lot more because his methods seemed to be the most helpful, but I would be lucky to get one on one with him once a week. I tried to bring it up multiple times that his way of training was by far more beneficial than the others because I had to actually use what I was learning and put my knowledge to the test, but he would just casually brush me off. Yeah, we had become pretty close friends and I guess I could see that he didn’t hate me, maybe even almost cared about me enough to not want me to die, but considering they weren’t really real monsters I didn’t see the big deal.
The life of a hunter wasn’t too terribly hard to get used to, but then again I had not actually killed anything yet. I would have liked to, just to see if I could, but last time I brought it up Dean went all big brother mode on me and refused my request of joining them. What’s the point of learning all this stuff if I never actually get to use it? I had been improving a lot lately; surely I could handle a hunt. Maybe I wasn’t ready to be going in alone yet, but defiantly for back up at least. I hated sitting on my butt and worrying constantly while waiting for them to return to Bobby’s house or the hotel we were at. I hated being useless.
Currently I was in another training session with Gabriel. He was hesitant though, considering last time I fell off the cliff because I tripped on a pinecone and he had just barely managed to snap be back to safety in time. I was actually doing pretty good, almost had the creature captured before my clumsiness almost got me killed. But I guess I had annoyed him enough with my constant begging for him to agree to give me another lesson.
I was in a post apocalyptic wasteland, abandoned cars and crumbling buildings all around me. Dead bodies littered the streets, vultures picking at the flesh. Okay, this situation was a little too real. Especially the smell. Seriously, it wouldn’t have killed the angel to not make it smell like death would it?
I crouched behind a wrecked car, peeking around it at my prey. I had taken down most of the nest already, but there were still four left. The small family of vampires was currently surrounding a few bodies and trying to suck any remaining blood out of the already dead victims. I gripped the handmade machete tightly and slowly tried to sneak up on them. I swung and decapitated the first while the other three were too busy with their food. But of course they heard the head hit the ground. I held my breath as they all whipped their heads around, glaring at me.
They ran towards me and I held my ground, knowing I couldn’t outrun them. Somehow between trying to stay alive and swinging the weapon I managed to kill off a second one. The male hissed and threw me into the wall. Huh, guess the vamp chick I just beheaded was his mate or something. Oops. He grabbed my by the collar and pushed me against the wall, my feet a good six inches above the ground. As his face came closer to my neck I struggled to get the small hedge clippers from my back pocket. They weren’t big enough to do much damage, but they could buy me a few seconds at least. Quickly and with barely a second thought I brought them up, successfully culling off two of his fingers. Just in time too, he was so close to biting me.
He howled in pain and dropped me, cradling his injured hand. As predicted it was just enough time for me to drop to the ground and roll to my dropped machete. He lunged and I swung, three down one to go. We stood for a second staring at each other, each trying to size each other up. He had just seen me finish off his whole nest, it was logical for him to not underestimate me. We slowly began circling each other, waiting for the other to make the first move.
Suddenly my face morphed into one of complete and utter terror as my eyes focused on something just over the last vampires shoulder. My voice was shaking as much as my hands. “No, this isn’t right. I killed you!”
The vampire turned, expecting to see a member of his nest come to back him up. As soon as he started turning I knew I had to make my move, he would figure out soon enough I was acting. I took the three necessary strides to come close enough to jump onto his back, bringing the weapon to his throat ready to end him. Of course he wasn’t completely stupid; he tried to shake me off. But it only made his death slower, not stopping it. My blade was already halfway through his neck by the time he had noticed he had been tricked, and his thrashing did nothing but make my cut not as clean as it could have been.
The head slid off the shoulders and the body collapsed. I stood up and moved away from it, panting for breath. I did it. I took down an entire nest alone. Granted they were fake, but I did it! And I hardly had any wounds so over all I did semi decently. I just hoped it would be enough to convince Sam and Dean.
I opened my eyes and turned around to see I was back At Bobby’s, surrounded by the old cars. Gabriel must have already taken the illusion off; I was just too distracted to notice. Sam and Dean were outside with us, watching. Bobby was peaking through the window, looking impressed. Usually one or both of the boys would join me so I could get used to watching their back and get used to them watching mine, but this time I had them sit out. I had to prove a point.
Gabriel slowly started clapping, stepping forward to inspect the damage. He frowned when he noticed how bloodstained my clothing was.
I sighed, knowing where this was going. “Don’t worry, it’s not mine. You know that.”
He snapped his fingers, instantly ridding me of the half dried blood, leaving my clothes as good as new. “I know I just wish you wouldn’t get yourself so beaten up.”
I rolled my eyes. “I just got thrown into a wall, no big deal. Didn’t break anything and the bruises will heal. I’ll be fine.”
Thankfully Sam came to my defiance. “She is right you know, she did do great. All this training is helping her, especially with you being a trickster and all and making it as real as possible.”
Gabriel’s hands clenched, he was getting angry. But at whom I couldn’t tell. “Well then maybe I should stop making it so realistic if it is going to get her hurt!”
