Tabitha shook her head as the Winchester siblings walked away from the magician and his large entourage on the street, supposedly performing a “magic trick” by pretending he was possessed.
“I can’t believe you used to want to be a magician,” she whispered to Sam as they walked down the sidewalk towards their motel. She glanced back over her shoulder one last time before shaking her head and chuckling. “I’m pretty sure that guy was wearing more makeup than I even own. You can’t tell me that’s normal for a straight guy, even in show biz.”
“No kidding,” Dean agreed. “Douche bag looked like a raccoon.”
“Hey now,” Tabitha laughed, “that’s probably unfair to raccoons everywhere. At least they only carry things like rabies. That guy is way worse. And I bet carrying a lot worse, too.”
“Come on, guys,” Sam defended. “Jeb Dexter is in the entertainment business. And he is one of the most well-known magicians out there.”
Tabitha shook her head as they walked. “Yeah, but he’s all about elaborate showmanship. If we want to figure out what really happened to our dead guy, we need to figure out who can really perform magic among these charlatans. Not who does the best imitation of Linda Blair—which by the way, that guy sucked at.”
Dean nodded. “I think we should start with the Vance’s assistant. We’ve already gotten nothing from checking out the body. Except that he was shish-kabobed without tearing up his clothes. But their assistants know the most about those guys’ tricks and such. Probably know who he pissed off, too.”
“Sounds good,” Sam agreed as they headed for the club their dead magician had been performing in.
Tabitha leaned back in the cheap dinette chair of their motel room and stretched her back.
“You find anything on that tarot card yet?” Dean asked as he stepped out of the other room.
“Not yet,” she admitted. “Nothing truly magical anyway. I’ve found stuff on what each tarot card’s supposed to mean in a ‘psychic’ reading. The Ten of Swords card is all about the abuse of power. You know, using ten swords to kill a guy when one does the same job. Ten is overkill. In tarot reading, it’s supposed to be about an unexpected failure or disaster that humbles you, but it certainly did more with this guy. We know he was an ass who probably deserved humbling, at least from what his assistant said, but this went way beyond that.”
“Abuse of power,” Sam replied in a thoughtful manner. “So maybe someone is working some magic here and is using the tarot cards as inspiration or something. Or as a message. Maybe someone had a beef with this guy and thought he needed to be more than humbled, so they followed the idea from the card to have him killed in the same manner.”
“It’s a thought,” Tabitha agreed. “But I’ve never seen magic worked quite like this before. No hex bag or anything. Just a tarot card. And nothing physically stabbing the guy? Just puncture wounds that appeared out of thin air? I don’t know. I just can’t find any magic that fits it quite right,” she told them.
Dean pulled his suit jacket back on. “Well, whatever kind of magic it is, we need to find who’s working it. Can’t stop it until we find them.”
“What are you thinking, Dean?” Sam asked, pulling his jacket on as well.
“Let’s head on down to that hotel where that guy—Jay wasn’t it?—is performing. He’s the one that assistant said was being heckled by our dead guy, Vance. Maybe Jay’s the one who wanted to do some humbling.”
Tabitha waved her hand dismissively at her brothers. “You guys go, do your thing. Doesn’t need three of us. I’ll stay here and see if I can keep digging around. Maybe I’ll give Bobby a call, too, see if he knows anything. Sioux Falls is pretty damn close to Sioux City, anyway. Maybe he’s heard something.”
“He’s the one who sent us,” Sam reminded her.
“I know, but maybe he’s heard something since he sent us.”
“Fine,” Dean agreed. “Call us if you find anything. We’ll go question the old guy.”
“Be nice!” Tabitha called out after them.
Two hours later, Tabitha still hadn’t found anything, and hadn’t been able to get anything useful from Bobby either. Although he had promised to call her if he found anything that might help them out.
She’d finally changed out of her skirt-suit and took a shower though, feeling much more relaxed and cleaner. And like she’d actually managed to accomplish something useful. But even with a fresh head of steam, she couldn’t find anything else to go on. At least, nothing that fit or made sense.
Tabitha had just walked back into the room after hiking down the block to a little grocery store, plastic bags of food still in her hands when she felt the familiar stirring of power that signified the appearance of her friend.
She didn’t even turn around as she dropped the bags of groceries on the end of one of the beds, digging through the bags to look for the things that needed to go in their little fridge—which thankfully was in working order.
“Hey, Cas,” she casually threw over her shoulder as she continued putting the last of her items in the fridge, but keeping out one yogurt cup and a plastic spoon as she turned around.
Castiel was standing in the middle of the room, hands gripped behind his back as he looked around. “Where are your brothers?”
Tabitha pulled off the thick pullover sweatshirt she’d had on, and sat cross-legged on the end of one of the beds as she kicked her boots off and straightened out her jeans, digging into her yogurt with relish. “They’re off investigating,” she dismissively told him between mouthfuls, realizing suddenly how ravenous she felt and trying to remember when she’d last eaten. “I decided to stay and do some research,” she continued.
The angel nodded somewhat absently and sat stiffly on the end of the bed next to her. Tabitha didn’t bother to offer the angel anything to eat, she’d learned from experience that he didn’t particularly seem to care for eating human food, and he’d told her more than once that he had no use for it.
“How are you?” she finally asked him when he’d been silent for a few minutes, merely watching as she finished off her cup of yogurt and began pulling apart a Danish as well.
“I’m well,” he told her, but his voice was ramrod stiff, just like his body language.
But Tabitha had come to recognize that stilted tone in his voice, and knew from experience that he wouldn’t say anything more if she pushed him. So she shrugged her shoulders and told him, “Okay. Well, I’m just gonna get back to researching then.” As she stood and walked past the angel, she grabbed the remote from on top of the TV and handed it to him. “Here, you may as well turn that on and see if you can find something to watch.”
She knew well that if she left the angel alone and gave him time, he’d eventually get around to telling her what was bothering him. Or he’d relax and seem to put whatever that trouble had been out of his mind. Even sitting in silence seemed to sometimes give her friend whatever peace he needed. And she sometimes wondered if he didn’t get to have much quiet and solitude in Heaven since he seemed to relish it so much.
Castiel’s manner was still stiff, but he accepted the remote and turned on the TV like she’d shown him one of the last times he’d visited, flipping through the channels at a fairly high speed.
