Flight815Down-Thanks for the wonderful review. I'm glad you like the story. And I'm glad that you like that she's just another human being even though she's got all these abilities. I was really trying to project that in the way I wrote her character with all her doubts and fears.

Angbethea-Thanks for another good review. To answer your question about my ideas...once Alyson comes into her own, I'll probably add some things that are my own, but I'm still gonna be sticking pretty close to the series. Or as close as I can, while adding my own character to it, anyway. I'm kinda nervous about adding too much stuff that wasn't in it originally, though.

Chapter Nine

We'd found a motel just like John had asked and we were all in the room now. I felt sort of awkward, like maybe I was intruding. John had probably wanted to say something, but hadn't because I was there.

"Okay," John said as an opener. "Someone explain this to me." He looked at me, so there was no confusing what he was talking about.

I thought Sam and Dean had explained it sufficiently enough in the car, but, apparently, John didn't.

"We already told you," Sam said tensely. "The demon is after her and we don't exactly know why. We're going to teach her to hunt. She'll be able to help us and take care of herself."

"And she's willing to learn?"

Okay, they were talking about me like I wasn't there. That was annoying.

"She's the one who suggested it," Dean put in.

"Why?" John asked. He hadn't directed the question at me, but I was fed up with not being included.

"Because that thing killed my mom," I almost snapped. I went to my bag, which I'd brought in when we'd gotten there. I dug through it; my pictures were all the way at the bottom. I pulled the picture of my mom with Mary Winchester out of the bag. I went over to John and handed it to him. "It killed my mom and it was after me. So, yes, I'm willing to learn," I said firmly.

John was looking at the picture like he didn't know what to think. He probably didn't. "This is yours?" he asked, looking at me.

I nodded. "Well, it was my mom's, but…yeah."

"And you know who she's with?"

"I didn't until I met those two," I nodded toward Sam and Dean. I looked back at John. "Did you know my mom?" I was calmer now, which was good, because I wasn't really angry at him, I was just frustrated.

John nodded, handing me back my picture. "I knew her. Through Mary. Those two were pretty much inseparable when they were growin' up. They were more like sisters than friends."

Like Layla and me had been before I left.

I looked at Sam and Dean, who were paying close attention to what John was saying.

"They sorta lost touch after your mom moved. I don't remember where to."

"San Francisco," I said.

"Right. And how long have you been with them?"

"Three weeks…give or take a few days." I smiled slightly. "They offered to let me come with them and, um, since they were the only ones who could protect me…I agreed."

He didn't say anything else on the subject; nobody did. John pretty much just listened to a police scanner and neither of the guys were that talkative. I wasn't sure, but I thought it had to do with John's presence. I mean, it was bad to say, but it was true. Dean wasn't his usual sarcastic, witty, fun-loving self…he was quiet. Sam wasn't exactly different-different, but he was tense.

Things stayed pretty much the same until we went to bed. John stayed up and he seemed a little amused with the sleeping arrangements when Sam and Dean had to sleep in the same bed. Hm…maybe I could make an exception while John was with us.

"Um…one of you can sleep in my bed, I guess. I mean, what if John wants to sleep tonight?" I'd rather wake up to Sam or Dean than John. That would just be awkward.

------------- -

The next morning I woke up to John telling Sam and Dean to wake up. I heard Dean, who was beside me on the bed, groan, like he didn't want to get up.

"Uh, what happened?" I heard Sam ask.

"A couple called 911," John said. "They found a body in the street. Cops got there, everyone was missing. It's the vampires." I assumed he'd been listening to the police scanner all night.

"How do you know?"

"Just follow me, okay?" John sounded impatient.

I didn't understand why he was going to all this trouble just to get a gun. I mean, we had plenty of them.

I opened my eyes and got up. Thankfully, I had fallen asleep in my clothes, so al I had to do was straighten them out and I was set.

"You're not coming," John directed at me.

"Uh, yes, she is," Dean said. Sam looked surprised that Dean had said that. I didn't mind that he'd said it. If he hadn't, I would've.

"She'll only slow us down, Dean."

"We've managed just fine with her with us," Sam put in. "And if we don't let her come with us, how the hell else is she supposed to learn?"

"She's not staying here by herself," Dean said. I'd known that. I'd pretty much embraced it by that point. "That demon is after her and if we leave her alone, it would make it way too easy to get to her. So, she comes."

Okay, yes, Dean was standing up for me in a way, but he was still talking like I wasn't there. I was frustrated. That was getting old, fast.

"Hello, people. I'm standing right here."

John looked at me and then at Dean. "Fine. She can come. But she's your responsibility." He walked out the room. Clearly, he needed some sleep, because he was grumpy. If I hit him and knocked him unconscious, that would be a form of sleep. But I didn't think Dean would take too kindly to that, so I banished those thoughts.

There was an awkward sort of silence filling the room and I didn't like it.

"So," I said. "Vampires, huh?"

Dean seemed relieved. "Yeah. Gets funnier every time I hear it."

Sam smiled a little. He seemed relieved, too. I didn't know why.

Maybe it was because I'd relieved the awkward tension. Maybe it was because I hadn't gotten upset over John's attitude. Or, maybe it was something else altogether, but the point was that they were relieved and I was glad.

