"Simple like going down after Dean was simple?" Rusty asked caustically.
Sulvis pouted at him, but She seemed to be sympathetic to his pain and so She let it go. "No. Because this time we're going to be bringing Agron up to us."
Bobby figured that sounded like a good plan; get the goddess out of Her home element, where She'd be less overwhelming and powerful. But.... "How exactly are we supposed to do that?" he wondered. "You said that She's started on Sam. What could we possibly do that would distract Her from that?"
Sulvis drew in a deep breath and bit Her lower lip sharply enough to almost draw blood. "Leave that to me."
Bobby didn't think that this was the most brilliant idea ever -- he wasn't about to go into battle without knowing all the details, and what were they supposed to do with Agron if they got Her out of Her pool? -- but just then Dean began to regain consciousness, stirring in the tight circle of John's arms.
"You okay there, kiddo?" John rumbled, as Dean blinked up at him, eyes huge in his pale, pinched face.
Dean didn't reply, whimpering and burrowing into the front of John's shirt. John's jaw set and his eyes hardened.
"All right. So we call the bitch up to us," he growled at Sulvis, still kneeling, hunched protectively over his traumatized son. "What are we supposed to do once She's out of the water?"
Sulvis licked Her lips nervously and wrapped Her arms around Her torso in what Bobby was coming to recognize as Her expression of discomfort. "I have... a method of trapping her. If we hold her, she won't be able to harm Samuel. If we act quickly enough, we should be able to rescue him before any real damage is done."
Bobby noticed that no one was even mentioning Danny, and he glanced at Rusty. The man was grim-faced and stony, but he looked steady and determined, and Bobby's respect for him only grew. He really hoped that Danny was all right, down at the bottom of Agron's pool with Sam, but....
"We'd better get on that, then," John ground out, rising awkwardly to his feet without letting go of his boy. Bobby figured he and Rusty would end up doing most of the grunt work, whatever there was that needed to be done. But Dean needed his father holding him, keeping him safe and as centered as he could be without his brother, so he didn't mind.
"We'll have to go to her pool," Sulvis said. "I've been using a lot of my powers and will be expending more once we get there, so I'll take you two at a time. Agron has weakened herself as well, but it would be too taxing for me to move all of you at once."
"Whatever," Rusty snapped, hands clenched at his sides. "Let's just get on it."
Bobby knew that they were all crazy to be trusting Sulvis so deeply, so exclusively, and yet they didn't have the time or knowledge to come up with and implement any other plan. For better or for worse, they were now pawns in Her battle with Her sister.
But they were pawns with minds of their own, and their own priorities and agenda. They might surprise both of the goddesses yet.
At least, Bobby sincerely hoped so.
He was not as beautiful as his brother, and he did not suffer as sweetly. But he was handsome and strong and powerful in his own right. He was tall and well-muscled and the size of his malehood made her thrill in a manner that tingled between her legs. He was not the perfect vessel, but he would do well enough.
She reached down, stroking his sharp cheekbone and jaw. Before she had cleansed him he had been tainted by her sister's touch, but it had been the ugly black blood of a demon flowing through his veins that had truly concerned her.
It had been a great effort to draw that out of him, purging his blood of the filth, flushing it from his flesh until only his own crimson essence pulsed through his veins. But it had been worth it. She had expended much of her stored energy, so carefully sapped from so many victims, and hoarded away until she could claim her vessel and place Eil Ton in the vital human flesh.... She hadn't meant it to be this youth, and she hadn't meant to use so much before the transfer was even put into effect, but she was grateful that she'd had it. Without it, she would have been lost before she had even begun.
He stirred beneath her, coming back to consciousness, and he glowed more brightly down here in the darkness of her pool now that his body was clean, free of the taint that had rendered him useless to her before. It had indeed been difficult, but the end result was well worth it.
She traced a hand down the ridged line of his belly, feeling the muscles flex beneath her fingertips, and lust arose in her loins again.... But she had learned her lesson with his brother. If she had not delayed to take her pleasure with his supple young body, she would not have been taken by surprise in her own domain and Eil Ton might already be by her side. She would not make that mistake a second time.
