“Come on Les get a move on it, we were supposed to be at the club an hour ago!” A tall slender woman called from her place near the door. She was decked out completely in leather; Les came into the room similarly dressed but with a studded collar around his neck. He ran over to her obediently and looked adoringly into her eyes. She snarled and snapped him across the face with a riding crop.
“You’re late, you’re making me late, and you dare to presume you can look me in the eyes.”
“I’m sorry Lady, I have no excuse.”
“You’re damn right you don’t. Now get the car started and let’s go.” Les ran out the door of the brownstone house and keyed the door open, and got in and cranked up adjusting the temperature to just the way milady Joan liked it.
He got out and ran around the car and stood shivering in the cold December air that was rolling in from the bay. She finally came out slowly, voluptuously, almost serpentine in her mannerisms and movements. Les stared at the pavement until she was in the car and he ran around got into his side and headed out towards the party district.
They found their club easily enough it was marked by gaudy neon lights and was probably the most overstated bar on this little strip of bars. There were a number of cars and motorcycles surrounding the place and anyone coming up the street would find a reason to cross over to the opposite side when passing the place. Les was on his chain now. His hands cuffed behind him, punishment for the delay. She yanked on the chain and he followed obediently and passively. They entered the bar and stepped into a riot of sound, shouting, and general noise. She looked around the room and noticed that there was a man at one of the back tables beckoning her. She cringed inwardly but nodded to herself. She would be aloof as she was taught to be. She tugged on the leash again, “Come with me, stay close and keep your mouth shut, if you want to live that is.” Suddenly Les’ eyes grew in fear, he’d heard that tone from her before and it usually meant ‘Don’t fuck with me.’
They made their way to the table and she tilted her head and nodded in greeting, the other indicated the vacant seat at the table. She started to sit and noticed his glance at Les, condescending and cool. She took the hint and unsnapped his collar, quirking a finger Les stood up and faced her eyes down.
“Go over to that wall, plaster you ass against it, move it one inch and I swear you’ll beg me to just stripe you.”
He sidled over the opposite wall from them and did just as he was ordered. She then turned back to the table.
“Satisfied?” She said haughtily.
“It’ll do for a start. You’re late.” The other noted.
“His doing, he’ll pay for that error later.”
“Then you should’ve left without him, you were needed here.” The other said angrily now.
Les stood pressed against the wall, watching the exchange between the Lady and this person that he barely knew. Suddenly he was brushed by a feminine hand, he looked right and left and saw that there were dozens of females in the vicinity, he ignored it and concentrated on obeying his mistress. The hand brushed him again he looked around and saw her. Standing just to the side, tall, willowy, a girl his mistress could snap in two if she chose.
She got closer to him, “You look like someone who might be interesting for a bit.” She nodded, “Come with me.”
His mind demanded that he stay put but his body was drawn to her. They walked through the back of the bar, out the back exit, and across two alleys before this one was satisfied. With one hand she ripped the vest open and ripped the front of his shirt off. He was totally aware but could say or do nothing. He didn’t flinch when she struck just under his rib cage, right at the solar plexus. He thought he should scream or something but could be bothered with that as his life drained from him he felt a tug and ripping and then he did scream, he gurgled a bit and then collapsed in a heap leaving the woman standing there holding his heart in her hand, she placed it over an area that looked like a wound in her side and the wound opened swallowed the heart and closed. She purred with delight at the meal. The heart was so much better when ripped from a willing victim, she thought. She licked her hand and wrist clean making sure that there was absolutely no blood on her anywhere else she stood there for a moment and morphed into a raven and was gone.
Sam and Dean Winchester attempted to go on with their lives in a normal fashion, it had been over a year since they’d faced down that mother, son team in Carthage at the cowboy cemetery, but the wounds from that event were still fresh on their soul. The first month back was miserable for both of them, though they knew they would be restored as a team eventually, they mourned the loss of their partner, Theo, as did their Angelic neighbours Bill and Charlie. The hardest part for them was the little things. Dean seeing the Shelby parked in the driveway, and Sam picking up the familiar laptop, and doing his and Theo’s laundry. Dean walked by the laundry room one day to see Sam sniffing at the collar of a shirt. Then he recognized the shirt, Sam was surprised and angry at being caught out but when Dean intimated he understood they shared the shirt then tossed it aside while the rest of the wash was being done, both of them miserable. Then came the day when Sam was looking for Dean and found him sitting out in the Shelby. He insisted that the car had Theo’s scent; they sat together in the car for over an hour and finally went inside. The hardest part for them though was the evening time hours when they would go to bed, and not having that third party to curl up with. Which brings us to the present, where their coming and going, doing things almost automatically, and trying to get used to being just a couple again. The day wore on and came the late afternoon when the cry went up from the kitchen.