------------- -

We'd followed John like he'd asked us to and we ended up on some road. There were a bunch of cops there and John had gone over to talk to them, while the three of us waited outside the Impala.

"I don't see why we couldn't have gone over with him," Sam said.

"Oh, don't tell me it's already starting." Dean looked at him.

"What's starting?"

I didn't get to find out because John walked up to us. "It was them, all right," he said. "Looks like they're headin' west. We're gonna have to double back to get around that detour."

The cops had the road blocked.

"How can you be so sure?" Sam asked.

"Sam-" Dean started.

"I just wanna know we're goin' in the right direction."

"We are," John said confidently.

"How do you know?"

John took something out of his pocket and held it up for us to see. "I found this." It looked like a tooth, but it was way to sharp to belong to a human.

"What is that, a vampire fang?" I asked.

"No fangs, just teeth. The second set descends when they attack." John looked at Sam. "Any more questions?" Sam didn't say anything. "All right, let's get out of here, we're losin' daylight."

"Um…but it's still-" I was interrupted by Dean bringing his hand up and over my mouth. He shook his head. He was trying to spare me the wrath that was John Winchester. I was only going to say it's still morning. I mean, we had a whole lot of daylight left.

"Hey, Dean, why don't you touch up your car before you get rust?" John said as he walked towards his truck. "I wouldn't have given you the damn thing if I thought you were gonna ruin it." I hoped he wasn't in a bad mood because of me. I mean, Dean had told him he wasn't going to leave me alone and John hadn't taken too kindly to that. So I hoped he wasn't mad because I was there and he was just taking it out on Dean.

I watched at he got into the truck. Sam was laughing at what John had said. I wasn't and neither was Dean.

I mean, Dean cared about his car almost as much as he cared about Sam. But you can't exactly touch up your car when you're fighting evil almost everyday of the week.

Sam, Dean, and I got into the car, Sam driving this time. Dean was reading some research about vampires.

"Vampires nest in groups of eight to ten. Smaller packs are sent out to hunt for food. Victims are taken to the nest, where the pack keeps them alive, bleeding them for days or weeks."

"Ew," I said, from the backseat. "I wonder if that's what happened to that 911 couple. 'Cause, you know that's years of therapy waitin' to happen." I saw rather than heard Dean laugh.

"That's probably what Dad's thinking. Of course, it would be nice if he just told us what he thinks."

Dean looked at Sam. "So, it is starting."

"What?" I could tell Sam knew what Dean was talking about.

"Sam, we've been lookin' for Dad all year. Now we're not with him for more than a couple of hours, and there's static already?"

"No. Look, I'm happy he's okay, all right? And I'm happy that we're all workin' together again."

"Well, good," Dean said, turning back to his research.

Oh, dear. Another one of those conversations where I just wanted to jump out of the car. But it was moving, so I couldn't.

"It's just the way he treats us like we're children."

"Oh, God," Dean said. Apparently, he wanted out of this conversation, too.

"He barks orders at us, Dean, he expects us to follow him without question. He keeps us on some crap need-to-know deal."

"He does what he does for a reason."

"What reason?"

"Our job!" Dean exclaimed. "There's no time to argue, there's no margin for error, all right, it's just the way the old man runs things."

"Yeah, well, maybe that worked when we were kids, but not anymore, all right? Not after everything you and I have been through, Dean. I mean, are you tellin' me you're cool with just fallin' in line and lettin' him run the whole show?"

Dean hesitated. "If that's what it takes."

I saw Sam roll his eyes through the rearview mirror. "That's bull. I mean, we've been with Alyson more than we had with Dad this year."

"Please don't drag me into this," I said softly. "This seems like a very tense family thing and you guys can work it out without me."

"No, I wanna know," Sam said.

"Sam…" I started. "Does it really matter what I think?" I knew he wanted me to tell him what I thought about John treating me the way he did.

"Yes."

"Fine." I took a deep breath. "I think that I don't know how to answer because he's not my dad and I wasn't brought up the way you were. But it doesn't matter whether you do it his way or not. What matters is that we save those people. Whatever plan works is fine with me. As long as it gets the job done. Those people are what matter."

"You should listen to her, Sammy," Dean said. "She's usually right."

And that statement right there, made my morning.

------------- -

We'd driven all through the day, only stopping for gas or food, which we got at the convenience store when we got gas.

We used the bathroom when we got gas, too. Public bathrooms weren't one of my favorite things, but if you had to go, you had to go.

It was now nighttime and we were still in the car, following John, who Dean was on the phone with.

I still didn't get what was so special about this gun we were going after, and John wasn't sharing. Things had been tense between the four of us, so I wasn't about to bring it up to one of them. I wasn't stupid and I didn't want my head to get bitten off.

I saw Dean hang up his cell phone. "Pull off at the next exit."

"Why?" Sam asked.

"Because Dad thinks we've got the vampires trail."

"How?" Sam was being stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn, it seemed like.

"I don't know. He didn't say."

The car started speeding down the road. Sam must have punched the accelerator.

"What are you doing?" I asked. We passed John's truck and swerved into the middle of the road, so that John had to pull over, too.

