It takes Jo a few minutes to realize that the redhead looking hesitantly at her across the bar is the girl who’d saved her ass in southern Ohio a couple weeks back. Right up until then the only thing that had kept her believing that this might be the countdown to the capital-A Apocalypse was that Ash had thought so, but that?
She shivers, throws off the memory (the ground opening up and—) and smiles back at the redhead. Emma? Ann? No, Anna, that was it, no last name given between whatever she’d done that threw up a wall of fire behind them—Jo hadn’t seen the gas can or a lighter but she’d been kind of distracted—and however she’d gotten Jo back to her car—rail-thin and bloodied up as she was she’d made it seem like Jo was no bigger than a half-drowned kitten.
Jo has questions for this Anna.
The faint upward turn of Anna’s mouth widens to a full-on grin, and she threads her way through to Jo so easily nobody even seems to notice her go by.
Questions. Lots of them.
“It’s taken care of,” Anna says quietly when she reaches Jo. Her hair glints red as blood in the dim light.
“The thing you were here for.”
“I want answers,” Jo says.
Anna nods as if she’d expected it. “Not here, though. I have a hotel room?”
Yeah, right, Jo’s going to go off someplace with a total stranger who has some kind of freaky powers. (Sam has freaky powers, she reminds herself. Kind of. Nothing like Anna’s, though.) “I have a car,” she says.
Anna smiles. “Lead the way.”
Jo’s car is marked up with all kinds of protective sigils under the paint, things she’d found and things Ash had found for her when she told him she was going hunting whether her mom liked it or not. There’s a devil’s trap over the passenger seat, salt in the paint (yeah, rust, whatever), holy water soaking the seat covers. Other stuff, too, but—Apocalypse. She’s expecting demons if she’s expecting anything.
Anna arranges herself in the passenger seat and looks expectantly at Jo. She has an air of unnatural stillness about her, something eerie and inhuman.
Jo takes a deep breath. (Her father’s knife in her pocket. Salt-packed shotgun next to the seat. More knives. More guns. Silver. Iron. Lead stolen from a church roof. Squirt gun filled with holy water.) “What are you?”
“I’m an angel,” Anna says, and Jo shouldn’t believe her but she kind of does. The Apocalypse is upon them. It’s—it’s kind of nice to know that it’s not just humans against the forces of Hell. “Your name is Jo Harvelle, and you’re part of the Winchesters’ family.”
“I...what?” Jo hadn’t quite thought of it that way, not like that, not with everything just as it is, but—yeah. Sure.
Anna peers at her, eyes bright and alien and searching in a way that makes Jo want to pull a blanket over her insides and hide, and then nods. “We’re trying to stop the Apocalypse, and we could use some help.”
“Give me a minute,” Jo says, and closes her eyes. (Stupid, her mom would say, Jo, you’re going to get yourself killed just like your father did!, but if an angel can’t kill her even with both eyes open someone’s been lying. What even hurts an angel?) The Apocalypse, really and truly, not just a guess, not just even Ash’s best guesses backed up with research and her own spiking panic—
There are fingertips touching her face, and she’s calmer.
“What are you doing?” Jo asks, glaring at Anna.
Anna withdraws her fingers, folds her hands awkwardly together in her lap. “You were upset,” she says.
“If I’m going to help you,” Jo says, and it’s not an if, not at all—if she can do anything at all to stop this she’s got to—but she’s not admitting that yet, “you don’t...do that. Okay?”
“I’m sorry,” says Anna, and she actually looks like she might be.
Angels, what the hell.
“Okay,” Jo says. “This Apocalypse thing—what do I need to do?”
Anna doesn’t smile this time, but her face goes lighter and softer than it’s been yet. Calmer. Something warm bubbles up inside Jo, pride or accomplishment or, geez, sympathy even—sympathy for an angel, like they need her worrying about them.
Well—Apocalypse. Maybe they do. If worrying will help, Jo’s willing to give it a try.