Author's Note:

I don't know how long this creative streak will last, so let us enjoy it while it's here :)

Alexis Winchester

Chapter 36 – Maturity, Glares & Silence, Oh My

"You know, I've been thinking over it… and our game plan doesn't really feel like a game plan." I noticed Castiel turn away from the window and glance at me, before catching Dean's eye in the rear-view.

It was a contentious statement, but one that needed to be voiced.

After the startling revelation that Maya had been kidnapped, by Raim no less, all three Winchester siblings had kicked into action. Dean and Nate had geared up ready for a fight. They then had travelled to Peaceful Valley, to collect Cas and I from our cabin. Meanwhile Sam and Adriel were on their way from someplace in Ohio where they had been settled for a few weeks now. No one was entirely sure where we would meet as Micah was still ascertaining Raim's, and subsequently Maya's, location. All we knew, was that they might be in the Colorado-Kansas area.

Nate and Dean had been curt with their explanation and neither Cas nor had I objected to their approach. We had packed quickly, and armed ourselves sufficiently, all while Dean and Nate cast semi-dangerous glares in our direction. This was an awkward situation to say the least.

A while back, we had all agreed to a process by which we were required to call before arriving at anyone's allocated hide-out. We had all been using burner phones and keeping in contact weekly to provide coded updates. We had changed our place of residence based upon our hunts but stayed in no place for longer than six weeks. The angels would venture into the township and post our location by mail to the other two parties, whenever we moved. We had all gone through so much effort to protect our locations, for one reason. We were all training… and hunting… but independently.

After Sam and Dean had left a year ago, we'd had time to think. With the protection of our angels and when away from our siblings, the three of us had eventually come to the same conclusion. Angels and demons alike were searching for us and we seemed to operate better when separated… or more harshly put, unburdened. I found that when I was not worrying about Sam or Dean, I was an even more exceptional hunter than I had initially thought, and as turns out, I made fewer stupid-ass choices. To top it off, with Cas by my side, I was well and truly protected from harm. I imagined Sam and Dean would have come to the same conclusion when they realised how beneficial it was to have Adriel, Nate and Micah watching their backs.

Time apart was what all three of us had needed. We worked cohesively to ensure that happened in the safest way possible. If we were going to be divided, we needed to work twice as hard to keep our locations hidden from all supernatural beings. One of those rules had included calling before your arrived at anyone's doorstep. When Cas had left our bedroom last night, he had gone downstairs with the intent of killing whatever was on the other end of that door. And I had remained upstairs, ready to kick open the window and bail if he'd been overpowered. Thus, in expecting an enemy, he answered the door shirtless and unfortunately a consequence of that action was that our jig was up. It had become evidently clear that Cas and I were in a relationship.

I'd like to say we had all matured. Dean had no explosive response, but I also think that was due to him being sincerely and desperately concerned for Maya's well-being. He had commented that once this was all over, he would be having words. The sharpness had been directed at Cas, not me, so it seemed I was somewhat in the clear.

Nate on the other hand had gone abnormally quiet. Cas and I had certainly noticed a difference in him. Both of us were unsure as to what extent he was fuming over our reveal, and how much of his presentation could have been attributed to the year apart. When Dean had also looked at him quizzically, our suspicions were confirmed. He was reacting to our relationship. His silence and distant expression made me wonder about all the questions that were likely rushing through his mind.

I knew the most obvious one. And I would need to address it with him once this hunt was over. I was also surprised to learn that over this past year, despite spending every single of his days with Dean, it seemed Nate had never confessed our relationship to my brother. That was another conversation Nate and I possibly needed to have. In fact, reflecting on it, we needed to speak on a number of matters. Nate currently sat shotgun, stoically staring out the window. We'd caught each other's eyes a few times in the side mirror. Surprisingly, I was the first to glance away and he seemed to glare a little longer than I thought was fair.

We had broken up almost ten months ago. And I had afforded him many an opportunity to talk, all of which he blatantly refused. I felt he was being childish by thinking I would not have moved on eventually. And yes, moving onto Cas would have stung, but once again Cas and I had been careful not to parade our intimacy to anyone. Neither of us had wanted Nate to find out this way. But he had. And now we had to save Maya from Raim… with all this tension in the car.

"What exactly, doesn't feel like a game plan to you?" Dean asked with a little sarcasm. I rolled my eyes at him.

"The part where I wait outside while you all get to fight it out." I replied. In the awkwardness of last night, I hadn't really objected to anything Dean had said, but as the night had progressed, I began to fully take in his words. He was benching me.

"That is a brilliant plan because we save you until we need you." He replied with a small smirk. "If we need you."

