26 July 2010 @ 01:45 pm
Part 2

After Urd's proposition and the following discussion between the brothers, Dean took off. He said he needed some air, which in Dean speak, meant a drive to clear his head and a couple drinks at a local bar. He hadn't stayed long after their talk and the retreating sound of the small block engine had left Sam alone with the source of Dean's contention.

Urd had settled, more or less, on the couch with one of Sam's books; looking through the pages quietly while he had staked his claim at the table turned research library. Occasionally she would make a comment about something in the pages that would get Sam's attention before returning to the book with a laugh. Her attention only wavered slightly when he moved at the room's small table.

Maybe it was because Dean wasn't here, Sam had mused to himself while glancing briefly toward Urd; maybe the quiet now was simply because Dean was out. It was obvious Urd held some animosity toward Dean for shooting her, which he really didn't blame her for, but it looked like she picked her battles to solely be with him. Most of all, it appeared that animosity didn't carry over to Sam. Patching her up probably went along with getting on her good side too.

While she busied herself with Sam's books, he busied himself on finding out about her. It hadn't taken long for Sam to fall into the usual research routine even with their unexpected guest in the same room. He was on a mission though; he wanted to know as much as he could about Bobby's friend before he started to question her.

He had lost himself in the research when the photos began coming up in his searches. Suddenly the handful of descriptions and written accounts he had come across paled, the theories he had read falling apart with a simple image. Sorting through each one only made him want to find more.

One photo gave way to another then another. The dates and places started to blur as the familiar faces caught his eye in each image he came across. Pennsylvania, 1863...London, 1940...France, 1918. The hotel room was quiet save for the soft click of the laptop keys and the almost constant hum of the portable printer as it kicked out yet another photograph.

The hum had become a relaxing white noise the more Sam searched online for their guest. He had lost himself in the search and almost comforting mechanical noise, the time passing by unnoticed. It didn't register with him; the growing shadows that stretched across the window or the orange-red glow that faded against the west facing curtains blending into the unnoticed background as he dug deeper. Time ticked by, the world beyond the laptop screen moving unnoticed to the young man.

He was studying the most recent find when he heard a young voice at his elbow, jumping at the sudden comment.

I like music.”

Sam dropped the photo, coming face to face with Urd's child form. He caught himself staring at the small figure before his brain finally registered who he was looking at. “Urd?”

I like music,” she repeated. She paused and thought, pouting slightly. “And books.”

Sam blinked, his brow knitting.

Urd held up the case notebook Sam had made, peering over the top innocently. “No one ever asks us these things. Most people make us sound like we float around on clouds or something.”

I'm..uh..sorry?” He watched her slip into the chair across from him, cocking his head slightly as he looked the small form over. “Where did you get that shirt?”

The girl looked down at the grey-green tee that appeared to be four sizes too big, giving the young man a shrug. “I washed up and needed a new shirt. I'll give it back to Dean.”

Sam could only shake his head as Urd looked at the various photos on the table. “I get the feeling you enjoy tormenting Dean.”

A little.” She glanced up at him, folding her arms on the table. “Girl's gotta have some enjoyment in her life.”

Sam thought better than to comment on the remark, coughing slightly as he straightened up the photos in front of him.

Urd ran a slender finger over the tabletop, drawing an invisible pattern against the wood grain. “The water pressure here sucks. Not that I'm complaining; just saying is all.”

This place isn't bad as far as motels go,” Sam commented. He paused, looking up at the little girl. “Its a lot better than some of the places we've stayed in.”

Sounds like you've had your share of questionable lodgings,” Urd said with a smile.

Sam nodded, chuckling softly as he remembered a couple particularly bad motels. “Just a few.”

Bobby never really talked about the traveling or anything. I think he didn't want me to associate him with one of those 'charge by the hour' sleazy motels.” Urd gave a small shrug, Dean's shirt shifting on her shoulders. “He's always come off as a gentleman to me.”

Sam watched the little girl across from him, amusement hiding in his features.

