Who the Hell Are You?
Summary: Through Season 1, starts episode 2. Searching for their father, Sam and Dean end up in Colorado hunting a wendigo – where they meet Jayne Gibson, an angry, dirty, bruised up hunter looking for her stepsister, Lynn Juarez. That meeting will change everything.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Supernatural. All I got to my name is Jayne and Lynn.
"In this world, if you read the papers darlin'
You know everybody's fighting on with each other.
You got no one you can count on babe
Not even your own brother.
So if someone comes along
He gonna give you some love and affection
I'd say get it while you can."
"Get It While You Can," Janis Joplin
Chapter 1: Searching for Stephen
Jayne Gibson sat in the driver's seat of the old, gray Nissan pick up truck, driving through the twisty, heavily wooded back roads of Lost Creek, Colorado, at speeds the roads were never meant to be navigated. Beside her, bent intently over her laptop, sat her stepsister, Lynn Juarez, biting her lip.
"He's coming up close to the Lodge now," Lynn announced nervously, referring to the park ranger station for the nearby Lost Creek National Park. Jayne nodded, nervous as well, but less inclined to show it. "You think he'll be happy to see us?" Lynn asked.
Jayne shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine."
Lynn sighed heavily. Her shoulder length wavy black hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail, but was quickly falling out of the elastic as she played nervously with it. She looked over at her stepsister, anxiety in her big, chocolaty brown eyes. "I wish he'd stay in one place for longer than thirty seconds," she murmured.
Jayne's clear gray eyes never left the road. "He'll have to slow down eventually," she replied.
Lynn returned her gaze to the laptop monitor. She was staring at a blinking dot that was traveling along a digital map. "We almost caught up to him in Palo Alto," she reminded her stepsister. The words were hopeful, as though she was reassuring herself.
Jayne nodded. "Well, we'll just have to actually catch up to him this time," she announced, giving her stepsister a grin.
The grin was meant to be reassuring, but Lynn didn't buy the bravado for a moment. "Right," she agreed halfheartedly, her eyes still fixed on the blinking dot.
Ever since their half brother Stephen had gone missing nearly two months ago, the two women had been tirelessly searching for him. Jayne had never been so glad in her life that she'd stooped to the level of a nosy, interfering parent. If it wasn't for the tracking device she'd hidden on her brother's beloved 1970 Plymouth Superbird, searching for Stephen would have yielded as many results as searching for a needle in a haystack.
Lynn, who had protested the decision at the time, was no longer a critic. In fact, since Stephen had first disappeared, it was Lynn who had been staring at the laptop 24/7.
Jayne sighed, shaking loose strands of long white-blond hair out of her eyes. "He still headed for the Lodge?" she asked.
"Mm-hmm," Lynn murmured, still staring at the screen.
"All right," Jayne said, hitting the gas. "Hold on, Lynn. I'm putting the pedal to the floor."
"So, Blackwater Ridge is pretty remote," Sam Winchester announced. He was wandering around the Lost Creek National Park ranger station with the company of his older brother, Dean. "It's cut off by these canyons here, rough terrain, dense forest, and abandoned silver and gold mines all over the place."
"Dude," Dean said. He was squinting at a photo on the wall. "Check out the size of this freaking bear."
Sam raised an eyebrow. Clearly, his brother had not been paying very much attention to his informational monologue. He walked up behind his brother and peered over his shoulder at the picture.
Dean was not impressed for nothing. The bear was freaking huge.
"And," Sam went on. "A dozen or more grizzlies in the area. It's no nature hike, that's for sure."
"You boys aren't planning to go out near Blackwater Ridge by any chance?"
Both brothers turned at the voice of the ranger behind them. "Oh, no, sir," Sam was quick to pipe up. "We're environmental studies majors from UC Boulder. Just working on a paper."
"Recycle, man," Dean added, punching the air.
"Bull," the ranger replied.
Both boys looked startled at the man's response. "You're friends with that Haley girl, right?" he asked.
Dean seemed to think that over for a moment. "Yes," he agreed. "Yes, we are, Ranger Wilkinson."
The ranger gave a short, unimpressed chuckle. "Well, I will tell you exactly what I told her," he said. "Her brother filled out a back country permit saying he wouldn't be back from Blackwater until the twenty-fourth. So it's not exactly a missing person's, now is it?"
"No," Dean returned, shaking his head in agreement.
