Author's Note: This takes place at the beginning of Season 4, after Dean is pulled from hell. It is mostly canon, with the insertion of my OC. It is funny, but not in a "crack" sort of way. It is sexy, but not in a "smut" sort of way. It does have dark undertones & implications, but there is no character death other than what is canon, and said dark undertones are not graphic. That being said, I don't own Supernatural. If I did, I'd capture Castiel and put him in a little bottle like my own personal sexy genie.
September 18, Late afternoon
Ember Nelson looked around the quiet South Dakota neighborhood, smiling slightly. All was peaceful, and nobody was watching. Slowly, she used her eyes to guide the keys out of her pocket and into the lock., forcing the door open, her hands full of groceries and her purse and backpack. Telekinesis was a wonderful thing sometimes, she thought. She had to be careful, but at moments like this, it was extremely helpful.
She had just guided the keys out of the lock when without warning, strong hands went around her, and a knife was held to her throat. "Who are you?" a deep voice commanded.
Ember took a second to react, then dropped her groceries and called upon the use of the second power she possessed: invisibility. Her attacker let her go, shocked, and whirled around with his knife, putting his back to the wall. Ember, meanwhile, backed up to the opposite wall. "Who the hell are you?!"
An old man came careening into the room, then, yelling, "Shut it, ya idgits! Ember, is that you?"
"Yeah Bobby, it's me," Ember responded, still invisible, as her attacker looked around wildly, "Will you tell this lunatic to lay off!"
There was a moment of silence before, finally, her attacker looked at the older man and lowered his knife, looking dubious. Ember showed herself, staring daggers at the man.
The elder man, Bobby, sighed. "Dean, meet my daughter."
Dean spun around toward the old man, hurt and disbelief in his eyes. "Your what?!"
At the same time, Ember shouted, "Dean? Bobby, I thought you said he was in hell?" Ember fished for the revolver she carried in her purse, feeling its handle just in case.
"It's complicated," Bobby snapped, answering both questions at once.
"Start talking," Dean snapped, and Ember noticed that he had still not let go of his knife, either.
"I couldn't tell you about her," Bobby said, looking first at Dean and then at Ember. "And I didn't have time to tell you about him. He just came back." Neither Dean nor Ember had let go of their weapon.
"What do you mean you couldn't tell me?" Dean exclaimed.
Ember knew the answer to this question. "My mother made him promise not to tell anyone about me. It's because I'm half-demon," she answered. She hated long dramatic build-ups. Better to get the violence out of the way, if it was going to happen.
Dean's face looked for a second as though he might burst into laughter, as though this was all a big prank. Then he seemed to decide that Bobby was being serious, and he started toward Ember, knife raised. Bobby shot him a warning look, which stopped him in his tracks, however. Dean then shot an angry look at Bobby, and his jaw worked up and down a few times. Finally, he exploded. "What the hell, Bobby?! I'm in hell for four months and you're suddenly harboring a half-demon daughter? What am I supposed to do with this?"
"Shut up and listen up, ya idgit! It's not what you think, and if you go after my daughter I swear to God I'll send you straight back to hell."
Dean glared at Bobby, stowing his knife but keeping his hand on it. "Start talking."
Bobby looked at Ember. "Now, hold on a second," she snapped at Bobby. "Why do I have to do the talking first? You could be putting me in danger here, too. How did he get out of hell? Did you 'holy water' him?" Dean's eyebrows shot up in mild surprise.
"Prove it." Dean looked even more surprised, and his hand slipped an infinitesimal amount away from his knife. He caught her looking, however, and rearranged his features back into a glare.
"Fine," Bobby sighed, rolling his eyes and grabbing the water from a nearby table. He shook his head sarcastically. "We'll all do holy water, and we'll all use a salted knife, and then we're gonna sit down and talk, without our weapons." Dean and Ember both stared at each other venomously.
They passed around the holy water, and the knife, Ember ignoring the curious look on Dean's face. Finally, it seemed he couldn't take it anymore. "Isn't that gonna hurt, demon?" he taunted her.
Ember rolled her eyes. "Of course it's gonna hurt, 'ya thick-headed moron," she snapped. "Nobody loves knifing themselves. But I'm only half-demon, so it'll just sting a bit. And the water just tickles."
When they were finished, Bobby gestured to the sofa. "Sit. Talk."
Dean sat on one sofa, and Ember on the other. Both of their hands were away from their weapons now, but both were still alert if needed.
"I'm half-demon, half human," Ember started. "Bobby and my mother dated for awhile. She got possessed. You can figure out the rest. I got lucky though. Powers didn't hit until puberty. Life was… I don't know, normal? Compared to what it is now, life was normal."