"Oh, shut up, you know you need me. Why would I risk all of you getting hurt when I can floor them with one wave of my hand?" I asked, inching forward in my seat.

"Do you really think they haven't been training, just like you have over the past year?" Nate asked logically. "We have no idea what they're capable of now. They could and would kill you."

"And what, you're all dispensable?" I asked him. "If they can kill me, they can kill you."

"You're not wrong. They probably can kill us with even more ease, but the other point I wanted to make was they're expecting just the two of us." Nate replied. "They stole Maya, so we can assume that they want Dean. And we do NOT want to give up your location, or Sam's. So, let us go in first and test the waters. Let us find out what they are doing to her and what they want from us."

I absorbed Nate's words. Instead of explosively arguing with him, I contemplated.

"No, you're right." I conceded after a few moments of silence. "It happened that quickly." I mumbled, slumping back in my seat. All three sets of eyes were on me. I looked up at Cas. "It's not even been a few hours and my judgement has already clouded because I don't want my brothers going in there without me."

Silence filled that car and Cas gently squeezed my hand with discretion, offering me a sympathetic look.

"We're all anxious Alexis." Nate spoke from the front seat. He caught my eye in the side mirror again, but this time, neither of us looked away. "I know we've all been preparing, but I don't think any of us were ready for this to happen. Or maybe we were, and we just didn't want it to happen." I felt those were loaded words. Especially since Nate's eyes carried pain I hadn't seen before.

"Lex, my first plan was to go at this solo." Dean finally spoke, staring out ahead. My heart jumped at the thought. "I'm stressed for that kid. You at least were well-trained. Seasoned. And even then, what he did to you-" Dean cut himself off as another eerie silence took over. Nobody liked remembering my death at the hands of Raim. "I don't want to think about what they could be doing to her."

"Raim is a savage, but if he's kidnapped her, there must be a reason." Castiel assured Dean. "He won't kill her. He could have done that right there and then when he took her – and then left you with a mangled body. In fact, when you first said you lost her to him, that's what I'd imagined because that's his style. Barbaric, and to the point."

"Cas it right." Nate added. "If Raim had taken her, I'd bet my money on Corson being the one who's actually pulling the strings. He's the only one that can control that beast." Nate looked over at Dean. "Another reason why you would need back-up." If I was right, and I usually was, I had the feeling Dean had actioned his plan in soloing it, but Nate had caught him in the last second and talked him down. If that was true, it was another reason among thousands, that I was grateful for Nate.

"Yes, okay, we need a team. But you're missing my point. I was about to make a dumb-ass decision too, okay Lex." He turned to give me a quick look. "Because that's what we do when people we love are involved." He said it with vigor before turning back to face the front. "It's only natural. We need to do this, and we need to be strategic because there is a sixteen-year-old kid, probably strapped to a torture table, and she is the least fucking prepared out of all of us to deal with what happens next." Again, the car filled with silence.

"Dean, we'll get her back." I said softly. He looked at me through the rear-view again. I saw an expression on his face that I had seen many times before. He was scared. He was scared that he'd let Maya down. "She knows we're coming." I said firmly, nodding a little. "She knows."

"I've been thinking, if it really is Corson's plan, Lex, he'll be waiting for you." Castiel interrupted my reassuring stare at Dean. "You need to be outside, at least while Nate and I square him up." Cas spoke to me as if Nate and Dean weren't in the car with us. And stupidly enough, I responded in the same manner.

"Okay." I sighed. The car swerved a little.

"What?!" Dean almost barked. I sat up, startled, as did Cas.

"What?" I asked, looking out the rear window to see if Dean had avoided roadkill.

"That's it? 'Okay'? That's all you're going to say to him?" Dean asked incredulously. I looked over at Cas, with a little panic evident on my face. He was suppressing the tiniest of smirks.

"I-uh-" Oh my god say something.

"Uh?" Dean mocked me in anger. "Ughh?"

"Um-" I stammered.

"Un. Fucking. BELIEVABLE!"


"You know what, you…. You shut up." He almost spat, glaring into the rear-view mirror. "I swear to fucking-" he started mumbling to himself. I sunk back into my seat and lowered my head as close to my folded arms as possible. I noticed Nate staring out the window again, purposefully avoiding the conversation inside the car. "Mm, this- oh Jesus- and in MY car…. how…. just DISRESPECTFUL… you work, and you work…. Bloody raised her from a mmhm and all of a sudden! Nope… nope… she fucking fights with him every SINGLE WAKING moment and now… NOW… it's all 'okayyyyyyy'" Dean made the most immature face I'd seen him make in years.

Perfect. Just…. Perfect.

He gripped the steering wheel and accelerated.