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All This And Heaven Too

Chapter Text

The coffee shop is almost empty when Charlie comes in. She’s used to it, always gets here after the midday rush. Has been for the best part of one year. She’d like to convince herself that it’s because the shop is closer to her workplace than any other, or that it’s because of her loathing for everything Starbucks, but it really isn’t.

"Hi, Charlie!" Jo says. She’s leaning against the counter. There’s a nervous air about her, today, which is pretty unusual. Jo is one of the most laid-back, relaxed girl Charlie knows. It’s part of her charm, like her dimples when she smiles and the way she hums along with whatever rock song is on the radio.

"Hi," Charlie says. She’s learned not to squeak and blush in Jo’s presence, but sometimes it gets difficult. She’s not usually like this. It generally doesn’t take her more than a smile and a wink to get a date with a pretty girl. Not that she’s had a lot of those lately, she thinks morosely. It’s just…there’s something about Jo. Something about Jo that transforms Charlie into a flushing, babbling mess.

Jo doesn’t bother asking what she wants, and yeah. Charlie spends way too much time here. As Jo busies herself with the coffee-maker, she glances around with a little sigh. Everything is in its proper place, from the weird abstract posters on the walls to the blackboard with the day’s special scribbled in Jo’s chicken scratch.

Except…

Except what’s written on the blackboard emphatically isn’t today’s special. Charlie blinks, trying to work out what the hell is going on.

When I saw you, I fell in love and you smiled, because you knew, it says.

Charlie turns around slowly to find Jo staring at her. She’s beetroot-red, fidgeting with Charlie’s cup.

"What," Charlie says. Because she’s a dork, and probably part-troll.

"I…I know I ain’t nothing special, but I was wondering…" Jo closes her eyes for a second and breathes in deeply. When she opens them, they’re full of determination, and Charlie is hit once more with how beautiful she is. “I saw you looking at me and I thought maybe we should…go out, sometimes. Have dinner. Grab a beer. Whatever.”

Charlie blinks again, realizing belatedly that her mouth is quite unattractively hanging open.

"Like…On a date?"

Jo just shrugs, but her cheeks flush even more. Charlie’s probably gonna die from a heart attack in the next few seconds. She’s pretty sure the two customers in the back of the room can hear her heartbeat.

"Yeah," she blurts out. "Yeah, awesome."


OoOoO


 

On their first date, they end up making out on Charlie’s couch during Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate. Jo’s mouth is sweet with the marshmallows they ate all night long, she smells of coffee and perfume, and her hands are cold on Charlie’s neck.

Needless to say, they aren’t really paying attention to the movie.

Charlie is totally okay with that.

Chapter Text

Lisa remembers the day she met Jess. She appeared one day out of the blue, stumbling into the abandoned school where she and Ben were hiding, and Lisa had almost shot her on the spot. She hadn’t seen another human being for months -a real one, not these brain-dead zombies bumping against each others in the streets. But Jess was here, and she was real.

It was almost a year ago, and Lisa sometimes can’t quite believe it, has to reach out to touch Jess’ hand or her shoulder to convince herself that she’s real. That in this shithole of a brave new world, Lisa found something so precious. A friend, someone she can trust with her life and -more importantly -her son’s life.

Jess cherishes them fiercely, with her whole being, and Lisa revels in that. In having someone to cling to when everything falls apart around them, when she realizes that Ben will never know a world that’s not made of gunpowder and fear.

Lisa’s not in love. She doesn’t let herself be, she doesn’t have the luxury. The Devil is walking the Earth, and yesterday a woman so old she could have been her great-grandmother tried to eat her arm. Maybe one day, the Croats will get her and Jess will have to shoot her in the head. Maybe it’ll be the other way around. Love just isn’t something they’re allowed.

She could, though. She could love Jess, and somehow the possibility makes her ache for a smidgen of her old life. For a date, for kissing Jess goodbye on the porch of her home back in Cicero. She’d even settle for a night, a single night of peace.

Instead, she clings tighter to Jessica’s hand and lets her smile soothe away her bitterness.

Chapter Text

"What the hell, Jo," Dean hisses, flopping down on Jo's ratty couch. "Did you really have to snap at Charlie like that? What'd she do? She looked like she was gonna cry; and Charlie never cries."

 

Jo presses her lips together. There's an odd lump in her throat, the kind that makes breathing difficult, and makes her eyes sting. She never cries, either, she thinks forcefully, and she sure won't start today. Not in front of Dean, of all people. Instead, she shrugs, trying to look unconcerned.

"I don't give a shit."

Her answer is met with silence. She knows she's being an asshole. Hell, she wants to slap herself for this.

They used to be best friends. Charlie and Jo, the infamous duo.

It all went to hell when Charlie came out.

Before that, Jo's daydreams about Charlie's eyes and her smile were just that. Daydreams. Things she could shove back from her mind with some effort. Things that were in the realm of the impossible. Kept in a locked drawer, ignored. Charlie was straight, after all, and Jo was straight, too.

Except, yeah, not so much.

Nobody reacted that much when Charlie came out, but Jo knows it would go differently for her. Everybody loves Charlie. She's one of the most popular girls in high school, despite the obvious fact that she's a huge nerd. She's funny, witty and cute. Jo, on the other hand, Jo's the one that gets the weird looks. Jo's the freak with the knife collection, and she knows that people wonder why Charlie gives her the time of day.

Hell, sometimes, Jo wonders, too.

"Well," Dean grunts, and Jo almost jumps. She'd forgotten he was even there. "Whatever it is, fix it. You're both miserable. Is it really worth it?"

