Title: Heaven's Gates
Warnings: mild use of adult language
Summary: Post-Supernatural season 6 finale; Chloe Sullivan, who has been helping Castiel fight the war for souls, steps into Sam and Dean's lives and makes quite an impression.
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"Where is she going? Where are you going?" Sam asked first Dean then Chloe directly when they approached the room only to find her out of bed.
She laughed weakly. "I'm going to take a shower. I'm kind of...freezing, really," she admitted. "Side effect," she added in a murmur. "Forgot how much I hated this part."
"Chloe, I–" Sam started, but she held up a hand.
"Don't worry about it. Are you all right?" she asked.
He chuckled feebly. "Yeah. I am."
She smiled, the first truly genuine, warm smile either of them had seen on her, and even Dean found himself smiling back. "Good," she said, relief in her voice. "And Bobby got everything he needed done? Informed all the right people of what's happened?"
"I just got off the phone with him," Sam told her.
She nodded tiredly. "Good. Now, if you boys will excuse me..." she tipped her head indicatively toward the bathroom.
"Right, of course."
They backed out of her room, and Chloe released a grateful breath before walking over to her closet to lay out a cotton dress and a cardigan to go with it. Then she headed to the bathroom and slowly started peeling off her clothes. She tugged her shirt over her head and tossed it on the ground, then reached for the button and zipper on her pants. A pity. She'd liked the jeans she was wearing, but she'd get rid of them anyway now. They would always remind her of death after this, so she wouldn't wear them again no matter how much she had liked them. Slowly, she reached behind her back and unhooked her bra, breathing in relief when it was off and her breasts were unrestrained. She rubbed the red indentations in her skin where the underwire had left her sore before sliding off her underwear.
She wrapped a soft white towel around her body and headed to the shower to turn the water all the way to hot, sticking a hand under the near-scorching water and groaning as it brought feeling back into her chilled fingers.
"Thank you, God," she murmured as steam rose up around her in the bathroom. She dropped the towel and stepped under the stream of water, moaning as it practically hissed on her skin. She closed her eyes and rolled her shoulders a little before leaning against the wall, too exhausted to bother scrubbing. Instead she let the water beat down on her as her mind floated involuntarily back to when Castiel had first appeared in her life.
For weeks she had cried, prayed, begged for God to bring them both back. By the time Castiel appeared, she had no tears left, only red, dry eyes and trembling hands.
He told her he'd come to answer her prayers, but when she'd asked God to fix it, Castiel had been the last thing she'd been expecting.
But Castiel had given her the chance to save them both. She'd been tempted to leave Davis for dead, but Castiel said he would fix it so that Davis didn't remember any of his time in Metropolis. He'd sent Davis, who was now entirely free of Doomsday, to a small town in Alaska where he worked a paper-work job at a hospital–helping people, but generally removed from them.
Jimmy, on the other hand...his memory had been a little more selectively altered. His experience at the Daily Planet stayed, but other people's minds had to be corrected to remember him as alive...most importantly, his family. Jimmy, with no memories of ever having reunited with Chloe Sullivan after his brief summer internship in high school, returned home to rekindle his relationship with his family. Eventually, Castiel had told her, he would return to work at the Daily Planet, becoming synonymous with the name Lois Lane, working alongside her to make famous one of the world's greatest heroes.
In exchange, Chloe had left her home to go with Castiel. She would have said goodbye to someone, except...there was no one to say goodbye to. Aside from Lois, everyone else was gone, refusing to take her calls, to let her know whether they were all right.
Castiel had offered her purpose again. According to him, if he were to, for hypothetical example, go back in time and save people from death in order to accumulate more souls, he was going against Fate. Chloe, on the other hand, in using her ability to save them, was changing Fate. Apparently, these were two entirely different things.
According to him, anyway. Chloe had come to know Castiel very well over the past few months, to understand his mission, how he had become the way he was. And through him, she learned the entire history of Sam and Dean.
The first time he had suddenly vanished mid-conversation to answer a call from one of them, Chloe had been more than curious. When he returned, she'd drilled him with questions about them. Eventually, she and Castiel had grown closer, and he had begun to confide in her, telling her stories not only about Heaven, but also about Sam and Dean, and their remarkable friendship with him.
