Seattle, Washington – Present Day
She spotted them as soon as they walked through the doors of the bar. Hunters. They strutted with a certain confidence, a false security that they were untouchable. She knew because she felt it too. There was no room for doubt. No room for error. Kill or be killed, it was that simple.
She watched as they headed to the bar. They dressed like hunters. They smelled like hunters, even from this distance. But they looked like the opposite. Most hunters she'd known had bushy beards from their constant time on the road, wore two day old clothes from sleeping in their vehicle and they always wreaked of death, and although there was a waft of it coming from their direction, they were smooth shaven, clean clothed and so much younger than expected.
She strained her hearing to catch what inquiries they were making, but the noise of the bar drowned it out like a rock concert. She fought to focus on what she was doing before they walked in, but her eyes kept glancing in their general direction. She'd wait it out. It wasn't time to approach them yet.
She watched as the shorter one made his way to a free table, while the taller one went to the bathroom, and she wondered if he could sense all the evil that surrounded him, or if he cared. This bar was their safe house, it was a place they were guaranteed protection, so she was surprised to see hunters of their stature risking their lives for the sake of one hunt.
She made her way to the bar, keeping one eye on the newcomers. "Jack and coke." She ordered, raising the volume of her voice slightly to be heard over the minimal noise.
= X =
"Get the feeling we're not welcome?" Sam asked sitting down next to his brother.
"Are we ever?" Dean countered looking up from his newspaper.
But Sam wasn't listening; someone had caught his eye, "Huh."
"What?" His brother asked spinning in his seat to follow his line of vision.
"She keeps looking over here." He referred to the woman who'd taken an instant interest in them.
"I don't think so."
"Then what's she doing in here?" He asked looking back at his younger brother.
He frowned as he watched her return to her seat, "She knows Dean."
"Knows what?" He frowned back.
"About the things we hunt, that are in this bar. And she's not afraid."
"How do you know what she knows? Are you psychic boy again?"
"No. I don't know how I know, I just do."
"Then how 'bout we go find out." Dean said getting to his feet, grabbing his drink and heading toward her before his brother could stop him.
= X =
"Beaten again Devon. It's not your lucky day." She told her opponent as she potted the black ball. With a smile she looked over at Dean, "Another shooter eh?"
"What?" He frowned and looked at the pool table, "No, I'm not here to play."
"You stepped into my office and this is the only way I do business." She said slipping her winnings into her back pocket.
"OK sister, you are on." He agreed to the challenge without any more persuasion.
"Do you have the money to stick where your mouth is?"
Dean removed his beat up leather jacket, "Hundred bucks says I can beat you."
"Oh handsome, I don't even pick up a cue for any less than three hundred."
Sam rolled his eyes as he approached to overhear the bet and they almost popped from their sockets when he heard Dean agree to it. He closed the gap between him and his brother, "Dean."
His face expressed confidence, "Don't worry Sammy. This is my game."
= X =
"Pay up." The female smiled holding out her hand in Dean's direction as she won the second game running.
Begrudgingly he handed her winnings over with a growl at the back of his throat.
"You wanna go again?" She asked pocketing the money.
He took his wallet out of his back pocket and counted the cash inside. He feigned a smile her way as he stepped toward his brother. "You got a hundred bucks?"
Sam frowned, "No. And if I did I wouldn't give it to you."
"C'mon grandma, I can make it back."
"That's what you said after you lost the first three hundred and now we're six hundred down." He replied unconvinced. "Just admit she's better at this than you are and we can leave."
"Dude, I can not lose to this chick."
"And yet you have… twice."
"You playing or not?" The woman asked growing impatient.
"Not." Sam replied before his brother could speak, encouraging the older sibling to castrate him with a look.
She was about to come back with something when a sudden shift in the far corner of the bar distracted her. "You need to leave, now." She warned the Winchesters.
"What?" Dean frowned at her.
"You walked into the wrong bar on the wrong night guys." She told them in a hush tone. "Isn't it bad enough that every demon that crawled out of Hell is looking to kill you without you seeking them out?"
"So you know who we are?"
"Yes, and word is travelling fast." She said shooting a look at the big guy in the corner that had got to his feet as she shoved Dean's jacket into his hands. "Now, go… and leave by the back door."
"Is this chick serious?" He rhetorically asked his brother.
"Don't you get it? Half this bar wants payback for being sent to Hell by you two and if they get a hold of you, being sent down the pit is going to feel like a vacation compared to what they'll do. So take some advice, leave while you can still walk."
"We can take any demon and send them straight back to Hell."
"One on one, yes. But the two of you against thirty or forty of them, I don't like your chances."
