Dean was running with Sam and Ruby behind him, trying to get to his bag before the hellhound got to him. He dug through his belongings before he found what he was looking for. As soon as he had poured it on the floor by the door, the pounding stopped. Sam looked down at his brother, relief in his eyes as Dean's eyes widened. He bolted for the window, pouring a generous amount of the dust onto the windowsill.
Ruby narrowed her eyes on the bag before she turned to Sam, holding out her hand "Give me the knife, maybe I can fight it off."
Sam frowned at her in confusion "What?"
"Come on," Ruby rolled her eyes "That dust won't last forever."
Dean turned around and looked at them for a moment. Just when Sam was about to hand the knife to Ruby, he gasped "Wait," he called out. Sam turned around to Dean, the knife clutched in his hands.
"You wanna die?" Ruby challenged her hands on her hips.
"Sam, that's not Ruby," Dean told his brother urgently, keeping his eyes on the demon "It's not Ruby."
Sam turned back to Ruby who flung him into the wall behind him, pinning him against it with a malicious smirk. He dropped the knife, causing it to fall to the floor. Once he was taken care of, not-Ruby turned, hitting Dean hard. Dean grunted as he landed on top of a table "How long you been in here?" he demanded.
"Not long," Ruby – or rather Lilith shrugged, her expression changing into something more childlike. She glanced down at the body as she spoke "But I like it. It's all grown up and pretty."
Sam's eyes widened as Lilith's eyes turned white "Where's Ruby?"
Lilith turned to him "She was a very bad girl, so I sent her far, far away." She tilted her head step by step, causing her neck to crunch with every movement.
"You know," Dean spoke up, his face twisted in a grimace "I should have seen it before… but you all look alike to me."
Lilith stared at him before her head snapped over to Sam "Hello, Sam," she said, making her way over to him slowly "I've wanted to meet you for a very long time." She grabbed his chin, forcing his head up to face her. Once he was in the right position, she leaned down to kiss him, their lips sizzling as they met "Your lips are soft."
Sam moved his head up and to the side, trying to shake her off "Right, so you have me. Let my brother go."
"Silly goose," Lilith grinned "You wanna bargain, you have to have something that I want. You don't."
Dean clenched his jaw at the sight of Lilith harassing his brother "So, is this your big plan, huh? Drag me to hell. Kill Sam and then what? Become Queen Bitch?"
"I don't have to answer to puppy chow," Lilith told him. She moved away from Sam, glaring at Dean as she moved over to the door. Dean fought against her hold on him, watching as she grabbed hold of the door handle, smirking at him "Sic 'em, boy."
Sam's head snapped to Dean as Lilith pulled the door open, the dust being blown away. The hellhound from before charged forward, running at Dean on the table "No," Sam cried out as the hound pulled Dean by his legs, ripping him apart "Stop."
Lilith just looked over at Sam who had gotten to his feet by now before glancing down at Dean who was struggling against the hellhound.
"Stop it," Sam screamed "No." Dean flipped onto his back still screaming in pain, the hound slashing his chest "No. Stop it." Blood was pouring out of Dean's chest as he quieted down, his movement becoming sluggish "No."
Lilith smiled at Dam "Yes." She held out her hand, a white light erupting from it. As it built, Sam turned his head away. He backed against the wall, huddling himself into a small ball. When nothing happened, he carefully lowered his hands, frowning at Lilith. She stared at him in fear, holding out her hand when he rose to his feet "Back." Sam took a deep breath, starting towards her "I said, back."
Sam clenched his jaw in determination, bending down to pick up the knife Ruby had given him "I don't think so." Just before he could stab her, Lilith left Ruby's body, black smoke billowing out of her and into the vents.
When he was alone, Sam looked down at Dean. His eyes were staring at the ceiling with unseeing eyes, body torn to shreds. Tears were pouring out of Sam's eyes as he sunk down next to his brother's body "No… No… Dean…"
"Hello?" Sila's voice came through the speaker of the phone.
Sam let out a breath he didn't know he was holding "Sila."
There was a short pause at the other end of the line before he heard Sila move "Sam?"
Sam was silent for so long that Sila checked the phone to see whether it was still connected "Does your… your offer still stand?"
"Offer?" Sila frowned before her face cleared "Oh, you mean what I said about coming to find me after Dean… Shit, it happened then?"
"It did. I… Sila, I need to get away. I know that we haven't known each other for that long… but…"
"Say no more," Sila shook her head. She ran a hand over her face, trying to get rid of the excess tiredness she felt. Gabriel had been gone for a while now on one of his Trick hunts and her sleeping schedule had become increasingly wonky "Of course you can come. Either that or I will come to where you are."
Sam hesitated for a moment before he spoke again "I don't want to stay here."
"I'm in Henderson, just outside of Las Vegas," Sila told him "I'll text you the address. But Sam… Are you sure you're okay to drive? I don't want you to get into an accident."
