They had maps and they had books. They had almost a hundred years of total experience when it came to hunting right in this cabin trying to solve this problem that focused on the rifts. Luckily, they never just focused on one problem at a time. If his Dad could see the patterns of a high level demon wandering around, he would have tracked it using techniques Dean couldn’t even comprehend.
”Alastair? No,” Dean said, thinking about the experience as he closed the hallway door to scan a map that was pinned beside the kitchen. Continuing his reply, he stuck out a finger pointedly to the marks scattered across the states. “It was just useless taunting, but Dad though, he likes to keep track of rifts and other shit. He traced a demon across the entire U.S. a while back–– maybe he did it again.”
Dean didn’t know for sure–– hell, he didn’t know what half of these marks meant. Why were there triangles along this line? Did this purple circle mean an important location? Why were the just so many god damn lines to follow? There were tacks in some cities, maybe that meant those were the important ones, but last time they had to track a demon down with his dad’s notes they had help.
- –– - Help. —
– - – O - h.
Pulling out his phone, he looked back to the map, thinking about how to play it off. So many things could go wrong–– so many things have gone wrong. They could have a lead but it would force him to give away information he had been trying to suppress for as long as possible. Holding down the three on the dial pad, the tone begun to emit from the speaker as it dialed. Dean waited for it to begin ringing, making sure it connected before stepping a bit closer to Benny, pulling the phone away from his ear.
"Hey, so I’ll grab a few books to read through on these places. Do some research, ya’know?"
Pushing the phone towards his friend, making sure he’d grab on to it, Dean moved through the doorway and into the hallway.
“Pretty sure they’re downstairs. I’ll just go get ‘em.”
At least there was a little comfort in the fact that Alistair seemed to, from what he understood, talk big and bring buildings down as opposed to actually causing any kind of problem aside from kidnapping some rather important people. If Alistair was worried about the rifts too, which Benny could only assume because that black eye’d bitch hadn’t even attempted to steal the scroll back, maybe they wouldn’t burn that bridge so quick and hurt John and Jo before they got what they wanted. He scratched at his chin for a moment, absently taking the phone from Dean as it was passed to him.
“Nah, Dean. You’re stayin’ ‘ere until I finish talkin’ tah Ellen. Jus’ in case she tries tah biaht mah head off through th’ damn thin’…” Strong fingers clamped down on Dean’s wrist, preventing him from actually leaving. Of course he knew he was calling Ellen. Who else would he call at a time like this? The only person they had that could offer any help. At least at present.
He shot Dean a hard look, glaring at him as he held the phone against his ear, listening to it ring. Ellen wasn’t going to be happy. And Benny would much prefer not going back to purgatory just yet. he was just starting to get used to being topside. And Ellen scared him. Quite a lot, actually.
The few hunters that hung around the bar turned their heads as the phone rang. Tension was knotted between her shoulders, the knots getting more noticeable as the day went by without hearing from anyone of the hunters she had seen leave with her daughter. Something told her it had to be them, one of them, if it wasn’t Jo something had happened. She’d stopped expecting a good outcome when Winchesters were involved a long time ago.
Drawing in a breath, she picked up the phone before it rang for a second time. She didn’t didn’t knwow hat to expect from whoever was calling. Preparing for the worst left her tone harsh. “What happened.”
It wasn’t a question. The demand far from polite. She couldn’t let herself feel anything, the last time a Dean had called her when he had been with Jo, she’d been taken by a malicious ghost. The stakes were a lot higher this time around. It wasn’t some ghost they were up against it was whatever wanted to keep purgatory open, anything that knew what Cas knew could be there waiting for them.
In all sense of the word Jo Harvelle crashed into her room in the wee hours of the morning. Door swinging open to hit wall beside, bag slipped off her shoulder plummeting to the floor, contents emptying out at the impact and her shoes kicked off and away, bouncing along as they went. She didn’t know if she’d washed off the blood or if the graveyard dirt still matted her curls; there was a new mattress, clean sheets with her name on it. Free falling onto the makeshift bed with lids shut she Jo free an exhausted groan, body keeping still the instant she settled on the disheveled pile of blankets.
