Just to warn people, this is not going to be a romantic story. If I progress far enough, there might be some, but it probably won't be with Sam or Dean. If that's what you're looking for, you're going to be disappointed.
Also, take note that it's been a while, but I think this starts somewhere in Season 5, after the Apocalypse has begun, but other than that there's not a whole lot of continuity canon-wise. I took some liberties. A lot, actually. Hopefully you'll still enjoy!
Chapter One: Hitchhiking
Jay ambled along the shoulder of a highway with her left arm stretched out, hand curled into a fist, and thumb sticking up in a half-hearted attempt to catch the attention of passing drivers. She didn't have much hope. Two days ago she'd walked for miles and miles, all day and well into the night, before finding Marla's Inn, a shabby motel of questionable cleanliness. A bed, though, was a bed - and yesterday night she'd had to forego even that, finding the softest spot of hidden ground and collapsing on her sleeping bag next to her exhausted mutt, Charlie.
Seven days ago Jay had been able to hitch a ride from Allie, a heavy but friendly trucker who liked to rant about politics and whose destination was Nashville, Tennessee. Drivers like Allie rarely came along - not many people were willing to pick up a hitchhiker, let alone their dog, and then travel many miles with them and then set them up in a three star hotel that served real bacon with their complementary breakfast. So Jay had stayed with Allie for quite a bit longer than she'd anticipated. Almost three days, actually, which was by far the longest time Jay had stayed with the any driver. But after Nashville, they'd had to say their goodbyes. Jay had been getting a little antsy anyways, but now that Allie was gone, so were the three star hotels, the bacon, and the long, intelligent, and informed rants about women's rights. Jay had let her go on, nodding here at there, but mostly she had enjoyed pushing the noise to the background, fiddling with the bracelet on her right hand and pondering it.
Jay sincerely regretted parting with Allie. So did Charlie, for whom bacon had been packed into a neat paper bag. It had long since run out.
She started as Charlie nuzzled her hand and whined.
"Me too, Charlie, me too." She said, temporarily taking down her thumb to rub her eyes. "But we have to find a hotel. I sure as hell ain't staying out here for another night. It's just creepy."
Charlie gave her a look that said "Jay, I have to sleep outside almost every night, and by God you sleep with a shotgun. What do you have to complain about?"
"Shut up Charlie." Jay scowled and shooed him. "What are you doing up here anyways? Nobody'll stop for sure if you're in plain sight." Jay had long since discovered their chances fared better if drivers were unaware that a dog was involved; when they found out that there were, in fact, two passengers to take, they often felt too guilty to refuse just one more guest. More than once, though, Jay had run across drivers who claimed to be allergic. Lies or no, she didn't exactly have a say in the matter. As for hotels, once in a while Charlie slept outside, but when Jay could get a room on the first floor she snuck him in through the window. Charlie was smart; when he was in a hotel room, he kept his mouth shut. The last thing they needed was to be kicked out of a room that had a bed, toilet and shower.
Charlie barked a short, gruff bark that indicated his displeasure at having to walk such a distance from Jay, but he padded back down the slope and strolled along at the bottom, hidden from the view of unsuspecting passerby. Jay took a moment to twist her bracelet before lifting her arm again.
She made sure her arm was out and her thumb was up, then she resumed her zombie-like state and continued on, trying to conserve as much energy as possible. For this reason, she was barely aware of the black Impala that slowed beside her until the man in the passenger's seat rolled down his window and said "Hey."
Jay's head jerked up as she snapped to attention.
"Need a ride?" the man asked. Jay took a moment to survey him and the driver, who impatiently tapped at the wheel with his thumbs and refused to look in her direction. The idea of stopping for a hitchhiker was certainly not his.
"Yeah," Jay said, observing the man and the driver, who tapped impatiently at the wheel with his thumbs and refused to look in her direction. The idea to stop for a hitchhiker was certainly not his.
"Where you headed?" asked the passenger seat man, ignoring the driver.
Jay looked down the long stretch of highway, pointed and said, "That way."
The passenger seat man shook his head a little a chuckled. "Okay then. Let's go."
Jay knew that, as a young woman, accepting a ride from two grown male strangers was quite the opposite of careful, safe, and smart, but at this point, she could not have cared less. She was tired, her feet were sore, and she would give them a chance to at least reject Charlie (or for Charlie to reject them, as he had previously done with dangerous drivers) before giving up on the first offer she'd had in days.
"Can I just toss my stuff in the back?" Jay asked.
"Careful with my seats." growled the driver. The man in the passenger's seat threw him a dirty look. Jay slipped her backpack and sleeping bag off her shoulders and carefully set them on the seat. She stood for a moment by the open door.
"Come on, hop in." the passenger seat man said when Jay paused.
"Um . . . just one more thing," Jay said slowly, "Do you mind dogs?"
The driver finally looked up at her with an expression half of horror and half of disbelief. "What?"
Jay whistled. "Charlie!" Charlie came bounding up the hill, panting, and sat happily at Jay's feet. She could see that the mutt was trying to look as presentable as possible, but Charlie was just as dirty and ragged as she was.
