Chapter 1: Prologue
I listened to the sound of the bathtub faucet dripping behind me as I sat perched on the edge of the tub and waited. I could hear the ticking sound of the timer as it counted down the minutes.
I clenched my hands together in my lap and tried to slow my breathing- I was nervous.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, the green plastic timer let out a cheerful sounding “ding!”
I took a deep breath and stood up, stomach twisting with nerves, then stepped over to the edge of the sink.
I picked up the pink and white applicator and peered at the tiny oval window- two blue lines. I bit my lip nervously and picked up the instructions again, finding the part that explained, “How to read your pregnancy test”.
One line was negative, two lines was positive.
Two blue lines.
This was a cheap test from the Dollar Store, maybe I should buy another one from a pharmacy and take it just to be sure? But I knew in my gut that it was correct. I'd been feeling nauseous for over a week now, and my breasts were starting to get tender. I had gone back and counted out the last couple of months, figuring out when I got my period and when I had most likely been fertile. We had been careful, I don't know how it happened.
Two blue lines.
I had to let Dean Winchester know.
I folded up the instructions to a tiny square and stuffed them into my jeans pocket, and then wrapped the pregnancy test in a swath of toilet paper. I slid it up my sleeve, and then picked up the timer to take it back to the kitchen.
As I walked in, my half-sister Tiffy asked, “Why you got the timer?” Her sharp little eyes didn't miss anything.
“I was, um, using it for science homework,” I lied, setting it on the counter, “Have you done all your homework?”
“I'm doin' it, gosh,” she said with annoyance, shifting in her chair.
I pulled some paper towels off of the roll and stood at the sink, furtively sneaking the test out of my sleeve and wrapping it in the towels. How was I going to get it into the trash can?
The twins came into the kitchen just then, arguing.
“Donatello is so the best!”
“No he isn't, Michaelangelo is the best!”
“Are you guys arguin' about them Ninjar Turtles again?” Tiffy rolled her eyes.
Troy pulled a box of crackers off of the shelf.
“Hey, lemme have some!” Tina exclaimed.
Tiffy clambered off of her chair and hurried over. “I want some too!”
While they were busy dividing the crackers, I went over to the trash can and shoved the wad of paper towels deep down into the trash, underneath this morning's used coffee grounds, egg shells, and napkins.
I walked over to the sink and washed my hands. “Not too many, guys, save room for dinner,” I told them.
“Yeah, yeah,” Troy rolled his eyes.
I pulled a pan out of the cabinet and set it on the stove.
“What we havin' ?” Tiffy asked.
“Pasta with meat sauce,” I told her.
“Again?” she complained.
“I'm using sausage meat this time instead of ground beef, it'll be different.”
“Prob'ly yucky,” she wrinkled her nose.
“Try it, you might like it. It won't taste that different.”
She huffed at me and sat down on her chair again, shoving a cracker into her mouth.
As I filled a pot with water for the pasta, and turned the burner on under the frying pan, I started to think. What was I going to do? If I really was pregnant...what were my options? I wasn't even old enough to get my driver's license. What would Dean say? What would everyone at school think? Oh my God, what would my parents say?
I started to feel panic rising, more anxiety twisting in the pit of my stomach, and I fought the tears that started to gather in my eyes. I took slow, deep breaths, grateful for the distraction of cooking, watching the meat in the pan slowly turn from pink to brown as I turned it, keeping an eye on the steam that rose from the pot as the water began to bubble.
I set the table by rote, walking around the table putting a plate and silverware at each place. It was the twin's job, but they never did it without a fight, and I didn't have the energy to deal with them right now. Tiffy picked up her notebook and Math book and shoved them into her backpack, and carried it into the living room.
I was grateful for the distraction that my half-siblings provided for once. The twins bickered, as usual, and Tiffy tried to join in, as usual. I could barely eat anything, and mostly just pushed the noodles around on my plate. None of them noticed my silence.
My step-father, Trent, came home halfway through dinner, smelling like sweat and machine oil. He was still wearing his coveralls from the factory.
“There enough left for me?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Daddy!” Tiffy hopped off the of chair and ran over to him with her arms out. She's still young enough that to her, parents are everything.
He put his hands up, “Don't hug me, sugar, I'm all a mess. Let me go shower.”
“Okaaay,” she said with disappointment, her shoulders drooping.
He chuckled, and leaned down to kiss the top of her head.
By the time he came back into the kitchen, the kids had finished eating and left the table. I was at the stove washing out the pots and pans I'd used for cooking. I felt calmer now, but I wasn't sure why.
He sat down at his place and began to serve himself.
“We got salt?” he asked.
I took the salt and pepper shakers off of the the microwave and carried them over to the table, placing them in front of him.
He glanced at me. “How's, uh, school?”
“Fine,” I said, “I've got a big test on Friday in English.”
He and Mom hated it when we kids gave them one word answers about school, so we had to tell them things that were happening. My mom had read an article about 'How To Engage With Your Kids' and apparently it said to ask for details about school, and to not accept simple answers.
He grunted and started to eat.
I finished loading all the dishes in the dishwasher, and then started to get food out to pack lunches for tomorrow.
I walked over to the doorway and called, “Guys! I need your lunchboxes!”
“Jesus Christ, do you have to yell?” Trent growled, “We've talked about that more than once.”
“S-sorry, it's just that they're supposed to bring their lunchboxes into the kitchen and they never do.”
In a couple of minutes, Tiffy and Tina came into the kitchen and placed their lunchboxes on the table. Tiffy walked over and climbed onto her dad's lap.
“Thanks,” I said to them, “Hey, want to help me?”
Tina shot me a look as she left. “No.”
The front door opened, and Mom came into the kitchen. “Whew, finally home. Traffic was awful today.”
She walked over and kissed Trent and Tiffy, then slumped into her chair.
“How was school?” she asked me.
“Fine, I have a test Friday that I need to study for,” I reported.
She served herself some food and started to eat. “This isn't ground beef.”
“No, it's sausage, I thought it might be nice to try something different.”
“I thought it tasted different...sausage?”
“Yeah, ground pork sausage.”
Trent glared at me. “Did you ask? Did you check and see if it was okay that you bought that? That's more expensive than ground beef, and we probably can't afford it!”
“I checked, I compared the prices, and it was on sale. It was only a couple more pennies than the same amount of ground beef,” I explained.
He slammed his fist down on the table. “God-dammit, I've talked to you about this before! You do not just go spending our money willy- nilly! We can't afford to go buying every expensive thing just because you want something different!”
“Geez, it's just some ground pork, it's not like I went out and bought lobster!” I snapped.
“Don't you talk to me that way!”
“You're grounded. Until next weekend,” Mom's voice was hard.
“Mom...c'mon, I have a babysitting job on Friday and I might go out Saturday...”
“Babysitting? Did you ask?” Mom frowned.
“Yes, I did, I checked with you! Please, I really need the money!”
“What d'you need money for?” Trent narrowed his eyes.
“Who are you supposed to sit for?”
“Well you'll just have to call them and tell them you're grounded. And I need you to watch the kids this weekend anyway,” Mom said dismissively.
“Aw Mom, that's not fair!”
“Well, life isn't fair. What were you going to do anyway, go see a movie with some boy and then get felt up in his car after?”
“Trent!” I blushed. He always had to say stuff like that to me, and it was embarrassing.
I had hoped that Dean Winchester would see me on Saturday, we had talked a couple of weeks ago, but he dated more than one girl at a time, and was busy- he often went away with his father on the weekends. They hunted a lot, he'd told me.
Mom stared at me. “Who were you supposed to go out with? That Winchester boy? I don't like him...he seems arrogant.”
“You aren't going out with anyone, period,” Trent said with finality.
“Trent!” I protested.
“You need to be at home taking care of your family, not out hangin' all over boys!”
“I do take care of my family! I do more with--with feeding the kids and helping them with homework and—and all than you do! “
As I was speaking, Trent shoved Tiffy off of his lap and came around the table, getting right up in my face. “What'd you say?” he said in a hard voice, “How dare you. Your mother and I work hard to make sure that there's enough money to feed and clothe all of you and to pay our bills...the least you could do is be a little damn grateful!” he grabbed my arm and gave me a shake.
“I am grateful, I just think I--I deserve some time to be a regular teenager!”
“What you deserve is to get your ass beat for your damn attitude!” he jerked my arm.
I tried to pull away from him. “Let me go!”
He did let go, only to backhand me in the mouth. I stumbled backwards, tears coming to my eyes.
“Get the hell out of here before I do more,” he growled, “Stay outta my sight for the rest of the evening.”
I turned and ran to my room.
Things start to get a little complicated...
Dean Winchester was the kind of guy every girl dreamed about...up to a point. If you wanted “true love” and commitment, he wasn't your guy, but if you wanted a fun couple of hours with a good guy, he was your man. He was sassy, funny, and cocky- just this side of disrespectful with teachers. When you were with him, he made you feel great. He was attentive, opening your door, putting his hand on your shoulder or the small of your back when you crossed the parking lot. When you sat together, he paid complete attention to you, watching your every move with his bright green eyes. He would reach across the table and take your hand, playing with your fingers, moving them and stroking each finger. He responded to what you said and joked and laughed.
When you were together, and I mean in the 'romantic' way, it was like you two were the only people in the world. It had felt that way in the back of his car, a shiny black car called an Impala. He'd become a strange mixture of confidence and shyness, being gentle yet insistent with his mouth and his hands. I hadn't done much previously in the realm of making out, and Dean was 'my first time' for a lot of things. He'd talked me through it, and been slow and gentle. He'd said again and again that we could stop, that it was my decision...and in the end his attentions had decided me, and we'd gone all the way. He'd slipped a condom on, but obviously it hadn't done its job.
~ ~ spn ~ ~
I saw Dean in school on Monday, he was actually hanging out in the hallway before class for once. A lot of the time he ambled in late, or almost late, and then would give the teacher an insolent half-grin when they grumbled at him.
I walked up to him- he had his arms slung across the shoulders of one of the girls in the “loose” group. Her name was Brandi or Candi or something similar and she wrote her signature with a little heart dotting the 'i' at the end of her name. Her hair was always up in a side ponytail and she always wore heavy makeup that extended down her neck, often to cover over the hickeys that she so often sported. Yes, the “loose” girls were called that because they made out and/or slept with anyone and everyone they could.
“Hey, um, Dean?” I looked up at him, “Can I, um, could I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure, kid,” he said with a grin, shifting his weight. Brandi or Candi shifted too, leaning towards him.
I glanced over at her. She was watching me, chewing gum open-mouthed.
“Um, I mean, alone?” I asked hesitantly.
He glanced at the girl, and she gave him a little smirk. “You can say whatever it is in front of Candi here, we're all friends, right?” he asked easily.
She wrinkled her nose at him, smiling, and blew him a kiss.
“Uh-- I-- never mind,” I said hurriedly, turning and walking over to my locker. I heard Candi laugh meanly as I walked away.
My stomach flipped as I spun the dial on my locker, and I prayed that I wouldn't start to feel nauseous in school. I hadn't thrown up yet, but it was getting stronger and harder to ignore.
I felt frustrated. I needed to talk to Dean, how was I going to manage to get him alone? Girls were always hounding him, either hanging on him or flirting with him.
Suddenly a feeling of loneliness welled up in me. I needed to talk to someone about this, to tell someone, anyone, this terrible secret. I didn't even know what I planned to do yet, I just needed to talk. To have someone hear me. To not feel so alone in all of this. Tears stung my eyes and I slammed my locker just as the bell rang, and hurried into homeroom.
I kept my head down at my seat, trying to blink rapidly to clear my eyes without having to wipe them. I didn't want anyone to notice the tears. I listened to the teacher call out names, and when she got to my name and I replied, my voice cracked, which made everyone laugh.
When she got to Dean's name, and he replied in the affirmative, the teacher said, “You're actually here and in your seat on time, will wonders never cease?” which also made the class laugh.
My neck was prickling as I sat down after saying the Pledge of Alleigance with the class, and I lifted my head and glanced around. Dean was watching me from his seat three rows over, and when he saw me looking at him, he raised his eyebrows. When I didn't respond, he mouthed, 'You okay?'
I lowered my head and didn't look up again.
~ ~ spn ~ ~
I hurried up the hall, wondering if I had time to go to the bathroom before class, and felt something pull on my backpack.
“Hey,” Dean was suddenly beside me, and he put his hand on my arm, “What's up?” he asked. His green eyes looked down at me with concern.
“Nothing,” I suddenly felt angry at him, “Just forget it.”
He pulled on my arm, making both of us stop. “Hey, you're the one who wanted to talk to me all serious in the hallway, and then when you walk into home- room you look like you're about to cry. Something's up, so spill.”
“I, uh--” I glanced around, and then stared at the ground. “Not—not here.”
“What is it?” he asked intently, bending down to look at me.
I glanced up again. “I can't-- I don't-- it needs to be in private, okay?”
He sighed. “Okay. At lunch time, you want to meet behind the bleachers?”
I raised my head and gave him a look. That was a notorious make-out spot for kids, during the day and after school.
He held his hands up. “We'll talk, okay, just talkin', I promise. And you can tell me whatever it is that's so important.”
~ ~ spn~ ~
I walked down the hall towards the lunch room, and the smell of hot grease and cooked meat hung in the air. All of a sudden, my stomach clenched, and I knew-- I wasn't going to be able to hold on—I ran past the door, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Dean appear in the hallway.
“Hey!” he called out.
I could see kids turning as I ran past them, and then I couldn't stop it, it was coming up my throat-- I stopped right at the door of the bathroom and leaned over, throwing up all over the floor and my shoes.
I heard people yelling “Ewww!” as my stomach heaved, and then my vision started to go gray.
~ ~ spn ~ ~
“Please, I'm okay, can I just go back to class?” I asked Mrs. Forrester, the school nurse.
“Sorry, hon, I can't let you. Once you've thrown up, you have to go home for the day,” she said apologetically.
I sighed and laid back down on the hard mattress in the nurse's office. I hoped—prayed--that Mom wasn't too mad at me for this. I hoped that she was the one that the nurse got ahold of. If Trent was the one to have to come pick me up, I'd never hear the end of it.
I jerked awake when a cool palm laid itself on my forehead. Mom stood over me, looking down at me with concern. She glanced at Mrs. Forrester. “She's not running a fever,” she said.
“Yes, I know. Sometimes with a virus, there is no fever,” Mrs. Forrester said.
Mom sighed. “Have you been feeling sick for a while?”
“Uhh...no, I just...woke up this morning with a sour stomach,” I lied, hoping it didn't show on my face.
“Hmm...maybe it was that sausage. My stomach didn't feel too hot either this morning. Probably why it was on sale,” Mom sighed, “all right, let's get you home.”
“She can come back when she hasn't thrown up or had an elevated temperature for 24 hours,” Mrs. Forrester told us.
When we got home, Mom checked my temperature, and then sent me to bed with a trash can and a glass of ice water. I didn't feel sick at all, any more, but I knew I had to act like I felt bad. I laid in bed and read the book our English class was working on. Mom made dinner in the evening, and I was excused from doing any other chores.
~ ~ spn ~ ~
I didn't see Dean Winchester for two more days after I came back to school. I glimpsed him in the hallway a couple of times, and then when I was at my locker at the end of the day, he suddenly appeared next to me.
“Hey,” he said casually.
“Hey,” I replied, opening my locker door.
“So...you feelin' better?”
“Yeah,” I pulled a couple of books out of my backpack and placed them in the locker.
“You want a ride home?”
I closed my locker and looked at him with surprise. “What?” He had never offered me a ride home before.
“So we can talk...about whatever it is you wanted to talk to me about.”
“Oh...that...” I felt nervous all of a sudden.
“What?” he stepped close to me, his eyes searching my face, “What's got you so...nervous like this?”
“Uh...I don't—I'll tell you--” I stammered.
“C'mon,” he jerked his head to the side.
I thought long and hard about how a teen-aged Dean Winchester would react to finding out he'd gotten a girl pregnant. I'm not intending to stir up any controversy on the issue of abortion, but I think that Dean would consider that as an option. Teen angst alert.
Getting out of school was an arduous process. Several people stepped up to say goodbye to Dean, or chat with him for a moment, or hang on him. He had to shake a couple of girls off and promise to call them later, or see them later, or give them a ride tomorrow. By the time we made it to his gleaming black car, the parking lot was mostly empty.
I got into the front passenger seat of his car, placing my backpack at my feet, and buckled the seat belt. He started the engine, and music started to blast out of the speakers, “WE COME FROM THE LAND OF THE ICE AND SNOW, FROM THE MIDNIGHT SUN WHERE THE HOT SPRINGS FLOW--”
I yelped and clapped my hands over my ears at how loud it was.
Dean spun the dial and turned the volume down. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly, “Sometimes you need to get your blood pumping in the morning, and Zeppelin is great for that.”
“That's okay,” I lowered my hands to my lap and laced my fingers together.
He pulled out of the parking lot and began to drive.
“So, this, uh...whatever you need to talk to me about...I was gonna go up the Old Mill Road, for some privacy?” he glanced at me.
“Um, sure,” I agreed, with slight hesitation. The Old Mill Road was a twisty back road, with forest on either side, that eventually ended in a large, open field where an old paper mill had been. The mill had been closed down, and then fallen into disrepair, and then become place where people went to squat and party. The mill had burned down about a decade ago, and now the road itself was used as a make-out and party spot for teens. Because of all the turns and the length of the road, there were plenty of spots to find a small private area to talk, or to do whatever it was you wanted to do.
My stomach began to clench up with nerves as Dean drove. Was I really going to tell him? I'd wanted some time to mentally prepare myself for this, and I hadn't been expecting that I'd be dealing with it today. Most of the time I was able to push my worry about it out of my mind, and I walked around in a numb state the rest of the time.
Dean put the car in park, and then turned to me. His face was open and friendly. “So...what's up?” he asked casually.
I felt guilty all of a sudden. I was about to drop some momentous news on him, something that would be potentially life changing for both of us. His life wouldn't be the same after I was done talking.
“Well, uhh...” I twisted my hands in my lap and looked down again, feeling my face heat up as I blushed, “I, uh--” My nerves overtook me and I stopped, feeling like I suddenly wanted to burst into tears.
I glanced over at him. He looked concerned now, and leaned over towards me. “Hey, what is it?” he asked gently, lifting his hand. He brushed a strand of hair off of my face, watching me intently.
“Well, you know...remember when we...” I took a deep breath. Better to just say it. “Dean, I'm pregnant. I mean, I'm pretty sure I am.”
“Pretty sure? What do you mean, 'pretty sure'?” he asked, with humor in his voice.
“Well I've been feeling sick, and...I took a pregnancy test, and it—it was positive,” I turned to look at him.
He leaned back. “Okay...so why're you tellin' me?” his face had that cocky look on it that seemed to make all the girls swoon.
“Because, Dean, you-- you're the, you know, father. I was, uh, I told you, when we...I told you that I was a virgin. And I haven't been with anyone else. So...it's you.”
My stomach twisted even further as I watched the color drain out of his face. He got very pale, and as he closed his eyes, I saw fear in them.
He kept his eyes closed for a couple of moments, and then when he opened them, they were hooded. “You sure about that?” he asked, and there was a slight edge to his voice.
“What—what do you mean?” I felt stunned, “Of course I'm sure, I told you, I haven't been with anyone but you! You know, I think I would know if I had-- had messed around with some other guy!” I felt angry now.
“Okay, okay...” he held his hands up, palms out, “And you're sure? I mean, it was... positive and all?”
“Yes, Dean, it was positive. I did the whole thing, y'know, pee on a stick, wait 5 minutes--”
“All right, you don't gotta--” he blushed, dropping his eyes, “Have you been to a doctor?”
My anger jumped a notch. “No, I haven't been to a doctor! What the hell, do you think I just told everyone that I think I'm pregnant and I ran to a doctor first thing, and they verified it and all? Geez!”