He doesn't let her answer, rising to his feet and stomping out of Jo's den. Jo frowns and bites her nail.

--

Charlie is sitting under the old oak in Missouri's garden when Jo gets here. She looks sad, and Jo feels a pang of guilt pierce through her chest. Charlie has her headphones on, probably blaring her emo music, and she doesn't hear Jo coming. Jo catches sight of Missouri, looking at them through the kitchen window. Charlie's foster mother sends Jo a stern look. Make it better, she seems to say, and Jo gives her a slight nod. Missouri's head disappears, and Jo breathes a sigh of relief.

Charlie's head snaps up when Jo sits down next to her. The grass is wet, and Jo's jeans will probably be green by the time she's done, but she doesn't give a shit. Charlie takes off her headphones and looks at Jo with a sad smile. Her eyes are slightly reddened.

"Yo, bumblebee," she says quietly, and Jo's heart fills with a mixture of shame and affection.

"I'm an asshole," she says bluntly. Charlie looks at her for a second and nods minutely.

"Kinda, yeah," she says quietly.

"I'm sorry. I know I've been horrible to you and...I can't explain it to you." Jo gulps. Her voice sounds choked off. "Not yet, anyway. I'd get it if you didn't want to take to me anymore and -" she breaks off when a warm hand slips into hers. Charlie is smiling, and this time, it isn't sad anymore, even if it's still a little wobbly.

"I forgive you," she says. "If you promise that one day you'll tell me what happened."

Jo nods and squeezes Charlie's hand. Their eyes meet, and Jo's heart gives a lurch at the sheer love she finds in Charlie's.

"I promise," she says.

She means it. 

Chapter Text

She opens her eyes to a heavy gray sky, and it is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. She inhales deeply, so deeply she chokes, so deeply her lungs ache with the strain of it, but she couldn’t care less. There is no sulfur tang in the air, no acrid smoke to burn her eyes. She can not hear the pleas of the tortured, only the wind playing in the nearby pine trees.

She’s free. Hell has no claim on her anymore. Her soul -she moans and cries, and every sob is a liberation - Her soul is back where it belongs. Her pathetic, broken soul.

She closes her eyes, but all she can remember is light. Burning, blinding light.  Red hair flying in the wind. A soft voice, whispering words she couldn’t understand.

—-

She dreams.

She dreams of being back there, but surprisingly, she isn’t the one torturing or being tortured. She’s just a silent onlooker as a faceless demon slices through pale skin. The woman on the rack doesn’t yell, doesn’t beg. She is limp and unresponsive, and for a moment, Bela thinks that it is too late, that she’s broken beyond salvation. But then, the woman raises her head, and looks her straight in the eye.

Bela remembers.

"Run," the woman booms, and Bela wakes up with a gasp, coated in cold sweat.

She takes her bag, and leaves her seedy motel room without looking back.

Bela Talbot has never liked being in debt. She thinks of the woman with the fierce gaze, and smiles. Hell hasn’t seen the last of her. This time, it’s her turn to make them pay.

Chapter Text

Jo is drunk. She knows this because the whole world looks blurry right now. Like she’s watching it through a distorting mirror.

Or like she’s drunk her way into half a bottle of vodka at her ex-girlfriend’s bachelorette party.

Which she totally has.

Thankfully, the bar they were in wasn’t far away from Dean’s house, because by the time she left, she certainly wasn’t able to drive.

Hell, she’s not entirely sure how she manages to even walk.

She’s standing on the doorstep, but she must be drunker than she thought, because she can’t fit the fucking key into the lock. She moans pitifully and kind of…thumps her head against the door. It still won’t budge.

That’s when she notices that the window is half open. it makes sense, really. The nights are quite warm, and the whole area is so calm she’s pretty sure most people don’t even know what the word burglar means.

It takes her an embarrassingly long time to hoist herself up and into Dean’s living room, but she eventually manages it.

"Woah," she says quietly, squinting. Dean wasn’t joking when he’d said he needed some change, because she doesn’t recognize anything. But the couch is there, and Jo stumbles through the room, narrowly avoiding the cat. She toes off her shoes and crashes head first on the couch. It’s more comfortable than she remembers from their movie nights. Whatever. She’s pretty sure she could sleep on the floor and find it comfortable at this point.

Her last conscious thought is wait, I thought Dean was allergic to cats?

She’s asleep before she can solve this mystery.

 

***

Jo opens her eyes to the feeling that something died in her mouth during the night, a crick in her neck and a woman staring at her blankly, eyebrows drawn together in confusion.

A woman she doesn’t know from Adam.

She yelps and sits up so fast the world starts spinning around her, and she feels like she’s gonna puke. Don’t, she thinks. Not the moment.

"Who the hell are you?" she asks, tilting her head to observe the woman. She’s cute, with her huge eyes and red hair and -

Okay. So not the point.

"Who the hell are you?” the woman asks dryly, and Jo frowns. Looks around. She couldn’t possibly have…

Except she could. And she totally did.

"You’re not Dean," she says dumbly. "I didn’t - this is the wrong house."

The woman’s eyebrow get higher at each words Jo says. It’s kinda impressive.

"Dean? Dean Winchester?"

Jo nods, rubbing her forehead. “You know him?”

The woman smiles. “Yeah. He lives next door.”

Well, that would explain a lot of things.

"Of course he does," Jo sighs. She stands up on wobbly legs. "Listen, I’m -really, I have no words. I got drunk last night, and I, uh. I guess I crashed on the wrong couch?" Jo’s always been really good at looking like a sensible adult. It’s a wonder she’s survived this long.