But between his unpredictable visits, Chloe had to be "looked after." Apparently she was a secret weapon of sorts. If Raphael had known about her, he would have tried to use her, or worse still, to kill her so that no one could use her.
So Castiel had charged Balthazar with her protection, and Balthazar, true to his extravagant nature, had set her up in a luxurious penthouse, the likes of which she had never dreamt of affording. They had put the necessary protections up so that no other angels would be able to locate her, and her existence–unless you counted the occasional phone calls home to Lois–was kept generally secret. Perhaps "understated" was a better word, though. Lois believed that Chloe had received work as a star columnist to a travel journal, meaning she had no permanent address. Lois, though sorry to go so long without seeing her cousin, was happy that she had found work worthy of her talents, and most of all, she was happy that Chloe was happy, as Chloe frequently assured her she was.
And she was.
All right, admittedly, she was lonely. A little. Just a little.
But her personal life had been a small price to pay for being able to save Jimmy. To save countless people. That had been worth it.
Slowly, Chloe realized the water was growing cool, and she hurriedly reached to shut it off, stepping out of the shower to wrap herself in the towel again. She took another one and started toweling off her hair. She fished in her makeup bag and started to put on a fresh face. It was time to start facing the new world. Starting with the two men sitting in her living room.
Dean paced the room impatiently.
"Dude," Sam said, "you have been doing that for the last day and a half. Would you please sit the Hell down?"
Dean glanced up at Sam, who was sitting on the couch, following the news, looking for any signs that Castiel had decided to drastically change the world order.
So far, nothing major was showing up. But then, they supposed it was less this life than it was the after-life that was going to be getting a makeover.
Dean looked at the door to Chloe's room. "How long does it take to take a damn shower?"
Sam burned a look at Dean. "Are you serious? She just literally died for me. She can take as long as she wants in there."
"Yeah, but how do we know she's okay? Maybe she passed out or something."
"Or she's a girl and she just came back from the dead and she wants to spend an hour in the shower. Sit still."
But Dean couldn't sit still. He felt like he should be doing something. With everything that had happened in the last few days, it didn't feel like they had achieved the right to sit still.
But so far Castiel hadn't done anything Armageddon inducing. And what else could he do? If he tried to talk the rogue angel down, all he would accomplish was his own blood smears on the carpet.
And now that Sam was better, Dean had only one distraction: Chloe. He was fairly certain he could safely say that he had never met anyone like her...and that, that was not an easy accomplishment.
He glanced at her closed bedroom door again and made up his mind. He walked over and knocked on it.
"Yes?" her voice called through the door, and Dean realized he had missed the sound of the shower shutting off. Pushing the door open he stopped halfway in, his eyes wide when he spotted her in a towel.
Chloe flushed when she realized Dean had walked in and quickly dodged behind the door. Leaning her head around and grinning at him, she gestured toward the bed, her other hand carefully holding the towel in place. "Would you mind…?"
Dean looked at the bed without comprehension until suddenly recognizing that there were clothes laid out. Raising an eyebrow at the simple, bikini-style, cotton underwear and the lack of bra, he picked up her things and walked over to hand them to her.
She seized them quickly and vanished behind the bathroom door, shutting it in Dean's face. "Did you want something?" she asked through the door.
"Just checking that you were all right," he said.
"By barging in?" she laughed.
"Hey, you said to come in."
"I said 'yes.' Miscommunication on my part. Won't happen again."
"Pity," Dean said, and he head her snort on the other side of the door.
"You know," she said, "you are almost exactly what I imagined."
"That good or bad?" he asked.
Chloe opened the door, freshly clothed and finally in one piece again. "I haven't made up my mind," she smirked.
"So…are you good now?" he asked. "I mean, I've done the whole 'coming back from the dead thing, but it was slightly different circumstances, so–"
"I could really go for some pizza," Chloe said easily, picking up a thick brown belt off the back of a chair and buckling it high on her waist. Dean watched with no small curiosity as she next walked automatically to her nightstand, putting on the wrist-length leather gloves as if it were a perfectly normal ensemble-piece. Then she moved toward the door for the living room, leaving Dean in her wake. "Hey, Sam. How are you?" she asked when she found him sitting on her couch.