"No, no," Sam shook his head hurriedly "I'm… I'm fine."
Sila made a noise at the back of her throat "You're not and you know it. Pretending doesn't really make it better, Sam. Bottling up will only make you explode someday when you least expect it. I'm not trying to tell you what to feel or do. Just see it as… As friendly advice from someone who knows what you're going through."
"I don't want to talk about it," Sam admitted quietly, shifting on the bed. He couldn't help but glance at the empty bed that held his brother not twenty-four hours ago and had to hold back a sob.
"That's alright," Sila told him gently "How about you come here and we'll see about how we continue, alright? I'm alone at the moment so no worries about Loki being there."
Sam let out a choked laugh "He's the last person I want to see."
Sila sighed "Yeah, don't blame you. He was a bit of a dick." She breathed deeply "I'll text you the address now. See you when you get here?"
"Yeah. See you."
Sila froze when the headline of the article that Sam had just read out registered "Wait," she called out "Go back."
"What is it?" he asked curiously, looking back at the article he had just read out "You think this is a case?"
Sila closed her eyes for a moment "What's the name of the family?"
Sam let his eyes drift over the page quickly "Erm… Davis. Says here the whole family was asleep when the fire started."
"Any survivors?" Sila asked quietly, the images of the Hale fire flashing in front of her eyes. She had allowed Peter to share a memory of his once and he had accidentally shown her the fire as well.
"Two. A fourteen-year-old and his three-year-old sister," Sam read out "You look like you know this sort of case."
"That's because I do," Sila mumbled, rubbing a hand down her face "Look up 'Hale Fire, Beacon Hills, California'."
Sam typed it into the search bar and clicked through the results "Fifteen-year-old survivor, one older sister survived… Another in a coma. This is the exact same MO."
Sila nodded and moved to Sam's side, sliding the laptop to face her "In more ways than one. All in all, there were about six cases all with the same MO since the Hale Fire. Always a fourteen to sixteen-year-old surviving."
"You know about this," Sam realised in surprise.
"Yeah," Sila shrugged "I – I knew some of the Hales and… Well, I know a lot about these cases. I researched them before but I don't know if it's the same person doing all of them. Can we go and check it out? I'd like to talk to the survivors. Maybe try and find him and his sister a place to stay."
Sam tilted his head "You have an idea already, don't you?" His eyes widened "Didn't you tell me about this before? I think I remember the name Hale from somewhere."
Sila nodded "Yeah, I told you a bit about the case. Just didn't expect to run into it anytime soon. I know a pack that would probably take them in for a while, if not let them join as long as they want to be there. But I want the boy to agree first. It's his choice after all."
"Alright. Do you want to leave now?" Sam asked, gesturing to the beds.
"I think it would be better, yeah," Sila nodded already getting up to grab the stuff that was lying around. It wasn't anything new to her to live with very little, so she was right in her element. The years before she met God had been hard and it didn't help that the apocalypse started not that long after most of her pack was decimated. Beacon Hills practically imploded from all the demons and other supernatural beings that were drawn in by the Nemeton. Stupid tree did more harm than good without anyone anchoring it. When she found out that the Nemeton needed an anchor to stop the power leaking off it after it had been woken up by the Nogitsune and that Deaton had known, she really wanted to resurrect him and kill him again. Bloody Druids and their idiotic need to be cryptic and keep everyone in the dark. So much could have been avoided had he just told them things.
"Corey?" Sila asked, poking her head into the living room of the foster home they were currently in. The two siblings, Corey and Maria as she had found out, had immediately been placed in the nearest foster home until they could find either a surviving family member or a more permanent home for them "I'm Sila and this is my friend Sam. Could we talk to you for a moment?"
The boy's shoulders hunched "Are you with her?" he asked quietly.
Sam tilted his head "With who?"
"Her. She killed everyone," Corey told him quietly "The police won't believe me. They said it was faulty wiring."
Sila knelt down in front of him "This woman. What was her name?"
"Katharina," Corey whispered "I didn't know. I swear… She was just…"
"She was nice to you, right? Acknowledged you and it made you feel good to have someone older interested," Sila asked him "I'm not judging you, Corey. The woman who did that? She is sick."
Corey looked up at the girl across from him "How do you know that?"
"Because I know Kate Argent. That's her real name," Sila told him "She has done this before. Seduced a young boy to give her the information she wanted." She looked at him seriously "I am telling you this only so you know that you're not at fault here, Corey. Do you understand me? She is older than you and manipulated you into this."
"I could have told my family," Corey burst out, tears gathering in his eyes "I didn't tell them and now they're dead."
Sam crouched down next to Sila "I know that I wouldn't have thought of getting help when I was younger." He got a little more comfortable and continued speaking "I also know that this won't be going away. This way of thinking… But we want to help you, Corey. You and your sister."
Corey sniffed, rubbing at his eyes in annoyance "No one can help us."
