29 April 2011 @ 12:54 pm
Just a little author's note: I wrote this chapter LONG before the Fate episode was aired. I watched said episode and felt like crying. Enjoy my pain!



Chapter 15

Urd's eyes traveled around the home's small kitchen as she let out a heavy sigh.

Another name on a never ending hit list. It was unbelievable how many people had ended up on the bad side of this Kim woman. At the rate the names were being given to them it wouldn't be long before half the town would be wiped out.

This wasn't the most ominous setting they had seen. The white and blue tiled kitchen wasn't exactly screaming death trap or anything. Mostly, it just looked like a Better Homes and Garden's photoshoot. A couple of hand towels hanging from the stove, a clutter-free counter with blue ceramic containers, even stainless steel appliances and a center island counter. It was like standing in the middle of some kitchen showroom somewhere. All that was needed was some overly cheerful salesperson and the illusion would be perfect.

Urd!” Skuld's cheerful sounding voice was the only warning the woman got before she was tackled from behind. “You're okay!”

Urd groaned as her sister hugged her tightly, feeling her wounded shoulder throb as she was lifted off the ground. “Stop trying to break me in half.”

Behind her, Skuld opened her eyes and loosened her grip. Excitement had gotten the better of her when she had seen the blonde standing with Verdandi and herself. The urge to hug her and make sure she really was there just couldn't be ignored in her mind. “Sorry,” she said sheepishly.

Verdandi watched the exchange from the kitchen table as Urd brought a hand to her shoulder. “Excuse me if I don't leap up and squeeze the life outta you.”

Urd waved her sister off as she patted Skuld on the shoulder. “Thanks for the hug, Skuld, but I ain't been gone that long.”

Long enough,” Verdandi muttered.

Skuld stepped back and took a long look at her eldest sister, cocking her head slightly in confusion.

Long enough?” Urd let her eyes travel to the dark-haired woman as she raised an eyebrow. “Well, aren't you just a ray of sunshine.”

Verdandi pushed herself up from the small table with a shrug and a sigh. “It's been a long day.”

The comment got an odd look from Urd, her eyes following the woman. The annoyed sounding sigh and indignant little shrug was usual for Verdandi but it was the way she spoke that made Urd pause. She knew the tone of her voice, that dismissive inflection she slipped into so easily when something was up, that was a dead giveaway to the older woman that her sister was hiding something.

What happened while I was gone?” Urd questioned evenly.

Nothing.” Verdandi wandered over to the stove, running her fingers along the range. “We just had breakfast.”

Urd raised a disbelieving eyebrow as a skeptical noise sounded in her throat and she crossed her arms over her chest.

Everything is fine.” Verdandi gave her sister a smile as she turned, doing her best to ignore the stern look on her sibling's face. “Why do you always assume the worst with us?”

Because I know you two,” Urd replied with a hiss.

Beside her, Skuld reached out to tentatively touch her sister's shirt. “Where'd you get this?”

A quick slap at her hand and Skuld backed away slightly as Urd shot her an annoyed look. “None of your business.”

Verdandi's eyes traveled to the gray-green shirt that hung loosely around her sister. She hadn't noticed the dark cotton garment when they had been summoned but, in her defense, it had been dark. But now, standing in their latest job's kitchen, it wasn't so easily overlooked. “Did you steal a hunter's shirt?”

I think she did.” Skuld reached out to give the fabric a tug, Urd rolling her eyes. “Why are you taking a hunter's clothing?”

Oh dear god,” Urd groaned.

A deep breath and almost enthusiastic clap brought the two sets of blue eyes to Verdandi, a wide smile on her lips. “Ah the joys of a family reunion. How about we ice this bitch and continue this elsewhere. Whose with me?”

Urd slapped Skuld's hand away once more, her jaw setting. “First, knock it off, Skuld. I don't mess with your clothes so stop messing with mine.”

You're touchy when you steal other people's clothing,” Skuld mumbled, backing away.

It's not stolen, its borrowed,” Urd countered.

Verdandi rested her elbows against the counter with a grin. “Borrowed, huh? Whatever helps you sleep at night I guess.”

Second, call these people the appropriate name.” Urd's eyes leveled on the woman at the counter. “They are victims.”

There was a noise above them as the home's owner, a slightly portly, short-haired red-head with glasses that had been introduced to them by photograph named Anne Yost, went about her business. The three women glanced toward the ceiling as the creak of floorboards filtered down from above, a signal of their target's movements. And just like all the others before her, she had no idea they were there.

