A/N: A little longer than my usual length, but I couldn't figure out how to chop it, so I put it all together as one long chapter. There is another note at the bottom, to avoid giving spoilers for this chapter. I hope you enjoyed the story. Please feel free to let me know what you think, positive or negative.
The tense drive over to Constance's former house was completed faster than Jess ever hoped possible. Dean kept his eyes glued on the road as Jess sat in the passenger seat bouncing her leg and willing the car to go faster still.
As they pulled up the drive, Jess glimpsed the Impala sitting in front of the house.
"Dean." She pointed at the car, and Dean nodded abruptly.
The anxiety that had been choking Jess up until now faded, replaced with steely determination. Sam was no longer lost, however he was far from out of danger.
"I still think you should let me have the—"
"Suck it up, Jess, I get the gun," Dean cut in quickly.
Suddenly, a muffled cry from within the Impala brought all of her anxiety back in full force. The inside of the car had lit up, and Jess saw the back of Sam in the driver's seat, writhing in obvious pain.
"Sam!" she shrieked, running forwards behind Dean who had already been spurred into action.
He had pulled out his borrowed gun and fired several shots through the driver's side window of the car, shattering the glass.
Sam groaned, and Jess was barely able to take a glance at him before a horrific figure flicked back into view.
She wore the white clothing that Constance had appeared in on the bridge, but her face had rotted to show the toll years of horrific acts had taken on the state of her fractured soul.
Dean coolly shot more bullets into the ghost's face, and it flickered out again.
"Sam, are you okay?" Jess demanded.
Sam didn't respond in words. He grunted as he straightened up and then threw the car in gear.
"I'm taking you home," he announced nonsensically before stomping on the gas pedal. The car lurched forwards, picking up speed as it ploughed through a fence, the deck railing, and finally the side of the house.
"What the hell was that about?" Jess shouted as she ran to where the car had parked in the middle of the Welchs' former living room.
Dean gave her a confused shrug before he quickly picked his way through the various debris, making his way to the car.
"You okay?" Dean asked his brother. He yanked open the passenger door.
Jess was slightly less held together. "Sam!" she shrieked, pounding uselessly on the top of the vehicle.
"M'okay," he muttered. "Help me out of here?"
Dean grabbed Sam's hand and yanked him from the car. Sam groaned in protest, but managed to keep his footing when he stood.
Jess threw her arms around his chest, ignoring the bigger groan that Sam gave in response. He was okay. Maybe a little achy, but not bleeding or broken. Whatever Constance had done to him, he would survive it.
"Jess." Sam's soft voice jolted her, and she lifted her head to see Constance, visible again as the beautiful young woman she died as. She was holding a picture in her hands and staring at them with cold rage.
One quick step to the side, and suddenly a large cabinet came rushing towards Jess and the brothers. Jess winced as it hit, pinning them effectively to the car. She braced herself as Constance took a step towards them. Given the power of the ghost, Jess expected the rest of the house to come crashing down on them any moment.
But Constance paused, and turned to look up the stairway. Jess felt the temperature plummet as water trickled down the side of the stairs. A light appeared at the top of the stairs and Constance, entranced, moved towards it. Jess craned her neck, but from her position between the car and the cabinet, all she could see was two shadows standing at the top of the stairs. The shadows were small; child-sized.
And in an instant, two children appeared at Constance's feet. She looked at them long enough for a flash of recognition before they were on top of her. A shriek filled the entire house, shaking the walls, as Constance's figure blurred with the other two. They melted together in one mess of blinding light and colour until finally the only thing left was a wet patch on the floor.
The pressure of the cabinet eased, and Jess joined Sam and Dean in pushing it away from them. The boys went to investigate the wet patch, but Jess hung back, knowing that Constance was truly gone.
"So, this is where she drowned her kids?" Dean spoke.
"That's why she could never go home," Sam explained.