"Mine," she whispered possessively. It didn't matter that he and his brother were so wrapped up in each other that they might as well be one; that was only his mind, his body now belonged to her. Soon it would belong to Eil Ton, and she could sate the desire between her thighs and revel in the heat of her consort's embrace. And once they had taken their fill of one another, they would hunt down this body's broken brother and bring him down to their home to be their plaything. And then they would go and find her sister and Eil Ton would complete what he had begun and failed those many turnings of the seasons ago.
Touching her mouth to his in something that was not a kiss, she whispered, "Stay here, young warrior. I shall go and retrieve the pendant containing my Eil Ton. And then I shall seat him in your flesh and your suffering will truly be over."
She could feel him striking out with his mind, but the blow was clumsy, unskilled -- something that he didn't even know he was doing and didn't have the talent to exercise properly -- so she avoided it simply enough.
Smirking, she moved away, heading for the place where she had concealed Eil Ton. He was somewhere safe, somewhere hidden, somewhere deep, deep in her home. She could not be too careful with the physical artifact holding that which was most precious to her. Her sister had already ventured down here once; the bitch was not to be trusted.
She had already known this, ever since Sulvis had tried to kill Eil Ton. What had happened earlier in this day had only proved her right.
Before her, her consort. Behind her, the flesh that would soon house his spirit. So close, she was so close that she could almost taste the passion of her consort's kiss.
There was a hole. Already the middle of her pool went so deep, so dark, that even she couldn't see, but this hole went even deeper. It was safe, it was somewhere that her sister could never go. Not even wearing a mortal body. Not even using the powers of a strong psychic to amp her own abilities. This was somewhere Sulvis could never touch, and Eil Ton had been safe here, ever since the bitch had murdered him.
The hole was narrow, slick with mud and decay, and she wriggled down it like a birth in reverse, her hands reaching before her, groping, until her fingers came in contact with the hard edges of the pendant.
Her hand tingled as she clasped it, and she could feel the essence of Eil Ton reaching out to embrace her from within the crass mundanity of the jewelry. It had not been the ideal item to hold him, but it had been her only option at the time. She could see the gem blazing in the pitch black of the hole, crystal-clear and pulsating.
Eil Ton. Her best beloved. Soon, soon they would be together again. This instant in time was so sweet, she had awaited it for so long.
There was a Winchester on her altar, and Eil Ton's life force pulsed in her palm. He would be hers again, and she would be his. And things would once again be as they should be.
It turned out that there was a perfect spot, directly to the north of Agron's pool. A broad, flat rock outcropping, square but with rounded corners, ten feet by ten feet, free of moss and stained with things that Rusty didn't want to identify. After all, Sulvis had told them that this place wasn't here by accident. And he could feel the memories of pain and death that layered the place, centuries deep. He was almost surprised that there weren't any restless spirits hanging around.
"You sure that putting the trap here won't rob it of its power?" Bobby asked, groaning as he got to his feet after etching the last of the runes onto the stone. Rusty was placing the powder that Sulvis had given him at each corner of the compass, treading carefully so as not to disturb the feathers, soil, and shiny stones that they'd already carefully positioned as directed. The most intricate runes, however, were in the center of the trap. It was nothing like any devil's trap that Rusty had ever seen, but then, they weren't looking to trap a demon. This was on another playing field entirely. This was meant to hold a deity.
"It won't," Sulvis replied, where She was hovering at the edge of the stone, overseeing but remaining at a safe distance. "This is a place of power, but it is not her power. She has been using it, but it belongs to the Earth. It is no more hers than it is mine or yours. It belongs to itself, and the magic in it is more ancient than we are. It will only aid you in your endeavor here."
"You still haven't told us what we're going to do once we've got Her trapped," John spoke up from where he also stood out of the way, hugging Dean against his side. The boy was quiet, still as the grave, watching everything with wide eyes but seeming detached from the proceedings. Well, a large part of his consciousness was locked at the bottom of the pool beside them, if Sulvis spoke truth. He wouldn't be whole again until they returned Sam to him.
