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Dust and Wings

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This story is No. 4 in the series "Road to Morning". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A conversation in the middle of Singer's Salvage Yard. And a plan. Well, almost. A Road to Morning story.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Friendship(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR1312,0860204,06626 May 1026 May 10Yes
Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy, the Vampires Slayer nor Supernatural. They belong to Whedon and Kripke. I make no money off this. Just for fun, peeps.

A/N: So. Again with the Buffy and Bobby not really interacting. But almost. That counts, right? Also, some questions answered, more posed. And a new sub plot introduced. Why do I always complicate things?

Set a few days after the last in the series. I hope you enjoy.

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Dust and Wings

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Buffy liked Bobby, she honestly did.

It wasn’t like it was even possible to dislike the gruff, kind old man, especially not when he got that strange glow that Buffy remembered all too well from Giles and her little sister. The glow that meant that knowledge was near and everything else ceased to matter until that book was read, cover to cover and possibly the other way round, too.

The only problem was that Bobby was currently treating her like that book and she was getting a bit tired of it. That and she got the feeling that he was testing her, putting all sorts of magical problems and puzzles before her, waiting for her to solve them. Dean’s comment about how she just, “knew this crap, just like that,” didn’t help. At all.

The old hunter wasn’t the kind to crucify her for not being entirely human, but he looked at her sideways sometimes, trying to figure her out. Buffy hated people trying to figure her out, especially since she actually had things to hide.

No deep dark secrets, no, but if Bobby dug deep enough into the slayer lore, he’d realize that no other Chosen One had ever had her instinctive understanding of magic. He’d realize that she wasn’t half human, half desert, but part human, part desert, part sky.

Endless, soaring, blue sky.

She sighed and twitched her shoulders against the persistent itch between her shoulder blades that was only partly from being watched. She’d escaped from Bobby’s clutches into his overgrown yard (car zoo, as she’d dubbed it secretly) and was now sitting on the hood of a busted up Ford, watching Dean polish his baby like no man should ever touch anyone but their significant other.

Still, the oldest Winchester was apparently convinced that his car was sentient enough to hold grudges and didn’t want to risk the Impala dying on them because the old lady was peeved at having been kidnapped.

Buffy kind of wanted to laugh at the low cooing noises the big, tough hunter made, but she was a) surrounded by car aficionados who might just hurt her if she did and b) pretty sure that Sam had made a video on his cell phone of her snuggling with her scythe when she’d finally been able to touch it again after regaining her slayer bits. And that boy may have looked cute as a new born puppy, but he was not above common blackmail.

He was currently sitting on the burnt grass in front of the house where he’d been tussling with Bobby’s dog for the past fifteen minutes, causing regular bouts of cussing from his brother for kicking up dust while Dean was trying to polish his baby.

When it looked like both of them were close to exploding, one from laughter, the other from righteous indignation over being misunderstood, she stood and meandered into the maze of dead cars, brushing along a fender here, tapping a cracked window there. Aimless.

Sam called after her, but she waved him off with a smart remark thrown over her shoulder, thoughts elsewhere entirely.

She found him sitting on the roof of a baby blue pick-up truck’s cab that looked like it had passed old around the time she’d been born. His head was inclined to watch her, birdlike. The body he wore was nothing too remarkable, except for the eyes.

He always went for those with the bright eyes.

Vain bastard.

She launched herself up on the hood with a single leap of inhuman strength, not bothering to appear human when there was no-one around to appreciate it, and sat next to him, her legs dangling in the empty hole where a windshield had once been.

“They appear to be… carefree,” he started, without greeting or small talk.

“You were watching,” she stated. Not asking. She’d known he was there after all.

“Yes.”

Silence. She was never sure if he was waiting for her to fill the holes in their conversations or if he thought that was how it was supposed to go. The latter probably. Where he came from, there were no words and conversation was an exchange of thoughts, fast and precise as lightning.

“And I wouldn’t call them carefree. They just… forget for a while.”

“That seems imprudent.”

“It’s human,” she rebuked, not gently, but without heat.

He angled his head so he could look at her again, his eyes the palest grey she’d ever seen on a human. She wondered if maybe it was him that made their eyes jewel bright. She wondered if he burned their eyes out when he left them. (Somewhere In the back of her mind she knew he didn’t, but she was scared.)

“You should not get too close,” he cautioned, his usually blank expression bordering on serious.

She snorted and leaned back on her hands, hissing at the hot metal under her bare skin but ignoring the slight pain. Her skin would heal before she could bring her hands around to inspect the damage, so what did it matter? She turned her head to the sky, breathed in the dirty, hot air, stained with grease and oil and rusting metal. Her charms, dangling outside her shirt, chimed quietly.

“I’m not like you,” she told him without looking at him, not bothering to make her voice cold or sharp. It would be lost on him anyway. “I don’t abide by your rules.”

As expected, he didn’t even blink. “Yet you do our Lord’s will.”

“I do my own will.”

