Distribution: The Nook,
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, no money made, no characters created.
Spoilers: Season 3 of Supernatural AU
Summary: A string of stories based on the idea that the one demon never had a chance to inform Lilith of the plan and she didn't kill everyone at the jail.
Warnings: I'm odd. But no 'ship, I'm not that odd. 20-100word chapters.
"FBI! Open up!"
The shout at the door was unexpected. Sam and Dean knew that Hendersen had lied on their behalf. Who could possibly….?
All this was considered as they grabbed guns and positioned themselves. Dean used the peephole and his face froze. He rolled his eyes at Sam before yanking the door open for… Victor.
In jeans and a polo, he grinned.
Dean swore at him.
Victor shrugged. "Last time that I get to say it, had to make it count."
"What are you doing here?" Sam asked.
The fed dropped his bag at their feet. "Here to learn."
Sam and Dean tried for hours to discourage Victor from throwing away his job and life, but Victor had weighed the choice fully. He knew how many people he had saved and had it compared to those that considered the Winchesters heroes. He had already sacrificed permanence and family for his previous job. Nothing the boys could say would change his mind.
"Messy death," Dean suggested.
"Agents do get shot at."
"No place to call home," Sam added.
Victor laughed then. "I've been following you two for over a year."
"Tattoo," Victor shot back.
It was a done deal.
Sam and Dean finally agreed to train him. They put him through three weeks of hell, but Victor never flinched. He memorized the exorcism chants and foreign symbols. He dug up the graves and exercised. He made salt shotgun shells and searched for supernatural jobs. Back and forth, they would try to trip him up, to no avail. In the end, they sent him to LA with a name. Sam gifted him with a list of reliable research websites. Dean gifted him with a homemade EMF meter.
Now he just had to find Joe Harvelle who apparently lacked a partner.
Victor had never been so nervous in his life. He Iwanted this/I. He wanted the Hunter's life and rewards. Harvelle was his door in. Victor knew how to track a man, but had little experience with ghosts. He had nerves of steel and a calm head, which was why the Winchesters had sent him to Harvelle. Harvelle had grown up in the 'community' and knew the ins and outs of the supernatural, but he was young and a bit of a hot head. Dean had hoped that they could keep each other alive. Victor was willing to try.
The young, blonde beauty slid across the table from him in the bar she did (and didn't) belong in. She evaluated him seriously.
"I'm sorry," Victor started, "I'm waiting for…"
"Victor?" she interrupted.
He didn't grit his teeth or show surprise. Sam and Dean had deliberately misled him. He nodded.
She grinned at him. "Not bad for a Fed."
"So I heard." Victor knew that she approved. She loved her job, the job that Victor was applying for.
"You knew that Dean wouldn't tell me that you were a girl."
She nodded. "They wouldn't be able to resist."
She agreed to a trial period because of a close call that she failed to elaborate on. Victor didn't pry. Oddly enough, they were on even footing. Victor ran faster, but Jo kicked ass with a shotgun. She had heard of most monsters out there, but he was calmer in emergencies. She could spot supernatural occurrences miles away, but he could do the research so that they never were blindsided. INo one/I expected them to be working together.
The second time that she had saved him and the first he saved her, Victor understood the importance of having a partner.
The deadline for the first month happened in the middle of a dangerous job. Jo didn't even realize that it had happened. Victor knew, but decided not to bring it up until after. They were too busy trying to stay alive and then celebrating survival with alcohol. (Jo could drink him under the table.) Then, Jo talked about her Hunter father that she never had the chance to know and he spoke of a daughter that probably was his, but he couldn't claim.
Then another job came along.
And another one.
And another one.
There was no talk of separating.
Sam and Dean had mentioned that sometimes humans' insanity mimicked the supernatural craziness, but it still caught Victor and Jo unprepared. Thankfully there was an understanding cop in New Orleans that appreciated the help to get a serial killer off the streets, and then the ghost who managed to murder as many as the live killer.
Jo and Victor had been packing up when Damian Jones stopped by to drop off a job offer as a detective in the Big Easy. Jo had laughed it off and they had left. Two weeks later they were back chasing yet another ghost.
Jo had been furious when she caught Victor rereading the job offer. She had assumed he had discarded it. She stomped away and Victor waited. He knew that she couldn't find the ghost on her own but he worried.
Finally, she stomped back to the motel and snarled, "You're leaving, aren't you?"
He handed over a pair of packets. The first one had fifty or so 'jobs' in the area. The second one was a college application to LSU. "I tried college."
"You won't be a freak with a knife collection in the criminal justice program," he cut her off.
Jo first refused out of hand, then Victor showed her just how much she was lacking in education. He managed an interview and an interrogation without her help, because he understood the 'normal' people better. He found the answers to a haunting because he knew the Civil War battles of the area. He wasn't nice about it. He made her feel stupid.
