Banner By: Mara
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Jo sighed as she made her way downstairs. It had taken a while, but she’d finally got William to calm down and head to bed. Her hand was rubbing the back of her neck when she made her way into the living room. Bobby was sitting at his desk attempting to read through the book of Enoch while her mother was filling hex bags.
She plopped down on the couch and ran a hand over her face. She’d been back close to a day and not once had she been able to relax. Everything was slowly spinning out of control and she wasn’t sure what to do anymore.
All those months ago, when she left William and Azazel found her, she thought it was over. She felt his power burn through her until there was nothing left. She could remember the peace and tranquility that had surrounded her before it was ripped away and she was panting on the ground full of sweat and confusion.
Coming back to life and living on the run for six months was not pleasant, but she did it because she thought it would keep William safe. Apparently she was wrong. Jo was startled out of her thoughts by a warm hand touching her arm.
She glanced up and saw her mom looking at her, concern filling her face. She gave her mother a small smile before speaking. “What’s up?”
“I was just ‘bout to ask you the same thing.”
Jo shrugged. “I think I’m still sort of on auto-pilot. Like things haven’t fully sunk in yet. How’s the deciphering comin’ Bobby?”
He grunted. “A pain in the ass, this don’t make a lick ‘a sense.”
Jo nodded and stood. “I don’t think you’re gonna get too far with that book Bobby. I think I know someone who might be able to help though.”
Bobby shrugged. “Help can’t hurt. I should go check on the demon. It’s been awfully quiet. I ain’t heard her get up yet.”
Jo stood and waved Bobby off. “I’ll do it. I need to talk to her anyway.”
Ellen raised an eyebrow at her daughter. Since when did she have anything to talk about with Ruby? She studied Jo carefully and when her daughter didn’t meet her eyes, she had the sneaking suspicion that she was up to no good. “What’s going on Jo? There something you ain’t tellin’ us?”
She shook her head. “No except the fact that I think Ruby owes me some answers and I want to talk to her.”
She watched Jo get up and head back upstairs, a perturbed look on her face. She looked over at Bobby and he shrugged. “Let her be. There’s been a lot going on and if she thinks she can get some answers out of Ruby then let her.”
Ellen sighed as she nodded and moved back over to the desk before sitting back down and getting out another bag to finish working on the charms. Jo made her way down the upstairs hallway and knocked on the spare bedroom door.
When there was no answer she sighed and pushed it open. Ruby was lying haphazardly halfway under the covers, arm thrown around the pillow next to her. She looked better than the last time Jo came in to see if she was awake.
She moved over to the bed and nudged her shoulder none too gently. Ruby grumbled something incoherent and shifted in her sleep. Jo rolled her eyes and shoved the other woman slightly harder. Ruby grunted, frowned and shifted. “Cut it out Sammy…I’m sleeping.”
“Rise and shine sleeping beauty, we need to talk.” She saw Ruby’s body tense as she turned slowly to face Jo. She shot up in the bed and glanced around eyes moving frantically around the room in confusion.
“Where the hell am I?”
Jo sighed. “Seriously? I’m going to have to sit here and explain everything that’s happened in the past few days? Because we really don’t have time for it right now.”
Ruby’s brows furrowed as she tried to recall what had happened. Seconds later Jo watched her face pale as she her breathing quickened. “Sam…”
Jo nodded. “Anna saved you, dumped your sorry ass here with Bobby and my mom. They patched you up. How are you feeling?”
She swallowed hard and took inventory of her body. She couldn’t feel any broken bones. She was slightly sore, but nothing major from what she could tell. She glanced up at the blonde and spoke quietly. “Everything feels good. A little sore, but nothing I can’t handle. So I see you’re alive and kicking.”
Jo glared at Ruby and arms crossing over her chest. “No thanks to you. What in the world were you doing taking Sam on some mission to kill me? I knew you were a crazy bitch, but Jesus.”
Ruby’s eyes turned into slits, lips tight with irritation as she spoke through gritted teeth. “I take offense to the crazy bitch statement and when I first clawed my way out of hell I was slightly confused okay? Shit happens. You died and I thought Azazel had taken over your body. Sam dreamt it, and Dean wouldn’t listen so we went to find you on our own so you wouldn’t come after Dean and the kid.”
“William…my son’s name is William.”
“Yeah well whatever. I didn’t realize until recently that you weren’t possessed and when I brought it up to Sam and told him we should find Dean…well I should have known something was wrong.”
Jo saw the brunette’s expression shift as she picked at the blankets nervously her voice hesitant when she finally spoke. “He’s inside Sam isn’t he…Azazel?”