Fine. Can we finish the stupid job we were ordered to do so we can go back to focusing on our two main problems,” Verdandi offered. She raised her index and middle fingers, wiggling each for emphasis. “Getting the hell outta here and those damn hunters.”

Look on the bright side, we don't have to come up with a daring rescue.” Skuld nodded and moved for the small kitchen table. “And you won't have to carjack anyone.”

Wait, what?” Urd straightened and looked at her youngest sister. “What do you mean carjack?”

A warning glare leveled on Skuld from Verdandi's spot that made the white-haired woman uneasy, the added mouthing of “shut up” only making it worse.

Urd hadn't even been back with her sister's a full five minutes and already she knew something was wrong. It wasn't so much “end of the world” wrong as a kind of “oops, we ruined your favorite outfit” wrong. What made it worse was the fact that Skuld was even in on it. With Verdandi, it was a given that she'd be behind something but not Skuld; at least not to Verdandi's level.

That's it. You two are talking even if I have to beat it out of you.” Urd's voice was stern, her eyes moving between the two women. “Now what the hell is going on? Talk!”

Verdandi made her way around the counter to stand in front of Urd. “We just made rescue plans to get you away from the hunters.”

And to take their car,” Skuld mumbled.

Skuld, shut it,” Verdandi growled, pointing toward the younger woman with a snap of her fingers. “Just shut it.”

Skuld shrunk back, biting her lip as she watched the other two.

If I had known all it would take to get you away from them was the bitch wanting someone else killed, I would have suggested targets to her from the start,” Verdandi muttered.

Skuld remained silent, her eyes traveling to the ceiling and the sound of movement above.

You don't suggest anything to her. Period. Got that?” Urd said sternly. She paused briefly, letting out a sigh as she chose her words. “And I ain't asking you to save me so you can forget your little plans.”

Confusion washed over both Skuld and Verdandi as they looked at her. It was an odd request to make; to not be saved by your own sisters. But it was more an order than a request the way Urd had said it. The bite to her voice as she spoke was an unmistakable order to each of them.

Verdandi's eyes were cold as she looked at Urd, her expression harsh. The order hadn't been lost on her, which had touched a nerve in and of itself, but it hadn't been the only thing. Urd had said “asking”; present tense not past. That one small word tense spoke volumes even if Urd didn't.

You aren't asking?” Verdandi watched Urd for any hint of a flinch before she gave voice to the thought in her head. “You're going back to the hunters, aren't you?”

Skuld's eyes drifted to the blonde, slowly standing. “Urd?”

If I am, its my choice.” Urd looked at both women in turn, keeping her voice even. “And you don't do any half-assed rescue plans to screw things up.”

Neither Skuld nor Verdandi was liking how this was sounding. First the order and now the chance she'd go back to the hunters once this new job was finished. Hunters couldn't be trusted from their personal experience and yet here was their sister saying she'd head back to the pair who probably had more weapons on them than the local cops. The same woman who had said to be careful of them was now spending her free time with the two hunters.

Why would you go back to the hunters? We're on their hit list,” Skuld questioned.

Urd turned to look Skuld in the eyes, her voice calm. “Trust me, okay? I know what I'm doing.”

Skuld said nothing as they were joined by their target, finally giving the blonde a nod. “Okay.”

Okay?” The annoyance was clear in Verdandi's tone, her voice raising. “That's it?”

Urd sighed as the red-head moved around the kitchen behind them, feeling the gossamer line dance around her fingers.

This ain't okay. Not by a long-shot.” Verdandi reached out and grabbed Urd's left shoulder, turning her with a push. “Did you go with them voluntarily before?”

A sharp intake of breath and a pained flinch as Verdandi pressed against Urd's wound made the younger sisters pause. Verdandi's hand pulled back and her eyes moved to the square that was barely noticeable beneath the dark cotton. When Urd's right hand clutched her shoulder protectively, worry began to creep into the face of both women.

What happened? What's wrong with your shoulder?” Skuld questioned as she moved to get a look.

I'm fine.” Urd backed up a step, her hand closing around the thread while Anne Yost worked behind them. “Can we just do this job already?"

Fine my Pagan ass,” Verdandi snapped. She pointed at Urd's shoulder, shaking her head. “What did those two assholes do to you?”

Urd huffed, her expression cold. “Never fucking mind. It's not important.”

You're hurt. I'd say that's really important,” Skuld commented.

Verdandi glanced toward Anne as the woman turned on her stove, pinching the thread in Urd's fingers quickly. “What the hell is going on?”

I got shot! Okay? Ya happy now?” Urd watched Verdandi's attention snap back to her with the answer. “They found me in the bookstore, there was a chase and I got shot.”