Sam looked around nervously as the big guy started over to them, "She's right Dean. Let's go." He ordered dragging his brother the short distance to the second exit and outside.
= X =
By the time closing had come around, she was the last one left to leave and she knew the Winchesters would be waiting. Dean had too much of an ego to be told what to do, much less be kicked out of a bar by a 'chick' and Sam had always been too curious for his own good. So she wasn't surprised to hear his voice as she made her way across the car park to her vehicle.
"You mind telling me what that was back there?" Dean called out.
"I was saving your ass." She called back over her shoulder.
"I don't need saving." He protested.
She spun on her heel to face him. "What are you doing here anyway Dean?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
"You call hanging out hustling pool in a demon bar business?"
"I thought you of all people would understand what it's like to look for something that doesn't want to be found."
"Is that some kind of cryptic message?"
"I've been hanging around this place for a month waiting for a demon and I'm not going to let you mess it up."
Sam walked up behind his brother, "You're a hunter?"
"Come on Sam, you already knew that. And God knows your brother got his ass kicked by me enough times that he should've known."
"And that would imply I know you." Dean commented.
"You used to."
"Oh sweetheart, I'm sure I'd remember you." He said, his face softening, as he looked her up and down.
She laughed, "I see you're still hitting on anything with a pulse."
Sam expressed amusement, "It sure sounds like she knows you." He leaned in to say to his brother.
"I was sorry to hear about Jessica Sam, and John – he was a good guy."
Dean took a few more steps toward her, "How do you know about my family?"
"You really don't remember?" She asked, not really surprised. "You know, I didn't think Sam would, he was 12 when we last saw each other. But you Dean, you and me were inseparable for almost three years before John took you and split."
She watched as the information sunk in and realisation hit the eldest of the two men. "Does your Dad know you're back stateside?"
"I'll get there, when I'm done here."
"Don't you think you owe it to him to let him know you're home?"
She started on a path back to him as anger began to pump through her veins. "Don't you dare for one second think that because you knew me once that it earns you the right to tell me what to do because it doesn't. I call him every other day to let him know I'm alive because I know he worries, but it's not like anyone ever cared enough to check on me."
"You up and left, no one knew where you were."
Sam's frown got deeper and deeper, "Could either of you clue me in on what I'm missing here?"
"That's Christina, Bobby's girl." Dean explained.
"I didn't even know Bobby had a daughter." He openly admitted.
"Well, I've been gone a while." Christina declared.
"A while is a month CJ, not years." Dean continued.
"I had to leave, I had to get out of there. I was suffocated."
"He was trying to protect you."
"He didn't need to protect me, I had the same training as you. All he wanted was to keep me from living any kind of normalcy."
"And this is normal?"
"It is for me. I can't seem to turn it off." She stated, beginning her confession. "I tried for a while. I met a guy and we were going to get married, but the hunter in me just wouldn't be suppressed." She laughed ironically. "It seems I've been doing this so long that I don't know how to do anything else. It makes you twisted, doesn't it Dean? But as much as I don't want this life, there's no reason for me to live any other way."
"So what, you're here for a bit of old fashioned revenge?"
"I thought you'd understand with what happened to your mom. I need this finished. I'm not going to be looking over my shoulder waiting for him to get to me first."
"There's got to be a better way than this."
"Did you ask Bobby? He might be able to-" Sam started to suggest.
"I'm not talking to him about this; I don't want to hurt him."
"You shouldn't be doing this alone." Dean told her, in a soft voice.
"This is something I need to do."
"Then we'll help you." Sam offered.
"I've laid down too much ground work to let you steam roll your way in."
"No. We'll take our cue from you. This is your hunt; we'll do it your way."
"Take your brother home Dean."
"And leave you here to get killed? Bobby would never forgive me." He replied.
"I'm a good hunter, he made sure of that. I'm not stupid enough to let this thing get me."
"You might not have a choice. Doing this alone is a bad idea CJ and I'm not leaving you to fight this evil son of a bitch."
She sighed and suddenly dropped to her knees clutching at her chest. "No!" The cry came from her mouth, laced with demonic possession. "Go!" She screamed out a warning to the brothers.
But Dean was already at her side, "Let her go!"
Her eyes turned black in an instant, "I'm not done with her yet." The possessed woman said lashing out, throwing Dean into a parked car with hardly any effort at all. But Christina fought the demon inside her, "Leave him alone!" She called out clutching at the pain in her chest again.
Sam rushed over to check on his brother, "Are you OK?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." He replied. "Exorcise that bitch already."
But when Sam looked up, Christina and all traces of her were gone.
= X =
"So, she was possessed the whole time?" Sam asked his brother as they walked into their hotel room for the night.