Dean's glare had lessened slightly, and he was listening raptly. "My powers started showing up when I was a teenager, so Mom got ahold of Bobby. Mom made Bobby promise that he wouldn't tell anyone – especially any other hunters – about me."
She stared Dean in the face, imploringly. Dean had to believe her, if only for Bobby's sake. "Bobby's told me all about you, though. And Dean – if that's who you really are, and if you did make it back from hell – you should know, I've never killed anyone. Demons I've killed, if that counts. Only a couple of times, before Bobby taught me the exorcism. But I've always been really careful not to let my demon side have any power over me."
Dean looked at Bobby for confirmation of this statement, and Bobby nodded. After a thoughtful pause, Dean said dubiously, "Okay… okay, fine. Say that's true. What powers do you have, then?" Ember could tell from his tone that he was still pretty sure that she was evil, but was willing to continue to listen for Bobby's sake.
"Invisibility, obviously." She rolled her eyes. "Unfortunately, it's still not helpful when it comes to demons, because they can smell me. They can't pinpoint my exact location if I'm invisible, though, so I guess that's helpful. Bobby says it would work against ghosts, though, but vampires and werewolves would be able to smell me unless I mask my scent." Ember took a large breath. "And… and telekinesis. Useless on humans, though, until… well, until recently. I can unlock doors, pull weeds without touching them, that kind of thing. Party tricks."
Bobby raised his eyebrows at Ember, and Ember looked away. Dean didn't have to know everything… yet.
"You said until recently?" Dean asked, still staring at her with doubt.
Ember sighed. "In the last month or so, I've gotten… stronger." She gave an uncomfortable squirm. "You have to understand, my powers showed up when I was 13, and stopped changing around the time I was about 19. They've been the same for five years now. It was… I mean, it was good fun, mostly. A little bit of practical joking with the help of my invisibility, and the telekinesis really came in handy when I messed up my wrist." Bobby was looking at her again with a raised eyebrow, but she ignored him.
"Then, just… out of the blue… suddenly I'm able to push and pull humans, and move around dogs and cats. And… and I can fly. Well, I mean, it's more like… I can levitate, short distances, so I guess it's more like… soaring." She looked up, smiling slightly. "That part is kind of cool. But it's scary, too. Suddenly it's…" she gave Dean a nervous glance. "It's not just party tricks anymore. And I don't know what's different. So… I called up Bobby."
Dean's glare had changed to a look of curiousity. Ember got the impression from him that he was willing to put his hatred of her being half-demon on hold to solve the mystery. It was exactly how Bobby had always described him, she thought: impulsive, but curious and hungry for the next case, and always lethal. It was obvious he still didn't trust her, but perhaps was willing to put off killing her for Bobby's sake until he knew he had to do so. "So… fine. Say you're telling the truth. I've never heard of a half=demon before, but why the hell not? So your powers just… started growing last month, for no apparent reason? You didn't… have any new experiences? You didn't meet any new friends?"
Ember rolled her eyes, knowing what he meant to imply. "I haven't been cavorting with any demons, if that's what you're asking. My powers scared the daylights out of me when I was younger, and since then I've been very careful not to let them get the better of me. Until recently, I lived a normal life. I'm a therapist, for kids. I just finished grad school, and two months ago I got my first therapy job."
Dean looked absolutely shocked, and Ember grinned proudly. She could tell that this piece of information, more than anything else, had knocked him off his guard. Perhaps she wouldn't have to worry about him killing her in her sleep after all. "Not what you were expecting? A half-demon therapist doesn't fit in your monster-related descriptions?"
Apparently Dean had nothing to say to that.
September 18, Night
After escaping from Hell, Dean had thought about 5 things: Hell itself (including what he had experienced while he had been there, and how he had been brought back), Sam, Bobby, food and drink, and sex. (Sleep, ironically, hadn't been high on the list. Apparently whoever had brought him back had at least given him some energy.) Food and drink had been the first thing checked off the list, and Bobby seemed okay. Sam was next on the list.
Ember had asked to accompany Dean and Bobby to Pontiac, Illinois to find Sam. Dean was still wary of her, however he had decided to let her live for the time being. This was partially due to her story being plausible (as long as the facts checked out – and he would be checking), partially due to Bobby's good word, and partially due to his own curiousity about her powers increasing. Could this be related to them letting all the demons out of hell over a year ago? No, that wouldn't make sense – she'd said her powers had increased within the last month. It wasn't as though he was exactly "in the know" about happenings in the supernatural world, however – after all, he'd spent the past four months in hell.
Bobby was in favor of the idea of Ember coming along to find Sam, however, and as Sam had the Impala and they would be taking Bobby's car, Dean didn't have much of a choice. Therefore, Dean begrudgingly slid into the back seat of Bobby's junk car, allowing Ember to ride shotgun while Bobby drove. "Thanks for letting me tag along," she said. "I know Bobby never told you about me… that was my mother's decision. The less people know about me, the better."