"Brilliant," Jess smiled, feeling a surge of pride at Sam's logic. The EVP on John Winchester's voicemail had said exactly that, but she had forgotten all about it until Sam mentioned it just now. At least driving the car into the house made sense now.
"You found her weak spot," Dean nodded. "Nice work, Sammy." He clapped Sam on the chest, and Sam gave a pained gasp.
"I wish I could say the same for you," Sam choked out. "What were you thinking, shooting Casper in the face, you freak?"
"With regular bullets," Jess emphasized.
"Hey, it saved your ass," Dean pointed out to Sam.
"Actually, he's got a point," Jess agreed, turning to look at Sam. "I thought a Woman in White only targets men who've been unfaithful. Got anything you need to get off your chest, Sam?"
Sam's face fell into a look of such horror that Jess could barely keep herself from laughing.
"Jess, I never— it was—She jumped me and forced… I didn't do anything, I swear."
"Of course you didn't," she agreed, laying a gentle hand over the burn marks in his t-shirt. "Because you know that if you did, I'd be a lot more difficult to deal with than some random bitch ghost."
Sam glanced between Dean and Jess, one checking out his car with a frown on his face and the other stroking his chest in a way that could soon become dangerous.
"Can't we just go back to the part where everyone was impressed with me getting rid of Constance?" he pleaded.
Despite Dean's concern, the damage to the car had been mostly on the surface, the worst of which was a busted headlight. They were quickly driving away from that horrible house, stopping briefly to check out of the motel before hitting the highway.
"It's a place called Black Water Ridge in Colorado," Sam announced, putting away the ruler he had used to find the location of John's message.
"You know, if we shag ass, we can be there by morning," Dean commented.
"Dean," Sam reminded him. Which was all he needed to say in order for Dean to understand.
"Yeah, I know. The interview. You two are really just going to head back to your nice normal life at college?"
"It's what we want," Sam insisted.
Dean didn't say anything, but gave Jess a look through his rear view mirror. She didn't need it to recognize her opening, though.
"Um, Sam," she leaned forward in her seat, trying to keep them as close as possible. "Dean told me how your mom died. The fire in your room when you turned six months old?"
"Sam, you've got to let me finish, okay? Because the exact same thing happened to my mom, Sam. The very night I turned six months old, there was a fire that started in the nursery. My dad and I made it out okay, but my mom… That's what got my dad started hunting. He saw something that night that made him realize what was out there."
"It's okay, Sam," Jess shrugged. "I barely knew my mom; that whole story seems so distant, you know? But now I find out that my family isn't the only one. That thing…"
"Demon," Sam filled in.
"Really?" Dean asked.
"Dad mentioned once that's what he thought it was." Sam was flipping through the journal he held on his lap. "He's got pages of information…" Sam trailed off. "It's gone," he announced after a moment.
"What?" Jess demanded.
"I know Dad had more of this," Sam explained. "All that's left here is a few pages written in some kind of shorthand that I can't understand, and one list of dates and locations." He held up the list for Jess and Dean to see, and Jess immediately recognized one.
"Sam," she pointed. "That one right there. San Francisco, '83. That's me."
Dean frowned. "You don't think that whole list is full of families like ours, do you?"
Jess shrugged, forcing down the nausea she felt building inside her. "It makes sense. This demon, or whatever it is, has a plan that somehow involves babies that are six months old. I bet if we looked up the rest of the items on this list, we'd find similar cases."
"The mothers are just the casualties," Sam nodded in realization. "The real connection is with the babies."
"Okay, hold it right there, doom and gloom squad," Dean interrupted. "This isn't your fault. Either of you."
"Dean, come on. The connection is obvious. Whatever it is, it wasn't after the mothers."
"Maybe so," Dean agreed heavily. "But that doesn't mean it's your fault. You were six months old at the time, Sam. You too, Jessica. Trying to take the blame for this is going to a whole new level of self-blame."
Dean might have been right, Jess thought, but the whole way that she looked at the situation had been changed now. It was no longer an isolated incident that was only a story to Jess. It had become a pattern that included Sam.