“Okay, okay, you don't have to jump on me--” he said defensively, “so...what are you gonna do?”
“What am I gonna do?” I turned my body towards him, “What am I gonna do? I don't know, Dean, I figured the first thing I should do is tell the father of my baby, so that WE can decided what WE'RE going to do!” I snapped, my temper flaring.
He had turned and was staring at the steering wheel of the car. “The f-father-- of--”
“Yeah, and that's YOU, in case you didn't realize!”
I saw something in his face change as it hit him. “Oh—oh my God,” he said, and his breathing became shallow as his face flushed a deeper red, “Oh my God, what—what are we gonna do?” he turned back towards me, “I can't-- this can't-- I mean--” he raked his hands through his hair, “My—my father's gonna kill me!”
“Yeah, likewise,” I said sourly, “So, what do we do?”
“Uh, well, what are the—the options? I mean, y'know, do you-- what do you want to do with it?” he looked at me, and his face seemed very young.
“I don't know, Dean, I hadn't thought that far in advance. I just—I wanted to tell you first, you know, because we're in this together--”
“Yeah, thanks for thinkin' of me,” he said sourly.
“Excuse me?” I exploded, “Excuse me? I have a baby growing inside of me, that you put there, you were the one who was all gung- ho about it, you were the one who wanted to--”
He leaned towards me, and said viciously, “Oh no, don't you try and pin that on me, you wanted it just as much, you were all, 'please, Dean, don't stop, that feels so good--'
I felt myself blushing. “All right, fine,” I snapped, “We're not going to get anywhere blaming each other. We need to think about our options, and decide what we're going to do.”
“Well I don't fuckin' know!” he exploded suddenly, and he faced front, and then brought his fists down on the steering wheel. “Jesus fuckin' Christ!” he roared, “What—the--fuck--” he slammed his fists down again, and then again, and I jumped each time.
He slumped forward slightly, closing his eyes, and put a hand up to his face, covering his eyes. His chest was heaving.
All my anger dissipated, and I suddenly felt bad for him, for both of us. “Dean--” I said timidly, not knowing what I else I should say.
He sat up, and lowered his hand, staring out the front window. “Whatever you want to do,” he said heavily, “I-- I'll get you some money, for the—the doctor, and the—procedure--”
“Thanks,” I said gratefully, and then I realized what he'd said, “Procedure? What do you mean?”
He continued to stare straight ahead. “For, y'know, uh, getting rid of it and all.”
“So-- you're saying you think I should...should have...an abortion?” I asked, feeling a little breathless. The thought of having a medical procedure done on myself, where a doctor went inside of me with metal instruments, and removed something, made me go cold.
“Well, yeah. I mean, it's your body and all, but-- you got to think of this, this could—could ruin both our lives, and we-- we're not ready to be parents, I mean I know I sure as hell am not--” I saw his eyes flick to the side, towards me, briefly.
“Dean...” I said weakly, “I don't...I don't know if I can-- can do that.”
“What do you mean? This is--” he turned towards me, “This is our lives, at stake here, man! I mean, this could-- this will- change everything! Can you deal with that?”
“I don't know!” I flared, “I honestly don't know, I hadn't gotten that far, I just wanted—I wanted to talk to you, to tell you-- you know, so you knew—”
“Yeah, thanks for sharing,” he said bitterly.
All of a sudden, it seemed to be too much. This was such a heavy burden to carry, and I'd thought that telling Dean would help me, that we could support each other, but it hadn't turned out that way. I burst into tears and covered my face with my hands.
After a few moments I felt his hand on my arm. “Jane,” he said apologetically, “Jane, c'mere,” and he pulled on me. He had shifted over towards me, and now he gathered me into his arms. I leaned my head on his chest, and then put my hands down, gripping his flannel shirt with one hand and sliding the other arm around his back. I could smell the leather of his jacket and his slightly spicy deoderant.
“Shh...” he murmured, and I felt his hand on the back of my head, stroking my hair, petting me like I was a cat. “It's...okay...we'll...we'll figure this out. We will. I promise...we'll figure out what we're gonna do, all right?”
He held me while I cried, and then when I had calmed, he shifted, and glanced at his watch. “Listen, I...I've got to pick up my little brother from school, it's almost time,” his voice was apologetic again, “We'll...we'll talk more soon, okay?”
He pressed a kiss to my forehead and then moved away from me. I nodded and sniffled, wiping my eyes with my shirtsleeve. He reached into an inner jacket pocket and produced a blue bandana, handing it to me. “Here.”
I wiped my eyes with it, intending to give it back, but I kept welling up as he drove me home. I held the bandana out to him when he pulled up to the curb, and he waved his hand. “Keep it,” he said, “I'll, uh, talk to you later, 'kay?”
“Okay, Dean, thanks,” I said, and he smiled at me.
I was glad, once again, that I was the only one home for a short while. I usually got home around 2:45 pm, and my sisters and brother didn't get home until after 4 pm, on account of them all being in elementary school, and riding the bus. Dean's younger brother was in middle school, and they got dismissed right after 3 pm. I knew that Dean picked him up from school every day.
This meant that I got time alone every day during the week, and I was very grateful for that today. I kep crying, on and off, for about the next twenty mintues, and then I told myself to buck up and stop, and I blew my nose and washed my face, and then I sat down and did my homework. At least, I tried to. I couldn't concentrate, I kept replaying our conversation, and then I remembered that I had wanted to ask him if we could get together this weekend and just hang out. I felt like I wanted to be with him, like it would somehow make things all right.
As it turns out, I didn't see him for several more days. I don't know if he was actively avoiding me or not, but I didn't see him in homeroom for a few days, and the days he was there, he was so late that he didn't look at anyone, he just slunk to his seat and sat with his head lowered. And then as soon as the bell rang, he was off like a shot. I usually passed him in the haways going to certain classes, and he was never there. He wasn't on the field during or after school either, where he usually hung out with the rowdy kids, passing around cigarettes and sometimes a discreet bottle in a paper bag, and occasionally making out with girls.
One afternoon, I finally realized that it had been days since I'd seen or talked to him. I'd been in a fog of nausea and nerves, trying to hide the vomiting that was happening more and more frequently, and my growing sense of anxiousness. I didn't know what do do, or even how to make a decision, and I was becoming more nervous and anxious about the whole situation every day.
And then something as simple as the laundry made the decision for me, and it all changed.
CONTENT WARNING: Violence, swearing, and angst in this chapter.
I had been trying to stay under the radar- responding to my mother and step-father when they asked questions, taking care of my brother and sisters, cooking, cleaning, doing my homework- while trying to figure out ways to sneak off to the bathroom and throw up as quietly as possible. I wasn't always able to, and one morning Mom almost made me stay home from school. I lied and told her I'd eaten the 'mystery meat' casserole at school the day before, and that it was known to give kids vomiting and diarrhea.
I had been doing my homework in my bedroom on a Thursday night, when my mother called to me. "Jane!"
I walked down the hall to find her, she and Trent were standing in the living room. There was a pile of unfolded laundry on the sofa. My mother held what looked like a crumpled, torn piece of paper in her hand.
"What's up?" I asked, unable to read the expression on her face.
She held the paper up. "You want to explain this? I found it in the dryer. I was washing the kid's clothes, and it just so happens that a pair of your jeans got thrown in there. And since I know none of them would have need of this-" she stepped forward and turned the paper over, and I realized what it was.
My heart stopped and my throat became dry. It was the instructions from the pregnancy test. I had shoved it deep into my pocket, intending to throw it away, and then forgotten about it.
"I—I-" I stammered.
"I should have guessed, I should have known," my mother stepped closer to me, "When you started throwing up. And now you're acting out of it, you're not doing your chores as well, you're not paying attention to anything, off in la-la land...and sneaking off to throw up all the time. So...who is it?"
I stared at her, not knowing what to say. "Mom, I didn't mean to- I mean, I-"
She raised her hand and slapped me across the face. Tears came to my eyes and I opened my mouth to say something-
Trent pushed Mom out of the way and came barreling up to me. "You didn't mean to! You didn't mean to spread your legs for some teen punk? Or you didn't mean to fuck someone and then get pregnant?" he was yelling now.
"Trent!" I gasped, shocked. My face flushed crimson.
"You little slut!" he yelled, and his hand came at me, slapping my face. "How dare you, after all we've done for you, you act like a cheap, common whore, who just runs off and fucks some guy, you're nothing but trash!" He slapped me, again, and again, once across the face and then backhand, and I shrieked.
Then his hand was hitting my shoulder, and my chest, and I hunched forward as he slapped at me and yelled. "This is not going to happen in my house! This is not going to happen to my family, we are good, decent, people! I should've known better, all this time I've let you take care of my kids, how dare you, you little bitch!"
And then I felt his fist, punching me in the shoulder, and I gasped and cried out. I started to raise my hands, but his fist caught me in the corner of the mouth. I stumbled back and put my hand up to my face and tried to lean away as I saw his fists coming at me.
He knocked me down, and I curled up in a ball on the floor as he hit me again and again. I was crying and screaming and gasping as he yelled.
"This ends tonight," he said decisively, and he stepped over me. I heard his footsteps walk down the hall. I laid there sobbing, trying to get my breathing under control.
Everything hurt. I could taste the metal tang of blood in my mouth, and my cheeks throbbed. I brushed my hair away from my face. My sisters and brother stood at the end of the hallway, all staring at me, wide-eyed.
I turned slightly to look up at my mother, still standing behind me. "Mom-" I said, and my voice broke.
"Don't," she snapped, turning away from me.
I heard footsteps coming up the hall, and Trent stepped around my brother and walked over to me. I hid my face in case he was going to hit me again. Something landed on the floor next to my head, and I peered between my fingers. A green plastic garbage bag.
"Here's all your clothes and shit."
Papers fluttered to the floor around me and I saw a dollar bill. He'd just thrown a handful of cash at me. "Get out. Get the fuck out of here, and don't come back."
I sat up and looked up at him, at my mother, who wouldn't meet my eyes. "Trent-"
He leaned down and grabbed the back of my neck, "I—said—get-OUT! Leave, before I throw your ass out onto the street!"
He let me go with a shove, and I sat up and looked for all the dollar bills. I collected them and shoved them into my pocket, and then picked up the bag. I glanced over at my sisters and brother, who were still watching. Big tears were rolling down Tiffy's face.
"Never come here again," Trent snarled as I walked to the door.
I turned, and walked out of the house. The door closed hard behind me.
I walked. And I walked. Somehow I found my way to the bus line, and I got on the bus going into town. I realized where my feet were taking me. The diner where Dean told me he always ate with his family. It was near the motel he was staying in. There were a couple nearby, but I would walk to each of them if I needed to, to find him.
I walked into the diner, past the waitress at the front, down the side row where the booths were. Dean and a tall man were standing at a booth, and there was a kid sitting in the booth, facing away.
"-on the road tonight. They'll have soccer at the next school, too, I'm sure of it," the man was saying. He was looking down at the boy in the booth. He glanced up at me as I walked towards them, and then stared.
"Dean?" I said, and my voice cracked.
Dean turned towards me, a wide mouth grin on his face that quickly changed to horror as he took in my appearance.
"Oh my god- Jane-" he rushed up to me, "What happened?"
I looked up at him. "My parents- they- they f-found out, and they k-kicked me- out-" I whispered.
"Oh, God," he said, closing his eyes a moment, "I'm so sorry. What- what're you gonna do?"
"I don't know!" I said, feeling panicky.
A waitress came over to me. "Oh, honey, what happened?" she asked sympathetically. "Who did this to you? Do you want me to call someone?"
The man with Dean came over to us. "Dean, what's going on?" he asked, looking at me.
"Uh, Dad, this is...a-a friend of mine...she, uh-"
"I can call the police, you should make a report," the waitress declared.
"No," Dean's father's voice was emphatic, "We'll take care of this. Come on, Dean," he said authoritatively. He turned back towards the other boy, who was now standing next to the booth. "Sammy," he motioned with his head.
I followed them to the black car, and Dean's father got into the driver's seat. Dean sat next to him, and I climbed in the back, next to Dean's younger brother. We drove one block over to a cheap motel, and I followed them into a small room that had duffles on the ends of the beds. It looked like they were packing to leave.
"Dean, report," his father said.
"Uh, Dad, this is my friend, Jane... Jane, this is my father, John Winchester. And that's my little brother, Sammy."
"It's Sam, and I'm not that little," Sam said reproachfully, glaring at Dean.
Mr. Winchester nodded at me. I stepped over and offered my hand. "Nice to meet you, sir," I said, and he looked surprised. He shook my hand briefly, and then dropped it.
"Her parents...they, uh, kicked her out," Dean said.
"I'm...sorry to hear that," Mr. Winchester said, "Is this an on-going thing?"
I glanced at Dean. "No, I mean...I just..." I lowered my head.
"Who did...this... to you?" he asked, gesturing to my face.
"My, um, step-father."
He gave an abrupt nod. "And has he done this before?"
"He, uh, he uses his hands, y'know...on us, but never...never like this," I felt myself blushing.
"Well, you can stay here overnight, give everyone a chance to cool down, and then tomorrow I'll take you over and you can see if you can work things out," he said.
"Uh, no, sir, you don't understand, he...he kicked me out for good. He...told me to leave, said he never wanted to see me again," I stared at the floor, willing myself not to start crying again.
"Things will look different in the morning. We'll deal with it then," Mr. Winchester's voice was assured.
"But Dad, can't we just go, tonight, like we were planning to?" Dean asked.
"What, are you planning on just leaving your friend here by herself?"
"No, I thought...she could come with us," Dean said quietly.
"No, that is not a good idea, Dean, and here's why," Mr. Winchester folded his arms across his chest, " A lot of times when a kid is kicked out of their house, things get said in anger, in the heat of the moment, and then next morning, or a couple days later, everyone is regretful and ready to reconcile. If I take her with us, and we're two states away when her mother decides she wants her to come home, then I can get arrested for kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines."
"Oh," Dean said.
"So, we'll all try to get a good night's sleep, and gain some perspective on things tomorrow."
I felt tears come to my eyes. He didn't understand. Once Trent said something, he meant it. He had cut other relatives and people out of our lives without a backward glance. I was scared to go back.
Dean came over to me and looked down at me. "Hey," he said softly. He put his arms around me, and I leaned my head on his chest, and closed my eyes. I slid my arms around him, under his jacket, feeling the muscles in his back moving as he tightened his arms around me. It had been so long since anyone had touched me, or held me- I found myself sinking into him, reveling in the closeness of our bodies.
I tilted my head back to look up at him, and he gazed down at me.
"Dean, I-" I whispered, and my voice caught.
"I'm so sorry, baby," he murmured, touching my sore cheek gently with his fingertip.
"What—what'm I gonna do?" I asked in a choked whisper.
"All right, what-" Mr. Winchester came over to us, and he was staring at us. "Dean," his voice was a reprimand, and Dean let go of me and dropped his arms, unconsciously straightening his spine and squaring his shoulders. "Explain what's going on. I want to know why your friend got kicked out of her house," his Dad said, watching Dean carefully.
"I, uh, I found out...that, uh...I'm, uh, I'm pregnant," my face flooded with embarrassment, and I stared at the floor again.
"And why is this a concern of my son's?" Mr. Winchester asked, his voice razor sharp.
I saw Dean glance at me, and he took a deep breath. "Because, sir, uh, because it's...I'm, uh...it's- mine," Dean glanced down at the floor, and then back up at his father again.
Mr. Winchester's face changed, got harder somehow. "And how do you know this?" he stepped towards Dean, "How well do you know this girl? Do you trust her at her word? How do you know she isn't just saying this, to get something out of you?" He put his hands on his hips.
I felt anger welling up in me. "Excuse me? Excuse me?" I asked, "How dare you!" I clenched my fists, hands at my sides, "You don't know me from anyone, and yet you're judging me and acting like I'm this horrible person trying to use your son? How dare you!" I repeated, "I've never had a boyfriend, okay, I've only been on two dates before I met Dean, and he—we- it was my first and only time! And something happened, the condom didn't work, or- I don't know! And now, now I've been kicked out of my house, my step-father beat the crap out of me and collected all my stuff in a garbage bag and—and th-threw money at me!" Tears had started pouring down my face.
Mr. Winchester looked surprised. Dean and his little brother were staring at me with shock on their faces. They looked at their Dad, and then back at me.
"You know what, never mind, I'm sorry I came here. Forget it," I said bitterly, "there's a homeless shelter off of route 501, I'll go there," I started to walk towards the door, to pick up my bag.
"Stop," Mr. Winchester said, "Just wait a minute," he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes. Then he lowered his hand and looked at Dean. "Dean, is this true?" His voice had deepened.
Dean blushed, lowering his head, and then he took a deep breath and looked up at his father. "Uh, yeah...yes sir. It's- true."
Mr. Winchester's face slowly got red, and he began to look angry. I saw fear flit across Dean's face for a moment, and then it was gone.
"What have I told you?" Mr. Winchester asked in a stony voice, "What have I always told you?"
"I—I know, Dad, I—I h-had—somethin', but it didn't-"
"Do you have any idea how stupid and irresponsible you've been?" Mr. Winchester yelled.
"Dad, m' sorry! I-" Dean said desperately.
Mr. Winchester stepped up to Dean and grabbed the front of his shirt, shaking him. "I knew it, I should have grounded your ass every single time you wanted to go out on a date, I should have taken my belt off when I caught you with that girl last year—what the hell were you thinking?" he let go of Dean, and raked a hand through his hair, "Never mind, I know what you were thinking, and it wasn't with your upstairs brain. If you even have one in that head of yours."
Dean blushed again and stared at the floor. Mr. Winchester sighed heavily and shook his head. "Well, this is going to change everything. You and I will definitely be having a discussion about your dating habits, in the nearby future," he glared at Dean, and Dean shuffled his feet, looking nervous.
Then Mr. Winchester looked at me. "So...what are your plans?"
"Uh—what-what do you mean?" I gulped, nervous at the intensity of his gaze.
"Are you going to keep it? Get rid of it? I'm assuming you don't have any money-"
"Uh, I—I think I'm going to—to keep it," I said hesitantly.
He sighed again, heavily. "So, are you expecting that my son is going to marry you? Is that what you're here for?"
"I—I-" I felt shocked, "No, I just-" the realization that I had a baby growing in me, that in less than a year I was going to become a parent, and Dean was the father, and that people would expect us to marry, hit me all at once. I glanced at Dean, and he looked just as shocked as I felt.
I burst into tears, and then turned away, hiding my face in my hands. I was embarassed to be crying in front of them, and I had no idea what I was going to do.
"I'm s-sorry," I sobbed, "th-this was a mi-mistake, I should go."
I felt a hand on my shoulder. "No," it was Dean, and he pulled me in for another hug. "Shh," he murmured, rubbing my back. I clung to his flannel as if for dear life and cried into his chest for a few minutes.
"Here," I heard Mr. Winchester say. I pulled my head back and looked at him. He was holding a plastic baggie filled with ice. "For your lip," he said.
I let go of Dean and took it from him. "Come sit down," Mr. Winchester took my elbow and led me over to the small table and chairs and pulled a chair out. Then he brought over a glass of water and a couple of pills. "You can take ibuprofen?" he asked.
"Yeah. Thanks," I said gratefully. I swallowed the pills and then put the ice pack onto my mouth. Dean's younger brother brought over a box of tissues and set then in front of me, and I took one and wiped my face with it, giving him a small smile.
"You can take the bed closest to the bathroom," Mr. Winchester said to me, "Sam, you're in the other bed, Dean, you're in a sleeping bag on the floor, next to the couch."
"Where are you gonna sleep, Dad?" Sam asked.
"I'm going to be on the couch."
"But Dad-" Dean started to say.
"You really want to cross me right now? You're going to be right where I can keep an eye on you. In the morning, we'll go over to Jane's house and talk to her parents. When do they leave for work?" Mr. Winchester looked at me.