Tabitha shook her head and turned back to her computer. If things went like the last time when she’d introduced TV to the angel, he’d flip through the channels for at least 10 minutes straight before settling on something unexpected like a cartoon or something else bizarre like the nature special on spawning trout he’d last watched for two hours straight. She’d asked him the last time why he didn’t want to watch something like the news—which was about the only reason she ever even bothered to turn on a TV—but the angel had looked at her strangely and told her that he didn’t want to watch humans misreport what he already knew was actually going on in the world.
It was almost an hour later when Tabitha sat back slightly from what she’d been reading on her computer screen and her ears began to register the strange background noises from the other room. She tilted her head for a second as she tried to figure out what the moaning noises were, thinking it almost sounded like someone in pain. As she turned around, she’d almost convinced herself that Castiel was watching some horror movie when other noises began to emit from the TV as well.
“Mmmmm. Yeah, baby. Ouch. Yeah. Just like that, baby.”
Nope, not pain there, she told herself.
Springing up from the cheap dinette table, Tabitha took a few quick strides back into the bedroom to see if she was hearing what she thought she was. And found the angel sitting where she’d left him, his head canted slightly to the side in a curious manner as he studied the images on the TV.
For several moments, Tabitha was speechless, not sure whether to find the scene horrifying, laughable, annoying, or just emotion to settle on. A loud laugh suddenly escaped before Tabitha clapped both of her hands over her mouth to hold the peals of laughter back.
For his part, the angel only glanced at her before turning back to the TV as though the situation was the most normal thing in the world. But his face was so intent as he studied the screen that Tabitha finally reined in her mirth and managed to carefully ask the angel, “Whatcha ya doing, Cas?”
He pointed at the TV with the remote in his hand, simply telling her, “Watching.”
Tabitha cleared her throat uncomfortably at his matter-of-fact answer. “I can see that. But why? You almost seem like you’re perplexed by it.”
Nodding in a slow manner, he told her, “Yes. I am. I don’t understand this. Why do humans spend so much time sating their lust? It seems rather undignified.” He tilted his head a bit more as the woman on the screen bent and twisted her body in a manner worthy of an Olympic gymnast. “And sweaty,” the angel added with a hint of disdain.
Tabitha had found her own head tilting as she admired the way the woman was able to twist and contort her body. “Oh, you know that’s not really comfortable,” she whispered to herself before Castiel’s words sank in.
Turning her attention away from the soft-core porn the angel had stumbled across, Tabitha nervously rubbed the back of her neck as she considered him.
Sensing her attention, the angel momentarily turned away from the TV and looked up at her, gesturing once more at the screen as he asked her, “Why do humans spend so much of their time in this manner? I’ve witnessed countless humans over my years watching them on Earth, but I don’t understand the appeal. Or their enthusiasm for such activities. Most humans seem to think of little else.”
Still nervously rubbing her neck, she could feel the heat of her blush burning the skin of her face and neck at the angel’s frank and open confusion.
“I’m sorry,” Castiel immediately told her when he saw her reaction. “I’ve made you uncomfortable.”
Quickly shaking her head, Tabitha forced a deep breath and exhale, marveling that the angel was picking up some body language now. “No. It’s okay. It’s not like I’m some blushing virgin. There’s no reason for me to act this way.” She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince the angel or herself, but with another deep breath, she shoved her discomfort away and decided to ask the angel a question of her own. “Don’t angels have sex? I mean, there isn’t really anything living on this planet that doesn’t have sex in one form or another. Whether for procreation or for sheer pleasure like with humans. So what about angels?”
Eyebrows shooting up, Castiel slowly replied, “You’re asking if angels have sex?”
“Yeah. Do you? I mean…can you?” she insisted, refusing to let silly embarrassment make her back down.
It was now the angel’s turn to look uncomfortable. “In Heaven, there is no need for such activities. We’re made by God. We’re not born like humans are.” He answered slowly and steadily, in his usual matter-of-fact way, but then he seemed to become uncomfortable and fidgety as he haltingly continued. “If you’re asking if we…that is to say…angels don’t engage with other angels like that…but…sometimes when on Earth in a vessel…it’s not unheard of…”
Tabitha waited, but it seemed like the angel had finally trailed off for the last time. “So basically you’re saying that angels can and do have sex when they’re in their vessels,” Tabitha carefully surmised.
Castiel merely nodded. So Tabitha continued questioning him. “With other angels?”
He quickly shook his head. “I suppose it isn’t impossible. But not that I’m aware of.”
“So, what? You’re saying that if an angel does have sex, it’s with a human?”
Again, he gave a slight nod. “Angels have been known to partake in such activities with humans. Though only rarely as we are not meant to form bonds of attachment with humans. Yet, that is what I don’t understand. Angels are not forbidden per-say, but are greatly discouraged from such dalliances because we are not meant to feel as humans do. But humans seem to endlessly go from one such encounter to another with little other thoughts in their heads. You can’t tell me that they love each one of these humans they bed?”
Tabitha shook her head in surprise. “No. Honestly, I’d say it’s not actually all that common to sleep with someone you love.” She shook her head a bit bitterly. “Or maybe that’s just the cynic in me,” she whispered to herself. Looking back at the seated angel, she tried to explain. “Look, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who fall into bed together with the greatest of love in their hearts. And sometimes that love fades, and then they find new partners. But sometimes that love was never there. Sometimes sex is just sex. It doesn’t mean anything more than that. It doesn’t always have to have any kind of deeper emotional attachments than just pleasure.”
“Pleasure,” he repeated. He turned back to the TV, pointing at the screen once more. “That is pleasurable? It looks ungainly.”
Biting off a grin, Tabitha walked closer as her arms crossed over her chest, leaning against the doorway as she casually observed the angel. “I don’t think I have to go out on much of a limb to say that you haven’t ever had sex, have you?”
He shook his head in answer, but continued to stare at her with an expectant look, waiting for her to come up with some answer that would satisfy him.
She sighed, trying to figure out how to frame an answer to sate the curiosity of someone who in all likelihood, couldn’t begin to understand something he’d never experienced, no matter what she told him.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she finally began, “sex can be all about emotion. It can be strong and undeniable even. But it isn’t always about emotion. Sometimes it’s just about the physical feelings and sensations.”
Smiling at his naivety, Tabitha stepped closer, intending to show the angel some of what she couldn’t explain in words. She lightly braced one knee on the mattress behind Castiel, her hands gently tugging backwards on the collar and shoulders of his trench coat as she slid her hands under his shirt collar. Her fingers easily and knowingly rubbed and kneaded at the knots and tension she found there, gently caressing the warm skin of his neck.