Sam got out of the car and I saw John coming from the truck.

"Oh, crap. Here we go," Dean said. He turned to look at me. "Stay in the car, okay?"

I nodded and watched him open the passenger-side door and step out of the car.

"What the hell was that?" I heard John ask. The driver's side window was down, so I could hear every word that was being said.

"We need to talk," Sam said.

"About what?"

"About everything. Where are we goin', Dad? What's the big deal about this gun?"

"Sammy, come on, we can Q and A after we kill the vampires," Dean said. I could tell he was trying to keep a fight from breaking out.

"Your brother's right. We don't have time for this," John said.

"Last time we saw you, you said it was too dangerous to be together. Now, out of the blue, you need our help. Now, obviously, something big is goin' down, and we wanna know what!"

Sam's voice had risen higher and higher with each word he'd been saying, so I could hear him perfectly. I could get where he was coming from, honestly, but this wasn't what he should have been focusing on.

"Get back in the car," John said.

"No."

I tried so hard not to look at the three guys, but it was difficult.

"I said get back in the damn car."

"Yeah, and I said no."

"All right, you made your point, tough guy," Dean said. "Look, we're all tired. We can talk about this later." I did look now…I wanted to make sure Sam was gonna listen. Dean grabbed Sam and dragged him toward the car. "Sammy, I mean it, come on."

Sam was right at the driver's side door. "This is why I left in the first place." It sounded like he hadn't meant for anyone to hear it, but I did. That was pretty much a low blow because, if I had heard it, then I knew Dean had, too. I knew how much of a sore subject Sam leaving for college was for Dean.

"What'd you say?" Apparently, John had heard it, too.

I saw Sam turn back around. "You heard me."

"Yeah. You left. Your brother and me, we needed you. You walked away, Sam, you walked away!" John grabbed Sam by his shirt.

"Stop it, both of you!" Dean said, pleadingly.

I got out of the car even though Dean had told me to stay there. It sounded like he needed some moral support.

"You were the one who said don't come back, Dad. You're the one who closed that door, not me! You were just pissed off you couldn't control me anymore!" Sam was just full-out shouting now.

Dean got between them, breaking them apart. "All right, stop it. Stop it, that's enough!"

Neither Sam nor John stopped glaring at each other, but John did let go of Sam's shirt.

"Sam," I said softly, because I didn't want him to yell at me. "Those people…they could still be alive…we have to find them."

Sam didn't say anything to me, but he did get back in the car. John didn't look my way at all, he just turned to walk back to his truck. Maybe he was mad that Sam had listened to me or something.

I looked at Dean, who was shaking his head. I hit him lightly on the arm. "You okay?"

"Terrific," he said sarcastically.

"I'm sorry I didn't stay in the car. It sounded like you needed help, though."

Dean nodded. "It's okay. I kinda did. Besides, I knew you wouldn't listen, anyway. You did what you thought was right."

I heard the truck start as Dean and I got back in the car. Sam didn't say anything, but I didn't think he was mad at me…he was mad at his dad.

------------- -

We'd found out that the vampires were holed up in a barn-a clichéd barn…big and red and falling apart.

John hadn't wanted to attack at night-he said it would give the vampire the advantage-so we'd stopped at a motel. We were now in the room and the silence was really getting to me. Sam was still being quiet, which was actually a good thing because, knowing him, if he said anything it would just cause another argument.

"So," I said. "I thought you said vampires weren't afraid of the sun." John looked up at me. He looked surprised that I'd remembered that.

"They're not. Direct sunlight hurts like a nasty sunburn. The only way to kill them is by beheading." Decapitation? Ew. "And, yeah, they sleep during the day, but it doesn't mean they won't wake up."

Well, at least John seemed like he was in a better mood. I just wished Sam would hurry up and follow suit.

"So I guess walking right in's not our best option," Dean said.

"Actually, that's the plan." He paused, looking like he was thinking. "So…you guys really wanna know about this Colt?"

Sam, who had been sitting on one of the beds, looked up, surprised. "Yes, sir."

"It's just a story. A legend, really. Well, I thought it was. Never really believed it until I read Daniel's letter." John took a deep breath. "Back in 1835, when Halley's Comet, was overhead, the same night those men died at the Alamo, they say Samuel Colt made a gun. A special gun. He made it for a hunter. A man like us, only on horseback. The story goes he made thirteen bullets. This hunter used the gun a half-dozen times before he disappeared, the gun along with him. Somehow, Daniel got his hands on it." John looked at Sam. "They say…they say this gun can kill anything."

"Kill anything, like, supernatural anything?" Dean asked and John nodded.

"Like the demon," Sam said in disbelief.

"Yeah, the demon. Ever since I picked up its trail, I've been lookin' for a way to destroy that thing. Find the gun…we may have it." He paused, probably wondering what else he should say. "You three should get some rest. You're gonna need it tomorrow."

"What about you?" I asked. "I mean, you didn't get any sleep last night and vampires are probably preternaturally strong, right?"

John smiled slightly. "I'll be okay."

So the three of us-Sam, Dean, and I-went to bed and I allowed the same sleeping arrangements from the night before. It hadn't bothered me as much as I had thought it would. Dean had stayed on his side and I had stayed on mine.