Familiar voices and army-boot-heavy treading roused her, groggily wakening she disentangled herself from the knotted sheets to stand.
Jo galumphed forward, her reddened knuckles rubbing at the remnant glop of mascara and eyeliner left smudge against her pillow overnight. A indicative thump of her toes against the door told her to stop throwing her legs ahead. Teeth bit down onto the inside of her cheek and on the verge of rasping out a number of her well used, blasphemous terms from her vocabulary, a yawn cut them off. Her were eyes kept shut while her hands rattled around the doorknob until grubby fingers found and wrapped around the handle. Managing to finally unlatch the door and stumble into the hallway, Jo’s attention was set to the sound of her mother’s voice. Eyes decorated in dissimilar black smudges blinked open while Ellen moved out of her own bedroom accompanied by an recognizable overhanging figure hastily pushing his way through the doorframe.
Motherfucking son of a— Oh god, gross.
Well she was bound to—
No, no, no.
Not thinking about this. No.
Think of dead puppies, dead anything.
She couldn’t have left some tie— sock? A note, whatever.
Goddammit, something. It’s too early do deal with this shit.
"G’mornin’ mom…" Jo was the first to inject herself into the conversational hiccup, lips upturned and pressed against one another to smile thinly at least briefly for Ellen. Swiftly turning to tersely nod in the other hunter’s direction, a tart, "John," was puffed out before she promptly swerved around on heels, heading back into her room with extreme confidence she specifically did not desire to be present in that particular hallway with those two exact individuals together, for whatever reason that may have been… together. The door closed with a blunt smack, feet marching back en route to the box spring mattress in the corner, silently curled herself back underneath the covers and without hesitation shut her eyes to the ignore the ongoing conversation in the cramped corridor.
Anything other than staring at maps and making uninterpretable markings? John scratched his head, thinking about the past few days. There were maybe some days he spent in the town, grabbing food with Dean while talking about targeting specific rifts. Some days were spent actually going on those hunts, with or without Dean. There were still the times where he had to stop by corner markets and grab food, run to the laundromat, or doing any of those out of character domestic actions for him.
"I, sort of?" Stepping out into the hall way, holding his hand in that awkward position he held while he thought, John stumbled across his words. "I’ve been going on some hunts and recon missions with what I found out. Not really doing anything else if that’s what you’re talking about. Just hunting, figuring out what to hunt, and research- hardly anything too exciting."
His life had limited options. It was enveloped by the rifts and any opportunity of normalcy was blocked off by the liminal tears. It wasn’t just something he could take off or ignore, and even if he wasn’t in the eye of the storm, it was still something that’d call to the hunter.
Turning down the hallway, hearing the rattle of the doorknob, John paused his poor explanation. He wasn’t aware of another presence in the bar, unsure of how to react if it was another hunter. Especially if it was one he had known before his death.
Relief was postponed with uncertainty unsure about how to move on. Obviously just waking up from sleep, the entrance was less than graceful, but left him with an uneasiness that he couldn’t explain. Jo’s retreat back into her room was promising, John unsure about how to deal with both Harvelles at the same time, but moving forward was uncharted territory that he didn’t wish to cross.
”Is it still even morning, technically?”
Eyes slide to the door as it opened, a blonde head emerging from the shadows. If anything, Jo looked taken aback. Ellen wasn’t sure why she looked so bewildered at them. Guess she hadn’t expected to see the other hunter around their apartment but it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise since they were all trying to work together. With mild confusion she was going to reply in turn to the greeting, but her daughter had retreated back to her room before the words could be said.
She narrowed her eyes at the bedroom door wondering what could be going on with her daughter but shrugged it off. She couldn’t pass it off to being a teenage anymore sadly but she couldn’t think of any good excuse for the behavior.
Was it morning? She didn’t even know when he’d gotten there. Late morning? Early afternoon? Somewhere in that time frame. It could still be morning. She shrugged, “Who knows.”
Continuing down the hallway she tried to get back on track with the conversation. John had been saying something about hunts before the strange interruption. Something about nothing being exciting. That was hard to believe, hunting might have just been their job but it was never boring. There could be monotony to tracking and killing but it was never exactly what anyone could call unexciting. Always a challenge, something new that they hadn’t seen before, some way to evade hunters, to kill hunters, there was nothing boring about putting your life on the line.