This time he did react, laying a soft, human hand on her jean-clad thigh. She was painfully aware of the poor substitute the humans dared call ‘touch’, missing real contact, soul to soul, light to light.

Hands were never enough. Not anymore. She soldiered on and pretended they were, lived each day like it was precious and fought like hell, but she still missed how things used to be.

His hand lay on her leg, hot and solid and she thought there was a frown in his voice but couldn’t be sure because he wore a new body every time she saw him and never long enough to get used to them. “Even with your limited point of view you must realize what is happening here. Heaven and Hell are converging on the Winchesters. They are at the heart of every storm.”

“For the longest time,” she refuted, “So was I.”

“You are the Guardian,” he agreed, as if her words had confirmed, not denied his own. “You are one of our ranks.”

“No.”

She wasn’t. She was an anomaly, neither here nor there, neither above nor below, desert and sky, wings and dirt. She was not like him and she wouldn’t want to be. She missed how things had been but she was here, now, alive and that meant something.

Heaven and Hell. She’d come from one, Dean was headed for the other. Maybe there was fate there, or destiny, but she’d be damned if she bent to their rules. She’d beaten destiny often enough to know it could be done. Two girls where there should be only one, a thousand where there should be only two, empty graves and a walking corpse, caught somewhere between dirt and clouds.

There was a reason she wore a vial of graveyard soil around her neck.

“Why do you cling to your humanity with such fervor?” The word sounded strange on his lips, as if this body of his wasn’t used to such big words. She wondered who the man was and if his family was still waiting for him to return to them, one day. She wondered if he would.

“I can love,” she told him flatly. “I can hate. You can only obey or die, and even then, you can’t feel pain.”

She knew. She’d seen him riddled with bullets and standing over the open grave of a five-year-old girl, unmoved. Pain, physical or emotional, was as alien to him as the stars were to her.

“Pain is bad,” he quoted as if from some textbook.

“Yes,” she agreed. “Sometimes.”

He didn’t understand and she knew and he knew that she knew and he knew better than to ask for clarification. Humanity was a touchy subject between them and they tentatively agreed to disagree. Most of the time. She sometimes thought she didn’t give him enough credit, because compared to others of his kind he was downright relaxed, but most of the time looking at him ached. He was everything she feared and had lost.

“I think I’m with them,” she added as an afterthought. Not with him and his, but with Sam and Dean and all their humanity and crude jokes, their worries and dropped towels and crazy love for cars and books and each other.

“You would stop Dean from going to Hell, would try to avert the destiny our Lord has written for him?”

She nodded quietly to herself as he confirmed what she’d thought. Dean going to Hell was no accident. She’d felt a breath of destiny winding around both brothers, saw enough of them to know there was more to them than what a human could perceive.

“You know I would.” And then, because she had to, she asked, “Wanna help?”

To save one man and kick the world off its axis as destiny spun out of control and all the threads broke and retied themselves. A new world. She’d done it before and she would do it again for two men she hadn’t even known a month.

Heaven and Hell, her and Dean, and Sam somewhere in the middle. It meant something, alright. Just not what her grey-eyed companion thought it did.

“You know I cannot interfere,” he chided softly.

She smiled and nodded. “Yeah. Right.”

She knew. But she still had to ask. It was who she was. Girl who didn’t know when to give up.

They sat next to each other in silence for a long time. Somewhere in the maze of cars, Sam’s voice rang out, calling her for dinner – burger and fries. She needed to teach Bobby to cook something else and soon, or they were all going to die from a heart attack, nevermind any demons.

“I should go before they come looking for me,” she offered as she brushed her hands off and made to jump off their perch. His hand, still resting on her thigh, tightened, stopping her.

He stared straight ahead as he said, “I found the Stealing Devil’s interest in your immortal soul highly fascinating. It wanted to buy it, yes? To possess it?”

For a moment she simply stared at him, completely thrown by his random comment. Then that extra part, the one that understood, the one that knew kick-started itself and she jumped to her feet, losing her balance on the truck’s hood and flipping to the ground.

He followed at a more sedate pace, and if she hadn’t known better, she’d have sworn he looked amused by her bouncing. He might have. Everytime she unlearned a bit about being human, he learned. One of these days they’d be as equal as he thought they were.

“Oh,” she called as she flung herself at him, hugging him for all he was worth. He just stood there and took it, unmoving. “You are brilliant, Cas!”

She let go, stepped back and barely had time to give him her brightest smile before he disappeared in a rustle of unseen wings just as Sam rounded an old Mustang and saw her.

She skipped over to him, jumping him like she had the angel a moment earlier, squeezing him tightly. Unlike Castiel, Sam squeezed back, despite being confused.

“Any reason for the party?” he asked as he lowered her back to the ground. “Did your sister finally call or something?”

She grinned, hooked her arm into his and turned them toward the house before telling him, “Nope. Not yet. But it’s only been a week, and I figure she deserves some time. No, the party’s for something else.”

“And what’s that?” he asked, smiling, her good mood rubbing off on him as they took one last turn and Bobby’s house came into view.

“I think I have a way to save Dean.”

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End

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