"Um, my—my step-father leaves at 6:30, but he's not-"
"I'll talk to him," Mr. Winchester said with confidence, "We'll work things out," he glanced at his watch, "Boys, you might as well get ready for bed, since we'll need to be up earlier than usual."
I sat quietly as Sam and then Dean took turns in the bathroom, and then I walked over to the trashbag and found a pair of my pajamas. I went into the bathroom and changed, and then splashed water on my face. When I came out, Sam was in bed, and Dean was spreading a sleeping bag out on the floor near the couch.
I placed my clothes in the garbage bag and then straightened up. "Um, thank you for—letting me stay here tonight," I said awkwardly.
Mr. Winchester was sitting on the couch. He nodded at me, and said, "Get some sleep."
I got into the other bed and pulled the covers up, curling up into a ball and willing myself not to start crying again. I didn't think I'd be able to actually sleep, but then all of a sudden I was hearing an electronic beeping sound.
I sat up and looked around- Mr. Winchester was sitting up on the couch, and he reached out and picked his watch up off the table and did something to it. The beeping stopped.
He leaned down and shook Dean's shoulder. "Dean, come on, wake up," he said gruffly. "Sammy, you up?" he called across the room.
Sam rolled over and made a grumbling sound. Dean sat up and rubbed his eyes, and then stood up and walked over to one of the duffles, scratching his head. He pulled some clothes out, and then as he walked to the bathroom, he leaned over and poked at Sam, who had buried himself further under the covers.
"Rise and shine, Sammy!" Dean said with a grin.
"L've me 'lone," Sam mumbled.
"Sam, time to get up," Mr. Winchester said.
I got out of bed and dug some clean clothes out of the bag. Trent had methodically emptied all of my dresser drawers, including my jewelry drawer, and my necklaces and earrings were scattered among the clothes.
I waited until all three of them were done in the bathroom before I went in to change.
"We'll drive over and talk to Jane's parents, and then we'll get started," Mr. Winchester said.
Dean gave his Dad directions on how to get to my parent's house. My stomach got tighter and tighter with nerves the closer we got. I saw the porch light was on as we pulled up to the curb.
"Dean, you come with me, but you stay back, and you don't speak unless spoken to, understand?" Mr. Winchester's voice was stern.
"Yessir," Dean said.
Mr. Winchester walked up onto the porch first, and I stood slightly behind him, gripping the trash bag in my hands. Dean was behind me, on the stairs.
Mr. Winchester knocked on the door. After a moment, Trent opened the storm door, and then opened the screen door a couple of inches. "Yes?" he asked coldly, looking at Dean's Dad.
"Hello, sir, I'm John Winchester. My son and your step-daughter Jane were—involved, and she-"
"I have no step-daughter," Trent interrupted. He stared unwaveringly at Mr. Winchester, "I have three children with my wife, and they're all still asleep in their beds. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish getting ready for work."
"Sir, if you just let me-" Mr. Winchester started, and Trent interrupted him again, "I have nothing more to say on the matter," his voice was hard as he started to close the door, and I thought I heard my mother's voice inside, asking a question. Trent started to close the storm door, and I heard him saying, "It's nothing-"
Mr. Winchester knocked on the door again, harder. Trent yanked the door open and glared out at him.
"Sir, if we could just-"
Trent's voice was vicious. "Get outta my yard before I call the police on you." He glowered at Mr. Winchester for a moment, and then slammed the door closed.
Mr. Winchester sighed, and turned to me. "All right, let's go," he said, and Dean looked at me. We turned and walked back to the car, and got in.
As we pulled away from the curb, I covered my face with my hands and started to cry.
I tried to keep quiet. I felt a light touch on my arm and glanced over. Sam was holding a napkin out to me. I took it from him and wiped my eyes, and then turned my head to stare out the window.
Mr. Winchester had pulled into the parking lot of a McDonald's. He turned around in his seat and looked at me. "Is that...the way he is?" he asked.
I nodded, and felt tears welling in my eyes again. "Yeah, he, uh, he can be pretty ruthless, he's cut people out of our family before- I mean, not our—my-" I lowered my head and started to cry again.
I heard Mr. Winchester sigh. "All right, I've got to make a couple of phone calls...do you want the usual for breakfast?"
"Yes sir," I heard Dean say, and Sam said, "Yeah, Dad."
"What, uh, what do you eat for breakfast?" Mr. Winchester asked gruffly, looking at me.
"I, um, I don't want anything. I haven't been able to eat breakfast in a while, because of-" I waved my hand at my stomach.
"I'll be back in a few minutes," Mr. Winchester said, getting out of the car.
Dean turned around to face me in the back. "Man, your step-father's a dick," he said, shaking his head.
"Yeah, I know," I said hoarsely.
"I'm really sorry," Dean's voice became sympathetic.
"Thanks...hey, how come you guys are leaving?" I asked. I saw Dean and Sam give each other a look.
"We, uh...our Dad is a traveling salesman, and he- he travels around a lot," Dean said slowly.
"And he takes you guys with him?" I asked, looking from him to Sam, "That hardly seems fair. Can't you stay with your mom?"
"Uh, we—our mom...she, uh, passed away," Dean looked uncomfortable now.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said, feeling embarrassed.
"Yeah, so we have to go where-ever he goes, y'know? It's not that bad," Dean said.
"Speak for yourself," Sam grumbled.
"Oh c'mon, Sammy," Dean reached back and shoved Sam's shoulder.
"For once, just once, I'd like to start and end the school year in the same place!" Sam huffed.
Dean looked at me and rolled his eyes. "Sammy here is a big brainiac nerd-o, he just loves school," Dean's voice was teasing.
"It's Sam, and shut up, Dean," Sam reached out and shoved at Dean, and Dean responded by leaning over the seat a little bit and flicking Sam's ear with his fingertips.
"Ow!" Sam complained, moving over on the seat, "cut it out!"
Dean leaned further back, holding his hand up again and grinning, and Sam put his hands up defensively, "I'm gonna pop you one, Dean," Sam said warningly.
"I'd love to see you try, dude, you know I'm faster than you," Dean replied, moving his hand.
"Ow! Dangit!" Sam hissed, shoving at Dean's hand.
The car door opened, and Mr. Winchester got in. It took him a second to look at Dean and Sam and figure out what they were doing.
"Boys," he rumbled, and Dean turned quickly and dropped into the front seat.
Mr. Winchester had a large paper bag and a drink tray with cups in it. He began to hand things out. "Sammy, here's your juice, and your sandwich- they were out of yogurt this morning, sorry, kiddo- Dean, the smaller coffee is yours, and here's your sandwiches-"
He turned towards the back again and held something out to me. "I got you an egg and sausage biscuit," he said, "I wasn't sure if you liked cheese or not."
"Oh, uh, thanks," I took it from him.
The car was filled with the sound of crackling wrappers and sipping and chewing, and then I began to notice the smells- the greasy sausage and the warm cheese- and I felt my stomach do a slow flip. Oh no.
"I- uh- I ca—oh- oh no-" I turned towards the door and grabbed the handle, opening it quickly, and leaning out as far as I could-
and I threw up. I heard someone exclaiming something in the car, but I couldn't hear what they were saying.
There wasn't much in my stomach, so not a lot came up. When I was done, I sat up and closed the door, and looked at them, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
"S-sorry," I said shakily. Dean looked a little green, and Sam had a horrified expression on his face.
Mr. Winchester passed me back a couple of napkins, and then opened a cooler and passed me a bottle of water.
"Does that happen every morning?" he asked.
"Yeah, pretty much, and at other times too," I told him.
He nodded. "Happens through the first tri-mester usually."
"Dad!" Dean looked shocked.
"What, Dean? Jane's got morning sickness, it's a part of pregnancy."
"You—you mean- she's gonna puke like that every morning?" Dean asked slowly.
"The whole time?" now Dean seemd horrified.
"No, it usually stops after the first couple of months. Your mother had it really bad with Sam, not so much with you."
"She—she did?" Dean looked interested, "Did she—puke a lot?"
Mr. Winchester nodded. "I got skilled at holding a bucket up at catch it, quickly," he smiled, with a faraway look in his eyes, "She had sleeves of saltine crackers all over the place to help settle her stomach," he shook his head and looked at me, "Does anything help? Crackers, or ginger ale?"
"I—I don't know, I haven't tried anything," I said.
"Well, we'll have to get some and see if they help. Are you nauseous a lot?"
"Not all the time."
He nodded again. "Well, I have to tell you something. I put a call in to a friend of mine, he's looking into a place for you to go."
"Uh- a place for me to go?" I asked suspiciously.
"Who, dad?" Dean asked.
"Pastor Jim," Mr. Winchester said, looking at Dean, and then at me, "He's an old friend, got a parish in Blue Earth, Minnesota. I asked him to find somewhere for you, like a home for unwed mothers."
"I—I don't even know where that is, Blue—what did you say it's called?" I said.
"No, you wouldn't go there, he's making some calls to people he knows to see if there's something in this area. That way you can be close to—your—family, in case, you know, things—work out."
"They won't work out, once Trent's made up his mind, you're out," I said bitterly, "He cut his own sister out of his life right before her wedding."
"Well, your mother-"
"She'll go along with whatever Trent wants," I said, remembering how she had turned away from me last night. And I was crying again. I leaned over and put my hands up to my face.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, and gasped a little.
"What's wrong?" Dean let go of me, "are you hurt?"
"I, uh- I've got a little bruising, that's all- Trent hit me some last night," I wiped my eyes with my sleeve.
"A little bruising?" Dean sounded outraged, "Man, what a fuckin' dick-"
"Dean-" Mr. Winchester's voice was a reprimand.
"What, Dad? Did you see him, he didn't even look at her this morning, like she didn't even exist!"
"I know, but that's not respectful-"
"He doesn't deserve respect!" Dean said loudly.
"Dean, he is an adult, and you are not. Now watch your language and your tone."
"Yes sir," Dean grumbled.
Mr. Winchester started the car. "I've got to go drop the keys off at the mechanic's, and then we'll go get Sam a new pair of boots at the supply store."
We drove into town, to the mechanic's, and Mr. Winchester parked around the side of the building. "I'll be back in a minute," he got out of the car.
"What's he doing?" I asked Dean.
"He was working here, and they let him use one of their trucks, so that I could have the Impala during the week," Dean told me.
"Wait...I thought you said your dad was a traveling salesman?"
I saw Dean glance back at Sam, and then he said, "Yeah, uh, he is...but he sometimes has, uh, a few weeks between jobs, and uh...he does part—time work as a mechanic, y'know?"
"Oh," I said. It seemed a little odd, and Dean looked uncomfortable again, so I didn't want to ask more questions.
Next we went to a military supply store. Dean told me that his father had been in the military, and so he got discounts at places like this. We stood off to the side while Mr. Winchester helped Sam find a pair of boots that fit him.
"All right, I need to pick up a few other things," Mr. Winchester said. We followed him through the store.
Dean began to bother and tease Sam, stepping on the back of his shoe and flicking the back of his head. Sam kept telling him to stop, but Dean wouldn't.
Dean put his arm around Sam's neck and started tickling Sam's side, and Sam yelped and dropped the shoebox.
"Dean, leave him alone, geez," I said.
"Oh, you want me to bother you instead?" Dean asked with a grin, coming over to me. He grabbed my wrist. "You ticklish?"
"No, Dean-" he began to tickle my side, and I gave a little shriek, and turned my body.
Dean grinned wider and pulled me closer. "Uh huh, anywhere else?" he began to tickle my neck, and I scrunched my shoulders up.
"Dean!" I gasped, trying to pull away from him. He pulled me closer and wrapped his arm around my torso, trapping my arms, and began to tickle me harder. I was laughing, breathless, squirming against him, and then suddenly I looked up into his eyes.
He was looking down at me intently. "You're so beautiful when you laugh," he whispered, and I became aware that our bodies were pressed against each other, and I felt a surge of desire sweep through me.
He held my eyes for a long moment, and then started to bend his head towards me- a hand landed on his shoulder.
"Dean," Mr. Winchester said in a deep voice, "Carry this."
Dean let go of me and straightened up, and his face got a little red. I stared at the floor as Dean took the items that his dad handed him.
We followed Mr. Winchester to the register, and stood silently as he paid for everything. I glanced at Dean, and he glanced at me at the same time, and gave me a small smile.
When we got to the car, Mr. Winchester opened the trunk. He pulled something out of the bag, and held it out to me. "Here, I got a duffle to put your clothes in," he said gruffly, "you shouldn't be using a garbage bag."
"Oh," I said, surprised, "Thank you, sir." I took it from him, and opened it. It was a military- grade duffle bag made of olive-green canvas, and it had a couple of pockets inside.
Mr. Winchester's phone rang. "You three get in the car, I need to take this," he said to us.
When he got into the car, he turned to me. "That was Pastor Jim. He's located a home for unwed mothers, it's the next state over, and he called them and talked to someone there. They have a bed open, and he's reserved it for you. We should get there by this evening."
"Oh...okay," I said.
"Dad, are you sure...I mean, it's okay?" Dean asked uncertainly.
"Yes, it's fine. Pastor Jim knows one of the people who works there, it's connected to a local church. There's one that's closer, but they're full up right now. This place is the only one in a couple of states with an opening."
"Th-thank you," I said, feeling nervous. I didn't want to go, but I knew it was probably the best place for me.
"They have good pre-natal care and they'll counsel you about your options," Mr. Winchester told me.
"Yes, some people choose to give up the baby for adoption, and they work with a local adoption company to insure that everything works out for everyone."
Mr. Winchester started the car and pulled into traffic. I set the duffle on the seat between Sam and me. "Do you mind if I pack this?" I asked him.
"No problem," Sam said.
He watched as I began to sort through the bag at my feet. I pulled a couple pairs of jeans out and tried to fold them but there wasn't a lot of room. An earring fell out of the clothes, and I picked it up.
"Want me to hold it?" Sam asked.
"Okay," I said, "Trent just dumped my jewelry drawer in the bag too."
As I pulled clothes out of the bag, different pieces of jewelry would fall out of them from time to time. I handed each necklace and earring to Sam.
"Darn it, this one is tangled," I complained.
Dean turned around and looked at me. "Want me to untangle it?" he asked.
"Uh, okay," I handed it up to him.
I tried to discreetly pull my panties and bras out of the bag, but I know that Sam saw, because I glanced over at him and he was blushing. He turned his head and stared out the window for a few minutes.
"Okay, Sam, I'll take the jewelry," I said. He handed it to me and I placed the pile in one of the inner pockets.
"Here ya go," Dean turned around and held the necklace out to me. It was a gold chain with a pink and gold rose pendant.
"Thanks," I took it from him.
"It's pretty, why don't you wear it?" Dean asked.
"Oh, well, I guess I don't- I don't need it any more, I mean...it was a birthday present from my mom, it came with this card about 'What a great daughter you are', and now she doesn't think that, you know...I'm just trash..." my eyes filled with tears.
"Hey," Dean reached out and took my hand, "You are not trash, you hear me? You're not," his voice was emphatic.
I bit the inside of my cheek so that I wouldn't keep crying. I was tired of crying all the time! "Th-thanks, Dean," I smiled at him.
He squeezed my hand and let go, smiling back at me. "Hey, how about some tunes? Beatles okay?"
"Sure," I agreed.
"Dad?" Dean turned towards his father, who nodded. Dean leaned down, and pulled a shoebox filled with cassette tapes out from under the front seat. He selected one and turned on the radio, and the pushed the tape in. Seconds later, the Beatles were singing about Sergeant Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Dean is singing 'Highway to Hell' by AC/DC at the beginning of the chapter.
"No stop signs...speed limit...nobody's gonna slow me down...like a wheel-"
"All right, champ, take your foot off the gas," Mr. Winchester interrupted Dean, who was singing at the top of his lungs, "I don't want to get pulled over for speeding," he turned the volume down slightly.
He and Dean had switched places when we had stopped for gas, and Dean was behind the wheel now.
I looked out the window and swallowed. I had started to feel dizzy a while ago, and now the nausea was back. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the window. The cool glass felt good on my face.
"Hey...uh, Jane...are you, uh, okay?" Sam asked quietly.
I didn't respond to him.
"Jane?" Mr. Winchester said, "What's wrong?"
I sat up and opened my eyes. He had turned to look at me.
"Nothing—I mean I just, I feel a little...off," I swallowed uneasily.
"Are you feeling nauseous?" Mr. Winchester asked.
"Uh, kinda," I looked down at my lap.
"You didn't eat anything for breakfast, did you?"
Mr. Winchester faced front. "All right, Dean, pull off at the next exit, find a convenience store."
"Okay, Dad," Dean said easily.
I leaned forward. "No, it's okay, really-"
"You should eat something, it will help the nausea. Do you get car sick?" Mr. Winchester turned again to look at me.
"Uh, no, I never have before."
He nodded. "This is probably because of the—pregnancy. We'll try some ginger ale and see if that helps."
In a few minutes, the car pulled into a Gas-N-Sip.
"Do you want to get out, stretch your legs?" Mr. Winchester asked.
"I—I need to use the rest room," I said.
All four of us got out of the car. I walked to the back of the store and used the bathroom, splashing cold water on my face after I'd washed my hands.
Dean and Sam were in the aisle with all the junk food. Sam had a bag of Funyuns in his hand.
"Man, why do you always get them, Sam? They're gross, they smell like dirty socks," Dean made a face.
"I like 'em, and they're not that bad. You're the one who smells like dirty socks," Sam nudged Dean with his shoulder.
"Shut up, I do not. You-"
"Boys," Mr. Winchester came over to us, "Have you picked something, Dean?" he raised his eyebrows at Dean.
"No," Dean muttered, turning to the shelves. He leaned down and picked up a bag of Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips. "So I'll have onion breath too," he smirked at Sam.
"I don't have onion breath!" Sam huffed.
"You do after you've eaten that crap," Dean retorted.
"BOYS," Mr. Winchester said again, "Enough," he sighed, and looked at me, "I got some plain crackers for you, and ginger ale."
"Thank you, sir," I said, feeling my face get red.
We walked over to stand in line, and the boys began to bicker again.
"Juice, Sam? What, are you a baby? You want that in a bottle?" Dean teased.
"Leave me alone, I don't feel like soda right now," Sam frowned at Dean, "Why you always gotta be making comments?"
"Does widdle Sammy need a blankie and-"
"Dean," Mr. Winchester interrupted him, "Go outside to the car," he handed Dean the keys.
Dean turned to me. "Hey, c'mon," he pulled on my sleeve. I followed him outside, and we stood next to the passenger side of the car.
"How's your stomach?" he looked down at me.
"A little better, now that we're not in the car."
"Man, that sucks," he shook his head, "Are you nervous?"
"Goin' to this place."
"I don't know, yeah, I guess. It hasn't- it hasn't hit me yet, y'know?" I sighed, glancing up at him.
He was looking at me intently again. "Well, uh, for what it's worth, I'm, uh, I'm...sorry."
"For what?" I was confused.
"For uh, all this—I mean, getting' you into this mess. I had no idea, I mean, I thought, y'know, the condom-" his face started to get red, and he stared at the ground.
"Well, it's not your fault. I mean, it was both of us-"
He chuckled. "Yeah, we were both there, that's for sure," He pulled me into a hug, and I put my arms around him, "I'm just—sorry it's been rough for you," he said, leaning his head on mine.
"Thanks," I tilted my head to look up at him, and he gazed down at me.
Dean's lips met mine, soft, and warm, for just a moment-
"Shotgun!" Sam called behind us.
Dean broke away from me and turned. "Uh, no, little brother, shotgun's my seat."
"But I called it!" Sam protested, "You were just—standing there-"
Dean sighed and rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. "Fine, you can sit in the front, and I'll sit in the back with the girl cooties-"
"Sam, you're in the back," Mr. Winchester said sternly.
