Author: Das Mervin and Mrs. Hyde
Betas: gehayi and kermit_thefrog
Rating: R for language, themes, violence, and sexual innuendo
Word Count: 9,140
Summary: After two years on her own, and two more as a hunter with Sam and Dean Winchester, Leah thought she’d escaped her old life at La Push. But when she’s called home to attend Jacob and Renesmee’s wedding, she brings a little company, and the stage is set for her old and new lives to collide.
Author’s Note: The chapter title and soundtrack is taken from the Ted Nugent song “Snakeskin Cowboys.”
Spoilers: Spoilers for Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and all six seasons of “Supernatural.”
Disclaimer: “Supernatural” is the property of Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television. The Twilight Saga is the property of Stephenie Meyer and Little, Brown and Co. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made from this work.
CHAPTER 8 – SNAKESKIN COWBOYS
Their group wound up at the end of the receiving line; Carlisle and Esme, being family, got to cut up front. Dean had mixed feelings about his spot in line. On the one hand, he had no qualms about putting off the unpleasant prospect of actually meeting Renesmee Carlie Cullen-Black for as long as possible. On the other hand, not only was the line inching along at an escargot’s pace, but it was nowhere near the buffet table. Dean felt that was a serious flaw in this arrangement, in no small part because all of that prissy food he’d eaten had about as much substance as Chinese; tasted great, but he was already hungry again. He glanced longingly at the table, and he could see those spicy crab balls, and they were mocking him, dammit, so close and yet so far.
He snapped his head forward when he heard a voice call out, “Hey, Leah!” and immediately tensed when a tall, rangy guy who could only be a wolf came loping over, grinning merrily.
However, he relaxed when Leah just smiled and threw an arm around his shoulders. “Hey, Embry,” she returned warmly. Embry released her from his half-embrace, and bounced his eyebrows appreciatively at her figure.
“Man, you look hot,” he said. “Nice dress.”
Leah laughed. “Thanks.” She lightly punched his shoulder. “Turns out you clean up pretty nice, too.”
Embry snorted. “I’d rather be in shorts. These suits are itchy and uncomfortable.” He glanced over at Sam. “Hey again, Sam,” he said, holding out his hand.
Sam accepted it. “Hi, Embry.”
Embry then turned to Dean, giving him a half-smile. “You must be Dean. I’m Embry Call, Leah’s packmate and arch nemesis on Xbox Live.”
Leah rolled her eyes as Dean shook hands with the guy. “Try ‘whipping boy’,” she taunted.
“Oh, not for long,” Embry said warningly. “I’ve been playing online with Claire lately since you haven’t been around—I am now learning from a master.”
“That I buy,” Dean threw in. “She just kicked my ass at tic-tac-toe.”
They all laughed. “Well, I tremble in fear,” Leah giggled. She then spotted Embry giving sidelong looks at Cas as he laughed, and so she tugged him forward a little. “Embry, this is Cas, Cas, Embry.”
“Heard of you, too,” Embry said, extending his hand, though a tad hesitantly. Cas took it, and while he held on for longer than a second, it was still brief, and Embry wiggled his hand a little when he was done. “Reckon everyone’s whispering about you almost as much as him.” He jerked his head in Dean’s direction. “Not that I can tell what the big deal is about,” he said, turning to Dean with a glint in his eye. “All I smell is your aftershave.” Then he smirked a little. “If you want, though, I could talk about how it’s the best aftershave in the world.”
“You do that and I’ll neuter you, Wolfman,” Dean growled, and he was only half-joking.
Embry snickered, but held up his hands. “Sorry, sorry—just trying to lighten the mood.” He smiled at Dean again before turning to Leah. “Anyway, I came over ‘cause I was wondering if you got an Xbox or a Playstation yet—I’ve got all my new headset equipment and everything, so I can play at long-distance now.”
“No, I haven’t gotten anything like that,” Leah sighed. “My job—the hours are pretty funky, and a lot of the times, I’m just damn tired afterwards. Plus, money is still a bit tight, and I don’t have a permanent home or anywhere to set it up.” She smiled. “But I’ll see what I can do—I do miss trashing you.”
“Hey, you don’t beat me that bad,” Embry protested. “Besides, just because you beat me at first-person shooters doesn’t mean you win at all video games. When’s the last time you won a puzzle game against me?”
“Look, the fact that you whipped my ass at Bejeweled hardly counts—are there headshots in Bejeweled? I don’t think so. So the game is clearly invalid,” she said loftily.
“Gonna have go to with her on that one, Embry,” Dean said.
“Man, you both just dissed Bejeweled,” Sam suddenly interjected, sounding betrayed. “You are no longer my brother,” he said ponderously to Dean, “and that twenty bucks I gave you is now officially an IOU,” he said, pointing at Leah.
“Try and get it from me,” she mocked. “You and Embry can go play your sissy puzzle games. Dean and I will play what really matters—Call of Duty and Doom.”
“Damn straight,” Dean said firmly, despite never having played either in his life, and high-fived Leah.
Embry just rolled his eyes, as did Sam. “So,” Embry continued, “just what are these jobs that keep you from doing fine and wholesome things like killing zombies?”
Dean looked away, unable to keep from smirking. Leah kept her voice light as she and Embry idly chit-chatted about this and that, keeping their business vague as always. While they caught up, Dean peered down the line to see how much further they had to go. He was dismayed to see that the person who had been talking with Renesbait when Embry came up to them was still there. Maybe he’d misunderstood the point of a receiving line—he thought it was for people to come up, kiss the bride’s ass once, and then move on and let the next person go. He hadn’t been aware that it was apparently not ass-kissing but just straight-up blowjobs. Holy crap, second time I’ve been dragged off by fairies to service their overlord.
Dean felt no need to interrupt Leah’s conversation with Embry until he heard him mention that the reason he only played games online with Claire is because he hardly ever saw the girl anymore, seeing as she never left her room these days except to go to school. At that point, he couldn’t keep quiet. Turning around and keeping his voice low (even though he knew it was pointless), he asked, “Dude, what is up with that?”