Skuld paled noticeably beside her sister, her eyes huge. “And you're going back?”

I'm gonna kill 'em. No one will ever find the bodies,” Verdandi growled.

You aren't touching the boys,” Urd yelled, making Skuld jump.

At the counter, Anne paused her onion chopping to glance around the room. For a split second she had thought she heard a voice behind her, like the barest hint of an angry yell. The quick glance had only proven she was alone in the room.

The boys? You're gettin' friendly with the pricks who shot you now?” Verdandi asked, her voice still laced with venom.

I'm here, aren't I? I'm not locked up or tied down, my wound is patched up and I'm here. If they couldn't be trusted, don't you think this would have a different outcome, Verdandi?” Urd stared down her sister, a harsh bite to her voice. “So yeah, I'm getting friendly with them.

Skuld moved to stand beside Verdandi, giving Urd a once over. “Do you have Stockholm Syndrome?”

Excuse me?” Urd gave her sister an odd look at the question, straightening slightly. “What kind of question is that?”

I'm just asking,” Skuld mumbled, shrinking back behind Verdandi. “Cause it looks like Stockholm Syndrome.”

I don't have Stockholm Syndrome!” Urd protested, glaring at the pair. “Those two are helping us.”

Verdandi and Skuld exchanged an odd look, both speaking at once. “What?”

They are helping us,” Urd repeated. She waited for the words to sink in before she continued. “They know my human contact. He vouched for me and, he in turn, vouched for them. I asked them to help us get out of this damn place.”

They shot you,” Verdandi pointed out.

And they patched me up. Even before they called my contact,” Urd countered.

Verdandi looked skeptical as Skuld chewed on her index fingernail. She was not the most trusting of the trio when it came to humans in general. A couple of centuries dealing with the petty actions of handfuls of them had jaded her to their species. Some had managed, on occasion, to get on her good side but those had been few and far between. And none of them had been hunters.

So they're really helping us?” Skuld asked hesitantly.

Urd answered with a nod.

I don't trust them.” Verdandi's voice was a hiss as she watched her older sister. “They're hunters.”

Urd let out a huff, leveling a harsh gaze on the black haired woman. “Well tough.”

The tension between the two grew thick as Verdandi stepped into Urd's personal space. “They kill our kind.”

You really want to be the killing machine for that bitch?” The question was simple but Verdandi didn't reply. Not that it would matter. “Then stop bitching and let them help us.”

Verdandi's expression was cold as the pair stared each other down.

Now suck it up and deal, princess,” Urd growled.

Verdandi was about to say exactly what was on her mind about her sister when a new voice startled them all; the near shriek making the trio jump.

Who are you?” Anne Yost's eyes were wide as she stared at the three women standing in her kitchen, her knife pointed at them. “Who the hell are you?”

Three shocked sets of blue eyes locked on the panicked woman, the bickering instantly dying.

She can see us?” Verdandi cocked her head slightly, watching the woman tremble where she stood. “How the hell can she see us?”

Urd's gaze never left the blade being waved at them, her fingers tightening around the woman's thread. “Skuld!”

Oh right.” The gasp the white-haired woman let out was almost an afterthought as she reached for the thread. “Sorry.”

Urd's eyes closed and she shook her head as Verdandi turned a disbelieving gaze at her young sister. “Are you serious?”

Skuld's fingers pinched the thread and sent its end flying into the woman's body. “I said sorry.”

The last tiny shimmer of thread vanished into the woman's chest as she kept the knife pointed at the trio, the shake in her movements the last thing they caught before chaos took hold.

The almost inaudible hiss coming from the stove was drown out by the refrigerator's compressor kicking on with a spark. With that one tiny spark the gas that had been filling the room ignited in a yellow-orange ball of flame. The four bodies were engulfed by the searing heat a split second before the kitchen's main gas line ruptured, blowing the back half of the house to pieces.

Broken glass crunched beneath the young women's shoes as they stepped from the burning wreckage and moved across the debris scattered yard.

So what now?” Verdandi followed Urd across the yard, kicking a charred foot out of her way. “You go back and play nice with the hunters while we sit by with our thumbs up our asses?”

Urd turned on her heel at the words, her gaze harsh. “You two can do whatever you want in this backwater town as long as it doesn't involve the hunters.”

Skuld moved to stand just behind Verdandi as the first screams of approaching sirens hit her ears.

You can go have some random sexfest with a local for all I care. But you do not, under any circumstances, go after those two boys.” Urd let her eyes travel to both women as she kept her voice stern. “Do you understand?”

