Word Count: 1,205
Prompt: #371 gilded cage @ taming then muse
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. No infringement intended.
Note: Sequel to Black Blood and Scars.
Synopsis: A cold front had chased their asses back into South Dakota and settled over Sioux Falls, turning the usually brisk month of November into a miserably cold sonofabitch
A cold front had chased their asses back into South Dakota and settled over Sioux Falls, turning the usually brisk month of November into a miserably cold sonofabitch
. Singer Salvage Yard had become like less of a home and more of a prison for those trapped within its confines, but, as far as Bobby Singer was concerned, the cold front was welcome to linger. A poker, cast iron and heavy as shit, was used to stir the embers before Bobby added another log onto the fire. It crackled and sighed before the flame caught and more warmth was cast onto his overcrowded living room.
Joanna Beth was asleep in his recline, wounded thigh elevated by a rolled up blanket and her head at an uncomfortable looking angle, but none of them dared disturb her in an attempt to right the situation. Ellen Harvelle was a goddamn fine woman and mother, but protective to a fault as far as Bobby was concerned. She’d taken up residence in his kitchen and normally a woman puttering around in Karen’s domain irritated him, but Bobby figured he’d known Ellen long enough to just let it pass.
The poker nudged the new log once more to ensure a sturdy placement before he returned it to the holder. His hands settled over the wheels of his chair and he drew them, and himself back, before holding the right wheel steady as he turned himself around with the left. The ease in which he used the wheelchair was both helpful and irritating as hell, but Bobby was learning, slow but sure, to just accept the damn thing until he could change it. He still held out hope that he could change it.
Bobby pushed himself towards the couch that housed the Winchesters and the tiny blonde with a name that happened to be both ridiculous and fitting. Buffy Summers wasn’t a hunter, at least not like any Bobby had ever encountered, and she’d come with the full backing of angel which sort of just went along with the name. Castiel had proven himself an ally, but Bobby wasn’t yet ready to call him a friend which left him at odds as how to feel about Buffy.
Dean was more inclined than most to trust Castiel and she might’ve saved Joanna Beth’s life which had Ellen singing her praises, but Bobby had noticed Sam watching her with an unease that mirrored distrust. Though, to be fair, Sam wasn’t always the best judge of character and the fact that the girl’s injuries were healing at a rapid rate was reason enough to stare. A hellhound’s claws tended to be more tiger than canine, but those bloody marks had smoothed in recent days.
All that remained were vivid bruises painted in fading shades of purple and red with flecks of deeper black. If Bobby hadn’t been the one to dress her wounds in the beginning he’d have never believed Ellen’s telling of the events. Buffy did not look as if she’d gone through the ringer as the tale depicted and at the moment, with her features slack with sleep, she looked younger than Joanna Beth and twice as frail.
Her brows dipped, body tensing as a pained sound crawled its way out of her throat. Bobby frowned at the noise and felt the hairs rise along the back of his neck as he watched Dean turn from his reading and look at the woman beside him on the couch.
“Summers?” He made her surname a question and that drew Sam’s gaze up so that both Winchesters were watching her and Dean repeated, voice growing louder, “Come on, Sleeping Beauty, risin’ shine.”
Sam’s mockery of the moniker had Bobby smirking and Dean swiveling his head to shoot little brother a narrowed look before he returned to his study of the blonde. Her next breath came out as rattle and the pinched look of her face deepened. Sam rose, towering above them all as Dean dropped a hand on the shoulder closest to him. Her head rocked with his gentle probing, but she remained wrapped in Morpheus’ embrace.
The shadow that descended over the blonde had Bobby stiffening as Sam came to a stand beside him and Castiel appeared behind the Buffy. His hand fell across her free shoulder and the tension fled her body. She sagged against the couch as the lines between her brows smoothed and her breathing evened out. Bobby caught Dean’s surprised look as his gaze rose to Castiel’s and found the angel frowning down at the young woman.
“Somethin’ you wanna share with the class, Castiel?”
Blue eyes rose from the perusal of the blonde to meet Bobby’s gaze and his frown deepened. “I do not understand.”
“Who is she?”
Sam’s retort was the question on all their minds and Bobby heard Ellen making her way from the kitchen and into the living room. He turned, dipping his chin in acknowledgement of her presence before he turned back to the conversation at hand and found Castiel had returned his gaze to the young woman.
Her name was offered as a statement of fact and as if that should explain all their questions—which if obviously didn’t.
“Cas,” Dean took a shot, “We know her name. How ‘bout you tell us how you know her.”
Bobby sat up straighter in his chair and Sam stiffened beside him, but it was Dean’s startled reaction that worried him. The oldest Winchester tended to worry over such things and this little bit of intel wasn’t going to sit easy on his shoulders.
Ellen drew them back from their thoughts by parroting, “Heaven?” Castiel nodded, gaze never leaving Buffy as Ellen probed, “How’s that again?”
“We met during her time in heaven.”
“We get that, Cas,” Dean countered, voice rough, “Why’s she here?”
“Hold on just a damn moment,” all of them turned their gazes on Ellen and she glowered right back at them. “Should we be having this conversation here? Now?” She shot a pointed look at the blonde.
“I must remain with her until this episode passes.” Castiel interrupted Sam’s agreement and continued, “She should also be privy to this conversation.”
Bobby shifted, suddenly uncomfortable with the fact that the angel was right and it’d be best to talk with
Buffy rather than about her. Ellen’s hand dropped onto his shoulder, as if she read his mind, and he looked up to catch her nod as she readily agreed, “We can discuss it at dinner. Stew will be ready in ‘bout an hour.” She gave the rest of them a stern look and the order, “We can wait that long.”
The boys mumbled their agreement and Castiel inclined his head—tact was an unfamiliar concept for the angel—and Bobby snarked, “Yes’em.”
Ellen’s hand tightened around his shoulder before it slipped away and Bobby chose to ignore the loss of warmth as Sam retook his seat and Dean turned back to the research strewn across his coffee table. Castiel remained where he was, hand still cupping the blonde’s shoulder and gaze settled on her slack features.
He’d of called the look love—but he knew damn well better.