The dated décor was an immediate impact when you walked through the door. The 60's patterned wallpaper screamed chaos and bad taste, while the furniture echoed an era that time forgot. Although the room wasn't as bad as some they'd stayed in, it was just as tacky as the best of them. But the Winchesters only cared that it was a bed for the night, not how it was dressed up.
"I doubt it. She wouldn't have warned us to leave the bar if she had been." Dean reasoned. "No, it must've got to her after we left."
"But she was her when she first walked out of the bar, so maybe she can suppress it."
"She would've told us."
"Between the shouting and the screaming? She wouldn't have had time."
"She would've found a way."
Sam shrugged, "Well, maybe she didn't know. Maybe when the demon takes over, she's locked inside her own body, like Dad was."
"All you're pitching me right now is a bunch of maybes Sam, you've got no answers." He shouted in frustration as he took his bag of weapons from under the bed.
He sighed, "Well, I know about as much as you do – or I thought I did."
"And by that you mean?"
"When were you going to tell me Bobby had a daughter?" He asked sitting down on one of the queen beds.
"It wasn't important enough to bring up. I haven't seen her in almost twelve years and she's been gone for four. I didn't know if she was ever coming back."
"We should call Bobby."
"No. She doesn't want him to know what she's doing here."
"You were the one that said she should call him."
"Yeah, she should call him. Not us."
"Don't you think he should know?"
"That we found Christina or that she's possessed? Which news do you want to give him Sam? Because I can't tell him."
"But he should know, he is her father."
Dean took a deep breath as he sorted through his guns, "Well, not exactly. He adopted her."
Sam squinted his eyes to take in the news, "So, he's not her Dad?"
"He's brought her up since she was eight; he's the only father she knows."
"Does she know?"
"She was there when her parents were killed, and she remembers everything."
"What killed them?"
"We know why?"
"No, but Bobby kept track of it and every once in a while it shows up here so I guess she found out and that's why she's come home. She's looking for answers."
"But why that bar?"
"That was the bar Dad and Bobby saved her from 20 years ago." He explained getting his arsenal together.
Sam took a deep breath and got to his feet, "So, what do we do?"
"We go and look for her." He replied putting the Colt in the inside pocket of his jacket.
"But we have no idea where to look."
"Then we look everywhere."
Walking out of their room, the Winchesters found Christina stood next to the Impala, seemingly waiting for them.
Dean frowned at Sam, "Well, that was easy."
Christina traced her index finger along the edge of the bonnet of the car seductively, "So, how do you want to do this?"
"I'm thinking bound and gagged to a chair so we can send you straight back to Hell."
"Yeah, that's not going to work for me."
Dean smiled, "I didn't ask." He said taking out the Colt and shooting her in the leg.
Sam's mouth opened in shock, "You shot her."
Suddenly Christina threw her head back, her mouth opened wide and the black clouded form of the demon shot straight up in the air and out of sight, leaving her body limp. She collapsed to the ground in a heap and the boys rushed to her.
"Did that demon just, leave?" Sam frowned as his brother scooped the girl up into his arms.
"Yeah." He replied carrying her inside their room and lowering her to his bed.
"That's never happened before." Sam continued as Dean ripped up one of his shirts and wrapped it around Christina's leg to slow down the bleeding.
"It was an act of survival Sammy." He explained his theory as he grabbed the first aid kit. "We've got to get the bullet out of her."
= X =
The pain in her left thigh was the first thing she felt as she came round and it made her scream out, but she only heard the agony cry in her head. She was paralysed, unable to move or talk despite being able to hear voices around her. She willed her brain to move her arms but it was like she'd given them a command they didn't understand. She started to panic. What if she was stuck like this, trapped in her own body unable to control it for the rest of her natural life? Wait, the pain in her chest. Was she still possessed? Was she going to be a spectator, while the demon lived for her? She tried to concentrate on the voices in the room with her and it didn't take her long to figure out who it was.
"Pass me the tweezers." Dean ordered his younger brother.
"Don't you dare think about messing in my leg without getting me a drink first." Came her lacklustre order as she gained the ability to speak.
"You were unconscious." He told her.
"Well, I'm not now." She continued as her eyes managed to open and take in her surroundings. She tried to lift her arm off the bed to test her control over her body and she was successful. Oh, thank God. She whispered in relief to herself. She struggled to use her upper body strength to pull herself up into a sitting position and looked at Sam, "Where's that drink?"
Her request spurred him into action. He shot across the room, poured a measure of whiskey into a glass and returned in a matter of a minute. "Here." He said passing it to her.
"Thanks." She smiled shortly knocking it back as Dean got ready to remove the bullet from her leg.
