Character/Pairing: Jo/Dean, Sam, Castiel
Genre: Drama, Action
Summary: With Dean and Cas missing and Meg and Kevin taken prisoner by Crowley, Sam sets out to find out what happened to his brother and Cas and get the two of them back. Along the way, he runs into Jo, who has been brought back to life and doesn't quite know why. Together, the two look for a way to save Dean and Cas.
Author's note: Since this was started before season 8 premiered, this is AU after the season 7 finale
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way.
There'd been an uncomfortable silence in the car after the creature-whatever it had been-had made its appearance. The silence had only been broken once they all arrived at a small cabin in the middle of Montana. Sam mentioned something to her on the way in about the cabin belonging to Rufus once.
Jo looked around the tiny place, trying not to think of the crotchety old hunter who'd been a family friend. As much as Rufus could have friends, anyway. Sam had given her the updates on who'd passed away in the time that she'd been gone, and it had unfortunately been a string of familiar names. The blonde hunter was starting to feel like the Winchesters were her only remaining ties to this world.
Dean was still resolutely not looking at her as they filed into the cabin. Cas looked the three over for a moment.
"You should be safe here. It owes you its freedom. It won't come for you unless you pose a threat."
Without giving anyone a chance to respond, he blinked out of sight.
Dean's face twisted from confusion to anger. Jo thought that she might be seeing exactly what had allowed him to survive locked in a land filled with monsters.
"Cas!" he shouted, but nothing answered back. The angel was gone for now.
Sam looked from Jo to Dean, seeming to consider things.
"Maybe we should leave him alone for now. He might just need time."
Jo didn't miss the glare Dean gave, or the way his lips pulled back into a maudlin sort of smile.
"Time," he repeated, shaking his head.
He moved over to the kitchen as though he'd been here before. Jo supposed that he probably had. Maybe even not too long before he'd been sent to Purgatory since he fished a few beers out of the fridge.
"I should probably go out and get some food for us," Sam said quietly. He met Jo's eyes and then looked at Dean. "Do either of you two want to come?"
"You two stay. I'll go," Jo cut in. She thought that Dean needed time to adjust before going out in public and she didn't think she was the best one to stay with him. The grateful but regretful look that Sam threw her cemented it.
He tossed her the keys to the Impala, which Jo plucked out of the air. There was a little hint of the old Dean as his eyes followed the trajectory of the keys and then looked at Sam.
"You're going to let her take my baby?"
A small smile spread across Jo's face.
"We have to eat. Deal with it, princess."
It was almost on reflex, but she caught the faintest hint of a smile when he looked up and caught her eye. He looked away and it was gone quickly enough that she wondered if she'd been imagining things.
Jo had taken her time grocery shopping, hoping to give the brothers time to talk. She'd returned to both drinking beers on the couch, which was as much a sign of any that things might get back to normal some day. Nobody was bleeding or crying after all.
Dinner was quiet, though there were a few times when she'd expected a joke or some sort of snarky comment.
Figuring out sleeping arrangements had been more interesting. The cabin only had two rooms. Not two bedrooms, but two rooms and a basement that looked like something out of an S&M fanatic's dreams. Jo had pushed the boys to take the back room, which had a camp bed and two bunks. She'd taken the couch in the living room, even though that meant less privacy. Right now she didn't care all that much and she wasn't going to have one of them sleeping on the floor in the living room just to let her take the back area.
Once both of the brothers had retired, Jo realized that she couldn't sleep. She'd been so focused on the goal of finding a way to bring Dean and Castiel back and now that was done and she wasn't sure what to do next. They'd hunt that creature that they'd released from Purgatory-it was their responsibility, after all. But after that? She didn't know. She didn't fit now that Sam had Dean back. And she'd been out of the game so long that it would take awhile to get the funds to go out on her own.
She finally got up from the couch and padded into the kitchen, the floor chilly against her bare feet. She rummaged in the fridge before finding the pie that she'd picked up to go with dinner. When she straightened up again to close the fridge door, she had to stop herself from dropping the pie and going for her knife. It took a moment for her defensive instincts to calm down enough for her to realize that it was just Dean standing there. There was a look on his face like a kid that had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
At least he was looking at her. She sighed and put the pie down on the counter before going to look for a knife to cut it with. She also came up with two forks and two plates. Once that was done, she cut herself off a sliver and then nudged the pie over to Dean.
"Can't sleep either?"
He still looked as if he expected to be attacked at any moment. She could tell that it was taking every ounce of his self-restraint to avoid looking over his shoulder. As it was, his eyes searched the darkest corners of the room as Jo took a seat at the counter with her pie.
"So I think that this is the one time when I could use the line 'did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?' and get away with it," he threw her a smirk that seemed a little too practiced, as though he was trying too hard to be normal.
She didn't call him on it. Instead, she gave him a lopsided smile of her own.
"Wouldn't work any better than the 'last night on Earth' speech."
At the memories of just how true that speech had been for her, they both looked away quickly. Jo cleared her throat.
"Sorry," she said quickly.
Dean finally joined her at the counter and carved himself a slice of pie.
"No, Jo. I'm sorry." His voice was rough and Jo did him the favor of ignoring the fact that his eyes were gleaming with unshed tears.
She didn't know what exactly he was apologizing for-maybe all of it-from the way he'd acted since she got back to the way she'd died. She didn't blame him for one bit of it.
"Don't be," she said softly.
He looked like he wanted to argue but then gave up. They both fell into silence for a few minutes, both pretending to be a little too focused on their pie.
"I still don't know for sure that I'm not dead. Actually dead, instead of..." Dean's voice broke the silence, but he looked away and shook his head slightly, as if he didn't want to finish the sentence. "Never mind," he said, looking angry with himself.
He looked up and caught her gaze. Jo still wasn't sure what to say or if she should just let him talk as much as he needed to.
"Jo, I'm sorry that you got mixed up in this."
He set his fork down and stood, turning his back on her. Jo didn't say anything and instead just watched him go.