Sila lowered her voice, trying to keep people from listening in "I know a pack that might be willing to give you a home. They are over in San Francisco but if you want to stay in the area I could maybe find someone nearby?"
"You're hunters. Why would you help?" the boy demanded.
"Because we're not bad people. I know how it is to lose a pack," Sila admitted quietly, chewing on her lip "Please let us help."
Corey hesitated "How do I know that you won't just finish the job?"
"Listen to my heartbeat, Corey," Sila urged him "I am not going to hurt you or your sister. I genuinely want to help you and stop Kate before she can hurt anyone else."
Sila raised her eyebrows "Why I want to help or why I want to stop Kate?"
Corey shrugged "You're hunters. You should want us dead. Why do you want to stop her?"
"Because what she is doing is wrong. Packs don't have to be fully werewolf and most of them are peaceful," Sila explained with a sigh "Sam, could you go and talk to the woman running the place about taking Corey and Maria with us? I need a moment with him."
Sam hesitated for a moment before he nodded "Sure. I'll be right back."
Sila hummed and waited for him to leave the room "Corey, I am going to tell you something that no one knows, alright? But I need you to promise me to keep it to yourself." Corey's eyes widened but he nodded hurriedly when Sila paused. She smiled in amusement. He seemed to be as curious as she was as a kid "Kate will get what she deserves. For one, she is going to get her throat ripped out by one of her victims which I can't say she doesn't deserve and this time I'll make sure it sticks."
"What?" Corey frowned "But she's still alive."
"She won't be in a few years," Sila smirked "Look, I know this sounds crazy but I came back from 2018. I met the survivors of one of Kate's coups and one of her former victims. He was part of my pack and… Well, he was my mate. I hate what happened to him just as much as I hate what happened to you. Neither of you deserved it and I promise you that I'll make sure that Kate is going to pay for what she did. The woman is nuts and so is most of her family."
Corey gaped "You're from the future? That's so cool. How is the future? How did you get back? So time travel exists? Are you in your younger body like it's in all those books or do you exist twice?" He paused to take a deep breath "I have so many questions."
Sila let out an incredulous laugh "Of course, you're a sci-fi fan. The future is… Well, I'm going to change as much as I can, to be honest. I got back with the help of a very, very important man… Who is also kind of an ass but shh. Don't tell anyone. About your last question… I exist twice but enough changed so I won't blow a hole in the universe when I meet myself." She grinned cheekily "I'm a whole new person in more ways than one."
"Awesome," he breathed.
It had taken them a while to get to San Francisco with only minimal breaks. Sila had briefed them all on the way there about the pack they were going to visit, telling them all that she knew and held for important information.
Currently, they were facing off with the pack, trying to come off as non-threatening as possible. With how they managed to barge in, Sila was glad that Satomi wasn't known for violence.
"Who are you?" the Alpha asked, stepping forward "And why are you here?"
Sila turned to the older woman and inclined her head "Alpha Satomi. I apologise for entering your territory without permission but I wish to ask you for a favour."
"And who are you to demand a favour of our Alpha?" Demarco, Satomi's right hand asked.
"I don't demand anything," Sila told him calmly "I just thought maybe your reputation meant that you would take in two young wolves I collected along the way."
Satomi tilted her head, her eyes trailing to the three loitering at the back of the room behind Sila "Aren't you going to introduce us?"
"Of course," Sila smiled sheepishly "Alpha Satomi, meet Sam Winchester, Corey Davis and his little sister Maria." She lowered her voice, making sure to keep it low enough so the two children didn't hear "Their pack was murdered, their house burnt down."
"How many packs…?"
Sila licked her lips "Six in total. The Hales being the first. Look, could we talk away from the children? I have information I think you'd like to hear. It's about what happened all those years ago…"
Satomi narrowed her eyes "Alright. Demarco is going to come with us and your friend… Carrie, Reed, take care of the children. Introduce them to the others. We will be back as soon as we're done."
Carrie smiled brightly "Yes, Alpha."
"Follow me," Satomi gestured, leading the two strangers down a corridor and into her office "Take a seat."
Sam hesitated for a moment, glancing over at Sila "It's fine," she nodded before smiling at Satomi "Sorry, Sam isn't as well-versed in werewolf society. I'm trying to teach him to interact with a pack. I hope that you understand."
Demarco positioned himself behind his Alpha, staring the girl on the other side of the desk down. There was something about her… She was too comfortable around wolves to be a hunter. There was also the distinct smell of magic that hung around her. It was a mystery. One that he definitely planned on solving "You're part of a pack," he realised.
Sila stiffened, looking over at him "No," she disagreed "I'm not…" At the wolves disbelieving look, she relented "But I was."
"What happened to your pack?" Satomi asked quietly. She could understand the pain that was screaming at her when she glanced into Sila's eyes "And how is it that you became a hunter?"