It struck me as weird that I was probably the first girl in a long time that went to sleep with Dean beside her and he was still there when she woke up. But I was okay with it.

------------- -

"So, what's the plan again?" I asked.

It was morning now and I'd had a pretty nice sleep. It wasn't the best because I was still having nightmares about my mom, but they weren't as frequent as they had been, and they weren't waking me up.

John was the one who answered. "The vampires should be asleep now, so we're gonna sneak into the barn and get the Colt."

I didn't say anything, but that didn't sound like the best idea to me. To me, a good plan was the one where you were less likely to get killed. But this plan seemed dangerous. I mean, if what Dean had said was true, and vampires nested in packs of eight to ten, then we were outnumbered by at least four and at most six.

We left the motel and got into our separate vehicles. Dean and Sam in the front seat, I was in the back.

"This is a really bad idea," I said out loud. Now that John wasn't around I didn't mind saying what I thought. "What if the vampires aren't asleep? Or what if they wake up?"

"Then we kill them," Dean said simply.

"Um, hate to burst your bubble, but if they all attack us at the same time, we don't stand a chance."

"Stop being pessimistic."

Sam spoke up. "She's not being pessimistic. She's being realistic."

"Thank you," I said. At least someone agreed with me. "I mean, yeah, if there's only eight against the four of us then it would be two against one. But if there are ten…" I trailed off. I knew they would understand where I was coming from, just like I understood why we had to do this.

The rest of the car ride was silent; there wasn't even any music playing. We parked on the side of the road by the woods near the barn.

Dean got out and popped the trunk. John did the same to his truck but, instead of popping the trunk, he let down his tailgate.

Dean handed both Sam and I a machete; they were in cases.

"You actually trust me with this?" I asked skeptically. We'd never worked with bladed of any kind before.

"I trust you enough to know you won't hurt one of us with it," Dean said.

Each of us had a machete now, even John, so we made our way to the barn. I could already feel the unnaturalness of the vampires and we weren't even inside yet. There was window that was about four feet above the ground, which was no problem for the guys because they were tall, they'd just be able to lift their leg and get up, but I would need help.

John went in first, then Sam. I felt Dean's hands on my waist and then he started lifting me up. I grabbed onto the side of the window-seal and pulled myself in.

I landed on hay; it had been stacked up on the floor by the wall. I felt, rather than saw, Dean come in behind me. Sam was a little ahead of me and I assumed John had gone off in search of the Colt because I didn't see him.

What I did see were vampires-at least seven of them-asleep on hammocks that were spread around the room.

Sam, Dean, and I hopped off the hay and started going farther into the barn. One good thing about being as short as I was was that I didn't have to duck much to get under the hammocks.

I was behind both of the boys and I saw Dean bump into the hammock, so I froze, looking at the vampire that was in it. Dean backed up and reached for his machete, but the vampire didn't wake up, so we continued walking.

"Guys?" I heard Sam say softly. Sam was squatting next to a woman, who was asleep or knocked unconscious. She was tied up and she had blood on her clothes and mouth.

I looked behind Sam and saw a cage with people in it…victims. "There's more," I said and went over to the cage. All the people were sleeping. There was a padlock on the door. That sucked.

Dean came up behind me and grabbed a crowbar that had been hanging on top of the cage. I hadn't seen it and even if I had I wouldn't have been able to reach it. He broke one of the latches off the cage door, but then waited to make sure none of the vampires woke up. They didn't.

I looked at Sam, who was untying the woman. She was beginning to wake up. She started screaming and it sent chills down my spine. She'd been turned already.

Sam jumped up and backed away from her. He looked like he was going to reach for his blade, but the other vampires were waking up now.

"Run!" I heard John say from somewhere I couldn't see. So we ran. I had no problem following that order.

We went out the front door of the barn and kept running until we reached the car and truck. John wasn't with us.

"Dad?" Dean yelled.

A few seconds later, I could see John running towards us.

"Shouldn't we go now?" I asked. "Before they come looking for us."

"They won't follow. They'll wait 'til tonight. Once a vampire gets your scent, it's for life."

"Did you get the gun?" Sam asked and John shook his head.

"Okay, so, what the hell do we do now?" Dean asked.

"You got to find the nearest funeral home, that's what."

I watched as Dean and Sam looked at each other, both confused. "Um, why?" I asked hesitantly.

"Dead man's blood…it can hurt a vampire. It won't kill them, but it'll make them weak for a while."

"Oh," I said. "Alrighty then." That explained it.

"Sam, you can come with me. Dean, I want you to go get that blood. Alyson…" he trailed off. He didn't know what to do with me.

"I'll go with Dean." I wouldn't have minded going back to the motel, but I didn't want to be alone with Sam and John. They might start fighting again. I didn't want to be caught in the middle of that.

------------- -

"I'm sorry for the way my Dad's been acting," Dean said. We were in the car now, the radio was on low, and we were headed to a funeral home.