Embry glanced over at him, his expression uneasy. “Claire won’t play the games with Quil, so he…doesn’t like her to play with anyone, I guess,” he answered carefully.
Dean grimaced. “Do you have any idea how sick that is?”
“I—I’m not in a real good position to say anything on it,” Embry said uncomfortably, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand.
“You don’t need a position—” Dean began hotly.
“Dean,” Leah said quietly, silencing him. She shook her head, her eyes closed. She opened them when she turned to Embry again. “It’s okay, Embry. I understand—same boat, and all.”
Dean folded his arms, glaring at the back of Quil’s head far ahead of them in line—and right behind the Youngs, of course, so he could best sit there and pet Claire, the freak.
Dean suddenly heard a voice calling Embry’s name. Embry looked up, then gave a lopsided smile to their group. “That’s my mom—she’s probably up next at bat and didn’t want to wish the happy couple congratulations without me,” he said wryly. He gave Leah another manly half-hug, and then shook Dean and Sam’s hands. “Nice to see you again, and nice meeting you guys.” He seemed to steel himself, but then stuck out his hand again for Cas. “Nice to meet you too,” he said firmly. Cas shook his hand once, and then Embry left, zipping up the line all the way to the front with his mother.
Dean turned to face Leah again, who seemed a little more cheerful. “Well—nice to see someone friendly for a change,” he said.
Leah snorted. “Embry’s nice. We started hanging out about a year after I joined the pack.” Her mouth twisted a little. “Mostly out of sheer loneliness. Apparently, imprinting isn’t as rare as everyone liked to make it out to be, and since he was just about the only other one who didn’t, nobody really had any time for him anymore. And nobody ever had any time for me, so we just kinda got thrown together.” She frowned. “He always was the least…vocal when it came to me being in the pack, I guess,” she continued, sounding a little guilty. “Once we both apologized for all the nasty stuff we said to and about each other, we just sorta bonded over bad movies and Quake.”
They lapsed into silence again, the line inching forward. It had actually gotten worse, because while the line might not have been alongside the food, it was right by the cake, which was no longer flanked by the chocolate fountains and fruit. So here Dean was right next to a regular gold mine of sugar and he couldn’t eat it.
Well, maybe gold mine wasn’t a proper description. More like the Mount Doom of Sugar. The cake was a giant, elaborate, five-tier, four-foot-tall thing with smaller tiers descending all down the sides, and Dean was so surprised he nearly fainted when it turned out to be entirely white. White icing, white columns, white ribbon, white sugar-flowers, white topper—did all the other colors personally insult these people, that why they refused to invite them? Dean badly wanted to reach over and get a finger-full of icing, and not just because he was hungry, but he knew Leah would smack him before he got within six inches of it. His stomach growled restlessly at him as they moved forward again and he now was stuck next to the groom’s cake, a two-tier chocolate cake covered in perfectly molded chocolate leaves.
Dean glanced furtively back at Leah, who had her back to him as she talked with Cas (were they seriously talking about video games again? Would she ever get tired of trying to explain it to him?). Once he deemed it safe, he reached out and quickly snatched one of the leaves from the cake and stuffed it in his mouth. It was delicious, of course, and turned out to be a mistake, because it just made him hungrier. He looked once more back at the buffet table—he wanted some more of that meat Jell-O.
“Oh boy,” he heard Leah mutter. “Here comes my brother.”
Dean looked up to see that kid who’d walked down the aisle with the blonde vamp coming towards them. Well, this had to be Seth, then—and Dean did not miss how he’d looked far more excited participating in the wedding than he did at the prospect of talking to his sister.
“Hey, Leah,” he said, not sounding all that interested. “Mom said I should come over and say hi.”
“I’m so glad to see you, too,” Leah returned snidely. She raised her hand to introduce them to Seth, but he didn’t wait around for that. Instead, he just focused on Sam, his arms crossed.
“So—you Leah’s new boyfriend?” he demanded bluntly.
Dean’s jaw dropped a little, while Sam’s just clenched in anger.
“No,” Leah cut in sharply, and a little loudly. “He is not my boyfriend. I don’t have a boyfriend.”
Dean couldn’t help the thought—Right, because angels don’t count. He wondered briefly if you even could date an angel, but he didn’t have time to contemplate it, because Seth was talking again.
“So, uh—what’ve you been doing?” Oh, and he sounded so interested, too.
“Odd security jobs and living in caves,” Leah tersely replied. “And you?”
Seth’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Well, I certainly haven’t been living in caves!”
And then he was off, talking about how Jacob was the best Alpha in the world and Edward Cullen was the best vampire in the world and how he got to use his wolf status as an excuse to not go to school anymore and how he’d been hanging out with all of the Cullens and how they were so generous with their cars and money and how Edward made him Renesmee’s godfather and how much fun he had with that and wasn’t this all awesome and all the neat and high-class stuff he got to do now that he was best friends with the Cullens and Jacob was so awesome because he lets them do whatever they want because that is surely a good sign of an Alpha and he didn’t seem to notice that Dean’s eyes were glazing over, because this rambling, repetitive, dick-sucking monologue was making his brain try to crawl out of his ear.
“—and Jacob says that now that he’s part of the family he can buy houses for all of us, so Jennie and I will have an awesome house when we finally settle down and get married! I mean, he is even buying me a car! I always knew he’d be a great Alpha, nobody believed me when I said he would be. Who are your other two friends, anyway?”
Dean blinked rather stupidly, almost missing the fact that he’d suddenly been brought into the conversation. Leah seemed to do the same thing, shaking herself and then waving a tired hand at Dean. “This is Dean, Sam’s brother.”
Dean just nodded—he had no desire to shake Seth’s hand.
“And this is Cas,” Leah added.
