Jess watched the tail lights of Dean's car fade out down the street. She wasn't quite sure what had just happened. It wasn't like Sam, at least the Sam she knew, to run off with a brother he only talked about when he was drunk and who he hadn't seen or heard from in over two years. Dean, however, had been sure Sam would come with him, even after breaking in, in the middle of the night. Sam had hedged, unwilling to give more information than strictly necessary (which was unusual), but he had been secretive the past few months anyway.
She knew why, of course. She had found the black box ferreted away in his underwear drawer like some illicit sex toy when she had gone to put away some of his boxers that had gotten mixed in with her laundry.
She was happy about the box now. It was a reassurance that he wouldn't run when she told him. If there was anything to tell, she reminded herself. Her hand drifted to her abdomen, just below her belly button. Last month she had been sure it was because of the stress of classes starting and moving in with Sam, officially. Now she was a lot surer it was something else. The thought hadn't seriously crossed her mind until a couple nights previous when Sam had commented on her boobs seeming bigger. Suddenly her moodiness and sudden aversion to coffee made sense.
She had planned to say something to Sam tomorrow and take a test. Now she could take the test alone, and not have to worry Sam if it was nothing. It wasn't that she didn't want a family with Sam; she just wanted better timing. Timing that would require middle of the night feeding as Sam started law school and interviewing for grad schools in maternity clothes. It was what it was, though.
She glanced at the clock. It was 2AM. She could finish worrying in the morning. It didn't mean sleep came easily. She had gotten used to sleeping next to Sam. They had spent exactly four nights apart since January, including tonight. The other three had been the weekend she had gone home to pack her childhood bedroom and had insisted Sam stay and finish painting over the ugly avocado green the previous tenants had simply endured.
She had come home to find Sam splattered in paint, and only a room and a half actually painted. He splashed her with paint when she laughed at his ineptitude, leading in stereotypical fashion to an all-out paint war. They had sex against the wall and her back had been covered in paint. They had proceeded to christen the shower as well. Jess fell asleep to the memories of moving in.
She woke late the next day. It was nice having nowhere to be. She lay in bed for a few moments after she woke, enjoying the warmth of the late morning sun and being able to stretch across the bed without getting tangled in Sam's long limbs (she may have missed that part, just a little). As consciousness came back to her increments, she remembered what her morning was supposed to consist of. A thrill of fear shot through her abdomen. She felt the press of her bladder and realized in a few minutes she would know if she was going to spend the rest of her life as a mother. She tried to savor the moment, remember the feeling.
She hauled herself out of bed. She grabbed the pregnancy test she had hidden in a tampon box and made her way into the bathroom. She peed on the stick, still marveling at just how expensive the thing was. She turned it face down on the counter. She checked the clock in the bedroom, washed her hands and brushed her teeth. She checked the clock again and smiled to herself. Suddenly she knew what the test would say and really did start to savor the moment. Then she flipped the test over.
It was positive. Jess dropped the test on the counter.Her hand went to her lower abdomen. She thought she might need to cry. She waited. A few tears dripped down her face, but she wasn't sure what kind of tears they were.
That made her pause. She wasn't much of a crier. Her tears almost always had purpose- she could remember two times in her life she had cried without some kind of impetus. These weren't sad tears.
Thinking back to the day they had made the baby they definitely were not sad tears. The whole thing was a little unexpected. They were good about using protection, but that day she had been happy to see Sam and had been so eager to get on with it they hadn't thought anything of it, muttering vaguely about what was going to happen was going to happen.
Half-jokingly, Sam had started to store condoms in every room in the apartment. They'd had to re-stock most of rooms (she figured they had the excuse of having just moved in together). So it was unexpected but she wasn't upset. She had known from the moment she saw Sam walk into that party with Brady that she would spend the rest of her life with him, and for her that included babies.
She already knew they weren't happy tears, either, not really. The timing was awful. They were in no way ready for kids, but she also had the feeling that this wouldn't be a bad thing. She felt like Sam would be happy about it. She felt a thrill of excitement at the thought of telling him.
She went downstairs and made herself some eggs. She grinned. She couldn't keep the smile off her face. She was excited. She knew Sam was going to be excited. She needed to call her mother. She couldn't tell her, not until she told Sam, but she just needed to talk to her.
After she finished cleaning the breakfast dishes she flopped down on the couch, phone in hand. She had to take a couple of deep breaths to prevent bursting out with the news the second she picked up. Ok, she was ready. The phone rang.
"Hey sweetie. I wasn't expecting you to call. Everything ok?"
"Yeah. Everything's fine. Sam had an unexpected boys' weekend with his brother, so I thought I'd check in. How're things with you?"
"Things are great. We're about to get the big shipment of books, which means we're going to have a lot going into the free bin."
"Did you ever follow-up on the women's shelter idea?" Jess asked
"It's caught up in red tape. Hopefully we can donate some of the books this year, and get something worked out for later."
"That was brilliant though."
"You know that. I know that. The board doesn't know that, yet."
"I hope you're right sweetie. How's everything there? Classes?" Her mother was always curious about her life.