"It's not your fault." Dean struck me as the type of person who blamed himself for everything even if it was in no way his fault. "Like you said…he does what he does for a reason. I mean, his wife…your mom was killed." I saw Dean's hand grip the steering wheel tighter. His knuckles went white, but I continued. "And he wants revenge. I mean, it's probably what he wakes up thinking about. What he dreams about when he sleeps."

"Yeah," Dean said softly, but his grip was still tight on the wheel. "He and Sam never really saw eye-to-eye on that."

"I get that," I replied. "I mean…I think Sam sort of resents John a little. For bringing hunting into his life…and yours." I paused. "I mean, he hunts, but he doesn't like it. He doesn't wanna do it."

"Did he tell you that?" he asked gruffly.

"No…I'm just pretty perceptive when I wanna be. With the people I care about. I read people easy."

"Oh yeah? And how do you perceive me?" he asked, half-serious.

"Honestly?"

"Yeah."

"Okay…" He asked for it. "I think you like this life because John likes it." I wasn't ridiculing him, so I hoped he didn't get offended. "What you want and what you need…is based on what your father wants and needs. On the surface, anyway."

Dean looked at me. "What does that mean?" He turned back to the road.

"It means, I think you can kind of relate to Sam, in a way. I'm not talking about the normal life thing. I mean, this is normal to you. I meant, having a family…having your family back together." I paused. I shouldn't have been telling Dean this…he might decide to leave me on the side of the road. Or he might start to avoid me…because I knew him. Knew him because I was kind of like him. Aside from the one night stands, I agreed with almost everything he did. But not only that…I understood why he did the things he did.

"Is that it?"

"No, but I don't want you to run away from me because you think I'm in your head or something."

He chuckled lightly, which wasn't the reaction I was expecting. I expected him to be angry or something negative like that.

"Your dad's approval means more to you than almost anything," I said softly, treading lightly. Dean didn't say anything, but I continued. "And how I perceive you…you and Sam and John, too, now, I guess…is…" I didn't quite know how to say it.

"Is what?" Dean actually seemed eager to know, like my opinion mattered.

"You…all three of you…give up so much of your own life to help people. It's like your happiness doesn't matter to you. You think it's worth it if you save someone. And that's…I don't think there's a word that describes what that is."

Dean looked at me in awe, like he couldn't believe I'd said that about him, but that's how I felt about him and Sam. John, too, but I didn't exactly agree with how he treated his sons. It was more like they were soldiers than his children.

"So, uh," Dean started uncertainly, "this is one of those things you're never gonna tell Sam about, right?"

"I would never tell Sam anything you didn't want him to know," I said truthfully. Dean seemed like the type of person who kept things inside, and everyone needed an outlet. If Dean wanted to use me as one, I didn't mind.

------------- -

It had been ten minutes since Dean had parked in front of a funeral home and had gone inside to find some blood. He was still in there and I was getting bored.

I took my cell phone out of my jeans pocket and looked at my friend's list…Layla was on the top of my list. I hadn't talked to her in ages…well, three and a half weeks, but that was ages to us. We used to talk every day.

I pushed her number in and pressed send. I brought the phone up to my ear and wondered whether I was going to get an answer. I hoped she did and I hoped she didn't. I mean, what was I supposed to say?

"Hello?'

"Hey," I said hesitantly.

"Alyson?" Layla sounded surprised.

"Hey," I said again.

"I haven't heard from you in a while. How've you been?"

"Um." That was a hard question to answer. "Fine, I guess. I'm alive."

"Well, good, because I would probably freak out if you were dead and I was talking to you."

I laughed. "Yeah, wouldn't you?" I sobered up pretty quickly. "I miss you." Man, that sounded lame.

I took a deep breath and let it out. "So…how've you been? What have you been doin'?"

"Not much. Shopping for college." Layla paused. "That's about it. Not much to do without my best friend around." She'd said it as a joke, but I could tell she was being serious.

"I'm sorry," I whispered, but I knew she had heard me.

"Don't worry about it. You said those two guys could keep you safe and, since you're still alive, it's obviously working. I don't really get it, though."

I smiled. Good ol' Layla. Leave it to her to make me feel better about leaving her behind when we so obviously missed each other's company.

"Yeah, the guys are great. They're awesome, actually."

"They're hot," Layla put in.

I didn't say anything, but I could feel myself start to blush. The guys were good looking, but that wasn't why I thought they were awesome. But I couldn't tell Layla why I thought the way I did, so I just agreed. "Yeah, I'd actually noticed that."

"So, what, are the guys cops or something?"

"Um, or something…" I trailed off. "More like private investigators. More or less…"

"Really? I guess that would explain the car."

I laughed again. I was glad I'd called her. Things weren't strained or awkward like I thought it would be.

"Yeah. Dean loves the car. Sam doesn't get the reverence he has towards it, but I do. It's a nice car. He won't let me drive it, though." I knew another reason Dean liked the car was because it had probably been the only thing in his life that had been a constant.

Layla giggled. "A muscle car…wanting to drive a muscle car. That sounds like you."

"Yeah," I agreed.

"So, um…" Layla started, but didn't finish.

"So, um, what?" I saw Dean come out of the funeral home and wondered whether I should hurry and end the conversation or not.

"Are you guys staying in one place, or…" she trailed off.

"Um, no. We move around a lot. Different state every week. They look for jobs and stuff."