Seth eyed him, as all of the monsters here did when they got too close. “So what’s your deal?” he asked suspiciously.
“I…have no deal,” Cas replied, sounding a little confused.
“No, I mean—” Seth crossed his arms. “What are you?”
Dean gave a sidelong glance down the line—it was more than obvious that all of the monsters in earshot had heard Seth ask that question and were most eager to hear the answer. A few were even blatantly staring as they hoped to hear the mystery revealed.
Cas just looked at Seth, his brow furrowing slightly. “I am…” he looked at Leah, and then back at Seth, “…her date,” he finished, looking over to Dean as if for approval.
He sighed with relief—good, their little talk they had earlier had stuck. Knowing Cas, Dean had been half-afraid that the angel would have some kind of crisis of conscience about lying when someone asked what in the hell he was and would accidentally just blurt it out.
Seth looked like he was about to demand an explanation. Fortunately, Leah sensed this too and quickly said, “Well, it was nice seeing you, Seth.”
Seth glommed onto that quickly as a way of escaping, his clear desire to be away from Leah winning out over his curiosity as to what her friend was. “Yeah, you too,” he said carelessly, and then dashed off to go find a table.
Dean watched him go in disgust, and contemplated giving Leah a manly and reassuring clap on the shoulder. He ultimately decided against it, because Seth had spent so much time talking that the line had moved forward so that they were now standing by the wedding gifts, and the ones placed in a prominent position in the front distracted him nicely from what had just happened.
Each gift was clearly labeled, so you could tell exactly who had given it. The edges of the table were filled with a smattering of nice but entirely useless gifts; he didn’t think he saw one single appliance among the lot of them, just a bunch of decorations and jewelry and figurines—in other words, a bunch of crap. However, they weren’t given a lot of attention. The focus was clearly supposed to be on the center—on the gifts from the vampires.
Well, granny and gramps had certainly been generous—there was a key with a fancy bow wrapped around it right next to a framed picture of a two-story house with a perfectly manicured lawn and flowers and trees and chirping birds all around it. It was so quaint Dean wanted to heave. Beside that, though, was daddy’s gift, yet another key wrapped in a bow. The picture beside it was of a butt-ugly car, but Dean knew exactly what kind it was, so looks were not important. That was a Bugatti Veyron, and in Dean’s humble opinion, it could kiss his ass—it was nothing compared to his baby. While there was plenty of jewelry around the table, nothing was so grand as the two displays in the center—one was from Mommy Dearest, a gaudy and glittering display of tiny sapphires and diamonds in silver draped beneath a gold, engraved placard that read, “More than my own life.” Jesus, was that her catchphrase or something? The necklace next to it, however, was much simpler but much tackier, with five smooth and massive emeralds on it with a note that was signed “Aro of the Volturi.”
Oh, what the fuck?! Dean thought furiously to himself. Leah had told them about Aro and the Volturi—that guy and his little club tried to kill the Cullens ten years ago! And here they were accepting gifts from the bastard?! Oh, guess we only hate them unless they send friggin’ jewels.
Shaking his head in disgust, he saw that Alice and some guy named Jasper had given them both an all-expenses-paid trip to a Paris fashion show to pick out an all-new and custom-designed wardrobe, as well as a note that she should consider those as part of her life now, promising that she’d get all the fashionable clothes she needed for the rest of her life, i.e., eternity. Judging by what these people thought was fashionable, Renesbait was basically in for an eternity of looking like an expensive hooker. Some people named Emmett and Rosalie had given them a massive and no doubt expensive set of electronics. TV, radio, sound system, the whole works. And finally, being used as a backdrop for the whole shmear, was a painting framed in gold, apparently from “The Denalis,” whoever they were.
Didn’t anybody think to just give them a blender or something?
Dean turned around to find Sam staring rather intently at the painting, his expression one of combined recognition and disbelief. Leah was completely ignoring the gifts, just staring straight ahead, her arms folded with the air of someone who was used to this. The idea that someone would have seen shit like this often enough to be used to it was one of the worst ideas he’d ever had.
The line was moving quicker now—he guessed it was because all of the vampires had shoved their way to the front of the line, leaving the werewolves and humans to bring up the rear, the dicks. Well, he wasn’t complaining—the sooner they got through the line, the sooner he could eat. They eventually left the gifts behind and, after Leah slid her arm through Cas’s and held him firmly at her side, were standing in front of the first members of the wedding party.
Dean was not sorry to see Charlie again. “Hey, Chief!” he said, wringing his fingers. “Good to see you again, and, uh—congrats on…all this.”
Charlie seemed to know exactly what he meant, but he kept his commentary to, “Yeah—ran a bit long, though, don’t you think?”
“Just a little,” Sam said mildly.
“And Cas, good to see you’re still standing—should ease up on the booze, son,” he said, giving Cas a friendly but somewhat stern smile; Cas just looked back at him, a bit blankly. Charlie turned back at Dean, who felt that his smile had gone a little frozen. “I brought this boy a beer, and he tosses it back all in one gulp, never even taking a breath,” he told them.
“He’s got a high tolerance,” Leah threw in. She smiled, leaning against Cas a little. “How many shots did you do in a row back at that bar in Mississippi? You know, when we won three grand off that bunch of rednecks?”
“Twenty-seven,” Cas answered.
Charlie’s eyes popped. “Good night, son, why aren’t you dead?” he gawped.
“Like she said,” Dean quickly said across Cas, who he just knew was about to either explain why he could take it or that he already had been dead—twice, “high tolerance.”
Charlie clearly wasn’t buying it, but he didn’t press the issue because his wife was stepping up.
“Congratulations to you too, Mrs. Swan,” Sam said politely; Dean just nodded in agreement and said nothing—he remembered their last conversation with this old battleaxe.
Sue thanked them before turning to Leah. “You really should’ve sat up with us, Leah—spend time with family.”
“Well, these three wanted to sit in the back,” Leah explained patiently.