Rusty knew how he felt, even though his own bond wasn't so all-encompassing or so debilitating with distance. He felt Danny's lack at his side like a bone-deep ache, as though he had lost one lung and half of his chest, and all of his strength was bleeding out of him through the gaping hole. He continued to function solely because he still had hope that they would be getting Danny back along with Sam. If this proved not to be the case, he would crumple under the weight of his despair. This he knew intimately, with no room in him for any doubt.
This was why he had to keep hope alive in his heart.
"When that moment comes, I will deal with it myself," Sulvis told John, and he scowled at Her.
"That's not an answer. I don't want to go into this without a clear idea of what's going to happen."
Sulvis pulled a face. "What choice have you got?" She asked a bit flippantly.
"Well, we could trap you in this circle," John growled, as though he was seriously considering the option.
Sulvis stepped back, away from the rock and from John, Her eyes round and flashing silvery in the sunlight. "I wouldn't advise that," She said, a bit breathlessly. "You'd lose your only chance at rescuing Samuel that way."
Rusty glanced at Bobby to see if John Winchester was crazy and stubborn enough to actually do as he threatened, and winced at the worried expression on the older Hunter's face. Great. Nothing like working with a madman to make a Hunt all the more difficult. And it wasn't just John's sons -- both of them -- on the line; Danny's life might hang in the balance as well. Rusty refused to believe that his partner was actually....
No. He wasn't going to think the word. It wasn't conceivable and he refused to acknowledge even the possibility.
"Dad, it's okay," Dean startled them by piping up. They'd all thought him the next closest thing to catatonic, but evidently he was returning to them. "We can trust Her. She's the good one."
Sulvis smiled fondly at the boy, but disclaimed; "Well, not good. Don't expect that of me. But I mean no harm, the way that my sister does, and I do want to help."
John glowered at Her, not at all placated by Her words, or his son's declaration. "I still want to know what you plan to do once we've gotten Agron in this trap."
Sulvis sighed, Her bare breasts heaving. Most of the time they forgot that She was naked, since She wore Her flesh as though it was the finest clothing money could buy. Rusty wondered just how corporeal She really was. He had seen Her vanish twice, without any audible displacement of air, but did science really apply to a deity? She had touched Sam and John, and She certainly looked solid enough where She was standing, pressing the blades of grass beneath Her feet, the sunlight glancing bright over Her pale curves.
All this conjecture was largely inconsequential, of course. But Rusty figured that what was flesh could be killed, and Agron was Sulvis' sister. Eil Ton had tried to murder Sulvis, so in theory Rusty should be able to kill Agron. He just needed to proper moment and the right tool.
Even if he had to leave and come back, he'd make this a reality. Unless Sulvis was planning to do the deal Herself, in which case he'd be spared the trouble. One way or another, he wasn't going to leave the Northwest until Agron was taken care of.
"There are... things... that I can do, once you get my sister trapped and helpless," Sulvis was saying, meeting John's eyes steadily, Her gaze a clear blue to match his dark brown. "It will render her harmless, unable to come after your family again. But we must hurry, because she has finished cleansing Samuel and every moment that we argue brings her closer to the completion of her goal -- and none of us want that!"
John Winchester might be foolish but he couldn't argue this point. He might be ready to continue this thread, keep on demanding that they get the details from Sulvis, but She was right, and they really needed to get moving. Rusty felt where John was coming from; he'd have been a lot more comfortable knowing the details of what Sulvis planned. But they were on a tight timeline and the noose was closing with every second of inactivity they indulged in.
"Let's just do this," he snapped, feeling a little bad when Dean flinched away from his vehemence, but this was about rescuing the boy's beloved brother, as well as hopefully getting Danny back. "We need to hurry."
John shot him a startled, angry look, but then his expression dissolved into the pity that Rusty just hated to see, because Danny wasn't dead, dammit, and he nodded shortly.
"All right. It's a stupid plan, but it's all we've got. Let's do it." He turned his hard gaze on Sulvis, who looked more bemused than offended at his scornful dismissal of Her plan. "What do we do now?"