"Oh." She sounded disappointed. "Okay. Well, I was just thinking that, maybe, if you were staying somewhere close by, I could come see you…stay with you for a week or two before college starts."

Dean got in the car and sat down, putting a small brown paper bag down on the seat. "Man, there's some heavy security to protect a bunch of dead guys."

"Who was that?" Layla asked.

"Um…that was Dean. He's just jokin' around."

"About dead people?" Layla sounded skeptical.

"We saw a movie about…vampires and the people had to kill them because they were evil." I was just making it up as I went along and it sounded lame even to my ears.

"Oh." She still sounded skeptical, but I didn't blame her. "Okay…well, about what I said before…about me coming to see you."

"Layla, I don't think that's a good idea. I'm not a very safe person to be around right now." I looked at Dean who was staring fixedly out the window. He was no help. "I mean, I'll keep in touch. I'll call you when I can, but I don't think me being around you is a good idea."

"Okay," she whispered. "If you say so."

"Look, um, I really gotta go, but I'll call you soon, okay?"

"Yeah, I'm gonna hold you to that."

"You do that. And, Layla?"

"Yeah?"

"Take care, okay?"

"I will," she said, before she hung up.

I closed my phone and put it back in my jeans pocket. Dean apparently didn't find the window fascinating anymore because he looked at me. "You okay?"

I nodded. "She wants to see me. She wanted to come visit me for a week or two before college starts, but, with what we do…no" I wasn't going to drag her into this.

"So, I guess you're one of us, huh?"

I looked at him. "What?"

"Giving up your happiness for the sake of others."

"I'm-" I broke off. "I don't think I'm one of you."

Dean shrugged and started the car. "Yeah, well, everything I see says different."

------------- -

My mind was still reeling from the last conversation Dean and I had had. We were going back to the motel, which was more of a hunting lodge, really, but we were gonna stop and get food first.

Dean got a burger and fries for him, Sam, and John. I got chicken fingers and fries with a coke for myself.

When we got back to the motel we, of course, started eating. Thankfully, we didn't talk about or see the blood, which was in the brown paper bag.

Dean stole one of my chicken fingers. There were six, so I didn't really mind, but I stuck my tongue out at him, anyway. He grinned a little before he bit into the chicken.

John was looking at Dean and me in amusement. I wondered what that was about. We were just being ourselves. We were goofing around, as usual.

When we finished eating, we started making plans to capture the vampires. Basically, what was gonna happen was, Dean was going to park on the side of the road, alone, and pretend he had car trouble. Since the vampires knew our scent they'd track him. But we'd be hiding close by.

"One tiny flaw," I said, raising my hand. "Won't they smell us?" It was a valid question and John didn't get mad.

"Our scents are on him anyway. They won't be able to differentiate."

"And then what? We attack them with arrows?" They had crossbows.

"Arrows dipped with dead man's blood," Sam explained. "Once it gets in their systems, they'll get weak."

"And then we can stop them and help those people," Dean said.

I nodded. Helping those people was what mattered. Oh, and getting that gun. But the people came first to me.

------------- -

Sam, John, and I were in the truck and surprisingly, I wasn't that uncomfortable. Apparently, they had worked their issues out while Dean and I had been at the funeral home. Good for them

It was sunset and the vampires would come looking for us soon. We were following behind Dean, who apparently knew where he was going even if I didn't.

We pulled off the side of the road. It was near where the vampires nested, I knew that much. There were trees all around, so there would be no trouble hiding. Sam and I got out, but John stayed in the truck.

"I'm gonna go hide the truck about a half a mile away, but I'll be back." He pulled the jar of blood out from his coat pocket. "Get the crossbows out of the back." He handed the jar to Sam.

We didn't even have to put the tailgate down to get the crossbows since Sam was so tall. He could just reach over the top and grab them. He handed one to me and kept one for himself. They both held only three arrows, so hopefully no more than six vampires came.

Sam and I walked over to Dean, who was leaning on the hood of his car.

"So, I get to shoot, right?" I asked.

"You know how to use that thing?" Dean asked.

"Yes. I've taken lessons and unlike with a gun…I was a natural with this." I looked at Sam. "Besides, I kinda think this is the way to prove to John that I'm serious about this."

Sam nodded. "Yeah, okay."

We were silent until John came back and as he came up to us he reached for my crossbow. Well, it was his, but it was in my hands, so it was mine at that moment.

"I can do it," I said firmly.

He looked at me skeptically. "And you won't miss?"

I shook my head. "I won't miss."

John nodded, but I knew he didn't believe me. I guess I'd have to prove him wrong. "All right. Let's hide."

Sam and John headed off in the direction of the trees. I turned to Dean. "Don't make them too angry, okay?"

He smirked. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

"Okay?" I asked again.

"Yeah, yeah."

I turned to walk into the trees where Sam and John were, but froze when I felt a sudden chill. I sped up to get to the hiding place.

"They're coming," I said to Sam. I turned and saw that Dean had popped the hood of the car while my back had been turned. He was now leaning over it, pretending something was wrong with it.

"How do you know?" John asked, looking around. They weren't here yet.

