I looked in the mirror of my vanity, leaning heavily on it for support. I felt like my legs were going to give out. I’d known this day would come, but that didn’t mean I’d been ready for it. Hunters weren’t known for their old age. Bobby had been one of the oldest I’d known of. Quickly, I stripped and changed into a pair of yoga pants and a tank top.
As I closed the door to my bedroom, I took a deep breath. I had known the boys when we were all kids and John would usually go out of his way to buy a hair band or a snow globe for me while they were traveling. Granted, they were always from some truck stop or gas station, but he bought it just for me, so they were always special.
I kept them when I moved out of Bobby’s place; half of it was in a storage locker in Phoenix and the other half was about an hour away.
I followed the hallway back to the living room to see the guys on the couch, beer in hand. I snagged one from the fridge before sitting on my favorite bean bag chair. “How’d he die?” I asked, not wanting to waste time.
“We were hunting Leviathans. We were under the impression somebody told you.” Dean said, fidgeting with the label on his beer bottle.
I shook my head as I took a swig. “Didn’t even get a call. I assume you gave him a proper send off?”
Sam nodded. “A hunter’s funeral.”
I nodded. I wanted to say some sort of kind words for the man that helped raise me, but nothing did justice. He was stern, but fair. Tough, but gentle. And no words could come to me to sum up how he changed my life.
“Why Vivian?” Dean asked, breaking my thought process.
Sam smiled a little bit and ducked his head before he looked at me. “Vivian Leigh was the actress who played Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.”
“And Sam gets the extra cookie tonight.” I said with a grim smile.
Dean seemed to be thinking about it. “Yeah, I can run with that.”
“So, spill. What brings the Winchesters to see lil ole me in Colorado?” I asked.
“We’re working this case and we need your help.” Dean asked.
“What case?” I asked, taking a swig of the brew.
“Well, we started off thinking this was a routine demon abduction case.” Dean started.
“But now we’re not sure…” Sam trailed off, looking over at me.
“Why? What happened?” I asked, looking between them.
“We tried to get into their compound, but it’s been warded against humans.” Dean told me.
This took me a minute to process through my head. “Wait. There’s a building warded against humans? How is that possible?” I asked, looking from one to the other.
“Yeah…” Sam trailed off. “We have no idea how, but we can’t find a way into it.”
“So what do you need me for?” I asked, taking another swig of my beer.
“Well. We remembered Bobby telling us you’re psychic.” Dean said, rather bluntly. “And we need to see if you can Oliver Fox your way in.”
I coughed and rubbed the back of my neck. “Well, don’t sugar coat it boys.”
“We’re sorry. We weren’t trying to be rude.” Sam said.
I sighed. “Yeah, I know. I’m not perfect though.” I said, looking them in the eye. “I can see a little bit of future and a little bit of past and I can read auras. Astral Projection is pretty extensive.”
“Do you think you can try?” Sam asked.
I thought about it for a moment before I shrugged. “I’ll have to dig out a couple things Bobby gave me and I guess I’ll break out that whiskey.”
“Why the whiskey?” Dean asked, looking skeptical.
“The whiskey lulls the senses so it makes it easier to get into the astral plane. Besides, my dad just died.” I told him, then looked over at Sam. “There’s an atlas on the bookshelf over there. You’ll have to find it on the map.”
He nodded and I stood up to retrieve the whiskey from the cupboard above the coffee pot. I took a swig and set it on the counter, going to my bedroom. After searching through my jewelry box for a few minutes, I pulled out my pentacle necklace Uncle Bobby had given me and the iron bracelet a medium in West Virginia gave me.
On my way back to the kitchen, I grabbed the five pound bag of salt I kept around for just this occasion and the whiskey. I sat back in my bean bag chair, leaning the salt against the wall.
I finished off my beer and took a mouthful of the honey tasting liquor. “Want some? I don’t have cooties or anything.” I told Dean, holding the bottle out to him as Sam was trying to find the location of the warded warehouse on the map.
Dean stood up and took a swig before handing it back. “What’s all this?” He asked, gesturing to pretty much all of me.
“Pentacle so I don’t get possessed, iron to keep the spirits away and I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain the salt.” I said with a smile as I took another swig.
“And the whiskey gets your psychic mojo working?” He asked, as I handed the bottle back to him.
“However you want to word it so you’re not weird around me, then yes.” I said with a nod and I could fell the whiskey start to take effect.
