A/N: Wow. Finally. This took quite a bit longer than I expected. Life is... well. I think you can gather the just of it.

This is by no means the end. I have several other fics in this AU outlined, and a few chapters started. It may be a little longer than any of us would like, but I want to make sure that I am going in a direction I can live with and won't fizzle myself out. Additionally, I'm having trouble with the whole using fanfiction thing. I much prefer AO3; I find the interface easier to use. I'm (please don't kill me) probably going to stop updating here. If you follow my other stories-namely Story of Shadows, don't panic. I will finish updating the ones I have on here before I leave completely.

PLEASE please please come visit me on archiveofourown. org under the same name (rebaobsessions).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter! Please let me know what you think! Any ideas for what I should do in my other fics in the universe would be appreciated.

(Brace yourself. It's a big one.)

The waiting was painfully dull. Methos was used to dull— patience was his expertise, after all —but the next few hours took the experience to a new, uncomfortable and dramatic, definition of dull. That may seem like a bit of a contradiction, but when you spent five thousand years living and observing others, very few people could surprise you. The Winchester brothers' reactions, though fraught with tension and conflict, were textbook. (A very soap-opera like textbook.)

Sam attempted to be a gracious host, despite the constant battle he was fighting with his brother. He found Methos a new shirt, and gave him a brief tour of the library. At the same time, the boy was practically burning with curiosity. He attempted to insert his questions at innocuous points in the conversation, trying to be casual about his child-like enthusiasm, but Methos could see the physical restraint the younger brother had to enact to maintain his gracious appearance. To be quite honest, his behavior did nothing but endear the young scholar to the ancient man. To Methos, the pursuit of knowledge was a noble calling he also answered.

Dean, on the other hand, was as suspicious and unfriendly as he could be without appearing downright hostile and incurring the wrath of his brother. Dean watched his guest carefully, almost to the point of paranoia, avoided any real conversation except for unveiled attempts to extract more information, and questioned every request the immortal made. He did not trust Adam, sensing the deep secrets the façade hid, and he did not trust the honesty Methos presented, sensing the incongruity for what it was— despite not knowing how the immortal normally acted. Despite the annoyance Methos felt towards the older brother, he couldn't help respecting the amazing intuition he displayed. If Dean had been an immortal, Methos would have expected him to make it several millennia at the very least.

One of the first big issues the three hunters encountered was when Methos made an off-hand request to Sam, who had just finished showing Methos how the library was organized.

"While I cannot wait to explore this wealth of knowledge, I would like to attend to some personal care first—if that's alright," the ancient immortal smiled at Sam.

Sam frowned, "Would you like clean jeans too?"

"Oh, no, no. Nothing like that. You see, my sword is practically a part of me, and whenever it encounters unfriendly wear—like being tossed around in my coat—I like to check on it. Maintain its condition. I'd also like to look at my other weapons…."

"Oh—that makes sense," Sam said it in such a way that implied he was disappointed that he didn't realize the obvious, "I'll go—"

"Hold it right there." Their shadow stepped forward and frowned first at his brother and then at their guest, "You aren't going anywhere near your weapons."

"I'm afraid, as an individual whose life depends on my sword, I must insist that I'm allowed to maintain it," Methos frowned at the elder Winchester.

Dean simply crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow at the immortal.

Methos huffed in exasperation, "You cannot be serious! You, as a hunter, must know how much care weapons require!"

"And how exactly," Dean stepped forward for emphasis, "Do we know that's all you're gonna do?"

"And what exactly," Methos mocked Dean, "Would I gain from turning on you?"

"I don't know!" Dean threw his hands up.

"Dean—" Sam attempted to cut in.

Dean barreled on, "We only just met and that involved me killing you."

Methos gave a hefty sigh and chose to channel a particularly sarcastic wife he had had back in the 30's (ahem—1830s), "Yes, I remember, dear. Hurt like hell, but here I am. No need to live in the past." The brothers both stared at him in confusion, so he added a shrug and eye roll for good measure. "All my friends have killed me at some point; you just got it out of the way up front."

Dean stared at the immortal for a few seconds, "Are you serious?"


