"What exactly is this stuff?"
"Orange wheat," Angela replied as she took a drink out of her glass. "Better than some of that stuff out of a liquor store." She looked over where there was music playing and Thomas was teaching the kids to dance. They had been convinced that he was a guy dressed up in costume and they bought it. Well all of them except Jesse.
Jesse had been the one to hand her the voodoo bracelet after the old woman carried out her promise to make the kids forget. The first clue she got was when he said, "Thanks for helping save Petey and the other kids."
She quizzed him after that and finally asked, "Why did you refuse?"
"I wanted to remember. Petey doesn't." She must have looked like she wasn't convinced since Jesse explained, "Look I'm not going to go and do what you do but I want to remember and… Well I gotta look after my mom. Even if she doesn't believe in this stuff at least someone is watching out for her."
Angela had replied, "I see. Take care of your mom Jesse. Treat her right since you only get one and sometimes not for very long."
It wasn't so bad now except for the fact that the manager Maggie Clawson thought that the kids destroyed the playroom. The lady even threw a fit when she found Angela outside with one of the toys. Angela had to try hard not to laugh as she used her sweetest voice to apologize and offered to pay the damages. It was the caretaker though who prevented price gouging and gave a total estimate of the damages. So all was well… mostly.
After that, was she that decided to continue with the surprise party even though everyone else was wondering who it was that set the whole thing up. She knew however and she understood why. It was in his nature to be what he was even though that wasn't exactly his job. She asked the manager if it was all right if the kids joined in while their moms were finishing their day retreat and it worked out. Thomas was entertaining them with his bag of tricks. He was free now and he seemed happy enough to remain.
So now she was sitting at a table drinking a beer and trying not to laugh at the state of the cake. It had taken a beating but since it was a tiered, level cake, (Gabe you old scoundrel), it didn't fare too badly. In fact the topmost tier had the white rose intact. So before any more damage could be done to it, Angela had taken it off and set it somewhere so that it wouldn't be damaged. The rest of the cake was divvied up among the guests as well as the kids.
Angela took a bite of the cake and tasted the filling. She marveled at Gabriel's memory. She hadn't seen him in years but she knew he still thought about her and maybe was spying on her a little. She wouldn't past him to do that and maybe start a few pranks.
"I take it you're feeling better about the whole thing?" Dean asked. He took a bite of the cake. It wasn't pie but hey it was something sweet and it didn't taste that bad either.
"Yeah," Angela smiled as she glanced at the people there who came. She had a feeling why Gabe chose them. The Winchesters were a given but Haley, Fang Boy, Austin and Akira; she could see why Gabe would pick them. "I still don't do my birthday but this was fun."
"Fun? We get tricked into coming here and we were supposed to be on vacation only to find out we have a haunting and a demon. I hardly call that fun," Dean replied as he took a drink of the orange wheat. "Not bad. Not as good as the generic."
"Come on Dean. As long as it's beer or whiskey, you're happy," Haley cut in. "Admit it."
"Okay. That makes me happy along with pie but not as much as a little fun time," Dean gave his smile.
"Please," Sam replied, "Spare us the pain of indigestion."
"Not to mention inappropriateness," Christian replied as he stared at his piece of cake and took a taste. He looked up when he saw Akira looking at him and gave her a slight smile. "Just get a room."
"Nice one Chris. I thought you had no sense of humor," Austin said as he took a pull of his drink. He shared a look with his friend. Whatever happened while they were under the influence of the demon, they knew that it was nothing personal between them. However it meant serious talking issues when they got back to the academy.
"He does have a sense of humor," Angela replied as she put the finishing touches on her 'masterpiece' while Sam wasn't looking. "It just comes through when he is trying to be serious." She made a slight adjustment aware that everyone else was watching her and ignoring what she was doing.
Dean watched what Angela was doing and decided to say nothing. It was about time she got Sam on a prank. Then again she did tease him mercilessly so that was a bonus. He laughed along with the jokes and the comments while fingering the gift that he had kept in his pocket. Even with all the crashing into walls and the like, it hadn't been broken. Dean took that to mean something and now he was trying to find the right time to give it to her. He really didn't want to embarrass her again.
Haley was the first to say something, "Well even though we were tricked into this and it seems Angie knows who the trickster was, I decided to get her something, well the kids sent it asking me to give it to you." She pulled out a small box and put it on the table and shoved it in front of Angela.
Angela had finished what she had been doing to Sam and looked at the box. "Clare and Clyde?"