"But Dad, Dean just-"
"In the back, Samuel," Mr. Winchester's voice was testy.
Sam huffed and walked around to the back. Dean grinned at me and wiggled his eyebrows. I guess that his dad didn't want us sitting together in the car.
My stomach settled after I'd had some ginger ale and crackers. It also helped if I didn't look out the window. After a while I felt sleepy, and I leaned my head back on the seat and closed my eyes.
Someone was shaking my shoulder. "Jane—Jane, wake up-" Dean said gently.
I opened my eyes and looked at him.
"We're stopping for lunch," he told me.
I rubbed my eyes and unbuckled the seat belt, then got out of the car. We were in the parking lot of a diner. I walked behind Sam, yawning, and Dean fell back to walk next to me.
"You got some drool there," he pointed at my chin.
I wiped my chin, but it felt dry. "Oh, you-" I shoved at him, and he grinned at me.
We had to wait a few minutes before we were shown to a booth. Lunch hour was in full swing, and the diner was crowded and loud.
Dean pulled on my arm as we walked, slowing me down, and I didn't understand what he was doing. When we got to the table, he let Sam walk ahead, and then gestured to me. I slid into the booth and he dropped in the seat next to me. Now I understood- he wanted to sit with me.
Mr. Winchester looked at us for a moment, and then seemed to come to some sort of decision.
"Um, I don't- I'm not really hungry, so I don't need to get anything-" I said hesitantly.
"If you're hungry, get something. You need to eat, you're eating for two, you know," Mr. Winchester said.
"Daad!" Sam said, rolling his eyes.
"Well, Sam it's the truth," Mr. Winchester told him with a grin, then he looked at me again, "Get whatever you want."
"Okay...thank you, sir," I felt embarrassed that he was having to pay for so much. I remembered that I had some money just then, and I reached into my pocket and pulled out the crumpled bills. "Oh, I can pay for my-"
"Put that away, it's all right, I've got it," Mr. Winchester waved his hand.
The waitress came up to the table. "Can I start you off with a drink?" she asked, glancing at all of us.
After we ordered drinks, we all sat there uncomfortably. I didn't know what to say to them.
"So, Dad, are we, uh, going to, uh, meet with...Uncle Bobby like you said?" Dean asked slowly.
"We'll see. Probably," Mr. Winchester replied, glancing around, "Sam, whatver happened with that science report you were working on?"
"I got an A on it, not that it matters now," Sam grumbled, frowning at the table, "Are we gonna stay at Uncle Bobby's again?"
"I don't know."
"'Cause I hate that school-"
"I said I don't know, Sam. Let it go for now," Mr. Winchester's voice was terse.
"How can you hate it, Sammy, you're such a geek-boy about school-"
"Well there were a lot of jerks there!" Sam snapped.
Dean looked at Sam. "What do you mean?"
Sam blushed a little and looked down at the table. "Just—some guys wouldn't leave me alone, last time."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Dean leaned forward slightly.
Sam shrugged. "I dunno, you were just- busy with- y'know, helping Dad-" he glanced at his father.
"Oh," Dean sat back, "Well next time that happens, you tell me, all right? 'Cause no one's gonna mess with you."
"Dean," Mr. Winchester said.
"I don't want you starting fights."
"It's my job to watch out for Sammy, isn't it? And I'm not gonna let anyone bug him, okay?" Dean said.
"Sam can take care of himself, I'm sure," Mr. Winchester glanced up as the watiress brought a tray of drinks over. She set everything down and pulled out her pad. "Ready to order?" she asked.
After we ordered, I excused myself to go to the restroom. When I came back out, Mr. Winchester had left the booth.
Dean was balling up little pieces of straw wrappers and flicking them across the table at Sam.
"Where's your Dad?" I asked.
"Oh, he, uh, had to take a phone call," Dean shifted, and put his arm along the back of the booth, behind me.
"I'm really not looking forward to starting training again," Sam muttered, taking a drink of his soda.
"Well, it's not like you got a choice," Dean said.
"Training for what?" I asked, looking from Sam to Dean.
"We, uhh, our dad wants us to be in top physical condition, y'know," Dean said, seeming uncomfortable, "And he hunts, and takes us with him sometimes. He's teaching us how, and we have to, y'know, train for that too."
He shifted and put his hand on my shoulder, draping his arm casually around my back. He had done the same thing when we'd been in his car, watching a movie at the drive-in. It was kind of charming, the way he thought he had to sneak putting his arm around me instead of just doing it. I saw him glance at me out of the side of his eye, and leaned into him slightly.
The waitress brought our food, and to my surprise, Dean kept his arm around my shoulders as we started to eat.
"You want a french fry?" he asked me.
I had gotten a turkey sandwich on toast and a salad because I didn't think my stomach could handle a greasy hamburger.
"Okay," I said, starting to reach for one.
"Here," he held one up to my mouth.
I gave him a look, and then opened my mouth and allowed him to feed me.
He grinned at me. "More? Ketchup?"
"Yes please," I said, and he dipped one into the ketchup on his plate and fed it to me, gazing into my eyes.
Sam made a scoffing noise and rolled his eyes.
Dean offered me another fry, and as he held it up, he pulled his hand back, and I leaned forward. He acted like he was going to put it in my mouth, and then put it into his own mouth quickly, and then leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.
"Dean!" I laughed.
"Oh, brother," I heard Sam say.
"You want some more of that?" Dean asked with a little smirk, and he leaned over to kiss me again. I felt his hand tightening on my shoulder, and leaned into him even more. I could taste the salt on his lips from the food.
"Dean," Mr. Winchester barked, and we both jumped apart.
I realized that my hand had been resting on Dean's thigh. I felt my face get red, and his did too.
Mr. Winchester stood next to the table, phone still to his ear. "Get my plate boxed up, and finish your meals, we've got to get back on the road ASAP," his voice was terse and no-nonsense.
"Yessir," Dean answered, staring at the table. His dad put a couple of bills on the table, and turned to leave again.
"Uh- is he—I mean, are we in—has he done this before?" I asked quietly.
"Yeah, sometimes Dad gets a work call or somethin', and me and Sammy have to hurry it up. I'll pay the bill when we're done," Dean signalled to the waitress and asked her for a to-go box.
"Is he—is he pissed as us?" I whispered.
Dean looked down at me. "Nah, it's cool," he said casually, "He just gets that way sometimes."
We ate quickly and Sam put his dad's meal in the styrofoam container while Dean paid the bill. I followed them out to the car. Mr. Winchester was looking into the trunk as he talked on the phone.
We got into the car, and in a couple of minutes, Mr. Winchester joined us. He seemed lost in thought as he drove and ate his hamburger. Dean asked if he could turn some music on, and then slid a Led Zeppelin tape into the stereo.
Finally Mr. Winchester turned his head. "We should be there in less than an hour," he said.
I got more and more nervous. I had no idea what this was going to be like. Maybe this was all a mistake. Maybe I should get rid of the baby and beg for my parent's forgiveness. Maybe I should run away. Maybe I should ask if I could stay with Dean. Would he marry me if I asked him? He probably wouldn't want to be saddled with a wife and a kid at such a young age. He didn't seem to be the "settling down" type.
I tried to stay calm and not cry, it wouldn't help anything. I had gotten myself into this, and I was going to see it through to the end. I could do this.
Finally, the car turned into a long driveway. There was a plain white mailbox at the end of it.
Mr. Winchester parked the car in a parking pad off to the side of a huge old building. It looked like an old-fashioned school.
There was a white sign in front of it that said, "St. Martha's Home for Unwed Mothers".
We got out of the car and I shouldered the duffle.
"Ready?" Dean asked me.
I took a deep breath and nodded. Mr. Winchester led us up the steps.
The door was opened by a friendly looking woman with short gray hair. "Hello, I'm Sister Mary Margaret. And you are-"
"I'm John Winchester, Jim Murphy called for me—" Mr. Winchester said.
"Oh, yes, come in," she opened the door wide.
We all trooped in and stood there awkwardly.
Sister Mary Margaret looked at me. "What is your name?" she smiled at me.
"Oh, it's, uh, Jane Lewis," I felt myself blushing again.
"Let's go into the waiting room, can I get any of you something? Coffee, or water?"
We followed her into a large room with a desk at one end and several sofas and chairs against the other walls.
"Uh, no, we've got to...head out on the road," Mr. Winchester told her.
"I see. Well, I've got some paperwork that needs to be filled out. First, though, Jane, if you would come with me, we'll do a test," She held her arm out towards a doorway.
"Uh, test? What kind of test?" I asked nervously.
"A pregnancy test, just to be sure. Sometimes girls get here, and a day or two later, their menses start. We've found that it's best to perform a test before the family leaves," she looked from me to Mr. Winchester.
"Will you be able to tell how far along the pregnancy is?" Mr. Winchester asked.
"No, you can only ascertain that with a blood test, and we'll do that tomorrow. This is a urine test, just to be certain. Right through that door, dear."
I glanced over at Dean. He and Sam were staring at the floor, and both of them were bright red. I felt embarrassed too, and I hurried into the bathroom.
After I was finished, I came back out to the waiting room. Sam and Dean were sitting on a sofa next to each other, and Mr. Winchester was sitting in an overstuffed chair. Sam had his hands in his pockets and wouldn't look up. Dean nervously thumbed through a magazine.
I sat down in a chair next to him, and he glanced at me, but avoided my eyes.
Sister Mary Margaret left the room, and we sat in silence. A clock chimed in another room. Dean cleared his throat. I jiggled my knee anxiously.
In another couple of minutes, she came back. "Well, it is positive. You can get started on the paperwork and then after that I'll give you the short house tour and then show you to your room."
"We've, uh, we've got to go," Mr. Winchester stood up, "Boys," They stood up too, shuffling their feet.
I looked up at him. "Thank you for finding this for me, and getting me in here," I said gratefully.
"You're welcome," he said gruffly, "Good luck with everything."
I looked over at Sam. "Bye, Sam, it was nice to meet you. Don't let Dean beat up on you too much."
He grinned at me shyly, showing his dimples. "I won't. Someday I'll be taller than him, and then I'll be kickin' his ass all the time!"
"Sam, language," Mr. Winchester reprimanded.
Dean shoved the back of Sam's head. "Keep dreamin', little buddy."
Sam huffed at him and stepped away.
"Hey, Dad, can we have a minute?" Dean asked, coming over to me.
"Sure," Mr. Winchester led Sam over towards the front door.
"Well...I guess this is it," Dean's voice was husky.
"Yeah," I said, feeling my throat get tight.
He put his arms around my waist. "I had a lot of fun with you...you're an awesome girl, don't ever forget that."
"You—you're pretty awesome, yourself," I said.
He chuckled, and pulled me close, moving his arms up to my shoulders. I slid my arms around him and buried my face in his chest. "I'll miss you," I said in a choked voice.
"Hey, none of that," he said, trying to joke, but his voice was tight too.
"Can I...call you?" I asked.
He pulled back and looked down at me. "Sure, babe, any time."
"Thanks," I said softly. He pulled me in for another tight hug. I rubbed my cheek against his soft flannel.
"Dean, we should get back on the road," Mr. Winchester said.
Dean sighed, and let me go. He leaned down, and kissed my forehead. "You take care," he whispered.
"You too," I whispered back, tears filling my eyes. We let each other go, and I watched them walk out the door. Sam turned as they left, raising his hand and giving me a forlorn little wave.
"What happened here?" the doctor touched the bruise on the side of my mouth. It was now dark green instead of purple.
"Oh, I, uh-" I stared down at my hands and felt my face get red, "My, uh, when I told my parents, they were...unhappy, and my—my step-father, he-"
"It's all right," the nurse stepped forward and put her hand on my arm, "We see that a lot."
"Does your step-father do that often?" Dr. Smith asked.
"Uh, no, I mean, well, he—slaps me sometimes-" I felt tears come to my eyes.
"We'll get you an appointment with the counselor," the nurse said.
"Counselor?" I took the tissue she handed me.
"Yes, it's helpful to talk about your family situation with a licensed counselor," Dr. Smith said smoothly.
"Well, I don't- I don't have a family situation any more, they, uh, my step-father kicked me out."
"It's still good to talk to someone," the nurse smiled at me, "Are you ready to have some blood drawn?"
She led me over to a chair and pulled a tray in front of me. "I need you to make a fist," she said, tying a piece of rubber tubing to my arm.
I turned my head away and closed my eyes so I didn't see what she was doing.
I had cried myself to sleep last night after Sister Mary Margaret had shown me a couple of rooms- the kitchen, the Great Room, and a couple of classrooms. I had a room-mate, but she was asleep in her bed when I was shown into the room.
After I had a medical exam in the morning, I was taken to an office-like room and had to talk to a woman who introduced herself as Mrs. Brown, the director of education. I took a written test to figure out where I was academically, and that took a couple of hours. She took me to the cafeteria after that, and I ate by myself. Another woman came over to me while I was finishing, and she told me her name was Miss Sharp. She was young and bubbly. She told me that she was one of the 'house mothers' who dealt with keeping things running. She took me on another tour, and then we sat down and she explained how they did things here.
Once they got my academic scores back, I'd be placed in a class. I'd attend class every weekday, and then have chores at the end of the day. We were expected to do chores on the weekend, and attend church, but we'd have some free time. They also had individual and group therapy for people who needed it, and different support groups for things like if you wanted to give your baby up for adoption. And every week you'd get a checkup. We had to be weighed and have our vitals checked every day, and record what we were eating too. They also offered classes for things like cooking and sewing and gardening on the weekends.
By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted, and my head was swimming with all the information I'd been told. I went straight to bed afterwards, and as I fell asleep, I realized that I hadn't even had time to think about Dean or wonder what he was doing.
~ ~ spn ~ ~ spn~ ~
I sat down in the small booth, dialed the phone number and listened to it ring.
"Dean?" I asked, uncertain if it was him.
"Yeah? Who's this?" he asked suspiciously.
"It—it's me, Jane," I said.
"Oh! Jane! What's—how are you?" his voice changed from suspicious to happy, and in my mind's eye I could see him smiling.
"I—I-" I started to cry just then, realizing how lonely I'd felt this past week, and how I'd longed to hear a familiar voice.
"Aww, what's wrong, baby?" he sounded concerned.
"I just—I miss, you know, ev—everything, it's so dif-different," I tried to explain how I felt, "and I- m-mis you."
"Aww, geez...well, I, uh, I—I can see how you'd be feelin' that way," he said.
I felt a little disappointed, I'd been hoping he'd say that he missed me too.
"What have you been doing?" I asked, clearing my throat.
"Uh, we're, uh, staying at my Uncle Bobby's place for a few."
"Where is that?"
"Uh, it's uh, South Dakota," I heard rustling on his end of the line, "What's it like there?"
"They keep us busy," I said, "I have classes every day, and we have chores, and there are things to do on the weekends too. And I have to see a doctor every week. I get to make a phone call every Friday, they have a little phone booth for privacy."
"Oh...how are you feelin'?"
"I still get nauseous sometimes. They gave me some medicine to help with that." I looked out the window, there was a girl standing next to the booth now.
We were both quiet for a long moment, then I said, "Oh, I—I saw the baby!"
"You what? How?" Dean was shocked.
"They did an ultrasound, you know?"
"Oh. What'd it, what'd it look like?"
I laughed. "Tiny. I'm almost 8 weeks. They said the baby's the size of a kidney bean!"
Dean chuckled. "A kidney bean, huh? Wow, that's..." he trailed off.
"Dean?" I wanted to tell him how it had felt when I had seen the black and white image on the screen, knowing that that was my baby—our baby- growing inside of me. How I suddenly felt like I wanted to have this baby and keep it and raise it, how I wanted him with me.
"I—I wish—I wish you could be here with me," I felt embarrassed for some reason.
"Well, I don't think I'd fit in there very well, with a bunch of pregnant girls," he joked.
"No, I mean, I wish—that we were, you know, together," I swallowed, feeling tears come to my eyes. I wanted to feel the same closeness that I'd felt when we were together in the back of his car.
A banging on the door of the booth startled me. I looked out the window again. The girl stood there with her arms crossed, and she pointed at her wrist.
"Dean, I have to go, other people need to use the phone."
"Well...it was good to hear you."
"Yeah," he cleared his throat, "You too."
"Take care, Dean."
"Yeah, you, uh, you too."
He hung up. I placed the receiver in the cradle and stood up, wiping my eyes.
~ ~ spn ~ ~ spn ~ ~
Two weeks later, I had settled in. My room-mate, Lori, was a quiet girl who was hugely pregnant. She was going to give her baby up for adoption and then go back to her family. She didn't really have any friends or talk much to anyone, and trying to get anything out of her was like pulling teeth, so I didn't interact with her very much.
My teacher, Miss Rachel, had taken me under her wing. She was impressed with my academic scores and chatted with me almost every day after class. Most of the girls who were in my class were nice, and helpful when I had questions.
There were a few different nurses on rotation, who took our vitals every day, and I had become close with one who was an older woman. Nurse Margie was a grandmother 8 times over and a great-grandmother three times over and she loved babies. She was very encouraging to all the girls who lived in the home. She worked about every third day and sometimes did the night shift.
I placed my arm on the desk and Nurse Margie wrapped the blood pressure cuff around it, and slid the end of the stethoscope under the cuff.
"You going to call that boy of yours this Friday?" she asked as she inflated the cuff.
"Yeah...I just hope he'll talk to me," I waited quietly as she took the reading and then removed the cuff and looped the stethoscope around her neck.
I had confided in her about Dean, that he and I had dated, and I was feeling like I had feelings for him but I didn't know if it was just because I missed home, or I really felt something for him. She had told me that that was a common thing that happened when girls were separated from their families.
The last time I had talked to Dean, he had seemed distracted and like he didn't really want to talk to me. I was afraid that he was losing interest in me.
"I'm sure he will. Any teen-age boy has a lot on his mind, and he's got more going on than the average, probably worrying about you," she picked up a pen and wrote some numbers on my chart.
"You think so?" I asked hopefully.
"Yes. He'll talk to you, and everything will work out, you'll see,"she smiled at me, "Your BP looks great, temp is normal, and you've gained a few ounces. Everything looks good, sweetie," she patted my hand.
"Thanks, Margie," I stood up and picked up my backpack to go to class.
When I went to my room after dinner, it looked different. I couldn't figure out why at first, and then I realized it was because my room-mate's side of the room was empty. The framed photos of Lori's family were not on her nightstand, and the basket of barrettes and hair elastics was not on her dresser.
I walked out to the desk at the end of the hallway, near the Great Room, where a staff member hung out in the evenings. There was a woman sitting behind the desk that I'd never seen before.
"Hi, um, my room-mate, her stuff is gone from the room. Do you know what happened?" I asked hesitantly.
She was looking through a large three-ring binder, and she raised her head and looked at me. I felt a momentary shock. She was very pale, her skin was porcelain white, and her eyes were a very pale blue. The fact that she had very dark hair and was wearing dark red lipstick accentuated her paleness. "Who are you referring to?" she asked, and her voice seemed cold.
"Um, Lori Haverty, in room 208."
She continued to look at me. "She went into labor," she said, and lowered her head again to continue reading.
"Oh," I said, and the woman ignored me.
I walked over into the Great Room, which was like a living room and meeting area. There were a couple of sofas and a t.v. on one side, and on the other was a set of chairs in a circle, for meetings, and then towards the back was a ping-pong table and another table where people could sit and play cards or put together jigsaw puzzles.
I went over to where there were a couple of girls watching tv. "Hey, did any of you hear about Lori?"
Jasmine glanced up at me. "No, what?"
"That she went into labor?"
"No, when?" Alicia sat forward, her face curious.
"I don't know, her side of the room is empty, and that new nurse at the desk said she went into labor, but that's all she told me."
"None of you have heard anything?"
"Nope," there were head shakes all around.