"That's..." Dean seemed to be at a loss for words. Methos found that quite amusing; it was a good look on the stoic hunter.

"Depressing? Honest?" Sam supplied.

Dean shrugged and nodded in acquiescence but narrowed his eyes at Methos, "Doesn't mean I trust you."


Dean turned to his brother, "What?"

Methos hid a smile as he watched the metaphorical steam rise from the brothers as they engaged in a silent argument. He couldn't help but compare the exchange to various pairs he'd known over his long life, but for some reason it wasn't himself and Kronos (for once) that came to mind. It was Bobby and Rufus. Those two hunters were always at each other's throats one second, then sharing a bottle of scotch the next. This particular argument, however, ended with Dean sporting a sour look and Sam looking thoroughly irritated.

Sam turned on his heel, announcing over his shoulder, "I'll go get you your sword and cleaning supplies, Adam."

Methos smiled after the hunter, "Thank you, Sam." When the immortal returned his gaze to the other hunter, he found Dean not quite glaring at him, but definitely frowning. "What?"

"What's so funny?" the hunter growled.

The response was so very similar to Bobby that Methos completely failed to maintain his implacable façade and let an explosive chuckle escape. This only served to tick the hunter off further, but as far as Methos was concerned, it was totally worth it.

"I'm still not happy about allowing you access to your sword so you might want to wipe that smile off your face and explain," Dean snapped.

After Methos got himself back under control, he offered the hunter a smile. He was going for slightly sheepish but wasn't certain how it came across. "You and your brother just remind me of these two hunters I ran with back in the day."

Dean frowned, "Do I know them?"

Methos shrugged noncommittally and deflected the question, "Well, they did die." Of course they didn't both stay dead, but we'll get to that later.

"Sorry 'bout that," he offered half-heartedly.

"Death is a part of life."

Dean did not appear to be comforted by the calm delivery of the line. Unable to resist, Methos supplied a hard grin which had the desired effect of further unsettling the hunter. Did the ancient man feel a little guilty about egging the hunter's suspicion on? Uh…. No. Not really.

He'd probably pay for it later though.

When Sam returned with Methos' sword, the three inhabitants decided to forfeit conversation completely in silent agreement. Sam settled down with a pile of books, Methos set to work cleaning his weapons as non-threateningly as possible, and Dean pulled out an impressive collection of guns to clean while watching Methos carefully. The result was unsettling.

The library echoed in near silence. It pressed on the ears and weighed down the occupants. The faint tick of a clock (from somewhere in the labyrinth of the bunker) and the hum of the lights were the only constant sounds. The ambience was only briefly interrupted by sounds of life.

Stone scraped against metal. A book page rustled. A gun magazine snapped into place.

A rag thumped as it was shaken out. The cover cracked shut on a hardback tome. The barrel clanged open on a shotgun.

Someone sighed.

Methos paused in his detailed evaluation of his Ivanhoe to pinch the bridge of his nose. Where the bloody hell is Richie?

"He said not to let you come!" Richie felt like he was trying to dismantle a brick wall with a toothpick. Why were Watchers so stubborn? "He doesn't want to overwhelm them at first. I mean, they're the Winchesters— being wary is how they stay alive."

"What about Bobby?" Amy wheedled.

"Yeah," Mike jumped in eagerly, "Surely having him there would help them drop the suspicion faster so we can see the bunker?"

Richie let out a pained groan and let his head thump painfully onto the table between the three friends. How had the art of persuasion escaped Methos' lessons?

Dean shifted uncomfortably as he attempted to stretch a particularly stubborn muscle in his arm. To be completely honest, he wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing. He was, however, paying rapt attention to the bunker's immortal guest. The guy was currently conducting a thorough survey of the library, carefully scanning each title, and occasionally pulling a book from the shelf for a deliberate perusal before replacing it. Dean was attempting to deduce what information he was searching for, but as far as the hunter could tell, Adam was reading a random selection of books. It was a little confusing and slightly unsettling.

Just like everything else about the guy.

For example, Dean had been staring at the immortal for nearly a half an hour—ever since he had finished maintaining his guns and a little before Sam had left grumbling about food—and the guy, although clearly aware of the scrutiny, hadn't batted an eyelash. It was maddening.