I stepped forward, placing a hand on his arm to try to calm him down. It helped a little; at least his breathing went back to a semi normal pattern. “Gabriel calm down, it's okay. It’s good that you do it like you do so I know what to expect, it’s not your fault I was stupid enough to get hurt. Just calm down, okay?”
He nodded, taking a deep breath. “I need some air, I’ll be back later.” With the sound of fluttering wings he was gone.
Dean gave me a knowing smirk as he watched our little interaction. “What’s that look for?” I questioned as I walked over and sat on the edge of one of the hoods of one of the old cars.
He tried to play it cool, be all nonchalant about it. But it wasn’t working. I had known Dean for a few months by now, I knew that look. That was his I-know-something-you-don’t look. It actually got a little annoying after a while. “Oh nothing. Just that Gabriel here seems to be rather protective of you.”
I eyed him suspiciously, wondering where this was going. “No more than you or Sam being protective of me. We are friends; it’s kind of a good thing for friends to care if their friend is hurt.” I almost laughed out loud as I realized that my words were almost exactly identical to Castiel’s when Gabriel and I had brought up his relationship with Dean. But Gabriel and I, our relationship didn’t work like theirs. We were friends, nothing more. Not like it would work out anyways, him being a powerful and immortal archangel and me being nothing more than a mere pathetic killable human.
Sam and Dean both gave me the same identical disbelieving look. I rolled my eyes; I didn’t have time for their teasing right now. I had something actually kind of important to talk to them about. I decided to drop the topic for now. “Anyways, I kind of had something I wanted to talk over with you boys. Come on, let’s go inside.”
I sat at the circular table between Sam and Dean and across from Bobby. Cas had gone in search of his older brother to make sure he wasn’t getting himself into trouble. I stared down at my hands nervously; Gabriel was supposed to be here when I talked to them about this. He was supposed to back me up and help the others see reason, which was the plan. I had been talking to him before training started and he had agreed, I had been counting on him to be here with me. But he just had to lose his temper like that. The boys seated around the table sat patiently, waiting until I was ready.
I took a deep breath, trying to convince myself that I could do this without Gabriel. “Okay, well as you all saw today I am getting better. I have been practicing and learning and I think I am ready to go out into the real world with you guys and help.”
It was quiet for a few seconds as they processed what I was asking. Sam looked uncertain and Bobby had a protective father stare fixed on me. Dean was the first one to speak. “Absolutely not, no way. We are not going to let you risk your life.”
“Oh but its okay when you three do it? You saw me today, I did well! I can handle the real thing, I know I can. If you just gave me the chance to prove that I can do it…” Okay, so maybe my persuasive skills could have used a lot of work. But hey, I never did put up a good argument when I was panicking or under stress.
“Abby listen to us, we know you are a skilled hunter, we saw what you did to those fake vamps today and we have been watching you battle fake monsters for months, but that’s just the thing. They were fake.” Sam tried argue, keeping a cool head unlike Dean.
“Yeah but Gabriel made the situation as real as he could. Killing a real monster won’t be much harder.” I pleaded with him, trying to use my puppy dog eyes against him. “Look I can do this, I can help. Please, let me do what I can.”
Bobby sighed, getting up and grabbing a beer. He sat back down, taking a large gulp. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him yet, so far he hadn’t shown any emotions to indicate if he was on my side or not. Dean was sitting with his fists clenched and lips pursed while Sam looked to be having an internal battle with himself, trying to think over all the pros and cons of each outcome. We all stared at Bobby, waiting for him to state his opinion.
“I think,” He said pausing to choose his words, “That as much as I hate to admit it, it’s Abigall’s decision. It is her choice to hunt or not. Even if you boys don’t let her go with you, then she will just go off on her own and do something stupid. She is just as stubborn as you and your brother.”
I opened my mouth to protest but he held up a hand, silencing me. He wasn’t done talking yet. “She defiantly has the skill to be a hunter, and enough common sense to stay alive. She will be good for you boys; you two idjits need someone in your group to be reasonable.”
And that was that. We all looked up to Bobby, he was our mentor and the boys adopted father. He had been around longer than us so obviously he knew a thing or two, enough to be able to make a reasonable decision. I smiled to myself, I had won. Even if Dean was pissed about it and Sam wasn’t completely convinced I should be doing this, there was no going back now.
It had been an almost nightly routine by now, talking to the golden eyes archangel at night before he would snap me into a peaceful dream. He was always there; whether I had something I wanted to talk to him about or not. But even if we weren’t talking about anything important, my time with him was never wasted. I liked being in Gabriel’s company, truly I did. He was funny, witty, sarcastic, always knew exactly what I needed to make me feel better. Whether I was in one of my moods and desperately needed a deep chick flick heart to heart moment (Which was actually pretty rare, I was horrible at the touchy feely conversations) or just someone to complain to, he was always there. Honestly I was beginning to thing I was starting to become a little too dependent on our nightly chats. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world. If there was one thing I had learned from my time as a hunter, it was to enjoy every moment you had with the ones you cared about because it could be over at any moment.