"Classes, are well, classes. They're work, but I'm loving the art class."
"I knew you would. What about your literature classes?"
"If I read one more article on post-modernism I'm going to scream. The early twentieth century one isn't half bad, though."
"And how's my favorite boyfriend?" Every time Jess' mom brought up Sam she got the ring in her voice that screamed to be allowed in on her daughter's secrets, and to just be one of the girls. Jess couldn't blame her. Sam was smokin'.
"He's great. We went out last night to celebrate his LSAT victory. A 183. Can you believe it?"
"I can. You snagged a brilliant man, Jess."
"Oh, I know. Gorgeous too. He even cleans."
"I haven't been able to get your father to do that for twenty-five years."
"I'll count my blessings then."
"Are you sure you're ok, Jess? The last time you sounded this happy you were trying to hide an appendectomy from me."
"I'm great, Mom. I'm really, really great."
"What aren't you telling me Jessica Lee Moore?"
"Nothing. I'm not hiding anything."
"A mother knows."
Jess hesitated. She wanted Sam to be the first to know. It was only fair. On the other hand though she was screaming to tell someone. She had never been able to keep good news to herself.
"You have to swear to not tell Sam. Or Dad. Or anyone. And you absolutely cannot scream." Jess could hear her mother's brain working.
"I swear. On your life."
"I'm pregnant." Ok, so the cat was out of the bag, but she had to tell somebody.
"Jess, oh Jess! You weren't planning this were you?"
"No, in fact the timing is sort of awful, with Sam starting law school next fall, but still, you get to be a grandma!" The excitement she had been holding in for the past few hours spilled out of her.
"Oh my goodness! Sam doesn't know yet?"
"I just found out this morning."
"Do you have an idea of how far along you are?"
"I haven't even been to the doctor yet, but our only, uh, slip-up," Jess blushed in spite of herself. Telling her mother was one thing- telling her how was another altogether, apparently. "Was the weekend I came to get my stuff. So about eight or nine weeks I'd guess."
"Oh I can't wait to find out! I need to start buying clothes! You are keeping it, right? I mean, not exercising your right to choose, and all that?"
"I'm keeping this baby. I'm just hoping he or she doesn't inherit Sam's size. God."
"Oh, your body knows how to handle that. Are you sure Sam wants it?"
"I'm reasonably sure he does." Jess couldn't keep the I-know-something-you-don't-know tone out of her voice.
"Another secret? One I don't know about either?"
"There's an engagement ring sitting in Sam's underwear drawer. It's been there for about a month. I think he's just waiting for the right time."
"I bet that's why his brother came by."
"Ooh, I hadn't thought of that."
"So, he wants it?"
"He's going to be surprised. That's for sure. But yeah, I think he's going to be happy. He always said he wanted kids."
"I'm so happy for you. Oh, I'm forty- five, Jess. I'm too young to be a grandmother."
"You'll be forty-six when it's born."
"Oh that doesn't help. Do you need anything?"
"Don't tell anyone. I mean it, Mom."
"Oh, I won't. Just hurry and tell Sam."
"I'm telling him as soon as he gets home."
"Oh, this is great. And a wedding."
"Maybe a wedding. We might wait until the baby is born."
"It doesn't matter darling."
"Ok. I do need to get going. Homework to do. Daydreams to have."
"About an adorable little baby with Sam's eyes and nose right?"
"Right. Although maybe his ears. I mean Sam's nose? On a baby?"
"He had it when he was one."
"Fair enough. I'll talk to you later, grandma."
"Oh, don't. I love you."
"Love you, too."
Jess hung up, and stretched. The sun was streaming through the window at the perfect angle, and she felt like a cat stretched out in a sunbeam. She allowed herself a moment of fantasy, of holding a chubby baby girl, with Sam's eyes and his dark hair, and her nose, definitely her nose, and Sam coming in and bouncing the baby up and down. She could see her daughter fighting with her siblings, and learning to ride a bike, and getting scared when her daddy let go of the back and falling and skinning her knee. She could see herself getting teary-eyed when her oldest left for college, and catching Sam crying after he'd walked her down the aisle.
Eventually she admitted she did have to do homework. She cracked open the articles she needed to read. She worked on her paper. She did what needed to be done around the apartment. She filled her day, feeling happy and glowing. She was ready for Sam to get home tomorrow. She went to bed early, bored, and tired, figuring some rest wouldn't hurt.
Jess was decidedly less happy and glowing the next morning when her stomach woke her with a lurch at six. She barely made it to the bathroom before she became acquainted with the taste of last night's dinner. Apparently now that her brain knew she was pregnant her body was going to start to take advantage of that. She hauled herself off the bathroom floor and brushed her teeth.
She decided dry toast was a perfectly acceptable way to start her day. She put it in the toaster and went outside to grab the paper while she waited for it to pop up. She tossed it on the table, and grabbed her breakfast.
She read as she ate. They only subscribed to the Sunday paper because of the student interest section and the obituaries. It was kind of a waste of money, but it was nice to get the news from somewhere other than the TV once a week. Sam liked to read the obituaries.She had been sort of confused by it at first. He had explained it was something he and Dean had done as kids to keep themselves entertained, trying to find the strangest death. Eventually it became one of those things that made Sam, Sam.