I walked back to my room, frowning. A girl had gone into labor about 10 days ago, and apparently when that happened, everyone got excited. The news spread through the building quickly, with everyone talking about it and speculating on the details, but this time it was quiet. No one seemed to have heard anything about Lori. It seemed odd.
I got a towel and went to take a shower, and then joined the other girls in the Great Room afterwards. Tomorrow was Friday, and I'd be able to call Dean in the evening.
The t.v. was turned off at 9 PM, and we all had to go to our rooms for Quiet Time. The girls who took medication in the evenings lined up at the desk.
As I walked to my room, the woman from before stopped me. "You're Jane Lewis?" she asked.
"Uh, yes," I said. I stopped, thinking she was going to say something else to me.
She looked at me, and then nodded, and turned away to go back to the desk.
I had trouble falling asleep that night, I'd gotten used to sleeping with someone else in the room, feeling their presence and hearing their breathing. I resolved to ask Nurse Margie if she'd heard anything, if she was on duty tomorrow.
My head was hurting, like something was pressing on my brain. I rolled over in bed, and winced as my head began to pound and my stomach did a slow flip. I opened my eyes and then shut them quickly- it was bright in the room. I wasn't in my room, it was different, more sterile. I could smell an antiseptic smell like a doctor's office. I didn't know what was happening or where I was. I tried to sit up, and a wave of dizziness washed over me. What was happening?
I don't know how long I laid there. I heard the squeak of door hinges, and footsteps, and opened my eyes the tiniest bit.
A woman wearing nurse's whites stood next to the bed with a small rolling cart next to her. "Oh, you're awake," she said, "time to take your vitals."
"Wh—what happened, where am I?" I asked hoarsely.
She lifted my wrist and circled it with her fingers, taking my pulse. Her hand was dry and cool.
"You don't remember? You got very sick after breakfast, and we brought you to the medical wing. There's a nasty flu going around, and we don't want any of the other girls catching it."
"No, I don't remember," I said, "My head really hurts, it's awful. Can I have something for it?"
"Do you get headaches often?" she questioned, as she lowered my hand back to the bed. She picked up a thermometer and stuck it in my ear. After a moment it beeped, and she glanced at it.
"Do I have a fever?" I asked, "Aren't fevers bad for an unborn baby?" I tried to sit up a little bit and winced again as my head throbbed. "Please, my head- it's really bad! I've never had a headache like this before! It feels like there's pressure inside, and it's pounding, and everything makes it worse-moving, and the light in the room-"
"Could be a migraine...you said you've never gotten one before?"
"No," I sank back into the pillow.
"I'll see what I can get for you. Let's check your blood pressure now," she placed the cuff around my arm and put the stethoscope in her ears.
"Where's Nurse Margie?" I asked, "is she on today?"
She didn't answer me, just took my blood pressure and then removed the cuff. The sound of the velcro ripping made my head hurt.
"Close your eyes, and rest. I'll be back with some medication," She turned on her heel and left the room.
I could hear talking in the hallway outside my door. I sat up slightly, my head spinning again. The nurse had given me some medication, and it had helped with the headache, but I still felt dizzy and out of it. My eyes still felt sensitive to light and I felt like my head was full of cotton balls.
I sat up slowly, and stood up, taking slow steps towards the door. I grabbed the doorjamb and opened the door. Two nurse stood in the hallway chatting, and they looked at me.
"What are you doing out of bed?" one of them asked.
"What day is it?" I rasped, "Can I- I need to call my—my friend, please-"
"Come on, back to bed," the second nurse said, "you don't need to be making any phone calls right now, you're sick."
"But- I'm not running a fever, I call him every Friday—please-"
"No, you need to be in bed and resting," she said firmly, walking me back to the room.
~ ~ spn ~ ~ spn ~ ~
I laid in bed, listening to the nurse's footsteps walking away. Then I propped myself up on my elbow and spit the pills out into my palm. I stuffed them into the pillowcase, and then laid back down to wait.
Something strange was going on. The nurses in the medical wing would rarely answer my questions about anything, and I didn't recognize any of them. They kept telling me I had to rest because I was sick, and there was a flu going around, but there was no-one else here with me. There hadn't been any talk about a flu going around before I got sick, either. They wouldn't let me get out of bed, or have any visitors when I asked, or even call Dean. They gave me medication but wouldn't give me a direct answer about what it was. I had noticed that I would start to feel woozy after I took it, and I would sleep heavily for several hours, so I had resolved to fake taking it tonight so that I could possibly sneak out and talk to one of the other girls, or try and call Dean.
I had meant to stay awake, but I ended up falling asleep. I woke up when I heard the door hinges squeak. My room was dark, and there were two figures standing in the doorway, partially blocking the light from the hall.
"I can't believe our good fortune," one of them said.
"Yes...we'll be moving her soon," said the other voice quietly.
"Who would have thought that Winchester blood would just fall into our lap?" the first voice sounded like it was gloating.
"It should fetch a good price," the second voice said.
"I don't care about the market, I want some for myself!"
"Don't let him hear you say that, he won't like that you're thinking that way," the second voice warned.
"I know, the selfish bastard wants it all," the first voice snapped.
"Shh...let's leave her."
I heard the door gently click closed, and the room became completely dark. My mind was whirling. What did they mean? Were they talking about selling blood? Why did the one person say they wanted some for themselves?
And then I felt a shock, as it hit me- one of them had said, "Winchester blood". That wasn't me...they were talking about my baby! My baby would have Winchester blood in its veins. I began to feel scared. Who were these people?
And then I realized something else. They had said they were going to move me. Where were they going to take me? What would happen to me? Oh God, I had to call Dean, and tell him what I had overheard.
Content Warning for mild smut.
I stood at the front desk and picked up the phone receiver. I had to be quick- there was a shift change at 6 AM, and the night staff and morning staff held a short meeting together in the office. I was alone- for now.
I dialed Dean's number and listened to it ring, praying he wasn't in the shower. I didn't even know what day of the week it was.
"H'lo?" he answered sleepily.
"Dean?" I whispered.
"Yeah...who'z 'is?" he grumbled.
"Dean, it's Jane-"
"Listen," I said quickly, "Something's going on. I'm in the medical wing, they told me I was sick but I don't think I am. I—I heard a couple of nurses talking, one of them said something about selling blood, and then the other one said 'Who would have thought that Winchester blood would just fall into our lap'! I—I think they mean the baby! I'm scared, Dean-" my eyes filled with tears.
"Oh my God," he muttered, "Tell me again what they said? All of it!" his voice was urgent. I relayed the conversation I had overheard, and I heard him exhale as I spoke.
"Okay...okay...uh, hold tight, okay? We'll, uhh—I gotta talk to my Dad, but we'll be there-"
"What if they move me?" I asked anxiously.
"Don't worry, we'll, uh, we'll figure it out. Just, uh, act normal, don't say anything to them, and we'll be there as soon as we can, okay?"
"Okay...I—I-I gotta go," I said.
"All right, just hang on, okay?"
"Yeah...bye." I hung up, and started to walk back to my room. Behind me, I heard the door to the office open. "What are you doing?" I heard a voice say.
I had to think fast. I turned. "The, um...the wind woke me up, a branch was banging on the window. I wanted to see if I could get some water."
"Go back to your room. I'll bring you some." It was the same woman from before, the one with the pale blue eyes. I felt goosebumps break out on my arms for some reason.
I laid in bed and listened to the wind. Sometimes during the middle of the night, the wind had picked up, and now it was raining. The rain pattered against the window every so often. It would have been a relaxing sound, but I was too nervous, and it made me feel more jumpy.
There was a quick rap on the door, and the nurse from before came in, followed by another nurse, who was pulling a metal stand with an IV bag attached to it.
"We're going to give you some fluids," the pale woman said.
I sat up. "Wh-why? I've been feeling better."
"Well, you're not better. We're going to take you to get an amniocentesis."
"Why?" I looked up at both the nurses with fear.
"To make sure that the baby is healthy."
"But—but amnios are dangerous, aren't they? I mean—there's a risk of miscarriage!" I exclaimed.
The nurses glanced at each other. "And where did you hear that?"
"My- my mother, when she had my youngest sister, they had to talk to a doctor about getting an amnio, and they were told that it was risky. She opted not to get one," I told them.
"Well, it will be fine," the second nurse said, fiddling with the IV tubing, "Let's get this started."
"Don't I—don't I have to agree to it? Don't I have to sign forms for testing? I—I don't want an amnio!" I said.
"We'll talk more about that later, let's get this IV in," the nurse said soothingly, "And we'll bring you breakfast, shortly, all right?"
I sat, trying not to cry, as the nurse inserted the IV into my arm and taped it into place. I remembered learning about an amniocentesis where a doctor inserted a needle into a pregnant woman's belly, to take some tissues samples from the baby. There was a big risk of something going wrong, and that was why my mother had chosen not to get one. The prospect of having to get one made my anxiety jump a notch.
~ ~ spn ~ ~ spn ~ ~
I could feel that I was in motion, and hear the sound of rain pattering every so often, and the sound of an engine. I moved slightly, and felt pressure on my wrist—I couldn't move it, it was being held against something.
Oh, that's right... I had gotten sleepy after they had put the IV in. I had laid in bed for hours, drifting in and out of weird dreams, being lulled by the sound of rain falling and being woken up at one point by a crash of thunder. The thunder storm lasted for hours, it seemed like, the crashes making the windows rattle and the lights flicker. It didn't bother me too much, because I was still pretty out of it.
They had wheeled a stretcher into my room late at night, and I had fussed at them. I became panicky- how would Dean find me if they took me somewhere? What were they going to do to me? I didn't want any testing done!
I tried to fight them as they talked to me, and then a nurse brought a syringe in and injected something into the IV line. As I started to fall asleep, I saw one of the nurses get out a pair of leather restraints and attach them to the side rails of the stretcher.
"Geez, take the turns a little slower! The last thing we want is to end up in a ditch!" I heard a voice hiss. It sounded like the person was sitting next to me.
"Shut up, I know what I'm doing!" another voice snapped from behind me.
"I wish this fog would let up and we could see where we're going," said a voice on the other side of me.
"Well I'm the one driving, so just shut it," the voice behind me gritted out, "Oh, shit, what is this?"
I felt the vehicle slowing down, and then stop.
"Yes, officer, what's, uh-"
"Your left tail light is out. Can I see license and registration please?" I heard a deep voice say.
"Look, we're transporting a sick patient to the hospital, we don't got time for this-"
"I'll give you a police escort after we finish here, all right? I need your paperwork," the deep voice said sternly.
I opened my eyes slightly. I was in the back of a small ambulance, and the woman with the light blue eyes was sitting on one side of me. On the other side was one of the other nurses.
There was a bang on the back of the ambulance, and the doors opened. Two men stood there, wearing black uniforms and hats. I could see the flashing red and blue lights of police cars behind them. They were back-lit by the headlights, so I couldn't see their faces.
"Hey, what's going on!" the nurse on the right demanded, "We've got a sick patient here!"
"Federal marshals, ma'am," said one of the men. His voice sounded- familiar. "We got a call about some suspicious activity and we need to check that everything is in order. Need to see the paperwork on this patient."
"Federal marshals? What for?" the other nurse said skeptically, "I wanna see some ID-"
And then things happened very fast. The other voice outside yelled, "Code V!" and there were sounds of a struggle. I heard the front door open and something was slammed against the side of the ambulance.
The two marshals pulled out guns and fired them, but bullets didn't come out, I saw tiny darts fly into the necks of the two nurses. The one with the blue eyes gasped and clawed at her neck, and then slumped over, her eyes fluttering.
The marshal who had spoken stepped up into the ambulance and looked down at me. It was Mr. Winchester! He nodded slightly at me, and turned back to the other man, still outside. "It's go time," he said.
The other nurse pulled the syringe out of her neck and laughed. "Surprise, asshole, I'm not one of them," she snarled. I looked up at her and gasped in shock- her eyes had turned completely black!
She raised her hand, and all of a sudden Mr. Winchester had a small flask out, and he splashed her with liquid. It sizzled and turned to steam as it hit her skin, and she screamed and grabbed at her face where the liquid had touched her.
The other man threw rope at her, and it landed around her neck. He pulled on the noose, and as it tightened on her skin, more steam rose from the rope. "What—the-hell-is-this-" she gasped, clawing at the rope.
"Hemp rope soaked in salted holy water," Mr. Winchester growled. He pulled something out of a pocket- a syringe- and injected it into the womans' neck. She sank down onto the floor.
Another man had come around to the back of the vehicle, and the men started to pull the unconscious nurse out. One of them was tall and thin and the other one had a beard.
Mr. Winchester leaned over me, removing the leather restraints from my wrists and ankles and helping me to sit up. "How are you doing, can you walk?" He noticed the IV in my arm and disconnected it. "We'll have to get that out later, all right? Come on," he took my arm and I stood up, but my legs wobbled, and I started to collapse. I whimpered, and he picked me up in his arms.
"All right, sweetheart, it's okay, I've got you," he said, turning to get out.
The men were working on pulling the other nurse out beside us, and she sat up and hissed at us. I stared at her- her lips were drawn back from her teeth, and it looked like more teeth—pointed teeth- had come out of her gums.
"What—what's that!" I gasped.
"Shh," Mr. Winchester got out of the ambulance.
I heard footsteps and turned my head. Dean and Sam were running towards us.
"All right, take her to the cabin like we talked about, we've got to deal with this. It'll take some time...we're gonna need to set up an exorcism," Mr. Winchester told Dean, "We don't know what they gave her, so you're gonna have to watch her for a while. Make sure she stay hydrated and warm, all right? I'll call you when we're done."
"Yes sir," Dean said, stepping forward. Mr. Winchester transferred me into Dean's arms.
"Dean," I murmured, clutching his leather jacket. I started to cry, feeling overcome by everything that had happened.
"Hey, baby," he looked down at me and smiled. "Okay, Sam, let's go." He turned, and they began to walk quickly down the road.
"Dean, wha- what's goin on?" I murmured, "I saw—that nurse—had- extra teeth! Fangs!" I tried to shift upright.
"Shh, no, relax," Dean tightened his arms around me, "We'll talk later, okay?" He wiped my tears with his thumb.
"Dean, they took me... cuffed me- to the stretcher...was so scared...she had black eyes!" I whimpered, grabbing at his collar.
"Okay, okay, relax, you're safe now...I gotcha, okay, I gotcha," Dean soothed me, "Sammy, get the door, the front."
He leaned down and into the front seat of the car, setting me down gently. Sam went around and slid into the passenger side. Dean got behind the wheel and started the car.
"Where—we goin'?" I mumbled.
"Some place safe," Dean told me, turning the wheel.
"M'cold," I whimpered. I felt motion next to me, and opened my eyes. Sam was taking off his jacket, and he draped it over me.
Dean leaned over and turned the heat on, making the vents point towards me. Soon the car was warm, and I drifted to sleep again.
I woke up when the car door creaked open. I had been leaning over, my head on Sam's shoulder. I sat up with a jerk, feeling a hand on my arm.
"C'mon, babe," Dean pulled on my hand. I slid across the seat and turned to get out of the car.
"Hold on," he said, and slid his arms behind my back and under my knees, lifting me up and holding me against his chest again.
"Where are we?" I asked. I could hear crickets and water dripping. By the light of the headlights, I could see woods, and that we were in a small clearing. A large square shape loomed up ahead- a house of some kind.
"Third rock on the right side, Sam," Dean said as he walked. I saw the round circle of light from a flashlight bobbing in front of us. Sam crouched down in front of a small garden that had a wall of rocks in front of it, and moved one of them. There was a small metal box under it, and he picked it up and then stood.
Dean carried me up the stairs, Sam walking ahead of us with the light. He unlocked the door of a small cabin and we went inside. Dean carried me over to a sofa and set me down.
"Be right back, I'm gonna get the lantern," he told me.
I could smell dust and a faint smell of mildew, an old-furniture smell. The air was chilly, and I shivered- I was only wearing a hospital gown and a pair of socks.
There was the scrape of a match being lit, and then the flare of light. Dean brought over a large lantern and set it on the table in front of me.
"How you doin'?" he asked me.
"I'm cold, and—and scared," I said, shivering.
"I gotta go out and get a couple things out of the car, all right? Be right back. You stay put," and I heard him walk away.
In a few minutes he and Sam were back in the cabin.
"You get the salt set up, Sam," Dean said, unzipping a duffle.
"Okay," Sam agreed, and walked away.
"Salt? What for, are you gonna cook something?" I asked.
"No...you thirsty?" he set a small green cooler on the table next to the lantern and opened it. He took out a bottle of water and twisted the lid off, offering it to me. "Drink some, okay? We need to flush whatever they gave you out of your system."
I drank some of the water. "Dean, how did you guys find me? Why did—I don't understand what- what happened. I—it was all so weird, I had all these weird dreams, and- and then-" tears filled my eyes, "The one nurse, I swear her eyes went black! And the other one, oh God, she made this awful hissing sound- and her teeth, it looked like she had all these fangs!" I shook my head, "am I on a lot of drugs? Am I high?"
"No, it's—we'll talk later, okay? When my dad gets here."
"Dean, who were they? Why did—they talked about my blood! They wanted my blood, how did they know that the baby is yours?" I asked with agitation.
"Shh, stay calm," he leaned down and rubbed my shoulder, "You are cold. Lemme- hey Sammy!" he called, "Can you lend Jane a pair of your sweats?"
"What?" Sam came over to us, "Why does it gotta be mine?"
"Because, dork, you're about the same size. If I give her a pair of my pants she'll drown in 'em," Dean said.
Sam sighed. "Fine," he walked over to a duffle and unzipped it, rooting around in it and then pulling out gray fabric. He walked over and handed the pile to me.
"Thanks," I said.
Dean wiggled his fingers. "Ooh, Sammy, your sweats are gonna have girl cooties on them, you won't be able to wear 'em again!" he teased.
Sam shoved Dean's shoulder. "Aw, be quiet, jerk!"
"Yeah, make me, bit-" Dean stopped, and I looked up to find them both staring at me. I'd been pulling the sweatpants on and the hospital gown had bunched up over my stomach, showing my panties and my pale stomach for a moment. I realized that the shoulder of the gown had come unsnapped, and the fabric was hanging down and exposing most of my shoulder and upper chest.
"Sorry," I muttered, pulling the hoodie on and zipping it up.
"Uh—uh, you get all the salt lines down, Sammy?" Dean asked, and his voice shook a little. Sam turned and walked away. "Yeah, I did. Uh—let's make sure the door's locked-" and Dean walked over with him.
Dean cleared his throat as he walked back over to me. "You finish your water?" he asked.
"Not yet," I replied.
"How you feelin'?" he sat down next to me.
"Um, okay, just...shaken up, you know?" I looked up at him. His green eyes shone in the lamplight.
"Yeah...you dizzy, or feelin' like you might, y'know, puke or anything?"
"No," I leaned my head against his arm, "I'm so glad to be out of there...I was so scared, Dean," my voice shook and tears came to my eyes.
"You're okay now," Dean lifted his arm and put it around my shoulders. I turned towards him, sliding my arms around his torso and burying my face in his side. I couldn't help it, I started to cry again, more from relief this time.
"Oh, hey...c'mon, it's okay," he murmured, his lips against my hair. He leaned forward. "Here, drink some more water, 'kay?"
I sniffled, and nodded, and took a drink.
"Shhh," he soothed, and I curled into him again. I started to relax, and then I started to fall asleep.
Eventually I heard him say, "Hey, come on, let's get you in bed," and I opened my eyes. He put his arm around my waist and guided me across the room to a bed up against the far wall. The sheets were cold when I got in, and I grabbed his arm.
"Please stay," I begged, "I—I'm scared, Dean."
"Uh—all right," he agreed, "Shove over."
I moved over in the bed, and he sat with his back propped up against the headboard. I curled up against his side and he put his arm around me.