"Hmph," he answered, distracted.
"But I've heard stories about you and Sam for awhile now," Ember said again, "and I've always wanted to meet you."
Ember threw her small back-pack on the seat next to Dean, and he looked up at her questioningly. The backpack couldn't have been large enough to hold more than one pair of pants and a shirt. "I have to pack light," she said, following his eye. "I don't have the money to pay for plane rides, so I go invisible. That's how I got to Bobby's. I feel kind of bad about the free plane rides. But, I figure the people who pay for the plane don't have to worry about-…" she stopped, then finished, "um, about keeping their crazy demon side in check. So, I guess this is the plus side of being half-demon. At least, that's how I justify it to myself." She smiled.
As Bobby climbed into the driver's seat, it occurred to Dean that he was starting to feel like he may have been a dick. He had called Ember "demon" earlier and mocked her about the holy water and the salt knife, and yet she was worried about taking advantage of people with her invisibility and spending money on plane rides. Hell, if he could become invisible, he would steal… well, a lot of money, for starters. And, he admitted, he would probably spend a lot of time in girls' locker rooms. He had a sinking feeling she had never used her invisibility to spy on naked people. Honestly, for a half-demon, she seemed a bit like a goody two-shoes. Still, he could tell she was hiding something, so perhaps she wasn't as goody-two-shoes as she let on. Or, he thought, perhaps being a goody-two-shoes on the surface of things was simply how she kept her half-demon side in check.
As the car ride progressed even further, Dean was forced to admit that he was viewing Ember as less and less of a threat the more time he spent with her. It wasn't a sense of mutual respect, like he'd had with the demon called Casey when they'd been trapped in the basement (although there was that, too). The fact was that Dean simply couldn't find anything demonic about this half-demon girl. She talked excitedly about her work with her clients, and about her friends back home. He also couldn't deny that Ember was good looking; she was tall, with shoulder-length brown hair and dark eyes. She was smart, witty, and sarcastic. She knew most of the same classic rock songs he did, though she had an appreciation for all types of music, and even played him a few songs that he had never heard before (but liked). There was also something very simple about her; she was the kind of girl that was obviously most comfortable in jeans and a tank top, and there was something wholly attractive about that. He wondered briefly if Ember might be up for the "sex" part of his post-hell bucket list, but it quickly occurred to him that her being Bobby's daughter would definitely complicate the situation. In addition, he attempted to convince himself, "half-demon" was definitely on his "nope" list for sexual conquests.
At some point, Dean switched seats with Bobby, who then fell asleep in the back seat, leaving him alone to make conversation with her. "How are you getting back home?" he asked after they had exhausted their discussion about classic rock songs. "Actually… where is home for you, anyway?"
"You saved me the trip," she answered. "I only live a couple of hours east of Pontiac. Once this thing is done with Sam, would you mind dropping me off?"
"Depends on how it goes," Dean said honestly, "But… probably." He still didn't like how easily he had grown to feel comfortable around her, but at this point he was invested enough to give her the benefit of the doubt. Beside the point, she was Bobby's daughter, and he was obviously protective of her. Dean supposed that alone ought to make her family. One thing was for certain: whether he was thinking of her as family or as a beautiful woman, he was beginning to think that his first impression had been less than ideal.
"Thanks," Ember said. "Planes are cheap – for me at least – but they really blow. Unless there are a couple seats in a row with nobody in them, I'm stuck camping out with the baggage. It gets crowded, and no matter how much I try, I always get hit with a suitcase at least once."
Eventually, the conversation turned to childhood. Ember talked a lot about her early life, which seemed unremarkable compared to his. She also asked all kinds of questions about hunting. She wanted to know all about his adventures with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts – all things that Bobby had talked about, but which she'd never run into herself. After awhile, Dean found himself almost bragging to her. It occurred to him that he very rarely got an opportunity to talk about his job with people who believed in and understood it, and even less so to a beautiful woman. He couldn't help showing off a bit: "I really like the dream world that the Djinn put me in. I thought it was the perfect life, you know, until I started seeing the newspaper clippings, and looked into it farther. Everyone we had saved – all 108 people on that plane, and the girl Sam liked with the painting, and everyone – they all would've died without Sammy and I."
Ember wanted to know all about rugarus and vanirs and werewolves, and Dean was happy to discuss them. Slowly, he began to remember who he was before hell – before Alastair, before the torture. Finally, he asked about her experience with demons, and was surprised at her answer: "I've exorcised 31 demons, and killed 4 hosts." She said it in a monotone and not looking him in the eye, as though she didn't want to discuss it.