Here he was sitting in a middle of nowhere motel, talking about the man who was like a second father to him with a girl who looked no older than seven-years. This was the same girl who, as a young woman, occupied every photo he had come across online. The whole situation was so odd to him.

Urd kicked her dangling feet as she looked over the table's contents, craning her neck slightly. “So whatcha doin?”

Um.” He looked over the mass of photos, looking for an explanation that didn't sound too awkward. “Research on you.”

She raised an eyebrow, her hand quickly darting out to grab one of the photos. “Oh really?”

He couldn't grab her target fast enough, the photograph slipping off the table as she darted to the other side of the room. “Urd.”

I wanna see your new research on us.” She sounded like an indignant child as she waved the picture above her head. “I saw your notebook. Now I wanna see this.”

Sam groaned and watched the girl examine the image in her hand. “It's nothing.”

Urd's head cocked slightly, her body unreadable as she kept her back to him. “Its Gettysburg.”

What?” Sam questioned, straightening in his chair.

Gettysburg.” Urd marched back to the table, slapping the photo of a hospital tent down. “A cannon shot blew the poor kids leg off mid-calf. He was 15. Kept crying for his momma.”

He paled at her answer, glancing down at the photo. “You remember that?”

Of course.” She looked at him calmly, her expression growing sad. “I remember everything.”

Sam watched her reach for the picture laying around the table, the small hands pulling them into a pile. “Everything?”

Urd replied with a nod, flipping through the stack of images. “Unfortunately.” She held up a photograph, sighing heavily. “Sarajevo. It was June 3rd, 1910. The dresses were annoyingly painful and the heat didn't help. And a historical side-note, Archduke Ferdinand was a pompous dick.”

Sam watched her toss the image on the table, raising an eyebrow at her bluntness.

His wife wasn't so bad but he was a prick.” Urd looked at the next one before she held it up, raising an eyebrow. “Paris, 1918. Spanish flu isn't on par with the Black Plague but it did put a dent in your population.”

He examined the photo of the trio as nurses, watching her finger tap the lone man in it.

Soon after this was taken, Verdandi punched him because he grabbed her ass,” she explained.

Sam found himself chuckling at the image of a French nurse, looking so proper for the camera, punching a man moments later.

She tossed the image on the table, cocking her head slightly. “Some of the memories are more gruesome than others. Like these two.”

The two images she dropped in front of him were chilling. Sam remembered seeing them when he was doing a report on World War II for an 8th grade History class. Even back then he remembered thinking how bleak and depressing the images had been. Broken buildings and remains of twisted metal bent in hideous shapes, what was once a bustling city reduced to piles of rubble and ash. The names Nagasaki and Hiroshima had become synonymous with the end of the war; the photos became infamous with the destruction of the atomic bomb.

You humans have an interesting violent streak, especially when your 'eye for an eye' rule comes into play.” She pulled out a third photo, the triplets standing amid the chaos of Pearl Harbor, and laid it with the others. “They bombed you so you decimate two cities. Actually, it was more like vaporized.”

You were there after the bombings?” Sam questioned.

Before, during and after.” Urd's voice grew soft as she paused looking over the pictures in her hand. Her gaze shifted to the destruction captured in the sepia toned images of the once bustling cities. “It was 8:15 on Monday morning when “Little Boy” dropped over Hiroshima. 11:02 Thursday when “Fat Man” wiped out Nagasaki. We stood beneath each blast and watched people reduced to ash as they went about their daily business.”

Sam studied the photo of Hiroshima, his eyes moving to the figures that had caught his attention in the first place. The three white-clad figures were barely distinguishable amid the remains of the Shima Surgical Hospital; standing close among the litter of white bricks and ruined stone. Like the intact shrine gate behind them, they stood silent witness to the destruction around them and the city that lay in ruins at their feet. He couldn't begin to imagine what thoughts were going through their heads as he turned his attention to the image from Nagasaki.

Again he found the familiar trio standing amid the damage, barely noticeable behind a damaged arch of Urakami Cathedral. He could just barely make out their faces, the body language of the young women speaking volumes. They had seen the worst humans could throw at each other, so many deaths in so little time, and it painted itself on every part of them. The body language of each, the way the seemed to pull into themselves said more than any amount of words possibly could.