"So, what do we do now?" Jess asked the silent car.
"You go back to Stanford," Dean replied. "Both of you."
"I don't want to hear it, Sam. You want your normal life, you take it. Stay at Stanford, become some hot shot lawyer and get married and have a white picket fence and… I dunno, have barbeques."
The words were spoken with Dean's usual cocky grin, but Jess sensed something else in the car. She couldn't quite put her finger on how she knew, but she felt it somehow.
"You're scared," she told Dean, never more certain of something in her life.
Dean didn't respond beyond a tightening of his jaw.
"Dean?" Sam pushed gently.
"A demon doesn't target six month old babies because it wants to work with them," Dean spoke gruffly. "It targets them to use them. Probably unpleasantly, and in a way that doesn't really give them a choice in the matter. I want that demon's plan as far off track as possible. And I think that staying at college where you'll be normal and educated—"
And safe, Jess added silently.
"—is the best way to deal with this. Until Dad and I track the son of a bitch down and take it out once and for all."
"So, what, I'm just supposed to sit quietly in the library while you and Dad go after the thing?" Sam questioned. "Dean, this is my fight, too."
"And we can still fight it, Sam," Jess told him, touching his shoulder. "Just… on a different end. Dean, you send us any research you need done, okay? Call us any time, day or night, and we'll do it. We'll still be helping, Sam. But we'll also get to have a life at the same time."
"Okay," Sam agreed, mollified. "But, Dean, if you ever need backup, call first, okay? We'll find a way to get to wherever you are."
"And not just if you think you need backup," Jess added. "If you're ever close to us, call and we'll come out to meet you. I may not be a hunter, but I can still kick supernatural butt."
"Deal," Dean grinned. "You know, I gotta tell you, Sammy, for someone who wants it so badly, you really suck at the whole normal life thing. I thought you were gonna run off to college and date some sorority chick while you abused a beer bong every night. But your girl might be the most badass non-hunter I've met."
"I didn't get accepted into my chosen sorority," Jess admitted. "I flipped out on them when they wanted us to visit this supposedly haunted house for pledge week. Apparently, I wasn't enough of a risk-taker."
It wasn't long before Dean pulled up in front of their apartment building. The building was dark; everyone must've been in bed already.
"Are you sure you don't want to come up?" Jess asked Dean as she pulled her duffle out of the trunk.
"Nah, I want to get a few hours of driving in before I stop," Dean replied, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"You'll call as soon as you find Dad?" Sam asked his brother.
"Forget that," Jess rolled her eyes. "Call as soon as you get to Black Water Ridge. You're dealing with a girl as well as your brother now, Dean, expect a lot more conversation from now on."
"Noted," Dean laughed. "It was good meeting you, Jess."
"Likewise," she nodded.
"Dude…" Sam hesitated, rocking forward on his heels awkwardly.
"Sam," Dean nodded back to him.
Jess rolled her eyes again. "I'll give you two a minute to say goodbye," she told them. For all they pretended, she knew that they still liked 'chick-flick' moments with each other. "Talk to you soon, Dean."
She climbed the steps to her apartment by herself, gaining speed as she went. The last couple days had been draining, and she was looking forward to taking a relaxing bath. And if Sam wanted to join her, she wouldn't say no to that. Being on the road with Dean had given them less privacy than when they were living in res, and she was aching for some alone time with him.
The door to their apartment banged against the wall as she pushed it open. Blindly, she searched with her hand along the wall for the light switch. Just as she hit the switch, a voice spoke out in the darkness.
She bit back a scream as her heart hammered in her chest.
"Brady," she gasped, trying not to show she saw startled. "What are you doing here?"
"Came for a visit," he shrugged. "We need to chat about a couple things, Jessica."
"Oh." Jess tried to appear casual as she inched her way across the kitchen, putting the table between them. Something seemed… off about him. "Wait, how did you get in?" She vividly remembered locking the door before her and Sam had left the apartment.