Angela gave a smile as she opened the box. It got bigger when she saw what it was. She gently lifted the clasp out that contained two kelpies over the background of the tribe's knot. She knew that the kids were trying to get her to pay a visit and then continue their campaign to get her to stay. "Tell them that I make no promises about a visit, Haley."
"Will do," Haley replied not fooled by the fact that Angela liked the gift. She did admire how she was sticking to her guns.
Akira was next. She said, "Well you already got the bracelet that I found and Thomas says it's okay that you keep it but we managed to scrounge something up."
Angela couldn't help but smirk. She could expect gag gifts from Austin and Akira and Christian would just be the serious one. She was thoroughly surprised though when he pushed a miniature crown made of ice. Akira gave her a perfect replica of the Mustang she once owned and Austin gave her a key chain with something written on it. She couldn't help but laugh out loud at the gifts. She didn't need to say anything to Akira or Austin but to Christian she said, "I never thought you had it in you to hand back a name, Fang Boy."
"As the crown suggests, Ice Queen," Christian replied. He gave the barest hint of a smile.
"And he smiles too," Angela countered showing off Christian like a floor model of some new product.
Dean laughed as he looked at Sam. His poor brother had no idea what Angela did to him and no one else had any idea what exactly she did. Well he could wait. It seemed that everyone was giving gag gifts or something to persuade her to stay with for a while. He had to hand it to little Clare and Clyde. They really were sneaky ones.
"What about you Dean?" Haley poked Dean in the side with a finger. "I'm sure you have something in that pocket of yours."
"Nothing," Dean replied.
"Sure he does," Akira caught on. She made an inquisitive face. "Hmm. I hear something but my hearing is not so good. It must be small."
Angela looked at Dean. "Don't look at me princess. Dean has to show me but not if he doesn't want to." She then gave her best weapon.
Not her version of the look, Dean inwardly thought. He personally thought that she wouldn't get it but it seemed that everyone else gave something that held some meaning between them and her. He had yet to see what Sam got her though judging by the way his brother had been quiet for the most part except to comment here and there it said otherwise. Then it occurred to him that it might be one of those girly things and he was embarrassed about it. Well he could spare his brother the humiliation. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the plastic bag and set it on the table.
"And you didn't even wrap it?" Haley pretended to be shocked.
"Winchester wrapping," Sam supplied. "Though you could have done better Dean. At least maybe the adverts page of the newspaper."
"Whatever, bitch," Dean replied as he slid it across towards Angela. "There. Just a little something. No big deal."
To torment Dean, Angela took her time opening it. When she saw what it was, she couldn't help but chuckle. So far everyone picked up on her quirks. This last one from Dean though topped it. She knew that he would get annoyed that she could give the time before he had a chance to look at his watch. She examined it and found it to be unique. She could tell it was cheap but perfect considering that the rim was designed like a devil's trap (Dean's own design since he was bored) and on the inside she could make out the inner symbols of the devil's trap. "I see you're trying to keep me around a lot longer." She looked at Dean and gave a genuine smile of thanks. "Either that or you are still wondering how I can tell time without a watch."
"As you say, a great mystery," Dean replied, pleased that she liked it. It made him happy to see her happy since she was not big on showing her emotions. He had a feeling that she had a slight fear of getting too close to people but at least she wasn't that way with him and Sam. Nah she mothered them both and they were spoiled off her cooking. He watched as she put the watch on and it looked like it wasn't even going to come off though it was a little big for her wrist.
The others tried to heckle Sam but he was made of sterner stuff than Dean. That was until he said that he didn't have anything. Dean knew that was a downright lie and he figured Angela picked up on that and said, "No harm, no foul. I always get a laugh from you both any time."
That was certainly true when Sam got up to get another drink. Dean couldn't help but laugh. How Angela had done it without Sam feeling it was beyond him. The hysterics began when the kid Jesse looked at Sam's back and said, "Hey guys look! It's a giant snowman!"
Poor Sam had no idea what had happened until he was swamped by the kids. One pulled off what was on his back and it looked like a long toilet paper streamer. He looked at the table where everyone was and they were laughing. All except Angela who was merely giving a tell-tale smile. She also had a hand on her mouth as if she were trying hard not to laugh. He knew right away that she TP'd him. He gave a scowl that would have become a bitch face but then she gave an apologetic smile. It was spoiled when there was a flash and he saw Dean with his phone. He then scowled at his brother.
Sam's attention was distracted when someone tugged on his sleeve. He looked down to see the kid Petey looking up at him. He looked back up and saw a smile on Angela's face. He mouthed that she was going to get it later. He then turned his attention back to Petey wondering what to do next.