"Now." Sulvis drew a deep breath and stepped to the edge of the stone, standing at the southernmost border. A blade appeared in Her hand, wide at the base, tapering to a triangular tip, its edges looking intensely sharp even from where Rusty stood. "I will step in there and call Agron to me with our shared blood. Once I step out of the circle, take the bone-dust and fill in this final line, here," She indicated a spot where She'd directed Bobby to leave a blank space. "Even if you do it before she arrives in the trap, she will still be able to enter it, and it should hold her."
"Should hold Her?!" Bobby wanted to know, raising the bill of his cap with a chalk-stained hand to stare incredulously at Sulvis. "You're asking us to place all of our hopes, our safety, and the lives of our family on something the should hold?!"
Sulvis swallowed thickly and Her pale fingers flexed around the hilt of the blade She held. "Agron has expended much energy in taking Dean, cleansing him, battling me, taking Samuel, and cleansing him. Even now, as we speak, she expends more as she begins the transfer of Eil Ton into Samuel's body. If she were not exerting herself so, no, this circle would not hold her. But she is. Trust me when I tell you that it will work."
"But you didn't say it would, you said it should," John snapped. "You're asking us to risk Sam's life on something that might work."
"Daddy," Dean spoke up urgently, tugging at John's plaid shirt. "We have to hurry!"
Sulvis gave John a strange look, something assessing in Her eyes as they darkened to a green so deep it was almost black. "You can do something to strengthen it," She said, sounding speculative.
"And what's that?" John growled. He sounded about as suspicious as Rusty felt.
Sulvis gestured with Her free hand, encompassing the entirety of the trap. "Each of you must stand at one point of the compass, and in the moment that Agron enters the circle, you must spill some of your blood. The taint of mortality will strengthen the bonds, and then there will be almost no chance of her getting free."
Rusty and the others pondered this a moment. It seemed sound, in theory, but....
"There's only three of us," John said, frowning at the goddess. A chill breeze sprang up, and Rusty realized that the sun had vanished behind thick clouds while they'd been arguing. There were more thunderheads massed to the north, thick and dark, and the bright clarity of the morning was nothing but a memory. He shivered, his clothing still damp, but it was more than just a physical chill that tripped up his spine and prickled his skin into gooseflesh.
"Dad, I can do it," Dean put in, sounding as upset and offended as he had when Sam had dismissed his ability to aid in Danny and Rusty's Hunt. "I know what to do and I can do it!"
John looked down at his son doubtfully as Dean stepped back and glared up at him. Rusty didn't blame him, since the boy had been lost in a fugue state only five minutes ago, had been unconscious less than half an hour ago, and had been badly broken even before Agron had taken and tortured him. But Dean looked determined, his sharp cleft chin rising, and John's skepticism melted into simple stubbornness.
"No. I don't like it," he said, his heavy brows drawing down. "Dean, I don't want you doing anything like that."
"It's for Sammy," Dean said, and in the firm, steady tone of his voice, Rusty thought he could hear the man that Dean had been before he had been drained and de-aged by the Melusine, then broken by Agron and the men who had held and abused him. "I've bled for him before, Dad. I don't mind doing it again. And we have to get him back!"
John twisted in the crux of indecision, but Dean took the matter out of his hands by turning and avoiding his father's grasp, which reached automatically for him, pacing to the west side of the stone. He was barefoot and white-faced, but he looked as determined as Sam had been when Agron had first stolen Dean away, and Rusty had to bite back a smile at the dichotomy; it really was heartening to see. Even when they were on the verge of falling apart, even when they were separated by a great physical and metaphysical gulf, the Winchester boys could always depend on each other.
Bobby moved silently to the northern border, pausing on the way there to hand Dean a small but undoubtedly sharp hunting knife in a thick leather sheath. Rusty went to the south, standing behind Sulvis, ready with the bone-dust in question, and tugging his own hidden blade from his boot. One thing Sulvis could count on with this group; they'd all have a means of letting the blood that She'd requested.
John threw his hands up, but stumped to the final border, in the east. Rusty wondered passingly if there was any rhyme or reason to the spots they had chosen or if it was just chance, but then Sulvis stepped into the ring and he switched his attention to what She was doing.