"Good question, Jess. But really, it's your own fault for being careless. Salt lines are a bitch, but if you want to keep someone like me out, you're going to have to get some better… locks." He blinked, and his eyes flicked to solid black. Jess swallowed down the feeling of wrongness that punched her in the gut.
"How long?" she demanded, hating the tremor in her voice. Frantically, she reviewed her weapons options. In her bag was… nothing. Salt was in the cupboard, but Brady was standing right in front of it. Besides, if he got through the salt line, a sprinkle of table salt really couldn't do much damage to him.
"Long enough for you to wonder if you ever knew the real Brady," the demon teased.
"Why are you here? Does it have to do with my mom? And Sam's"
"Oh, you are a smart girl, aren't you? Who'd have thought that two of my father's special children would meet and fall in love like you and dear Sammy did? Makes you wonder if what you and Sam have is… you know, fully legal." Brady chuckled. "But, love conquers all, I suppose. And that brings me to my business here tonight. Turns out daddy's not too keen on the two of you two buying a minivan together and filling it with salt rounds and rosaries. It might inspire mutiny in the ranks or something."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Jess replied.
"Oh, sweetie, I know you don't. But the good news is, you don't have to worry your pretty little head about it too much longer. See, I hadn't quite decided who I was going to kill yet. The job needed to be done, and I was going to get whoever was most convenient. But, I was always rooting for you, Jessica. You see, it feels just so much more poetic when it's you."
An invisible force slammed her against the wall, pinning her arms and legs back. She tried to cry out, but the words lodged in her throat, choking her.
"A young, beautiful blonde," Brady continued, advancing towards her. "A life full of opportunity ahead of her…"
Jess helplessly felt her body sliding up the wall, the only physical reaction afforded to her was a quickening of her heart rate.
"How do you think Sam will react?" Brady asked casually. "When he comes home to find his true love burning on the ceiling?"
And now there were hot tears dripping down her nose; landing on Brady's laughing face. She felt a sharp pain in her stomach as warm blood began to seep into her t-shirt. She knew what was about to come next, and all she could think of was Sam; poor Sam and what he would find.
The door flew open, and Jess watched dimly as Sam and Dean charged through. Brady received a face full of holy water before he could even blink. Hissing, he retreated to the corner by their stove.
"Where is she?" Sam demanded.
"R-reaching new heights," Brady choked out before Dean threw another dose of holy water at him.
Sam looked up to the ceiling, and Jess could barely see for all the tears that were clouding her eyes. Don't look, Sam, she pleaded silently. I don't want you to see this.
"Sam!" Dean shouted. "Exorcism."
"Right," Sam agreed, tearing his eyes away from Jess. He began to speak haltingly in Latin, and the demon howled instantly, arching its back.
Jess felt the hold on her slacken and she wriggled as much as she could, trying to gain some sort of control of her body.
But Sam stopped speaking abruptly, staring at the drop of blood that had appeared on his hand.
"Jess?" His eyes whipped back up to her. "You're bleeding!"
"No! Sam!" she shouted, seeing the demon sitting up on the floor and starting to recover.
"Too late," Brady spoke breathlessly. "No devil's trap, no reason for me to stick around and get sent back downstairs. But don't worry, kids. This is far from over." Black smoke poured out of Brady's mouth and shot out the window.
At the same time, Jess found herself on the floor, half in Sam's arms.
"Jess?" Sam asked frantically. "Are you okay?"
"Sam…" she couldn't bring herself to say anything else. All she could do was bury herself in his jacket, absorbing his touch and sound and smell until everything else, all the wrong she had just witnessed, disappeared.
It was Dean's voice that brought her back to reality.
"The kid's dead," he announced quietly.
"He didn't stand much of a chance," Jess explained to the brothers with a hoarse voice. "He's been possessed for years now."
"Jess. Are you okay?" Sam had lifted up the hem of her shirt, she realized, and was pressing a tea towel against her abdomen.