“Weird… I’m not weird… around you.” Dean said, obviously not thinking up a very good comeback.
“Oh please. Your entire aura is this gross mix of dark red and bright yellow. Your body is literally screaming anxiety and loss of control over the situation.” I told him, feeling the whiskey reach my brain.
Sam laughed, but I shook my head. I wasn’t trying to be funny; I was being honest. “Alright. I found it.” Sam said, moving over a little so I could sit on the couch next to him.
I stood up with a little trouble and managed to get to the couch. Sam held his finger on the map where he thought the warehouse was. I told him to move his finger so I could set my hand on the map. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Visions of red and black eyes floated through my head. Red? “There’s cross roads demons in that warehouse.” I said, looking from Sam to Dean to see if they knew this.
They shifted uncomfortably. So they did know this.
“Why is there cross roads demons in a human warded warehouse in…” I paused to look at the map. “Maine?” What the hell was in Maine?
“There’s a gate from Purgatory there.” Dean said, shifting his weight unusually.
“From? As in, not going to, but coming back from?” I asked, raising my eyebrows slightly.
“Yes.” Sam said quietly and I took a moment, absorbing the information I was given.
“Purgatory. Man, I can’t even imagine.” I said, looking up at Dean.
“Why are you lookin’ at me?” He asked, accusingly.
I just gave him a sad smile and shook my head. I wasn’t going to tell him I could see all the scars on his soul. “So. Maine.” I said, with a slow breath and a nod.
Sam helped me pour the ring of salt, while Dean watched us skeptically. Sam handed me a pillow from the arm of the couch and I laid down in the salt ring, laying the pillow behind my head. I took one last swig of whiskey before setting it outside the salt ring.
I laid back on the pillow and asked the boys to keep as quiet as possible. I pushed all the thoughts of today out of my head and just laid there until I reached the vibration stage. As soon as my body felt like it was moving, I was standing on a dirt road.
Looking left, I saw nothing but dense forest. Looking right revealed a flash of light. No, the more I looked it at; it became more of a glow than a flash. I knew from previous astral projections experiences that the glow I was seeing was a glow I was supposed to follow.
Out of habit, I walked around the trees instead of through them and wandered quickly over to the light. The warehouse in the middle of this forest was crawling with all different kinds of red and black eyed freaks.
I phased through the fence and straight towards the front door. I walked through it and looked around. There didn’t seem to be anything out of order or weird enough for an army of demons to be hiding. It was just a big open building with an office to the right side.
Suddenly, there was a pull at my body, directly behind my belly button. I turned around, but saw nothing. The pull was stronger this time and darkness surrounded me. I sat bolt upright in my living room, panting heavily.
I looked around franticly, trying to find what had violently pulled my spirit back to my body. I did a quick check; two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes.
Sam and Dean hadn’t noticed the salt line behind the pillow had been broken and I could feel something in the house. I stood up, trying to sense where the feeling was coming from. “Something’s in the house.” I said, answering the looks I could feel them giving me.
“Very good, deary.” A man said stepping out from behind the corner of the hall.
My breath hitched. I could see his face; his true face. This was part of the reason I’d picked up and moved away from Uncle Bobby. I hated what they looked like. “Crowley.” I said with a nod, trying to remember where in the house I’d laid down the St. Benedict’s Medal Uncle Bobby had given me. Why did I not just keep this crap in my pockets?!
“You know Crowley?” Dean asked, sounding like he’d just been kicked.
“I don’t think knowing me is a good term of phrase.” Crowley said with a smile. “But we’ve met.”
“Why?” Dean asked and I could feel his aura change colors behind me.
“Knowing a couple psychics here and there never hurt anyone.” Crowley said, still smirking.
“Unless you’ve got one pinned to the wall.” I grumbled angrily, wishing I could just kill him already as I remembered the last time we’d met.
“Now, deary. That was only to get your attention, and if I’m not mistaken, it worked quite well.” He smirked.
“What do you want?” Dean asked as I took a small step back towards the guys.
“Well, you’re using my psychic. I wanted to know why.” Crowley said with a shrug, as if he was mentioning that a neighbor was using his trashcan.
“I’m not anybody’s psychic!” I told him, making his eyes turn towards me. He apparently didn’t like being told otherwise.
Crowley just shook his head, tsk-tsking at me the whole time. “I’ll be checking in.”
And poof, he vanished into thin air.
“What the hell just happened?” Dean asked.