The woman doesn’t look angry, though. Actually, she looks like she’s trying to hold back her laughter. Despite herself, Jo smiles.

"You’re totally laughing at me right now, aren’t you?"

The woman presses her lips together.

"I’m Anna," she says, holding out a hand. Jo takes it, tries not to think about how clammy hers must be.

"Jo. Sorry I broke into your house."

Anna smiles again, and wow. If Jo didn’t feel half-dead, she’d try to flirt with her. As it is, she’s pretty sure she looks a little starry-eyed.

"Well, Jo. Now that you’re here, would you like some coffee?"

Jo smiles back, and realizes that she’s still holding Anna’s hand. She doesn’t seem to mind.

"Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that."

Chapter Text

"You’re Charlie Bradbury."

Charlie startles and looks up. The angel who’d been talking with Castiel for more than an hour is now standing in front of her, stiff and expectant.

"Yeah," she says, nodding. Since Sam sent her a message in Oz to inform her of the situation, she hasn’t been able to get more than an hour of sleep. She’s been running on nothing but coffee and Lucky Charms for two days. She’s got a headache, and her mouth feels like sandpaper. All in all, she feels really gross. The woman -Hannah, she remembers now - looks at her, fresh and sharply dressed, and Charlie feels a pang of misplaced self-consciousness. She tries to smooth out her hair. No dice. 

"Castiel told me you are something of a genius hacker," Hannah says. Charlie frowns and nods.

"I guess you could say that." She gives up on trying to guess what the angel wants. Her brain just doesn't work anymore. 

"We need your help breaking into Heaven’s servers."

Charlie blinks slowly. Heaven’s what now?

"Okay, first of all, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Second, in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re dealing with a crisis here, so I’m sorry but you’ll have to find yourself another genius." She didn't mean to snap at a centuries-old creature made of power and light that could very well smite her as easily as if she were an annoying fly, but the part of Charlie that cares about stuff like that fell asleep three hours ago. 

The woman nods briskly, as if she'd been expecting this answer. Which, she probably had, because, y’know. Angel.

God, Charlie’s life is so weird.

"We have been made aware of the Dean Winchester…situation. And I would like to offer a trade."

What.

"What." Charlie says blankly. Hannah doesn’t look deterred by her flagrant lack of enthusiasm. To be fair, Charlie doesn’t know if she possesses more than one facial expression.

"If you come with me and help us hack into Heaven’s servers, which my siblings have failed to do until now, I will in return help you find your friend. And help you cleanse him."

Okay, then. She still doesn’t know what the heck Heaven’s servers is supposed to mean, but she isn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

"Yeah. Yeah, alright."

She stands and the whole Bunker starts spinning around her. Her head is pounding and her legs wobbly, and she has to lean on the table to avoid falling on her ass.

"Woah," she breathes. It isn't the moment to pass out. Apparently, her body hasn't got the memo. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

That’s when something soft and cool touches her face, and her eyes snap open. Hannah is cupping her cheek gently, and Charlie feels a faint tingle where their skins connect. Something washes over her; it’s not an emotion, more like a wave, like taking a warm bath, like sleeping for ten hours, like being kissed for the first time, and suddenly, she feels alive again.

She’s pretty sure her mouth is hanging open. Hannah smiles, and her eyes are softer than she’d noticed before, deep and otherworldly. Angelic.

"Shall we?" Hannah says, offering Charlie her hand.

Charlie smiles back, and takes it.

Chapter Text

Tamara is fire.

She burns and kills; never stops, blinded by grief. When the grief fades away, becomes a slight pulsing at the back of her mind, there’s only anger. Anger at the world for being so ill, anger at herself, for being so little. She hunts, she grits her teeth through filth and horror, she closes her eyes to hellish visions.

The first time Lisa touches her, all soft hands and even softer words, she cries. She sobs like she didn’t think she could still do, snot all over Lisa’s shirt, like a lost child. She yells the furor away, and when there is nothing left, she falls asleep to Lisa’s sweet nothings.

When she wakes up, there’s a warm body next to hers, and for the first time in years, Tamara lets herself feel. It is painful, like her mind has lost its ability not to suffer, but she can feel. Feel her heart burst at the seams, poor bruised heart. She smiles, sometimes, in the dark. She clings to Lisa like she’s the only thing keeping her alive. And Lisa lets her. Lisa opens her arms to her broken body, kisses her scars and wipes her tears away.

Chapter Text

Jo is fucking terrified. The woman is peering at her like she’s looking into her very soul, and she has to fight the urge to drop the shotgun and curl in on herself, hide the darkness that lies within her.

"Who are you?" she asks shakily.

"I raised you from hell, Jo," the woman says. "My name is Anna. I’m an angel."

"Angels aren’t real."

The woman frowns; it makes her look more human, somehow.

"Yes, we are."

Jo sneers. “Why? Why would you save me, of all people? I saw - I saw children back there. They deserved to be saved.”

The torture, the pain, the desperate cries, and the kid Jo sliced through over and over under Alastair’s watchful gaze. Jo remembers everything, and it feels like dying all over again.

Anguish flashes across Anna’s face. “My orders were to save you, and only you.”

Who? Whose orders?” Jo’s yelling, now, tears rolling on her cheeks.

Anna smiles. “God’s orders.”

Chapter Text

Claire has killed her share of angels in her short life.

Thirteen, actually.