“An hour away from them wouldn’t have hurt,” Sue said, and Dean saw Leah’s jaw tighten, as did her arm through Cas’s even as Sue flicked her eyes to Sam.
“Hey, blame us,” Dean suddenly said, and Sue’s attention snapped to him. “We wouldn’t stop begging her to not abandon us to the wolves.” He gave her his most charming grin.
Sue just pursed her lips for a moment, but then gave a small, chilly smile as Leah shunted them further down the line. Next up was a big guy in a wheelchair.
“Hello, Billy,” Leah said politely. “Congratulations on your new daughter-in-law.”
“Oh, hi, Leah,” Billy said, looking up at her. “Didn’t know you were here.”
She gave a thin smile. “Jacob invited me.”
“Nice of him,” Billy said breezily. “These your guests?”
Leah nodded and introduced all three of them to the groom’s father. Dean and Sam just offered up the same bland congratulations they’d been giving while Cas said nothing at all, and then they moved down the line again to meet the parents of the bride for a second time.
Once again, Edward got that pinched, pissy look when confronted with their crew, but Dean noticed that now his wife had a similar expression as they came to stand in front of them. “Hello again, Leah, gentlemen,” Edward said stiffly. His eyes narrowed, and he seemed to be trying to make himself look even taller as he stared down at Dean. “I hope you enjoyed the ceremony?”
Ah. Dean couldn’t help it—he smirked. “It was wonderful,” he said, and then, as with most wisecracks that were dangerous to his health, “I just loved the songs!” fell right out of his mouth before he could stop it.
Bella and Edward were clearly not pleased by the lack of deference from a plebe like himself, the bitches. He just jutted his chin at them as Sam managed his generic congratulations and compliments (which were so scripted Dean wondered just how stupid these people were that they were falling for it). Leah did the same, and then Edward and Bella glared stonily at Cas—who was staring out at the rest of the guests at the moment and paying zero attention to them.
“And what did you think of everything, Castiel?” Edward said pompously, almost challengingly.
Cas didn’t tear his gaze away from whatever he was looking at. “I have no opinion on the mating rituals of—”
“He thought it was great,” Sam blurted.
“He loved the flowers,” Dean added. And then he reached out and yanked Cas forward and away from Bella and Edward, inadvertently dragging Leah with him.
“Dude, you’ve gotta stop that or friggin’ learn how to lie!” Dean hissed as Cas looked confusedly at him.
“Oh, shut up, Dean,” Leah groused. Dean opened his mouth to protest, but then Sam stepped on his foot, his expression pulled into a pleasant smile. Dean stared for a moment, and then realized just what was going on. He faced forward again, and then, steeling himself, led the way to meet the newlyweds.
Renesbait’s skirts seemed to have lost a few layers, so she no longer resembled a Sno Ball. However, seeing her up close was so much worse than just seeing her at a distance. While she wasn’t nearly as plastic and rigid as the vamps, she was definitely the most vapid and self-satisfied of the bunch. Her rosy cheeks, wide eyes, perfect hair, and deep red, pouty lips gave her the look of a beautiful and young china doll, all pretty and ready for Jacob to play with. She was beaming at anyone who would look at her, clinging to Jacob’s side as she waited patiently for everyone to come up and pay their respects. She turned away from the people she was thanking for their compliments, and her big, dewy brown eyes settled on Dean.
“Oh! I don’t remember inviting you,” she said with ersatz surprise.
“He’s with me, Renesmee,” Leah said, disengaging her arm from Cas’s and angling so she was in front of them. “These are my friends, the ones I was telling you about.” Dean saw her force herself to smile. “Congratulations, Renesmee.”
“Oh, thank you so much, Lee-lee!” she tittered, leaning on Jacob, who was grinning like an idiot but somehow managing to give a stern glare to Leah at the same time.
She didn’t miss it, taking a breath and adding, “Your dress is nice.”
“Thank you,” Renesbait simpered. “I still say you should’ve worn the one we bought you—it was so nice! Orange really would suit you—and then you would have matched all the rest of the Quileute women!”
“I know, and I really did—do appreciate it,” Leah insisted. “But like I said, my dress was a gift from these guys.”
“Oh, yes, your friends—it’s so wonderful you managed find some, Leah, and it was so nice of you to bring them as your dates! Did they help choose the dress as well?”
Leah’s smile was a bit strained, but she somehow kept it plastered on her face. “No, they just bought it.”
Renesmee brushed off the answer, turning to face them. “Just from the talk I’ve heard about you three I’ll bet I can name you. You must be Dean Winchester,” she said smugly.
“Uh, yeah,” Dean said, keeping his eyes firmly on her face and away from the acres of exposed flesh below her neck.
“I can tell—my sense of smell isn’t as good as a real vampire’s, but you are positively delicious.”
Dean bristled, glaring at her and beyond caring that Jacob gave him a threatening look for it. “So everybody tells me,” he growled.
His tone just bounced off her empty skull. “It’s because you are,” she said simply, and then turned to his brother. “So you are his brother, Sam Winchester, and then you must be Castiel, who everyone is calling Cas!” She giggled as if she thought she was clever.
“It was really nice of you to let us attend,” Sam lied through his teeth.
Renesbait fluttered. “Oh, I love big gatherings—you were surprise guests, I admit, and not the most conventional, given the company here, but you are very welcome.”
Renesbait stopped talking, just smiling brightly at them, but nobody else was talking, either. After two seconds of this, Dean suddenly realized that she was waiting for them to compliment her again. Well, shit. Dean glanced over at Sam, who was looking back at the gifts—that seemed as good a place as any to start. “You, ah, have an impressive haul there,” he said.
“It’s nothing,” Renesbait said airily.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Sam threw in while Dean just stared incredulously at the silver-spooned skank. “That’s an impressive piece of artwork.” Sam was obviously hedging. “It, uh—it looks like one of the Dutch Masters.”
