Chapter Six

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Sofia glances to her phone and smirks a little seeing a text from Dean, they've been in regular contact since their night out two months ago. And whilst is has never progressed to sex, they have bonded. She thinks of him as her friend. She glances up and out the car window as it pulls into the Santa Monica Airport heading for the Stark Aviation Hangar.


Rhodey, in uniform, paces talking on a cellphone. Behind him a parked Boeing Business Jet reading: Stark International, 'Tomorrow Today'. He watches as a Saleen S7 skids to a stop, his head shaking slightly. Seconds later a Rolls limo arrives. Happy climbs out of the limo and moves to the back passenger door, he opens it to allow Sofia to climb out carrying a laptop case, she touches his arm and smiles warmly in thanks. The Saleen's scissor-doors open, Tony jumps out. He heads for the Boeing, right past Rhodey.

"Sorry, pal -- car trouble" Tony offers as Happy pulls two overnight bags from the limo. Sofia moves towards Rhodey, her heels clicking against the tarmac, Rhodey turns to her and smiles. Tony may be a pain in the ass but Sofia is much easier to deal with.

"Rhodey" she greets reaching him.

"Hey, Sofia" Rhodey greets warmer, she smiles and hugs him. "Wasn't sure you'd be coming" he comments pulling back.

"I may not agree with the whole weapons thing, but Tony is my brother, and I will support him in whatever he does" Rhodey knows this. Sofia is the sister everyone wants, the sister Tony doesn't deserve. "And he wanted me here..." she shrugs a little as they both head towards the Boeing.


Rhodey settles into his seat next to Tony, Sofia sits close by but not with them, she likes to do her own work whilst on these trips and she can't do that if she's distracted by her brother and his antics.

"I was standing out there three hours, what the hell --?" Rhodey asks Tony.

"I had car trouble" Tony repeats, Rhodey looks to Sofia who offers him an apologetic shrugs. A hot Flight Attendant holds out steamy towels with thongs to Tony. "Thanks, maybe later" Rhodey grabs a towel as the engines begin to whine.


Tony exits the plane once it lands in Afghanistan, Tony appears fresh, fired up to greet the waiting brass. He shakes hands. Then Rhodey appears dressed in ABUs. He's weary, squinting at the

stinging sun. Pulls his sunglasses down over bleary eyes. Sofia chuckles looping her arm with his at his side.

"I don't know why you let him goad you into drinking like that" she points out, Rhodey looks at her and offers a tired smile.

"You're so lucky you can't get drunk" he grumbles, she shrugs a little.

"It's not always a blessing" she corrects squeezing his arm. They both head down the steps together heading towards Tony.


Days Later:

Dean rests forward on his knees, watching the news story breaking on the tv screen in front of him. Sam stands watching just as Dean is. Sofia and Tony's envoy was attacked whilst the siblings were in Afghanistan. And they're missing. Dean's heartbeat thunders in his ears. Fear spreading ice through his veins. This can't be happening. He presses his fingers into his head.

"Dean" Sam whispers. "I'm sure she's fine" Dean stands and moves to Bobby's kitchen. He takes a shaky breath and leans on the counter. His mind wandering back to the last time he saw her.


New Year:

Dean adjusts his suit jacket as he and Sam walk into the most lavish New Year's party they have ever been too. The lights. The decorations. The people. They're all so snazzy and dressed up. Even the brothers' fed suits don't come up to scratch.

"You guys made it" Sofia states walking towards them, Dean's jaw almost, almost actually drops seeing her. Her dress is actually sparkling, like stars against a black back drop. She looks stunning. Her hair twisted and twirled with gems.

"Holy crap" Dean states, Sam smirks at his side. She beams at them.

"We weren't going to miss it" Sam tells Sofia. She loops her arm with Dean's and leads them towards the bar, she's talking to him animatedly about something or other but Dean has to concentrate on not melting into a puddle of hunter at her feet.

"Whiskey" Sofia orders reaching the bar. "All round" the bartender nods and moves to grab their drinks. "Tony throws this party every year" she explains. "And everyone from the business world and..." she shrugs. "It's kind of boring" she whispers, Dean smirks a little. Dean squirms a little and then sighs.

"Little boy's room?" Dean asks turning to Sofia, she points towards the back of the room.

"Take a right and then you should see the signs, sweetheart"

"Thanks" he whispers smiling like an idiot, every time she calls him that he's Jello.


Sam sticks with Sofia, the two of them people watching, Sam actually likes Sofia, she's smart, witty, kind, what's not to like about her?

"Who's that with Tony?" Sam asks. "He's familiar"

"That's Obediah Stane" Sofia answers. "He's kind of Tony's business partner....was CEO back before Tony was old enough to take over"

"What about you?" Sam asks. "Did you not want to go into business?"

"Not really" she answers. "I have my mother's charity and I love it....I get to help people" Sam smiles and nods. "It suits me better anyway, I don't think I have the temperament for all those stuffy suits" Sam hums a little. "I think I would end up punching someone" she admits, Sam chuckles and takes a sip of his drink.

"That tree is like 14ft" Dean comments returning to them.

"Actually it's 16ft" Sofia corrects. "It's a little big but every year Tony goes one up on himself.....that sounded a little weird"

"We know what you meant" Dean assures her with a smile. Dean watches her as she smiles talking with Sam again, Sam nods. Dean likes this. His brother and....whatever she is getting along. He's pretty sure he's already in love with her. That stupid soul mate thing tugging on his heart. He won't do anything about it though. He's definitely not good enough for someone like her. Someone so kind and caring and bright. He smiles sadly now grabbing his drink from the bar.



Dean pours himself a whiskey and leans back against the counter behind him. He thought keeping her out of the hunting stuff would keep her safe. That's why he hadn't told her. She is this bright light, this pure soul and he wasn't going to taint it with the scary and the bloody. And then this happens.

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