She’s written down their names in her notebook, along with the dates of their deaths. This way, she can keep track, she can reread them at night, trembling fingers caressing the rough paper slowly, lovingly. Dreaming of the day when she’ll finally be able to close the list, to write down the only name that matters. The name of the angel that stole her life, that destroyed Claire’s family and her sanity.

It should be easy, she thinks as the gazes down at the broken thing sitting on the ground, legs twisted unnaturally, a crown of broken glass as a sad mockery of a halo. At this point, she’d be putting her out of her misery.

But there’s something that holds her back. Claire lifts her blade slowly, and the angel doesn’t move, doesn’t try to crawl away, doesn’t speak.

She’s just –waiting, expectant. Her eyes are ancient, standing out starkly on the smooth face of her vessel, and for the first time in years, Claire’s hand shakes.  For the first time in years, Claire feels, feels something else than anger, and it’s so painful that she feels like tearing her own hair, scratching her face until she bleeds.

She yells as she throws the blade on the ground, and the angel doesn’t flinch. For a second, she looks…disappointed, and Claire hates her.

“What’s your name,” she barks. The angel blinks slowly, as if waking up from a dream.

“Hael,” she says softly. “Why didn’t you kill me?”

I don’t know, Claire wants to say. I should have. You’re too broken to be useful. I don’t make exceptions, I don’t take prisoners. You should have begged, you should have bargained, you should have fought back, because it’s what your kind do. They don’t accept, acceptance is a human thing.

She doesn’t say it, though.

Instead, she wipes her sweaty hands on her shirt and shrugs.

“I need to find someone. You’re going to help me.”  

Chapter Text

In all her dreams of quests and adventure, Charlie had imagined herself as the Knight saving the damsel in distress, the queen of a magical land, the powerful sorceress. Those were just daydreams, and before she met Sam and Dean, she would never have thought them possible.

Now, someone offered her a quest of her very own, and some nights, she can’t believe it.  Through the window, she watches as a group of fairies exits the castle, chattering excitedly.

She’s been here for two months, and she loves it, she really does. Life in Oz always manages to surprise her in the best ways. There have been dangers, there have been quests. Charlie has met friendly dragons and has crossed paths with Gilda in the fairy Kingdom. She’s been greeted with applauses after singlehandedly capturing a band of brigands that had pillaged a town.

And of course, there is Dorothy. Dorothy is everything Charlie has ever wanted, and she’s even more. Charlie knows, deep down, that she doesn’t deserve someone like that, someone so brave and quick-witted. There must have been some sort of cosmic mistake somewhere, but she isn’t about to complain.

There’s a presence behind her, but Charlie doesn’t move. She lets Dorothy wrap her arms around her waist, tuck her chin against her shoulder, and relaxes into her warm body with a smile.

“What are you thinking about, Red?”  

Charlie laughs softly and closes her eyes, letting the last sunbeams warm her face.

“You,” she says, and as sappy as it sounds, it’s true. Dorothy snorts softly, but doesn’t move. It’s like their bodies were made for each other, perfectly in synch, and Charlie allows herself to believe for a second that it is true. That Dorothy is her other half. Soulmate is a ridiculous concept, where she comes from.

Here, though, it isn’t as impossible a thought as it should be.

Chapter Text

They meet at a gas station.

Hael sees her, and recognizes her instantly. Her Grace is dimmed, but she is smiling, so bright and beautiful.

“Muriel,” Hael breathes. Under the thin skin of her vessel, her Grace tingles and crackles with relief. She had been so sure her friend had died in the Fall, so blinded with grief that the sudden joy that fills her makes her dizzy. Something is pulsating in her chest, and Hael gives in to it, accepting her friend’s embrace like one comes back home after a long absence.

 “Hael,” Muriel says, her lips caressing Hael’s cheek. Her Grace is familiar and loving. It feels like a waterfall, like a whole new world, and Hael closes her eyes.

Never mind her wings; she is whole again.

~*~*~

They steal a car, and they leave this place behind. Before them, the road seems almost infinite. It is confusing.

Everything is so different.

“Where should we go?” Muriel asks.

 Hael hesitates, looks down at her lap. She is a little ashamed, but curiosity gets the best of her.

“There’s a place. I built it when I was last here…many years ago.” She fiddles with her seatbelt, the one Muriel forced her to buckle. “A Grand Canyon.”

Muriel doesn’t mock her. She simply nods, and keeps driving.

~*~*~

The road was long, but as they stand together, gazing down at the majestic immobility of the stone, Hael feels strangely elated.

“Hael,” Muriel says softly. “Oh, Hael. There is so much beauty in everything you create.”

Hael wants to say something, wants to tell Muriel that this place was built for her, for the immensity of her Grace to fit in every crevice. She wants to say that the song she sang as she carved the cliffs was one of love and wonder, and that it was all Muriel’s. But her eyes are wet and her lips trembles. Muriel understands anyway; Muriel is perception and harmony. Muriel is here, and she is smiling.

They join hands. The promise is unspoken.

You are my Heaven. I will never leave you. 

Chapter Text

There’s a pouring rain outside; Anna can hears it hit the windows of their apartment without interruption. It matches her mood so well that it’s almost ironic.

They’ve fought before, of course. They’ve snapped and spat and cried, but it never felt like that. Screaming matches just aren’t their thing.

Except for the part where they totally are, apparently.

Their story isn’t an easy one, has never been. It will probably never be, because Anna is rebellious and Ruby’s always obeyed her fucked up excuse for a family (which, incidentally, is the very reason of their fight). Because from the moment they met, it’s been a constant struggle to find equilibrium. Because they fell in love by accident.