Sam glanced up at her. "I'm incredible. Really. I owe y–"
But Chloe was already waving him off. "It's what I do. If you want to thank me, you can put that lovely mind to work picking a few pizza toppings." She tossed him the phone.
He laughed lightly, lifting the phone to her in toast. "You got it."
"Thanks, Sam," she said.
Dean, glaring at this calm interaction, nearly exploded. "Can we talk about how you just almost died and she just actually died, and any one of us could cease existing any second now!" He paused, looking wide eyed at them. When they didn't react, he waved his arms for emphasis, "AND DIE?"
"Dean, relax," Chloe said. "No one's going to die. At least, it's not likely. Castiel, if you ask me, is not likely to use his newfound power and…shall we say, 'role in the universe?'…to smite you. At least not anytime soon. He's–"
"How would you know?" Dean demanded.
"I know," Chloe said calmly, "because I know Castiel. Possibly better than you do," she added with a slight arch of her eyebrow.
"Don't you dare say that," Dean growled, and Sam jumped up, grabbing Dean's arm to hold him back. "He's like a brother to me!"
Chloe didn't move, allowing his breathing to stead before saying, "Was like a brother to you. Or shall we call the past several months something of a family feud?"
Dean glared at her, and Sam threw her a dirty look. "We've had our own shit to deal with, you know," Sam said in reminder.
She lifted a shoulder, heading for the phone. "I'm sure you have. And we'll talk about it. But in the meantime, as your brother has so kindly pointed out, I just died, so I'd really like something to eat." And without waiting for argument, she dialed the pizza place. "Hi, yes, this is Chloe Sullivan, I'd like to place an order." She paused, waiting as someone spoke, and she gave a small smile. "Yes, that Miss Sullivan…yes. I'd like two extra large. One with spinach, ricotta, sundried tomatoes, and Italian sausage. Mmhmm. And the other…" she glanced at the Winchesters momentarily, "Let's go with pepperoni and sausage. And extra napkins." She paused while they repeated the order back for her. "That's it," she grinned. "Thank you." She hung up and the boys looked at her questioningly.
"That Miss Sullivan?" Dean mimicked condescendingly.
She shrugged. "I order a lot of pizza. Makes me feel normal to order pizza."
Sam chuckled. "Normal. What's that?"
She sent him an amused smile. But then she sat down. "So," she said. "I think we need to talk about what you're going to do."
"Who?" Dean asked.
"The two of you. The Winchesters. We need to talk about what you're going to do for the time being."
"Well…we were talking about it, and there's really nothing we can do about Cas."
"The douche is going to go out like a lite-brite plugged into a city's power grid," Dean stated grumpily, flopping down in a chair.
"Don't call him a douche," Chloe said.
"Oh I forgot," Dean said sarcastically. "You really think he's God now and that that's just fine and dandy."
"I'm not going to get into religion with you, Dean. I imagine it would be a rather pointless discussion. But for the record, while I have supported Castiel for the past year, I agree that he's gone a bit mad off the power."
"A bit?" Sam raised an eyebrow. "Ya think?"
She rolled her eyes. "That's not the point. The point is that you need to start going about your regular lives."
Dean snorted. "We don't have regular lives."
"I mean normal for you," she qualified. "I think you should spend as little time as possible dwelling on the Castiel situation. You should get back on the road as soon as you can."
"She has a point," Sam said resignedly.
Dean said nothing, not wanting to admit he agreed, too. Something about the blonde made him want to pick a fight with her. Probably the fact that she'd kissed him two days ago, and he hadn't found an excuse to do it again, yet.
"So not to sound like I'm kicking you out or anything," Chloe said, "how soon do you think we can hit the road?"
Dean's attention snapped back into focus.
"We?" Sam and Dean repeated simultaneously.
Chloe smirked. "Oh, I'm coming with you."
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