A week later in a small truck stop in the heartland, Sam Winchester came upon a noticeably subdued Dean.
"What's with you, was there anything in the PO box?"
Dean pushed a postcard across the table. It bore a postmark for San Romero California.
Sam looked at the semi-legible chickens scratch that would have been instantly familiar to any number of traumatized English teachers who'd worked In Sunnydale.
"Having lots of fun. Glad you aren't here. Xander...?"
Sam glanced at the picture on the back, an image of the San Romero Mud Pits..
The Mud Pits? Why on earth would Xander send Dean a picture of the Mud Pits… unless. ..
"Doesn't Cordelia Starling live in San Romero?"
Dean shook his head, an almost haunted look on his face. "You promised me...." he hissed.
"-that I wouldn't ask about Tupelo, Mississippi," Sam replied. "Or how you ended up in jail, or why they wanted to charge you for indecency or what the pineapple was for."
"No questions asked, remember; you promised me. No questions asked."
"Is Xander in any danger?"
"No it's...it's not dangerous, at least not exactly. I mean Cordelia... you know what, I’m not talking about this. I knew if you found out you'd start talking about feelings and crap."
"If you miss her this much, just call her. Maybe see if there's any kind of a spark left."
"Number one, I do not MISS her. It's Cordelia Starling. Number two--She's crazy and the rest of that family ain't much better. And number three; there's only so much crazy even I can handle and I can handle way more crazy than Xander Harris."
"So she's crazy, you don't like her family you won't call her but you sound like you miss her."
Dean sighed. "She's crazy, but its the good kind of crazy. Sammy, and it was totally worth it."
"And what was the pineapple for?"
"Remember Atlantic City?" Dean replied, "You owe me, a no-questions-asked."
"It's killing me not knowing."
Robed figures filed into a room lit only by a single light bulb, and sat down around its only feature; the long and narrow table with its many chairs.
“This emergency meeting of the San Romero Town Council will come to order,” a robed figure at one of the table said suddenly.
“All hail the great master, all hail his great plan,” his flunkies chanted in unison.
“I move that we waive the reading of the last meetings’ minutes.” Some mook proposed.
“Second.” Another added.
“All in favor?” The leader asked.
“Aye,” the rest of them chorused.
“Then it’s new business, people,” the group’s leader said. “For starters, our pawn performed beautifully.”
“Swan used the grimoires we allowed him to find, and the ceremony went ahead as planned.” A woman piped up, to sounds of general approval.
“The good news is, we now have a working Hellmouth,” a mook reported. “It’s small, but we all start somewhere.”
“Hear, hear.” The rest of them said.
“Bad news is, we’ve got undesirables. The Slayers from Sunnydale are in town, as is at least one Watcher.”
“The substitute shop teacher,” their leader growled irritably. “Why am I sensing the hand of Elizabeth Starling in this?”
you that Starling and that family of hers would be a problem.” Minion one grunted.
“Early reports say that the Watcher involving himself was as much of a surprise to Starling as it was to us,” was Minion two’s contribution.
“We were warned about them," a third minion warned, "They will
“…and they will fail, just as they tried and failed to stop our great work today.” The leader snapped, putting an end to the impending argument amidst more noises of agreement.
“We have our Hellmouth now,” he added. “Once we have Swan’s body, we’ll be one step closer to our ultimate power.”
There was an uncomfortable silence at this.
HAVE the body, don’t we?” The unspoken threat hung in the air, anticipatory.
“We’re working on it, but we’re beginning to think that the Starlings have it.” Minion two said finally, and the leader pinched the bridge of his nose in irritation.
“How did the Starlings find out about the body, anyway?” Minion one asked. “Was it the Watcher?"
“It may have been a third party, as yet unidentified. It’s early days yet, but the story is that Nick Carlyle’s taken Swan’s body,” said Mook one.
“I saw him in action against State at last Saturday’s game,” woman one said. “He was amazing on the field.”
Mook two added “He’s seeing Starling’s cheerleader daughter Juliet.”
“The cute All-American couple, is it?“ the leader sighed. “Obviously… if they oppose us, they’ll have to die. Take care of the Watcher too if it comes to it. All in favor?”
“Aye,” came the other voices.
“The motion is carried; meeting adjourned.” As everyone stood up and started to file out of the room, the leader added, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m starving,”
There were general murmurs of agreement.
“What are the chances of Subway still being open?” Minion one wondered aloud.
The leader just shrugged. “I don’t see why not; it was only a zombie outbreak.”