"I wanted to stop people from experiencing what I went through," Sila admitted "My pack – we dealt with a lot of shit over the years… I'm not letting people die for nothing. Not if I can help. It doesn't matter if they're human or werewolves or something else."
Demarco snorted "And yet you have a Winchester with you."
Sam closed his eyes for a moment "I'm not my father, no matter what people seem to think."
"It's not just your father who has the reputation of 'shoot first, ask questions later' when it comes to the supernatural," Demarco pointed out.
Sila hissed when Sam flinched back "We're not here to fight nor are we here to hurt you. The only reason we came here was to ask you to take in Corey and Maria. I heard of your pack and had hoped that you would be willing."
Satomi hummed "They are welcome to stay with us for as long as they wish."
Sila nodded in relief before she sobered up "Look, there is something you need to know before we leave. Corey… He's going to need a lot of support. He – What happened to their family is bad but he feels responsible. I'm not comfortable to tell you exactly what he said, that is his story to tell but I just wanted you to know that."
"What do you know about these fires?" Demarco frowned "This isn't the first time it happened. As you said, it's the sixth time a house burnt down with almost the whole pack inside it."
"A lot more than I wanted to know," Sila told him honestly "I have a suspicion that I am going to look into but as for now, I just hope to prevent any more packs from dying." She hesitated for a moment before she pulled out a card and a pen from her pocket, scribbling her number down on it "If there's anything you need that I can help with then feel free to call. I know you don't trust me but just know that I won't stand by and watch werewolves die because of the actions of hunters."
Satomi accepted the card "Thank you," she said.
"Yeah," Sila shrugged before getting up, gesturing for Sam to do the same "If you'd excuse us."
Sila glanced down when her phone chirped "Oh no," she mumbled, reading the message.
"What is it?" Sam frowned, looking up from his laptop where he was checking for a new hunt. The two of them had been travelling together for a good three weeks already and he had started to become more and more comfortable around Sila. At least she didn't pretend to be someone she wasn't and her honesty was a breath of fresh air. He had told her that not long ago and she had laughed, telling him that not many people thought the same.
Sila bit her lip "It… Loki's asking how I'm holding up and he wants to meet up," she explained. After what happened with Loki and the Winchesters she didn't want to spring this on Sam. Not after he lost his brother for real. It was his decision whether she went and met up with Gabriel on her own or whether he could come to their suite.
"What? Why?" Sam blinked, grimacing at the thought before he could stop himself. Loki was the last person he needed right now. With his luck, the Trickster would mess with him again despite Sila being there.
She shrugged slightly "It's been a while since we've last seen each other and he tends to get worried and overprotective at times… Would it be alright with you if we…" she trailed off, looking at Sam questioningly.
"I still don't understand how the two of you are as close as you are," Sam admitted, shaking his head "You never did explain. Loki is a dick and you… Well, you aren't."
Sila plopped down on the nearest bed and drew her knees up to her chest, hugging them close "Loki can be a dick, no doubt about that. But… He helped me when I hit rock bottom." She shot him a wry, humourless grin "He picked up the pieces of me and helped me put myself back together until I resembled a – more or less – functioning human being."
Sam watched her, seeing her eyes go glassy and the shudder than ran through her at whatever thought was currently occupying her thoughts "You're so young… What happened to you, Sila?"
"I'm older than you, Sammy," she pointed out, blinking out of the slew of memories "It's a long story. One that I don't feel comfortable telling without Loki here. Sorry… I wish I could tell you but it's still so new… Years of being unmade and I just can't…"
Sam studied her with a frown on his face before he nodded slowly "We all have things we would rather not think about… You know that you can talk to me and I won't judge you, right?" When she nodded, he smiled "Then I'll let you tell me when you're ready. That said, if you want to come here I'm… okay… with it?" He silently cursed himself when it came out as more of a question.
Sila raised her eyebrows "Are you sure? I can tell him to get lost," she offered "You don't have to put up with him after what happened."
"Now that… Hurts my feelings, dear Sila," Loki huffed, appearing in the corner of the suit. He raised his hand to his heart playfully "Right here. The pain. Oh, the stabbing pain."
Sam jumped violently, his hand automatically going to where he hid his weapons only to pause halfway there when he realised who had crashed their suite "What is it with supernatural beings and them startling the living daylights out of people?" He closed his laptop, sliding it to the side, never once taking his eyes off the Trickster as he did so.
"What are you doing here, you drama queen?" Sila asked tiredly.
"You were taking to long," Loki pouted but his eyes were betraying the worry he felt. He hadn't heard from Sila in a while and he just knew that she was on the brink of a panic attack without having to look at the dark circles under her eyes. The more exhausted she got – and she only slept when he was with her – the more likely she was going to panic.
Sam looked from the Trickster to Sila and chewed on his lip. The hint of a realisation was taking root in his mind before he shook it off. He faced Loki again "That would be my fault. Sila wanted to know if it was okay for you to come and… Well, we got distracted."