“How did he know you?” Sam asked, sounding worried.
“He came by a week ago. Scared the shit out me. He was just sitting on my couch when I brought my groceries in. He said he wanted my help with something. I told him to screw himself and he slammed me into the wall a couple times. More monologue and he left.” I said with a shrug.
The guys shook their heads, sitting back on the couch. I took another swig of whiskey before I handed the bottle over to them.
“Alright. Well we’re gonna stay up and try figure this out. You go to bed.” Dean said, after a mouthful of liquor.
“You want me to just go to bed?” I asked weakly.
Sam looked torn. “If anything happens, we’ll take care of it.” He told me.
I sighed. “Yeah, ok.” I said, turning and heading for my bedroom.
When I opened my eyes, I was figuring everything I remembered from the night before was an incredibly vivid dream and I went to bed very drunk. I groaned and sat up from my bed and stretched. I remembered offering Sam and Dean the guest bed and the couch, to which they could fight for among themselves.
I had fallen asleep in my yoga pants and tank top; the same clothes I wore… when I was astral projecting? No. That was definitely part of the dream I had. Definitely.
I yawned and pulled open my bedroom door and stumbled down the hallway. I glanced at the clock on the oven before looking around the room and stopping when I saw three bodies instead of two at my dining room table.
“You… what… Guys…” I groaned, rubbing my face. “It’s eight in the morning and you guys decide now is a good time for a monster mash?”
The new guy shifted slightly at my words.
“Scarlett, this is a friend of mine, Benny.” Dean said.
Benny stood up as his name was said and cautiously, I walked over to the table where they sat. “Nice to meet you, ma’am.” He said, pulling off his hat.
I couldn’t help but look at him for a long minute. His aura was this lovely mix of emerald green and yellow-orange. Intelligent, creative and full of love. It was dazzling. I’d rarely seen a combination of colors like this and it was really pretty, despite the fact I could still feel my hangover pounding my skull and I could all but see his fangs, even though they weren’t showing.
“Benny, the vampire from purgatory. Scarlett, the psychic cousin of the two idiots you’ve fallen in with.” I said, shaking his hand.
Benny just smiled, not seeming too surprised. “They told me about the psychic part, but I didn’t hear anythin’ ‘bout cousins.”
I just adored his accent. “Only on my mom’s side, not that it counts for a whole lot.” I told him, realizing I hadn’t let go of his hand.
“You alright?” Sam’s voice floated around my head.
There was something on the tip of my tongue. Something intriguing about Benny that I couldn’t place. When I let go of his hand, I knew he was going to stick around for a while. “Yeah. Too early for the monster mash.” I told him, shaking my head as I started to get a headache.
I walked over to the coffee pot and poured a cup before I remembered I still had some whiskey around here somewhere. I ran my eyes over the kitchen before remembering I’d abandoned it next to the bean bag chair.
When I came back into the kitchen taking a long swallow of the liquor, none of the guys looked approvingly at me.
“Don’t you think it’s a little early for that?” Dean asked.
“Don’t you think it’s a little early to be thinking about killing at the breakfast table?” I asked him, taking another swig before I put the bottle in the fridge.
“How did you know that?” Dean asked, sounding offended.
“You’re friggen glowin’ red. Survival, and occasionally if you’re dealing with a Winchester or a Singer, blood. So I’ll stop drinking when you can put your emotions in a metal lock box inside your head.” I told him, pouring creamer into my coffee.
“You keep talking about me. What about them?” Dean asked, getting upset.
I sighed heavily as I fell into the chair opposite Benny. “Sam’s this weird yellow, so he’s anxious for God knows what. And Benny’s this really pretty green and yellow-orange mix.”
“What does that mean?” Benny asked, his voice laced with curiosity.
Well, shit. I hadn’t meant to mention the green. “Intelligence and detail oriented.” I murmured, taking a swig of the brew.
“Sounds more like personality traits.” Sam said, readjusting himself in the chair to look at me better.
“For the love of God, I’ll write it all out for you. Can we just not so early? You wouldn’t believe the hangover I have right now.” I growled in his direction as I leaned forward and rubbed my forehead.
“You gonna make it?” Dean asked.
I sighed and stood, walking over to the cabinet above the microwave that held my first aid stuff. “Yeah, Dean. I’m gonna keel over and die from drinking too much. Welcome to my Wednesday.” I said, dry swallowing three Advil.
