Chloe sat at the desk in the room she and Dean shared, typing furiously. A magazine that specialized in the paranormal and unexplained had expressed an interest in her work for their new website, so she was dusting off a few of her stories for submission.
It had been just over three weeks since Cold Oak; three weeks since she had been welcomed back by the Winchester brothers with open arms. They had been at Bobby’s ever since, Dean working on her Jeep; both brothers taking a much needed break from hunting. They had been so tired, both physically and emotionally drained after their showdown with the Yellow Eyed Demon, and with Jake, the man who had killed Sam. Chloe was not usually a vengeful person, but she was not sorry that Jake no longer walked the earth. She would never forget Sam’s death at his hands, how it had felt to see his long body being held up only by Dean’s arms, or the pain she had felt from healing him. She was glad also that the demon was gone, and that John Winchester had managed to climb out of hell. Chloe wished she could have been there to see him, see what the boys’ father looked like. From theirs and Bobby’s stories, she pictured a large, strong man with dark, firm eyes. A man who probably didn’t smile too often, but whom you would feel safe standing behind.
“Hey, Chloe, can you come down here for a minute?” She smiled at hearing Dean’s voice shouting for her, saved her work on the laptop, then left the room and headed downstairs to find him.
“Don’t even think about peeking!”
“Dean, you’ve got my eyes completely covered. I can’t see a thing.”
“Good. Step down now, careful; four steps…okay, stop.”
“Can I look now?”
“Go ahead, open your eyes.” Dean moved his hands, and Chloe opened her eyes to see her Jeep, sparkling garnet in the sunshine, looking brand new.
“Dean! Is she all done?” Chloe stepped forward and opened the driver’s door, seeing that the inside shined as much as the outside, upholstery clean, everything looking new and perfect, as if the crash had never occurred.
“Yep, all done, and running better than she was before, if I do say so myself.” He smiled at her proudly, and she flung herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she repeated, hugging him tightly.
“You’re welcome,” he replied softly in her ear, holding her close, pleased with her response. “Want to take her for a spin?”
Chloe pulled back, eyes sparkling. “You know, there’s a place in Smallville called Makeout Point. Don’t suppose there’s anywhere like that around here?”
Dean grinned down at her. “Get in the car.”
Dusk was settling as Chloe came downstairs to find the boys talking quietly in the kitchen. She stood in the doorway, unnoticed, listening to Sam fill Dean in on a possible hunt.
“Two months ago, it was two women in Portage, Wisconsin. Last month, it was three in Sparta. Last week, there was one in Truman, Minnesota, and two days ago, another one.”
“What makes you think it’s one of our jobs, not just some sicko?”
“There’s no evidence of breaking and entering in any of the cases. All of them appear to have been carried out by someone the women knew, in their homes. And here’s the kicker – there was an eyewitness in Truman who saw the husband enter the apartment the night the woman was murdered. However, the husband has an airtight alibi; he was at a business conference in New York with a dozen witnesses of his own.”
Dean leaned back in his chair, and looked grim. “You’re thinking shapeshifter.”
Sam nodded. “Yep.”
“Truman’s less than two hours away. We’ll pack up tonight; head out first thing in the morning. I’ll tell Chloe.”
He began to rise from the table, but Sam stopped him. “Dean, I don’t think we should take Chloe with us this time.”
Dean frowned, unaware he was mirroring Chloe’s own expression. “Why not?”
“The women weren’t just murdered, they were…” Sam trailed off throwing a look at Dean. Dean nodded, jaw clenched. He understood. “Also, they were all blonde.”
Dean’s expression was dark. “You’re right. She needs to sit this one out.”
“Actually, I wouldn’t be able to go with you anyway.” Chloe responded, smiling faintly when both boys jumped at her unexpected presence, turning to look at her with slightly guilty expressions. “I just got off the phone with Oliver. There’s some work I need to take care of for him, and I need to go to Metropolis to do it.”
“You’ve been able to do your other research from here, why do you need to go to Metropolis?” Dean frowned, and Chloe knew he had been wondering about the nature of her work for Oliver; her working arrangements were noticeably irregular, research needing to be done at different times of the day or night, always precipitated by a phone call or email from Oliver or Victor. Tonight, though, she’d be able to explain fully. Oliver had just given her the go ahead to fill Dean and Sam in on the Justice League. Not all of their secrets, but enough to be honest, enough so they’d understand how important her work with the JLA was.
She sat down at the table between the brothers and grinned at both of them. “So, have you ever heard of the Green Arrow?”
The next morning Chloe packed her bags while Dean sat on the bed watching her. He and Sam were supposed to have left for Truman already, but she noticed that he seemed to be stalling. She didn’t say anything about it though; she wasn’t looking forward to the separation, either, short though it would be. She was also concerned about the possibility of them going up against a shapeshifter again, knowing how badly it had turned out for them before.
“Watchtower, huh? I kind of like it.”
She rolled her eyes. “You can just keep calling me Chloe.”
He grasped her hand, pulling her to stand in front of him, grinning up at her. “How about if I call you ‘my girl’?”
She smiled and bent down, pressing a kiss to his lips. “I can live with that,” she replied, then kissed him again, smiling as she felt his hand sliding up her arm. “If you keep that up, we’ll get distracted, and Sam will be up here bellowing for you.”
“Mmm, I can be quick,” he responded, pulling her down into his lap and sliding his hands around to the small of her back.
Chloe smiled and started to answer, but was cut off by Sam’s voice from downstairs. “Dean! Stop kissing her so we can go.”
Chloe laughed. “He knows you so well.”
Dean released her, grumbling. “You just better hold that thought. I expect to be very distracted when I get back.” He stood up, leering at her, and she laughed again, holding his hand and accompanying him downstairs to say goodbye.