"Hm," Loki harrumphed "You know when she told me you turned up while I was… out, I thought she was going mad. Why would a Winchester willingly travel with someone decidedly not human?"
"Loki," Sila warned, a pleading note slipping into her tone "Not now. Please."
Sam sighed "No, Sila. It's okay." He met Loki's eyes evenly, ignoring the impulse to shoot the Trickster in the face "You want to know why I went to her? Sila is honest and sure, she kept her abilities a secret at first and who wouldn't? She didn't know us other than that time we talked after your… Anyway, she never tried to play at being something or someone she isn't. In all honesty, I needed someone like that."
"You're taking this better than I thought you would… Better than you did," Loki murmured, sitting down next to Sila, pulling her into his side.
Sam rubbed the back of his neck and sighed "The only way I can explain it is that I feel like for once I have all the information I need. I can make an informed decision and yeah…" He tilted his head "What do you mean with 'better than I did'?"
Loki's lips twisted into a self-deprecating smile "There is a reason you hate me, Sam. Last time Dean died you went off the deep end? Now? Now you're hunting with Sila and teaching her the things she didn't know. You're being surprisingly stable for a hunter that is. Not that I'm complaining…" He waved his hands around, trying to prove a point. Despite his behaviour, he actually did like the Winchesters. The brothers reminded him of his own family and it was nice to see that they cared for each other the way they did. It had been aeons since he last spoke to one of his siblings and the thought alone hurt. Then again, he had Sila now and he would be lying if he said that the girl hadn't changed his life for the better. It was certainly more interesting.
Sam's face blanked for a moment "Yeah… I did go off the deep end the last time," he agreed "You forget though that I knew this was coming. I have been having nightmares of Dean dying since I found out about the stupid deal. Your little game didn't really help either." He looked over at Sila, surprised to see her almost asleep but smiling at him in encouragement "Dean is dead and yeah, I miss him. But I'm not as alone as I thought I'd be. I have Bobby, Ellen, Jo and now Sila. Dean is my older brother – he will always be even if he is gone – but I have managed to build a life without him before. While it's different now… I don't know."
It had taken a while for Dean to convince Bobby that it was actually him and about the same time after that to find out where Sam was but once they had all the information, they moved pretty quickly. Four months in hell. Dean couldn't even imagine how Sam must have felt. Watching him die and then dealing with Lilith.
Dean and Bobby made their way down the corridor of the – surprisingly good hotel and came to a stop in front of the room Sam was supposed to be in. How he could afford that, Dean wasn't sure but maybe it had something to do with Sila. She did say that she wanted Sam to come to her after his death… He knocked on the door loudly, waiting impatiently.
"Hey, is…" Sam froze, the door halfway open. He just stared at the two men across from him, eyes darting from one to the other. A part of him wished he had woken Sila, so he could ask her about this. She had told him that Dean would be back but she didn't tell him any specifics "Dean?"
Bobby blinked before his eyes narrowed suspiciously "You're taking this really well."
"Am I?" Sam asked, stepping back to let them into the room. He walked back over to the bed where Sila was moving around in her sleep, a slight frown on her face and sat down.
"How aren't you at least suspicious?" Dean demanded "Did you do this?"
Sam frowned in confusion "Do what, Dean?"
"Bring me back," the older of the two gestured.
"I didn't do anything," Sam told him, running his hand through Sila's hair. He didn't want to wake her up but as she got more and more restless, it seemed like he didn't have another choice "And I knew it was you – both of you because you could enter the room. Sila put wards on the door the moment we moved in here."
Dean watched them curiously "Are the two of you…?"
Sam shivered at the thought of Loki's glare when he had found out that the two of them occasionally shared a bed after either of them had a nightmare. There was nothing sexual about it but it was a comfort for both Sam and Sila to have someone else they trusted this close. He could remember Loki's reaction as if it had been yesterday "No. No, we're not. Sila has been having nightmares and well… So have I. Body warmth helps a lot, so yeah."
"Sam?" Sila whined sleepily, her voice rough "Loud."
Dean let out a snort "What a way to be welcomed back."
Sila shot up in bed "Dean?"
"In the flesh," he grinned.
"How?" she blinked, trying to remember exactly how Dean had come back.
Dean ran a hand over his face "If only I knew," he huffed "The only thing I have is this." He shrugged off his flannel and tugged up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal the bright red handprint on his arm.
Sila shot up from the bed, trying to get over to Dean without falling over the blanket that had managed to wrap around her legs.
"Woah," Dean grinned in amusement as he caught Sila, steading her gently "You don't have to throw yourself at me."
"Shut up," she mumbled, squinting at the handprint. She reached up a hand to prod at it "Does it hurt? Do you feel anything different coming from it?"