'Adam' didn't seem to care what the brothers thought of him, but still proceeded to explain… everything about what he was. Wouldn't it be safer for him to not say anything at all? Dean sighed quietly, I mean, I could kill the guy if I wanted to—he told us what chopping off his head would do.

The strange immortal sharply snapped shut another book and carefully slid it back into its rightful spot. He then proceeded to pause deliberately and scan the expanse of bookshelves he had yet to peruse.

And then there was the matter of the small suspicious things he'd say or things he'd do… they were unsettling but proved nothing. The worst part was he didn't do it around Sam—at least not the creepy parts. When alone with Dean, Adam would talk off handedly about death and loss and time, often accompanying it with a dangerous smile or wild sparkle in his eyes. Dean got the impression that he'd killed a lot more and a lot more ruthlessly than he had actually disclosed. But if Dean made the assumption that he had told the truth about everything earlier, he'd have to discard the… Wait.

He said "in the past two hundred years"… he didn't mention… Dean's train of thought stuttered briefly to a stop. If he told the truth and I'm right…

How old was he?

Dean found himself staring at the immortal in a new light; suddenly his cryptic nature and jarring personality seemed mysterious and ancient. His angular face could be something straight out of a story and—Adam snapped another book shut and let out an undignified groan, rubbing his neck with his free hand as he stretched it to the side, producing a loud disturbing crack.

Dean rapidly revised his observations.

He may be older than two hundred, but he wasn't some mystical wise man with the answer to life. (Hell! Angels are the epitope of ancient, but they're still dicks!) Adam was a pain in the ass— dangerous, untrustworthy, and oh-so-very calculating, but still a pain in the ass. Dean didn't like the guy, didn't understand the guy, and certainly didn't trust the guy… but he posed no imminent threat.

He could change his behavior on a dime, and Dean couldn't trust that level of unpredictability. (If he never acted the same from one moment to the next, how could you ever know him? And if you don't know someone, you can't trust them, Dean concluded sourly. Why can't Sam see that?) However… Dean had to admit that Sam appeared to be (currently) in the right about their guest.

As though Dean's thoughts had summoned him, Sam suddenly appeared in the entry way to the library that led to (through several hallways) the kitchen. Somehow the hunter managed to balance three plates as he practically danced back into the room.

"Anyone hungry?" he called with a faint grin, holding the fruit of his labor out as evidence.

Adam whipped around from placing a book back on the shelf and mirrored Sam's exaggerated glee with ease, "God, yes. Dying his horridly exhasting."

"Since when do you cook?" Dean asked as Sam handed Adam a plate with a flourish.

Sam turned and frowned at his brother, "Since when does making a sandwich count as cooking?"

Dean shrugged, "It's food."

Adam chuckled around his sandwich, "Yes, Dean, it is. What an astute observation."

Dean glared daggers at the immortal as he accepted food from his brother, certain that the aggravating man had known what he meant. He was proved right a few seconds later when Adam swallowed his bite and burst out laughing. Dean gave the man his best reproachful narrow-eyed glare but when it only served to make him laugh harder, he turned to his brother. Sam was valiantly attempting to hold back a smile.

Against his will, he felt one blossom across his own face.

A deep humid aroma of sweat permeated the large open room, lined with padded floors, varnished wood, and racks of training weapons. Outside the window, the afternoon sun glinted off passing cars despite the sense of impending rain that echoed through the bones of the dojo's sole occupant.

Heaving a sigh, Bobby Singer, immortal and hunter of the supernatural, slid his training katana back into its sheath with a snick. Life had been so very slow since he'd died. No more angels or apocalypses, no more sudden visits from the police or panicked phone calls from his boys. Sure, spending time around Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod had its moments of excitement and sheer terror (not to mention the maniacs who were now out for his head too), but it wasn't the same as being a hunter. And… well, Bobby was to the point that he'd freely admit to missing the Winchesters. I wonder what those idjits are up to now.

Lost in thought, Bobby nearly jumped out of his skin at the overtly cheerful ringtone sounding from his nearby cellphone. "What is it now, Mac?" the ex-hunter muttered to himself as he ambled over to the device, "Amanda, Adam, or a headhunter?" Without looking at the caller ID, Bobby flipped the (now outdated) device open.