"Tell that girl to quit worrying," the ranger went on. "I'm sure her brother's just fine."
"We will," Dean assured him. "That Haley girl's quite a pistol, huh?"
"That is putting it mildly."
"Actually, you know what might help is if I could show her a copy of that permit," Dean continued. "You know, so she can see her brother's return date."
Dean Winchester's charm was irresistible, even to other men. Five minutes later, the Winchesters were walking out of the ranger station, a copy of the permit in hand. "Ha-ha," Dean laughed triumphantly.
"What, are you cruising for a hook up or something?" Sam asked, sounding rather put out.
"What do you mean?"
"The coordinates point to Blackwater Ridge, so what are we waiting for? Let's just go find Dad. I mean, why even talk to this girl?"
Dean gave his brother an incredulous look. When they were younger, Sam had always been the one to play it cautious. He was always the one who wanted to do research first, hunting later. Now, ever since the scene back at Stanford University, his younger brother had turned into some sort of gung-ho, vengeance seeking crazy person.
He supposed he couldn't blame him. After all, seeing your girlfriend burn up, pinned to the ceiling would be enough to destroy anyone, let alone someone who had lost their mother in the exact same way.
But Dean and his father had been hunting whatever evil son of a bitch it was that killed Dean and Sam's mother for nearly twenty-two years now. No matter how much losing Jessica had hurt Sam, he needed to calm down. Revenge required patience.
"I don't know," Dean replied. "Maybe so we know what we're walking into before we walk into it."
Sam quickly noticed the look his brother was giving him. "What?"
"Well, since when are you all shoot first, ask questions later anyway?"
"Since now," Sam returned in a deadly serious tone of voice. He climbed into the passenger seat of the Impala.
"Oh, really?" Dean muttered to himself, somewhat amused and yet still concerned. A rumbling sound caught his attention, and he turned over his shoulder to see an old gray pick up pull into the ranger station parking lot. "Wow," he said, still to himself. "Look at that POS."
Shaking his head, he climbed into the Impala and started her up. He didn't notice the two women climb out of the truck as he drove away.
Jayne slammed the door of the pick up closed behind her, eyeing the black 1967 Chevy Impala as it rolled out of the parking lot.
"Damn," she said, smirking over at Lynn. "Nice car."
Lynn rolled her eyes at her stepsister. She sent a nervous glance all around the parking lot. "I don't see Stephen's Superbird," she announced.
Jayne looked around the parking lot as well. "Yeah," she agreed. "I don't either."
Lynn seemed almost on the verge of tears. "The tracking system said he would be here!" she exclaimed.
Noting the hysterical pitch to her stepsister's voice, Jayne took charge and attempted to be soothing. "It'll be all right, Lynn," she said. "Maybe he was here and he left. Or maybe he parked somewhere else. Let's just go inside and ask, ok?"
Lynn took a deep breath and nodded. The two young women walked purposefully into the ranger station.
Jayne glanced around the room. She saw three dimensional maps of the area, and photos of both landscapes and some pretty huge animals, but no park rangers.
"What is he even doing out here, anyway?" Lynn murmured, rather shakily.
Jayne glanced over at her stepsister. She shrugged, and tried to think of a plausible explanation that wouldn't terrify Lynn. "Maybe he's on a hunt," she suggested.
Lynn actually looked hopeful for a moment. "You think?"
Again Jayne shrugged. "Yeah, why not?" Her story was so good that she could feel even herself being cheered by the prospect. "Maybe there's something out here and Stephen found out about it. So he came up here to check it out."
Lynn almost smiled – but became crestfallen mere seconds later. "But why wouldn't he have called to tell us?" she asked.
Jayne loved her stepsister and all, but the girl sure was a downer. The question killed not only Lynn's hopes, but Jayne's too. "I don't know," she sighed. "Maybe… maybe he doesn't want us to get involved."
Lynn didn't buy the story. In all honesty, neither did Jayne. "Why wouldn't he want us to get involved?" she challenged her stepsister. "Why would he rush off and not call us? Why is he doing this, Jayne? God, what is wrong with him?"
Her questions petered out in a high, sob-like squeak. Jayne glanced quickly over at her stepsister. Lynn wasn't crying – but her hand was pressed to her mouth, and she was blinking furiously. It was only a matter of minutes before the tears started to roll.
"Stop it, Lynn," Jayne ordered. "I know you're upset. I'm upset too. But this isn't helping us. We need to be calm if we're going to find Stephen."