There were a lot of those quirks. The most alarming was the knife he kept in the bedside table. It was big and, honestly, she didn't think a knife that big belonged outside the kitchen.
The excuse he had offered was lame. She didn't know a whole lot about his childhood beyond that his mother died in a fire when he was six months old, and his father had carted him and his brother around the country, looking for work after that. She imagined it hadn't been easy and that some parts were rougher than her suburban brain could imagine. There was no doubt something that had happened that made it hard for him to sleep without a knife in easy reach. She let it be. He would tell her eventually.
After she ate she brought her books downstairs, and thought she would finish her paper. She was too nervous to focus. She knew tonight would go well, but that didn't stop her from imagining the various ways things couldn't go right. She imagined Sam walking away. About ten she gave up trying. It was time to go to a guaranteed distraction. She was going to bake cookies.
They were out of chocolate chips and brown sugar. How were they out of brown sugar? Did that even happen? She guessed it did. She figured a run to the grocery store would be well worth it. There would even be fresh cookies when Sam got home. If that wasn't a great welcome, she didn't know what was.
An hour later she was back in the kitchen, organizing her supplies. The dough was the perfect consistency, and she decided pasteurized eggs were the best idea humanity ever had. Raw cookie dough was the second best. Most of the dough did make it onto sheet pans though, and the apartment quickly filled with the smell. Too soon, she pulled out the last batch.
She did the dishes, cursing the sticky dough in the bowl. Cleaning up was her least favorite part of cooking. She watched the soapy water drain from the sink, swirling and catching the light. It was pretty. She washed her hands, and piled cookies on a plate. She had an idea when she spotted the sticky notes on by the phone. She wrote 'I have good news. Welcome home, baby' on one and put it on top of the cookies.
She was ready for Sam to be back. She needed a shower. She was about to head upstairs when there was a knock on the door. She stood on her tiptoes to see through the peephole. It was Brady, Sam's old roommate. She wondered what he wanted. She opened the door.
"Hey Brady. What's up?"
"Uh, can I come in?"
"Sure. Of course." She stood aside and ushered him inside.
"That smells really good." Jess smiled at the compliment, and began walking towards the kitchen.
"Yeah. I got bored so I made some cookies. You want some?"
"No, Jessica. I don't." Brady's voice became steely, unlike anything she had ever heard come out of him. She turned around. His eyes were a solid black.
"You aren't Brady." She knew that much.
"You are quick on your feet."
"What are you?" She edged away. She thought of the knife upstairs, and had the feeling it might help her now. She bolted for the stairs. She was yanked back by her arm. Brady was still across the room.
"Jess, Jess, Jess. It's not that easy. I have a mission, and that hunter boyfriend of yours isn't even around to make it fun. Demon, by the way. Nice to meet you."
"Hunter? Demon? Brady this isn't funny."
"Oh, I haven't been Brady for a long, long time. It is a nice meat suit though, don't you think? I don't believe Sammy's never told you what he does."
"He, he hunts demons?" The pieces fell into place, and strange as it was, it kind of made sense.
"And monsters, and really whatever other unholy creatures stalk the lower forty-eight. He will be in for a nasty surprise."
"You aren't going to kill me."
"Feisty, too." Brady tackled her to the ground. She felt a few ribs crack and the pain nearly blinded her. She started throwing punches, invoking every self-defense technique she knew.
"Just go." All she could think of was getting to that knife.
"I'm working on orders from above. They seem to think dear, sweet Sammy is getting a little too happy with you. Going soft."
"It's Sam," she spat.
"So you see, I have to kill you. Nothing personal, doll, just business." He slammed her head against the floor and everything went black.
It was dark when she woke up. She realized she was looking at her bedroom in a way she had never seen it before. For a second she thought she was already dead. Then she realized she could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She was on the ceiling. Sam was right. The bedspread really was ugly. She saw Brady, or what had been Brady below her.
"Seems like Sammy's home. I'm gonna turn the shower on and then be out of your hair. See you in Hell, Jess."
"Oh, I know," it called from the bathroom. The demon came back into the room and opened the window, jumping gracefully to the ground.
She suddenly realized this was how Sam's mom died. She didn't know how she knew, maybe it was the clarity of impending death. They wanted him to suffer. They wanted him to get revenge. She heard Sam coming upstairs.
Her abdomen opened up. It was like fire and ice running through her intestines, and it was everything she could do to not scream. The bedroom door opened and Sam lay down. She realized he thought she was in the shower. His eyes closed. She felt blood begin to drip from her. It hit him on the forehead. His eyes flew open and he scampered to sitting when he saw her. Her last living thought before the fire consumed her was that at least he didn't know about the baby.
Her first sensation was a kicking coming from inside her. She opened her eyes, and saw her distended stomach. It had just been a dream. Then she felt the first knife sink into her. She looked up into familiar hazel eyes.
A/N: Reviews are lovely. And they make me happy. So please?