The fire was huge like the traditional funeral pyres of the days when the gods were worshipped full force. The blaze seemed to light up the surrounding area creating day in the darkness of night. The warriors were standing in a concerted arrangement; each according to their function and in a weird way, the amount of prestige and honor though that counted for very little. It was considered an honor for the three guests that were privy to this.
"Have you ever seen anything like this before?"
Angela looked at Dean as the fire was being coaxed to its maximum and the prayer chant being said. She replied, "No one has ever seen this. Funerary rites for the Celtic tribes are considered personal. If someone has, then they didn't say anything. We are given a great honor."
Dean turned to look at the pyre burning. It reminded him of when he and Sam said goodbye to Dad but theirs was a practical matter. They had salted and burned the remains to prevent the supernatural from using Dad's body. As far as practices went, they didn't bother so it was all new to him when he and Sam were pulled in and told to stand where they were.
After getting out the club miraculously without being seen or by sheer dumb luck they headed towards the canal to see if they could find Angela and Clare. After the force that the kelpie had used, Dean logically concluded that it would have to be something like a miracle that they survived all that especially if they were underwater. Still he had faith in her and Sam wasn't freaking out… then again Sam did make her seem like a superhero at times and he was just as guilty of that too.
They actually walked quite a distance searching the canal, following it to wherever the water led. They went quite a long way and Dean couldn't help but start to worry about finding them. Clyde wasn't worried though as he hung onto him and said, "Sister is fine. She's a good swimmer."
That really didn't inspire much confidence on Dean's part but he noticed that Haley was actually smirking at what the kid said. It was like she knew something he didn't and he asked, "You know something that I don't?"
All Haley said at the time was, "Oh just a few things were made clear to me. Must be the witch mojo thing." She then smirked at him and she winked at Clyde who merely giggled making him feel like he missed the punch line to a joke.
Eventually they found Angela and Clare near the park right where the crowd gathered the day before. Angela was just sitting there talking to Clare and they seemed to be laughing at something but Dean was quick to notice that she had something tied around her waist. Dean was sure that Sam would see it to and go full mother hen mode on her.
He hadn't been wrong on that since he beat Sam to the punch. All them looked like a sight then since they were at various stages of being wet or in Angela and Clare's case soaked. How they managed to make it back to the village that night without ruining the leather of his baby, Dean couldn't figure it out but when they arrived he turned around to find both kids fast asleep and cuddling against Angela and Sam. He made him sit in the back so he could sit with Haley.
Sam was looking at Clyde who had fallen over and was resting his head in his lap like the kid was one of those clowns he was still scared of. Angela was just stroking Clare's head and humming something. She hadn't let go of the girl all the way to the car and Dean figured she was just being overprotective. It was an interesting sight though and Dean fished out his phone and took a quick picture much to the annoyance of Sam.
The rascals were awake the moment he opened the door and running towards Philadelphia who greeted them like they had just been on a pleasant vacation or something. Angela was no help since she was just grinning. Dean did have to admit that he and Sam had never had it better when they were given space for the night and asked to stay for a day in thanks for returning the Rose.
Dean had been thoroughly confused until Angela said, "Very clever for having them tag along Philly."
It then occurred to Dean that Angela was referring to the kids. He found that to be strange and looked at Sam who had been just as confused. That would mean… "You mean…?"
"I didn't encourage them," Philadelphia said mostly to Angela.
Angela gave a knowing smile. "I get it. Well Clare did a nice job with the swimming but I get the feeling that they work best together."
Dean diverted his attention back to the pyre. It had been an interesting conversation and one that Haley filled him in on later after he was done being interrogated. Throughout the day, he and Sam were asked questions about what happened by some old lady whom they called the elder. After piecing the story together along with Angela managing to find out about the mysterious death of club owner Genevieve McKenna, the elder had the village prepare for a funeral. It was an even bigger surprise that they were asked to stay.