The pair gave a nod but said nothing, the screaming sirens converging on the small two-story.

Good.” Urd straightened as she eyed Verdandi, leveling a finger at her. “This is your only warning.”

Skuld took a sudden interest in the piece of flaming window frame at her feet while Verdandi stood silent, Urd changing form and taking to the sky. Her attention shifted when the beat of wings was well out of earshot. A quick glance toward the approaching voices and she was at her sister's elbow.

This is your only warning,” Verdandi mocked, her eyes narrowing

So this knocks out your rescue plan.” Skuld paused, shrugging as she thought. “And your carjacking plan.”

Verdandi shook her head, waving off the comments. “Oh no. She don't just get away with all that crap.”

But she said leave the hunters alone,” Skuld commented.

Yeah well, that's bullshit.” The black-haired woman stormed unseen past the small team of first responders, raising a defiant finger above her head. “I will find out whats going on. Even if it kills them!”

Skuld's shoulders sagged with a huff, the yard beginning to fill with fire rescue workers. “You can't touch them.” She hung her head with a frustrated groan, frustration quickly turning to revulsion as she spotted an eyeball beside her foot. “Oh my god!”
 

***
 

Dean tossed his keys on the motel room's table as he and Sam walked inside, letting out a tired sounding sigh.

Their day wasn't even close to being over and it was already bordering on exhausting, both mentally and physically. Burying a body and digging up a grave was normal when it came to their job, lying to a 911 operator was par for the course too. But doing the job with a goddess to contend with made it a little more stressful especially when she vanished to kill people with her sisters.

There hadn't been much left of the latest victim's house when the two had pulled up to it, the local fire department was drowning the smoldering remains of the two-story building. Milling around the gawkers outside the police cordon had given them a vague idea of what had happened or at least what people in town thought had happened. Local consensus was a gas leak had ripped through the house; the local police even evacuated the block until the gas company had shut off the line. And maybe local opinion had been correct but there was only one person who could honestly put it to rest. Unfortunately, neither man had seen her at the house

That was not a pretty way to go,” Dean muttered as he made his way to the fridge.

Sam shook his head and had a seat at the table. “No, it wasn't.”

Dean pulled a couple beers from the fridge and handed one over to his brother before tossing his cap in the sink. “They've probably found Ballard by now.”

Sam nodded, looking at the bottle in his hand.

So some Kim chick manages to trap and collar the Fates to blow up people. Why?” Dean mused.

Soft footfalls made both men look up toward the bedroom and the blonde standing in the doorway. “Don't really know but I wish it would stop.”

Dean stepped from the tiny kitchen as Sam got to his feet, both men watching her walk toward the couch.

And I'm sure this town will be happy to see us go,” she commented, throwing herself on the cushions.

The boys exchanged a glance before Sam spoke, Dean shaking his head. “What happened?”

A graceful hand rose as she lay face down on the couch, her voice muffled by the tacky throw pillow. “Gas leak, refrigerator compressor, boom. In that order.”

And that's normal for you?” Dean questioned. “Taking out people with appliances?”

Urd let her arm fall over the edge of the couch, turning her head on the pillow to face them. “Actually, yes.”

Dean rolled his eyes and moved for the small table, taking a drink from his bottle.

What about Ballard?” She looked toward Sam, rolling over on to her side. “Did you call on him?”

Just before the explosion,” he answered with a nod. “Anonymous tip.”

Urd chuckled, tucking the throw pillow under her chin. “Gotta love anonymous tips.”

Dean considered his beer bottle for a moment before he looked toward Urd. “Two dead bodies in one day. You three are really making the cops here earn their pay.”

She gave a small shrug, stretching out. “We can't really help it. Don't really have a choice in the matter.”

And hopefully we can fix that part soon.” Sam said with a sigh.

But now we have leads to sort through.” Dean set his beer down on the table as Sam took a seat. “Like who owns that farm.”

Sam nodded, picking at his beer label. “Plus there's that Lund woman we heard about at the coffeehouse. Haven't questioned her yet.”

Urd sat up with a groan, pulling her knees to her chest. “Who's that?”

The last person to see Ballard alive. Or at least we think the last person,” Sam answered. He sat forward in his chair, resting his arms on the tabletop. “Before we ran into you, we questioned one of Ballard's friends who said they saw this Kimberly Lund woman at the bar they were at staring at Ballard.”

Her name is Kimberly?” The tone of her voice mirrored the surprise on her face as she looked at the pair. “And she last saw him?”