Jo caved and they hammered out a compromise, one that they would revisit at the end of the semester. Jo Harvelle transferred her previous credits and applied for the Criminal Justice major with a minor in comparative religions.
Jo grudgingly enjoyed college. She wasn't nearly as much of a freak as before, though her minor got raised eyebrows from others in her classes. The fact that she was so good with guns was a plus; a couple of the girls even asked her to take them to the range for their introduction to firearms. And when they found out that a cop had 'taken her off the streets,' Victor was invited to the psych class as a guest lecturer.
She aced her midterms, then she and Victor smoked a trio of ghosts.
It was too good to last.
Her mom showed up.
Cue the fight which shouldn't have happened because Ellen should've been thrilled that she was fulltime at college and Hunting part time, but Harvelles were contrary women and did things the hard way.
So Victor made sure it didn't get too out of hand. Then he sent both women to their respective corners to cool down.
Victor and Jo went on another Hunt and when they got back, he asked Ellen if she would be his snitch in a mob bar, an undercover assignment (excuse) in the same city as Jo but not communicating.
Undercover for Ellen meant that she said she was exactly who she had always been, 'cept for the daughter that was 'on the street'. She managed the bar with her usual efficiency. And since Ellen was in New Orleans, other Hunters drifted through. They were the less savory types that preferred to stay off the official radar, the Winchesters among them.
Ellen still read every newspaper she got her hands on and still created the files that meant nothing to the mob snoops and she still passed the files on to whoever was in town.
She watched and she waited.
Jo stood outside the bar, in the shadows and knew she shouldn't. The DA was dragging his feet on pressing charges on her mom's boss and the boss had a mole inside the PD looking for the PD's snitch. Victor was worried, trying to root out the mole and determining if it was necessary to extradite Ellen.
Victor didn't worry about a lot, so now Jo was worried and wanted to see her mother, even though she shouldn't. Her mom was a big girl and could take care of herself. She understood her mother's Hunting worries a little more now.
Standing outside of her mother's work once was stupid, doing it twice was Iinsane/I. So she should have expected getting caught.
"Your mom cooked pie today."
Jo whirled around into a fighting stance. Behind her, trying not to look like a mob enforcer was Conners. Loyal to the family and not especially bright, the police hadn't bothered to flip him. Ellen, though, had mentioned that he was sweet on her. None of this Jo 'knew.'
So she used that scared, tough, litte girl act she had perfected before she was ten. "Whadda ya want?"
"I want to see Ellen smile."
Conners moved fast and snagged her wrist. No matter how she twisted and yanked, he wouldn't release her.
They both stilled when they heard the shotgun cock. Connors looked worried, but Jo was grinning.
"Connors, if you don't release my daughter, you'll regret it."
Connors immediately let go. He looked a little sheepish. "I just was trying to talk her into coming in to see you."
"It's a decision that she's going to have to make."
"Jo. Your last postcard said New York."
Jo shrugged. "I didn't want you to know how close I was."
"Come get pie."
Bartending with her mother was like stepping back in time. Ellen was pissed, but even that was similar. Jo could take orders, deliver drinks and brush-off horny guys like a pro. She nailed the first guy in the groin; nobody else bothered her. She slept on the floor of her mother's apartment.
Her mother nudged her at four and Jo snuck out. She lost her tail in the train station and went back to Vic's place.
He yelled, Jo ignored him and returned to school, careful to avoid any mobsters.
She wouldn't do it again, but she didn't regret it.
May was a good month.
Jo aced her finals, had friends her own age, and had a boyfriend that survived Vic's glare. She and Vic managed to dispose of a houseful of ghosts buried at three different cemeteries and the crime syndicate that Ellen was spying on was put into prison.
Ellen even got to keep the bar she had been managing.
The boyfriend met Ellen and still asked Jo out on another date. Jo was feeling him out on his perceptions of the supernatural. He hadn't laughed at her yet.
Jo started worrying. Surely things were going too well.
A voodoo case landed Victor in the hospital with a badly broken arm and two cracked ribs. He complained and lied to the police department on why he had been injured during his day off. Jo should have been chaffing at the bit, wanting to leave the city for more Hunting. Instead, she was running errands for her mother, keeping her partner mollified and making out with her boyfriend. She didn't want to admit that she wasn't born a Winchester-that she wasn't supposed to travel the country saving people.
She wasn't supposed to love her stationary life, but she did.
Inevitably, the Winchesters stopped by. Dean's conversation with Jo tied up some loose ends.
"Bobby has a house," Dean had said out of nowhere.
Jo knew that.
"Bobby's our go-to guy on anything complicated. No better back-up. He could learn everything 'cause he spends time in his library and he's educated. Did you know that he knows Japanese?"
No, she didn't.
"He's less likely to be killed on the job."
"That could be you."
Jo decided that it would be.
Dean couldn't keep his mouth shut. "And not just so I have some place to crash during Marti Gras."