"Bobby! Hey—Bobby… how are you? Hope Mac isn't working you too hard! I remember what it was like…" a familiar young voice exploded across the line before the newer (but older) immortal could so much as say hi. "Listen, so… I need a favor. And like, I'm pretty sure you'll like it. Not 100%, but pretty sure. Not sure about Mac though. There's a… oh… 90% chance that Mac will hate it and have both our hides."

"Richie, you idjit, slow down," Bobby snapped across the line, "What're you on about?"

Richie did not slow down. "We may have a problem. Like, a big problem. It could be nothing—just a new adventure filled with monsters and a couple friends—but it could be a biiiig disaster." Bobby could practically see the kid pacing back and forth.

Bobby eased himself down onto the bench and rubbed at his eyes, "What kind of problem?"

There was a beat of silence. "Um… revealing immortality?"

"Richie!" Bobby was instantly sitting up straight. Why didn't he go to Mac? And why can't his hunting posse help him figure it out? "What the hell have you gotten mixed up in now? Where're Adam and your Watchers?"

"Adam's… occupied and Amy and Mike can't come with me but won't let me go alone."

"What do you mean occupied? And where the hell are you haring off to?"

"There's no easy way to say this…"

Pounding his head against the wall was starting to look quite attractive. "Then spit it out!"

Richie took a deep breath and pushed it out in a big rush, "Adam sorta broke into a bunker and got kidnapped by Sam and Dean."

For a long painful second, Bobby was unable to process what his fellow immortal was trying to say. When he finally put two and two together, it sure wasn't looking like four. "Balls."

Ensconced in the library and seated at one of the numerous tables, Adam turned a page in the book he was perusing. Across the table Sam watched his reactions with bated breath. The young scholar really wanted to know if this was true.

For a moment it was quiet, then the immortal snorted, "It is incredible how painfully close the Men of Letters got while still being wrong."

"Really?" Sam found himself staring at the font of knowledge seated across from him. "So there aren't different types of vampires?" Sam couldn't help being a little disappointed. He was quite excited by the prospect.

"On the contrary," Adam smirked, turning another page and looking up at the hunter, "They only skimmed the surface."

"What do you mean?" Sam leaned forward.

"Well," Adam mused, mirroring his position, "There are entire circles of the supernatural that manage to exist in a primarily separate state. I've had the pleasure of meeting four distinct types of vampires, as well as nine were-beast variations and a wide range of magic practitioners. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. I've never understood the why the communities are so divided; the only explanation I've ever come up with is that, just like ordinary people, those involved with the supernatural remain ignorant, and thus separate from the other types of supernatural, because they want to. Or perhaps there are layers of undetectable magic that keep the different communities separate."

For a moment Sam was speechless. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting, but it wasn't this. "So, you're saying that, not only are there problems and monsters out there that we don't know about and can't handle, but that we don't know about them because we… don't want to?"

"Yes." Adam shut the book and redirected his entire focus to scrutinizing Sam.

"What if we want to?" Sam asked quietly, unable to resist the urge to shift uncomfortably.

The immortal smiled blandly, "Then you'll discover the true depth of the world's horrors, and, based on your heroic nature, will attempt to shoulder all of the apocalyptic problems that threaten reality on a regular basis."

"That's not encouraging at all."

"Oh, relax," Adam waved a hand at the hunter, "The supernatural aspects of the world aren't all as bloody as the one that you and your brother live in. Regardless, they all have a wide variety of young heroes such as yourself already doing what must be done."

Once again Sam found himself completely lost and blinking in surprise, "What?"

Adam gave him a smile that was gentler than his average one. It clearly said 'you know what I mean.' Although Sam was having a hard time accepting everything it did make a certain amount of sense. If there are so many potentially apocalyptic events, it makes sense that someone knows what's up and is doing something about it…

Once Sam gave the immortal a shrug and nod, he continued to expound on the idea, "I'm quite fond of one particular demonic community, myself." At Sam's incredulous stare, Adam rolled his eyes, "Don't give me that look. It's a bit of a misnomer if you ask me, as they are not technically demons. At least not in your sense of the term," Adam gestured in the young hunter's direction as though it explained everything. Sam however was merely more confused. Adam barreled on, "They are creatures of often grotesque appearance that possess various supernatural abilities; descendants of the Old Ones—the monsters that walked the Earth long before the Creator conceived the idea of humanity."