For a brief moment he considered trapping Sulvis in there, the way that John had threatened, holding Her until She answered all their questions.... But they were running out of time, they needed to get Sam back, and it might be foolish of him, but he didn't want to betray the huge amount of trust that She had clearly placed on him.
For better or for worse, they were committed to Her plan. Even if it was risky. Even if there were glaring omissions. It was their one chance and they were going to seize it, with both hands and with their own blood.
Their devotion to their loved ones demanded no less.
Sulvis raised one slim, pale arm, Her blade flashed silver in the dimming light, and then there was bright blood flowing freely. The blood of a goddess. And before they even knew it, the storm was upon them.
The wind had really picked up and for a moment Bobby was concerned that the feathers and dried leaves were going to blow off the rock... but they seemed cemented to its surface.
Sulvis stood inside the outer circle of the trap, but outside its internal circle. One arm outstretched, She let Her blood fall to the chalk outlines on stone. It looked as red and vital as human blood, but it didn't spread when it hit the runes, instead seeming to follow the chalk lines and sinking into the surface of the rock as though it had never existed.
Bobby stared, mesmerized by the thinning trickles of dark blood over pale white skin. The deep slice Sulvis had opened in Her forearm seemed as though it was already closing up, and he wished that he and the others had that same healing ability. Though he didn't think they were going to have to spill as much blood as Sulvis had. He certainly wasn't planning to.
There was a smattering of rain, startling him, and again he feared for the chalk lines and the powder Rusty had sprinkled, but again, there was no adverse effect. Well, it was a trap set for a water goddess, given them by another water goddess, so Bobby supposed that the fact of it being water-safe made a certain amount of sense. Whatever amount of sense any of this insanity made.
Well, whatever the reason, they were fortunate that the trap remained undamaged, because the weather had taken a stunningly sudden turn for the worse. Bobby tugged his cap down more tightly and then shifted his pocket knife from his left hand to his right, holding it to the ready. He had no idea what they were waiting for, but he was pretty sure that once things started happening, they would happen fast.
Sulvis stepped backward, out of the exterior circle, Her bare feet moving gracefully and easily, avoiding disturbing the chalk, the feathers, the shiny stones. She stepped down from the rock, and Rusty quickly spread the last of the bone-dust in a line to complete the last of the trap.
Each of them held a blade to the ready, and Bobby figured they were all of them crazy and stupid, to be trusting in the goddess like this, but what choice had She left them? There didn't seem to be any other way to stop Agron -- not before She had destroyed Sam, anyway. And that was their main priority, that and keeping Dean safe.
Sulvis was in this to thwart Her sister. But Bobby took heart in the knowledge that the best way to do so, the best way for Sulvis to keep Herself safe, was to prevent Eil Ton from being resurrected. And that meant that they had to rescue Sam.
There was a violent blast of wind that blew Bobby's cap right off his head and brought tears to his eyes, droplets striking him so hard it was almost like a physical assault. It took him a couple of heartbeats to recognize that this wasn't the storm that was rising, that the blast had come from the center of the trap.
"NOW!" Sulvis shouted, and he heard Her voice ringing in his head as much as his ears.
Bobby blinked, clearing his eyes, even as he placed the blade of his knife against his palm. He cut into the meat of the heel, not too deep, but he needed to bring enough blood to the surface to make a difference. He prayed that they were doing the right thing as he crouched down, battling the wind to slap his bleeding palm against the surface of the rock, atop the curl of an intricate rune.
There was a whirlwind of flying air and water in the center of the trap, so he couldn't see Rusty, but he assumed that the man was doing something similar on the opposite side. He had to squint against the force of the fury they were trying to hold, but he could make out John hunkering down, similar to the way that he was, allowing his blood to mark the stone.
To his other side, Dean was kneeling, Bobby's spare hunting knife gleaming bright in his right hand, his left fisted, blood streaming between his fingers and falling down onto the surface of the rock despite the powerful winds. He was staring raptly at the power they had captured, and Bobby couldn't tell if he was terrified or simply mesmerized.
Either way, Bobby was suddenly anxious over having let Dean loose on his own to do this, and he stood, prepared to go over there. He trusted that John would do the same, but he was pretty sure he'd get there first, seeing as he was so much closer.
