"Would you just get in the car, Dad?" Rayan groans as she shoves her father a step closer to the Impala. "Uncle Cas is going to be here the whole time. And you know as well as I do that Gramps needs to be at that doctors appointment today."
Dean doesn't look convinced. "I don't know, Ray. Sam said he'd take Bobby in for his last treatment –"
"You know Uncle Sam has been planning his trip to the zoo with Carson for weeks," Rayan argues. "It's not fair to ask him to give that up now."
Rayan watches her father pause, sigh, and then reach down for the Impala's door handle. She watches with baited breath as he slowly pulls the door open, but has to stifle a scream of frustration when Dean doesn't get in.
"What about the parts, huh? Those are seriously important parts I have coming in today."
"Dean," Cas growls, only mildly showing his annoyance at the situation, "Lucas can handle the pick up, and I will protect the children." The angel keeps his blue-eyed gaze on his friend until Dean silently gives in and slides into his car.
"Just…be careful, okay? We'll be home soon."
Rayan smiles in relief and nods her agreement. Then, she leans down through the open driver's side window and speaks to Bobby. "Good luck today, Gramps. Sorry I can't go to keep you company."
"Bull," the old man grumbles with a playful smirk that goes against his age. "You're jumping for joy that you get to stay here and enjoy your afternoon, darlin'."
Rayan smiles, but inside she's full of nothing but guilt. She can sense Alabama and Andy shifting uneasily behind her as well, and the young Winchester just hopes that they're not too obvious that they're up to something. She hates lying to her family, but it's always the worst when she's lying to Bobby.
The three teens and Cas watch as the Impala takes off down the driveway, and no one moves until the growl of the engine can no longer be heard. Then it's a flurry of movement and nervous chatter as Andy and Rayan run into the house to collect all of the supplies they need to perform the spell while Alabama moves into the garage to clear a space for the big show.
Cas remains stoic and unhelpful, refusing to actually take part in the whole process. Rayan figures it's because he feels bad enough about lying to Dean, Bobby, and Sam without actually partaking in the actually ritual.
Of summoning Death.
That part has Rayan a little more freaked out than she originally anticipated. Sure, she was all gung-ho a year ago when this whole plan started to take shape. But now…well now she's not so sure it's such a grand idea.
This is Death they're planning on messing with. The one being on the entire planet that controls whether she lives to see eighteen or not. He's kind of an intimidating dude.
"Winchester, get your ass in gear!" Rayan hears Alabama yelling from outside, which snaps Rayan out of her thoughts and back into the game. She finishes gathering up the last few items from under the loose floorboard in her room and quickly follows Andy out of the house and down into the garage.
Alabama's managed to clear away the empty oil cans and spare hubcaps in the far corner of the garage so that there was enough room for her to draw a complicated pattern on the concrete floor with chalk. Rayan thinks it's odd seeing such a large area so empty of all her father's workday necessities.
And sets right to work, throwing things into one of the large mixing bowls from inside the house, completely ignoring the anxious looks Rayan and Alabama keep sending his way. Instead, he keeps looking back and forth to different sections of his handwritten translation of the ritual.
The process takes several minutes, and Rayan is starting to twitch with anticipation. She doesn't remember anything taking this long before.
Finally, Andy stands and brushes the dirt off his hands with a couple sweeps across his jeans. "That should just about do it," he declares, turning a serious eye on his friends. "All that's left is to say the magic words and hope that something comes out of this whole game we've been playing."
Before anyone can say anything more, the now familiar grumble of Jack's pickup makes its way up the driveway. Rayan curses under her breath and hurries out of the garage to meet him.
Jack hops out of the pickup once it's parked and jogs over to meet Rayan halfway with a big grin on his face. The teenager sweeps the young Winchester up into a hug and plants a kiss on her cheek, and for a minute Rayan forgets all about the waiting ritual back in the garage.
Instead, she focuses on the feel of Jack's arms around her waist and the steady heartbeat she can feel pounding away in his chest. It's scary for her to think about how fast she's fallen for the sweet boy from Texas, but she also knows the whole situation is pretty damn thrilling as well.
"What are you doing here?" she asks as she finally pulls herself slightly away from his embrace. "I thought Dad told you that he wasn't going to be here this afternoon for lessons."
"He might have mentioned something like that," Jack answers with a coy smile. "But I figured that was all the more reason to come see you."
His answer's cute and makes Rayan smile, but she's also well aware of the fact that her father would kill her if she knew a boy had come to visit her while he wasn't home, no matter how fond he is of Jack. Add that to the fact that her and her friends are in the middle of summoning a seriously dangerous supernatural being, and she's pretty sure the last thing she's looking for from Jack is a sweet gesture.