Castiel had gone rigid at her initial movements, but didn’t stand or move away from her, so, boldly, she continued her ministrations, her fingers working further down his back to massage his muscles through his layers of clothing.
Soon, the angel relaxed under her skilled hands, even arching his back as a soft sound of appreciation left his lips. Smiling in satisfaction at the sound, Tabitha knelt fully behind him, her hands working upwards again and threading once more beneath his trench coat and the rest of his clothing, reaching over his shoulders, and pausing to further loosen his crooked tie as her fingers brushed lightly across the warm expanse of his smooth chest.
Leaning closer to him, she dipped her mouth close to his ear as she spoke softly. “You enjoy that, right? The feel of my hands touching you, massaging you. The feel of my skin against yours?” He gave a faint nod, his ear brushing gently against her lips with the motion. “It’s pleasurable, right?” Again, he nodded. And again his ear flicked across her lips. “Humans—and even angels, it seems—like to feel closeness with one another. We’re not meant to be solitary. We like to feel the heat of someone else’s skin against ours. There’s a base—almost animalistic—need in all of us to feel connected. So we don’t feel alone. To feel that there’s more out there than just us. To feel connected to something bigger than just ourselves. And there’s no way to feel closer to someone than when two people lay themselves completely bare to one another.”
With one hand, she flicked open the top several buttons of Castiel’s shirt, her hands skimming further past his shoulders and down his chest as she sat up straighter on her knees, looking over his shoulder as she pressed her body closer to his back. Castiel stiffened momentarily, but then seemed to press his back further against her as she wrapped her arms tighter around him.
“Humans crave that connectedness,” she continued to whisper in his ear. “We crave the feeling of a soft touch just like we crave food and water and everything else we need to survive. Touch is just as important to really be alive.”
Her fingers curled and smoothed against the plane of his stomach, brushing against the soft dusting of hair that led downwards, her arms instinctively tightening around him as Castiel pressed back further against her, his lips parting softly as a soft moan escaped.
For a moment, Tabitha’s lips parted and then closed gently around the bottom edge of his earlobe, pulling gently before she continued to whisper, “And in that moment of bliss, in that moment of completion, I’ve always found that if you really open your eyes and look, and truly want to see it, you can tell everything a person thinks or feels for you. All the barriers are stripped away in that moment, and you’re left with whatever feelings there are—if there are even any.”
Castiel was silent in her embrace, his breathing was deeper and unsteady, but his shoulders were rolled back, his whole body pressed back against hers as his chin tilted up, exposing the white column of his throat to her lips. She licked her lips as she stared at the tender flesh, feeling Castiel’s hands fist the covers of the bed on either side of his legs. As she lowered her head towards his throat, the loud shrieks and moans of a woman’s pleasure coming from the TV suddenly pierced the silence of the room, dragging her head up to stare at the screen.
Her mind suddenly clearing, Tabitha slowly pulled her hands over Castiel’s shoulder, scooting back on the bed a few feet as she swallowed dryly, hardly able to believe what she’d nearly done, how far her ministrations had run from her original and simple intent.
She crawled down to the foot of the bed and sat uncomfortably on the far corner of the now rumpled mattress as she avoided the piercing stare of the angel next to her.
“I’m sorry,” she finally croaked. Clearing her throat, she tried again, “I’m sorry. I never should have done that. I shouldn’t have let that go that far. I forget sometimes that you’re not just some naïve buddy of mine that I can tease and get worked up like that. That you’re not even human.”
Finally, she risked a glance across the mattress to see Castiel glance down, his eyes fixed on the state she’d left him in.
As his fingers unsteadily began to rebutton his shirt and pull his tie somewhat back together, he softly commented, “I think, I understand why humans would have such strong compulsions now.”
Tabitha sighed as she stood, shaking her head as she shakily replied, “I don’t think you really can understand it, Cas. It’s something you can only understand from experience. And even then, I don’t think any of us truly understand the power it can hold over us. The power that need to feel close to someone can have. It’s there in all humans,” she gave a tight laugh, “but I swear we should have to take and pass some sort of test before we can even have sex with anyone. Too many people get into trouble because they act inappropriately and ruin good friendships. They don’t always take the other person’s feelings into account—if they have any complex feelings for each other anyway.”
Castiel reached out to grab her hand as she started past him, tugging her to a stop as he stared up into her eyes. “We’re still…friends?” he haltingly asked.
“Of course,” she smiled. “Of course we’re still friends.” Her eyes darted down at the uncomfortable state she’d left him in as she continued. “That was my fault. I shouldn’t have done that. And I don’t even have the excuse of being drunk this time, just not being mindful of the fact that you’re not human.” She reached down and picked up the remote from the mattress, quickly flipping through the channels until she’d landed on something vaguely familiar. “But to be safe, why don’t we change the channel to something tamer,” she laughed. “This is something Dean watches when he thinks no one is paying attention. Doctor Steamy or something else silly like that…I can’t remember. But it’s probably a safer choice than porn.”
She released the angel’s hand as she moved back to the dinette table and her laptop, but by the time she’d taken her seat and looked back across the room, the angel had disappeared.
With a sigh, she tried to focus on her research again, but didn’t even have time to focus her eyes on the screen before the motel room door opened and her brothers spilled into the room. Dean immediately plopped down on one of the beds after he’d glanced at the TV.
“I didn’t know you watched ‘Doctor Sexy’, Tab,” he commented, his eyes glued to the TV.
“I don’t,” she laughed. “But it’s safer than what was on.”
Sam looked at her questioningly as he sat across from her, but she waved it off. For a moment, she considered telling them that the angel had dropped by, but decided that there really wasn’t much to tell. At least, nothing she truly wanted to try and explain to her brothers.
“You guys find anything?” she asked instead.
“Not really,” Sam replied as he pulled his own laptop out. “We talked to a couple of magicians, and then we split up. I didn’t find anything more. And I don’t think Dean’s trip was anymore enlightening than what I found. But he won’t say much.”
There was a wicked glint in her younger brother’s eyes, prompting Tabitha to sit forward and lean her elbows on the dinette table as she pressed, “Ohhh? Just what happened?”
She’d asked Sam, thinking Dean was too wrapped up in watching the soap-opera-esque show on the TV screen, but he piped up from the bedroom, sullenly calling out, “I don’t want to talk about it!”
Sam continued to grin wickedly as he leaned forward and conspiratorially told her, “The old guys we talked to sent Dean on a wild-goose-chase. Sent him downtown looking for some guy named Chief. And let’s just say that Chief wasn’t in charge of a police force or anything, but he did want to be the master of Dean.”