Dean raised a hand at the rising excitement in Urd's voice, his own expression clouding slightly. “Whoa. I know the chick's name is Kim but none of us know if this lady is the same one who has you on the short leash.” He gave a terse little shrug, shaking his head. “You don't even know your “master's” last name.”

Why, Dean, I had no idea you were versed in Dom/sub culture.” Urd cocked her head and gave the young man a stoic smile. “You struck me as more vanilla than anything.”

Sam said nothing, his brow furrowing. The normally smooth skin of his face pulled into an awkward grimace as his hand absently scratched at the back of his head. His gaze was focused resolutely on his shoes and away from the bickering duo, his mind quickly working on defusing the current situation.

We don't even know how many people named Kim live in this town,” Sam added, quickly cutting off any comment his brother was about to say. “It could be a different woman.”

Dean glared at the goddess from the table, trying to push back the urge to shoot her again.

There are eleven women in this town named Kim and four of them live on Pine St.,” Urd explained.

How do you know your Kim lives on Pine?” Sam questioned.

Urd thought back to the search of Kim's house, resting her chin on her knees. “There was a flyer for the Pine Street Neighborhood Watch on the fridge. In my experience, you only get those when you live in the neighborhood.”

A heavy tension-filled silence settled over the room, Sam considering her words as Dean continued to glare.

Kinda easy to rule out the others at that point,” she mumbled.

Dean took a long drag off his beer before putting the bottle down and clearing his throat. There was a bite to his voice and a clear glimmer of annoyance in his eyes when he spoke that was leveled at the blonde on the couch. He was doing his best to push back the strong urge to empty a clip into her; it was bad enough people thought he was gay, which wasn't that big of a deal at this point, but being called vanilla was crossing the line.

That still doesn't help us figure out why your Kim is killing people, who's next and how she managed to find a spell strong enough to collar your annoying ass.”

Well I'm sorry it didn't dawn on me to ask this last one how she ended up on a shit list as her jaw flew past me,” Urd stated flatly. “I'll try to remember the pre-killing banter next time.”

Sam held up a hand silencing both as his eyes moved between the two. “Let's try to remember peoples lives are at stake, okay?” He leveled a calm gaze toward his brother, managing to pull his attention from the blonde before the two started a fight. “If this was any other job, Dean, where would we start first?”

The Lund woman. See if she's involved with Ballard's death or just wrong place, wrong time with her.” He shot Urd a sidelong glare before he shifted his attention back to Sam. “Then tackle who owns that farmhouse.”

Urd was motionless on the couch as her eyes moved between the pair. “How are you gonna question that Lund woman?”

There was still a bite in Dean's voice as he answered but it was beginning to subside as he slipped further into job mode. “With Ballard dead, the missing person case officially turns to a murder case. First step in those most times is to talk to the last people to see the victim and those who knew him.”

Urd listened intently, her eyes traveling between the pair.

Easiest way for investigating officers to get clues and the occasional suspect,” Sam added. “And it may rule out that Kim as the one keeping you and your sisters here.”

So I'm going with you?” she questioned innocently.

Dean finished his beer and set the bottle aside. “No, you're not.”

What?” Her voice held a hint of surprise as Urd's feet hit the floor and she sat forward. “Why not? I've seen her face. I can identify her.”

And this is why you're not going.” Dean spoke as f he were scolding a child and not talking to a goddess. “She's seen you too. If she sees you suddenly hanging around a couple guys asking questions, she's gonna get suspicious.”

All Urd did in response was let out a disappointed sigh while the young man stood.

We, meaning Sam and I, will go check this woman out. You are going to stay here.” He motioned from himself and Sam to her as she sat on the couch. “We go, you stay. That's it.”

She sat back, picking at the ugly fabric. “Fine.”

Dean watched her for a moment before he turned from the table, heading for the bedroom. “I'm gonna grab a quick shower. We'll head out in an hour or so, Sammy.”

Sam let his attention settle on Urd, watching her pull a thread from the sofa. “Dean has a point, you know.”

She glanced up, flicking the piece of string on the floor. “She's only seen me in one form, Sam, and that's this one. She doesn't even know about the others as far as I can figure.”

Still its probably best if you stayed here while we go talk to her,” he offered. “Two 'agents' questioning her is more believable than three.”

Her eyebrow arched gracefully and her head cocked slightly, leaning forward to rest her elbows on her knees. “How do you two plan on ruling her out then?”

I'll try getting a picture of her on my phone while we're there so you can see her,” Sam answered.

She gave him a small nod and sat back. Their plan was good for what it was worth but that was their idea. She had others.


Chapter 16

 
 
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