But then there came a sharp keening sound from the center of the trap, distracting him, making him cringe and press his hands against his ears, even though this smeared his face with blood.
It stung in his eye, worse than the wind and pelting water, and his pulse was throbbing in the cut on his palm, but he was frozen, watching speechlessly as the fierce typhoon in the trap tapered away, leaving a naked female standing in its center, quivering with rage or fear, he wasn't sure which.
He was betting on rage, though. That was the more likely of the two emotions.
She looked as human as Sulvis, and yet She looked completely "other" in a way that Sulvis didn't. Her hair hung lank and dull gold around Her shoulders and face, Her wide-set, almond-shaped eyes blazing a fiery blue that recalled the spring sky that had disappeared behind the clouds. She was as slender as Her sister, only more bony, with larger breasts and wider hips. Her face was strong, with a sharp, square jaw and pronounced cheekbones. Her nose looked a bit roman, hooked, with flaring nostrils and a pointed tip. Under other circumstances, Bobby supposed he might have found Her to be attractive, but the expression of sheer hatred on Her face ruined any positive effect that Her features might have roused.
She was staring in Dean's direction, and Bobby's stomach twisted, until he realized that Sulvis was standing behind the boy, Her hands on his shoulders, steadying him. That also made him a little anxious, and without looking he could sense that John was already moving toward his son, but from the frozen look on Dean's face, like the proverbial deer in headlights, he could use all the support that anyone could give him. And Sulvis hadn't done anything to betray their trust in Her... yet.
"You!" Agron shrieked, and Her voice wasn't the same piercing scream of rage She had evidently just uttered, but it was wrathful and harsh and certainly nothing like so melodic as Sulvis' smooth tones. "Bitch!"
Sulvis smirked at Her sister, plush lips curving, tugging Dean back against Her chest, Her arms wrapped around his shoulders.
"You started it," She countered, and Bobby almost groaned aloud. Oh great, they really were just pawns in an epic family spat between two deities. Didn't that just take the fucking cake!
"And I'm going to finish it!" Agron pronounced, flinging Her hands wide, fingers spread.
Bobby flinched, but nothing happened, and the smile on Sulvis' face didn't falter. There was still rain falling, the wind whipping over the face of the rock they had set the trap on, but it seemed a natural storm for the most part, despite how quickly it had sprung up.
"BITCH!" Agron screamed again, loud and shrill enough to make Bobby cringe involuntarily. "I will not let you win!"
She flung out Her hands over again, only this time Her palms were aimed toward Her pool, and Bobby felt something crawl over the surface of his skin. It was power, magick, deep and primal, and he recognized it as such, even while he wondered what it was going to entail.
Bobby was on the side of the rock opposite the pool, so he could only see Agron's back, slick blonde hair twining down the contours of Her spine, but he heard Rusty give a sudden shout.
Sulvis looked abruptly more annoyed than amused, Her green eyes narrowing, and She clutched Dean a little more closely to Her.
John's head had swung to the south when Rusty had exclaimed, and he stiffened and headed in that direction, instead of going to Dean.
Bobby figured that was a bad sign, and he cursed the whim that had put him on the wrong side of the trap. The storm only heightened, and he ran around the stone, pausing beside Sulvis and Dean.
At first he had trouble understanding what he was seeing, it was so far from what he might have expected, even though he hadn't really had any idea what to expect.
"What the hell?" he blurted, unable to tear his eyes away, his body tensed, ready to jump into the fray. But first he wanted to know what in blazes was going on.
Rusty was grappling with... well, it looked like a ghost. The tattered remains of a woman who might have been beautiful in life, but who had become twisted in death. Only, she appeared to be formed out of water. Her "skin", for lack of a better descriptor, glistened and rippled, and Bobby could see the flesh of Rusty's neck through her fingers. Not in the way that ghosts were generally transparent, but the way that you could see through a puddle to the bottom.