“Oh. Oh!” Tabitha exclaimed as she sat back in her chair and laughed quietly at the realization. She turned towards the bedroom and called out to her older brother, “What’s the matter, Dean? Chief not really your type?”
Dean walked out of the bedroom, grumpily pulling his suit jacket off and tossing it at his sister. “Yeah, very funny. You and those old guys are just a laugh a minute.”
Tabitha chuckled softly to herself a bit more as she pulled the dark blue jacket away from her face and gently folded it in her lap. “So what was going on with them yanking your chain? I take it they aren’t our suspects since you guys haven’t said so. But why were a couple of old guys giving you two the run-around?”
Dean bent down by the small fridge, rummaging around as he muttered to himself about chick food before finally standing up with three beer bottles in his hands. He held two out towards his siblings, tossing them when they each nodded in return. Tabitha had already grudgingly admitted that drinking wasn’t her problem.
“Well,” Dean began as he opened his bottle, “apparently it’s harder to fool professional swindlers than we anticipated. They said they recognized right off that we weren’t real Feds and they thought it would be fun to screw with us. We ended up having to tell them that we were just trying to get info from them since we’re trying to start our own magician act.”
Laughing again, Tabitha questioned them, “Your own magician act? The two of you?”
Sam shrugged, but Dean puffed up indignantly as he answered, “Sure. Why not? A brother act or something.”
“And just which of you is going to be the assistant that dresses in skimpy outfits to distract the audience?” she giggled, trying to imagine the sight in her mind.
Dean snorted. “Sammy of course. Maybe I can figure out sawing him in half and bringing him down to size.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Right Dean. Your cover-up story wasn’t even convincing to those guys. ‘Rings and doves and…rings?'”
“I can’t believe you two got taken by two old guys. And couldn’t even maintain your cover,” Tabitha continued laughing to herself.
“They were good,” Dean defended. “You wouldn’t have done any better fooling them.”
Leaning back against the chair, Tabitha contested them with a challenging look. “Oh yeah? One little difference. I don’t have to work at faking a Fed,” she reminded them. “I was a Fed. I can just be me.”
Later that night, they had done more research on Jay, whom Sam claimed had managed to pull off an impossible magic trick, but hadn’t found anything concrete on him. Once more, they had split up, with Sam going to look for the Amazing Jay himself, and Tabitha filling Dean in on the additional research she’d dug up on tarot cards.
But in the middle of an explanation, Tabitha suddenly stopped talking, her head tipping as she listened to the police scanner in her purse.
She dug it out and turned it up as she and Dean listened to the report of another magician found dead in his motel room.
“You know, you look like a dog when you tip your head to the side like that. Must have the hearing of one, too, to hear that thing in your bag,” Dean commented.
She shrugged. “Years of training myself to tune into it like that.” She stood and quickly began changing into one of her pant suits.
“Come on,” Dean insisted as he turned his back to give her privacy and pulled on a heavy coat. “Forget the monkey suit and let’s get over there. We need to see what we can find before the cops collect everything useful.”
But Tabitha was already finished changing, merely pulling her hair back into a tight ponytail as she pulled her gray suit jacket on, following Dean out of the motel room. “You two may have blown your cover in this town, but I haven’t,” she reminded him. “And I can get into the crime scene easier this way.”
As they hurried down the sidewalk towards the hotel not so far from theirs, Dean made a quick phone call to their brother, explaining the situation and telling him to meet them there.
Dean tried to make his way past the local cops blocking foot traffic on the 8th floor, but as Tabitha had anticipated, he wasn’t able to make it by them. Flashing one of her badges, she sauntered into the room of the very magician she’d commented wore more makeup than she did. She paused by the body as paramedics and the coroner cut him down from the ceiling fan, and noted to herself that the dark rings of eyeliner wasn’t any more becoming on him in death than it had been in life.
After a quick inspection of the room, she made her way back down to the lobby where her brothers were waiting for her. She discreetly flashed them the tarot card she had found as she walked up.
“How’s that for sleight of hand?” she smugly asked them as she handed them the tarot card of the hanged man. “I could have been a damn fine magician’s assistant.”
Sam laughed as he told her, “Sure you could have, Tab.”
“What?” she defended, gesturing down at herself. “I think I could pull off one of those skimpy, show-girl costumes quite nicely.”
Dean rolled his eyes and gestured back at the tarot card. “Hanged dude on the card and the creep was hung from a ceiling fan. Doesn’t take much of a leap to say that this was no coincidence and definitely no suicide. Think someone is marking them? Or maybe a death transference.”
“Any connection between the victims?” Sam asked.
“Jeb was a total douche bag to Jay yesterday,” Dean replied.
“What about the first guy, Vance, right?” Tabitha asked.
Dean nodded. “Asked around, apparently Vance was heckling Jay at the bar the day he was killed.”
Sam snorted and looked discreetly around the lobby to make certain no one was too close. “Okay, so Jay sneaks a card into Vance’s pocket, does the Table of Death…”
“And Vance takes 10 swords to the chest,” Dean finished.
Sam picked up. “Then Jay slips a noose and Jeb doesn’t. Hell of a trick.”
“Yeah, I think it’s time we had a little chat with Jay,” Dean told them and then turned to Sam. “Any luck tailing him?”
Reluctantly shaking his head, Sam told them, “He slipped me.”
Tabitha stared at her brother. “He’s what? Sixty years old? Come on, Sam.”
“He’s a magician,” Sam immediately defended.
Dean snorted derisively. “Well, surely the three of us can track him.”
“Let’s go,” Sam agreed.
But Tabitha shook her head. “You two go after Jay. It can’t take three of us to track an old magician. I’m gonna check into those two friends of his, Charlie and Vernon. Something just doesn’t sit right with me about the way those two played you guys.”
“But Jay’s the one pulling unbelievable stunts, Tab,” Sam insisted. “He’s got to be the one behind it. He’s the one benefiting.”
“I know. But like I said, you two can handle him. I just want to look into the other two while you’re tailing him. It can’t hurt.”
She found Vernon and Charlie backstage the next morning, still cleaning up from the night before and setting up equipment for Jay’s show that night.
Balancing the long strap of her large leather brief case on her shoulder, she approached the older pair of men and addressed them as she stared down at the lined pages in her worn leather notebook. “I’m told that the two of you are Vernon Albright and Charlie Schneider,” she remarked, still not looking up.