“Nothing as fun as ghouls?” She asked almost jokingly, the first thing they’d together after death had been a hunting trip with ghouls. It had been strange to working with him after not speaking for so long but it’d been easy. Working with him was easier than this idle banter, they’d had a mission and they carried it out with skill fitting of their years. It had been almost fun to take care of things when they were easily pointed out to them, catching the ghouls off guard and disposing of their bodies in the middle of a party, it couldn’t get much more Bond for them.
The bar was emptying. Men, with a scattered handful of women, were slowly leaving, the crowd dwindling with the sound of tires on gravel. She’d been washing down the counter, a worn rag sopping up the spilled beer. She’d always find the smell of beer, sweat, and humanity comforting in some way. But as she was left alone her thoughts turned to the friends and family that weren’t there.
Jo was on a mission with the Winchester, an angel, and a hunter that preferred to be a fry cook. She wouldn’t have called it the safest outing but they weren’t girl scouts, all of them knew what they were doing and according to the angel who led them there, it should go over fine. Get in, get the thing, get out. It sounded too easy. Something about it sounded off to her. She couldn’t have placed it when she heard the plan, she couldn’t say much in protest. She’d stood there silently, waiting for someone to drop the ball, waiting for the dangerous part of the mission to come out but it didn’t. And then they were all off, driving to Missouri for something the angel said would help.
She didn’t care about being left behind. Someone needed to hold down the fort. She could handle her own wherever she was needed. Having everyone gone was an odd sensation though. She was left alone in the bar for the first time since she’d opened. Benny was there most of the time the place was open, some hunter friend was there during open hours, someone was there. But right now she was truly alone in the bar. Jo wasn’t going to stop by for a few hours of sleep only to wake up to Ellen shoving supplies and extra jars of peanut butter at her. Benny wasn’t making some ruckus in the kitchen making something new for the menu.
The feeling was foreign. And it didn’t sit well.
There had to be something up with the mission. There had to be something going on. No one had called in 36 hours. No one had come by. She didn’t know what had happened but she didn’t like how silence was making her feel. If something had happened to Jo, so help her, someone was going to pay. John didn’t have a good record with her family members in the field though she wasn’t going to bring that up unless it was called for. Dean had about the same record, Jo had saved him from the hell hound in Carthage. It had been going for Dean. She’d lost so much when it was attached to the Winchesters.
Ringing out the rag in the sink, she tried to stop herself from thinking about it. To stop thinking about the things that could go wrong. There was an angel there. But then Cas had been at Carthage to before he disappeared, looking for the reason the reapers where there. If he did something so irresponsible again he was going to have more than hell to pay. Putting her family was the only option but trying to keep them safe was the goal. There was no way around getting dirty, but if they were looking out for each other there shouldn’t be a problem.
With a heavy sigh, she finished cleaning. The lights going out on the bar, the neon signs in from going off for the night. Before heading upstairs to her apartment she took a look around at bar. It was a new home, a new start. She and Jo had been given a new start for whatever reason and she wasn’t about to let it go so easily. They’d both fought tooth and nail to get through that shit hole that was purgatory, there was no way they were going to be dragged back easily.
The stairs creaked under her. The old floor boards bowing slightly under the weight of a person. Her thoughts stayed on her daughter. If she was in danger, there was nothing Ellen could do about it and that was what she hated the most. Praying to God or angels seemed almost useless knowing what she did. But there were times, moment, when she still believed that there was a God and he was there. It was something that she took strength from on occasion. She’d cursed Him when she’d lost Bill but now she found herself asking Him to protect her daughter. It was the only thing she could think to do. Angels were dicks. Hopefully, Cas could do his part in protecting Jo but she wasn’t going to count on him with his record. There needed to be something more than just angels with them now.
Finding her way to her bed in the dark she hoped that whatever God there was was listening.
→ ellen harvelle in 2.03 bloodlust
yeah, and hannibal lecter’s a good psychiatrist.
