Deanna Winchester has lost track of the number of times she's been called a whore.
She wears tight denim, black leather, red lipstick, and a smirk that looks like sin. Her skin is littered with ink and metal and she favors the kind of dives that 'good' girls only enter in giggling packs. She swears like a sailor, drinks bikers under the table while winning their last dollar, and she can lay out a man twice her size with one well-placed blow from her steel toed boots.
She’s loud, brash, arrogant, and she’s never backed down from a fight in her life.
She also fucks whoever she wants to fuck, but she's pretty sure that has less to do with the reasons behind the epithet than everything else about her.
Her father was the first. Spitting the word at her like one of his fists when she’d stumbled into their latest hotel room at fifteen, cheeks flushed, hair disheveled, and jaw aching. She'd been fighting, not fucking, but John Winchester never saw anything but disappointment in his eldest daughter and she never bothered to correct him.
He’d invoked her mother. The forbidden, invisible, specter, haunting them with more determination than any of the restless spirits they’d faced. She’d spat angry words back, aching in entirely different ways. It might have descended into actual fists if Sammy hadn’t woken up, her eyes large and distressed and her lower lip trembling with unshed tears.
It had only been two years since her little sister had learned the truth about monsters, and Deanna intended to protect what little innocence she had left. She’d led her back to bed, curling around her and whispering stories until Sammy fell asleep. She’d spent the rest of the night staring at the hotel room door John had disappeared through, hand on the Colt under her pillow, until the sun came up and it was time to get Sammy ready for school.
He’d never apologized, but he never said it again either.
Plenty of others did. Boys she wouldn’t sleep with. Men she wouldn’t sleep with. Girls who thought hurting other girls was the best way to defend themselves. Fellow hunters rarely did, wary and respectful of her father, and later, of her. But the rest of the world? Blind victims living the life she’d never had a chance at? For them whore was just another way to say she didn’t fit, even if they didn’t really understand why.
The only time she ever punched someone for using the word was the first time someone said it to Sammy. Seventeen, too tall, too smart, and filled with a tangled up ball of anger and hurt and envy that got worse every time she got in a screaming match with their father. Sammy fit even less than Deanna in some ways, so desperate to have a normal life that she’d never figured out how to make standing out into an asset instead of a liability, never figured out that different could be just as good of camouflage as familiarity.
So she didn’t even notice the boys checking her out, too busy telling Deanna about her SAT scores, until they were passing them on the sidewalk and even Sammy’s ability to tune out the world couldn’t ignore the increasingly graphic propositions. She’d flipped them off, not even bothering to turn around, and Deanna had seen the exact moment when the ringleader’s face twisted into an ugly snarl. “Whatever, whore,” he’d muttered, and Deanna’d cold-cocked him before she even realized her fist was moving.
Sammy had dragged her away before Deanna could lay into the rest of them, putting up an irritated front even as she’d fussed over Deanna’s knuckles. That night, Sammy had crawled into bed with her for the first time since she’d turned thirteen. “No matter what, you’ll always be my sister,” she’d said, in the kind of whisper girls used at the sleepovers Deanna’d never been invited to.
Deanna had smiled and agreed and then complained about Sammy stealing the covers, far too stupid to realize that Sammy was telling her goodbye.
After Sammy left, after John blew up at her for letting her sister go, for failing to protect—control—her, Deanna’d gone straight to the nearest bar and started a brawl with the first man who’d leered in her direction. It hadn’t helped, and after that she’d returned to her usual policy of laughing off whatever insults were slung her way, whore or otherwise.
She’s never been good at getting angry on her own behalf and Sammy didn’t need her anymore.
Staring at the darkened apartment her sister is sleeping inside of, Deanna wonders if she remembers her promise. If Sammy’s going to be happy to see her big sister, or if she still has no interest in letting anyone else fight her battles. Still has no interest in fighting any battles at all.
She grimaces and picks a window. There’s only one way to find out.