“Yes,” she heard one of them slowly answer.
Finally looking up, she continued asking in bored tones, “Can either of you confirm that you are associates of one Jay Jamison?” She glanced down at her papers again. “Also known professionally as the ‘Amazing Jay?'”
“Who’s asking?” the older man with the beard demanded.
Shifting her notebook into her other arm, Tabitha reached into her jacket and fished out her FBI badge. Unlike the badges Dean had made for himself and Sam, her badge had been forged by one of the best cobblers she’d met while she’d been a real FBI agent. It also helped that she knew from experience every detail that went into a real badge and how to spot a fake.
She held the leather wallet in the air for them to see, holding the folded over wallet up with the small gold shield and card with the director’s signature, and then flipping the wallet over to show her ID badge. “Special Agent Betty Perske. I’m assisting the local police in investigating the recent deaths in town,” she explained.
They looked at the badge for a moment, and then she closed it and returned it to her inner jacket pocket.
“What is this?” the man with the beard dubiously inquired. “You with those other two jokers who were trying to pretend they were Feds yesterday?”
She let one eyebrow rise in an unimpressed challenge. Dryly, she told them, “My supervisor didn’t see the need to send more than one agent to Iowa, so I’m the only agent in town to help the local police force.” Flipping her notebook open, she took out her pen and held it to the paper as she asked, “Did you happen to get these ‘jokers‘ names?” she asked them. “We take impersonating a Federal agent very seriously.”
They glanced at each other, a look passing between them. “Can’t say that I remember,” the other man told her. “Still doesn’t mean you’re a real FBI agent,” he challenged. Tabitha noted that the man had a distinctive birthmark over one eyebrow, but quickly dismissed the anomaly.
She smiled inwardly that the two weren’t turning in her brothers, but outwardly she merely stared unimpressed for a minute before telling them, “Of course I can understand your hesitancy, so if you’d prefer, we can take this discussion down to the local sheriff’s station and you can answer my questions there. They’ll be happy to assure you of my status, I’m sure. Or you can even call the nearest FBI offices if you’d prefer.”
“No,” the man with the beard decided. “We’ll answer your questions here. We need to keep setting up for Jay’s show tonight. Don’t have time for all that. What is it we can help you with?”
“To begin with, are you Vernon or Charlie?” she returned.
He stroked his beard for a moment before answering simply, “Vernon.”
She glanced back down at her notepad and jotted down several notes, maintaining her air of importance and annoyance with her task.
Looking back up, she continued, “And you are both associates with one Jay Jamison?”
“Yeah,” Charlie quickly answered. “We’re friends. And we’ve been helping with his act. There some reason you want to know?”
Tabitha continued to take meticulous notes. “Were either of you present when Mister Jamison had a dispute with Vance Hardbrooke at a bar several nights ago?” she asked without bothering to glance up from her notepad.
“The magician who died? No,” Vernon carefully answered. “Jay went for a drink alone that night.”
She jotted down several more notes. “And Jeb Dexter? Were either of you present when Jay and Mister Dexter had heated words in an interview they did together?”
“Now wait a minute,” Charlie immediately defended, dropping the prop he’d been holding on the table and stepping closer. “Why are you asking all these questions? You can’t think Jay had anything to do with those deaths. I thought Jeb Dexter hung himself. Are you accusing Jay of murdering them?”
Tabitha finally looked back up from her notepad, glancing back and forth between the two men as she flatly told them, “We are still investigating the two deaths. No determinations have been made at this time. We’re just looking into anyone who might have had possible grudges against these two men. And your friend’s name has come up.”
Charlie looked smug as he rocked back on his heels, his arms crossing over his chest as he told her, “Well, Jay couldn’t have had anything to do with either of their deaths. He was onstage performing in front of witnesses when they both died. So you can’t possibly think he killed either of them.”
Tabitha gauged the expressions of both men. Vernon’s face was closed off, but she saw the glimmer of something in his eyes: doubt. And she saw the hint of unease there as well. But overall, she saw confusion.
But Charlie on the other hand, was too sure. Too confident.
Was it because he was clueless about the nature of the deaths, or was it because he was confident that a federal agent would never suspect real magic as being the culprit.
“No,” she easily agreed. “I don’t suppose Jay could have killed those men himself, now could he? But he’s still the only common thread between the two men, both of whom died under mysterious circumstances. We don’t believe in coincidence at the FBI. Now, perhaps he wasn’t the one to kill those two men himself, but that doesn’t mean that someone else didn’t carry it out for him,” she casually pointed out, not looking down nonchalantly at her notepad this time, but carefully watching the expressions of both men.
Vernon’s face drew together in more confusion, but Charlie was a different story. It was just a flash, but it was there. A hint of fear before Charlie had carefully schooled his features.
With a calm expression, Charlie carefully told her, “Vernon and I are Jay’s closest friends, and we were both backstage here during each performance helping Jay with his act. Ask anyone.”
She nodded briskly and held out business cards to each of the men. “Of course,” she told them. “I do plan on returning this evening to speak with all the stage hands so I can finish my list of interviews. In the meantime, if either of you thinks of anything else that might be useful to our investigation feel free to call me, anytime.”
Tabitha was walking down the sidewalk later that afternoon, hustling past all the other magic convention goers when she spotted police leading her brothers out of the hotel Jay was staying in. Both of her brothers had their hands cuffed behind their backs as they were loaded into the back of a squad car. As she observed from down the street, she could see Jay talking with the police, his hands gesturing to her brothers periodically as he spoke.
“Shit,” she whispered to herself, turning around and walking in the opposite direction. “How the hell did they manage to let that old man get the slip on them again?”
She walked absently in the direction of their crappy motel, needing the moment to herself to think. She knew she could easily get into the police station and question her brothers. They’d know enough not to give away that they even knew her, but then she risked leaving Jay or Charlie—she still hadn’t decided which one was really playing with magic—out in the open to kill again. But the longer her brothers were in jail, the higher the chances were that they would fingerprint her brothers and then that would open a whole new can of worms.
Entering their motel room, she dumped her briefcase on the bed and tried to figure out which was the more imminent threat. If things continued in the same pattern, she knew another person might end up dead tonight. But if she was lucky, this Iowa police station might not fingerprint her brothers unless they truly believed that they were an imminent danger. And hopefully her brothers wouldn’t do anything to make them believe that.