It took me a few minutes to remember where I was when I woke up. I could hear someone breathing next to me and feel a body behind me—I opened my eyes and turned my head.
Dean was laying in bed, under the covers, on his stomach with his arm under the pillow. I turned around to face him, and he opened his eyes briefly and rolled to face me. He put his arm around me and drew me into his chest.
"Mmm—Jane," he murmured, pulling me up against his body.
"Dean, I—I thought I'd never see you again," I whispered.
"I'm here, baby," he whispered back. He brushed my hair back from my face and then kissed me, cupping my cheek.
After weeks of no-one touching me except to do things like take my blood pressure, this felt like heaven. I could smell his smell, feel the muscles in his chest against me, and I kissed him back and put my hand on the back of his head, running my fingers through the short hair there.
He propped himself up on his elbow and then pushed me onto my back, rolling his body on top of mine. He began to kiss me more insistently, his tongue finding mine. He thrust his hips against me and I could feel a hard length pressing on my lower abdomen.
"Oh—god, Dean," I panted, desire sweeping through me. I opened my legs and he settled between them, then I moved my hips in tandem with his, finding a rhythm, as we continued to kiss.
We both heard it at the same time- a thrumming in the distance, coming closer. Car engines. Dean pulled back and looked down at me.
I heard Sam's voice, "They're here."
Dean got off of me and we both sat up. Sam was over on the sofa, sitting up in a sleeping bag and rubbing his eyes sleepily.
Dean stood up as we heard car doors slamming and then footsteps coming up the wooden porch steps. He walked towards the door, throwing on a loose hoodie and zipping it up.
He opened the door, and three men walked in, carrying duffles.
"Hey, Dad," Dean said.
"Everything okay here?" Mr. Winchester asked.
"Yes sir," Dean replied.
Mr. Winchester looked over at me, and I noticed him looking at the blankets on the bed. "How are you feeling?" he asked me, "Sleep okay?" he looked at Dean.
"Yes, I'm fine," I said, "Sam lent me some clothes because I was cold."
"They had your things in the ambulance, so we got them for you," Mr. Winchester walked over to the table in the tiny kitchen area and set down a paper bag. "I've got breakfast here, come and eat."
Dean walked over to the table and sat down, and Sam and I joined him. Breakfast sandwiches and coffee were distributed, and it was quiet except for the sounds of eating.
I looked around as I ate- we were in a one-room cabin. The walls were not so much decorated as used for storage space. One wall was shelves, filled with books mostly, and a couple of shelves full of bottles and jars of liquids and what looked like dried herbs. One wall had a metal rack on it that held guns and other weapons. There was the bed in the one corner, and a dresser next to it. The living room area was a large saggy couch with matching armchair and a heavy wooden coffee table that looked like it was made out of tree bark. There was a small kitchen area with a metal sink, stove, and tiny refrigerator.
I looked at the men, remembering bits and pieces of last night. I wanted to ask about it, about what happened, but I didn't know what to say.
I took a deep breath, and said, "Um, thank you for—you know, getting me out of there, rescuing me."
"You're welcome," Mr. Winchester said.
Hearing his voice triggered a memory. "You—you said something—you talked about an exorcism?" I looked over at Dean, shaking my head. "How was I acting when you brought me here last night, was I- high? I—I thought I saw some crazy stuff."
"Like what?" Dean asked casually, but it was like he was trying too hard.
"Well, I thought I saw- I mean, at one point, it looked like one of the nurse's eyes turned black! And, and you guys shot them with these little darts! What was that about?" I looked over at each of the men, "And the other nurse, I remember—she had all these extra teeth!" I shook my head again, "Man, they must have had me on some heavy drugs!"
I looked at Dean again. He had a funny look on his face. I kept remembering more that had happened.
"Uh, why—why did the one say, 'I'm not one of them', what did she mean?" I looked at the man wearing the baseball cap, "You—you threw a rope around her neck-" I looked over at Mr. Winchester- "and you threw something, a liquid, at her and it—it burned her! What was it? Did you burn her with acid? My God, what kind of person are you?" I stared up at him, "What's going on? Who are you?" I moved my chair back from the table.
Dean reached out and put his hand on mine, taking my wrist. "Jane, it's okay-"
"No, it's not okay! Now either I was hallucinating some pretty crazy stuff, or some really weird stuff happened last night! And you guys are—are dangerous!" I looked at everyone again, feeling scared.
Mr. Winchester sighed. "We're not- we're not going to hurt you, all right? You're safe now."
"What the hell happened last night, then?" I demanded.
"Look...everything you remember last night, it really happened. You weren't hallucinating."
"What?" I was shocked, "How is that possible? I don't- I can't believe that!"
"Do you—do you believe in the supernatural?" Dean asked me.
I looked at him. "What, you mean things like ghosts and aliens and bigfoot? Ghosts, yes, but the other stuff, no. Why? What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, it's real. All of that is real."
"You mean- ghosts and—but how? Who were they, last night?"
"Last night- there were two vampires in that ambulance with you, and a demon. Well, a person who'd been possessed by a demon." Mr. Winchester's voice was matter-of-fact.
I put my hands up. "Okay, whoa, whoa, whoa, are you kidding me? No way. That's just—that's insane! Vampires? And demons?"
"You saw the teeth, didn't you?"
"Well, yeah, but-"
"I threw holy water at the nurse, and it burned her and turned to steam because of the demon inside of her. That's one way to tell."
"You said- the rope had been soaked in holy water-"
Mr. Winchester nodded. "That's something that helps to incapacitate them."
"Okay, wait-" I felt scared now, "You're telling me that I was with people who weren't really people, they were—were vampires, and a demon? And they were—were taking care of me? But why would they do that?" And then something clicked in my head- "Oh...oh geez, when they said 'Winchester blood', they were talking about my baby—were they going to take it?" I looked over at Dean, feeling panic now, "How do they know about you? Why would they want your blood?" I started to cry, remembering how scared I had felt when I'd first heard that, and it overwhelmed me.
Dean got up and came over to me, leaning down and putting his arms around me. "Shh, Janey, it's okay," he whispered, "you're safe now, you're safe with us." I clutched at him, burying my face in his neck. He held me until I had calmed down, and then we let each other go. He stayed standing next to me, with his arm loosely around my shoulders.
"I know this is a lot to take in," Mr. Winchester said.
"Understatement of the year," I said dryly, and the men chuckled.
"I'm a hunter, we all are," Mr. Winchester gestured to the men, "Except that we hunt supernatural creatures instead of animals. And I've got a reputation, and some of them know who I am. And, well, some of them want me dead. So, a chance for them to get ahold of someone that's got my blood in their veins, that's a big thing."
"How—how did they even know? I mean, it's not like they did a DNA test or anything," I shivered.
"Demons can tell that sort of thing, they can see into a person's body, and get into their mind," Mr. Winchester explained, "We've got to go back and find the rest of the nest, and get rid of them."
Mr. Winchester nodded. "Vampires live in a group, called a nest."
"Get rid of- you mean, kill?" I asked.
He nodded again.
"I'm coming with you," Dean said.
"No, Dean, I want you to stay here with Sam and Jane," Mr. Winchester said.
"I don't need a babysitter!" Sam said hotly.
"I want the two of you to keep an eye on things here, keep Jane safe," Mr. Winchester reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet. He removed some money and handed it to Dean. "I'll leave the car, you can go and get some food. There's plenty of wood for the fire place in the lean-to, but try not to light a fire if at all possible, so you don't bring attention to the cabin," he shifted his attention to Sam and me, "You need to stay inside, no going outdoors for anything. And Sam, you need to listen to Dean-"
"I know, Dad," Sam said reproachfully.
"You both need to work together to keep things safe here, all right?" Mr. Winchester ruffled Sam's hair. Then he looked at Dean. "Dean, with me," he gestured to the door, and walked out to the front porch. Dean followed, and I watched them through the front door. Mr. Winchester's face was serious as he talked to Dean. Dean said something and smirked, and Mr. Winchester cuffed the side of his head, and his face got stern for a moment. He said something else and Dean's face got red, and he stared at the ground. Mr. Winchester put his hand on Dean's shoulder, and Dean nodded, and looked up at him. Then they went down the steps and over to the car.
The men cleaned up the trash from our meal, and the taller one said to me, "We should take your IV out."
"Oh, yeah," I said, pulling up the sleeve of the hoodie.
"Sam, you got a med kit?" the man asked. Sam brought over a small olive-green canvas bag, and opened it.
"I'm going to clean the area with a wipe first, it'll be cold, and then a pinch," the man said.
I closed my eyes and turned my head, gasping when I felt the cold wipe touch my skin. I heard paper ripping and felt pressure and then a pinch in my arm.
"Done," he said, and I opened my eyes. He had put a band-aid over the area.
"Thank you," I said shyly.
Dean and his dad came back inside, carrying a couple of duffles. Dean had a small cardboard box, and he set it on the kitchen table.
"We've got some canned food for the next day or so," he told me.
"All right, we're going to go," Mr. Winchester said, "I'll be in touch."
"Okay, Dad, good luck," Dean replied.
"Bye, Dad," Sam called.
"Bye, Sam, behave yourself," Mr. Winchester smiled at Sam.
He and the other men walked outside, and he got into the truck with the bearded man.
"Yeah, Sam, behave yourself, so I don't have to beat your ass," Dean smirked, shoving Sam's shoulder, and then he swatted Sam's butt.
"Shut up, Dean," Sam shoved Dean back, blushing.
Dean came over to me, grinning. "You too, missy," he said mock-severely, "You'd better behave...although it might be fun if I have to spank you," he wiggled his eyebrows and put his arm around my waist, pulling me up against him.
"Dean!" I squealed as he cupped my right butt cheek and then squeezed it. "Cut it out!"
"I'm in charge here, so you have to do what I say," Dean said mischievously.
"Oh, get over yourself, you're not that much older than me," I pushed at his chest.
"I'm still the oldest though," Dean insisted with a wolfish grin.
"Yeah, but I'm the guest here. Your Dad said that you're supposed to keep me safe," I said, and then I remembered what we had been talking about. I got serious. "Dean, is—is all that stuff true?"
He let go of me and stepped back. "Uh, yeah, it is," he said stiffly.
"How? I mean, have you—have you seen—and, you know, experienced-?" I looked up at him.
"Uh, yeah, I've been, uh, hunting...with my Dad, I've...done, uh, things," he dropped his gaze to the floor, clearly uncomfortable.
"What have you—I mean, when you hunted, what was it?" I asked quietly. I wasn't sure I wanted to know.
"A, uh, black dog...it's a, like a demonic dog...and I've been with him a couple times to help deal with ghosts."
"Ghosts? How do you deal with that? Are you like the Ghostbusters?" I was curious now.
Dean chuckled. "Not quite. First, you gotta figure out what kind of haunting it is, and then deal with that. If the spirit is attached to something that's here, you get rid of it. And then you gotta salt and burn the bones."
"What does that do?"
"It releases the spirit into the afterlife."
"And digging up graves is hard work," Sam said sourly.
"What do you mean, digging up- you have to dig up a dead body?" I was shocked.
"Well, yeah, that's how you get to the bones. Most of 'em are so old that that's all they are, bones, so it's not like we're dealing with, y'know, a rotting corpse or anything-"
"Ew! Okay, I don't think I want to talk about this any more," I said.
Sam had been taking cans out of the box that Dean had brought in. "We've got chili, some beef stew, and spaghetti."
"Spaghetti in a can?" I asked disbelievingly, walking over to the counter. I picked up the can.
"What, you've never eaten that before?" Dean's voice was defensive.
"No, I haven't," I set the can down and looked at him, "It looks kinda gross."
"Well, sometimes it's what you've gotta eat, when you're in a crappy little motel room with a only a hot plate," Dean said. He seemed angry.
"Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't—I mean, I wasn't trying to—I hope I didn't offend you," I said quickly.
Dean stared at the counter-top for a moment, and then shook himself slightly. "It's okay," he gave me a small smile. "Hey, let's play cards or somethin'. You wanna play strip poker?" he wiggled his eyebrows at me.
"Gross, Dean," Sam muttered.
"Yeah, nobody wants to see your skinny little pre-teen butt," Dean slung his arm around Sam's shoulders.
Sam shoved at Dean, who tightened his arm around Sam's neck, and then started tickling Sam's side.
"Aah! Dean, stop! Cut it out!" Sam began to laugh and twist in Dean's grasp. Dean finally let Sam go with a grin and a shove.
We walked over to the sofa, and Sam rummaged around in a backpack until he came up with a battered deck of cards. They taught me how to play a game called Blackjack, and we played for what seemed like a long time.
Dean tossed his cards down and sat up straight, stretching his back. "I'm hungry, we should get some lunch," he said, standing up.
"How are you going to cook everything?" I asked.
"Well, the electricity's not hooked up, but there's a camp stove," Dean leaned under the counter and I heard metallic clattering. He took the camp stove onto the porch and turned it on.
Sam brought another duffle over to the counter and removed a small metal pot and some metal dishes and utensils.
"What do you want for lunch?" he asked me.
"Um, I guess I'll try the beef stew," I said.
Dean came inside. "Jane wants the stew, I want chili," Sam told him.
"Okay," Dean grabbed the cans, the pot, and the can opener.
I followed him and started to go onto the porch.
Dean squatted in front of the stove and set everything down. "You shouldn't come out here, Dad said you should stay inside," he told me, looking up at me.
"Why?" I asked.
Dean stood up and came over to me. "I'm not sure, but I think—I think that vampires can remember a person's smell, and if you're outside, and they're around, they could find you," he said quietly.
I shivered nervously. "That—that's scary," I said, looking around.
"Yeah, just—stay inside for now, okay?"
"Okay," I agreed, going back inside.
Dean heated my stew up first, serving it to me in a battered metal bowl with a flourish, and then heated the chili for Sam next. He heated a can of spaghetti for himself and ate it right out of the pot instead of pouring it into a bowl.
We stood around in the kitchen eating, and then Sam took all the dishes and washed them in the tiny sink, setting them to dry on the plastic dish rack on the counter.
"Um, thanks, guys," I said uncomfortably, "I'm usually the one making food and cleaning up."
Dean came over to me. "I know how you can thank me properly," he gave me a little smirk, and tapped his lips.
"Oh, really? Do I have to thank Sam the same way?" I teased.
Dean leaned down. "You better not," he said quietly, and then he kissed me. He put his arms around me and pulled me in, and I slid one arm around his back and the other around his neck.
I pressed myself against him as our mouths opened, and felt my nipples hardening. He cupped my rear again and I felt him pushing his hips against mine. I rubbed his back and ground my hips into him.
"Mmm, feels so good, baby," he murmured, his hand in my hair.
Behind us, Sam cleared his throat loudly, and I broke away from Dean. His face got red, and he reached down and adjusted the front of his jeans, where there was a bulge.
Sam was on the sofa with a book, but the way he was holding it up in front of his face, I don't think he was reading it, he was trying to block us.
Dean walked over to Sam quickly, and then batted the paperback out of Sam's hand suddenly.
"Hey!" Sam sat up, and Dean grabbed him, and they started wrestling.
"Dean, get off me!" Sam protested, trying to fight his way out of Dean's grip. "I'm tryin' to read! Lemme alone!"
"Dean, don't hurt him!" I walked over to them.
He looked at me. "I'm not gonna hurt him, we've gotta practice sparring. Oof!"
Sam took advantage of Dean's attention being on me, and elbowed Dean in the side, shoving him away as Dean let go.
"Fine...but you and me, later, buddy," Dean pointed at him. Sam got up and walked around the sofa to pick up his book, and then settled back down. The sofa springs creaked as he sat.
"I guess I can do some cleaning," Dean said. He opened up one of the duffles and took out a couple of guns, taking them over to the table.
I followed him and sat down across from him, watching as he took one of the guns apart and began to clean it. He showed me all the different parts as he worked.
"Dean, what...what's going to happen now?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" he glanced at me.
"Well, I mean, what do I do? Where do I go?"
"You don't go anywhere. You're gonna stay with us, I guess," Dean gave a half-shrug.
"Do you- do you think your Dad will let me?" I asked nervously.
"Well, yeah, I mean, that's why we went and got you, y'know? He's not gonna just take you somewhere else and dump you. I don't know of another place that would be safe, anyhow," he started to put the gun back together.
"So, where will we go?"
Dean shrugged again. "Dunno. Dad'll figure it out." He started to take another gun apart and clean it.
I didn't say anything as he concentrated on his task. But I was worried. I didn't know Dean, really, or his family. Everything I had learned today was mind-boggling, and I still wasn't sure I believed it. Would Mr. Winchester allow me to stay with them? Did I even want to stay with them?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: What can I say, life's been busy. Anxiety, depression, medical issues, procedures and diagnoses, insomnia and nightmares, family illnesses, helping my kid with school projects. If you're still reading I'd appreciate a comment or review, your words keep my creative fires burning.
Content Warning for more mild smut. These kids just can't keep their hands off of each other!
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
I was in the ambulance, strapped to the stretcher, hearing the rain pounding on the roof.
The pale nurse looked down at me. "I can't wait to drink your blood," she said.
I looked around at her and the other nurses. Suddenly, their eyes all turned black, and I screamed.
I felt pressure in my stomach and looked down- my belly was huge, and swollen. As I watched, it moved, as if the baby was turning inside of me.
"The baby's almost here, but I can't wait," one of the other nurses said. She opened her mouth- I saw huge fangs, and she leaned down and bit my stomach, and I screamed again-
"JANE! WAKE UP!"
Someone was shaking me. I opened my eyes—Dean was leaning over me, holding my shoulders.
"You were dreaming, it's okay," he said.
I blinked, staring up at him, willing myself to believe that, and I burst into tears.
Dean sat down and put his arms around me, pulling me into his chest. "That must've been some dream, you were moaning, and then you screamed."
"I was—in the ambulance again...the nurses were there, their eyes...turned black...and then, my stomach—it was big, she said it was almost time for the baby but she couldn't wait...and then she...she...bit my stomach!" I shuddered with sobs, and Dean tightened his arms around me.
"Shh, shhh, it's okay, Janey, it was just a dream, you're safe now, I gotcha...you're okay, babe."
I finally calmed after several minutes, and he let me go and sat back. "Hey, I was gonna start dinner, you hungry?" He tucked my hair behind my ear, looking into my eyes.
"I, um, I guess..."
"We got more of the same- chili, beef stew, and spaghetti. Oh, and I found some crackers in the trunk, and some beef jerky. It's a little tough, but it's still edible," he grinned, "Like me."
"Oh, you-" I pushed at his chest, and he laughed.
We stood up, and I went to the bathroom while he went outside onto the porch.
Sam was standing in the kitchen with the cans of food. He looked at me with concern as I walked over to him. "You okay?"
"Yeah, it was just a dream," I tried to shake the fear that I still felt.
"Nothing bad will happen to you while you're with us," he said.
"Thanks," I smiled at him.
Sam and I sat at the little table and crumbled stale crackers into our stew and chili. Once again, Dean heated his food up last and ate it straight from the pot.
"I'll wash up this time," I stood up from the table, picking up my bowl and taking it over to the sink.
I took Sam's bowl and spoon and set them into the sink.
Dean came over and stood behind me, and I turned to reach for the pot in his hand.
He pulled it away. "Ah ah," he said, giving me a little grin, "I want dessert."
"We have dessert?" I frowned, confused.
He leaned forward and kissed me full on the lips. "There we go," he smiled down at me, and I couldn't help but smile back as I huffed at him. He handed me the pot and his fork.
"I'm gonna go check the camp stove," he said, and went onto the porch.
I had just started washing the pot when I heard an ear-splitting yell.
Dean had come inside, and Sam had quickly clambered up onto the arm of the sofa and then jumped onto Dean's back with a shriek.
Dean spun, trying to grab at Sam.
I turned from the sink and hurried over to them. "What are you guys doing?"
