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Breathe

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“Well hey there, Sleepin’ Beauty.  Nice t’see ya awake.”

“MmmmBobby?”  Dean tried willing his arms and legs to move.

“Yeah, kid, I’m here.”

“Why can’ I move?  Body feels heavy.”

“Lingerin’ effects of the spell, or poison, or whatever.”

Green eyes opened wide.  “What are you talkin’ about?”

Bobby’s smile twisted with the worry he’d felt and the relief he was experiencing now.  “Succubus got ya.  Couldn’t find a prince to kiss ya awake.  Startin’ to worry I was gonna hafta try myself, but then that detective stopped back in.”

Dean grimaced.  “Haha, very funny.  So Hedley came back?  Why?”

Bobby’s expression turned grim.  “You went into a coma, and the docs couldn’t figure out why.  They went lookin’ harder for drugs, did a hair analysis.  Just came back today.”

Dean felt a  headache coming on.  “I thought those things took months.”  He closed his eyes, then snapped them open again.  “How long was I out?”

“Three days.  They did a rush on this one, hopin’ to find out what to do for ya.”  Bobby shrugged.  “We were on it too, a’ course, but I don’t knows we did much better.”

“Three days?  Son of a bitch.”  Dean glanced around, noting the vases of flowers suffused with herbs, particularly sage.  “Wait: is that garlic?”

“Well...yeah.”  Bobby looked chagrined.  “Kinda graspin’ at straws, here.”

“You think a vampire did this?”

“No, ya idjit, I tol’ ya: it was a Succubus.  Or mebbe an Incubus.  Can’t really tell from this side a’ things.”

“Yeah, you said that in the middle of your comedy act, thought it was part of the show.  So, where’s Sam?  He safe?  And when’s Dad comin’ back?”

Irritation crossed the older hunter’s face.  “Christ, Dean.  You just hear you were attacked by somethin’ that put ya in a coma for three whole days, and you ain’t got any questions about that?”

Dean just looked at him.  “Well?  Sam?  Dad?””

Bobby sighed.  “They’re together, tryin’ track this thing down--”

Dean struggled to push himself up, and Bobby angrily forced him back to the mattress.  “Bobby!  I gotta --”

“Lay your ass down right now, jackass, or I swear to your mother I’ll knock your ass out!”

The thundering tone was one Bobby rarely resorted to, and Dean subsided, eyes wide.

“What the hell, Bobby?”

“You just listen to me, and you listen good, Dean Winchester.  I know you’ve made it your sworn duty to take care of everybody, but for once in your damned life you’re gonna sit back and get well, you hear me?  That’s twice in a matter a’ days that I almost watched you die, and by God, I am not doing it again!”

Bobby stood, red-faced and panting, in contrast to Dean, wide-eyed and pale.

Bobby blinked, and Dean licked his lips nervously.

The old hunter relaxed, removing his hands from the boy’s chest.  “Sorry.”  The word was clipped and gruff.

I’m not worth all that .  “So...um...what’s this thing that’s got me, and what are we doing about it?”   And how many questions that I don’t give a damn about do I have to ask before you answer the ones that matter?

“A succubus is a type of demon, feeds on  human energy.  Sexual energy, with this particular one, though there are others that can feed on different emotions and whatnot.  Sam and John are doing some research, but our witness has been asleep this whole time, so there’s that.”

Dean breathed a sigh of relief.  “Sammy’s doin’ research, huh?  Bet he likes that.”   How was he about being brought back?  Did he come without a fight ‘cause he wanted to help me?  But he knew he couldn’t ask.

“Yeah, but like I said, we ain’t got very far.” He gestured around at the room. “Did find out how to keep it away.  Damned good thing, too, ‘cause I had to call Rufus in for back up, and I can only stand that asshole for so long.”

Dean chuckled.   He and Rufus are like brothers, the way they bicker.  Worse’n me and Sam.   Then he sobered.  “So this thing is a demon?”

“Sorta.  The lore’s a little sketchy, but the nearest I can figure it out, the first Incubus was a storm god --”

“Wait: what’s an Incubus?  I thought you said ‘Succubus’.”

“Male is an Incubus, female’s a Succubus.  May I continue?”  Sarcasm had always been Bobby’s primary language.  “So, this storm god musta been some sort of archangel or something.  Don’t know what he did, but it pissed God off, and he got cast out.  Started breedin’ with humans, made more ‘Cubi.”

“Breeding with humans?  So half god, half man?”

“Not god: demon.  Or maybe still angel, at that point.  I don’t really know the whole supernatural family tree, Dean.”

Dean ignored the jibe, thinking.  “So you think one...ah…”

“Quit gettin’ ahead a’ yerself and lemme finish educatin’ ya.  So, for a while these things could breed and make new beings and whatever.  Ended up bein’ a bunch of...tribes, I guess you’d call ‘em.  Different ones can feed on different things, all human, ‘cause like all former archangels, Irdulili, or it might be Lilu, hates humans.”

“What things do they feed on?  Does it kill the humans?”

“They feed on emotional energy.  Lust, anger, sadness, joy, you name it, somebody’s feeding on it.  Since it’s energy they’re taking, yeah, they can kill the host.  Rumor has it that more and more of ‘um are tryin’ to pass as human, though, and there hasn’t been a ‘Cubus death reported by a hunter since I don’t-know-when.”

“Huh.  That’s interesting.  Are they still breeding with people, though?”

“Don’t think so.  Apparently Irdulili forbade it.  His own daughter tried it, and he hit her with a lightning bolt.”

And you thought my dad was bad!  “That’s quite a lesson.  Kill her?”

“Nope.  Split her in two.  Lore has it that one half stayed with him, and is pure evil.  The other went off somewhere, and is apparently a force for good.”

“So what kind do you think went after me?”

Bobby began to look uncomfortable.  “Well...there were actually two here that night.”

Dean felt a slow smile start to grow on his face.

“Oh, knock it off!  Idjit!”  Bobby muttered.  “The one I...dreamt about...I’d had dreams about her before, a long time ago.  So when I woke up, I remembered her and recognized  her.  Then I saw you in a coma, and figured you’d had a visitor, too.  Heard mine yell ‘Zellynnexia’.  That name mean anything to you?”

Dean furrowed his eyebrows in thought.  “No...doesn’t sound familiar.  I like it though.  Not often you get a ‘z’ and an ‘x’ in the same name.”

Bobby rolled his eyes.  “I’d say you could name yer children after her, but turns out, you might.”

“Whaddaya mean?”  

Responding to the alarm in the young man’s voice, Bobby chuckled. “Don’t worry, son.  If she presses for marriage or child support, we got a pretty strong argument for claiming you were coerced.”

“Oh, you are just all sorts of funny today, Bobby.  Seriously, are there gonna be a bunch of half Dean, half demons runnin’ around out there?  ‘Cause frankly, I don’t like my odds against somethin’ like that.”

Bobby passed a hand over his face wearily.  “We don’t know.  We don’t know if she collected your...ah….DNA, or just fed off you -- took your energy, which is what put you in a coma.”

“How do we find out?”

“Well,”  Bobby shifted in his chair, “we were hoping you could tell us.”

“Tell you?”

“Yeah.  Like….remember the dream you had, and tell us.”

“A dream I had three days ago, while I was hopped up on morphine.  That’s what you expect me to remember?”

Bobby looked sheepish.  “Well...yeah.”

Dean rolled his eyes.  “Well, hate to break it to ya, but I don’t.  So, what now?”

Bobby spread his hands, palms up.  “Do what we always do, I guess: research, keep our eyes open...and set out some bait.”