AN: So here it is ... the newest of my fanfiction endeavors. Thank you to everyone who voted for this one. I have the next few chapters already written out, so expect regular updates! Yay! Anyways, I hope you enjoy. Please remember to leave a review at the end! ~Ella
The Winchester Curse
The Winchester curse.
Uncle Dean would say that all the time. It was sometimes said in anger, blasting past his lips like curse word, or sadness, half-broken and softly, or other times with mirth, his lips curled up in a smirk and tone light and playful. It was said in a hushed voice hunched over the battered kitchen table, and loudly with a barking laugh as he trudged through the front door covered in mud, a couple twigs in his hair and dirt caked hands wrapped around the shovel which rested against his shoulder. Her father would smile sadly, or shake his head, or glare half-heartedly at his older brother – but he never denied it. It was never said when they thought she could hear them.
The curse was somehow related to the family business and they refused to bring up that conversation in front of her.
It didn't matter that Kate Winchester was now sixteen years old and stood tall, just a couple of inches below her Uncle. Kate was convinced that when they looked at her all they saw was the six year old who would go running, brown pigtails bouncing with each step, and crying over a scraped knee. It was infuriating. She was not a little girl anymore.
In some respects, Kate was very mature for her age. She supposed it came from being left home alone for weeks at a time as Uncle Dean and her father would go off hunting ghosts, shifters, demons and all sorts of monsters that went bump in the night. A couple of years ago, after one particularly bad row between herself, Dad and Uncle Dean, they had finally relented a tiny bit. She was still forced to stay at home, but they let her help with the voluminous amounts of research.
So she became the "Research Queen" as Uncle Dean called her, and while she sometimes wished that they would wake up and realize that Kate was old enough and mature enough to handle hunting with them... Katie had to admit that she was quite good at researching. She also enjoyed it - though she would never admit it to her uncle who would tease her endlessly.
Last Christmas Dad had even bought her a label maker and new mini-filing cabinet. The living room office she had inherited when Grandpa Bobby had passed away five years ago was now perfectly organized. Everything was sorted alphabetically and indexed for easy location. After lecturing her father and uncle, she had even convinced them to file away all of their cases in chronological order and create a back-up file which was put away by creature. Kate loved her system. It had taken a full summer holiday, and Uncle Dean moaning and complaining about not understanding how they had gone wrong with her, but after it was finished, Kate knew where everything was and every time she could recover new information she felt the thrill of the discovery rush through her.
Still, as much as she loved enjoyed researching monsters and their weaknesses or information on victims, Kate's favourite times were always when her father's large silhouette would crowd the door frame, with a duffel bag slung over one shoulder, arms wide open, and his brilliant smile he always saved just for her flashing across his face. She would run into his open arms and twirl her around before dropping a quick kiss onto the top of her head and then letting her go. Then Uncle Dean would saunter through the door with a smirk and sarcastic comment along the lines of 'What am I chopped liver?' or 'Fine. Just ignore me then.' and Kate would hug him tightly as he laughed and he reminded her that she was his favourite niece, never mind that she was his only niece. Those moments when her heart would pound hard against her chest, trying to burst with happiness. When they returned, all the anger at being left behind, her worry about their well-being, and even her humiliation at actually getting below a ninety-percent because she had taken a stupid arts class, all of that would just melt away. In those little moments it would seem that everything in her life was perfect, as long as she had her father and Uncle Dean. Everything else in her life was small, trivial and so much easier.
How could her family be cursed when they had moments such as that?
It was a hot day in June, a couple of days before her seventeenth birthday that the Winchester Curse ripped through her life.
The day started out the same as any other. It was a clear, blue sky outside the windows, peering down into the kitchen that tired Tuesday morning. Kate was frying eggs. Uncle Dean was setting the table. Dad was putting the coffee on. They had managed to have stayed home for the past three weeks and Dad had promised they wouldn't even look for a case until after her birthday.
"So what do you want?" her Dad asked, stretching his long legs under the table and sipping his coffee slowly. Kate didn't need to ask what he meant. Every year it was the same question, always two days before her birthday and Kate knew that whatever she asked was what she would get, within reason, as her father and uncle were hopeless when it came to actually coming up with a gift idea.