I looked at him. "I, um…you know what, I'll explain later, but we need to hurry and get these arrows ready."

Sam pulled out the jar of blood and took the top off. He dipped his arrows first and then I dipped mine. It was fairly disgusting…but whatever works. Right?

By the time we were done with the arrows, a woman-vampire had shown up. She looked like a rocker chick. She wore a black short-sleeved shirt on top of a white long-sleeved shirt. She had a jean jacket vest and blue jeans on.

I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I could see Dean's lips move. Apparently, he did something wrong because the woman hit him, knocking him to the ground. He'd made her angry…like I'd known he would.

The next thing I knew, another vampire-this one male-came up behind the woman, grinning. The woman grabbed Dean by the chin with one hand and lifted him off the ground. Okay, that meant she was extremely strong, but I'd figured that, so it didn't surprise me.

I saw Dean's lips move again and then the woman was pretty much molesting his mouth. Ew. Anyway, that's when I brought my crossbow up and aimed for her. It hit her in the middle of her chest, which was what I had been aiming for. She dropped Dean.

Sam then hit the other one, also in the chest. Sam, John, and I came out from behind the trees, with our weapons pointed at them. John had his machete at the ready.

"Damn it," I heard her say as she turned towards us. "Barely even stings."

"Give it time, sweetheart. That arrow's soaked in dead man's blood," John said. "It's like poison to you, isn't it?"

The male vampire fell to his knees and the other fell backwards into Dean, who picked her up.

"Load her up. I'll take care of this one," John said.

Dean carried her to the backseat of the car-I assumed we were going to drop John off at his truck-and shut the door behind him. "She's unconscious," he called out.

Sam grabbed my arm. "Come on."

He was looking at his dad, so I looked that way, too. He had his machete raised in the air. I got it. Sam didn't want me seeing that. I didn't want me seeing that, either, so I turned away to go to the car, but I could still hear when it happened…I could hear the blood splatter on the ground and I shuddered.

"All right. We need to get back to the truck. I have some stuff that should cover our scents."

John cleaned his blade off and came over to the car. He got in the backseat and Sam climbed in after him. I got in the front seat with Dean.

"So, who shot the Dracu-babe back there?" Dean asked.

"Me," I said proudly.

"Good shot," he said and I could feel myself smile brightly.

"I told you I wouldn't miss," I said, looking back at John.

"How did you know they were coming before they got there?" John asked.

I took a deep breath, Dean started the car, and I turned around in the front seat so I could look at John comfortably. "I can sort of sense when something supernatural is around. Supernatural radar…or something."

"Is that why the demon's after you?" John looked like he was trying to wrap his head around that concept.

"We don't know," Sam said. "All we know is that she's supposed to be inherently good. That would be a good reason for a demon to want someone dead, right?"

"That would be a good reason for a lot of demons to want someone dead. Once word gets around…she's gonna be in a lot of danger." John looked at me. "You really don't know what's going on?"

"No." I figured now would be a good time to mention the letter. "Um…my mom left me a letter. She said a priest had come to see her after I was born. He told her that I would be able to do amazing things and I guess sensing supernatural beings is one of them."

"What do you mean…sense them?"

"I get the chills. At first, I would hyperventilate, but then I got used to it, I guess. Sometimes I get shaky, but other than that I'm good, now."

We arrived at John's truck and the first thing we did was tie the vampire to a tree. Then we went to John's truck and he lowered the tailgate. He started digging around in a case he had in the back.

He pulled out a bag of something and handed it to Dean. "Make a fire and toss this in it."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Saffron, skunks, cabbage, and trillium. It'll block our scents and hers until we're ready."

Dean opened the bag and sniffed. "This stuff stinks."

I grinned. Dean obviously hadn't heard his dad say the word 'skunks'.

I watched as Dean built a fire and threw everything that was in the bag in it. Now that it was burning, I could smell it. It was one of those stenches where you just wanna hold your breath until it goes away. But seeing as to how we were standing right by the fire, I couldn't hold my breath that long.

"Dust your clothes with the ashes, and you'll stand a chance of not being detected."

Sam looked from the vampire tied to the tree to John. "You sure they'll come after her?"

"Yeah," John answered. "Vampires mate for life. She means more to the leader than the gun. But the blood sickness is gonna wear off soon. So you don't have a lot of time to get those people out."

"Half-hour ought to do it," Sam said, messing with a machete that was strapped to his waist.

"And then I want you out of the area as fast as you can."

"But-" Sam started, but Dean interrupted.

"Dad, you can't take care of them all yourself."

"I'll have her," he nodded towards the vampire, "and the Colt."

"But after…we're gonna meet up, right? Use the gun together, right?" Sam asked.

John looked away and didn't say anything. I got it. He was taking off again.

"You're leaving again, aren't you? You still want to go after the demon alone? You know, I don't get you. You can't treat us like this." Sam didn't seem angry now, just disappointed.

"Like what?" John asked.

"Like children."

"You two are my children," John said. "I'm trying to keep you safe."

"Dad, all due respect, but, uh, that's a bunch a crap." Finally, Dean had called BS.

Sam and John looked at him, surprised. I, however, was silently applauding him. Go Dean. I was proud of him.