They fell in love like one falls off a cliff.

Anna had never understood the word heartache before. It used to make her scoff. After all, the heart is just an organ; it pumps blood into her veins. It isn’t supposed to hurt. Love isn’t a medical condition.

But now, she can feel it. Since Ruby left all those hours ago, since she slammed the door with a stricken look on her face, there’s been a pressure. Her chest feels tight and raw. It is painful.

As ridiculous as it sounds, her heart fucking aches.

So Anna paints. It’s the only way she can express her feelings. Language is lacking. Words always get stuck somewhere in her throat, always get twisted and misunderstood. Words have always failed her, as far as she can remember.  Ruby won’t answer her phone, anyway.

So she paints.  She paints I’m sorry, and she paints please don’t leave me. Her I love yous are hidden among all the anger and the resentment, but they’re here.

Ruby has always been good at reading her creations.

When she’s finally done, her canvas is a mess of colors and barely distinguishable shapes. They’re her angels, they’re her demons, they’re Anna’s feelings. She tries not to look at it for too long, lest she decides that it isn’t such a good idea after all, to bare her feelings for Ruby to see.

It’s past three in the morning, and she still isn’t home.

Anna sighs. She leaves the painting to dry in the den and goes to bed.

She hopes Ruby will come back to see it.

~*~*~*

Anna doesn’t sleep well when she’s alone in the bed. It’s kind of funny, actually, because before meeting Ruby, she hated sleeping with someone else. She hated having someone hogging the blanket and breathing loudly. She hated having someone kiss her first thing in the morning, bad breath and all. Before meeting Ruby, Anna was kind of a loner.

Yeah, actually, it isn’t funny at all.

However, it explains why Anna wakes up the moment she feels the bed dip. She tenses, but tries to keep her breathing even. Ruby sighs; she smells like rain and cigarettes and everything Anna loves. It’s all she can do not to burst into tears right here and then.  

Ruby, of course, isn’t fooled by her immobility. They know each other too well, at this point.

“I know you’re awake,” she whispers. Anna hums, but doesn’t move, back turned to Ruby. She feels her slip behind her, their bodies meeting like they were made for it.

“I’m sorry, too,” Ruby says. “You asshat.”

In the dark, Anna smiles and closes her eyes.

Chapter Text

 

Jo’s cleaning the last table when her cellphone rings. The Roadhouse is dark and empty at this hour. Mom has called it a night half an hour ago, leaving Jo to close the bar , make sure the salt lines are still intact and the devil’s trap unbroken. She fumbles in her pocket, glances down at the screen. Tries not smile when she sees that the caller’s ID is marked unknown. Very few people have Jo’s number. Only one of them has a new number every time she calls.

As much as she likes to tell herself that she doesn’t like Bela, that she’s just a convenient fuck when both of them are in the same area, she knows it’s a lie. For one, nothing about Bela Talbot is convenient. She tries to sound casual and bored when she answers, but her voice still comes out as kind of pleased.

"Hello?"

Nothing. At first, Jo thinks Bela butt-dialed her (and isn’t that a hilarious thought), but as she listens more carefully, she picks up the sound of someone breathing on the other end.

"Bela, I know you’re here." her smile has disappeared now, the pleasant sensation quickly replaced by uneasiness. Jo has always trusted her instincts, and her instincts tell her that this phone call means trouble.

"Jo." It’s definitely Bela’s voice, but it’s not. Because Bela sounds like she’s crying, and Bela doesn’t do crying. Ever.

"What’s happening." It’s not even a question, and as Jo waits for Bela’s answer, she feels panic settle in, heavy and choking.

"Look, I - I’m." Bela pauses, takes a shuddering breath. Jo’s heart leaps into her fucking throat so fast she feels like she’s dying. "I wanted to say goodbye."

No.

"No," Jo says weakly. "No. Whatever it is, we can fix it, all right? You’re in trouble. Tell me where you are, and I’ll come and pick you up.”

"It’s too late." And fuck, Bela really is crying, soft sobs that echo to Jo’s ears like claps of thunders. It can’t be happening.

"Damn it, Bela. What do you mean, it’s too late?"

There’s a bang, somewhere on the other side, and Bela gasps. “They’re here,” she says, and it doesn’t even sound like she’s talking to Jo. Jo wants to shout, wants to demand answer, but Bela’s talking again. “Listen, Jo, there’s something I wanted to tell you. You have to listen to me — Jo, I lo-“

The sound of a door crashing open, followed by a deep growl.

A scream.

Silence.

Chapter Text

The bar is a seedy little thing, tucked in a dirty cul-de-sac. The windows are always tinted with dirt, and the only customers look shifty as fuck, talking in hushed tones over their glasses of cheap whiskey. It’s perfect, Meg thinks as she enters, eyes scanning the room. She pretends not to see that the bartender is leering at her. She already murdered one asshole today, and it’s starting to get boring. And messy. She asks for a beer, and the tap is so rusty that Meg would probably die trying to drink anything that comes out of it. Y’know. If she weren’t already dead.

She picks a table on a corner of the bar, so that she has a view of the entire room and the entry doors. Being on the run from Crowley would make anyone paranoid, and Meg thinks that better safe than sorry doesn’t sound as ridiculous as it used to. Still, when she received the phone call this morning, curiosity got the best of her.