Jo swallowed hard and nodded. “Yeah, has been for a while apparently.”
Ruby chuckled, but it wasn’t humorous in the slightest. They watched each other slowly before Ruby frowned. “Where’s Dean? I would have thought he’d be having a field day chewing me out.”
She flinched and Ruby raised an eyebrow. “Sam…or Azazel rather and Meg attacked us. Dean took the hit…he didn’t make it.”
Shock registered on her face at Jo’s words. Sam would never forgive himself for this. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t in control or that there was nothing he could do. Essentially his body killed Dean. Ruby ran a hand over her face and shook her head “Everything’s all messed up. Do you know where Sam is now? Have you guys tried to get Azazel out?” She spoke as she pulled the covers away from her body, stood up and stretched wincing slightly in the process.
“No and before you run off to go find him I need to know which side you’re on. Anna wanted you here because apparently you’re important or something. So I need to know you aren’t going to disappear and try to get Sam back yourself because that isn’t going to help any of us.”
Ruby let out a frustrated sigh and paced back and forth. “Well it’s not like I have much of a choice is there? I can’t fight Azazel on my own, we all know how that turned out last time and Sam would kill me if I left you guys here to fend for yourselves.”
She stopped moving and turned toward Jo who nodded. “Okay, now that, that’s established how are those demon powers of yours holding up?”
Ruby shrugged. “They should be fine…why?”
“I need you to do something for me.” She gave her a questioning look and Jo spoke. “I need you to drop something off to someone. Get in and out without being seen. Think you can handle it?”
“Shouldn’t be an issue.”
Jo nodded as she headed for the bedroom door and spoke over her shoulder. “Good, let’s get you caught up and ready to go.”
Ruby let out a loud sigh as she followed the blonde out of the room. If someone told her a few weeks ago that she’d be working with Dean’s little girlfriend, she probably would have laughed at them, but with Azazel, Meg and Lilith on the loose she was going to need all the help she could get.
Jo was looking over one of Bobby’s books when she felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She could feel the atmosphere shift and her body tensed. Seconds later Ruby’s head jerked up and she met Jo’s eyes.
They stood in unison and Bobby glanced up confusion on his face as he took in the alertness of their bodies. He opened his mouth but before he could say anything Jo spoke to Ruby in a tone that left no room for argument. “Run upstairs grab William and bring him to the panic room.”
Normally she would have argued, but now wasn’t the time for it. She disappeared and Jo glanced at her mother and Bobby and she ran toward the corner and grabbed two rifles tossing one to her mom. Ellen caught the gun and stood Bobby grabbing his own and following suit. “What’s going on Jo?”
She moved carefully over to the window and pushed the curtain aside glancing into the darkness. “They’re here.”
Ellen frowned. “Who?”
Jo clenched her jaw. “Azazel and the other demons.”
Bobby glanced around brows furrowed as he watched Jo’s measured movements before speaking. “I don’t understand…how do you know he’s here?”
“I can feel him. That’s how I’ve been able to avoid him this whole time. Whenever he gets near…it’s like I just know, though it’s not usually this sudden. Normally I have more time.”
Ellen and Bobby shared a look and right as Jo turned around to face them there was a loud crash from downstairs. Her head whipped around towards the basement door before she took off in that direction calling over her shoulder. “Watch the front door I think there’s more coming!”
The words were barely out of her mouth when something crashed through the front door. Two demons made their way into the house. Bobby and Ellen raised their shot guns and let off a few rounds. As Jo pounded down the steps the noise from her boots echoed around her.
She could hear the sound of a struggle and when she hit the last step and turned she came face to face with Sam. His lips curled into an evil smile as his eyes flicked black. She tightened her grip on the shot gun as he pulled Ruby toward him by the neck. “Well, well what do we have here?”
Jo glanced around but didn’t see William. Her heartbeat picked up as her eyes met Ruby’s. The brunette glanced quickly to the left several times and Jo got the hint. She took a step forward poised for a fight as she spoke in a hard voice.
“Where is my son?”
“I haven’t the faintest idea…You know…it’s so nice to see you Joanna…alive and kicking. How’d you manage that by the way?”
She smirked and shrugged. “I guess you’re not as good as you think you are.”
Azazel frowned, glanced toward the left and nodded. The next thing she knew Meg was walking about from the corner William gripped tightly in her hands. He jerked against her in an attempt to run to Jo, but she only jerked him back by the arm.
