Dean hasn't seen her in a couple of years, but he doesn't feel guilty about it. People lose touch, right? Especially where there are demons and angels and the freaking Apocalypse on the horizon.
But Chloe's number is still in his contacts -- no matter how many times he's had to switch phones over the years, she's always there, lurking somewhere close to Bobby.
Which is a wickedly strange thought, and frankly, one that fills Dean with a little piece of terror.
But seeing her finally still the same but older -- more confident, with a strength to back up the brassiness she always had -- well, it's satisfying.
"Hey, Dean!" she says brightly, but makes no move toward him, staying safely on the other side of the road. A crossroads. It's totally eerie.
"Why did it it have to be Kansas, Chloe?"
"Because I hate commuting, and my radio's broken."
Dean's fingers are tingling, so he cuts the bullshit. "So why am I here?" He doesn't say it with any sort of attitude, just a clear question. She calls, he comes. So when she starts crossing the dirt road, carefully avoiding the larger pieces of gravel so they won't scuff her fancy (ish) shoes, Dean leans back against the Impala's hood and waits. There's nothing else to do.
"Things are starting to go really weird, Dean. Really, weird, and trust me, I have seen weird. Something's going on, something big, and I need to know what it is."
"For a story?"
She snorts and rolls her eyes. It shouldn't be attractive, and it's not really, but Dean still wants to laugh because even after everything, it's nice to be reminded that at least some things haven't changed.
"No, not for a story, nitwit. I know things, know people that know things. It's probably all as legitimate as the hardware in the trunk in your car, but the two of us never cared so much about playing by the rules, did we? So give."
He can't tell her. Dean has no words, maybe even no right, and he doubts she would believe him anyway. But on second thought, given what she's seen and been through (and he's missed years, he can only imagine what it's like now), she just might.
And he's kept tabs, checked up. She does know people.
"It's beyond your friends, Chloe. It's bigger than you, or them, and probably me and Sam even though we're stuck right in the middle of it. You can't help." Dean pauses, takes a deep breath before continuing, watching how Chloe's posture relaxes as he says what she wants to hear -- or at least part of it.
"Your friends can't fix this. But they can help. Keep on carrying on." Because heaven and hell may have bigger arsenals, and long standing agendas, but humans are a pissy bunch, and generally don't like people pissing in their cornflakes. Just like Chloe Sullivan.
Eyeing him for a second, Chloe nods and walks back to her car as carefully as before. About halfway there, Chloe turns around, hair blowing in the wind, she yells back, "By the way, loved the books!" She's sill laughing when she starts the car and pulls away.
Son of a...