“Would you hurry up in there?” Dean called to Sam. “The game starts in like an hour.”
“And we’ll be there on time the way you drive.” Sam said coming into the living room. He shoved Dean towards the back door and through. “You’re in a hurry, let’s go!”
“Hi guys!” A timid voice said from the shadows, the owner of said voice came into view; he was just over Dean’s height, with a slight build on him, sandy blond hair over a face that had seen a few miles but was honestly and handsomely beautiful.
“Uh hi.” Dean said stepping cautiously over the decking. “Who are you and why are you hiding in the shadows behind our house?”
“Used to be my house too.” The stranger said shyly still getting his bearings it looked like.
“Theo?” Sam said quietly then, “Theo!” He yelped as the other nodded slowly.
“I can’t stay but just a few minutes we’re still working on getting me settled into this new body. It would seem that the original owner is very OCD and is trying to maintain control so we are having a sort of battle of wills at present. So we are sorting that out. Plus I have to take some time to get used to this again.” He looked at them and smiled a beautiful radiant smile. “I can visit like this from time to time. But give me about a month and I’ll be back with you, I promise.”
They ran forward into a group hug, thankfully for Dean he noted that this Theo was just an inch or so taller than him. They exchanged hugs and kisses which felt strangely different with this individual. But yes it was their Theo.
“I gotta go now, but I’ll be back okay?”
“You better.” Dean warned, “I’ve got a paddle all warmed up for you.”
“Oh man, make me wish I could stay longer will ya! By the way this guys just a few years younger than my other vessel, for whatever that’s worth. Love you.” And with that and a whisper of breeze he was gone.
Sam and Dean exchanged looks and the looked at their watches, “Do you still want to go to the game?”
“Fuck the game.” Sam said heading indoors while Dean parked it in a chair on the deck, with Sam soon beside him passing him a beer from their stash.
They sat then for hours just watching the stars like they used to and staring not saying a word for the longest time until finally Dean broke the silence.
“What do we do when he comes back?” Dean asked the sky.
Sam answered, “We celebrate for starters.”
Dean shook his head, “That’s not what I meant; he’s be a loner now for over a year, we’ve just been a couple for the same time. We’re going to have to break in the relationship again.”
Sam nodded, “Yeah, but I’m willing to do the work that’s required.
Dean smiled, “So am I.” then Dean laughed, “This isn’t going to be like the time you or I went to Hell, he’s not going to be traumatized when he gets back.”
“Don’t count on it.” Sam said. “Don’t forget Matthias, I sure that he’s made some attempts to get his hooks back into Theo.
“Yeah, I hadn’t forgotten.” Dean said sourly.
Castiel appeared then on the porch and crunched through the slight layer of snow on their deck. He saw the two parka clad men slouched in their respective chairs. “He’s doing well, it’s just he’s dealing with a vessel that he may have to abandon in search for a new one.”
“Yeah he mentioned this guy was compulsive.” Sam said sadly.
“That’s putting it mildly. He wanted to try and keep this guy around; there was something about him he genuinely likes. However, unless the host relinquishes control in 24 hours, Theo will have to ditch this one for another. We’ve got him picked out already, he’s young enough for Theo to not have a problem working with and he is much more settled.” Castiel said nodding.
“What will happen to this vessel?” Dean asked.
“He will be released in the place he was chosen and he will have to make his own way.”
“Seems a bit harsh.” Sam observed.
“Not as harsh as this guy is making it for Theo.” Then Castiel tilted his head and shook it slowly.
“Emergency call, Theo’s vessel is rejecting him.”
Dean and Sam were sitting on a snow crusted deck with the worst of the wind cut off by the front of the house. They looked at one another and nodded then went back inside, shucking out of their gear then undressing for bed, it was then that Castiel appeared back in their bedroom. Dean bridled.
“Now just a damn minute Cas, we agreed that the bedroom was off limits as a landing zone.”
“What about motel rooms?” Castiel observed flatly. “Look we haven’t time for this. There’s a being loose in Manhattan that is killing in a unique fashion,” He turned to Sam, “Start your research log with Murders with missing hearts.”
“Missing hearts?” Sam asked.
Castiel looked hard at Sam, “I wasn’t aware you had a hearing problem.”