It was late. His nocturnal habits were rarely interrupted, seeing as those he worked with tended to work during the day. Really, the quiet evenings were a godsend. He could spend the evening perfecting recipes or catching up on the fifty years he’d missed with a mug of warm blood in his hands. Everything had changed so much since he’d died, since his wife had passed, since all hope of a family had been erased. But here he was now, and he had what he considered a family. Ellen and Jo. Dean and Sam. Family. Not a nest or a gang. A family.
This evening he wore his apron, sleeves rolled up to his elbows as he experimented. Food, he found, was something that hardly ever changed with time. Everyone still loved hot chicken, even if it was a little different from his day. Cooking was a passion. Something other than bloodlust that he could focus on. Bloodlust and guilt. He’d been doing some research recently, looking into the Old Man, seeing if maybe he could track down his old nest, find that bastard and rip his throat out. But that was for another time, when Purgatory wasn’t threatening to destroy what he loved. He smiled to himself as he bustled about the kitchen until his phone rang.
For a moment his heart sank. The vampire cleaned his hands off on the hem of his apron and plucked his phone up from where it sat on the counter. Ellen… Had something happened? Shit. If something had happened and he hadn’t been there to prevent it… Cautiously he flicked open his phone.
"Hell-a?" there was a pause as he listened intently. Something was wrong with Jo? Well that didn’t sound good. He liked Jo. Benny nodded, scratching at his chin, "Ye, ye, shur thin’ Ellen. ‘ll be riagh’ ova. Yew jus’ hol’ on till I ge’ there, alrigh’? I won’ be loan’." With that, he hung up. It didn’t sound too urgent, but he was better safe than sorry. Turning the oven off, the vampire hung his apron up and rolled down his sleeves before pulling his coat on and heading outside.
His current mode of transportation consisted of an old run-down truck. It used to be a baby blue, but now it had a nice rusty exterior. In some ways it reminded him of himself. It roared to life and he quickly backed out and headed towards the Harvelle’s. Who was he to refuse help when they’d been so good to him?
Listening in to the periodic creaking of branches prodding out of the wall to surround herself and her mother while they shivered nervously at Ellen’s steps. The bubbly smile lifted at her crumb dusted lips fell to a flat expression at Ellen’s half heard exasperated comment. Fingertips rolled over the grooves of one round piece of cereal while she descended into fleeting thoughts before folding her legs neatly on the counter. Jo’s neck tilted at an extreme angle to examine the lone chocolate puff in her hands. “You’re not alone, ma. I’m right here.”
Gaze distant and wasted, it lifted to her mother. Confusion set in and the cereal crunched into power between her fingertips. Ellen spoke firmly into a receiver Jo was unable to see completely, her spindly branched digits wrapped around something dark and square. Her mother’s attention had moved onto whatever else she was speaking into. ”Hey…” The box of Cocoa Puffs whipped around wildly showering the leafy ground with more cereal. “Hey!” A childish lip stuck while she frustratedly called out to Ellen, demanding her focus to return to her. “I’m right here. I can hear you.”
Abandoning the now empty box and sliding off the counter, Jo marched up to Ellen grabbing her arm. “There aren’t any issues, ma? Are you crazy? You’re the one with the—” The hunter’s hands waved wildly over her own face to somehow describe the less than natural condition her mother was in. Leaning in to the phone at Ellen’s ear, she yelled into the speaker. “She’s gone blind, I swear it! I’m right across from her and she can’t see me with those goddamn red eyes of hers! Just ignore her! I got everythin’ covered.”
Her eyes following her daughter as she sat on the counter continuing to make a mess of the cereal that Ellen had bought her. The kid was not alright at all. The brown dust of cocoa flavored cereal fell to the floor unceremoniously. “Thanks,” The short word was punctuated with the clinking of the receiver.
The yelling in her ear wasn’t the most pleasant thing. Her mouth forming a hard line as she frowned. Eyes lifted to her daughter, she pushed her back keeping a hand on her shoulder to keep her standing. “Don’t you yell in my ear again, Joanna.”