Dean looked over at Angela who was standing and staring at the fire. He noticed that she hadn't even bothered with a jacket and was wearing just a tank top. He also noticed that she had put her hair up like she did when she did her debut. He tried hard not to smirk out of respect but he was going to give it to her later. He figured though she made that appearance because she was actually going to sing and willingly.
Dean watched standing with Sam as Angela seemed to hear a melody in her mind and opened her mouth. He was unaware that Haley had moved nearby just as Angela started singing. Dean knew his Latin and maybe a few words in Spanish but what she was singing was completely beyond him and it sounded like something out of Lord of the Rings. Haley whispered, "It's Gaelic. She's singing the Caoineadh Cu Chulainn. It's a song of lament."
"Care to translate?"
Haley replied, "You're lucky that I'm half Celtic." She began to translate.
I come to You to be my life and guide
I come to you to take me home
I will come now and live
I will come now and give my all to you
So take me and use me as your own
I come to you to fill my heart and soul
I come to you to be my all in all
So take me now Lord
So take my life and do what'ere you want
I need to know I am yours
So take me
So take me now to be your faithful child
So take me
So take me now to be your own
I want to serve you all my days
I'm here Lord to give you my heart and soul
I'm here Lord so take me to Thy throne
The song finished and everyone started taking their leave. Angela hadn't moved so Dean decided to stay behind. He made an excuse to Sam that he wanted to ask a few things. Surprisingly Sam didn't question him and walked off to where the tribe had put them up for their stay. Dean approached Angela and said, "That was actually nice Angie. I didn't understand the words until Haley translated them."
Angela turned to look at Dean. "The thought occurred to me that I would end up doing the same thing for you if I don't find a way to break the deal."
Dean could have been annoyed and tried not to but it came out that way. "Angie you know the score with that. Though it would be a nice thing."
"Don't remind me. That doesn't mean that I won't try though."
"Angie, you try anything, Sam dies. Plain and simple."
"Not if I had anything to do with that."
"What's that supposed to mean? Are you referring to what you told the hell bitch after the deal was made?" Dean looked at Angela. "I figured you may have done something because you've been pissed at any demon we came across lately."
"And how do you feel about the possibility that I may have screwed you doubly over?" Angela looked at Dean. She might as well tell him now than wait until later.
"And how would you do that? If I know you Angie, you probably said something along the lines that if the demon did anything to Sam that you would kill her." Dean watched the surprised look on her face and explained, "I know a threat when I see one and while I was in a bad place then, I could tell that the bitch was scared of you. If it's your reputation or something like that then fine. The point is you didn't screw me Angie. I did that of my own free will."
Angela looked at Dean with a thoughtful expression. She knew the brothers had many qualities and their ability to be attentive to details in their own way was one of them. In this case she may have misjudged a little. "How long ago did you figure it out?"
"I figured something was up the moment I heard you talking to the bitch. Then how you acted… I'm not mad Angie. You were in a similar spot emotionally."
Angela gave a wry smile. She glanced at the pyre. "The kelpie gave her life to save us and her children. The things people do for those they care about." She glanced at Dean with a slight smile. "An admirable quality I think. Haley understands that."
"I'm not blind." Angela gave a slight sigh as she looked up at the sky. "I think I'll spend the night out under the stars." She gave a knowing look at Dean before heading off to where the Impala was parked leaving Dean to stare at her incredulously before he went to seek out Haley.
"Ever hear that if you don't wear a jacket, you catch cold?"
Angela turned her head to look at the owner of the voice feeling very comfortable in the position she had taken on the Impala's hood reclining against the windshield. "Aren't I supposed to be the one that is bossy?"
Sam had walked into that one and gave a sheepish grin. He had called her that. "Okay you got me on that. What are you doing out here?"
"Felt like it. Besides Dean is having fun time with my roomie." Angela gave a slight smile as she turned to gaze back up at the stars. She muttered the rhyme about Aquarius while giving a slight chuckle at the thought.
It wasn't hard for even Sam to guess at what that meant. He just gave a slight eye roll. "So you plan on staying out here all night?"