Renesbait brainlessly giggled again while Jacob chuckled condescendingly. “Well, it makes sense that it would be—because it’s an original Rembrandt. Tanya’s family gave that to us. They’ve had it in their family for quite a long time.”
Sam’s jaw dropped. “You—that’s a lost Rembrandt?” he stuttered.
“Oh yes,” Renesbait went on, looking quite pleased with Sam’s reaction. Dean, however, knew his brother, and knew that particular look of stunned disbelief was not one of “Ooh, aah, I’m so impressed with the fruity painting.”
Sam seemed to be collecting himself. “And…you have it…just…sitting out here—sitting outside—on the beach?” he said slowly.
Jacob answered him, his tone affronted. “Of course we do,” he said. “What, did you expect us to not show what everyone got us? That’s a nice picture.”
Sam stared blankly at him for a moment. “Well—all right, then,” he said, sounding almost dazed.
“Um, on the subject of presents,” Leah suddenly chimed in, and Dean saw that Jacob was giving her another severe look, “I, ah, I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything—”
Renesbait just laughed—again. “Oh, Leah, don’t worry about it—I understand. You wouldn’t really know what to get me anyway, and besides, what do you get the girl who pretty much already has everything?” She glanced lovingly down at the set of keys and the deed on the table. “Anyway, truth be told, it’s like I said—the gifts are nice, but ultimately just little pleasures. So long as I have my Jacob, I’ll be perfectly happy!” The smug, condescending smile she gave was clearly supposed to be taken as one of understanding and generosity. “So you don’t need to worry about not being able to afford anything.”
Dean was truly amazed. He’d thought the only woman he’d ever want to pull back and punch in the mouth was Bela Talbot.
“Well, I hope you all enjoyed the ceremony,” Jacob said, and Dean saw he was staring at Leah…expectantly. Dean raised an eyebrow. Was he…prompting—
“Yes,” Leah said automatically. “It was just perfect for you two.”
“I didn’t even know about the rose petals,” Renesmee gushed. “Jacob says that was his idea—who says men don’t have good ideas when it comes to wedding plans! Oh, Jacob, that really was perfect—it really was just like heaven, wasn’t it?”
Dean was too stunned by this speech to see the oncoming disaster—Sam and Dean had sucked up, but Cas had not, and so that last remark had been deliberately addressed to him.
Cas’s brows knitted. “No, it was nothing like Heaven,” he said seriously.
And that spurred Dean forward and out of his stupor. Dammit, Cas! “Ah! Yeah, uh—sorry!” Renesbait’s sudden shocked and displeased look landed on him. “He, uh—he takes things way too literally—bit of a fundie—English isn’t his first language, either, you know—and he has no social skills, never even been to a birthday party—”
“Congratulations again, Renesmee, Jacob,” Leah said loudly, and both she and Sam hustled Cas away from the now scowling couple. Well, even though they’d been unable to completely dodge that bullet, Dean was grateful—at least Cas had managed to get them out of the receiving line.
They found a table that was toward the back and away from everyone else, even though it did have a bit of a disadvantage—it was nowhere near the food. Dean drummed his fingers on the back of his chair, and then didn’t bother sitting down, instead excusing himself to go grab another plate before they cut the cake, because he had every intention of hitting that, and hard. He ignored all of the looks he was now getting used to from the vamps, heading straight for the buffet.
He was piling some shrimp onto his plate when an unpleasantly silky voice behind him said, “Oh, hello again, Dean.”
He congratulated himself on not jumping—whatever else he thought about these vamps, they were good at sneaking up on people. He dropped one last shrimp on his plate and looked behind him, giving the vamp a death glare and a half. “Hello again, Randall,” he spat. “And goodbye again, Randall.”
“There’s no need to be so rude,” Randall said airily, following him as he went down the line of food. “I was hoping to catch you alone—we had such a bad first meeting. I wanted to apologize—your scent just caught me rather off guard, is all.”
“Well, whoop-de-damn-do,” Dean growled, tossing some crab balls onto his plate before scooping up a generous helping of meat Jell-O. Randall was way too close—they were always too close—but he knew there was nothing he could say or do to get the douchenozzle away from him, and he just knew the guy was sitting there huffing him like glue. “Congratulations, you apologized. Now what the hell do you want?”
Randall was not put off. “I…just wanted to talk,” he said calmly. “I was wondering where you and your brother were from.”
“Kansas,” Dean spat.
“Oh? Does your family still live there?”
Dean ground his teeth together, leveling a searing glare at the leech. “I don’t have much by way of family, not that it’s any of your business.”
“I’m terribly sorry,” he said, not a bit sincere. “So…it is just you and your brother, then.” He tapped his chin with one long finger, giving Dean a look that made his skin crawl. “Do you always travel with the wolf and…that other fellow?”
Dean closed his eyes, taking a deep breath through his nose. “Dude,” he ground out, opening his eyes again, “go stick your nose up somebody else’s ass, ‘cause it ain’t gettin’ me off.” And with that, he stomped off, unable to tell if the guy was following him or not, but more than ready to tell Cas to send the bastard packing if he did.
When Dean flumped back into his seat, he was glad to see that the sorry little ass-magnet hadn’t followed him, though Cas was watching the vamp with narrowed eyes.
“What’d he want?” Sam asked.
“Same thing all the other freaks want,” Dean growled in reply. He picked up the tiny gay fork he was being forced to eat with and dug in, the mostly-decent taste of the food almost making up for how stuck-up it was as he shoved a tiny cheese and onion pie into his mouth.
“Thought you drew the line at bugs,” Sam said, pointing at the nasty black pile of slime on the side of his plate.
“I do,” Dean replied, swallowing and then going for a crab ball. “I didn’t bring it for me.” He picked up one of the extra napkins he’d grabbed and gingerly pushed the gross thing onto it with the end his fork, and then shoved the whole mess at Cas. “Here—eat this.”