Checking the time, she saw that Jay’s next performance was only an hour away. Making her decision, she left their room and headed back to the hotel Jay was performing in. If she was lucky, she could prevent another death from occurring, and even if she wasn’t lucky, she could at least try to figure out which man was working a death transference.
After questioning the stage hands and hotel workers before the performance had started, Tabitha had gotten exactly nowhere. She hadn’t found anything concrete or useful. Several people confirmed that besides Jay obviously being onstage during the performances, both Charlie and Vernon were backstage the entire time during the shows.
But Tabitha still wasn’t convinced. Though she had no real evidence—only her gut and a few looks—she was certain that Charlie had something to do with the deaths, perhaps Jay as well. One of the two of them had to have planted the tarot cards on their victims sometime before the shows. Perhaps they didn’t even need to be anywhere near their target for the death transference to work. Her gut told her she was on the right track, but she was having trouble finding any real proof to back it up.
She could hear the announcer prattling on about Jay’s next trick onstage, and knew she frantically needed to figure something out. And as she darted looks around behind the darkened backstage area, something did catch her eye.
Charlie had stepped away from watching Jay’s performance, slipping closer to another woman behind the dark curtains of the stage. He moved quickly, his hands moving so deftly that Tabitha almost missed his hand hovering just above her pocket. Stalking closer, she discreetly drew the Glock from her holster at her waist as she silently moved behind him, grabbing his shoulder and spinning him around as she held her gun on him.
In low threatening tones she told him, “Undue whatever magic crap you’ve got going. Lift the death sentence you just put on that woman.”
He stared into her eyes in surprise, but before he could speak, Tabitha heard the climatic gasps of the audience out front. And before her eyes, Charlie jerked in front of her, dots of red blood appearing on his chest as he crumpled to the floor. She dropped to her knees next to him, staring in shock at the empty glazed look in his lifeless eyes.
“What the hell?” she uttered to herself, and then noticed one of his hands closed around something. She pried it quickly open to find another tarot card clutched in his grip. “He wasn’t dropping a tarot card on that woman, he was holding one,” she whispered to herself as she slowly stood, staring at the card in her hand in shock.
“But the question is, how did you know about it?” a man asked behind her.
Tabitha spun around, only to stare at the sight of a young man bearing the same distinctive birthmark above his eyebrow as the dead body only inches away from her, but before she could react to the shocking sight, pain exploded across her temple, and her last sensation was slowly crumpling to the floor next to an old Charlie’s dead body, the sight of a much younger one filling her vision as he leaned over her.
When she slowly regained consciousness, Tabitha looked around to see that she was backstage behind tall stage currents, but one look was all it took to tell her that she wasn’t behind the same stage Jay had been performing in and where an inexplicably young Charlie had knocked her out.
She was lying uncomfortably on her stomach, hands bound with strong rope behind her back. Pulling and twisting on the bindings did nothing but further dig into her wrists. And she thought bitterly to herself that she shouldn’t be surprised. The man had been a magician after all. He’d know how to tie a knot.
Turning onto her side, she looked down her body to confirm that her mid-calf high boots were still on her feet, her dark gray slacks still pulled neatly over the boots. She had just started to toe one of them off when she saw Charlie walking into her field of vision.
He stepped closer and crouched in front of her, loosely holding her Glock in one hand as he braced his elbows on his bent knees. He held his other hand out, and she saw her charm bracelet dangling from his grip.
“Interesting charms you’ve got here,” he commented. He lowered his hand and stared intently down at her face. “You’re not any more a Fed than those other two clowns were, are you? Although, I’ll give you credit, you sure play one better. Had me and Vernon going anyway. But we both know that no Fed is going to know what you know, and have the kinds of magical charms, protection talismans, and even hoodoo hanging from their wrist like this. You’re packing some serious magical wallop here. I don’t even know what some of these talismans are, and I ought to, I’ve been around awhile.”
Tabitha remained silent and unmoving as she stared up at this much younger version of Charlie, refusing to answer him or quell under his stare.
“So who were those two guys to you? The pretty one and the giant. ‘Cause you ain’t no Fed. But like I said, I give you serious points for pulling the act off as well as you did. Very impressive.”
Deciding to change tack and to try to keep him talking, she finally lifted her chin and answered him. “I was an FBI agent. Makes it easy to play the part. And the ‘pretty one and the giant’ are my brothers. I’m sure they’re looking for me now. It might be easiest if you just leave me here and flee now.”
He smiled, his fingers still toying with her charm bracelet in his hands, and annoying her with the way he caressed it. “No. I don’t think so. Not that I’m worried about them. They’re not quite on the same playing field as me,” he chuckled, just as the two began to hear another pair of voices out onstage.
“Ahh,” he told her. “My friends are here now. You just hang tight back here while we all have a little chat with them. I’ll deal with you later.”
He stood and walked away from her, dropping her charm bracelet into one of the side pockets of his sport coat as he walked away.
Tabitha immediately seized the opportunity, resuming the task of kicking off her left boot, and then twisting onto her side until she could grab the boot in her hands still tied behind her back. She slid the hidden knife out into her palm, and then blindly sawed at the rope binding her hands behind her.
The voices out onstage began to rise, but then she heard her brother’s voices join them just as she finished sawing through her bindings.
Creeping around the edge of the current, she suddenly saw Dean dangling from a rope that was suspended from thin air. Sam was pointing a gun at Charlie and demanding to know where she was and ordering Charlie to drop Dean.
Tabitha nearly gasped when Sam was flung through the air, landing on Jay’s table, his hands locked in the metal cuffs as the rope holding the table of knives above her younger brother slowly began to fray.
Her switchblade was still in hand as she crept across the stage behind Charlie, her blade held at the ready as she silently approached him. But Vernon suddenly called out, warning Charlie of her presence, and giving him enough time to spin around, his hand flicking out a rush of magic that knocked her switchblade from her hand and held her immobilized as he stepped closer.
“My, my,” he tsked at her as he strolled closer to her. “You managed to slip out of my bindings. Hidden knife I see. Very impressive. I checked you over, but let me guess, it was in your boot. I’ll admit, I didn’t think to look there for anything hidden since you were wearing your gun so openly on your hip,” he told her in complimentary tones. “You’d make one hell of an assistant,” he continued to tell her as he stepped closer and ran his fingers lightly down her neck and across her clavicle. “What do you say? Ditch these bumbling brothers of yours and join us? Have a taste at immortality?”
She let a small smile spread across her face. “Immortality? That’s more than a tempting offer. Especially given the more than impressive results.”
