A crashing noise from the kitchen roused Rachel from her sleep, though Finn stayed asleep even as she slid out of bed and crept through the creaky bedroom door. Burglars weren't unheard of in the area—they lived in New York, after all—but around their apartment was a relatively quiet area.
That was what worried Rachel the most.
It didn't hit her to grab a weapon until it was too late, but the dark figure in the kitchen wouldn't be the wiser either way. Sucking in a breath, she tiptoed up behind the intruder and tossed a backhanded punch at them, gasping when they turned around and grabbed her fist, making a move to twist her arm behind her back; she grunted, kicking a foot out and catching him in the shin.
The momentary surprise it had didn't last, and Rachel found herself on her back with a familiar pair of mirthful caramel eyes looking down at her.
"Easy there, cupcake," and a smile, then Rachel frowned.
"Blaine?" she said exasperatedly, furrowing her eyebrows at her brother as he smirked and stood up, offering Rachel a hand and pulling her to her feet. "What are you doing here?"
Blaine clicked his tongue and shrugged. "I was looking for a drink, but you obviously had other things in mind," he explained, pointedly ignoring the death glare Rachel gave him until she cleared her throat loudly. "Okay, fine. We need to talk."
"Ever heard of a phone?" Rachel shot back.
"Would you have answered if I'd called? Would you really have picked up the phone?"
"Rach, what's going on?" came a voice from the doorway, and Rachel turned around to see Finn rubbing his eyes and giving Blaine a questioning look as he flicked on the lights. "What's with all the noise?"
"Sorry about that, Finn," Rachel said softly, turning back to face Blaine. "Blaine, this is my boyfriend, Finn. Finn, this is Blaine."
Finn cocked his head to the side. "Wait. Your brother, Blaine?"
Said brother winked at Finn. "Guilty as charged. So, uh, if you don't mind, I'm just borrowing your smoochy-puss here for some… family business."
"No, you're not," Rachel said decisively. "In fact, I'd rather say that you're on your way out the door."
A chuckle rose out of the back of Blaine's throat as he said, "Actually, I'm afraid I can't leave now. See, Dad hasn't been home in a few days." The last part of the sentence was directed at Rachel, and she shifted uncomfortably as Finn wrapped an arm around her.
"Maybe you should go with him," Finn whispered, holding her tighter. "I totally understand if you're having family issues."
Rachel shook her head, leaning into Finn. "No, it's okay," she replied. "Dad's probably just pulling extra hours on his shift. He'll turn up sooner or later."
"You don't understand."
"Understand what?" she asked, narrowing her eyes.
Blaine grew serious, mouth set in a line. "Dad's on a hunting trip," he said, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, "and he hasn't been home for a few days."
Rachel's brown eyes widened just a bit as she said, "Excuse us, Finn. We, uh, have to go outside."
"Get real, Blaine," Rachel sighed, following Blaine down the stairs that lead out of the apartment building. Their footsteps echoed in the empty stairwell as Blaine headed toward the outside door with fervor. "You can't seriously expect that breaking in during the middle of the night and telling me that Dad's gone will make me agree to hunt with you."
"Obviously, you weren't listening to me." Blaine spared her a glance back. "Dad's gone, and I need you to help me find him."
Rachel furrowed her eyebrows. "Do you remember that poltergeist in Amherst?" she asked, blowing her bangs out of her eyes. "Or the Devil's Gate in Clifton? Well, Dad was gone then too, but he always came back. In fact, he's always gone. And he's always fine."
Shaking his head, dark curls bouncing with the movement, Blaine replied, "Yeah, but never for this long. Now, are you coming with me, or not?"
She stopped, crossing her arms over her chest. "No. No, I'm not coming with you."
Blaine halted in his tracks and turned around to face her. "Well, why not?"
"Because I swore, years ago, that I was done with the hunting life," she answered, wrinkling her nose. "And that meant for good."
With a scoff, Blaine turned back around and started walking down the stairs again. "Oh, come on," he said, hearing Rachel following him again. "I know it wasn't that easy, but it wasn't terrible."
"Oh, really?" Rachel said in her 'Blaine, you are goddamned kidding me' voice, and Blaine could smell the bitchface she was pulling. "When I told Dad I was afraid of the monster in my closet, he gave me a .45. A .45, Blaine!"
"Well, what the hell was he supposed to do?"
Her jaw clenched. "I was only nine years old! He was supposed to say, 'Don't be afraid of the dark'! You know, like any rational father would!"
"'Don't be afraid of the dark'? You're kidding me, right?" Blaine's voice dripped with sarcasm. "Of course you should be afraid of the dark; you know what's out there. I know what's out there."
"Yeah," Rachel replied with a deep inhale and exhale. "Yeah, I know. Still. The way we grew up, after Mom was killed, and Dad's obsession to find whatever killed her. But we still haven't found it. So what do we do? We kill freaking everything we can find."
"We save a lot of people doing it, too," Blaine said offhandedly, a few feet from the metal door that opened into the parking lot.
Swallowing the lump in the back of her throat, Rachel said, softly, "Do you think Mom would've wanted this for us?"
Blaine just rolled his eyes and pushed open the door, walking out into the parking lot.
"All the weapons training, learning how to fight, and melting the silver into bullets?" Rachel continued, following her brother across the parking lot and over to the familiar black Impala. "Blaine, we were raised like warriors. Like it was our destiny or something."
"So, what are you going to do, then?" Blaine challenged, slowing his pace to a leisurely walk. "Are you just gonna live some normal, average life? Have a husband, two-point-five kids, a dog, and a white picket fence? Huh?"
Rachel shook her head. "No. Not normal. Safe."
"And that's why you ran away, right?" Blaine replied, not bothering to hide the bitterness to his tone.
She pinched the bridge of her nose. "I was just going to college! And, besides, Dad was the one who told me that if I left I shouldn't come back. I was just following orders."
Blaine sighed. "Well, Dad's in some serious trouble right now, if he's still alive. I can feel it. And I can't do this alone."
"Yes, you can," Rachel urged.
"Yeah, well, maybe I don't want to."
All was silent for a beat before Rachel opened her mouth and asked, "What was he hunting?"