Cas looked down at the slug, contemplating it like he did shots of whiskey, and Dean smirked when the angel just obediently picked it up with his fingers and ate it whole.
“That really a smart thing to do?” Leah asked wryly. “If he decides he likes it, he may eat ‘em all.”
“And good riddance to ‘em, get rid of that sick crap,” Dean declared. “So whether he loves it or hates it, I win.”
Cas chewed slowly and swallowed. Tilting his head to one side, looking thoughtful, he almost ruined Dean’s enjoyment by saying, “Strange texture,” and God, he was gonna puke. But then Cas simply wiped his greasy fingers on the tablecloth (good boy) and said, “But I enjoyed the cheeseburgers more.”
Leah and Sam chuckled, and then Sam reached across the table for Dean’s plate. Dean protested loudly when Sam snagged one of his spicy fish-chips. “Hey! I didn’t say you could have that!”
“Oh, get off it, Dean,” Sam said, rolling his eyes and popping it in his mouth. “You have plenty to spare.”
“No, I don’t!” Dean retorted. “This is comfort food, dammit, and I need all of that I can get!”
“Stop being such a whiner,” Sam returned snippily.
Dean was about to reply when Renesbait’s voice sliced through the air and right into his brain. “Everyone, it’s time for the bouquet toss!” she squealed. “But the rules are going to be a little different! Would all eligible ladies come forward, please?”
Dean heard Leah audibly sigh, and then she uncrossed her legs and rose.
“Oh, you’re not seriously gonna do that,” Dean muttered as she passed.
She looked at him, and then up to where Dean saw Jerkoff standing, and he was watching her with crossed arms and heavy brows. Leah turned back and just shrugged before walking forward with the small handful of women and girls that had gathered. Leah went straight over to stand by Claire, who hugged her when she saw her.
“Now,” Renesbait began prissily, “considering that some of us here have a bit of an unfair advantage, we won’t have any diving or fighting for my bouquet.” She smiled widely. “So, will everyone just spread apart, find a good place to stand, and whoever the bouquet lands closest to wins!” She made a shooing gesture with her free hand, and everyone spaced themselves evenly as per her instructions.
Once everyone was assembled, she turned her back on the masses, counted to three, and then hurled that ridiculously huge pile of flowers high into the air. It arced beautifully and as it began to descend, Dean knew exactly where it was headed moments before it all but landed right on Leah’s head.
There was a pause so uncomfortable that it nearly made him sweat, but then everyone broke into stilted applause and cheers. Renesbait twirled around, and Dean half-expected a tantrum at the lackluster response. However, she surprised him by clapping her hands tightly together and laughing. “Oh, Leah! You got it! That’s wonderful! Maybe love is just around the corner for you after all!” She turned her bright eyes to Jacob. “Maybe even an imprint!”
Dean swore he could hear the delicate stems of the flowers crunching even from where he was sitting. Leah’s hands were buried deep in the bouquet as she stiffly thanked everyone for their congratulations before walking back to their table—well, it was less of a walk and more of a stalk. Dean could tell she was resisting the urge to throw the bouquet on the floor, but instead set it down very deliberately beside her chair and folded her hands tightly in front of her. Sam patted her arm reassuringly, and Dean generously offered her a stuffed pepper, which she ate.
Garter toss was up next—Renesbait beckoned Jacob in what was probably supposed to be a sexy way, but because of the slight age discrepancy was just gross. It got worse when she hiked up her skirts to show off her fishnet-clad legs, and then Jacob went prospecting, all but climbing under there to grab it off her thigh. Once he’d removed it, all of the bachelors were called up to the front. Dean and Sam took one look at each other and then resolutely remained in their seats. There was no way in hell anyone was gonna make them get up and play along.
Jacob didn’t care enough except to give them a tiny frown, then proceeded with the toss. Up it went, down it came—a foot away from Quil. This time the cheers were honest, and Dean viciously stabbed his lobster tail when that fucking pervert twirled it on his finger as he walked back to the table where the Youngs were sitting, plopping himself right next to Claire and giving her a hug. Claire looked miserable and angry, while her parents were obviously disapproving but could clearly do nothing about it.
That was it—he knew this was a recon mission, and he knew they were mostly supposed to be scouting the red-eyed vamps to be taken care of later, but Quil was officially at the top of Dean’s list of things-to-be-obliterated-off-the-face-of-t
Dean finished his plate just as they announced it was time to cut the cake—good timing on his part, then. The happy couple sliced the large bottom tier together, and while Jacob daintily fed his wife a tiny piece, she did not return the favor and instead thought it would be funny to just shove it in his face. Dean didn’t really care about the cake-smearing itself; he cared more that Renesbait didn’t get it right in the kisser, too. Sam just looked vaguely disgusted, while Leah once again looked resigned like she had seen it all before. Now that was starting to freak him out—just how much crap was she used to from these people?
Once it was announced that everyone could come up and serve themselves, Dean was up like a shot—no way he was gonna wait around and let everyone else take the best pieces. He was first in line this time, snatching up a plate and seizing the fancy gold knife and server nearby. He hacked a large slab of white cake and threw it onto his plate, and then moved on to the tastier-looking groom’s cake.
“Fond of cake?”
Dean glanced up at the sound of Jacob’s voice, thick with disapproval. Dean thrust his chin out at him. “Actually, I’m a pie man,” he responded coolly.
“Then why do you need all the cake?” Jacob said immediately, and the dickcheese actually had the nerve to look triumphant.
Dean gave him a flippant smile. “‘Cause it’s there,” he replied lightly, and then marched back to his table with his massive pile of cake and frosting.
He grudgingly allowed Leah and Sam to dip into his cake, but point-blank refused to offer any to Cas. He just knew that the angel would go coo-coo for cocoa-puffs at the slightest taste of chocolate, and Dean wasn’t interesting in sharing with the guy who had no idea what restraint was.