Lynn nodded, and took another deep, steadying breath.
"Everything all right out here?"
The two girls looked up at the sudden voice, startled. There was a park ranger standing in the room, watching them with concern. Jayne forced herself to smile and walked over to the man.
"Hi, I'm Jayne Gibson," she introduced herself. "This is my stepsister, Lynn Juarez."
"Ranger Wilkinson," the man replied, shaking her outstretched hand.
"Nice to meet you," Jayne said. "Um… we're looking for somebody."
"Oh no," the ranger rolled his eyes. "Not again. Look, if you're friends with that Haley girl, tell her…"
"What?" Lynn interrupted. "We don't know any Haley. We're looking for our brother, Stephen Juarez."
The ranger frowned. "Oh," he said. "Sorry about that. Is he out on a hike or something?"
"Well, actually, we're not sure," Jayne replied. "See, we know he came out here to Lost Creek, but we don't really know what happened to him once he got here. He's been missing for a while and we're getting kind of worried. You wouldn't have happened to have seen a bright orange 1970 Plymouth Superbird around here?"
The ranger shook his head slowly. "Can't say that I have," he replied.
"Well, did you see our brother?" Lynn asked. "He looks a lot like me, except his skin's not so dark. He's closer to Jayne's height, though, and he has gray eyes."
Again, the ranger shook his head in the negative. "Doesn't ring a bell," he said apologetically. "About when would he have been out here?"
"Anytime between now and two days ago," Lynn replied.
"Definitely haven't seen him," the ranger announced. "Now, I wouldn't be too worried, mind you. If it's only been two days, then he's probably just out on a hike and been too busy to call. Reception's not so good out in those woods, you know. I'll go through our records for you girls and see if he signed a camping permit with us."
"Thank you so much," Lynn exclaimed.
"Yeah, thank you," Jayne added. She was grateful too, even though the gratitude in her voice was a lot less obvious than the gratitude in Lynn's.
Roughly fifteen minutes later, Jayne and Lynn were back out in the parking lot and terribly disappointed. Stephen Juarez had not signed a permit with the ranger station, and no one could remember seeing him or his car. Silently, the two climbed back in their pick up truck.
Jayne didn't start the engine right away. She waited for Lynn to boot her computer up and check the tracking system again. A few minutes later, Lynn announced, "Well, he may not be up here, but he's still in the area. Guess we should stick around."
"Guess so," Jayne returned. "Hey, maybe if he is on a hunt, we should check into the local lore. Give us a hint as to where Stephen might be."
Lynn nodded. "Maybe," she murmured. "Let's go to the local library."
"You got it," Jayne replied, starting up the truck. The two of them drove towards town in silence.
Despite the conversation inside the ranger station, both sisters knew it was plausible that their brother was on a hunt. Not just any hunt: If Stephen was hunting, he was hunting something supernatural. They weren't sure what reasons he could possibly have for not communicating with them, but the three of them had been hunting the evil and unexplainable since they were old enough to hold a gun properly. Hunting was a part of them – a part of them that just couldn't be ignored, no matter what the circumstance.
Once they had realized what was really hiding out there in the dark, the three siblings could never just pretend it wasn't there. No matter what was going on with Jayne and Lynn's brother, they knew he would never be able to resist a hunt.
Lynn sat across the computer station from her stepsister in the library, carefully looking up local legends and strange cases throughout Lost Creek's history. On the floor was her laptop, and every twenty minutes or so, Lynn found herself picking it up and checking the tracking system for her brother's whereabouts. He was still in the area, much to her relief.
Every once in a while, Lynn would glance up at Jayne. Her stepsister was frowning at the monitor in front of her, and had been ever since they'd sat down. Lynn sighed heavily. Jayne was such a liar. She knew what Jayne was really doing over there. She did it in every town, and she always lied about it.
"What are you looking at?" Lynn asked her stepsister.
Jayne looked up, mildly startled. "Uh… nothing," she replied. "You know, just local lore and all that. Haven't really found anything yet."
Lynn was quiet for a moment, still watching her stepsister. "You know," she said finally. "I know you're lying."
Jayne looked up again, and frowned at Lynn. "What?"
"You heard me," Lynn retorted. "I know you're not really looking up local lore. You're doing what you always do when we follow Stephen's tracking device to a new town. You're checking the obits."
Jayne's guilty countenance gave it away – but she still tried valiantly to cover it up. "No I'm not," she said.