Bobby might be frozen, but John was right there, swinging a knife that Bobby didn't recognize. As it sliced the surface of the spirit, cutting through her back like, well, like a blade through water, she shrieked. Her body hissed and bubbled -- definitely water -- and then she dissolved into nothing, with a last splash of lake water on the ground at Rusty's feet. The man coughed, took a few gasping breaths, and thanked John hoarsely before they turned to face the next form to emerge from the pool.
"They're the spirits of those Agron sacrificed to gain the power to raise Eil Ton," Sulvis replied, so low that Bobby had to strain to hear Her. "She's bringing them back, using them to attack you, because she cannot leave the circle. They are vulnerable to iron or blessed silver, like any spirit."
Bobby nodded, wishing to heaven that he had some iron or blessed silver on him. Rusty had Danny's saint-blessed knife, which the man had given his partner before Sulvis had taken his body into Agron's pool, and now that he wasn't being throttled, he wielded it skillfully. John's blade was probably iron, though Bobby wouldn't be surprised if the canny bastard'd had it blessed at some point as well.
Bobby had a silver blade on him, but it hadn't been blessed, and so it would be next to useless against the spirits that Agron had conjured up.
John and Rusty were battling, side by side, as more water-formed ghosts emerged from the depths of Agron's pool. And Bobby was stuck, just standing here like a fool.
"Take this. It will work against them."
Bobby accepted the triangular blade that Sulvis pressed into his hand. Its edge still glistened with Her blood, and if it wasn't iron or blessed, Bobby figured that Her blood ought to be enough to deal with the spirits Her sister was raising from the water of Her pool.
"How many are there?" he asked one last question, poised to dash into the fray. Dean was still and wide-eyed in the circle of Sulvis' arms, and he might not be okay, but he was at least safe. Agron was waving Her arms within the circle of the trap, orchestrating the attack, screaming out Her rage and hatred, using the collected spirits to try to do what She could not; destroy them all.
"She has been sacrificing many souls for many years," Sulvis replied darkly, Her eyes fixed on the battle. John was bleeding, because evidently ghostly claws made of water were solid enough to cause real damage, and Rusty hit the shore of the pool hard before jumping back to his feet. "Hurry!"
Bobby didn't need telling twice, and using the blade Sulvis had given him, he took out a male spirit who had been about to gut John.
The man grunted a thanks, then sliced through two more spirits in short order. The water-ghosts kept coming steadily, but they weren't overwhelming. Still, one moment's distraction could prove deadly.
That was why Bobby was so startled when John suddenly barked, "Wait, where's Dean?!"
He glanced over, and sure enough, both Dean and Sulvis were gone. Agron was still raging in the center of the trap, Her face twisted, Her hands stretched toward Her pool... but there was no sign of Her sister, or of Dean.
Bobby cursed, then took a blow to the chest that knocked the wind out of him. He would have been a dead man if Rusty hadn't stepped in and taken care of the watery spirit who had slammed into him.
He gasped, trying to suck in one complete breath, shuddering as Rusty helped him to his feet, and it took him a moment to realize that the attack had stopped. John felled the last spirit, then they all stood there, glancing wildly around.
It was definite; Sulvis had gone, and She had taken Dean with Her.
John loosed a dire curse. Bobby still struggled to breathe properly, clutching his chest with his free hand, and Rusty looked grim.
"This must have been Her plan all along," he said, and John flexed his fist around the hilt of his knife as though he wanted to gut something. He undoubtedly did. "Now She's got Dean."
"What's She planning on doing with him, though?" Bobby grunted, finally feeling his lungs fill with blessed air.
They all turned to look at Agron. Because none of them had any clue, so if anyone knew, it was Sulvis' sister, the one who knew Her intimately, the one that Sulvis was battling.
"SULVIS!" Agron howled, in a voice that raised every hair on Bobby's head and body. "YOU SHALL NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS!"
She raised Her hands again, and there came the second wave.
They were still concerned about Dean and where Sulvis may have taken him, but there were even more spirits now, and they couldn't spare any attention for anything other than defending themselves and taking out the aggressive, water-fueled ghosts of sacrifices past as quickly as possible, to avoid being overrun and overcome.
Bobby gripped his borrowed blade more tightly and set his jaw. They might be fucked, but damned if they wouldn't go down fighting!