She pushed at her hands, suddenly feeling the magic release them as she slowly slid closer to Charlie, pressing closely to him as she eagerly touched her lips to his, putting every ounce of fervor and experience she had into the kiss, letting her hands slide to Charlie’s waist and then up his sides.
He eagerly responded to the kiss, but then suddenly shoved at her shoulders, pushing her back several steps as his expression darkened. “You think I’m an idiot? That I’d believe you would flip on your brothers, just like that?”
Raising his hand, his flicked his fingers at her.
When nothing happened, his brows drew together in confusion, and she held up her hand, her charm bracelet dangling from her fingertips. “I know a little sleight of hand, too,” she replied to him, and then turned to start running towards Sam, who was still straining at his metal cuffs, the deadly blades still just barely suspended above him.
“Stop right there!” Charlie shouted, pulling her gun from his waistband as she skidded to a halt under his aim. “Those little charms truly are impressive…but something tells me they won’t stop a bullet.”
Tabitha remained in her frozen position, only moving to glance quickly between her two brothers, Sam still struggling beneath the blades, and Dean dangling from the rope, his face slowly turning to a darker shade of blue.
Turning to meet Charlie’s gaze, she told him, “They’re my brothers. If you have to shoot me, so be it. But I’m still going to go down trying to help them.”
“So be it,” Charlie repeated, raising the gun a little higher as he looked down the sight on the front of the barrel.
Taking a step forward towards Sam, Tabitha braced herself for the impact of a bullet, but as she held Charlie’s gaze, she saw him grunt in pain, and suddenly look down at his abdomen, cupping his stomach as dark red blood began to ooze between his fingertips.
She glanced over her shoulder to see Jay sliding her switchblade out of his own stomach with one hand, no trace of blood on the blade, and pulling a deck of tarot cards out of his pocket with his other hand.
Charlie fell to his knees, calling Jay’s name in disbelief as he reached into his own pocket a found a lone tarot card: the magician. “You picked these strangers over me?”
Not waiting any longer, Tabitha rushed towards Sam to yank at the bolts locking the metal cuffs and keeping her younger brother on Jay’s magician table, just grabbing his arm and yanking him towards her as the rope finally broke and the blades crashed into the table where Sam had been. The pair tumbled and fell against the stage floor, both rolling to look up at Dean just as the rope hanging him went limp and dropped him onto the stage floor a few feet away.
Tabitha scrambled closer and helped him pull the rope off, patting and smoothing her hand across his back as he knelt, coughing as he tried to regain his breath.
“You guys all right?” Sam asked as he sat up straighter, the three siblings glancing at Charlie’s lifeless body.
Dean nodded, saying in hoarse tones, “Yeah, I’m all right.” But he turned and faced their sister. “Where the hell have you been?”
She fell back on her butt beside him, staring at him incredulously as she told him, “Just sitting around waiting for the two of you to get put in some sort of life threatening situation again. What do you think?”
He shook his head and looked across the stage at Jay, telling them all, “I think we need to get out of here.”
The next evening, the Winchester siblings entered the popular hangout for magicians during the convention, a little bar downtown. But as the brothers walked through the door towards the bar, Tabitha split off and headed for the other side of the smoky bar.
Dean reached out to grab her elbow and stop her. “Where you going?”
She jerked her head towards the wall to their right. “Bathroom.”
His brow raised in question. “Thought you were gonna come say goodbye to Jay with us.”
Shrugging, she told him, “I didn’t even really know Jay. Didn’t talk to him until last night. You guys go ahead.” Her brothers had spent more time with him when Jay had dropped the charges, letting them out of jail to help him when he began to realize someone was using his show to kill people.
But as she wove through the few bar patrons, she admitted to herself that she just didn’t want to be part of the coming conversation. She was grateful he got her brothers out of jail and all, but she didn’t know Jay and had no real need to say goodbye to the man. But more than that, she’d seen the look on his face when he’d killed Charlie to save their lives. And she knew that no matter that he’d done the right thing, he wouldn’t want to see them to be reminded of the choice he’d had to make.
And at least in her own opinion, it wasn’t fair of them to rub that in the poor man’s face. Charlie had been like a brother to the man, but he’d made the “right” choice, and the cost had been so high. She wondered to herself if she would be able to make the same choice if she was forced into the situation. But it wasn’t really something she could bring herself to consider at the moment. And she prayed against a sinking feeling that that day would never come.
After she’d gone to the bathroom, she stood with her hands braced on either side of one of the sinks along the counter, staring into the mirror, and trying to determine if she’d delayed long enough in the bathroom for her brothers to say their goodbyes.
Tabitha leaned over the sink and splashed cold water on her face, blindly reaching out to grab a handful of paper-towels to pat her face dry. As she dried her face, she felt the slight disturbance of power, and even heard the faint flutter that marked Castiel’s arrival.
“You’re not supposed to be in the lady’s room,” she told the angel as she turned around and braced her back against the counter.
Castiel was casually glancing around the outdated bathroom, but turned around at her words, his face tightening in confusion. “Why is this a room only for ladies?”
“What?” she snorted. “Umm…Cas, it’s a woman’s bathroom. Most public places have separate bathrooms for guys and chicks.” Seeing his blank look, she crossed her arms over her white tank top and shook her head. “Never mind. What’s up?”
Castiel mimicked her position, leaning back to brace himself against one of the stall doors, his arms loose at his sides.
Tabitha smiled to herself, thinking that it was a good thing that no one else was in the bathroom with them to see the strange scene. But at least the angel wasn’t avoiding her after what had happened at the motel room. She’d half-feared that he’d avoid her again like he’d done after her last idiot mistake.
Finally speaking, Castiel asked her, “Why would you lustfully embrace a man when he was trying to kill your brothers? I thought you had some love for them.”
The smile fell from her face as she stared back at the angel. She felt her nose wrinkle as she spread her legs out in front of her, slouching more and leaning backwards on the counter more as she braced her hands along the counter on either side of herself. “You been following me, Cas?”
“At times,” he shamelessly admitted. “To watch you and your brothers.”
Gesturing wildly with one hand, she asked, “So, what? You followed us and just thought you’d hang out and see if we made it out of that one alive or not?”
The angel didn’t move at her hard tone. “I always try to check in and keep a certain awareness of you…and your brothers. But as you know, more and more seals are being broken, and so I can’t always come every time you and your brothers are in danger. And like the other many times you’ve been in danger, you seem to have come through it just fine.”