The door opens, and she comes in. Meg recognizes her instantly. It’s hard not to, really. Ruby has always been stunning, all thorny claws and hissing smoke. A few heads turn her way, but Meg knows the men that are staring at her backside don’t see the same thing. They see a pretty face, a lean body and a dark, seated gaze. Ruby’s meatsuit looks like she’s just been banged within an inch of her life.

Which she probably has, considering.

Ruby doesn’t greet her, but then again, Meg didn’t expect her to.

“I heard you switched sides,” she says, sitting down with her hands on her knees. Meg smirks and takes a careful sip of her beer.  It’s horrendous.

“I heard you were dead,” Meg shoots back. Ruby tips her head.

“Well, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we expect them to.”

Meg stares at the dark skin, glistening with sweat. At the plump mouth and the long fingers that come up to tuck a strand of black hair behind a perfect ear.

She licks her lips. Under the table, her leg curls around Ruby’s, unnoticed.

“I’ll drink to that.”

Chapter Text

There’s an arrow pointed straight at her head, and Jo suddenly understands why she’s been running in circles for hours without ever managing to leave this —fucking scary —forest.

She’s accidentally entered the realm of the gods. And really, it’s just her luck to accidentally find something that some people spend their lives searching for. It’s a bit flattering, because rumors say that only the worthy can enter the realm. It’s also a bit terrifying, because rumors also say that the gods will slaughter any human that dares disturbing their peace. (okay, maybe peace isn’t the right word for it. if the stories are to be believed, they spend half of their time fighting and the other half sleeping around)

"Who are you?" the woman asks, and her voice is softer than Jo expected. She’s breathtaking; inhuman. Her gaze shines with a fierce spark, and Jo has the sudden urge to close her eyes.

"Jo," she says. Her voice is shaky, but her hand is steady on her sword. The woman stares at her for a long time, and the arrow doesn’t move. Jo gulps. She should’ve listened to her mom and stayed home instead of leaving the house today. It’s common knowledge that the boundaries between the two realms are weaker on solstice days. There are bleeds, creatures hopping from one world to another. That’s why it’s not rare to find a selkie, a phoenix, or a centaur on Earth. That’s why some babies are born with magic running into their veins. Most of them are harmless. Others…not so much. It’s Jo’s job to take care of those.

"Jo," the woman repeats, and her voice is full of something that sounds a lot like…wonder? No, this can’t be right. "You’re a human."

Jo flinches. “Y-yeah, I guess. I mean, yes.”

That’s when the woman is supposed to kill her. That’s when the arrow is supposed to tear through her body.

Instead, there’s a muted thump as the bow falls on the ground, and the woman smiles.

"My name is Anna. Please, don’t be afraid. I won’t do you harm."

And as absurd as it sounds, Jo can’t help believing her.

Chapter Text

The...being they found hiding in their ship is wearing a long, dark cloak and a mask. Charlie has her shotgun cocked, and is trying very hard to keep her hand from trembling, because the thing is freaky.

"Show your face," Dorothy barks, and the being takes a step back before stopping abruptly. Their gloved hands come up to frame the mask -some sort of animal skull. They hover here for a second, hesitant.

Then, Dorothy draws in a sharp, impatient breath, and the being takes off their mask. It falls on the ground with a muted thump, but Charlie is not looking at it.

"Woah," she breathes out. "Holy Cinderella". Next to her, Dorothy gasps, her stern expression replaced for a second by one of amazement.

The woman is gorgeous. Her brown eyes are wide, afraid. Her olive skin is glowing softly under the pale neon light. Whoever she is, she is not human.

"Please," the woman says softly. "Don't send me back there."

They left Moondoor's orbit two hours ago, after unloading Adventure of its goods and accepting their payment. There is no way they can go back, now, not without throwing off their whole schedule. The woman doesn't know that, and until they find out why she is here, she won't. Charlie and Dorothy exchange a careful glance, and Charlie nods imperceptibly. Talk to her.

Dorothy has always been good at playing bad cop.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?" Dorothy says, stepping forward and crossing her arms. The woman looks away, folding her hands on her lap.

"My name is Gilda. I'm here because I needed a way out. I needed to escape my Master."

Uh, oh. Charlie already knows she's not going to like this story.

"Master?" Dorothy says. The anger in her voice is obvious. The woman nods, closes her eyes for a second.

"I am a Fay from the planet Avalon. Three months ago, a man kidnapped me and took me on his ship. He threatened to kill my family if I did not obey him."

Hands clenched into fists, Charlie tries to keep her breathing under control, even as rage swells into her chest. It's all she can do not to tell Dorothy to make a U-turn so that she can go back on Moondoor and kill the motherfucker herself.

"I was a convenient tool." She shudders, and the horror in her voice is too raw to be faked. "My Master had me kill three men last week."

"What do you mean, convenient?" Dorothy asks, sounding puzzled. Gilda looks up at her and stays silent. For a second, nothing happens. Then, between one blink and another, Gilda has disappeared and a second Dorothy is sitting in her place. Charlie yelps and stumbles backwards, and only Dorothy's hand on her back stops her from falling on her ass.

"Awesome," she whispers, and Gilda is Gilda again. Charlie wonders idly what her true form looks like.

"I'm sorry for sneaking into your ship. Please, don't send me back there. I can't do this anymore."

Charlie does not need to talk to Dorothy to know what their decision will be.

"Welcome aboard, Gilda," she says, and Dorothy's hand slips into hers. "I'm Charlie, and this is Dorothy, and guess what? We've always wanted to visit Avalon."

It's not exactly true, but the smile Gilda gives them, unbearably grateful, is worth the lie.

Chapter Text

Anna, Pamela knows, is a very attractive woman.