The cake was damn good, of course, even though it had way too much of that pasty sugary crap over the frosting. It didn’t take him long to finish it, given that Leah and Sam were helping him eat it.
“Mm—you know, I really haven’t eaten much at all today,” Leah said, contemplating the buffet. “Think I’ll go make myself a plate.”
“You got the right idea—mind if I join you?” Sam added, getting up with her.
“Grab me something while you’re up there,” Dean ordered.
“I’ll get you a beer,” Sam said firmly, and then walked off before he could protest.
“Hmph.” Dean tossed his fork and napkin onto his empty plates, pushing them away from him and towards the center. He was tempted to get up and grab some more food just to spite Sam, but decided against it when he saw Cas was doing that Angelic Surveillance thing again.
“So,” Dean started, “we all know it’s nothing like Heaven, but what do you really think of all this crap?”
Cas was still staring out at the crowd. “I don’t like the vampires,” he said quietly.
“Buddy, you’re not the only one,” Dean groused.
“They aren’t fond of me, either,” he added, finally turning to face him. “Particularly Edward Cullen. He seems to be aware that I am…” He paused, and he was obviously trying to think up some subtle way to put whatever he was gonna say. “…interfering with his…reception.”
Dean smirked. “Ah—so he knows you’re the disturbance in his Force. Awesome.”
Cas looked back out over the crowd. “His mate seems to be the exception among the vampires, in that she is strangely hostile towards you.” Dean raised his eyebrows. “Bella Cullen seems resentful of the attention you are receiving from the others of her kind,” Cas continued.
Dean blinked. “Well, if it makes her feel any better, I’m resentful of the attention I’m getting from her kind!” he snarled.
Leah and Sam came back shortly after that, Sam setting the promised beer in front of him, and Dean was disgusted to see his brother had brought some escargot, too. He was only eating it to gross him out, Dean just knew it, and was now trying to get Leah in on the fun, goading her into tasting it.
“Sorry, Sam—I think Dean has the right idea there,” Leah said, declining the offer.
“After what you told me you eat while you’re wolfed out?” Sam said incredulously.
“Just because I do eat it when I’m a wolf doesn’t mean I like it,” Leah replied, her voice dry.
Dean nodded approvingly and raised his glass to her, glad to have a shade of the Leah he knew back—he was sick of the demure, meek, “abuse me, please” Leah he’d been introduced to since arriving at this three-ring circus of pain.
He had polished off his beer and was contemplating another when the start of the dancing was announced. Great, he thought grumpily, now I have to wait to get a refill. The newlyweds had pranced out to the center of the floor after announcing their song, and Dean gagged when a whiny piece of modern pop-crap started playing, and Jacob and Renesbait started doing some ridiculous dance that looked like it came out of some kind of period drama set a hundred years ago. Dean really didn’t care much about the dance—but, good God, that music should be salted and burned, and preferably with all of the jackasses who seemed to think it was good. Was there not a single person here who had any taste?
Dean waited impatiently for the song to end, hoping that maybe the next one would be better. It wasn’t, of course, though he did recognize the band this time. He watched as people got up to dance—nearly all vampires—and they began twirling all over the place. These people were idiots—why the hell were they dancing waltzes to friggin’ Muse? The only thing that made the shitfest bearable was the fact that Quil had tried to coax Claire out on the dance floor and had been soundly (and loudly) rebuffed.
He shook his head, reaching across the table and stealing a swig of Leah’s beer. As he leaned back into his chair, he saw the very unwelcome sight of Emily Uley walking across the floor and over to their table.
“Hello, Leah,” Emily said breathily, and then, without asking, just grabbed a chair from a neighboring table and made herself at home. “Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?”
“Oh, yes, it’s marvelous,” Leah replied tiredly.
Dean leaned his head into his hand, looking away from Emily and trying to tune out her voice, and as he looked to the side, he saw her husband slinking around through the crowds and circling their table like some kind of creeping shark. Well, isn’t that just normal and healthy. Stalk your wife! Fun times, he thought.
Emily was still babbling. “And you caught the bouquet!” she exclaimed. “Congratulations on that!”
“I didn’t exactly catch it,” Leah said.
“Oh, nonsense, you caught it and that’s that,” Emily said with a wave of her hand. “Do you have anyone special in mind?”
Leah’s gaze went hard. “No,” she said flatly.
Emily ignored the rather hostile expressions she was getting from three members of the table. “Well, you should have someone,” she started. “I mean, you’ve been alone for far too long—a good man would be the best thing for you! And you could stop running off so much—you could settle down back in La Push, and be with your family.”
“My job doesn’t really allow me the luxury of meeting many guys, Emily,” Leah explained, and in a much politer fashion than Dean thought Emily deserved.
“Then why not find a new job?” Emily hedged. “Move away from the old and get something new!”
Dean was about to open his mouth and ask just how the hell moving back to La Push somehow constituted new, when up walked Leah’s mother. Leah took one look at her mother’s face, glanced back at Emily, and then turned with a decidedly brittle smile to face Dean, Sam, and Cas.
“Why don’t you boys go mingle?” she said through clenched teeth. “I think I’m gonna catch up with my mom and cousin. Have a little girl-time.”
Sam was looking vaguely alarmed, but got up anyway. “Uh, okay—just, uh—call us if you need anything, right?” he said.
“I will,” Leah replied, turning back to her relatives.
Sam gave her shoulder a quick squeeze, and Dean decided it was very fortunate he hadn’t had time to get a new beer; otherwise, he would’ve dumped it on those two bitches’ heads for the pointed looks they gave Leah for that simple, reassuring motion.
The three of them cruised off, Dean leading the way in the direction of the buffet table.
“That can’t be good,” Sam muttered, glancing back over his shoulder at the three women.
“What do they care, anyway?” Dean retorted. “I mean, they act like they can have it both ways, totally dumping on her one minute and then acting all concerned the next.”