“You drink often?” Dean asked.
“About as often as you do.” I told him.
He held his hands up in defense, turning back to the papers he had spread across my table.
Benny watched me carefully as I sat back down across from him and chugged my coffee.
“So whatever is up with your demon thing, I’ve got work at three.” I said to no one in particular.
Benny looked amused. “Work?”
“Hey now. Not all of us make money on hustling and credit card scams.” I said.
“Don’t let her fool you.” Sam said with a smirk as he flipped through a book that came from my shelf. “She can hustle me out of money any day.”
“You let me.” I told him.
Sam just shrugged. “You still won my money.”
I shook my head. “It don’t count if you’re cheating.”
Dean went right back in hunting mode. “Sam and I found a lead in Utah. We’re gonna grab some grub and hit the road.” He said, standing up.
I blinked a few times before I looked at him. “You’re leaving? You just got here.” I said, feeling a sadness in the bottom of my stomach.
“We won’t be gone long.” Sam said as he stood up and started gathering paperwork.
“You’re just gonna leave me here by myself when Crowley knows where I am?” I asked, feeling frightened.
“Not by yourself. Benny will stay with you.” Dean said.
I looked over at Benny and I knew he was full of good intentions. But still. “Don’t take this the wrong way, because I can see that you’re a good person. You haven’t had blood from a beating heart in a long time and as a human, I appreciate the fact you don’t intend to eat me,” I said, looking at Benny before I turned to Dean. “But he’s a vampire. We used to hunt vampires. I seriously have a jar of dead man’s blood in the cellar and I really don’t want to have to kill him if he goes whack.”
“Then don’t kill him.” Dean said sternly, giving me a look.
I sighed in frustration as Sam and Benny watched our interactions. “Dean. He’s a vampire and he hasn’t had live blood in a long time. I’m talking like, since he got put in purgatory fifty years ago long time.” I said. “Have you ever seen a crack head go without crack?” I asked him seriously.
Sam and Dean both shifted noticeably. “Because I have. They get hooked and they honestly need it to survive because the withdrawals make them see stuff and hear stuff and think somebody’s trying to kill them. Being a vampire is kind of along the same line. It’s parallel.”
Benny stood up slowly, watching the three of us. “I won’t hurt you none if you don’t hurt me first.” He said, holding out his hand. His whole aura was this green and yellow and blue.
He meant what he said.
That was all I needed. Some kind of confirmation. I nodded and shook his hand. “But I’m going to find that jar of dead man’s blood.”
He smiled. “I’d be worried if you didn’t.”
I nodded once more. “At least let me make you breakfast before you go? A real breakfast?” I asked Dean.
He looked like he was having an inner struggle.
“Sure, Scar. That’d be great.” Sam said with a smile.
“Do you eat pancakes?” I asked Benny before I turned and started pulling things out of the cabinet.
“Suppose it won’t kill me to have one.” Benny said with a smile, his drawl coating his words like honey.
I went over to the boom box that sat on the counter and turned the music on just loud enough to hear, in case the boys wanted to still talk about whatever they were going after. I sang along and kind of danced around the kitchen while I made pancakes. “Do you guys want eggs?” I asked, looking over at them.
All three of them looked up from the papers on the table like they forgot I was there. “One, please.” Sam said.
“Two for me.” Dean said, going directly back to his book.
“Don’t think they’d agree with me.” Benny said with a smile as he patted his stomach.
I nodded and cracked three eggs into the frying pan. When there were five pancakes done, I gave two to Sam with his egg, two to Dean with his eggs and one for Benny.
“You’re not eating?” Benny asked.
I shrugged. “Hadn’t gotten that far yet.”
Benny pushed his plate across the table. “You should eat somethin’, darlin’.”
I shook my head with a smile. “That one’s yours. I’ll make me another if it’ll make you happy.”
Benny nodded. “It would.”
“Alright. One pancake for Scarlett.” I said, going back to the pan and cooking up another pancake. I put a little bit on peanut butter on mine and sat down to eat. The boys were almost done with their food.
“Thanks for breakfast.” Dean said, as he and Sam stood up and pulled on their jackets.
“You are coming back, right?” I asked Dean.
He slowed his actions. “Of course we are.”
I frowned and shook my head, finishing the last few bites of my pancake before I picked up mine and the other three plates. “Don’t die.” I told them.“Been there, done that.” Dean said as Sam picked up a handful of papers and they left out my front door.