It’s not like she can see her, because, you know. She doesn’t have eyes anymore, and eyes are pretty important in the seeing department. But, well, Anna has a very attractive voice. And a very attractive smell. And a very attractive aura.

Hell, Pamela can’t believe she just thought that.

Anna is also currently in the process of quietly freaking out on the other side of the bed. It doesn’t take a psychic to understand that. She’s doing an awful job at hiding it, actually. She’s so tense Pamela’s getting waves of I-want-to-disappear-or-possibly-die. Which is an actual feeling, shut up.

She should’ve known, really. The way Anna’s voice climbed higher when the girl at the reception told them there was only one room left, and that two beds were not an option should have clued her in.

Some psychic she is.

She huffs and rolls over until she’s facing Anna.

“Hey,” she says quietly. “Stop freaking out. I’m not gonna eat you.”

Anna laughs shakily, and the bed moves a little under her weight when she shifts.

“I know,” she says, and her voice breaks a little. Pamela doesn’t know what to do.

“I could –sleep on the floor, if it makes you feel better.”

She really doesn’t want to, though, so when Anna laughs again and says “No way,” she can’t help feeling a little relieved.

“I’m just –you’re, I mean,” Anna says, and she leaves it at that. Pamela exhales and tries to pick up on how Anna feels. There’s embarrassment, which is really not surprising. There’s … fear, which is. And.

Wow.

Back the hell up.

Is that attraction?

“Anna?” Pamela says, and her voice sounds too rough, even to her own ears.

“I’m sorry,” Anna blurts out. “I’m really sorry, Pamela, you’re just, I mean, you’re very pretty, and it’s been a while, and –”

Anna doesn’t finish her sentence. She can’t, but that’s mostly because Pamela is kissing her. That she managed to catch her mouth is a small miracle. She could’ve ended up licking her nostril, which would have been awkward for everyone involved. Anna tenses even more, but before Pamela can start worrying, she moans a little and relaxes into the kiss.

“Wow,” she says breathlessly when they come up for air.

“Yeah,” Pamela agrees, feeling kinda lightheaded. “Still nervous?”

The way Anna kisses her again is answer enough.

Chapter Text

Ruby is soaked to the bone.

She grumbles as she hurries through desert streets, clutching her bag against her chest in a desperate attempt to keep her notes safe.

“It’s June, for God’s sake,” she mutters at the sky, glaring when a passerby shoots her a strange look. The guy’s eyes widen and he scurries away, looking terrified.

Ruby smirks, despite the way her wet hair falls into her face like a fucking mop. She likes being terrifying.

It’s Meg’s fault, she decides. Who the hell has study sessions on Sundays? Nerds, that’s who. And Ruby is emphatically not a nerd.

Of course, there isn’t a single store that’s open on Sundays in this hellhole of a town, and her apartment is a good ten minutes walk from Meg’s on a good day. Now, Ruby can’t see past the end of the street. Hell, she’s not sure she can find her way back home.

The sign ‘Library’ is a godsend. The sign ‘Open’ is a goddamn miracle. She pushes the door and stumbles inside.

And collides with something very warm and very wet.

“Holy shit,” she yelps, trying to make sense of what is happening. “Watch where you’re going!”

And then –well, Ruby’s not very proud of what happens next. Because Ruby, well. Ruby gawks.

The woman -gorgeous, soaked woman -arches a careful eyebrow, her hazel eyes staring at Ruby with curiosity.

“I’m sorry,” she says, and her voice is soft and silky and wow, Ruby should really close her mouth.

She does, with some effort.

And proceeds to open it again and blurt out “Ruby.”

Which doesn’t make sense. Fuck.

If the woman’s eyebrows get any higher, Ruby’s pretty sure they’re going to fly away.

“Sapphire?” she says tentatively, and Ruby can’t help her ugly snort of laughter.

“No, I mean. Ruby. That’s my name. And I would like to –” she looks around. “Read a book. With you. I mean, I’d ask you out for a coffee, but –”

“Ruby,” the woman repeats, tucking a strand of wet, red hair behind her ear. She smiles. Ruby’s pretty sure she’s in love. “I’m Anna. And I would love to read a book with you.”

Chapter Text

Bela Talbot has seen her fair share of works of art. Some might even say she’s grown blasé. A cursory glance is enough for her to judge the value of a piece, and to Bela, time is money. She can not afford to waste it. Beauty has long stopped sending a thrill through her chest.

Sarah Blake, however, is the most exquisite thing she has seen in a long, long time. She is elegance at its finest, from the smooth shape of her face to the perfect gleam of her smile.

Bela takes a careful sip of her wine and smiles as she listens to Sarah’s soft voice retelling her latest purchase.

Sarah possesses the beauty of Botticelli’s Venus. She has stolen the red of her lips to Caravaggio, and the elegance of her pale hands would make Raphael’s Graces blush.

“Don’t you agree?” Sarah is saying, and Bela’s eyes snap up from where they were trailed on Sarah’s fingers.

“Mh?” she says, rather inelegantly. She tries to cover it with a bite of her lobster salad, but Sarah is not fooled. Her gaze turns amused, and Bela, who has always been good at reading people, does not think she is mistaken when she sees a renewed interest in Sarah’s serious eyes. Sarah laughs softly.

“Will you have a dessert?” she asks. Bela is about to point out that they haven’t even finished the main course, but she is distracted when something touches her ankle, trailing softly over the plump side of her calf.

It takes Bela a lot of effort not to choke. She is not used to being seduced. She is, generally, the one who does the seducing. Bela likes being in control.