The lapping waves of the water touching the shore were soothing and the creatures that made their music at night added to the symphony. It added to the mental composition that Angela was composing in her mind as she hummed out a tune in time to the composition while looking up at the starry night. It was so peaceful and it really felt like a vacation now.
"Nice tune. Is it new?"
Angela smiled as she continued to look up at the sky. The ground really was comfortable though it was nothing compared to Dean complaining about her camping out on the hood of the Impala. This was fine though. She replied, "It is called Evening Requiem No. 5." She then patted the empty spot beside her.
Sam couldn't help but smile as he sat down on the blanket next to Angela. He asked, "What happened to numbers 1-4?"
"In other parts of the country. Number 5 is Heber Springs," Angela replied before she sat up so that it wouldn't be too uncomfortable. "These requiems are made only on special occasions. Like this vacation."
"What about the other thing?"
"Like I said, it was the best one ever," Angela replied as she drew her knees up and stared at the water. She began humming again as she listened to the waves.
Sam followed her gaze and watched the water and listened. He then asked, "So you know who set this up?"
"Yep and I'm not telling," Angela replied. She glanced over at Sam and added, "I will say that it was a very old friend. We didn't part on good terms but this was to tell me that we are still friends."
"Sending you to a haunted resort?"
"He has a strange sense of humor but he knows my tendencies." Angela had gone back to watching the waves and therefore didn't notice the slight look Sam got on his face. It was gone when she turned to look back at him and add, "He was just letting me know that he was still around and thinking of the good times we had."
Sam frowned at that, "I still don't get why sending you to here with a demon problem says that but then again…" He cut himself off before she said anything.
"Very good," Angela replied implying that she knew why he cut himself off. "As a reward, I'll say my apologies for the fun at your expense. I never thought they would go for the abominable snowman."
Sam couldn't help but chuckle but he looked down to avoid showing that he hadn't been completely mad. He managed to reply, "I'll admit that you got me though I think asking you to find the picture Dean took and erasing it would call it even. Don't you think?" He had picked up on how Angela could bargain and he was attempting it.
"I think that is fair," Angela replied. She would do it but Sam didn't say anything about her saving a copy. "So you want to try composing a solo for the requiem?"
Sam chuckled, "No I don't think so. You wouldn't like my singing."
"Someday, Sam I will get you to sing and that will be a day when Dean is not around. That's a promise." Angela gave a smirk as she said it. It definitely was a promise. "But really why are you out here?"
Sam shrugged his shoulders. "Just… whatever. And I want to give you something. I didn't get a chance to…"
"And I thought you had forgotten," Angela replied teasing. "So what is it? Do I have to play twenty questions?"
Sam gave a slight chuckle of embarrassment. She was making it sort of easy on him but also hard. He reached into his jacket pocket and closed his fingers around the package that was in there. Not even Dean knew what he got since he refused to say anything about it. He pulled it out and replied, "Um no, you don't have to play that. Um here." He handed it over. "Happy Birthday."
Angela took the package from Sam and looked at it. She made a slight hum of amusement as she looked at the newspaper wrapping. "I see you did a better job at gift wrapping than Dean."
"Well I couldn't find any silk wrappings small enough."
Angela smiled as she undid the paper carefully, drawing out the moment like she did with Dean watching Sam's reaction. She gave a slight hum as she watched him try to hide his nervousness. She knew that they didn't know because she didn't tell them. She was doing her best to show them that it was okay. She felt better about a few things and she wouldn't mind if they sprung something like it again on her and she implied it when they went to their bungalow after the party.
When she finally opened it and looked down, anything she would have said, suddenly left her. She initially thought that Sam had been embarrassed by his idea of a gag gift. Or that maybe he felt shown up by Dean's gift. She didn't expect what was in her lap.
Sam could tell she was surprised but that was about it. The only way to know for sure was to talk to her. He explained, "Um… It's something that reminded me of you."
"The North Star?"
"Well… it's ah the star that guides travelers and uh…" Sam trailed off not sure what else to say. Then it hit him and he hoped that it didn't sound too sappy. At least Dean wasn't around to make him feel like an idiot. "The reason I picked it is well you are like the North Star. You guide people. When that demon tried using that laughter again all I could think about and kept telling myself what you told me." Sam took a breath and continued, aware that he was running the risk of rambling. "It's what you do. You are guide, whether you see it or not and well…"
Angela stopped Sam from rambling. She understood what he was saying and could see why he was having trouble conveying what he wanted to say. She knew that he believed she was a good person even though she didn't think so. Even Dean implied that as much. She had no idea what to say but instead mouthed as she signed, 'Thank you.'
