It felt good to be back at Stanford- the familiar flow of classes, parties, and Jess felt good, normal even. Jess had gasped slightly when I explained about the sheer number of stiches in my body, but simply said she would help me change the bandages on my back. Her quiet acceptance of my injuries alarmed me; to the point that I may have done a few tests to make sure Jess was Jess when she slept one night. I knew she suspected that there was something I wasn't telling her, she had to- I just didn't understand why she didn't ask what it was. Her perpetual curiosity was part of what interested me in her- she always wanted to know why. I guessed that she figured it may be possible she didn't want to know what I did with my brother, that she was afraid of the answer. She was right there-she didn't want to know. I counted my lucky stars she didn't ask, because if she asked me directly- what we did, why I came back injured, why I was always armed I wasn't sure I would be able to lie. As much as I wanted her to maintain that innocence I wanted her safe more, and if she asked there would be no choice. She needed to be able to protect herself- I put her in danger just by knowing her name.
When Dean arrived a week later to take out the stiches he had asked after her, if he was going to get to meet her. I told him the truth- she was in San Diego for the weekend with her sister doing a fitting for her bridesmaid dress, and helping taking care of some the last minute wedding details. I would be headed down with her the next weekend for the actual wedding. I was nervous as hell; I would be meeting her family for the first time, and desperately didn't want to mess it up. He joked about me making her up, but otherwise didn't say much more about her.
"So where are you headed after this?"
"There are a couple of ghouls in rural Vermont I'm gonna go help Dad with."
"They're ghouls." I had yet to meet a hunter who enjoyed hunting ghouls. Everyone has the creature that brought some perverse joy to kill, but ghouls were nasty business. No one wanted to hunt them, and they only did because it was practically a job requirement. Dean finished pulling out the last of the stiches, and I stretched properly for the first time in 10 days.
"Yeah. Just try not to become Frankenstein's monster next time."
"Try not to shoot me next time." It probably should have bothered me we could joke about accidently shooting each other, but I accepted it as part of the odd balance I had managed to strike. Dean laughed.
"I'll try not to." We joked a bit more and I insisted on showing him around campus as he had really only seen the dorm and the library. Eventually though we both realized he probably needed to leave.
"Another six weeks."
"Yeah. You'll make it."
"It's not running out of things to do that I'm worried about."
"You were right, Sam. Ii can't ask you to leave school whenever."
"Don't worry about it Dean. It's what needed to be done."
"It's just- you have a life here. Somehow you've managed to find a way to have both worlds and I can't let you mess that up."
"I won't, Dean. I mean I have a reason to keep coming home you know."
"I still don't believe she hasn't run."
"She's thought about I'm sure. I came back with a gunshot wound for Christ's sake."
We need to run, Sammy.
"You're still not going to tell her?"
"I'm starting to think you want me to, but no. If she asks about it, that'll change things but-"
"Then pray she doesn't ask. Don't want you to lose her."
"You too. Enjoy Vermont." He climbed into the Impala and drove off. I sighed, half of me wishing I was in the passenger seat- the price I paid. Deep down I knew that sooner or later I would have to choose, that I couldn't keep straddling these two worlds forever. I wasn't too attached to most of my life at Stanford- I had a few friends and a roommate who had started behaving oddly after Thanksgiving. I could leave all behind and not look back, but I couldn't leave Jess. I'd been irresistibly drawn to her since day one- it was her height that first attracted to me to her; she came to my shoulder in flats. Then I got to know her, and her spunk and vitality became everything I needed to see in the world. Part of me, of course, saw that she would make an amazing hunter-she was shockingly physical, and resourceful. I never wanted to see her in that life, though- no one deserved that life.
It was a few weeks later, after the wedding, on a Friday that so many of my greatest fears came true at once. We were walking home from a party, laughing. I felt normal for once, walking behind Jess, my arms around her, acting like we were, well, in love. We were both a little buzzed, pleasantly so, and we were happy. I bent down to nuzzle her neck, and I caught something out of the corner of my eye in the alley we were passing, and it was headed towards us. I froze and Jess looked at me, then down the alley.
"Do as I say, Jess." I felt her tense in my arms and I prepared to shove her behind me. I found myself praying that this would just be a run of the mill mugging. I could handle even the most experienced, armed mugger in my sleep. I was glad Jess hadn't questioned me, most people would have, but she knew whatever it was that she knew intuitively- she trusted me to protect her. I kept repeating to myself that it was just a run of the mill mugging. We would get away unharmed, and with the twenty dollars in our combined wallets to boot. I kept telling myself that in spite of the fact that every instinct and every hunter sense I possessed was telling me differently- practically screaming it at me. I was shocked when it was Brady, my roommate, that came out of the alley. I relaxed, just a little, still hoping that the pieces that had just clicked into place in my head weren't true.
"God, Brady, make some noise, man. You scared the crap out of us." He was standing in the shadows still, his eyes hidden, but street light wasn't glinting off of them right- they were far too dark for that. I gripped Jess more tightly- she was tense, she knew something was wrong. I knew she'd have questions after this; questions I would have to answer, no matter how much I didn't want to.
Least one of us is good at Latin, Sammy.
"That was my intention, Sammy."
"It's Sam." I was reaching for the holy water, as I muttered, "Christo." Brady's body flinched, and I knew.
"You bastard." I glanced down at her, and grinned. She had no idea what was going on, and she was still taunting him, following my lead.
"Ah, she is a feisty one. I supposed to wait you know, to kill her- orders from the top. Make it hurt more, but it's just too good to resist." I shoved Jess behind me, as I had been prepared to do, as he stepped into the light, black eyes glinting.
