Jess found them again in Iowa.
Sam looked wrecked to see her standing upright, and he couldn't stop shooting glances at her, as if he thought she might burst into flames again at any moment. Dean scowled suspiciously in her direction for weeks and barely spoke a word to her.
They performed every test and exorcism they could think of, of course. Jess didn't argue; she knew firsthand what they were up against. But as far as any of them could tell, she was miraculously, improbably, human.
"I wish you didn't hate me," she said to Dean once, when they were alone together, sitting side by side in the booth of a diner.
"I don't --" Dean started. "I just don't trust you, okay?"
"Me, too," Jess said honestly. "I have a hard time trusting any of this."
Like life, she wanted to say. My body. Sam. You.
She put her hand on his shoulder, where she knew he had a scar. When their eyes met, he nodded reluctantly.
The next day he gave her a gun and taught her how to use it.
She'd been traveling with them for almost a month before she kissed Sam, standing on the side of a street in the afternoon sun, waiting for Dean to come back with sandwiches. Sam kissed back, almost like a reflex, tilting his head down to hers just the way he used to. He pulled back after a moment, shocked, and said helplessly, "Jess --"
"I know," Jess said, because she understood. "It's about more than you and me, now."
Sam glanced into the deli, and then back at her, guilt written all over his features.
"It was always about more than just you and me," Jess said. "Even though I didn't realize it." Sam looked even guiltier. "And that's okay now," she added quickly. "There's three of us now. All three of us, okay?"
Sam nodded wordlessly, but he avoided eye contact with her for the rest of the day.
That night, in the dim light of the cheap motel room, Jess said softly, "I think one bed is big enough for all of us."
She held her hands out, one to each of them. Dean was shaking lightly when she gripped his palm, surprise and uncertainty and longing written on his features. Sam stared at her, eyes wide, and this time it wasn't because he thought she might not be real, but more like she was offering the only thing he'd ever wanted and had never known how to ask.
It turned out the bed wasn't big enough, exactly, but that was okay. They had time.