Slowly she picked it up and looked at it. It was a simple thing, very simple design, made of bronze and probably cheap in price but that didn't matter. Neither did the price of the watch Dean gave her. They were given with thought. She had a fleeting thought that Sam thought about it quite a bit even though he had probably been goaded into finding something. She undid the clasp and tried to put it around her neck but the clasp slipped and she frowned doing it.
Angela held still as Sam did the clasp. It vaguely occurred to her that he may have done the same for Jessica at one point or another. She wished that she could have done something about it. Then maybe… "Thanks."
"Only when I have no voice," Angela replied teasing. She then made a few signs and then flopped back down and looked back at the sky and began humming again. She made a point of teasing Sam.
"Oh so you're gonna be that way?" Sam grinned at her, knowing that she was teasing him.
Angela smiled and signed back saying, "Yep. Up to you if you want to know what I'm saying. Just be glad that I'm not doing this in another language." She made the signs slowly so that Sam would pick it up.
"First you are a drill sergeant with fighting and then the sorcerer with Dean and now you are a language professor?"
Angela merely laughed and sat back up and began the basics of sign. She taught the alphabet and a few basic words. She laughed when he accidentally flipped her off and gently corrected his fingers. It continued late into the night when they went back to the bungalow.
Gabriel enjoyed the nightly symphonies when they had the guest soloist as he used to call her. He could actually hear the composition even though he couldn't see her just yet as he walked around the grounds. The plan had worked perfectly down to the actually exorcism and Cat saying that it was the best birthday ever.
When he came up with his idea, the prank was actually getting everyone there and watch them ask in confusion who did what. He did expect her walk out in a panic since even he knew how long it had been since she had a prank gift from him. At least Sammy got her to calm down which was what he was expecting.
Then the whole thing with the house and the demon… Well there was a reason for it. He had been concerned when he walked in on her dreams. He felt like a pervert for spying on her but it was his job even though someone else officially had that title.
"A bit late for you to be walking around."
Gabriel turned to see an old woman walk towards him. He grinned as the image turned to his favorite sister. He grinned, "You're good, sis. I take it they bought it?"
Seraph adjusted the clothes she had worn for the part of the old woman. It had been Gabriel's idea for her to see up close what Absolution was capable of and she did. At first she had been reluctant but Gabriel insisted that it was all part of the fun. She replied, "I admit that it was easy to admit to the whole memory erasing thing and do it. So this is how you have your fun with the humans then?"
"Yeah. The last time I saw Cat was in Lakota and I was a musician though she's better. Didn't even realize it was me," Gabriel replied with some pride at his ability of disguise. "I taught her a few tricks when coming up with a disguise."
Seraph heard the tone of pride in her brother's voice. She looked off in the distance where she spotted Absolution laughing with the younger brother as he was trying to do something with his hands. "Spying on her again?"
"Self appointed job," Gabriel replied as he watched. Cat was so kindhearted. "Well the plan worked. I know she knows it was me."
"I would think so," Seraph replied. Then a thought occurred to her, "You knew that this place was cursed didn't you?"
Gabriel looked at Seraph. He couldn't fool his sister any more than he could Cat when they traveled together. He could also see that Seraph was confused about his choice of methods to reach out to Cat. He might as well explain that to her so that she would understand the next time she decided to take a day trip to the land of the living. He replied, "Yes but let me explain."
"It's part of what I do. This was to teach Cat a lesson about herself and that she does what she does because that is her. It was to remind her why she does this job." Gabriel shrugged his shoulders. "She may not like dealing with Mikey and the others but she knows the score and she'll do it her way."
"I can see why you like her and why the goddess Isis does," Seraph replied. She looked over and watched as Absolution showed the younger brother something with her hands. "Curious."
Gabriel watched his sister and then looked at Cat with Sammy boy. "Well my job here is done. Cat learned her lesson and she had fun I know that."
Seraph said nothing but left Gabriel alone to watch his charge. Gabriel couldn't help but grin at how much more animated Cat had become since she came here. Now that it was over, he'll let her have the vacation that the numbskull Winchesters planned. He gave a slight smirk and whispered the phrase he had used long ago, "Happy 'Trick'steen Birthday, Cat."
A/N: All's well that end's well again and it looks like they are getting a vacation after all. So Gabe planned the entire shebang and he knew that his girl would do it. Another adventure is finished but stay tuned for the next episode of Chronicles of Absolution, episode 2.06 Witching Pains...