"Yes you are," Lynn returned. "You're checking the obits, and local hospital records for signs of Stephen, just like you always do."
Jayne stared wordlessly at her stepsister. She was right: Jayne was in fact doing that very thing. But that didn't mean she wanted Lynn to know about it. When it came to their missing brother, Lynn always got very emotional – and Jayne didn't think she could handle the possibility that Stephen might be hurt or dead.
"I'm glad you do that," Lynn whispered.
Jayne looked at her stepsister. Lynn was staring at the monitor. "I'm glad you do that," she repeated, louder this time. "I'm glad you check that stuff. I know it needs to be done, but… you're always so much more under control than I am. You have a handle on things. I… I don't think I could do that. I don't think I could look through the obits and the hospital records for… for… for him. I think… I think it would make me lose my mind."
Jayne stared at her. Finally, Lynn looked up from the monitor and caught Jayne's eye. Jayne smirked. "Yeah, well," she replied, attempting to make light of the situation. "You always were a big girl."
Lynn sighed, shaking her head and smiling. "Well, I am a girl," she pointed out. "And you're a girl too."
"Yeah, but you act like such a wuss!"
The two of them were quiet for a moment. "So…" Jayne murmured. "You find anything yet?"
"Actually, yeah," Lynn replied. "There's been several reports of missing hikers this month out on Blackwater Ridge. It's a pretty isolated spot out in the park. Not the sort of place you go, you know, unless you're an experienced woodsman. Well, I did some more checking, and I found out that this isn't the first time it's happened. Actually, there have been several attacks and disappearances in the area – and they all seem to happen every twenty-three years."
Jayne raised an eyebrow. "Ok… that's… weird."
"You don't know the half of it," Lynn returned. "The last time this happened was 1982. Well, the time before that, back in 1959, one camper survived a supposed grizzly attack – a kid. I did some poking around, and found a few of the rangers' first hand accounts. When they found the kid, they say he was delusional. Thought something… something unnatural had killed his parents. Something that moved faster than lightening, something that managed to unlock the cabin door – something evil. Something that definitely wasn't a grizzly bear, you know what I mean?"
Jayne nodded. "Yeah, I hear you," she said. "But how can we be sure the rangers aren't right? Maybe the kid was scared, and his imagination created something that wasn't there. Turned the grizzly into something else."
Lynn raised her eyebrow at her stepsister. "Oh, please. Name one time in all the hunting we've done together that it was ever 'just someone's imagination'."
Jayne grinned ruefully. "All right," she said. "Point taken."
"Besides," Lynn went on. "These attacks happen every twenty-three years. Not just every once in a while – twenty three years on the mark. That's not normal, Jayne. Something's out there on Blackwater Ridge."
The two fell quiet. "All right," Jayne agreed. "There's something out there. Now what do we think it is?"
Lynn blew a loose strand of hair out of her face. "Well, here's what we got to go on: it attacks like a bear, claws and everything. It can unlock doors. Not only that, it needs to unlock doors. And, most importantly, it moves lightening fast."
"All right, so if it needs to unlock doors, then it can't be a spirit or anything like that," Jayne noted.
"Right," Lynn agreed. "It's got to be a creature."
"Awesome," Jayne grinned. "That makes it easier to kill."
Lynn rolled her eyes. "Do you have to be such a… such a… such a dude?"
Jayne shrugged, clearly not bothered by the comment. "So what are we thinking here? Skin walker? Black dog? Hellhound?"
Lynn shook her head. "No," she murmured. "Actually, I think it's a wendigo."
"Wendigo?" Jayne frowned.
"Yeah, you know, that Native American legend. A human is forced to eat human flesh to survive, and once they do, they turn into an evil, demonic being."
"I know what a wendigo is!" Jayne snapped. "Why do you think it's a wendigo?"
"Well, a wendigo usually forms from men like hunters, trappers, miners… that sort of thing. You know, men who are likely to get lost in a blizzard and need to… well… eat one another to survive."
"So Blackwater Ridge is full of old abandoned mines," Lynn returned. "Mines that haven't been used since twenty three years before the first attacks and disappearances."
Jayne fell silent. "So," Lynn smirked. "Wendigo?"
Jayne smirked back. "All right," she agreed. "Wendigo."
Lynn's smirk faded. "Do you think Stephen's out there?" she asked in a small voice. "Do you think he went looking for the wendigo?"