Sam gave him a look, “Whoa, Castiel, who crawled up your ass and died.”
“Sorry,” Castiel said by way of apology, “I can’t afford too many good manners right now; the vessel that was rejected became belligerent and had to be chastised.”
“Belligerent?” Dean asked. Castiel whirled on him then Dean continued, “Not unlike the manner you’re being right now. Calm down Castiel.” Dean said evenly.
“He had to be struck blind.” Castiel said disgustedly.
“You blinded the man because he wasn’t a good fit?” Dean shouted.
“Now who’s the belligerent one? No we had to blind him as he was striking out and threatening angels.” Castiel said. “With a 38 caliber handgun.”
“So what the beef about, that would bounce off of you?” Dean started.
“It would not be an issue if the vessel had not attempted to fire on one of our warrior angels.” Castiel observed.
“I thought you all were warriors.” Sam said.
“Some are more militaristic that others and are less likely to accept someone like this.”
“Oh ok.” Dean commented. “So have you got number two vessel picked up and fitted?”
“Yeah, he should be along shortly. He will have to go with you for a while, considering the Father wants him to continue his work down here with you.” Castiel said. Then a second figure appeared in the room, Dean and Sam looked and was a study in stunned disbelief, Theo’s new vessel was as close to looking like a relative of theirs than the other vessel.
He was about Dean’s height and build, Brown/blond hair, face structure similar to Deans as well. He was ruggedly handsome with a distracting mustache. Theo stood for a moment gathering his strength and then went into the bathroom and started running some water into the sink. After a minute he was back out with the mustache gone and a vast improvement to the features.
Castiel looked at them, “Your quarry is centered in the Manhattan area for right now, and she favours rough neighbourhoods and bars.”
Theo looked at Castiel, “Did you tell them?”
“Did you tell us what?” Dean asked suddenly confused.
Castiel looked away for a moment and then back at Sam and Dean, “Nothing productive.”
“That depends, what?” Sam insisted.
Theo looked a moment longer at the angel and then at Sam and Dean, “The vessel I was occupying was massively homophobic, and when we overlapped he fought like a demon possessed to regain control so that he wouldn’t have to deal with that. Before I knew what was happening the angels yanked me out and were getting ready to release him when he comes out with a handgun and threatens Castiel and all the other angels. It was a choice between striking him blind or dead, he can live blind, perhaps not the quality of life he is accustomed but considering what he was planning.”
“Sorry.” Sam said meaning it.
Theo shrugged, “I would say that it doesn’t bother me but it does, I mean I didn’t think that the vessel could have control like that after the overlap had occurred.” Then he looked directly at Castiel, “The more I think the more I get the fair scent of sulfur on me. Was he possessed?”
“We’re not sure.” Castiel answered.
“You’re not sure?” Theo answered. “It’s a simple question.”
Castiel faced down Theo and took a step before him, “You don’t make policy to me stripling. Back down.”
“Hey boys before you whip out hammer handles and start having a pissing contest, both of you back down. We’ve got a serious job on our hands here.” Dean said his voice hard. Castiel took a step back but kept part of his gaze on Theo.
“I’m sorry, it’s just this case stinks of some crossbred connection.” Castiel mentioned.
“Crossbred?” Sam said curiously. “As in two mythos crossing each other?”
“Exactly” Castiel said his features drawn.
“Do we have an idea which mythos?” Dean asked.
“Not really, but I get the feeling it is one which does not like iron. Just from some of the input I’ve heard thus far.” Castiel observed. Then he passed them each an iron spike, which was about 4 inches long.
“Use these like you would the cross to the mythological vampire.”
Sam turned the spike over and over in his hand.
“Why does this look somehow familiar?”
Castiel looked away for a long moment then breathed, “They were given to me by the father, and they are the three spikes from a lot that was used to nail his son to the beam. He does not bear this gently nor without some emotional pain. Respect them.”
They suddenly treated the three pieces of iron as if they were red hot coals. Not really wanted to hold them at the same time there was a power about them that compelled them to keep them. Sam turned to Dean.
“I know what you’re going to suggest and the answer is no.” Dean said stoutly.
Sam shook his head. “How could you know what I was about to ask?”
“You were going to suggest we drive up to Boise and catch a plane over to New York, then rent a car there.”
“No but that’s an idea.” Sam said considering.
“Forget it, over half of what we need we couldn’t carry on, and after that one flight with the demon, me no fly no more period.” Dean finalized.