But tonight I actually had something of importance to talk to him about. I sat on the bed, legs stretched out and head leaning against the head board as I waited for the angel. I knew he would come, he always did.
I didn’t have to wait long. I turned my head as I heard the soft sound of fluttering wings, seeing him lying on the bed next to me. I smiled at him, sitting up a little straighter. “Hey.” I greeted him tiredly; it had been a long day. I was glad he was back of course; I wasn’t sure how long it would be before Cas brought him back. “So you decided to return after all? Any specific reason or did you just get bored of sulking?”
He shrugged, popping a candy into his mouth. “Is ‘crawling back to you to fall on my knees and beg for your forgiveness oh great lady of the humans’ a good enough answer for you?”
I pretended to think it over. “Normally I hate suck ups, but keep up the complements and you just might become my favorite angel.”
“As if I wasn’t already.” It was true I had to admit. Sure I had only actually met him and Castiel in person, but I did feel more of a connection with Gabriel than I did with Cas. Not that I really knew Cas, he was always too busy with Dean to pay me much attention. And of course the tiny fact that Gabriel had pulled me out of never ending pain had nothing to do with my favoritism for him.
I shrugged. “True. But what was that about earlier? All that storming out in a dramatic flourish and flapping of your wings. Did I say something wrong?”
“I’m sorry; I guess I let my emotions get the better of me. I just… It’s my fault. Every time I make a scenario for you to practice you end up getting hurt, even if it is just a little. And it’s my fault. If I had made it less real, made it easier so you didn’t get hurt…”
I put my hand on his shoulder, trying to comfort him. “Hey now, it’s not your fault okay? I only have myself to blame for being so clumsy. What you are doing, it’s great. The more realistic it is the more practice I get. The more chances I have of surviving in a real situation.”
“I know I just…” He sighed, running a hand through his hair as he tried to calm down. “I hate the idea of you going in alone with no backup. At least if it was real someone else would be there with you. Me, Cas, Sam, Dean, one of us would be watching your back, just in case.”
I nodded; he was sweet, in his own way. Protective, loyal, a truly good friend. But I could tell he didn’t want to talk about this right now. That was fine, I could change the subject. I had something I wanted to ask him anyways. I glanced at him nervously, not sure how to start.
He eyed me suspiciously, knowing that I would be asking for something. “Abby….What’s up?”
I sighed, turning to face him more. I never could get anything past him. Sometimes I thought he could read my mind, but even if he could I doubted he would. He respected my privacy enough not to do that. “A while ago, shortly after we met, you offered me a favor. Is it too late to take you up on that?”
He bit his lip, thinking back all those months ago. “You mean you want to go back home. Tie up all loose ends, say your goodbyes.”
I nodded, looking down at my hands. I felt guilty for asking him this; he had already done far too much for me already. “If that’s okay. I just think it will help me a little, say goodbye to my old life completely before I go on my first hunt. Look I know I’m asking for way too much, but please, do this for me. I’ll return the favor somehow, I’ll…”
“I’ll do it.” He cut me off, surprising me.
I blinked slowly, unbelievingly. I would have thought it would take more than that to convince him. “Really? Just like that? No catch or anything?”
He smiled slightly, shaking his head at me. “Don’t make a big deal of it or anything okay? Just trying to help out a friend. Help you put the past behind you.”
I smiled, relived. Gabriel really was amazing; I certainly did not deserve a friend like him. “Thank you.” Before I could thing better of it I leaned over and gave him a tight hug, trying to convey with actions what I couldn’t say. I was horrible with words.
I could feel him chuckling; I could feel the vibrations running through his chest. It made me smile; it always made me happy when he was happy. I pulled away after a moment, already missing the warmth of his body. “Thank you Gabriel, for everything.”
“Hey stop that. You keep thanking me like that I might actually turn into something good.” He joked, pushing my shoulder lightly. I smiled, leaning back against the head board and closing my eyes. “So when did you want to do this?”
I bit my lip, thinking over the time frame we had until the next hunt. “Can we go tomorrow? Our next gig is in Virginia, so we can go while Sam and Dean drive over. Once I’m finished with my goodbyes you can pop me over to them and you can go back to whatever it is you angels do.”
“No way in hell.” I looked at him surprised, waiting for him to explain. “This is your first real hunt; I’m going to be there. Help out where I can. Make sure all that training was actually useful.”
I smiled at his thoughtfulness. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Yes I do.” Again I waited for him to explain but this time he stayed quiet.
Neither of us talked for a while, we fell into a comfortable silence, both of us lost in our own thoughts. I rested my head on his shoulder to get more comfortable.
After a while I must have started to doze off because Gabriel was lightly shaking me awake. “Hey Abby, sorry didn’t want you getting a nightmare. I’ll let you sleep now, see you in the morning.” I nodded tiredly, hardly processing what he was saying. He said something about sleep so I nodded, knowing what he would do. I fell asleep the second he snapped his fingers.