“Pfft—I wouldn’t call that concern,” Sam said nastily. “I’d call it—”
He stopped, and Dean looked up to see that Sam had gone quiet and wary, staring behind Dean. Dean turned around—and came face-to-face with a pair of vampires.
Dean recognized one of them immediately—it was Alice, and she was looking a tiny bit irritated. The one who had Sam’s attention, however, was the guy she had been dancing with.
The blond was staring right at him, his eyes wide and dark, and he wasn’t bothering to hide the fact that he was sniffing the air around him. His hands were clenched into fists, and his gaze was distinctly predatory as he leaned forward and was almost preparing to crouch, as if to spring.
Dean knew exactly what that turd was doing. “Snap out of it, you dick!” he barked.
The guy blinked, and his lip curled a little. He was about to speak when he abruptly shut his mouth; Cas had just taken a step forward to stand right beside Dean, and Dean sincerely hoped Cas was giving him a nice dose of angelic shock therapy.
“Don’t get so mad,” Alice scolded him. “He sometimes has trouble around particularly potent humans.”
“That is not my problem,” Dean growled.
Alice pursed her lips, but then decided to change the subject. “This is Jasper, my husband. Jasper, these are the humans Leah brought with her—and the ones who apparently bought that dress for her.” She rolled her eyes a little. “Dean and Sam Winchester and Castiel.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Jasper said, his eyes still trained on Dean.
“Ah, so you’ve finally met him!”
Dean nearly groaned. Two more vampires had just appeared out of nowhere, coming up from behind Jasper. “Jasper, do introduce us,” the female of the two purred.
“Dean Winchester,” Jasper said, and Dean firmly crossed his arms to make it clear he was not shaking hands.
“I’m Peter, and this is Charlotte. We’re Jasper’s oldest friends,” the dude said, looking just as, well, as hungry as Jasper did as he stared at him with eyes that were, despite being dark, clearly red.
“He has nice taste in friends,” Sam said coldly.
“Thank you,” Charlotte said offhandedly, not even looking at Sam. “Jasper, everyone is talking about him—”
“Yes, I know—I was wondering what it was all about. Now that I’m next to him, I know what it’s all about. He smells ten times more delicious than Bella did as a human,” Jasper said.
Peter nodded, and continued as if Dean wasn’t standing a foot away from time. “I must say, your family’s cautionary words about eating before we came were certainly well-placed. I doubt anybody here could have possibly resisted him had we not—”
Peter’s mouth snapped shut and his eyes widened. The other three did the same, and then stepped back, looking shocked and almost…scared. Dean furrowed his brow, his confusion warring with his fury at what that monster had just said—and then he looked to his right.
Cas hadn’t moved, but he knew that look—Cas had just whipped out the Angry Eyes, the ones he usually reserved for when he was dealing with demons and other abominations, as he put it. Dean turned back to the vamps, and was viciously pleased when Peter and Charlotte excused themselves rather hastily with a mumbled “nice to meet you,” retreating back into the crowds, Cas glaring at them the whole time.
A very awkward silence followed, until Alice decided to break it. “So—do any of you boys plan on dancing?” she asked, her voice a little higher than before.
“Not really,” Sam said as Dean shook his head.
“Well, feel free to change your minds!” Alice trilled. “There are plenty of spare humans.” She looked up at Jasper, who was still staring at Dean, and Dean stared fiercely back. She gave a laugh. “I’d better get my husband away from you—come on, Jasper, let’s dance again. We don’t want to ruin Nessie’s big day with an accident.”
Dean’s jaw dropped. Alice and Jasper skipped away, melting back into the dancing masses before he could think of anything to say.
It had to have been ten seconds after they’d gone when Dean finally regained his voice. “Well, fuck you!” he spluttered furiously. He barely noticed the startled looks he received and the way the talk around him seemed to die down.
“Dean, they can hear you,” Sam hushed him, even though he looked just as mad.
“Let ‘em, the bastards!” Dean shouted back, and now the startled looks were turning into offended glares. “Oh, I’m so sorry my special-sauce blood is just so tempting that it might cause someone to eat me—but, oh, don’t be sorry I’ll be dead, just be sorry I’ll have put Renesbait out! Dammit!”
“I promise you that no vampire will kill you,” Cas spoke up, his voice quiet.
“You’re damn right they won’t, the twinkle-twats!” Dean shrieked, almost hysterical. “Sonofabitch!”
“Dean! Look, I’m just as mad about this—” Sam started.
“Hell no, you aren’t!”
“Shut up, Dean!” Sam hissed. “Just—calm down, okay? Don’t give them any more reasons to wanna kill you!”
Dean glared at his brother, who was in turn glowering out at the sparkling crowd. Dean didn’t care about any of the nasty looks they were getting, and was in fact contemplating just giving them all the finger. But he didn’t, instead deciding that there was only one thing that could possibly improve this situation.
“Come on—I want more food,” he muttered.
“For Christ’s sake, Dean, don’t you think you’ve eaten enough?” Sam sighed.
He decided right then that Sam, at least, deserved to be flipped off, and did so. “No, I don’t,” Dean retorted. “I’m going.”
“Fine,” Sam said, shaking his head. “Watch your back,” he added warningly.
“Have him watch it for me,” Dean groused, jerking his thumb at Cas, and then he stomped off in the direction of the buffet, his only hope of surviving this waking nightmare with his sanity intact.
Author’s Note: Have two little disclaimers to throw out there. One, Dean’s wording when feeding Castiel the escargot is actually a tiny homage to Sealab 2021, specifically the episode “Stimutacs.” Two, for anyone who is curious, the song the happy couple danced to was “Someone to Die For” by Jimmy Gnecco. Reason I chose it? Not only was it disgustingly appropriate for those two, but because that’s the song Meyer had on her playlist for chapter eighteen of Breaking Dawn. You know. When Jacob imprinted on the little spawn. Have fun with that.
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