Our weakness is iron, solid iron. Comes from being around long enough to watch planets form.” Her tone was deceptively even as she sat back in her chair, turning back to the images in her hands. “A little radiation we can handle.”

He stared at the young girl as she flipped through the photographs one by one. Watching her, he could see why Bobby called her his historical go-to. Even behind the child's appearance there was an air of wisdom about her that youth couldn't hide. The history she saw, the memories she carried; not even the disguise of youth could hide that in her features.

His brown eyes closed and his fingertips pushed the shots away, taking an even breath. “So you stood in an atomic blast?”

Urd nodded, biting at her bottom lip. “Yeah. Atomic blasts, volcanic eruptions, fiery explosions. Atomic bomb blasts aren't exactly a picnic compared to the others though.”

Sam leveled a shocked stare at the girl's comment, shaking his head. “A picnic?”

To us. Compared to all the other times, those two hurt. I mean physically hurt us,” she explained. “It was like a bad sunburn.”

He couldn't believe he had just heard that come from her. She had stood beneath two atomic bombs, bombs that had killed 120,000 people combined on detonation, and they simply felt like a sunburn to her. This was the same one who was brought to her knees by an iron round. It was an interesting fact that only made him wonder what else the world didn't know.

You...” He paused, choosing his words carefully. “You're not easy to figure out.”

The girl smiled, her gaze shifting toward him. “Few people actually do. Generally, we keep to ourselves. Once in a while we let you humans get close. A select few though.”

Sam swore he saw something in her eyes as she spoke. It wasn't there long enough to really register but he had caught a quick flash of something in the blue pools as she talked. Just as quickly as it appeared though, it was gone.

So you play favorites like some of the myths say?” he questioned.

The answer was soft as she nodded. “Occasionally.”

Their attention shifted toward the window and the passing headlights beyond the curtains, the sight pulling a soft sigh from the young girl.

He let his gaze move from the curtain to the young girl across from him as she focused on the stack of print outs she still held. His mind was a mass of questions he wanted to ask her; a tangle of whats and hows and whens that just kept growing the more he studied her. The opportunity to ask what was on his mind, to seriously ask and get an answer, wasn't lost on him. And his mind was taking full advantage of the situation.

Urd let her eyes travel to the young man, biting at her bottom lip. “What's on your mind, Sam?”

You and your sisters, you don't let people see what you are,” Sam commented.

Not usually. It's hard for your kind to grasp exactly what we are, let alone our purpose. We have a natural defense that plays against human perception; confuses you about us and keeps the world from identifying exactly what we are capable of.” She held up a printout of The Blitz, Sam's attention going to their figures in the rubble. “It doesn't work with cameras though.”

He chuckled, leaning forward against the table top. “Does it work on all humans?”

Urd bit at her top lip, catching the glow of more headlights against the curtains as another car drove past the room. It looked like she was considering whether she should answer or not. Finally she gave him a shake of her head, taking an even breath.

There are some who can see us. Natural psychics, shamans, even some hunters. But its a 50/50 shot on who can and cannot see past our shield, so to speak,” she explained. She paused as her brow knit briefly. “Then there are the ones we let in.”

Like Bobby?” he questioned.

She answered with a small, almost absent nod, her blue eyes clouding.

Urd?” Concern laced his features as he watched the little girl across from him. “Are you okay?”

A quick blink and clear of her throat brought back her composure. “Yeah. Just remembering something.

Sam couldn't help but wonder about what had gone through her mind in that moment that made her eyes cloud over like that. So much history and one memory could make her pause. He didn't doubt he saw it; a flash of pain that flashed across the piercing blue only to vanish with his question of concern. But it wasn't his place to push the issue with her.

He didn't know her the way Bobby probably did. He didn't figure he ever would either. With how things had happened in town, he was pretty sure all she saw them as was the enemy. But that didn't stop him from wondering.