She honestly had no idea what was happening to her daughter but it didn’t seem good. The mentions of red eyes was concerning. She didn’t know what the hunter would be able to do but she was glad to have help in case Jo needed to be restrained. If it got bad, she could call the angel but she didn’t know if Cas would show up on call. He wasn’t the most reliable guy she knew. She continued to hold her daughter’s shoulder, unsure if letting go would be a good idea. “What you’re seein isn’t real.”
→ ellen harvelle in 2.06 no exit
Joanna Beth, this family has lost enough. and I won’t lose you too. I just won’t.
Following the Harvelle back through the hallway, John noted to himself how the surroundings looked. Pausing for a quick moment, he headed back into the small living area to grab the drink he sat down on the table before returning to the room Ellen had walked into. Some of the rooms he passed seemed hardly used, maybe a guest room or Jo’s, it didn’t really matter. All he knew from it was that the amount of time that the kid spent here wasn’t long enough for her to make a standing impact on the area.
The set up was nice, John had to admit. If people knew that when they walked into this bar that they had an fifty man arsenal above their heads, well, John would love to see their faces and how quickly they could put money on the table. It was an exaggeration of the supplies, but numbers didn’t matter too much to civilian when you have an assault rifle on the wall.
It reminded him slightly of his own set up he had in his locker, only without the memorabilia. It lacked the occasional Kukri and landmine that blended in with the seldom Science Fair award. It wasn’t supposed to be a storehouse of memories and artifacts. It was simply a stockpile of weapons, a way to provide for the group.
Still could have used something illegal.
Maybe a grenade launcher or a couple hand grenades.
"Decent collection, must have taken a while to put together."
"Did you have to buy most of these guns? You gathered them pretty quickly."
He didn’t mean to pry into how she acquired these weapons, but he was grasping for conversational topics that didn’t end up in a perturbing silence. Maybe it was a knack he had for deadbeat conversations, but he rather have people complain that all he talked about was guns and hunting than awkward tension.
She’d had the new building for over half a year, after getting the bar in working order and was able to pay for the things she needed she’d started spending the extra money on the guns. It was strange to think she’d settled in so quickly, it was still strange being on earth and not in purgatory if she was going to be honest with herself. Shaking herself form her thoughts she refocused on what he had said. “Most of them I bought, some were sort of gifted.”
Hunters left things. Some had partners and didn’t want to keep their weapons after it went sideways. Some didn’t want to stay in the business any longer. It was too rough for some. They all came in with that look, the one that people said soldiers had. A new darkness in their eyes after they’d seen more than they could handle. Something was broken in all of them to even want to go looking for the monsters hiding in the shadows.
She flicked the lights off, the room going dark with little warning. Spinning on her heels she headed back across the bedroom, eyes scanning it for a moment before reaching the door. She hadn’t settled in to the room like she had the rest of the building. It was strange sleeping on something soft even after so many months. She still couldn’t get a full night’s sleep in without waking up and grasping for a weapon. It was something she hoped didn’t show in the sparse room, the sheets nearly perfectly tucked under the edges of a bed she could barely use.
“You been doing anything besides considering a career in meteorology?” The words were thrown casually over her shoulder as she led him back down the hall to the living room.
The conversation remained shallow, something she was grateful for. She didn’t care to talk about anything much deeper than the events of the last couple months. They had a history together. Something that she was unwilling to bring up. It was difficult thinking of John as a friend after what had happened but he was still a friend.
Looking down at the counter while her cereal starts getting wet from the small container of half and half that she found in the cooler. Looking down at the food with a sour face cutting her eyes at Ellen for a moment then looking back down at the food. Of course she was right. She could have gotten caught and in big trouble.
" You’re right…I have not done many things like that in the past. I just look at Dean and others and I know I can be like them. I have a lot of vampires left to kill and now demons too I guess. "
She stabs her spoon into the bowl of drenched sugar coated goodness.Listening to it crunch and clink as the spoon hits the bowl bottom. Screwing up wasn’t supposed to be her job she usually left that to the adults.