Although his confusion was partially nullified, Sam still had questions, "You mean God? How do you know that?"

Adam merely shrugged noncommittally, "Call it an inside source."

"And you like these… demons?" Sam knew Adam well enough by now to know that he wouldn't get any more information out of the immortal when he gave such a purposefully vague answer.

"Well, to be fair, they've earned the title; a large portion of them are dedicated to the destruction of humanity," Adam paused and held up a finger, "However, there are quite a few diamonds in the rough—entire species of demons that harbor no ill will towards humanity. Many of those demons, who simply want to live in peace, have crafted an exquisite sub-society just under the surface of humanity. They have bars, casinos, hotels, restaurants, and even places of worship. Many of them still speak old demonic languages that I had thought were completely extinct before I stumbled across their little communities a few centuries ago."

"A few… centuries ago. Right."

"A century is just like a decade. Only longer," Adam sniped with a smirk.

Sam spent a long, painful moment attempting to absorb everything the friendly immortal had so casually divulged… before giving up. Shaking his head slightly, he refocused on the smirking man sitting across from him, "That reminds me… I've been meaning to ask something."

Adam leaned back, smirk still firmly in place, "Fire away."

"Immortals track each other down and attempt to behead one another for power, right?"

Adam looked slightly more wary, but nodded in the affirmative.

"How do they do that? How do they know they actually found an immortal? Has anyone pretended to be immortal and accepted a challenge?"

Adam looked quite grim by now. "No. No, that's impossible. While fights between mortals and immortals do occur, it's not a challenge. Immortals sometimes kill the loved ones of an opponent to infuriate or weaken them, and mortals have been known to hunt down, surprise, and kill immortals— typically out of fear—, but those fights don't follow any rules, unlike challenges. And no one knows what happens to an immortal's quickening when they are killed by a mortal. It simply wreaks havoc and dissipates," Adam stopped suddenly, and reached up to rub the bridge of his nose. He sighed heavily, and Sam got the impression he was remembering someone who had met such a fate. After a moment, he looked back up and continued, "As for a mortal pretending to be immortal? That is physically impossible. We can sense each other."

Sam was so lost in Adam's explanation that he was unaware of his brother's presence until he spoke, "What do you mean by that?"

Frowning, Sam turned to face Dean, who was standing a little ways behind him, wiping his hands on an old cloth, an impressive grease smudge marring his face. Last Sam knew, Dean had spirited away his impressive collection of weapons and disappeared. When did he get back? Sam glanced at the clock… Wow… it's been a few hours. Where did the time go?

Adam, however, seemed completely unsurprised. That may have something to do with the fact that he could see Dean from his position at the table, though, Sam thought wryly.

Regardless, the immortal continued on by answering Dean's question, "It manifests differently for every immortal, but the idea is the same; they receive a sensation when an immortal is nearby that is unique from anything you could possibly experience. We call it 'the buzz' because most immortals perceive it as a buzzing hum or pressure just behind the ears; however I have known immortals who describe it as a prickling sensation at the back of the neck, or as ringing bells. Some even sneeze uncontrollably for the first few seconds after sensing a presence—obviously none of them survived long, though."

Sam and Dean gave each other a confused glance.

Adam shrugged, "Those initial moments can be the difference between life and death."

"What's it like to you?" Sam asked curiously as his brother pulled out the chair beside him.

Adam heaved a heavy sigh, "Honestly I can't describe it. I just know. It's… it's like all of the bones in my body are vibrating, or like something in the pit of my stomach is attempting to break free."

Dean snorted, "What? Like you're about to throw up?"

"Dean," Sam admonished, glancing at him.

Adam chuckled, "No, not like that. Like I said, it is… unique."

For a moment the three hunters sat in a comfortable contemplative silence.

"You mentioned our grandfather and great-grandfather," Dean said suddenly, causing the others to give him looks of varying levels of confusion. "Back when you were being all mysterious and explaining how long you had been hunting," Dean elaborated.