Dean watched her curiously. He hadn't really had much of a chance to see how her brain worked but he knew from Bobby that she had helped more than one hunter out with the unconventional way she thought things through. Apparently, during the months he missed, she had integrated herself in the hunting community. Sila and Sam had stopped by the roadhouse and Bobby's at least once every two weeks, keeping Bobby and Ellen updated and helped out a couple of other hunters while they were at it "No and no. It did hurt a bit at first but not enough for me to actually notice it… I did have to dig myself out of my own grave." He grimaced "Never thought I'd say something like that."
"Something else to strike off your list of things to not repeat," Sila commented absentmindedly, moving over to the table to grab her laptop. She knew what the handprint was from. It had a similar feel to it as Gabriel's grace had. It made sense that the only thing that could get Dean out of hell was either a high-ranked demon or an angel.
Bobby raised his eyebrows at Sila and moves over to her "What are you thinking?"
She shook her head "There's really only two possibilities. Three if you want to go into highly unlikely but possible."
"Show me," Bobby demanded, sitting down.
Sila tapped on her laptop, bringing up the documents in questions "Here," she turned the screen to face Bobby "If we go by the idea that they exist… I mean, I don't see why they wouldn't. Demons exist, so why not angels, right? Anyway, I don't know who did it exactly but it would make sense. No demon would go and raise Dean after leaving him in there for… Oh."
"Sila?" Sam called out, looking up from his conversation with Dean.
"It's nothing," Sila shook her head. This was the first seal. The righteous man who had been broken by hell. It was showtime and she was everything but prepared for it. Gabriel had taught her several runes and spells that would help her in keeping angels off her tail but she was sure that soon heaven and hell would be after her and she was not ready "I just… remembered something. I'll tell you once I'm a hundred percent sure about this. I promise."
Sam narrowed his eyes on her "I'll hold you to that."
Bobby looked up from the laptop "I know a psychic. A few hours from here. Maybe she can help us… prove this. Something this big…"
"Would throw waves," Sila finished for him "You think she heard something?"
"It's possible," Bobby shrugged.
Sam and Dean exchanged a look. Dean shrugged "Hell yeah, it's worth a shot."
"I'll be right back," Bobby nodded, getting up with a small groan.
Sila smiled at the brothers, threw the rest of her clothes into her bag and grabbed her laptop "I'll leave you two to talk. Just bring out my bag when you're done."
Sila spent most of the drive brainstorming with Bobby. She didn't let him know too much about the whole situation, wanting to see what would happen first. If she stepped in too soon, the angels that were watching would take her out faster than she could protest. And the last thing she needed was to be taken out before she could change her life – her younger body's life – for the better. Not only his either. She had a lot of things planned that all started with Derek coming to town. Then again, she didn't really want to change too much of the situation with Peter because a part of her felt like he deserved the revenge.
"Are you coming?" Bobby asked, turning back when Sila didn't move after he cut off the engine.
Sila blinked rapidly, noticing that they had arrived "Sorry. Was thinking."
Bobby's lips twitched "That much was obvious."
"So, this is where your psychic friend lives?" Dean questioned, looking up at the house.
Bobby shot him a look before knocking on the door. They didn't have to wait for long for the door to be thrown open. A woman maybe ten years older than Sila was looking at them with an easy smile that grew when she recognized Bobby "Bobby," Pam exclaimed, grabbing him in a hug.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," Bobby told her, letting her lift him off the ground.
Pamela stepped back and let her eyes drift over the rest of the group. She briefly stopped on the girl who was lingering at the edge of her porch before she looked Sam and Dean up and down appraisingly "So, these the boys?"
Bobby nodded "Sam, Dean. This is Pamela Barnes, best damn psychic in the state."
"Hey," Dean smiled flirtatiously.
Sam stepped back towards Sila awkwardly, not wanting to get in the middle of whatever that was "Hi."
Pam nodded at Sam before turning her eyes on Sila "And you are?"
"Sila," she replied.
Pam narrowed her eyes on the girl for a moment, trying to figure out why she felt the way she did "Got a last name to go with it?"
"Maybe," Sila shrugged.
"Mysterious," Pam snorted, winking at her. She wasn't too bothered by not getting any information. After all, if the girl was with Bobby, she had to be worth it. The old man didn't trust many people and neither did the Winchesters from what she heard "Now, Dean Winchester. Out of the fire and back in the frying pan, huh? Makes you a rare individual."
Dean looked at her uncomfortably "If you say so."
Pamela gestured for the group to come inside "Come on in."
As soon as the door closed, Bobby turned to her "So, you hear anything?"
"Well, I Ouija'd my way through a dozen spirits," Pam sighed, running a hand through her hair "No one seems to know who broke your boy out… or why."
Bobby sighed "So what's next?"
Pam chewed on her lip "A séance, I think. See if we can see who did the deed."
"You're not gonna… summon the damn thing here," Bobby burst out.