Kate shrugged, and tried to avoid Uncle Dean's attempt to add more salt to the eggs. Uncle Dean had been banned from cooking eggs since he seemed to make fried salt with a side of egg instead. Having saved the eggs and putting the portions onto the three chipped plates, Kate tried to think of anything she wanted.
"Well ... I guess there's this new encyclopaedia series which ..."
"No," Uncle Dean cut her off. "No way. Sammy, we are not getting her a stupid encyclopaedia. I refuse to let you nerdify my niece. Come on Katie, wouldn't you want something like all teenagers want ... like ... alcohol. What teenager doesn't want alcohol?"
"Uncle Dean, I'm only seventeen," Kate reminded him. "And don't call me Katie."
"So? Everyone drinks underage!" Uncle Dean explained, completely ignoring half of what Kate had said. "It's a rite of passage. Hell, by the time I was your age ... wait ... I shouldn't tell you that."
"I'm sure there will still be plenty of booze in the world by the time I'm twenty-one," Kate responded. "And I hate to be the one to break this to you, but ... Dad can't nerdify me, because I'm already a nerd."
"I blame you," Uncle Dean said, sending a mock-glare at his younger brother, who was too busy chuckling to reply. Laughing, Kate hurriedly took a bite of her toast as Uncle Dean raised one grey eyebrow in her direction.
The conversation that followed was the same one they had had thousands of times. Did she want to take the bus or have Uncle Dean drive her to school? Uncle Dean would then make it very obvious that he wanted to drive her, because it would mean he could drive his favourite car that he rarely used anymore. It was old, black, dented and loud and she would be teased at school for showing up in the ancient monstrosity, but the look of joy on her uncle's face was enough for Kate to bite her tongue and send one pleading look towards her father. He would ignore it. Then her Dad would ask about her homework and Uncle Dean would make some sort of comment about studying too much and Kate would go on and on about school. She would entertain them as dishes were washed, and her school bag packed with different school-related stories: her perfect score on the last math test which made her Dad smile proudly and how Billy Reich had put a whoopee cushion on the most hated teacher's chair which made Uncle Dean roar with laughter. Finally she was standing by the door waiting for Uncle Dean to find the keys to his "baby" on top of the fridge, as her father made sure she had packed everything.
"Money for it."
"What? Dad, it's lame to actually bring a lunch."
"Fine, you don't need to pack one today, but you are tomorrow."
"Silver pocket knife?"
"Bracelet with anti-possession charm?"
"Yeah, though if I could ..."
"But you haven't even heard what ..."
"You are not getting a tattoo until you are sixty."
"I'm just trying to be practical."
"And no asking Dean for permission behind my back."
"Now, you have your cell?"
"Now I want you to ..."
Kate never hears what her father wants her to do. Maybe it was something simple-like and mundane. Perhaps he was about to remind her that she had better floss before leaving. Years later, when Kate felt like torturing herself, she would think that perhaps it would be something profound, advice that she could cling to as her life crumbled around her.
For at that moment her uncle came bursting into the front entry way.
"What are you doing?" her Dad asks, immediately tensing.
"He's coming," Uncle Dean says, Kate is confused by the look of shared panic. What was coming?
"You need to get into the panic room," her Dad commands, his voice hard and without a single thought Kate obeyed. Running into the kitchen, Kate is mid-turn when hard, inhumanly strong hands grasp her throat and yank her backwards against a solid chest.
"I'm afraid there's no time for that," the cold voice taunts in her ear, making her shiver in revulsion.
"LET HER GO!"
Gasping for air, Kate watches as her father yells, running into the room with a sawed-off shotgun aimed at the man holding her. She can't stop the whimper which escapes her clenched lips as the hand around her throat tightens, the fingernails biting the skin. She can barely see the human figure behind her, a mop of red hair and a cold, empty, mocking smile. With pleading eyes, she silently begged for her father and uncle to hurry up and save her. This was what they did. Why were they just standing there?
"Did you really think I would not reap my revenge?" it taunts her family. "Did you think you could play amongst the angels and not get burnt? Let's see ... how about you say goodbye to your little daughter."
With one last desperate, silent plea the hand tightened and Kate knew no more.
AN: There we are ... the first chapter is posted. I hope you've enjoyed it. The next chapter should be up in a few days. Please review - it'll make me ridiculously happy. Seriously, it will be ridiculous. Even if you don't ... well ... I just hope you enjoyed it. ~ Ella