"If it makes you feel better…" Angela sat up and pulled out the hoodie she had been using as a pillow and started putting it on. She gave a slight hiss since the gash was a bit tender as she pulled it on. It was too big but it was comfortable. When she was finished she looked at Sam and said, "There."
"It's too big."
Angela decided to tease, "Really? You know some freakishly huge guy gave it to me after I stole it from him. If he wants it back, he's gonna have to fight for it." She laid back down prepared to use her hands to cushion her head.
"You really want to go down that route? You know I can hold something out of your reach," Sam replied.
"And I all I have to do is take a running start." Angela smiled as she adjusted her shoulders on the windshield. "Maybe I should make you pay up for earlier."
"I don't think I like the sound of that," Sam replied in a teasing frown. He remembered that she said he owed her for her impromptu performance and wondered what she had in mind. He thought it couldn't be as bad as what Dean would probably do though she did have her moments. "What do you have in mind?"
Angela made the motion to think if only to prolong the suffering of waiting and anticipation. She was in a generous mood now that she had talked with Dean about the stipulation. She still wasn't going to say anything to Sam since it was still along the lines of finding a way out of the deal that ventured into that no man's land. She finally replied, "It's only fair that you suffer the same as me."
"Seriously? What is that? Having me sing?"
"Hell no. It's bad enough I have to listen to Dean," Angela replied. She had never heard Sam sing before but his mentioning it gave her an idea for later. Having a long memory sometimes was a good thing. "I was thinking since I have to suffer this chilly night air then so should you. No way you're getting a nice warm room." She gave a smirk as she continued to stare up at the sky.
Sam gave a slight sigh of relief. Sitting out in the night air wasn't too bad. It was obvious she wasn't going to move so he got on the hood beside her to stare at what she was staring at. Dean would probably say something about it later but somehow Angela always managed to stay out of trouble as far as the car went. "So you find anything up there?"
"Just the usual," Angela replied. "I like star gazing. More relaxing than some other things at times. Oh I called in a favor. That Ryan kid is going to be sprung from the psych ward."
"I almost forgot about that," Sam replied feeling slightly guilty.
"Nothing to worry about. A friend of a friend of a friend who knows the shrink pulled some strings. Made a pretty convincing argument."
"You seem to know quite a few people."
Angela shrugged her shoulders, "Mostly they are people I've helped out. Some human… some are the good version of the things we hunt." She gave a slight chuckle, "I guess I would be a good example to politicians who would rather have favors than money. Though neither are high in importance to me."
"I kind of noticed that on the money thing." Sam gave a slight rumble, "Dean gets pissed every time you pay. Doesn't bother me just don't think I'm a freeloader or anything."
"Not on your life," Angela replied. "Call it my overblown sense of fair play. Ask Bobby about that. Besides it was only fair the last time since the kids hitch hiked with us."
Sam had to admit that Angela did have a thing about playing fair. She disliked cheating as much as the next guy but she was cunning. He had watched her play chess with Bobby once and she was good. It looked like Bobby was going to win but he had fallen into a trap she had set earlier and he conceded defeat. No one took her seriously when she said she could play poker though but Sam was sure that she could bluff even Dean on that. Changing the flow of the conversation he asked, "So what was that about mentioning about Clare being a good swimmer? You're saying…?"
"Both of them are the Rose. Mommy passed the title on when she was taken," Angela confirmed, "But it was never really about the Rose."
"What do you mean?"
"Remember how I mentioned that there are three tribes and each guards a portion of the seal? Well as it turns out one was hiding in Lakota," Angela replied as she traced a pattern following the stars. "I figured it out the moment the witch bitch mentioned betrayal and the like and I asked the elder earlier."
"So you're saying that we found it?" Then Sam paused a moment and then it clicked, "You mean Haley?"
"Haley guards the seal," Angela corrected. "It was the reason she and the witch parted on nasty terms. They were friends once and apparently the witch was in line to become the next guardian but she was passed over and you know how that story goes. Bottom line is Haley was in hiding and the whole case was about drawing her out."
"But Haley was a singer at the club…"
"Never underestimate the power of a good shield charm. From my understanding the piece of the seal she guards gives her the ability to camouflage herself or something. African mojo."