"No," Pam rolled her eyes "I just want to get a sneak peek at it. Like a crystal ball without the crystal."
Sila looked over from where she was browsing through the bookshelf. Pam had quite a few interesting books written by witches she had heard off along with other occult books "I'm not sure if that's a good idea."
"I'm game," Dean spoke over her.
"Then let's do this," Pam clapped "I just need to set up."
Sila let out a sigh when her words were ignored "Figures."
"Why don't you want to do a séance?" Sam asked cautiously. He had learned a lot about Sila in the last four months and he was sure that she knew more about the whole situation than she was telling. What he also learned was that normally she had a good reason for not telling him about some things until she was sure that she could tell him or had confirmed her suspicions.
Sila shook her head "Don't worry about it, Sammy. Since Pamela is so insistent, I really hope that I'm wrong."
Sila raised her finger to her lips "Not now, Sam. Not here."
"But you will tell me?" Sam asked, narrowing his eyes. He understood that there were things that Sila couldn't talk about with him, she had told him that much. But that still didn't mean he liked the fact that she was keeping important information from them.
"I am going to do my best to help you," she compromised, shrugging at Sam's look.
"I'm ready," Pamela called from the small table "In here." She nodded to the empty chairs, gesturing for them to take a seat with Dean next to her "Right. Take each other's hands." She glanced over at Dean "And I need to touch something our mystery monster touched."
Dean jumped when her hand slid along his inner thigh "Woah. Well, he didn't touch me there."
Pamela laughed it off "My mistake."
Dean looked around nervously before he caught Sila's eyes. He bit his lip before he pulled off his outer shirt and tugged up his left sleeve to reveal a huge handprint. Sam gaped at it before turning to see Bobby's reaction.
Pam studied it for a moment before she nodded in satisfaction "Okay." She placed her hand on the mark and closed her eyes "I invoke, conjure and command you, appear unto me before this circle." She repeated the phrase until the television flicked on "I invoke, conjure and command… Castiel? No. Sorry, Castiel, I don't scare easy."
Dean opened his eyes "Castiel?"
"Its name," Pam replied, still focussed on her chant "It's whispering to me, warning me to turn back." The table began to shake even as the white noise and the static continued "I conjure and command you, show me your face."
Sila opened her mouth to speak up before something worse happened but Pam cut her off before she had a chance to say anything. When she tried to pull her hand away, it was like they were glued to Dean and Bobby's.
"Maybe we should stop," Bobby shouted over the increasing noise, not caring that he was speaking over Pam's chanting.
"I almost got it," Pamela shook her head "I command you, show me your face. Show me your face now."
Suddenly, Sila's hands were free and the candles flared up several feet. It only took a second for Sila to be beside Pamela "Hold still. Don't open your eyes," Sila urged, trying to press her hand to Pam's face. The psychic flinched away even as her eyes flew open, white-hot flames burning her eyes "Crap."
"What's happening?" Dean shouted.
"Quiet," Sila hissed "I need to concentrate."
Bobby shot a look at Sam "Call 9-1-1."
"I can't see," Pamela breathed before her voice got louder "I can't see. Oh, God."
"Can you hold still for me?" Sila asked quietly, keeping her voice as soothing as she could "I can try to help."
Pam clenched her hands into fists "How? How could you possibly help?"
"Because I've seen this before," Sila bit out "Not like yours but similar." She swallowed, thinking about Deucalion. He had gotten his eyesight back only for it to be robbed by Gerard again. By then, she had a little control over her magic and managed to heal the damage enough for Deucalion to see again. His eyes weren't perfect after she was finished but his werewolf healing had done the rest "Now, hold still. This is going to feel weird."
Sila was sitting next to Dean on one of the tables in the abandoned warehouse they had tagged. While Dean and Bobby hadn't been looking, Sila inconspicuously added a couple of symbols that Gabe showed her. Just for that little bit of extra protection… Should anything go wrong.
After they made sure that Pamela would be alright – her vision would never be the same but at least she wasn't completely blind thanks to Sila's magic – they returned to Bobby's house with Dean going near crazy about what he had found out.
Bobby and Sila had immediately holed up in a corner, discussing things in sharp tones. They had passed around a book and scribbled notes while Sam and Dean watched in confusion and awe. While Sam had seen that happen before, he couldn't get over how well the two worked together when it came to research. Sam was good… but not quite on their level.
"You sure you did the ritual right?" Dean asked, swinging his legs. Bobby and Sila both shot him a glare, causing him to raise his hands in surrender "Sorry. Touchy, touchy, huh?"
"Dean, do both of us a favour and shut up," Sila grumbled, resisting the urge to pace. She was nervous. This would be the first time she would run into an angel who wasn't Gabriel and she wasn't sure whether they would notice something wrong with her. While they shouldn't, she just wasn't sure what to do now that angels were watching the brothers. It made her job a lot harder and she wouldn't be able to tell them much anymore…
As if on cue, a loud rattling shook the roof. Dean and Bobby readied their shotguns while Sila jumped up just in time for a piece of ceiling to fall on the table where she had been sitting "Thanks," she grumbled at the ceiling "Love you too, buddy."