The curtains lit once more as a familiar rumble stopped outside the cabin, Urd rubbing the tip of her nose as the engine outside cut off.

Seems your brother got his air.”

Sam gave a nod and sat back in his chair, staring at the laptop before him. “Maybe he'll be in a better mood.”

If he's anything like my sisters, then no,” Urd muttered.

The door clicked open as they remained at the table, Dean pushing his way inside with a 6-pack and a pizza. “Brought dinner, Sammy.”

Welcome home, sunshine.” The young voice sounded downright bubbly as the little body turned in her chair. “What'd ya bring me?”

Dean froze as he stared at the young girl, raising an eyebrow. “What the hell?”

Its her,” Sam informed. He saw the confusion in his brother's expression, taking an even breath. “Trust me, its really her.”

Dean eyed the girl cautiously, nudging the door shut as she gave him a huge grin. “That's kinda creepy.”

Urd turned back to the table, her feet dangling a few inches above the floor. “Love you too.”

Dean kept a watchful eye on the girl as he moved toward the small kitchen area, setting their version of dinner on the counter. “This quick change thing normal for you?”

Once in a while.” She leveled a flat look toward Dean, her head cocking slightly. “Depends on the mood and the need.”

Good.” Dean slid the beer into the cabin's fridge, turning back to Urd. “I don't wanna have to look like I'm babysitting you.”

If anyone is babysitting here, its me,” Urd countered. Her little hand gestured to the boys, her tone matter of fact. “You're babies compared to me.”

Dean grumbled as he headed to the couch, dropping down onto the cushions and putting his feet up. “There's pizza if you eat, old woman.”

Urd turned and stuck her tongue out, making a show of the gesture.

Sam's lips pulled into a smile as she slid out of her seat and made her way to the kitchen. “Not the typical god reply.”

Who said I'm typical?” She flipped open the pizza box, her voice raising happily. “Ooo! Onions.” After a second, she turned around to look at the pair, a slice of pizza in her hand. “What's the typical reply?”

Trying to kill us,” Dean muttered.

Oh.” She stared at them for a moment, finally taking a bite from the slice in her hand. “I won't do that.”

Dean's eyebrow rose as he watched her, exchanging a quick glance with Sam.

In all their hunts, the bulk of the creatures they went after pretty much had the mindset to kill them. It was par for the course actually to almost get killed and walk away with bruises, cuts and the occasional scar that the ladies loved. But it was a definite first to have their quarry telling them she wouldn't kill them while standing in their motel room eating pizza.

And, for future reference, we do eat your food. I cook whenever I get the chance in fact,” Urd informed. She licked her lips, thumbing at some sauce at the corner of her mouth. “Bunch of stuff. Pretty good with some Greek recipes.”

You cook?” Dean questioned.

I have a house too.” She reached for a napkin, feeling both men staring at her. “Had it for a while.”

Sam turned in his seat to get a better look as she clean up. “How long is a while?”

Couple hundred years.” She didn't even flinch at the answer, simply turning to head back to her seat. “Thanks for the pizza.”

Dean shook off the surprise of her comment as she smiled and slid back into her chair while Sam cleared his throat, returning to his research.

We aren't all bad. We don't all see you as our playthings,” Urd muttered, fanning the pictures out on the table. “We make friends with you, hold down jobs with you; we even have relationships with your kind.”

Relationships?” Dean straightened on the couch, sitting forward as he spoke. “You mean like getting hot and heavy with a human?”

She could still feel their eyes on her as she pulled an image loose, the blue of her eyes growing dark.

History has a lot of myths and stories about gods and humans having relationships, Dean. It wouldn't be that unheard of.” Sam glanced across the table at the girl, watching her expression grow sad. “It's not that hard to think that they may have a basis in fact.”

Dean pushed himself from the couch and made his way to the table, glancing over the mess of photos. “So all those myths floating around are pretty much hook up gossip.”

Sam nodded but said nothing, instead watching the child across the table.

She stared silently at the photo as an unmistakable emotion clouded her face; pain. Both men knew the look that masked her features and danced across her eyes. They had seen more than their fair share of it in the past, neither of them saying a word.