"I don't think the cut was very deep," she replied. He had been too busy wounding her emotionally to get far with the physical damage.
"I'll check it in a minute," Sam said.
Jess nodded blankly. "And then we have to clean up. And decide. Do we call the police for this or take care of it ourselves? Because it will look suspicious to the cops. But people will notice… They'll notice that B-brady…"
"Shh… Jess…" Sam gave her as tight of a hug as he could with the one free arm he had. "It'll be okay, Jess. We're all okay."
"We can't stay here anymore, Sam," she sobbed. "We can't be here anymore. Our life here, it's gone, all of it."
The back of the Impala had become a sanctuary for Jess; full of love and comfort hot chocolate that she couldn't bring herself to drink but still warmed her hands. She tried to stay awake, despite the calming movement of the car, afraid of what she might dream of when she closed her eyes. Dean was in the front, eyes on the slowly brightening road as they drove to Colorado, and Sam was sitting beside her in the back, keeping her safe with his powerful arms around her.
It had not taken them long to pack what they needed; they just took a little more than they had a few days previously. As much as Jess regretted leaving her strappy shoes with the flowers and her straightening iron, she knew they wouldn't have much place with her where they were going. Black Water Ridge.
"Do you have any idea what your dad would be doing in Colorado?" Jess asked sleepily.
"We'll have to find out when we get there," Dean shrugged. "Should be there in a couple hours."
She nodded, feeling her chest tighten. They had already driven for so long. They were that much further away from Palo Alto. From home. Tears sprung up from her eyes again, and Sam wiped them away softly.
"Sorry," she apologized damply. "I was just thinking about how we'll never wake up to hear that stupid old fridge clanking in the middle of the night. Or have to scrape off the burnt side of the toast and then put it back in the toaster to do the other side."
"I'm sorry, Jess," Sam apologized softly.
"No, Sam, I recognize that apology. You can't blame yourself. Even if you had managed to exorcise the demon, we still would have had to leave. The monster responsible for all this just would have sent another one. I told you; he wants one of us dead. I dunno, maybe at this point, he wants to kill both of us. We need to be on the road, trying to find it rather than become sitting ducks trying to keep our apartment fortified."
"You're right," he agreed softly.
"I usually am," she teased lightly.
He huffed a soft laugh, and held her a little tighter.
"How did you know that I was in trouble? You and Dean came storming in with holy water and an exorcism on the ready. You must've known there was a demon in the apartment with me."
Sam shared a silent glance with Dean before beginning to speak.
"I've been seeing it for a while, Jess. At night, in my dreams. At first, I thought it was just a nightmare; taking what I knew about my mom and applying it to you. But then, when Dean and I were in the car talking, I saw it again: you, on the ceiling, surrounded by fire. With Brady in it as well. And I wasn't asleep that time, and suddenly, I don't know how, I knew that it was actually going to happen."
"So, you had a vision? Like a psychic?"
"I don't know, Jess," Sam shook his head. "It's never happened to me before."
But it would happen again; Jess was sure about that. People didn't ever just have one isolated premonition. And Jess couldn't help but think that Sam's premonition was somehow tied into the demon. After all, a hunter doesn't believe in coincidences.
"We'll figure it out, Sam. The important thing is, you saved my life. We'll figure out the rest of it as we go."
Go to find the Winchester's father, find the demon, maybe even find the other families affected by it? The task seemed impossibly daunting to Jess. Her father had donated his life to it, and still had not found the creature responsible for her mother's death. How on earth were they supposed to complete that quest?
She felt Sam nod beside her, his gentle determination steadying her.
"We've got work to do," he agreed.
A/N: So, I couldn't kill Jess. I got too attached. ;) I am planning on a sequel to this story, so look out for it. I am not, however, planning on rewriting all of the S1 episodes with Jess in them. The story I will write will probably go quite AU, keeping the YED's original plan intact and all that, but changing how it all comes about