"Tell me about it."
The rest of the night was spent talking about nothing and looking up at the stars. It was an opportunity for Sam to bring up the subject of Dean's deal. He didn't though and fell to teasing Angela about another performance for Bobby's benefit which led to friendly banter about kicking each other's ass or whatever.
"Angie, stay with us."
Angela looked down at the look Clare and Clyde was giving her. She knew the girl was trying the look to get her to stay and she heard Dean snickering behind her. She shot him a look that told him to shut up though it made it worse that Sam was trying not to laugh. Angela turned back to the two children. She kneeled and said, "I can't stay. I have to go."
"What's the betting that she's gonna fold?"
Angela ignored the heated whispers behind her. They obviously thought that she was going to fold. She smiled as she shook her head and spoke in Gaelic to the children, "I have to go. My place is with my friends. Your place is here with the tribe. You both are the Rose now and you have to learn many things that the tribe can teach you. Understand?"
The children responded in kind, "We understand but we still don't want you to go. You are a good person."
Angela smiled and patted each of the kid's shoulders. She looked at Haley who was ready to leave. She asked her, "So you are returning home?"
Haley replied as she watched the kids say their goodbyes to Sam and Dean, "I think I will stay in the States for a while. I spoke to Mother and I have a new companion. He's not as fun as you are but he does have a few things related to your name."
Angela nodded and asked in a low voice, "Nephilim?"
Haley nodded. "Don't tell Dean though."
"Oh I won't," Angela replied as they watched as both kids jumped on Dean to give him a hug goodbye. "I take it things went well last night?"
Haley blushed, "You could say that. Thank you for ending my nightmare." Haley then pulled something out of her pocket. It was a bracelet made of wood carved beads in the African style. They were interwoven with cowrie shells. "This is for you."
Angela looked at it. She was a little reluctant, "Haley you don't have to…"
"Don't dishonor me friend," Haley replied, "It is a mark of a warrior according to my father's people. The symbols stand for courage, selflessness and virtually everything that makes a person a good one. The cowrie shells were once a sign of wealth in trade, hence the abundance of it. It is yours my friend because what you do is greater than any of us who have our own purpose." Haley clasped it around Angela's wrist. "The mark of a warrior."
Angela looked at the bracelet and Haley. She and Haley had a certain understanding because they both were straddling two different kinds. They both knew the hardships of being Halflings. She would not disrespect Haley and so gave an appropriate nod and grasped Haley's wrist with her hand while Haley returned the gesture. She gave a slight smile and said, "Maybe one day we will meet again. Stay safe."
"And to you."
The tribe watched as the Winchesters got into the car. Angela paused with the door open and looked at the tribe. She could see Clare and Clyde giving her smiles that looked mischievous and Haley and Philly and the other tribe members. They were looking at her expectantly and she knew she had to say it. She did the last time she left. She raised her right hand and said the traditional words of farewell and in response was a large chorus of the reply. She smiled and got in and the Impala took off towards the highway.
He had been watching the whole thing but hidden. There were a few tricks that he knew that would keep her from being aware of his presence. He helped her out but she never knew he was there. He had pretended to be Cody the musician to get her on the case. Now it was time to move on. Maybe cause a few tricks to happen and have some fun. He would be careful though not to attract the ever persistent attention of the Winchester brothers since he liked having fun with them at his own time.
He watched as the Impala drove away towards a job or even some R&R. Either way it was the road he knew she should be taking. He only hoped that by hanging out with the Winchesters she would develop a better sense of being careful… like that was going to happen. He knew he wouldn't prefer her any other way. He turned away from the scene and started walking towards nowhere and he started singing the song that he thought best suited her, "Rose, Rose I love you…"
A/N: Okay who can guess who 'Cody' really was? Don't worry it's not a bad guy ;) Anyway so another case done and the trio is on their way to the next case, the next adventure. Stay tuned for some fast and furious twists and turns in Episode 2.02 of Chronicles of Absolution: Ghost Battle...