"Listen, I think it's super adorable that you drove out here just to see me because you knew my overbearing and insanely protective father wouldn't be here," Rayan begins with a groan as she lightly starts to push Jack back towards his truck. "And I really do wish you could stay. But you seriously can not be here right now."
The young Winchester gives Jack some credit, because in the short time they've known one another he can already tell when she's up to something no good. The teen digs his boots into the ground, effectively stopping Rayan's efforts to make him leave.
"You're totally doing something your dad would get pissed about, aren't you?" he questions with a smirk on his face. "Are you, Andy, and Alabama planning another hunt? Because as awesome as I think that is, I really don't think it's a good idea."
"We're not hunting," Rayan answers. It's not really a lie, but she can't help staring down at her boots in a guilty manner anyway. "Not really."
Jack drops the smirk from his face and takes a step closer to Rayan, gently placing a hand on her waist. "What's the matter, Ray? You in some kind of trouble…again?"
Rayan has to smile at that, because the implication that she can't seem to stay out of harm's way is all too accurate. "Would you just let it drop and head home for the afternoon if I just said 'you don't want to know?'"
"Fine," Rayan sighs, because she just doesn't have the time or willpower to fight with her almost-but-not-official boyfriend. "I'm only going to say this once. And it doesn't matter what you say, we're still going through with this. Is that clear?"
Jack nods his head and crosses his heart like an adorable five-year-old kid would.
"We're summoning Death."
Rayan can't really figure out a gentler way to break the news to Jack, so she figures that will have to do. And his reaction was just about what she expected. Adorable confusion morphing into unrestrained horror until finally settling on concerned anger.
"I know I'm new to all this stuff," Jack says in a eerily calm voice. "So I'm going to pretend like Death is some euphemism for unicorns and not the grim reaper!"
Rayan winces guiltily and that sets Jack off into a pacing swirl of muttered curses. After a few moments, the teen seems to settle down enough to face Rayan again.
"You're not doing this."
And that sets Rayan off, so the young Winchester crosses her arms and locks her steely green eyes on Jack. "Excuse me? I'm pretty sure I made it clear that it doesn't matter what you say, because we're doing this. And just for the record, I don't like being told what to do!"
"You need to be told what to do when you're going to do something stupid!" Jack retorts with an angry snort. "You're going to get yourself killed."
"It's perfectly safe," Rayan demands, and even though she's lying she's too angry to care. "And what would you know about it anyway? You've been studying this stuff for what, a week?"
Jack advances towards Rayan and meets her angry gaze with one of his own. "You have a reaper living in your house, Ray. You don't think he's mentioned his scary, deadlyboss once or twice?"
"Lucas exaggerates," the young Winchester pitifully argues back. She goes quiet for a few moments as she calms herself down before addressing Jack again. "Listen. Me and the guys…we've been working on this for a year, Jack. Doing this is the last shot I have at figuring out just what is going on with me. And yes, I know Dad filled you in on my whole 'I see dead people' thing. I have to do this, so please don't stand in my way."
The two stare at each other for a moment, neither willing to back down. Finally, Jack lets out a burst of air and runs his hands through his short hair. Rayan can feel some of the tension leave the air around them.
"You're really set on doing this?" Jack asks in a quiet voice, his blue eyes open and vulnerable. "I can't change your mind?"
Rayan simply shakes her head back and forth.
"Well then…I'm going in with you."
The declaration is a little unexpected to Rayan, who thought that Jack would simply walk away when he didn't get the results he had hoped for.
"What? Are you crazy?" Rayan asks. "I'm not letting you go in there. You're not ready and you could get hurt."
"Oh, just like you can't?" Jack argues back as he steps around Rayan and heads for the garage door. Rayan hurries behind, but doesn't get the other teen to stop until he reaches the piece of steel that separates them from the rest of the group. "Listen, you can get pissed and hate me all you want later. But right now, I'm going in there and I'm gonna stand by your side through this. Because if something happens to you and I could have stopped it, I'll never forgive myself."
With that, Jack pushes the door open and walks into the garage leaving a stunned Rayan behind him.
Wow. So...it's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that. And then, to make matters worse, when I come back to this story it's with a less than par chapter like this one. Someday I might fix it, or I might leave it in all it's less than acceptable glory. But I had a little burst of inspiration and I just felt like something needed to get out.
I hope that these updates will start coming regularly again, but I make no promises. And to the people who stuck with me after all this time:
Thank you, and I love you all.