"I can be just as quick as you," Sam said.
Dean bent forward and flipped Sam off of his back, and then Sam rolled and stood up quickly. Dean's hand shot out to cuff Sam's head, and Sam knocked him away. They circled each other like two cats, and I understood that they weren't really fighting, but practicing.
They continued to circle each other and try to either hit or kick, but they were both fast and light on their feet. Finally Dean got ahold of Sam, and they ended up on the ground, with Dean pinning Sam down.
"You give?" Dean panted.
"Okay! Okay!" Sam gasped, tapping Dean's arm.
"Say it, ya punk!"
"I give!" Sam tapped Dean again, and Dean let him go, and then stood up. He leaned down and extended his hand to Sam to help him up.
"Good job, Sammy, that's the longest you've lasted yet," Dean said.
Sam beamed shyly.
"Now go take a shower, you stink," Dean cuffed the side of Sam's head.
"Hi pot, I'm kettle," Sam smirked at Dean, walking over to his duffle.
"I don't stink, I smell manly," Dean put his hands on his hips and stood up straight and proud.
"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that," I said, "You and your 'manly smell' can sleep in the car tonight."
Sam laughed as he walked towards the bathroom. "Oh, I like her, we need to keep her around."
"Oh yeah? Oh yeah?" Dean came towards me, and I backed away from him as he put his hands up menacingly. I felt the backs of my legs hit the sofa, and sat down. Dean leaned down and grabbed me, and began to tickle me mercilessly. Soon I was panting and sweaty from laughing.
"You keep this up and I'm gonna need a shower too," I said.
"Ooh, you can shower with me, baby," he wiggled his eyebrows.
"Yeah, right-" I started to say, and then I shrieked as he began to tickle me again.
He grabbed my wrist and held it up against the back of the sofa, and leaned close to me.
I looked up at him, and he looked down at me, and it was as if a flame ignited.
He bent his head and began to kiss me, and then he was on top of me, pushing his hips into mine. I put my arms around him, feeling the way his damp shirt clung to his sweaty skin, and felt him running his hands up my sides. He cupped my face and bent his head to lick and suck at my neck. "Mmm, salty," he murmured. I shivered with desire.
Then he sat down on the sofa and lifted me onto his lap, facing him. I straddled him and tilted my hips forward. He groaned as I ground myself into him, feeling his hardness against my groin.
One of his hands cupped my butt and the other brushed gently against my breast, and I moaned.
I kissed him deeply, running my fingers through his hair.
He put his hands on my hips, directing them so that they moved in time with his. I gasped and arched my back, pressing my chest to his.
"God, babe, you feel so good," he murmured, kissing the side of my face and then pressing gentle little feather-light kisses down the side of my neck. When he got to just above the collarbone he stopped, and began to suck on the skin there.
"Dean, stop, don't give me a hickey," I pushed on his head and sat back.
He sat up and gazed at me, his eyes intense with longing. "I want you," he whispered.
"Yeah, well, I don't think anything can happen, with your little brother here," I hissed.
"Hmm, we'll see," he brushed his fingers across my breast again, and I shuddered at the sensation.
"You like that?" he did it again, and I shuddered again, and exhaled a little moan. He unzipped the hoodie I was wearing, and reached in, cupping my breast, and then I felt his thumb teasing my nipple, making it harden. An electric pang shot through me, and I moaned again and rolled my hips harder against his. He moaned, and began to kiss me insistently, and then he pulled at the neck of the gown, and bent his head to kiss below my collarbone.
"Your skin...is so...soft..." he breathed as he kissed further down, cupping my breast again and pushing it up. He leaned forward and ran his tongue down the crevice of my cleavage.
"Ohhhh my God, Dean," I moaned as he thumbed my nipple again. I was on fire, my nerve endings alive, and I wanted him-
There was a loud screeching sound and then a couple of metallic bangs.
"What the heck-?" I asked, startled.
"It's the pipes, they're old, and they make noises sometimes, it's cool," Dean leaned down again, but I felt distracted now.
"Does that mean the water's off? Sam's going to come out here in a minute, Dean."
"He's seen me makin' out with a chick before," he murmured, nuzzling the top of my breast.
"Okay, well, I'm not used to that," I pushed at him, "Dean, c'mon."
He sat up, and sighed. "All right, all right."
I moved off of him and sat next to him, and he shifted on the couch and adjusted his jeans, which were bulging again.
"You sure you don't wanna join me in the shower? We'll have privacy in there," he wiggled his eyebrows at me.
I rolled my eyes. "Is that all you ever think about?"
"Well, I'm a teenage guy, so...yeah," he grinned wolfishly at me.
The bathroom door opened, and Sam walked out with a towel around his neck. "It's all yours," he said, tossing the damp towel at Dean.
"Why you little!" Dean got up and began twirling the towel, and when it had tightened up into a twist he flicked it at Sam's butt.
"Ow! Cut it out!" Sam turned and waved his arm at Dean.
Dean took some clothes out of his duffle and walked over to the bathroom. "Last chance to shower with this amazingly hot bod," he said to me.
Sam made retching sounds, and I laughed, and said, "No thanks."
Dean shook his head and went in, closing the door behind him.
Sam had wandered over to the shelves, and he pulled a couple of flat boxes out. He brought them over to the sofa where I was sitting and blew the dust off of them, making me sneeze.
"Let's see, there's Checkers, Dominoes, and...this looks like Backgammon. Want to play something?" He looked up at me shyly.
"Um, the only thing I know how to play is Checkers, sure," I agreed. He walked over to the little kitchen table and I got up and followed him. He got out the board and set it up, and we sat down and began to play.
The screeching of the pipes announced that Dean was finished with his shower, and a couple minutes after all the noise, the door opened again.
Dean walked over to us and took in what we were doing. "Hey, wanna play Strip Checkers?" he joked.
"That really is all you think about!" I exclaimed.
Sam rolled his eyes and made a scoffing noise.
Dean went over to the duffles and did some sorting through one of them, removing items of clothing and smelling them. "Soon's we get back to civilization, we're gonna have to do some laundry," he looked over at Sam.
I turned in my chair. "What's going to happen next? Where will we go?"
"Well, usually...Dad finds a place for us to stay, sometimes it's a hotel, sometimes it's a little house, depending on how long we're gonna be in the area. Sometimes he's on a long hunt, and sometimes he takes several small cases back-to-back." Dean folded the jeans he was holding and stuffed them back into the duffle.
"What's a long hunt? I mean, how long? Weeks? Months?"
"Uhh, it can be a couple-few weeks sometimes..." Dean got an uncomfortable look on his face, "He's doing this to make the world a safer place."
"I'm not judging, Dean, I just wanted to know. This- hunting, and supernatural and all...is new to me. I have no idea what's going on, so you're going to have to tell me."
I saw a look pass between him and Sam, but I didn't know what it meant. He walked over to us again. "Okay, yeah, I get it," he said evenly.
"What about school?" I asked.
"Geez you ask a lot of questions!" he huffed, "We usually get enrolled in a school, sometimes it's only for a couple weeks. And then we just go where things take us."
"What about me?" I looked at him and then Sam, "Will I be able to go? I mean, how do you deal with transcripts and all that? I don't—I don't have, you know, my birth certificate or vaccination records or any of that stuff."
"Our Dad gets paperwork made, and fakes it. He can probably get you some," Sam told me.
"How do you know about all that? For someone who's a civilian, you're awfully informed," Dean looked at me curiously.
"Well, we moved when I was younger, when my mom—she met and married Trent. And we moved to a bigger house, and then getting my sisters and brothers enrolled in schools, I saw the process, y'know?" I thought of my siblings, how excited they had been to start school when they were younger, because they had looked up to me and wanted to go to school like "Big Sissy" did.
Suddenly tears filled my eyes, and then I was crying outright. I lowered my head and covered my face with my hands.
"Hey, hey, what's all this?" Dean's voice was gentle, and I felt his hand on my wrists.
I tried to turn away. "Sorry..." I sniffed, "I just thought of- of th-them, and, you know-" I started to sob aloud again.
Dean pulled my hands away from my face and put my arms around his waist, and then he held me. I pressed my face into his shirt and cried, feeling his hand in my hair on the back of my head.
"D-dean, I'm s-scared," I pulled back and looked up at him, "What if- what if your father doesn't let me go with you? Wh-what if- he takes me somewhere else? What am I—gonna—do?" my chest hitched as I spoke.
"He's not gonna do that, I know it," Dean told me.
"How do you know?"
"Because, he doesn't- you—you-re part of, y'know, the family now. You've got a Winchester growing in there, and we don't turn our back on family," Dean said resolutely.
"Thanks," I sniffled, and wiped my eyes with my palms.
Dean took the hem of his t-shirt and wiped my cheeks, and I laughed. "Sorry I cried on your shirt."
"S'okay, this shirt's been puked on and sweated on, a little snot's not gonna hurt it," He smiled at me.
I lifted the fabric to my face and pretended to blow my nose.
He stepped back, a horrified expression on his face. "Hey!"
I looked up and grinned at him. "Just kidding, sorry."
Sam began to laugh loudly. Dean narrowed his eyes at me, and then grabbed me and began to tickle me until I was laughing and screeching helplessly.
"Stop, stop, I'm gonna pee!" I gasped. He let me go, and I got up and ran to the bathroom.
When I came out, Sam was putting the checkers away. I walked over to my duffle, and unzipped it, pulling out pajamas.
I went back to the bathroom and changed, and then took the sweats over to Sam, who was sitting on the sofa again. "Here, thanks for letting me borrow them."
He looked up at me. "No problem, just put 'em over with my duffle."
"Okay." I walked over to where his duffle lay next to Dean's, and placed the clothes there. Then I joined Sam on the sofa.
"Well, it's almost dark out, and there's not much to do," Dean had lit a couple of lanterns, and the room was getting dim. He came over and sat down on the other side of me. "We should probably turn in. I'm gonna get up early, run out and grab us some fresh grub. Anything in particular you guys want?"
"Not canned chili," Sam said, "Can you get some mac-n-cheese?"
"I'll see what they got, Sammy. I don't know how long we'll be able to store milk here before it spoils an' all, so maybe not," Dean looked at me, "How about you? What is it that pregnant women crave, pickles? Should I get you, what is it, pickles and ice cream?" he grinned.
"No," I rolled my eyes, "I haven't really had any cravings yet. Although I have kinda been in the mood for apples."
"Yeah, like the dark ones, Red Delicious? And like, applesauce too."
"Okay, red apples. Just- if an old lady comes here when I'm out, offering you apples, don't take any, 'kay?" Dean grinned again.
"I'm not Snow White, you know!" I rolled my eyes.
"Well, you're a pretty as a fairytale princess," Dean declared.
I felt my face get hot as I blushed. "No I'm not, stop it."
"Yeah you are..." his face softened, and he leaned over and touched my cheek with his fingertips. "Just accept the compliment, okay?"
I sighed. "Okaaaayy..."
Dean kissed me, and I heard Sam make a noise in the back of his throat.
"Okay, guys, can you clear off so I can lay down?" he asked, pulling the sleeping bag over onto the sofa. It had been draped over the side.
Dean stood up and offered me his hand. "Come, my lady, I'll walk you to your bed chamber."
I laughed in spite of myself as I took Dean's hand and stood up.
"Geez, lay it on thick, why don't you," Sam muttered.
Dean and I walked over to the bed, and I climbed under the covers and looked up at him. "Mind if I join you?" he asked.
"Sure," I agreed.
He walked around, dousing the lanterns, and then sat and removed his boots. Then he came over to the bed and got in next to me.
He laid down on his back and pulled on my arm, and I turned as he lifted his arm to put it around me. I laid my head on his shoulder and snuggled into his side.
He turned his head towards me. "This is nice."
"Yeah," I said faintly.
He reached down under the covers, shifting his hips to adjust the crotch of his sweatpants. "Little Dean thinks so too."
"Your brother is still in the room, you know."
"Yeah...and my Dad basically told me to keep it in my pants while he was gone, or he'd kick my ass," Dean grinned.
"How would he know?" I raised my head and looked at him.
"Oh trust me, he'd know. The man always knows stuff like that, he can smell bullshit from a mile away," Dean shook his head ruefully.
"Gee, that's nice," I said sarcastically.
"He was a Marine, went through Vietnam. He had to be tough to survive that, y'know? He can be a hardass, but he's a good guy, really," Dean was playing with strand of my hair.
Hearing the way Dean talked about him, with obvious fondness, made me think about my mother and Trent. I didn't really have memories of my birth father, as my mother and he had divorced when I was small. Trent had tried to be a father to me, but we'd never really connected. It had hurt when my mother had started having his children, and seeing how close he was with them.
Tears filled my eyes again, and I tried to turn away.
"Hey, what-" Dean raised his head to look at me.
"Just—I-my f-family-" I started to sob.
"Yeah, that's tough," his voice was sympathetic, "C'mere," he turned, and pulled me into his arms.
He held me as I cried into his chest, and eventually I fell asleep like that.
I woke up feeling someone next to me, and I reached over and put my arm around them, and then opened my eyes.
And immediately yanked my arm back and sat up, as it was Sam next to me in bed!
"Oh God, I'm sorry!" I exclaimed, feeling my face get hot as I blushed.
Sam blushed as well, ducking his head. "Uh, s'okay. Dean, um, he asked me to sit next to you, because you were kinda moaning in your sleep."
I looked around. The sun was low on the horizon, shining through the front windows. "When did he leave?"
"About an hour ago." Sam closed the book in his lap and stood up.
"Why didn't he wake me?"
"He said to let you sleep 'cause you were real restless during the night." He crossed the room and set his book down on the coffee table. "There's some beef jerky if you're hungry, and Dean found a couple cans of soda in the back of the car."
I swung my feet over the edge of the bed. "Yeah, I am hungry." I walked over to the kitchen table and sat down. The soda was an off-brand cola, and I opened one and then took out a couple pieces of beef jerky. It was hard to chew, but it filled my stomach. After I ate, I got some clothes out of my duffle.
"Um, are there...are there any more towels?" I asked hesitantly.
"Yeah, there's a cabinet in the bathroom, they're in there," Sam told me, "and I left the shampoo and soap in there too. You can use it."
"Thanks," I said gratefully.
I took a quick shower and washed my hair, realizing that I was going to have to buy my own toiletries. The shampoo was a cheap generic kind and there was no conditioner. I was used to using shampoo, conditioner, and scented liquid soap. I also used special soap to wash my face, and lotion. I guessed that Sam and Dean didn't have anything like that.
After I dried off, I got dressed. My jeans were uncomfortably tight, and I could barely button them. I looked at my stomach—it didn't seem any larger, but it must be. I pulled the jeans off and put Sam's sweatpants back on, and then left the bathroom.
I carried my duffle over to the bed and pulled everything out so that I could fold it up. I had a couple pairs of leggings, so I took one of them into the bathroom. They were tight as well, but it wasn't that uncomfortable because the fabric was stretchy.
When I came out of the bathroom, Sam was laying on the sofa reading. I went over and he sat up so that I could sit next to him.
"Want to play something to pass the time?" he asked.
"Sure," I replied.
He taught me to play backgammon. It took me a few turns to understand, and I lost the first game. By the time we started the second game, I had gotten the hang of it.
"So, do you hunt with your Dad too?" I asked.
"Not yet. Dad's still training me, wants me to get better at fighting and stuff," he made a face, "He let Dean start hunting when he was my age, but both of them treat me kinda like I'm a baby still."
"Well, maybe he just wants to keep you as innocent as possible for as long as he can."
Sam made another face. "Not really...once you learn about all this stuff, it's gone."
"When did you- I mean, did you always know?"
He shook his head. "Dad hid it from me, he told me he was a traveling salesman. I kinda knew something was off, though, and eventually I started looking around, and I found and read his journal when I was 8."
"Wait, he hid it from you- does that mean that Dean knew?"
"Yeah, Dean found out earlier than me. Not sure when, he's never told me. At first I was mad, I thought he'd always known, and that he and Dad had been hiding everything all my life, but- something happened, when Dean was a kid, and he found out."
"And he never told you what it was?"
He shook his head.
"Was it scary for you? To find out, I mean?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, I was a kid so I was scared of stuff like that there was a monster in the closet, y'know? And to find out that some of that stuff is real, it kinda messes with your head."
"Why does your Dad do this? I mean, hunt supernatural stuff and—kill it?"
Sam looked up at me. "Our mom—she died when I was a baby, and it was something—supernatural. There was a fire, but there was something else there, that my Dad saw. So he's trying to find out what it was that killed her, so that he can...get revenge, you know?"
I realized that that meant that Sam had basically grown up without a mother. "I'm so sorry, Sam, that must have been hard."
He shrugged. "I never knew my mother, so you can't miss what you don't know. And I don't remember anything that happened, because I was just a baby. So it didn't really affect me, you know?"
"Yeah, it's still sad." I reached over and put my hand on his arm and squeezed. "You and Dean must be really strong."
He looked down and blushed slightly. "We get by," he muttered.
In the distance, I heard a rumbling. I recognized the sound- it was the Impala's engine. I looked at Sam, and he looked back at me.
"Is that him?" I asked, and he nodded.
We put the game away, and then stood up to wait for Dean to come in. I walked over to the door, watching as Dean got out of the car and opened the back door. He pulled out a cardboard box and carried it up the stairs.
Sam unlocked the door and opened it, stepping back to let him in.
"Hi honey, I'm home!" Dean grinned at me as he walked over to the table. He set the box down and turned to me as I walked over. I started to look into the box at the food he'd bought.
"Don't I get a kiss hello?" he demanded.
"I'm hungry," I said as I stepped up to him.
He pulled me into his arms, chuckling, and kissed me. "Nice to see you too," he commented dryly.
"Hey, I'm eating for two, remember?" I elbowed him.
"Okay...I did stop and grab some breakfast chow, lemme go back out and get it." Dean left and walked back out to the car, returning with a paper bag from a fast-food restaurant and a couple of plastic shopping bags.
He set the paper bag on the table and began to remove things from it. "Sandwiches, hash browns, and they had these little fruit cups. I got one for each of you."
"Thanks, Dean," I smiled at him as I sat down.
"Dad texted me, they've tracked the vamps and found the nest, and they're going to take care of it in the next day or so," Dean pulled a chair out and sat down.
"So does that mean we can go outside now?" I asked. "We could go for a walk in the woods, it's so pretty here."
Dean got an uncomfortable look on his face. "Uh, no, probably not."
"But if they're getting rid of the—the vampires- then there's no danger, right?" It felt weird saying 'vampires' like it was normal. It was going to take a while to get used to this new reality.
Dean shifted in his chair. "No, well, uh, my dad said to stay inside, so we have to stay in."
I folded my arms. "How's he going to know?"
Dean looked at Sam and then me. "If he said it's not safe, then it's not. And you don't disobey an order from John Winchester."
Sam made a noise in the back of his throat.
"What, Sam? I'm in charge here, and I'm saying we're gonna follow Dad's orders." Dean said defensively.
Sam shook his head and crumpled his food wrappers. "So we're stuck here until he comes back."
"I got some books too, the store had a couple racks of paperbacks." Dean stood up and walked over to where he had dropped the other bags. He picked one up and brought it over. "I didn't know what kind you liked, so I got a bunch of different kinds."
I looked through the books. There were a couple of mysteries, a couple of "classic" books by authors like Jane Austen, a trashy romance novel, and some true crime books.
After we finished eating, we each took a book to read. I grabbed one of the mysteries and walked over to the bed to lay down and read. Sam sat on the sofa and Dean laid down on the other end with his feet on the coffee table.
We stopped to eat lunch in the afternoon- Dean had gotten some lunch meat and rolls, and potato chips. Then we laid around and kept reading.
After we ate dinner- Dean had bought hot dogs and baked beans, and we mixed them together- they taught me how to play Blackjack, and we played that until it started to get dark.
