Dean had never understood why Jo insisted on making hot chocolate the old fashioned way until he'd tasted it and realized that nothing in a powdered instant mix even came close. "Um, something about a hunter headed our way," he said, not giving her the whole story yet.
She blinked, raising a brow in amused confusion. "Isn't that Bobby's deal?" she pointed out. "Is there something special about this hunter or something? An ex of yours you aren't going to remember?" She flashed him a cheeky smile, reaching up to pull cups from the cupboard.
"Baby, the only hunter I ever had eyes for was you," he informed her, moving forward to wrap his arms around her waist from behind and kiss the side of her neck. He wasn't lying; he might have had more than a few exes, but the only one who'd been a hunter had been her.
"Oh, you charmer." She grinned over her shoulder at him, nipping his jaw affectionately before turning her attention to splitting the chocolate between the three mugs. "So why did Brian call you about this?"
He shrugged, feigning innocence. "I am kind of charming, aren't I?" His smile faded as he considered her question. There was no point in lying to her or beating around the bush. He'd learned that lesson the hard way. Now that they were married, they were true partners, 'til death did they part. "I think he wanted to warn us," he said. Us, not just him. "Are you ready for this?" he asked, adding, "He said something about a hunter named Kris who's on the trail of Loki."
To her credit, Jo didn't laugh or get angry. She just rolled her eyes. "Seriously?" she asked in a wry tone. "We have Norse gods to worry about now as well?"
"Well ..." Dean started, "According to Sam, everything in folklore and mythology is rooted in truth. Exaggerated maybe, but it still comes from somewhere. If there are Greek gods, why not Norse? They have to be based on something, right? Gabriel claimed to have met Loki. Our Gabriel, anyway."
Jo considered this, pouring extra milk into Bertie's cup so it wouldn't be too hot for him. "All right," she said carefully. "So the real Loki is a Trickster. Does that mean this hunter is after him, or after Gabriel?"
"Before we put Lucifer in the pit, the gods had a meeting to talk about what to do about the Apocalypse. Some of them anyway," Dean said with a shrug. "Gabriel said he was Loki. That he'd taken his place or something. Then Lucifer killed him ... or he made it look like Lucifer killed him. I'm not sure which," Dean explained, though none of this really mattered, since all of it had happened on Dean and Jo's version of Earth, not this one.
"So we should talk to Gabriel," Jo suggested. "I mean, some hunters can't be talked down, so giving him a heads up might be a good idea. You know, just in case this Kris is after him."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but Brian said she's likely to go to Bobby and Ellen first," Dean told her, thinking it might be good to give them a heads up, if this hunter hadn't already.
"Well, she's not likely to show for a day or two if she just left Chicago," Jo pointed out, putting the lid on Bertie's cup. "We can let Bobby know, drop a line to Ares and Ayden, and see if Sam remembers anything about the Norse gods."
"Sounds good," Dean said, nodding in agreement. "Who do you want to call first?" he asked, assuming he'd call one pair and she would call the other, probably over a cup of hot chocolate.
"I'll call Mom," she volunteered, grinning as she leaned over to kiss his cheek. "You can summon your sister or call your son." She slid one of the mugs into his hand, lifting up her own and Bertie's from the counter as she turned toward the living room.
Dean scowled and rolled his eyes. He wasn't overly fond of either of those choices for various reasons. Summoning Ayden probably meant summoning Ares, too, though he was probably their best source of information right now. There was Gabriel, of course, but Dean trusted that particular immortal about as far as he could throw him. It wasn't that he didn't like Ares exactly either; it was just that the guy could be so irritating at times. "I think I'll call Sam first. Find out what he knows and go from there."
"Shouldn't take too long," Jo agreed. She set the cups down on the coffee table, bending over the playpen to lift Bertie out and sit him down on the couch to drink his chocolate with them. "Wanna talk to Gramma, little man?"
It was hours before everyone had been properly called and filled in on Brian's news. Everyone but Gabriel, anyway. Despite, or maybe because of, past history, Dean didn't like Gabriel much more than he trusted him. They'd been allies in the struggle against Hades and his minions, but Gabriel had benefited from that arrangement by taking Michael's place as head honcho in heaven, while the Olympians had retaken their place on Mount Olympus, and Crowley had claimed the throne as King of Hell. There was peace, albeit a tenuous one. So long as the Powers that Be didn't interfere with each other, all was well, but Dean knew it wasn't going to last forever, and this business with Loki could very well be the match that lights the fire, if they weren't careful. And so, once their allies had been informed (with the exception of Crowley), it was time to summon their ally in Heaven and see what he had to say for himself.
Somewhat surprisingly, Gabriel responded promptly to the summons - promptly enough that his appearance startled Jo. She reacted without thinking, leaving the archangel blinking down the barrel of her favored shotgun. He rolled his eyes at her.
"Aww, pumpkin, you miss me?"
"She's not your pumpkin, and this isn't a social call," Dean was quick to point out. They hadn't summoned the archangel without taking the proper precautions, and Gabriel was too smart not to know that. "Have a seat," Dean said, gesturing toward a chair.
"Why, thank you, Deano." Gabriel snapped his fingers and sat down in the luxurious wing-backed armchair he had just summoned. "I'm sort of important these days, maybe you didn't notice. Thoughts?"
"Don't forget who helped you get there, Gabriel. There's an old saying: Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Thoughts?" Dean was quick to retort, without a hint of humor in his voice or his expression. "We called you here because one of your loose ends has unraveled, and we thought you might like to know about it."
"Aww, are your repressed feelings for me finally making themselves known? I'm touched." Gabriel smirked. Jo rolled her eyes. She had no idea how Dean was keeping his temper here. The archangel considered Dean for a long moment. "So what's the deal here? You'll tell me if I do what?"