"Brady, you don't have to do this."
"Brady's gone, Sam. Didn't even last a day after I took over the meat suit. You really should choose more durable friends." We were in a tight spot- a homicidal demon, no devil's trap and I was stalling for time as I struggled to remember the exorcism chant. I felt Jess touch my waist- she was scared. Of course she was- sometimes I forgot most people weren't used to almost dying, or even being in situations where dying was even remotely possible on a regular basis. I reached down to give her hand a soft squeeze.
"I'm not going to make this easy for you."
"Oh, I count on it. She was supposed to burn on the ceiling like Mommy."
"Like hell." Brady flicked his hand towards Jess, and she gasped. Obviously Jess' words had made him decided that he was done playing. The words I was searching for welled up.
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursion infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica."
"Oh please, Sammy. You think you'll manage to get all of that out, without a Devil's trap?" He lunged, going for me now.
"Ergo draco maledicte et omnis legio diabolica adjuramus te. Cessa decipere humanas creaturas, eisque aeternae Perditionis venenum propinare. Vade, Satana, inventor et magister" He screamed, but caught my cheek nonetheless. "Omnis fallaciae, hostis humanae salutis. Humiliare sub potenti manu dei, contremisce et effuge, invocato a nobis sancto et terribili nomine, quem inferi tremunt." He got a few more swings in, impacting me. I had Jess against the back wall of the alley, shielding her from the demon. I grunted, and continued reciting.
"Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine. Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos. Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos." The body screamed, and collapsed as the black smoke exited and dissipated. He was dead, yet another casualty of knowing the Winchesters. Jess was leaning heavily on me, clutching her side, and confused and terrified. I wrapped my arms around her as carefully as I could, enveloping her, and pressed a kiss to the top her head.
"Sam what was that?" Yep, here were the questions. They needed answers, someplace safer than here.
"I'll answer everything baby. Let's get somewhere safe first." I grabbed her hand and moved quickly. We'd probably be one before they found Brady's body in the alley probably in a few days. We were back in my dorm, and I was spreading salt, much to Jess' confusion.
Always keep salt around, Sammy.
"Sam?" I went to sit on the bed next to her. She was cross-legged leaning against the wall.
"Let's see those injuries." She touched the side of my face.
"I'm okay. Did he crack a rib?"
"How am I supposed to know?"
"Let me see." I gently lifted her shirt, and although there was a dark purple bruise I knew she was okay, physically at least.
"Please tell me what that was."
"What did it want with me?"
"I'm not sure. You know me though, so it could be anything."
"If I hadn't seen it I'd think you were crazy."
"Yeah, yeah I know."
"So your brother-"
"We hunt supernatural beings, yeah." I sighed and ran my hands over my thighs.
"The injuries, all the scars."
"I was attacked by a werewolf, then Dean accidently shot me a few weeks ago. The scars on my chest, the ones I told you were from a mugging, those were from a wendigo."
"How did you get involved- I mean, it's not exactly the sort of thing you stumble into."
"My mom was killed when I was baby. She burned on the ceiling, and we don't what it was. My dad is hell-bent on finding it."
"Jess, I never wanted this. For you to know, to be a part of this world, but you're at risk. They know where I am, and for whatever reason they want to you."
"We need to leave."
"I know it's a lot to throw at you, and now I'm asking-"
"Sam, I understand. Well, not really. I'm confused as hell, and I have so many questions I don't even know which one to ask first. I trust you though, and getting you safe is the most important thing. There's time for the answers." I threw my head back, allowing it to impact the wall. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen.
"Let me call Dean. He'll come get us, then we need to get you packed. I'm so sorry Jess, you have no idea." She just handed me my phone. I punched in the number.
You're scaring me, Sammy.
"This is the emergency cell."
"We were attacked. There was a demon, and it wanted Jess dead. We're warded in now, but I'm gonna need to take Jess to get packed. I'm freaking out here, man."
"I'm on my way. What does she know?" Sure enough, I hear the Impala's engine kick it up a gear.
"As much as I could fit into the ten minutes we've had."
"Get her stuff. I'll be there in two hours." The phone went silent. I was aware of the silent tears falling down Jess' face. I enveloped her in my arms again.
"I'm so sorry, baby. I'm so sorry."
"We're really going to just leave everything behind?"
"We have to. It sucks, believe me, you have no idea, but we have to." This was the reaction I had expected, the one that made sense. She buried her face in my chest, snuffling every few minutes, but eventually, given some time she managed to pull herself together. We went out, carefully- Jess with the chant slipped up her sleeve, and holy water in her pocket now, to get her packed. It was a quick affair. Practical clothes, toiletries, and a few sentimental items. I looked at her sadly, knowing she would be living out of that bag for a long time to come. This wasn't fair. I get that we were dealt a crap hand, but why did it have to reach her? She didn't deserve this life, and she didn't deserve to find out about it like this. We moved quickly across campus, after she had given one more forlorn glance at her room. We barricaded ourselves in until Dean called.
"We're coming." We went down; I didn't bother glancing back at the room I'd shared with Brady. I splashed holy water in Dean's face when we got there; sparking an irritated look.
"Sorry. I'm just a little keyed up." Jess glared at me.
"Jessica Moore. I'm assuming you're this jerk's brother." I shifted uneasily.
"Dean Winchester. Welcome to our merry little band."
A/N: So by universal vote, we have this. We'll see Jess learn some things, have some actual Jess/Dean interaction next time, and a very guilty Sam. I'd love to hear what you all thought, so review please. Also credit goes to the Supernatural wiki for the exorcism chant.