Her blue eyes sparkled with unshed tears, her breathing shaky. Her lips parted as if to speak but no sound escaped her. After a moment her eyes closed, the tears finally falling against her cheek. When they reopened, they focused once more on the photo in her hands.

Urd?” Sam questioned softly.

She looked like a part of her was suddenly missing, her eyes shimmering with tears. Her features began to change and fill out as the girl gave way to the young woman they were used to seeing. The pain still masked her features and stole the life from her eyes as she looked up, her fingers wiping at the drops on her cheek as she set the image down.

Can we...” Her voice broke as she looked at Sam with pleading eyes. “Can we finish this later? Please?”

Sam gave her a nod as she pushed away from the table. “Yeah.”

Thank you.” The words were barely a whisper, the slender figure heading toward the darkened bedroom beyond. “I need to lay down for a little.”

Confusion blanketed Dean's face as the young woman disappeared into the room. “What was that about?”

I'm not sure,” Sam replied, reaching for the photograph she left behind.

Dean looked back toward the bedroom door. “Was she wearing my shirt?”

Sam muttered as he examined the picture he held. “She'll give it back.”

Dean's attention shifted to the photo in his brother's hands. “What is that?”

A photo I found online.” Sam handed it over, his voice low. “The one she was looking at. They're in it.”

Dean's eyes scanned the ancient looking image and locked on the three familiar faces. He knew who they were, could easily pick them out, but they didn't look right. They were emaciated; their clothing hanging from their bodies and their features sunken as they looked into the camera. Or at least two of them looked at the camera.

Where was this taken?” he questioned.

Sutter's Fort in California.” Sam replied, his brother's eyes on him. “March of 1847. Those are survivors of the Donner Party after they were rescued.”

Dean examined the trio, swallowing back the sudden lump in his throat. “Is that Urd? The one in the middle?”

Yeah.” The word was somber as he glanced over Dean's shoulder.

The image was probably the best of its time, the browns and off-whites of an old glass print photograph made crisp against the modern paper. The gaunt faces and mournful eyes of men, women and children stared out through the years, captured forever by a reporter's or a government worker's camera; a stark documentation of tragedy old-west style. And there, tucked amid the survivors, were the sisters.

They stood away from the others, almost out of the frame and in a place where they could watch the humans around them easily. Only two of them looked toward the camera but they weren't identical as they had been in the more recent ones. The black-haired sister glared angrily at the camera as she stood beside her siblings. Her arms were crossed over her chest as she stared daggers at the camera, the expression a clear warning to anyone thinking of approaching them. Her body language looked ready to pounce at the slightest provocation; even with her emaciated frame she appeared ready to fight anyone who crossed her. At her feet, the white-haired young woman knelt in the dirt with her arms wrapped protectively around Urd's figure. Her face was a mix of anger and concern as she held the crying body close and rested her head against her sister's. The way she held her, the spread of her hands against the fallen shoulders, spoke volumes in the fading image. Urd herself looked utterly broken; clutching what looked like a large length of cloth to her chest like it was her only lifeline. She didn't seem to care about their surroundings or the humans nearby, her world reduced to the fabric in her arms.

The photos Dean had seen before, the clippings Sam had gathered about this job, none of them had shown them as this one did. He had become used to the “cookie cutter” triplets; all three standing and watching a scene with identical almost blank expressions. It was easy to look at those and see only the creatures they were hunting.

He couldn't see that in the Donner Party photo. They weren't the same creatures to him, they were individuals caught in a photographer's flash. Each one was more human and the hunter instinct about them began to waiver. They weren't the manifestations of anything save hardship, tragedy, and unbearable pain.

I don't know about you, Dean, but suddenly she doesn't look like such a monster,” Sam said softly.

Dean took a deep breath, still focused on the women in the image; one broken, one comforting, and one protecting. Sam was right; suddenly they weren't monsters in his book either.

Chapter 12

Current Mood: accomplished
( Read comments )
Post a comment in response:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.