"Yes," the immortal started hesitantly, "They were both incredible Men of Letters."

"When did you know them?" Dean asked just as hesitantly.

Adam opened his mouth to reply, but suddenly stiffened and stopped, looking out of the library towards the bunker door. "Richie has finally arrived," he announced, "And he's not alone."

Sam stared at Adam in disbelief, but before he could try to ask why the immortal was so certain a resounding metal knock echoed through the bunker.

Sam couldn't help but think… déjà vu.

"I ain't made for this anymore, Rich," Bobby groaned as he slammed the passenger door on the car and stretched a sore muscle in his back. "Long rides don't agree with me." Bobby was fairly certain the younger man had borrowed it from his Watchers as Richie had only every owned a motorcycle, and the car he shared with Adam was already parked on the lonely stretch of gravel road.

"Well," Richie grinned at him from over the car, "I hate to break this to you, Bobby, but you've got to live with it for, well, forever."

Bobby just shook his head with faint amusement. Richie sounds a lot like Dean, Bobby found himself beginning to marvel as he had so often before, turning around as he did so. This time, however, the thought was cut short and he found himself staring at the familiar impala parked beside the two other battered old cars.

His boys really were here.

Richie, who had walked up behind him without him noticing, put a hand on his shoulder, "You ready?"

" 'Course I am," he huffed gruffly.

All Richie did was give him a knowing smile and start towards the bunker door. Taking a precious moment to compose himself, Bobby took a deep breath before following. In front of him, Richie stopped and inhaled sharply. A few feet later, Bobby found out why as the powerful immortal presence washed over him.

Adam was definitely in that bunker. With the two best hunters alive.

This did not bode well at all.

"Well," Richie said, with fake joviality, "He already knows we're here; might as well knock."

Bobby gave Richie a side long look as they took the last few steps towards the door. "You spent the entire car ride bouncing in your seat like a little kid," Bobby admonished, "Now you get cold feet?"

Richie swallowed hard, "The old man's gonna kill me, and then he's going to drag me off to Chicago and let Mac kill me too."

"Oh, suck it up," Bobby huffed, "If you're getting killed, so am I, and this was your idea."

"Right," Richie scoffed back, "Like you didn't jump out of your skin at the chance to see Sam and Dean."

"Knowing my boys, they're going to kill us too," Bobby offered.

Richie glanced at Bobby as though trying to judge if he was serious. "Joy," he muttered as he raised his hand over the door.

The knock was hollow and metallic. It was followed by an ominous minute of silence.

"Should we, uh…" (Richie looked like the teenager he seemed and not the man he was), "knock again?"

No sooner had the immortal finished his sentence did the door fly open, revealing a large well lit room and three familiar figures. Dean held the door, eyes going from narrowed in wariness to wide in surprise. Behind him, Sam and Adam stood side by side. Sam's mild curiosity became a gap-jawed look within seconds of the door opening, mirroring his brother. Adam's blank look that he wore only when he was pretending not to be concerned, however, melted into a look of utter annoyance, exasperation, and… murderous intent.

Bobby was almost (almost) too concerned by that look to catch the whisper that escaped from two mouths simultaneously:


Getting to the bunker door took longer than necessary, in Methos' opinion. They were delayed for a few seconds by Dean picking up a gun and Methos attempting to explain to the dense hunter that it likely wouldn't do much against two immortals, regardless of the fact that Methos would rather not have Richie shot (again). Sam managed to break off the fight before it started, though, and herded them both up to the door.

"Are you sure one of them is your friend?" Sam asked with mild concern.

Adam sighed, "Yes. I would know Richie's quickening anywhere."

"And you're sure there's a second immortal?" Sam queried again.

"Yes," Methos did an admirable job at keeping his voice even.

Dean glanced back down at them from where he was a few feet from the door, "But you don't know who?"

Methos rolled his eyes as he reached the top of the stairs with Sam at his side, "No. I am not familiar with all of my friends' quickenings, let alone those I do not know."

Dean exchanged one last look with Sam, worry matched with curiosity, before throwing the door open, revealing the two figures standing on the other side. Adam knew them both.