"What are you doing to attract these demons?" Dean asked. "I didn't realize Indiana doubled as a demon hub."
She shrugged, still averting her eyes, but her posture turned icy somehow. "Don't know. They just always seem to find me," she said evasively.
Dean changed the subject, and he and Ember spent a fair amount of time discussing the mysterious growth of Ember's powers. Ember confessed that her biggest concern was that she was becoming "more demon-like". "I don't feel any darker," she said. "I mean, I don't have, you know, more of an urge to murder people, or whatever, since my power grew. Still, I feel like the cosmic gods of the universe, or whoever is out there in control, would take issue with me gaining all of these powers and not paying a price somewhere."
"So don't use the powers," Dean said, "At least not the newer ones."
"It's not that simple," Ember said, shaking her head. "I need them, to defend myself, if nothing else. Of those demons exorcised, 10 of the exorcisms were in the last month alone. Half-demons are rare, and apparently in high demand." She sighed. "That's how I found out my power was increasing in the first place, actually. I mean, it's not like I have a ton of time to go out into a field and test my new powers like some bad movie montage."
Dean laughed shortly, shooting her a sideways glance. Somehow it was difficult to imagine this lanky, witty, therapist girl killing even one demon, much less overpowering 10 of them in the last month. Then, without realizing he was doing it, he asked, "Are you sure you don't want to chill with us for awhile? We can offer protection." As soon as he had said it, he already wished he hadn't. What was he thinking? Offering protection to a half-demon?
Ember shook her head. "Nah, it's okay. I've got shit to do. I can take care of myself, really."
September 19, Early morning
Finally, after a long drive, Dean, Ember, and Bobby arrived in Pontiac, IL and knocked on room 207. Ember knew immediately that the woman who answered the door was a demon. There was a small look exchanged by both women, very quickly, which included recognition and panic. Ember was just about to raise her weapon when the demon woman said, "So where is it?"
"Where's what?" Bobby asked.
"The pizza?" Ember was stunned into silence. She'd never encountered a demon that didn't immediately come after her in an attack or sexual fashion. She honestly wasn't sure what to make of it.
"I think we got the wrong room," Dean said.
A tall man showed up behind the demon girl, however, and gave Dean a look as though he had seen a ghost. "Hey ya, Sammy," Dean said. And then the two brothers began fighting. During their fight, Ember turned to the demon woman, putting up her arms in a defensive stance, and prepared for a fight. The demon woman, however, took one look at Ember and ran back down the hallway.
September 19, Noon
Sam took to Ember a lot easier than Dean did, which, if he was honest, pissed him off. "It doesn't bother you? You know, that I showed up with Bobby and his half-demon daughter?" Dean could just make her out in Bobby's car in front of the Impala, speaking animatedly with Bobby from the passenger seat. They were on the way to Pam's, Bobby's psyhic friend, and Ember had been eager, yet again, to come along.
"So she's half-demon, so what?" Sam said, once again stationed in the passenger seat of the Impala. "The way you tell it, she's a therapist who feels bad about not paying for plane tickets. Not exactly threatening, is it?" Sam smiled, squinting ahead into the distance. "Not bad looking, either, is she?"
"Dude! She's like… half demon." Dean laughed at his brother. "Not that that makes a difference to you… apparently you just slept with a full demon."
"Man, shut up, okay? I had no idea!"
"Dude, you should've seen the look on your face when Ember told you!" Dean laughed at Sam. His mood was beginning to lighten. He was out of hell, and he had found his brother.
"C'Mon, man, she never said anything about being a demon. But maybe it's like Ruby said last year, you know? Maybe not all demons want the same thing."
"Yeah, and this one wanted to test out the once-possible fearless demon leader in the sack," said Dean. "Hey Sammy, was the sex different? Like, did she fuck you on the ceiling or something?"
"Dude! No, she was just like a normal girl."
"Shame," Dean said. "I bet that'd be hot."
Sam squinted into the darkness, following Dean's gaze into the car in front of them, where they could see Ember's head bobbing to the music. "This Ember girl… Do you… do you like her?!"
"Dude! It's not like that. She's hot, that's all." When Sam didn't seem satisfied, Dean added, "C'mon, how cool would that be? Sex with an invisible chick than can levitate?"
Sam laughed. "My brother and a half-demon… never would've thought it." He laughed again. "Can you imagine what Bobby would say?"
Dean laughed, too. "I was kidding, anyway." He paused. "Wait. Do you mean… what Bobby would say about me hooking up with a half-demon, or me hooking up with his daughter?"
They both laughed at this, and he watched Sam relax in the passenger's seat. It occurred to Dean in that moment that, for the first time in four months (or forty years, in actual time), he felt like he wanted to survive another day.