He'd had bullet wounds treated in the past but he'd always been on the receiving end of treatment; he'd never played nurse before. He started to break out into a sweat but he fought to keep his cool. The blood didn't bother him, it was the fact he was going to be poking around inside her leg and he didn't know what he was doing. He took a deep breath and poised the tweezers over the wound.
"Are you going to get that bullet out of me or are you going to let me bleed to death?" Christina asked.
"Oh, don't tempt me." He retorted.
"Did you know you were possessed?" Sam asked curiously sitting on the foot of the bed.
Christina winced as she felt the tweezers delve into the hole in her leg, "Not until a couple of days ago, when I first felt the crippling pain in my chest and I blacked out. I tried to fight it but I wasn't strong enough."
"So why didn't you do anything about it when you woke up?" The surgeon asked continuing to fumble around in her laceration.
"You can't exorcise your own demon possession Dean, you know that."
"No but you could've picked up the phone."
"I did. I called Ellen but I couldn't get a hold of her, the roadhouse number is disconnected."
"That burned down." Sam informed her.
"A few months ago."
"Why didn't you call your Dad?" Dean asked looking up from his task.
"Because I'm a big girl. I don't run crying to Daddy when something doesn't go right OK? I was handling it."
"Oh yeah, I saw how you were handling it."
"I've been hunting on my own for years now Dean. I don't need you to tell me how to do my job, OK?"
"Well, obviously you do otherwise you wouldn't have got yourself possessed. What happened to the charm Bobby gave you? Don't you wear it?"
"I lost it."
"And you didn't think to get a new one?"
"I made a mistake. Have you never made a mistake?"
"Yeah, I've taken a left instead of a right. But I've never been stupid enough to let myself get possessed."
"No, you just let the gate to hell get opened."
Sam rolled his eyes and laughed, "I find it hard to believe you two were ever inseparable."
"Well time has a way of changing things."
"Yeah, she wasn't such a bitch before." Dean said finally clamping the bullet in the tweezers and trying to pull it out.
The agony was evident on Christina's face as she screamed out, "Damn it Winchester! Do you have to be so heavy handed?"
"Do you want to do it? Because this is a first for me."
"Just treat it like one of the many women you have notched on your bedpost, tease it don't force it."
"Oh, quit being a baby." He said making a quick move with his hand and dislodging the hunk of metal. "See, it's easier when you shut up."
"My Dad told me you'd changed, but he didn't mention you were such an asshole."
"Oh, that's rich. Coming from the bitch of the apocalypse."
"OK you two. Fighting isn't helping." Sam sighed, having listened to enough.
"But it's what we do best." Christina said with a hint of sarcasm.
"Do you remember anything from when you were possessed that could help us?" Sam asked changing the subject back to the demon.
She sighed, "Sorry Sam, I only had flashes of reality. Nothing that made sense." She replied as Dean continued to dress her wound. "But at least now I know why I wasn't attacked by any of the demon's in the bar."
"Yeah, there's nothing like a good old fashioned possession to make you fit in with the locals."
= X =
Finally up on her feet, Christina made her way around the room taking everything in while Dean was out getting breakfast. "This place is depressing. You think they'd update the décor."
"It's not as bad as some of the places we've stayed in, I can tell you that." Sam smiled.
"I can't believe you two live hotel room to hotel room. Don't you have anywhere to call home?"
He shrugged, "Not unless you count the car."
"That's really sad. Don't you want to be normal?"
"I was for a while back there. But it was only a matter of time until this life caught up to me." He remembered back to life with Jessica. "I'm not sure I know what normal is anymore."
She hobbled over to the bed where he sat and perched beside him. "Do you want to settle down someday?"
"Yeah, someday. But right now, Dean needs me so this is it." He responded as Dean walked back into the room with take away.
"Don't tell me you two are sharing some chick flick moment." He commented dumping the food on the table.
Christina rolled her eyes as she got back up to her feet, "We were just talking Dean."
"Yeah well I'm not sure I want you putting ideas into my brother's head, he's very impressionable."
"Relax; I'm not going to infect him with my toxic personality." She said approaching the table. She frowned when she caught sight of some pictures Dean had started to collect up. "What are those?"
"They're the reason we're here." He replied showing the top photo. "Ten guys, all married and healthy, died of asphyxiation in the last two weeks."
She moved her eyes to the table at the remaining pictures sitting there and pushed them around to get a better look, "I know these guys."
Dean raised his eyebrows, "All of them?"
"I saw them dying."
He looked at his brother and back again, "You mean you witnessed their murder?"
"I mean, I closed my eyes and I saw them. It started happening around the same time I was blacking out. I thought I was having premonitions at first but I was literally watching them die. Then two night's ago…" She trailed off having a flash of a memory. "I think, I think I killed them."