Richie, Adam fumed silently, what on earth were you thinking? The young immortal had pulled a practically newborn immortal away from his teacher (likely without Mac's permission or knowledge) in order to drag him along on a trip (that he was supposed to have come on alone) to meet the two most important figures from the newborn immortal's mortal life—who just so happen to be hunters with an impressive record of killing things. This situation was volatile enough to begin with.

After the brothers muttered their father figure's name in disbelief, time seemed to be temporarily frozen. Sam and Dean were staring and Bobby. Bobby was staring at Sam and Dean. Richie was nervously watching Methos, and Methos was watching everyone else.

After a moment of tense surprise and disbelief, Methos sighed, "Bobby. It's good to see you." He ignored the looks the brothers were giving him and continued on, "I hope Mac knows where you are." Bobby took in Methos' raised eyebrow and had the decency to look concerned. "Richie, I thought you were planning to come alone," his voice dropped ever so slightly. Richie looked every inch the troublesome teenager caught in the act. Bobby looked even more concerned. Dean was looking at Methos in suspicion and, from what he could see out of the corner of his eye, Sam looked vaguely unsettled. Methos heaved a sigh, effectively breaking the mood, "Although I imagine Mike and Amy were rather persuasive about dragging Bobby into this… this is not how I planned to break the news."

"You mean," Dean snapped, "The news that you not only know Bobby here, but that he's alive?" Dean turned on the old hunter, "And I mean, come on man! You couldn't have dropped a note or something?"

Before Bobby, who was looking rather guilty, could respond, Methos jumped in with a light snort, effectively redirecting the hunter's anger, "He certainly wanted to."

"What's that supposed to mean?!"

"It means that I pulled dear old Bobby out of the hospital morgue after he revived, and dragged him kicking and screaming to a friend who is a better teacher than I."

"Why?" Sam cut in slightly calmer than his brother. Dean continued to fume at the ancient immortal, but didn't interrupt his brother.

To everyone's surprise, Bobby responded, "Because of the Game, you idjits. It's not like I was very good with a sword before I died."

Dean's face pinched in a way that Methos chose to interpret as 'didn't see that coming but probably should have; que additional anger to add to still present fury'. Sam, however, breathed a quiet, "Oh."

A second later, Richie suddenly clapped his hands together, "So! Nice chat. Now, I hate to interrupt, but maybe we can move this inside? You can test me and Bobby for all the usual things, just to put yourselves at ease, and then we can get the touching reunion out of the way, along with a tour of the batcave, before resuming this, uh, tense conversation." Richie brandished his most winning grin, "And then maybe you can hold Adam down while I run away so he doesn't skin me alive!"

Bobby snorted, "Good luck with that, kid. No one stops Adam unless he wants to be stopped."

Richie wrinkled his nose, "Yeah… you're right. Maybe we should just shoot him instead; get a head start."

"So now I'm getting skinned with you?" Bobby growled at Richie.

"You're the one who said that if I got killed, you'd get killed too!"

"I was talking about Mac, you idjit."

"Oh?" Methos couldn't help jumping in, "The boy scout killing two of his students at once? I'd pay to see that."

"Shut up, old man," Richie griped, "I still have my sword."

"Careful Richie, Dean here is rather fond of confiscating weapons."

"And you let him?"

"What was I supposed to do? Kill them?" Methos snorted, "No bloody thank you! Bobby would've raised literal hell to come ride my ass."

"I would've found a way to bring Rufus back too, you asshole, just to torment you for all eternity."

Methos shuddered dramatically, "Count me out."

At the sound of a chuckle, Methos refocused on the brothers. Dean, although he was still sporting a faint red hue, looked as though someone had slapped him with a wet fish and was at a loss for how to react. Sam, meanwhile, was valiantly holding back laughter (bordering on hysteria), while simultaneously looking utterly befuddled.

Those looks alone made the entire ordeal worth it.

And maybe, just maybe, everyone would make it out in once piece.

A/N: Whew.

I'd like to give a big thank you to my beta, EtchNya.
Again, please come visit me on AO3 for more stories in the AU. (I'm also going to drop a few unrelated stories over there).
Hope you liked it!