"Fine no more things like that but it would be nice if someone could stop me from making stupid mistakes before I do them"
Krissy looks at Ellen with a mouth full when her eyes get wide suddenly. ” Sugar! this needs sugar seriously bad”
She nodded, glad that the kid was being reasonable. There was no logical need for them to steal when they could afford the basic necessities and more. She could supply the girl with whatever she wanted within reason. Food wasn’t a problem, a car of her own might be but it wasn’t often that Ellen left the bar, if she was going to it was to the store or important enough to warrant the girl going with her. “More than demons and vampires out there to kill.”
Almost choking on the last of her coffee she started laughing at the girl as she struggled with the cereal. It didn’t really need sugar, Jo always wanted something sweet, with a cartoon figure on the front. Ellen couldn’t really help but indulge her when she was around, it was the least she could do for her own kid. Stifling a chuckle, she shook her head with amusement, “Think the only one that can stop you from messing p is you. Sugars in the cupboard.”
Ellen refilled her cup with the last of the pot of coffee, her back turned to the girl for a moment, an amused smile still playing across her lips. “How much of a sweet tooth you got, kid?”
Seeing red right now. How could she do that? This is a hunter’s life isn’t it? Ellen was the boss here and Krissy respects her. She will have to live by Ellen’s rules if she’s going to be part of this group.
Letting her arms fall to her side and starring at the older woman for a moment. Her face is that of irritation but she says nothing at this moment in time. She doesn’t want to disrespect the woman in her own building. Krissy briskly walks behind the bar and kneels down rummaging through the dry cereal. She wasn’t in the mood for this right now but when you’re hungry you take what you can get.
She tosses the rolled up bag of dried goods on the counter that’s marked ” Jo’s” Making no more eye contact with Ellen she find a bowl and some milk.
"Thanks for the food. I was just trying to help out but it seems like I can’t do anything right"
Which wasn’t at all true because this was the first stupid thing she did. Even to Krissy she felt like she was acting childish but looking like rookie was a bad feeling and she didn’t know how to react.
The kid was a little misguided, Ellen could see that, but she wasn’t going to go easy on her. Breaking the law was not something she was going to tolerate at her age, the boys and Jo knew what they were doing and could avoid the law when they did anything unlawful. It was going to happen but Krissy was going to need to learn when it was appropriate and when it wasn’t. “When you got what you need here you don’t need to go out and steal it.”
She looked over her mug at the girl. She was young, seen too much for her age but who among them couldn’t say the same. They’d all seen and experienced things that no one should have to, but someone had to so it might as well be them. Still didn’t make it right that a girl Krissy’s age had been through what she’d been through. “Breaking the law isn’t helping. It’s unnecessary. Just don’t do it again.”
Dean was hoping to get at least a couple words in before Ellen grilled him, but he honestly wasn’t surprised that those were the first words out of her mouth. Ellen was furious, she had every right to be, and Dean knew deserved every bit of whatever was coming to him.
"She’s with dad." Maybe the news would be less severe if he started with that. "We just… don’t know where yet."
There was a chance that they were both doing fine, but the tone in Dean’s voice made it clear that he didn’t believe that. The hunter couldn’t even look Ellen in the eyes. He shook his head with a sigh, glancing off to the side. They were all a team, and it wasn’t Dean’s sole responsibility to babysit them all, yet as always, he couldn’t help but shoulder all the guild. ”It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have let them go off from the group.”
She’s with dad
The words played over in Ellen’s head. Jo was with John. The man that had been with her husband when he had died. The man that she had trusted at one point to protect her family members, but couldn’t anymore. John was the only one probably with Jo and god knew where either of them were. Different scenarios started going through her head, different ways that it could have gone wrong. She should have known better than to trust the Winchester with her family again. Her teeth gritted together, hands knotting in the fabric of his shirt. “She’s where?”
She’s with dad. We just don’t know where yet.”
She didn’t want to think about John being the only one to have Jo’s back wherever they were. She liked John, always had, but it seemed to be a family trait, putting her family in danger. She’d lost both Bill and Jo because of Winchesters. John was supposed to look out for Bill, Jo hadn’t been the one the hell hound had been after it was a Winchester. It was part of their job, she knew that somewhere in the back of her mind but she couldn’t help but notice the pattern of Winchesters being the cause of so much grief.
It took everything she had not to hit him. He was right, it was his fault. He’d been the one leading them into the place. “What fucking happened?”