"Wishful thinking," Dean shouted over the noise "But maybe it's just the wind."
The door burst open, revealing a man in a business suit and trench coat. Sila flinched back when the light bulbs shattered in a shower of sparks as Castiel passed them. Dean and Bobby opened fire, barely slowing down the man.
When they ran out of bullets, Dean moved over to grip Ruby's knife tightly "Who are you?" he demanded.
"I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition," Castiel answered, his voice gravelly.
Dean snorted "Yeah. Thanks for that." He reared back, plunging the knife into Castiel's chest.
"Dean. Stop, it won't work," Sila told him, stepping up behind him as Castiel looked down, pulling the knife out with a put-upon expression. When Bobby went to attack, she raised her hand "Bobby, no. Remember what we talked about."
Castiel turned to her, narrowing his icy blue eyes "You…"
"Me," Sila shrugged, not really sure what he was on about. She blinked when she caught sight of the tie "Dude, you know that your tie is…" She waved her hands around "Kinda fucked up, right?"
"We need to talk, Dean. Alone," Castiel told the older Winchester. He turned to touch Bobby's forehead, causing the older hunter to crumple to the ground.
Sila stepped back when the angel once again turned on her "Woah," she exclaimed, holding up her hands "You go near me with your angel mojo and I'll…"
"You'll what, Sila?" Dean asked, stepping between her and Castiel.
"I… Dammit," she grumbled "This would have been better with a good threat." She crossed her arms with a pout "Anyway. I'll find a way to set your feathery ass on fire if you even think of touching me."
Castiel looked at her for a moment before he turned away "Your friend is alive. I'm unsure why you react so violently."
"Vi…" Dean broke off, tearing his eyes from Bobby's moving chest "Who are you?"
Dean shot him a look "Yeah, I figured that much, I mean what are you?"
"I'm an Angel of the Lord," Castiel answered.
"Get the hell out of here," Dean burst out "There's no such thing…" He looked at Sila who looked more amused than he would have liked it. Especially since it was directed at him and not the so-called angel "Is there?"
"This is your problem, Dean," Castiel told him, moving closer to the middle of the barn "You have no faith." Lightning flashed and huge black shadows appeared, stretching off into the distance.
Dean stared for a moment before he glared at the man "Some angel you are. You burned out that poor woman's eyes. It was only thanks to Sila that she isn't completely blind."
Castiel looked bored "I warned her not to spy on my true form. It can be… overwhelming to humans and so can my real voice. But you already knew that."
"You mean the gas station and the motel?" Dean asked, raising his eyebrows "That was you talking?" When Castiel nodded, he let out a strangled noise "Buddy, next time, lower the volume."
"That was my mistake," Castiel admitted, actually sounding a little sheepish "Certain people, special people can perceive my true visage. I thought you would be one of them. I was wrong."
Sila blinked. She had seen Gabe's wings before but he had said that was normal "What do you mean special?"
"Not many people can hold an angel, never mind see their true form," Castiel explained "Angels were created by God and are of the heavenly host. Simple humans don't have the ability to see us as we are."
"Oh, that bastard," Sila hissed, throwing a wrench at the far wall. She was so sick of all this. The info dump, the gender change… The only good thing that came from the whole thing was Gabriel and the Winchesters. If not for them, she would have told Him to screw himself "If I ever get my hand on Him, I'm going to fucking end Him."
"What's wrong?" Dean frowned at her.
Sila took a deep breath before she shook her head "I'll tell you later. Go deal with your problem over there."
"My… Oh, right. Him," Dean sighed, running a hand through his hair "So, what visage are you in now, huh? What, holy tax accountant?"
Castiel barely blinked at the topic change "This? This is… a vessel."
"You're possessing some poor bastard?" Dean asked, immediately thinking about how similar angels were to demons. It was painfully funny actually.
"He's a devout man, he actually prayed for this," Castiel told him.
Dean crossed his arms "Well, I'm not buying what you're selling, so who are you really?"
Castiel frowned "I told you. And Sliczny told you too."
"Ew," Sila groaned "Did you just call me by my full name, Wings?"
Dean turned to her in surprise "Your name is Sli… Erm… Slin…"
"Don't try," Sila told him "It's Sila. And he really is an angel, Dean. No matter how much you wanna believe they don't exist."
"Right," Dean snorted in disbelief "And why would an angel rescue me from Hell?"
Castiel looked at him seriously "Good things do happen, Dean."
"Not in my experience," Dean snapped.
Castiel tilted his head in confusion "What's the matter?" He paused, studying Dean closely "You don't think you deserve to be saved?"
"Why did you do it?"
"Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you," Castiel explained.