::Hello all! This chapter wraps Ante. Thanks so much for reading this fun little story-it's been an idea for awhile, so it was fun to finally get down. Hope you enjoyed it. There's a couple other little fun stand-alone, monster-of-the week stories I have in process right now, too, and I finally started writing a sequel to Ashes, but it's gonna take some time to get that one wrapped up. Thank you so much for all your reads and follows. Drop a review or a comment! Let me know what you think! Thanks so much!
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"Well?" Glenn pressed. "What's the rumor?"
Leaning forward across the table, Eddie toyed with a poker chip, setting it up on its edge and trying to get it to spin. "Well," he sighed, shrugging with one arm. "I heard that the Winchesters found themselves a couple of women. Got married and popped out some young. Between them, I heard there's six pups."
"Six?" Glenn repeated, shaking his head and leaning away from the table. "They got busy, huh?" He laughed at his own joke. "Practically a litter."
Nodding, Eddie suppressed a grin. "Yeah," he added. "And the women they married are sisters."
"Sisters married brothers? Sounds kinda desperate."
Eddie grinned, happy that no one at the table seemed to know the ending to his newly acquired gossip. "Yeah, well, it was appropriate. Fitting, if you will."
"Why is that?" Pete asked, genuinely curious about who the Winchester brothers could have married.
Eddie licked his lips. "Because the two sets of siblings have quite a bit in common, you know," he breathed. "Shared interests, if you will."
Slowly, comprehension dawned on Pete and his eyes widened at the conclusion he drew in his mind. "No," he whispered, shaking his head slowly. "It can't be."
"Can't it?" Eddie asked, tilting his head towards the elder wolf.
Glenn held up his hands, "Whoa, whoa," he called across the table. "I missed it. Who'd they marry?"
Taking a deep breath again to steady himself, Eddie couldn't help but allow a small smile to creep across his face. Finally, he breathed, "The Browning sisters."
You could have heard a pin drop inside the trucker bar; everyone at the booths, at the bar, and at the poker table turned to face Eddie, their mouths hanging open in shock.
Even Holly, the vetala waitress, gasped and covered her mouth, "No," she answered.
"It's true," Eddie leaned away from the table again, smiling knowingly. "Me and Bertie, we were in Wisconsin earlier this month and heard that they were heading up, lookin' for their kid. Some bitch witch took one of them and every hunter that owed either family a favor was with them, tryin' to hunt down their boy." Eddie used his claw to pick at his front teeth. "The Brownings have become Winchesters. Fucking nuts, right?"
Before he had a chance to continue, the back door of the bar opened, allowing a sliver of light to pass into the darkness, calling every monster's eye to follow its origin point. There, in the doorway, were four figures, filing into the bar, their boot steps echoing in the near silent room.
"Happenin' place," a deep, rumbling voice commented as he found himself a place near the poker table. "Evening," he greeted, shoving his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket.
The tall blonde woman who stood next to him tilted her head and narrowed her eyes as they raked around the table, seeing each player in turn. Slowly, she took a breath and turned towards the smaller of the two women, exchanging a long, knowing look, then turning to the first man once more and lifting her eyebrows.
"Can I help you?" Holly greeted without smiling. "Not much room left in here."
Turning slightly to reveal an opalescent shimmer behind her, the tall blonde took a deep breath as the man beside her reached behind him, untucking something from his waistband. "Shame," she began carefully. "We could use some grub."
"Nothing in here you'd fancy," Holly argued as she flicked her eyes to Pete.
There, standing in front of them, were none other than Dean and Sam Winchester, flanked by Grace and Serra Browning. The entire bar held its breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Dean and Grace shared another look, ending with Grace tilting her head and lifting a single eyebrow.
"That is a shame, isn't it, Gracie?" Dean muttered, taking in the entirety of the bar and doing a headcount as he did so. There were too many monsters to take on all at once, but with the two angels tucked safely in his beck and call, Dean felt confident that he and his family would come out on top. "Especially since we've been driving for a long while now and could really use a bite."
"That's an interesting choice in words," Pete answered, finally making his voice heard. "But like Holly here said, not much here for you to have."
"Oh, come on, Dean," the small brunette whispered. "We could take them."
"Serra, just hold on," Sam Winchester held her by her shoulder, keeping her from drawing one of her matching silver-on-black, Colt forty-fives. "Everything's fine. We're fine."
"Yes, everything is fine," Pete echoed. "You can get something for the road, if that's how you wanna play it."
Dean and Grace took deep breaths, almost identically. They both stared at Pete for longer than was necessary, but finally, Dean attempted to suppress a smile. "Something for the road then," he commented. "So we're ready to fight another day."
Pete and Dean locked eyes and right then and there, Pete Tucker knew that Dean Winchester recognized him from all those years ago; the scar running down his cheek giving him away. Dean didn't move, though, but narrowed his eyes, staring at the werewolf for longer than was necessary.
Nodding in agreement, Pete spoke, "Yes," he added. "For another day."
The younger Browning obviously did not agree, folding her arms across her chest and sighing heavily. "Whatever," she whispered, knowing the decision was already made.
The bartender scooped up another monster's order, wrapping it tightly in grease paper and throwing it all into a paper bag. He added two large scoops of French fries, fresh out of the fryer, and rolled the bags, closed, sliding them down the bar.
Grace walked to the bags, scooping them up and smiling gently. "Smells good," she commented, talking directly at Eddie and Bertie. The two werewolves broke eye contact and stared down at their hands.
Serra whipped her dark hazel eyes to Grace, widening them to get her sister's attention. Slowly, Grace shook her head and sighed, a light smile at the corners of her lips. "We've still got a long way to go, Lucky," she answered her sister's thoughts. "I just want to go home to the kids."
Taking a deep breath, Serra grit her teeth. "Home to the kids," she repeated, nodding slowly. "Sure."
Grace smiled as she turned towards her husband. "It's a nice place," she commented. "We'll have to come back sometime and enjoy the ambience."
"Oh, you know it, gorgeous," Dean answered, winking at Pete as he put a hand on the small of his wife's back. "Got my eye on that booth there in the corner."
With that, the Winchesters and the Brownings turned and filed out the door, letting it close behind them without another word said. Collectively, the monsters in the truck stop let out the breaths they were holding and leaned their heads back, closing their eyes in relief.
Pete let his eyes remain shut, letting the flood of respite fill his chest. He had never thought, not in a million lifetimes, that he would ever see the Winchester brothers step into his bar, onto his territory. He forced his panicked breath to slow and the pounding of his pulse in his ears to cease. Looking around at his place, and at each of the creatures that filled it, he prepared his goodbyes, because come sunrise, this bar would just be another abandoned truck stop in the wilderness of Minnesota.