"Hell no," said the driver. "Hell. No."
"Dean," said the passenger seat man, in a tone that clearly said, Dude, come on.
Dean the Driver rolled his eyes and grunted. "Fine. Bring the damn dog. But if he pisses in my car you're out on your ass." he added gruffly.
"Awesome," said Jay. "Thanks a lot, guys." Charlie jumped in first, sniffed around, deemed it worthy and moved aside for Jay. She sat down and smoothly shut the door.
"I'm Sam," said Sam the passenger seat man, "This is my brother, Dean."
"Call me Jay. This is Charlie."
Charlie barked as if to confirm this. Dean the Driver seemed irritated, so Jay rubbed Charlie's neck and told him to shush.
"Where are you guys going?" Jay asked.
"Ohio," said Sam.
"Well," Jay sat back, using her rolled-up sleeping bag as a pillow, "I guess I'm going there too. After we get into Ohio, you can just drop me off at the first reasonably-sized town we get to."
"Oh yeah," growled Dean, "Go ahead, get comfortable. I don't mind."
"Pay no attention to this jerk." said Sam. He considered Jay's obvious lack of hygiene, rumpled clothing, and general worn-out vibe. "What kind of dog is that?"
"A mutt," Jay said lovingly, kissing Charlie on the head. "I really don't know. The rancher I got him from said he was part labrador, part Australian blue something . . ."
"Does he bite?" Sam asked, reaching his hand slowly towards Charlie.
"Yes and no," said Jay, and Sam's hand retreated. "Um, I wouldn't try to pet him yet. Maybe if you got to know him better. He's very protective." On cue, Charlie walked onto Jay's lap and lay there, looking up at Sam as if to say I dare you. However, he did not growl.
"Any tricks?" Sam asked.
"Yes, does he play dead?" Dean muttered. Jay shot him a glare. Charlie joined her.
"No, no tricks. Not really." said Jay. Then she let out a huge yawn before she could stop herself. It was embarrassingly long. Sam chuckled.
"Go ahead and rest," he said, "We'll warn you before we hit Ohio."
"Thanks," muttered Jay. She had already arranged her backpack into a comfortable pillow and lay back against it, then stretched her legs, so she took up most of the back seat. Charlie found a space half beside her, half on her stomach. She took a blanket, covered herself up to her shoulders and then lay her jacket over her head.
"So why-" but Sam was interrupted by a gentle snore. Jay, whose energy had been spent hours before, was already asleep.
Dean ran through a mental checklist while Sam tested Jay for everything. Iron, holy water, cameras, mirrors, the works.
"You can't be serious," said Dean, when Sam shook his head again.
"She's clean. Besides, if she were out to get us, why sleep?"
"Are you-you gotta be-son of a bitch. What. The hell. This is just freakin' perfect." Dean said, when Jay's snores were loud and steady. "We go find a haunted highway and get a real hitcher instead? Whose idea was this? How can we do any hunting with her in the back seat? Eh? Tell me, Sam."
"Don't be such a jerk." said Sam. "So I decided we should pick up a real hitcher instead of a monster. Big deal. She's harmless. And Bobby called me back and said some other hunters already took care of the ghost. Besides, the real prize is Ohio, and we won't be doing much until then anyways."
"Oh, really?" Dean countered. "Because last I checked, we are driving through a hot spot of evil activity and the chances that we'll make it through a state without being harassed by some demons or, or, freaking angels are like, one in a million. A million bajillion."
"A million bajillion. Really."
"Yes. That's how bad it is. You're lucky I didn't just go with 'zero.'"
"Well what do you want to do?"
"Wake her up. Kick her and her stupid dog out."
"Now? In the middle of the night, really? Dean, that'd be worse than if she were with us and we met something."
Dean grunted. "I'm just saying I don't like it, alright. I just have this bad feeling. We're going to get into some kind of trouble, and she's gonna get involved, and then that's just one more thing we'll have to worry about. Saving her. I don't need another harmless bystander on my conscience, okay?"
Sam couldn't disagree with that. "We'll drop her off, first thing tomorrow morning." he said. Then, at Dean's impatient look, she repeated. "Morning."
At this point, Charlie woke up, and Dean was horribly creeped out by his eyes' reflection in the rearview mirror. Sam and Dean spoke no more of Jay-although neither said anything abou it, they both felt like Charlie might've been listening for her.
However, the strange, awkward silence didn't last unbearably long. They made surprisingly good time on the road, and soon stopped by a motel. The night shift worker spoke to Dean through the car window, then sent them to a room on the first floor. Dean pulled the Impala up right in front of their door, turned off the car and patted the dashboard affectionately, not unlike the way Jay had patted Charlie earlier. The brothers looked into the back seat at the same time and were glad to see Charlie had gone back to sleep.
"I guess we could just let her sleep in the car." Sam said doubtfully.
"What if she wakes up in the middle of the night? Or before we wake up in the morning? What if she knows how to hotwire a car?"
Sam rolled his eyes. "Look, how about we just-"
But Sam's suggestion was cut off when two demons on either side of the Impala whipped open the front doors, reached in and grabbed a brother each.