“But still, you knew we were in trouble, and what, just watched it play out?”
He finally shook his head. “In truth, I was not aware of your trouble at the time. We were fighting our own battle to save a seal, one of the few it seems that we have saved recently. I saw the image of what happened in the minds of your brothers when I came to check in on all of you. They seemed quite disturbed by the event.”
She huffed and ran a tired hand over her tangled hair, its streaks of dark and light blonde hair pulled sloppily back in a messy bun. “The mind-reading thing,” she reminded herself.
He nodded in agreement.
They stared at each other for several tense moments, and Tabitha knew the angel was still waiting for an answer.
Huffing, she recrossed her arms as she paced away from him, pausing to grab a paper-towel from the dispenser and angrily tearing off pieces of it as she paced. Staring down at her hands and still pacing, she told him, “For crying out loud, Cas, you think I really kissed the guy ’cause I was overcome with lust at the thought of that bozo being able to make me immortal or some ridiculous notion? It’s called distraction,” she snarled at him, turning to face him and holding up her wrist to jangle the charms on her bracelet. “I was just trying to get closer and distract him long enough to grab this back. I could have gone for my gun, but since the guy was wielding magic, this seemed like the smarter choice. It apparently holds some protection against other kinds of magic, too.”
“So it seems,” he quietly agreed.
She moved to stand across from him again, slouching back in her former position against the counter as she faced the angel again.
“It was a kiss of…distraction?” he slowly and carefully asked.
Feeling her brows furrow deeper, she repeated, “Yeah.”
“Not of love or lust?”
“What? No, Cas. Nothing like that,” she huffed, and then closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to remind herself that Cas was always asking her odd questions about humans and human interactions, and repeating to herself that this was just another instance of his ignorance and that she just needed to calmly explain things to him so that the angel could sate his curiosity about humans.
“Humans kiss each other for as many different reasons as a person can possibly think of,” she continued to explain to the angel, her tone finally becoming even and steady as she formed the explanation. “Yeah, sometimes it’s love, sometimes attraction or lust, and sometimes it’s in friendship. But me kissing Charlie? That was just to distract him. I was just trying to get my charm bracelet back so that I could help my brothers without him throwing magic mojo at me—and I already explained that to Sam and Dean, so I don’t know why they’re still hung up on it, either. A kiss reflects the emotion one person feels for another, and all I felt for Charlie was a desire to distract him.”
“Humans are very complex,” he quietly commented, his face still drawn together.
“Yeah,” she agreed. “I guess we are.”
The angel continued to stare down at the floor, his face still screwed up in confusion, but then, his face tipped back up to meet hers. “You kissed me on the cheek?” he suddenly said. “In friendship? That is what you felt?”
Tabitha laughed lightly as she responded. “Yeah, Cas. Of course. Look,” she uncomfortably began, “I’m sorry for what happened back at the motel before. That was my fault, not yours. I let myself get carried away in trying to explain something to you, and it was wrong of me to let things go that far. I know that you’re an angel and I’m human and that even friendship is a stretch for you, and truly, I don’t want to do anything to lose the friendship we’ve built.” She moved away from the counter, stepping in front of the angel as she reminded herself of how close a friend he had become. Even if he was a bit clueless at times. But it was something she needed to keep reminding herself, because she didn’t think she could bear the thought of losing his friendship any more. She felt like it was the only steady constant in her world now.
As she stepped in front of the angel, she realized the tall heel of her clunky biker boots gave her just enough added height that she could look straight across into his eyes. Not that he was much taller than her anyway, but she liked being on even footing with him.
On impulse, she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around Castiel’s shoulders, realizing to herself that they were on even footings in a lot of ways. He may not understand humans and human emotions or interactions, but she realized she wasn’t much better in practice. She understood other humans much better in theory than she did in reality. Between her strange upbringing and then her job, she hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to really learn how normal people interacted and formed friendships.
Her only friends growing up had basically been her brothers, and then as a Fed, her only loose friendships—if she could truly call them such—had been with a few other federal agents. She’d had a series of relationships that had equated to no more than one-night-stands, and then a disastrous semi-relationship with her partner whom she at best cared for as a friend. Was it any wonder she was no better at friendship than Castiel was? But she didn’t want to keep making the same mistakes she had been and ruin a good thing.
As she held her arms around the angel, she felt him slowly relax and put his hands loosely on her jean-clad hips, giving a gentle squeeze as she pulled back and brushed her lips across the angel’s cheek as she’d done before. When she leaned back, Castiel continued to stare contemplatively at her.
“See?” she told him. “A kiss of friendship. That’s what I feel for you.” She watched as the angel stared at her and then asked him, “What do you feel for me?”
One of Castiel’s hands released her hip in response, lifting to gently press warm fingertips to the hollow of her cheek, the same place she’d brushed her lips across his own cheek. Her eyes closed briefly at the peaceful sensation. A feeling that was far too fleeting, for when it disappeared, she opened her eyes to find the angel gone.
With a resigned sigh at his all too normal vanishing act, she left the bathroom to go find her brothers.
She found them at the bar, Jay nowhere in sight as the pair each nursed dwindling glasses of beer. Holding a folded bill out, she flagged down the dark-haired bartender, telling her, “Three wise men,” when the woman stopped in front of Tabitha.
Dean gave her a challenging look at the stiff drink order, but only said, “Where you been? What took you so long?”
A slow grin spread as she cheekily told him, “Ran into someone in the bathroom, got caught up talking about different kinds of kisses and then demonstrating.”
She laughed at the brief look of fantasy that flickered in his eyes, followed by a sour look when he remembered it was his sister inspiring the image.
“Jesus, Tab,” he grumbled into his beer. “Anyone you’re not inappropriately kissing?”
The bartender lined up the three shots, and Tabitha started with the Johnny Walker, then immediately slamming back the Jim Bean and quickly following with the last shot of Charlie Daniels.
With a quick breath at the dizzying three shots she admitted, “I’m just trying hard not to do anything dumb and inappropriate.”
A/N: Sorry for the delay. I do like to update once a week if I can, but a college friend spent the week last week, so I got zero writing done. And there will probably be many more times when I’m only able to update biweekly or so, so I apologize in advance for those who have grown used to the weekly updates. But hopefully this chapter makes up for the delay. As you can tell, I moved the scene from in a later season where Dean catches Castiel watching porn. And I reserve the right to rearrange other things to suit my needs in the future.
Also, since I didn’t know last names for some of the characters, I made them up. 🙂
Let me know what you think!