"Excuse me?" John asked.

"You know what Sammy and I have been huntin'," Dean said. "Hell, you sent us on a few huntin' trips yourself. You can't be that worried about keeping us safe."

"It's not the same thing, Dean."

"Then what is it? Why do you want us out of the big fight?"

John took a deep breath. "This demon? It's a bad son of a bitch. I can't make the same moves if I'm worried about keeping you alive."

"You mean you can't be as reckless," I put in. It wasn't my place, but it needed to be said.

Thankfully, John didn't get mad. "Look…I don't expect to make it out of this fight in one piece. Your mother's death…it almost killed me. I can't watch my children die, too. I won't."

"What happens if you die?" Dean asked, practically whispering. "Dad, what happens if you die and we could have done somethin' about it? You know, I've been thinkin'…I think maybe Sammy's right about this one. I think we should do this together. We're stronger as a family. We just are. You know it."

John was silent for a moment, like he was actually contemplating sticking around, but then he shook his head. "We're running out of time. You do your job, and you get out of the area. That's an order."

John walked away from his sons once again. Sam and Dean looked pretty mad, but I could tell they were more worried than angry. I felt for them. They probably had a long and varied list of memories where all they could see was their father's back walking away from them.

------------- -

By the time we got the people out, we'd already killed another vampire. So, that was two down.

We made sure they were all medically okay and aside from being scared half to death, they all seemed fine.

We left the barn and was gonna get in the car, but I stopped. "We should go find your dad," I said. "I mean, you know where he's at, but we should at least make sure he's okay."

Apparently, both Sam and Dean had been thinking it, they just hadn't said it, because they didn't even agree out loud, they just grabbed the weapons we'd need-the machetes and the crossbows. The arrows had already been dipped in the blood, so we were good to go.

Sam had the machete, so Dean and I had the crossbows, which was fine with me.

"All right. It'll be easier to sneak up if we walk than if we drive," Dean said. "Let's go."

By the time we found John, he was on the ground by his truck. The window had been smashed and he was lying in the glass. There were four other vampires besides the one we'd captured. Two girls, two guys. I lifted my crossbow and shot one of the girls and Dean shot one of the guys. Sam raised his blade to take one of them out, but the head guy hit him, knocking him to the ground. Sam dropped his machete and the vampire grabbed him, bringing Sam back to his feet, and started choking him.

Dean grabbed the blade from the ground, but before he could do any damage, the head guy said, "don't or I'll break his neck." Dean looked frustrated, but he paused. "Put the blade down."

I could tell that Sam was desperately trying to get some air in his lungs. Dean gave in and dropped the blade. It clattered on the ground.

"You people…why can't you just leave us alone? We have as much right to live as you do."

I saw John get up off the ground with a gun-the gun-in his hands.

"I don't think so."

The vampire turned around, dragging Sam with him. John shot the vampire in the middle of the forehead and he let Sam go. Sam had blood on his cheek from where the vampire had been shot. Sam, Dean, and I watched as the guy fell to his knees. There was a flash of light and then he wasn't moving at all.

The female vampire we'd captured was glaring at John murderously. He'd killed her mate. Of course she'd be furious.

The two vampires that were left dragged her away and Sam beheaded the one with the poison in his system.

I was kind of shocked that the gun had actually worked and, from the expression on their faces, Sam and Dean were, too.

John was smiling slightly, triumphantly, which I got, because now we knew how to kill the demon.

"Okay, you three head back to the car. The vampires won't go back to the barn, so you don't have to worry about that."

"What are you gonna do?" I asked.

"Hide these bodies somewhere in the woods."

Oh. Sounded reasonable.

------------- -

After we'd gotten back to the car, we went back to the hunting lodge motel and started packing our stuff so we'd be ready to go in the morning. John came in not long after we were done.

"So…" he walked towards us.

"Yes, sir?" Sam asked.

"You ignored a direct order back there." I could tell he wasn't angry, just surprised.

"Yes, sir," Sam said again.

"But we saved your ass," Dean put in and I had to look at the ground so they wouldn't see me grinning.

"You're right," John said.

"I am?" Dean asked hesitantly.

"It scares the hell out of me. You two are all I've got. But I guess we are stronger as a family. So…we go after this damn thing…together."

"Yes, sir," Sam and Dean said in unison.

It was a perfect family moment and I hated to ruin it, but I had to ask. "With me, right?" There was that little voice in my head again that was scared of being left behind, which was stupid, but I couldn't help it.

John was smiling slightly again, though. "Yeah, with you."

I was happy. At least there wouldn't be any fighting due to my being there. I was part of the unit.


So, another chapter done. I wasn't too sure if my John-voice was good...you know, how he reacted to Alyson being there and stuff. Um I added some subtle flirting between Alyson and Dean because she's still too young to be getting serious, but she is slowly falling for him. Sort of. She just doesn't know it yet.
Also, I have a question. Maybe not in this season, but maybe somewhere in the next one, I might write a standalone chapter where, you know, Alyson gets kidnapped by something evil and supernatural. Any ideas what could happen to her that isn't all kinds of traumatic. Because my mind keeps landing on rape or torture which is definitely all kinds of traumatic.