Jo felt her heart clench at the fear on her son’s face. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Evil wasn’t supposed to win, all the running she did, everything they did to prepare for this moment and still she’d failed. The look on Sam’s face made her sick.
It was twisted, gleeful even. His tone was jovial as he spoke. “What’s the matter nothing to say? Where’s that knight in shining armor of yours? Oh that’s right…I killed him.”
“You son of a bitch you let my son go or I swear to god I’ll kill you.”
“Big words for someone that has the odds stacked against her.”
She swallowed hard and glanced between Meg and Azazel. She held up a hand and lowered her gun. Her body was still tense, but she had backed off.
“How about a trade?”
Azazel raised one of Sam’s eyebrows. “I’m listening.”
“Let my son go…and you can have me.”
Ruby’s eyes widened as she thrashed in Azazel’s grip. Her eyes were wild when she looked at Jo and spoke. “Don’t…that’s exactly…”
Her words were cut off by the tightening on her throat. William let out a long breath before kicking Meg in the leg and yelling at Azazel. “You leave Ruby alone you stupid demon!”
Jo had never been so proud or scared for her son at once. Meg glared at the young boy and lifted a hand to slap him when Ruby pushed back into Azazel making him teeter before propelling her body forward and knocking them into Meg so when her hand came down it missed William.
The four of them grappled on the floor Ruby trying to get free of Sam’s arms while kicking Meg away from William. Jo lifted her gun and fired it into the ceiling. Everyone froze and turned in her direction.
She could see Meg’s nails biting into William’s arms as a knife was being held to Ruby’s neck. Her eyes met Azazel’s as she spoke in a hard voice. “Do we have a deal?”
Upstairs Ellen was in the middle of tossing salt at one of the demons when there was a flash of light and she stumbled dropping her gun. The demon smirked, lifted it up, and pointed it at her.
She could see his finger slowly pressing down on the trigger when all of a sudden he howled in pain before bursting into flames and disappearing leaving a slightly disheveled Dean grinning down on her. Ellen’s eyes widened as she took in the eldest Winchester.
He held out a hand to her and she took it hesitantly as he hoisted her up and spoke. “Betchya you're glad to see me huh?”
She swallowed hard and her face softened as she pulled him into a tight hug. “You don’t know the half of it.”
They pulled apart at Bobby’s grunt and while Ellen picked up her gun Dean raised the colt and shot the demon attacking Bobby. He could hear more coming through the back and he glanced around the room looking for Jo. “Where’s Jo?”
He nodded and right as he was about to ask if they could handle the rest of the demons Castiel appeared. He caught sight of Dean and froze. “Dean?”
He nodded. “No time to explain Cas, help them out would ya?”
Dean ran towards the basement and took the steps two at a time. Right as he hit the bottom step he saw William reach out as Ruby reached forward and grabbed him to keep him from running in Jo’s direction. Sam’s body hit the ground as a white light enveloped the room.
Ruby pulled William toward her and dove for the wall, her body covering his. Dean shielded his eyes and when the light faded he slowly turned back toward the center of the room. Everyone was on the floor except Jo.
He took a couple of steps forward and before he could reach her she spun on her heels and faced him. He hesitated taking her in. She was staring at him strangely before a look of disgust filled her face. “Jesus what does it take to kill you? What are you a cat?”
The smirk that filled her face was predatory as she practically glided over to his side. He could see the menace in her eyes as she spoke in a whispered voice. “Guess again lover.”
He flinched and her possessed body through its head back and howled with laughter. Ruby stood slowly, William clinging to her side. Meg turned toward them, raised her arm, but before anything could happen there was a loud bang and her body jerked before disappearing.
Azazel whipped his head around and cried out. He clenched his jaw and turned back to Dean eyes fiery. If looks could kill Dean would be buried ten times over. He took a step forward and Dean pointed the colt at Jo. She smirked. “You gonna pull that trigger? You’ll kill your girlfriend right along with me.”
Dean froze. He couldn’t do it. He knew he should, but something inside him wouldn’t let his finger tighten on the trigger. The smirk was once again clear on her face. “I didn’t think so. I’ll make you pay for that Winchester…just you wait and see.”
Before anything else could be said Jo’s body disappeared. Dean gaped and stumbled, falling to his knees he watched her vanish. He was too late. He had done everything in his power to get back here to save Jo and once again he had failed.
How was he going to choose between the fate of the world and Jo? One way or another something had to give. If he saved Jo the world wouldn’t survive, but the only way to save the world, was to kill Azazel’s vessel. And as of this moment Jo was Azazel’s new vessel.