But Sarah smiles, and her long fingers toy with her napkin idly. Bela’s gaze follows the movement for a few seconds, thoughtful.

She would not mind relinquishing control for a night.

She smiles, lowering her eyelashes minutely, and presses her leg against the inquiring foot.

“Dessert sounds perfect.”

Chapter Text

Jo is singing along to fear of the dark when the door of the Roadhouse opens and two patrons stumble in, chased by a gust of wind. She looks up tiredly, expecting your average plaid-wearing bearded Joe, but what she finds instead brings a smile to her lips.

“Winchester! I’ll be damned!” she cries, pushing her feet off the table and standing up. Dean smiles and hugs her. He smells faintly of aftershave and cigarette. Two years ago, it would have been enough to send her pulse racing, but now she only feels a twinge of longing. Nothing like being half-eaten by a hellhound to reconsider your definition of bad idea.

“Hi, Jo,” he says gruffly before stalking towards the counter, where Ellen and Ash are bickering.

Jo grins at his retreating back and goes to follow him when she catches a gaze on her.

That’s right. Dean didn’t come alone.

The girl is a pretty redhead with a Harry Potter t-shirt, and she’s staring at Jo behind thick-rimmed glasses, eyes wide.

“Hi,” Jo says with a grin, offering her hand. “I’m –”

“Jo Harvelle,” The girl blurts out, shaking her hand enthusiastically. “God, you’re even prettier than I imagined.”

That makes Jo pause, and the girl blushes a fierce red.

“Wow, that was really creepy. I mean, I’ve read the books? And you’re one of my favorite characters. I had a huge crush on you. Not that you’re a character, obviously. Well, you are, but you also exist, which makes you a –human being…” Her voice trails off, and she looks away with a sigh. “God, I’m so awkward.”

She looks like she’s considering making a run for it, and Jo doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about, but she also heard the word crush and she knows that she really, really wants to find out.

“What’s your name?”

The girl winces. “Ah, yeah, I probably should have started with that. I’m Charlie. Charlie Bradbury.”

Jo looks at her once more, assessing, and smirks. “Well, Charlie Bradbury. How about I get you a drink and you tell me more about that crush of yours?”

Chapter Text

“You will be my queen,” she says, and Anna’s Grace is tingling with the power behind her words. “You would bow to no one. You would be almighty.”

Abaddon is chaos.

Abaddon is destruction.

Her very sight should repel Anna, should make her unleash the righteous fury of Heaven.

Anna finds her beautiful.

“No one?” she asks, meeting Abaddon’s burning gaze. “Not even you?”

Abaddon smiles, and her hand caresses Anna’s cheek softly. Lovingly. “Not even me, angel.”

Anna lets her eyes fall shut, leaning into the touch, and smiles. Centuries of mindless devotion to an absent father, centuries spent in a corrupt Heaven. Watching her siblings tear each other apart. All this time, she waited for the right moment.

Abaddon’s kiss is the sweetest sin. It tastes like lust and fire.

“I will fall,” she says softly. “I will fall for you.”

Chapter Text

Ruby hates fairies.

To be fair, she’s an elf. There isn’t a lot that she doesn’t hate.

But she hates fairies even more than she hates the rest of the universe.

They’re noisy and giggly and generally a huge pain in her backside. Fairies just suck, with all their happiness and bright hazel eyes and red hair and lean bodies and –

Okay, maybe she’s getting a little too specific.

Anyway. Ruby hates fairies. It’s a proven fact.

“Stop brooding,” Anna says, opening one eye to glare at her. It’s about as effective as a baby squirrel trying to scare a bear away. Ruby snorts.

“I don’t brood. That’s just my face.”

Anna rolls her eyes and shifts. Her head is resting on Ruby’s lap. Ruby hates that she always does that. It most certainly does not make her feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

“No it’s not,” Anna says sleepily, blinking up at her. “You’re pretty.”

“Shut up, or I’ll curse you.” Ruby says.

“No, you won’t.”

When Ruby doesn’t answer, Anna glares at her once more and goes back to sleep.

Ruby pets her hair absently and smiles.

She really hates fairies.

Chapter Text

Linda breathes in the scent of wet earth and wood fire. The flames crackle in the otherwise silent graveyard. They are high, by now; matched by the emptiness in her chest. It pulses, a throbbing mass of grief and anger.

You have to let me go, mom. You have to let me go before I become a monster.

Kevin’s word still echo in her mind, and she exhales a shaky sigh, hand clenched tight around the warm metal of the ring.

Heaven has been fixed.

When Sam called her, those were his only words. Heaven has been fixed. He can go through, now.

“Linda.”

It is spoken softly, without pity. Her shoulders relax slightly, and she leans back into the warmth of her friend’s body. Jody’s voice has always had this effect on her.

“I know,” she breathes out. She can’t even recognize her own voice.

Her hand is steady when she lets go of the ring, and the heat of the fire burns her palm.

She doesn’t care.

There’s a whisper; an echo. An absence.

Kevin is gone.

She looks at Jody, despair etched over her face, and finds only compassion and sadness.

She doesn’t need to say anything.

“I know, sweetheart,” Jody says. Her arms are warm around Linda’s body. She knows, Linda thinks. Of course she does. She knows how it feels to lose a son not once, but twice. She knows how your body feels too narrow for all this pain, how your lungs constrict with a constant scream.

So Linda sobs on Jody’s shoulder, soothed by Jody’s whispered sweet nothings.

For the first time in her life, Linda lets herself go.