Jayne studied her stepsister hard. Lynn met her eyes, but Jayne wasn't fooled by the piercing gaze. Her lip was trembling.
She sighed. "Honestly, Lynn? Stephen could be freaking anywhere. I don't know if he's hunting the wendigo or not, and if he is, I have no clue if he's out on Blackwater Ridge, or still researching from the comfort of a motel room. But I know this much: there's something evil out in those woods, something that's been hurting innocent people. And we have to go out there, and we have to find it, and we have to kill it. That's our job, Lynn. We kill things that hurt the innocent."
Lynn nodded, determination settling over her face. "You're right," she said. "We have to stop this thing."
"Glad to know we're on the same page," Jayne grinned. "Now, let's discuss our next big problem."
"Well, in case you haven't noticed Lynn, you and I aren't exactly what I would call 'wilderness survival' material. Not to mention, we aren't exactly familiar with the area. So how do you propose we get to Blackwater Ridge and find this wendigo without getting totally lost and then dying?"
Lynn smirked. "Way ahead of you, Jay-nee." Jayne glowered at the term of endearment. "I found several maps of the area, and I am printing them out as we speak. All we need is a compass, some weapons, and some previsions, and I think we can do this."
"You think?" Jayne asked incredulously.
Lynn rolled her eyes. "Oh, would you calm down? I've got this; everything will be fine."
Jayne still looked unconvinced. "All right," she said in a sing-song voice. "If you say so."
"Just you wait and see, little Miss I Don't Support My Stepsister."
"I support my stepsister," Jayne retorted. Lynn smirked again, and got up out of her seat, headed for the printers on the other side of the room.
Her stepsister gone, Jayne let out a heavy sigh. "I think I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life."
Early the next morning, Dean Winchester drove his Impala up to the end of the road, where it dead-ended into the woods. Sam sat in the seat beside him, looking surly.
Yesterday had been different. Sam had been back in his prime. Everything had felt like normal. The two of them had gone to see 'that Haley girl' and found out the story behind her and her brother. They'd learned why she was so concerned about him. And they'd gotten some video footage that Sam the computer-geek had managed to slow way, way down in order to find a fast moving shadow in the background.
The rest had been simple. Dean's nerdy little brother had done what he was best at: research. The two of them had gone to interview the only survivor of a bear attack in 1959 – and with the aid of Sam's big, understanding puppy-dog eyes, had managed to get the whole story out of the old man.
Whatever had attacked the man when he was young had clearly not been a grizzly. It didn't take long for Sam and Dean to conclude it was some sort of creature, probably a skin walker or a black dog. They had decided to head out with Haley, her little brother, and their guide that very morning and kill whatever evil son of a bitch was lurking on Blackwater Ridge.
Dean had almost thought things were getting back to the way they were supposed to be. But the surly look on his brother's face that morning, coupled with the argument they'd had about Haley the night before, convinced him otherwise.
The Winchester brothers climbed out of their car, and came face to face with Haley, her little brother Ben, and their guide. "You guys got room for two more?" Dean called out, attempting to be cheery.
Haley scoffed. "Wait, you want to come with us?"
"Who are these guys?" the guide asked.
"Apparently this is all the park service could muster up for the search and rescue," Haley returned, her annoyance more than evident.
"You're rangers?" the guide asked, sounding doubtful.
"That's right," Dean replied.
"And you're hiking out in biker boots and jeans?" Haley retorted.
Dean looked down at his shoes. He didn't see anything wrong with what he was wearing. "Well, sweetheart, I don't do shorts," he smirked.
"You think this is funny?" the guide snapped. "This is dangerous back country out there. Her brother could be hurt."
Dean stopped and gave the guide an amused look. "Believe me, I know how dangerous it can be," he lied. "We just want to help them find their brother. That's all."
The guide looked surly, but that didn't bother Dean. What did bother Dean was the abandoned gray pick up on the side of the road. The very same pick up that he had seen pull into the ranger station the day before.
He frowned. Haley's car was parked by the Impala. The guide owned the red truck on the other side of the road. Whose truck was this?
"Anyone know whose Nissan that is?" he asked, pointing at the truck.
Haley and the guide exchanged looks and shrugged. "Nope," the guide replied. "Why?"
"Just curious," Dean returned. "I guess it's just some hikers."
He glanced over at Sam. The look they exchanged was enough. Sam recognized the truck too. Hopefully, they weren't being followed.