Dean got into bed with me again, and lifted his arm to put it around me. I snuggled into his side, and he leaned down to kiss me. We turned to face each other, and he put his leg over me and pulled me close. He brushed his fingertips down my cheek, the side of my neck, across my collar bone, and down across the front of my pajama top. I shivered and slid my hands up inside his shirt, running my palms across his back. He moved suddenly, rolling us over so that I was on my back and he was on top of me, between my legs.
"Want you," he murmured as he kissed my neck.
"We can't- we can't do anything, your brother's here," I whispered.
"I can still want you," he rolled his hips against mine, and I shivered again. Suddenly I felt confused- I didn't know if I wanted him that way any more. What was I even doing here, with him? I should be at home with my family.
I turned my head to the side as tears filled my eyes.
Dean stopped kissing my neck and raised his head. "What's wrong, baby?" his green eyes were concerned.
"I—I'm sorry," I bit my lip to stop myself from crying, "I just—" I sighed, "Nights are hard for me. I'm sorry I'm crying so much, it's the hormones." I chuckled. "The doctor said that the cliché about pregnant women crying so much is true. I didn't think it would happen this soon, though."
"Well, you've been through a lot recently," he brushed my hair off of my forehead.
I looked up at him, feeling nervous. "I don't—I'm not really in the mood to- you know, any more. Would you- just hold me?"
"Uh, sure," He shifted position, and I turned over and laid on my other side, scooting back into him. He put his arm around me and I took his hand. I started to sniffle as tears filled my eyes again.
"Shh, it's okay," Dean murmured in my ear, "I gotcha, it's okay."
I fell asleep feeling him running his hand over my hair.
I awoke suddenly the next morning, hearing boots on the wooden porch outside.
"Shit!" Dean hissed as he sat up next to me. He sprang out of bed as the door opened and two men came in- Mr. Winchester, and the man from before with the baseball cap.
Mr. Winchester looked over the boys both walked towards him. I saw his eyes flick across the bed, and he raised his eyebrows as he spoke to Dean.
"Everything good here?"
"Yeah, it's been fine, yessir," Dean stuttered as he rubbed his eyes. "I got some supplies yesterday, re-stocked the pantry with canned goods."
"Good, let's get packed up then. I've found a place for us to go," Mr. Winchester said.
"Did you clear out the nest?" Sam asked.
"All taken care of."
"Where are we gonna go, Dad?" Dean looked over at me.
"There's a place about an hour away from Bobby's, it's a safe house for hunters to use. Near a small town, right on the interstate." Mr. Winchester said.
"Why can't we just stay with Uncle Bobby?" Sam asked.
"Because it's not Bobby's job to put us up whenever we need it," Mr. Winchester said, "We need a place of our own, and this one is already warded. Get your things together."
We packed our belongings, and put away the games. Sam gathered up the books, and we carried everything out to the Impala.
~ ~ spn ~ ~ spn ~ ~
My back was sore and I was tired of sitting in the car. We had been driving all day, only stopping to gas up the car and then get drive-through meals. Mr. Winchester had called someone to let him know that we were close.
Sam leaned forward and put his hand on the back of the front seat. "How much longer, Dad?"
Mr. Winchester glanced back. "About another 45 minutes, Sammy."
We were on a long stretch of highway that seemed to go on forever. At first there were neighborhoods, and then just small groups of houses, and then every so often there would be an individual house.
"This is the main highway, connects to the interstate, and goes into Madison also. There's a couple of schools there too."
We came up on a small white trailer, that was set back from the road. There were a couple of trees nearby, and the area in front of the trailer was dirt. There was an old shed behind it, and the shell of a battered truck nearby.
There was a large truck parked in front of the house with its engine running.
"Stay here," Mr. Winchester got out of the car and walked around to the driver's side of the truck. He stood there for several minutes, talking.
Finally the truck drove away, and he walked over and got in. He pulled the car closer to the front, and we all got out.
"Well, this is it, home sweet home for a while," Mr. Winchester had a ring of keys dangling from his fingers. We followed him up the rickety wooden steps and into the trailer.
The main area was open, a living room and kitchen that was separated by a low island. There was a small formica table with metal legs, and four chairs, in the kitchen. There was a small bedroom off of the living room, and a hallway next to the kitchen. There was a bathroom and a small alcove with a washer and dryer next to it. At the end of the hallway was a larger bedroom, with a bunk bed. The lower bunk was a double bed, and there was a folded up cot next to the dresser.
"You boys can take this room, and Jane can take the other bedroom," Mr. Winchester said.
"Where are you gonna sleep, Dad?" Dean looked at his father.
"There's a pull-out in the living room, I'll sleep on that."
"Oh—I can sleep there, you should—you should have a bedroom," I said, feeling embarrassed.
"No, you need your own room," Mr. Winchester said to me. "I'll be fine, I've slept in worse places. And if I really want to sleep in a bed, I can always kick the boys out and take the bottom bunk," he grinned and cuffed the back of Dean's head gently.
We brought our duffles in and went to our respective rooms. The bedroom I was in was tiny- there was a double bed, a low wooden dresser, and a padded rocking chair. There was a window on the front wall and on the side.
Mr. Winchester came to the door. "Here's some sheets," he held up a stack of folded fabric.
"Thank you," I walked over and took them from him. "And thanks for, you know, taking me with you."
He gave me a small smile. "You're welcome. I'll let you get unpacked."
I made the bed and then took my clothes out of the duffle and put them in the dresser. When I was finished, I went into the living room.
Dean and his dad were in the kitchen area, looking through the cabinets.
"There's a toaster and a coffee maker, but no microwave," Dean said.
"I can pick up a small one this week," Mr. Winchester turned to me. "We should all sit down and talk about how things are going to be."
Anyone out there still reading?
I looked at Dean anxiously. He looked back at me, but his face was blank. He gestured to the small table, and I walked over and sat down.
"Sam!" Mr. Winchester called, "Sammy, come in here, please!" He walked over to the refrigerator and got out 4 bottles of water, and set them on the table.
Dean took one and twisted the cap off, and I picked one up.
Sam came walking into the kitchen. "The washer and dryer both seem to work!" he said enthusiastically.
"Sit down," his dad said, and Sam sat next to me.
Mr. Winchester picked up a bottle and opened it, taking a long drink. Then he leaned against the kitchen counter, folding his arms across his chest. "We need to talk about how it's going to be."
I saw Dean and Sam look at each other.
"Boys, I'll give you a couple of days to get settled in before we enroll you in school."
"What about Jane?" Dean asked.
"Well, here's the thing. I don't think Jane should go to school right now. From the practical side, we don't have the paperwork that we need and it will take some time to get it. But also, she's pregnant, and I know a lot of schools have rules about that. Chances are, once they discover it, she'd have to go to a separate school, and they'd get other-agencies involved. We can't have that."
"So, what, I'm supposed to not go to school at all?" I felt angry- that wasn't fair!
"Well, Dean can bring home his work, and you can go over it with him...and I can see about a home-schooling option too," he shifted, "Another thing, right now, I think it's best if you stay inside as much as you can, Jane."
I bristled. "What do you mean? I can't go to school, and I can't go anywhere else either? What is this?" I started to feel nervous. Were they going to imprison me here? What had I gotten myself into?
"No, listen," Mr. Winchester sighed heavily. "I told you, we got rid of the vampire nest. There was a demon working them, and we—dispatched it. However, I don't...I don't know how much they're aware of. We're behind the 8-ball as far as that goes, so for now, until we can ascertain exactly what they know, we need to keep Jane hidden."
"What do you mean?" I looked at Dean, and then at his dad. "What do you mean, behind the 8-ball? Why does that mean I have to hide?" I took a drink of water to try and calm myself.
"Normally, in a situation like this, or a hunt, we try and gather as much intel as possible. So that we can make plans and we know what we're up against. This time, we weren't able to get a lot of information. Demons are cagey bastards, and this one was playing games with us."
I felt scared now, and annoyed. "I still don't get it, intel? What we're up against? Plans? I feel like you're saying a lot of words that aren't really telling me what the truth is!"
Mr. Winchester came over and sat down across from me. "All right... my wife... was- killed by something supernatural, when they boys were small, and I've spent- years- trying to figure out what it was. I told you, I've got a reputation...in the supernatural world. All the hunts I've been on, the creatures I've come up against- sometimes they get away. There's a grapevine for hunters, and one for supernatural creatures too. From what we were able to gather, there's a higher- up demon who the vamps were working for, and the demon that was with them was assisting him. I think that we got to them before they knew that their plans had gone south, and before they were able to alert anyone. So as far as anyone else knows, all of them have just up and disappeared, including you. I'm hoping that anyone else that was involved will just assume that you're dead."
I blinked in surprise. The fact that he would say that so bluntly shocked me, but he continued. "We're working on trying to figure out who else was part of it...but vamps can scent humans, and demons can read thought patterns, so it's best that you stay hidden for now. We can go out, but we'll keep a close eye on you and on things until we can figure everything out. I'm going to get a job in Madison, at a garage, and boys, you keep your heads down at school and just get your work done."
"But Dad, if Jane needs protection, I should be here with her," Dean said earnestly.
Mr. Winchester gave a dry chuckle. "Nice try, Dean. You need to be in school right now. I told you, this trailer, and the land around it, is warded, and we'll put salt lines down as well."
"What is warded? Dean told Sam to put salt down before, at the cabin, what does that do?" I asked.
"Warded means that there are symbols placed around to keep things safe...keep things in, or keep things out. Salt lines at the doors and windows keep ghosts and demons from entering."
"So...I'll be here, alone, during the day?" I felt even more nervous with what he had just told me.
"Yes, but I won't be that far away. The next town over is about 20 minutes away. And I can train you some, show you how to shoot a gun and the like." Mr. Winchester's voice was reasonable.
My fear increased. "I don't want to learn how to shoot a gun! This is—this is horrible!" Tears came to my eyes. "I'm supposed to stay here by myself every day with the threat of something, some creature or, or- a, a demon possibly coming after me if I even set foot outside? I can't—can't live with this!" I looked at Sam and then Dean. They both looked surprised at my outburst. I stood up, tears pouring down my face, and ran to the little bedroom. I closed the door and sat down on the edge of the bed, putting my hands over my face as I sobbed. I felt more alone than I ever had before.
I could hear their voices talking, but I couldn't make out what they were saying. There was a knock on the door.
I raised my head. "Come in," I called in a croaky voice.
The door opened and Dean walked in, concern on his face. He closed the door behind him, and walked over to me. He held his hands out. "Hey, c'mere."
I took his hands and he pulled me to a standing position, drawing me into his arms.
I started to cry harder as I put my arms around him. "Dean, what—I mean—how can you live like this? With the knowledge that there are—are all these creatures—out there, and they—they want to do you harm? How do you deal with that? What am I gonna do?"
He held me tightly, rocking us back and forth slightly. "Shh...I know, it's a lot to take in...you get used to it, you know? My Dad's been training me and Sam for a long time now, and I've gone on hunts with him. I feel better knowing what's out there, and that I can defend myself and others if need be. And as for you," he looked down at me, and cupped my cheek, "We'll take care of you. We'll make sure nothing happens, and we'll show you how to defend yourself."
"But- that's scary, I don't want..." I leaned my head onto his chest.
"I know it is, but...you get used to it. You can learn, it's not that bad."
"Dean, I can't- this is so—my life has changed so much! How can this be real?" I began to sob again, and he pulled me closer, shushing me and patting my back. He held me until my crying had wound down.
He let me go and pulled a bandanna out of his pocket, and handed it to me. I took it and wiped my face.
"You want to come out and finish talking?"
I looked up at him. "No, I want to just...go to sleep, for a long time. Can't I just sleep until the baby's born?"
He made a face. "No, you can't. C'mon, let's go." he put his arm around me and walked me out the the kitchen again.
Mr. Winchester was standing again. Sam was eating an apple, and there was a bowl of tuna salad on the table and a plate of crackers.
I sat down again and exhaled shakily. "I'm sorry I—got upset," I said, feeling embarrassed.
"I gave you a lot of information, I probably should have gone slower. I'm sorry that you felt overwhelmed. But the introduction to this life is often—upsetting." Mr. Winchester looked at me.
"I'll say," I retorted.
"I don't want this to be too much for you. You seem like you've got a good head on your shoulders, and I think that you'd do well with training. Right now, you're dealing with the initial shock of learning about everything. You'll feel better about things in a couple of days."
I sighed. "I don't know..."
"You should eat something," Sam pushed the bowl towards me.
"And we need to discuss something else," Mr. Winchester leaned back against the counter again and crossed his arms over his chest.
"I know that you and Jane were... familiar... at the cabin—don't deny it," Mr. Winchester held his hand up at Dean's protestations, "But there's to be no more of that. No bed sharing and no—untoward behavior."
"Untoward behavior? What does that mean?" Dean joked, discomfort on his face.
"It means no sex. No- shenanigans. Both of you are teen-agers, and I expect you to behave yourselves around Sam and when you're alone."
"DAD!" Dean's face was crimson now, and he stared at the floor.
"Dean, I know what you're like. I've told you time and time again to keep it in your pants, and you—you haven't listened, and now, here we are."
Dean looked up at his dad. "Well it's not like I have to worry about getting the girl pregnant!"
Mr. Winchester sighed and scrubbed his hand over his face. "That is not the point! You are living under my roof, and I will not have my children—yes, you are still a child—having sex!"
"Oh my God, Dad!" Dean's face got even redder, and he dropped his head into his hands.
"Can I trust that you're going to behave yourself? Or do I need to send you to Bobby's?" Mr. Winchester's voice was stern now.
Dean huffed a laugh, but there was no humor in it. He lowered his hands. "Yeah, Dad, I'll behave. Jesus."
Mr. Winchester raised his eyebrows. "You gonna start giving me attitude? Really?" He stared at Dean, and Dean looked back at him and then dropped his eyes again.
"No sir," he muttered, glancing at me.
Mr. Winchester walked over to Dean and pulled him into a hug. "Dean, you're my son, and I love you, but I want you to think with your upstairs brain from now on, hear me?" he let Dean go and tapped the back of his head.
"Yes sir," Dean muttered again. "Geez, Dad, way to embarrass me in front of- my girl."
"If you can't talk about it, then you shouldn't have been doing it," Mr. Winchester quipped, and Sam started to laugh. All of us looked at him. "What?" he asked, "It sounds ridiculous! It is ridiculous!"
"Teen-agers are ridiculous," Mr. Winchester said dryly, and that made me laugh for some reason.
I pulled the plate of crackers towards me and spooned some tuna salad onto one. "Are there any more apples?" I asked.
"Yes," Mr. Winchester walked over to the refrigerator and got one out. He brought it over and set it next to my elbow. "Thanks," I smiled at him.
"Jane, do you do any cooking?" he asked.
"Well, I usually cook when I'm here, and Dean does the cooking the rest of the time. Would you like to do some cooking sometimes too? I mean, if you're still feeling nauseous, you shouldn't."
"Sure, I can cook," I nodded, "I made dinner most nights because my parents worked. I don't mind it, I like cooking."
"That's great," he said, turning to the counter and opening a cabinet, "You should probably check out the pots and pans and staples they've got. There's not much right now, this place has been empty for months, but there's flour and sugar and salt. We'll go shopping for groceries tomorrow, and you can pick out meals you like to cook."
"I'm working on one hundred and one ways to make mac and cheese," Dean wiggled his eyebrows.
"Umm...why?" I asked him.
"'Cause Sammy likes it, and it's something he'll eat. It's pretty good when you add stuff like chili."
"Hmm...okay," I said skeptically. I ate the apple and some more tuna salad. Dean ate some tuna salad also.
After I finished eating, I looked through the cabinets. There were quite a few pots and pans and some glass baking dishes. Next to the fridge was a large, deep closet that had rows of shelves for food. There were things like boxes of powdered milk and potato flakes, cans of soup, vegetables, and fruits, and large canisters of flour and sugar, like Mr. Winchester had said. On one shelf, higher up, there was a large wooden box marked, "Herbs". I tried to pull it down, and Dean reached up and got it for me.
He brought it out to the kitchen and set it on the table. When I opened it, I was surprised to see that everything was stored in glass jars or metal boxes, instead of the little plastic bottles from the grocery stores. "Why are the spices stored like this?" I asked.
"Uh, well, these aren't for cooking..." Mr. Winchester said slowly. I looked at him with confusion. "They're for...use in hunting. For spells and...other things."
"Spells?" I squeaked. "You do—like, witchcraft?"
"No, no, not witchcraft. But when you are putting up sigils to ward a place, you often have an incantation that you say, and you need to burn some herbs to set it. Herbs are burned during certain prayers too, and there are some spells that hunters do use, mostly for protection." Mr. Winchester explained.
"Oh," I felt relieved that he wasn't talking about witchcraft. "This is still...kinda weird. It's all so...mind-blowing." I closed the lid of the box. "I didn't see any other herbs or spices in there, we'll have to get some."
"What d'you mean? Salt and pepper's good enough!" Dean said.
"No, you need things like Basil and Oregano to put in pasta sauce, Parsley and Rosemary and Garlic for chicken."
"We can buy some spices tomorrow," Mr. Winchester said. "It's late, you three should get to bed."
"I call the bathroom first!" Dean turned and began to rush towards the hall.
"Dean, let Jane go first," Mr. Winchester reprimanded.
Dean stopped, and turned. "Okay, you're right," he said with chagrin.
I went to my room and got a pair of pajamas. When I came back out to the living room, I asked, "You didn't, by chance, grab my toothbrush or my jewelry, did you?"
"No, I took the bag that was in the ambulance. I'm guessing a nurse packed your things from your room." Mr. Winchester told me.
"Oh," I said disappointedly, "They didn't put my jewelry in the bag or any of my supplies like my toothbrush or shampoo."
"Make a list of what you need, and we can pick that up tomorrow too."
"Thanks," I smiled gratefully at him.
Dean and Sam were in their bedroom when I came out of the bathroom. I felt nervous about trying to go in, after what Mr. Winchester had said to us.
"Good night," I called as I turned to walk down the hall.
Dean came to the door and leaned on the doorjamb. "Hey, well..."
I stopped and looked at him. "What?"
He leaned forward and for a second it seemed like he was going to kiss me. "Uh, good night, Jane." he said, blushing a little.
"G'night," I replied.
My sleep was restless. It was hard to get used to how different the mattress felt, and all the sounds. There were crickets outside, and every so often a car would drive by. At one point a loud motorcycle startled me awake as it went past. I felt like I couldn't get comfortable in the bed, or relax. Even though Mr. Winchester said that house was protected, I still felt anxious.
In the morning, we got dressed and then Mr. Winchester took us to get breakfast. We ate as he drove to a strip mall that had a large grocery store at one end.
I walked between Sam and Dean as we went into the store. Mr. Winchester grabbed a shopping cart out of the kiosk.
A female cashier walked by holding a register drawer. She openly stared at Dean, her mouth almost dropping open. I had forgotten how he affected people, a lot of girls usually stared at him in the halls or gazed dreamily at him in class. He usually seemed to take it in stride.
He nodded at her, saying, "Hey," in a low voice.
She brightened when he acknowledged her. "Welcome to Save-More!" she chirped happily, tilting her head and smiling.
As we walked past her, I realized what she'd been doing. She'd been doing the "I'm trying to get this guy's attention" flirting thing. With Dean.
"Why do these type of store always mis-spell their name?" Sam said grumpily, gesturing at a large sign hanging at the end of the rows. "SAV-MOR FOOD MART- Sail Into Sales!" was emblazoned across it, with a drawing of a sailboat loaded down with food.
"What even is a 'mart'?" Sam grumbled, frowning.
"It's a shortened version of the word 'market'," Mr. Winchester explained.
"Well I think it's dumb!" Sam groused, and Mr. Winchester ruffled his hair. "All right, let's get this shopping trip started."