ozmissage: (SPN. Jo.)
[personal profile] ozmissage
Title: pockets full of stones
Pairing: Jo/John
Word count: 1,404
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Kripke and company. Title from the Florence + Machine song, “What the Water Gave Me.”
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Off-screen character deaths, sexual situations.
Summary: In front of them is the road. Behind them are the ghosts, the dead, all the things they buried. AU season two.
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] ghostwriter056 as part of [livejournal.com profile] spnraritiesfest.A big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] dulcedeusex for the beta! Any lingering mistakes are my own.

“You’re going to have to get hard,” he says, voice rough like sandpaper. The flames dance in front of her, casting shadows in the night sky that swallow the bar whole.

Home. The word means nothing now.

It's just a sound.

I am hard, she thinks. I’m a stone. He doesn’t know me.

She balls her fists so tight her nails dig into her palms, drawing blood. John does not touch her, just stays at her side until the sun comes up and all that’s left of the fire are smoldering embers, the fury lost somewhere in the darkness.

“Do you think she was in there?” Jo asks finally.

“Yes,” John says, not bothering to soften the blow.


In front of them is the road.

Behind them are the ghosts, the dead, all the things they buried; their hands caked with dirt, no tear stains on their cheeks.

Jo keeps a map spread out on the seat beside her even though the idea of getting lost is as antiquated as the idea of being found. Still, that doesn’t stop her from keeping the CB on, letting it fill the Impala with white noise. Her heart skips a beat every time there is a break in the static, and she strains to hear a familiar voice cut through the silence. It never does.

In the backseat, John sleeps. Maybe he even dreams, but if he does he won’t tell her about them. Jo tightens her grip on the steering wheel, and thinks that might be for the best.

Jobs are few and far between. They could do more, but the trouble is John is not exactly looking. Jo’s always itching for a fight. It feels good to hold a shotgun in her hand and know she can kill something evil. She calls that a good day.

John is too old; he's been at the job too long and it shows. She tells him he’s going soft and his eyes darken and she remembers,

He’s outlived two sons.

But she has outlived two parents and she still has fight left in her.

One, she reminds herself, you’ve outlived one parent.

(Hope’s a dangerous thing-- John told her that once between bottles of whiskeys.)


Sometimes he looks at her and sees someone else. He’s lived long enough to acquire a whole army of ghosts.

Maybe his wife, maybe one of his sons, maybe Ellen—Jo doesn’t know for sure, she never met his family and no one is ever going to mistake her for her mother. But she catches him watching her sometimes, when she’s holding a knife in her hand or singing along softly to a Journey song, and she can feel it.

It’s not her he’s looking at. The sensation unnerves her.

Jo is always the first one to bristle at the idea that she’s green, but looking at the mess the job has made of John’s life, she thinks maybe her mother was right to want more for her.

Still doesn’t mean that’s what Jo wants though.

“You’re an old man, Winchester,” she tells him almost as if she’s only just now realizing it.

He laughs then and it’s an ugly sound. Raw and unpracticed, but welcome all the same.


“Why’d you come for me?”

The air conditioner is busted in their crappy motel room and Jo can’t stand the feeling of the scratchy cotton sheets touching her skin. It’s too damn hot to sleep, and too damn hot to be awake, so she kills time by staring at him for a change. John is on the twin bed next to her, his face illuminated by the flickering lights of a ballgame playing on the television set. He stalls, lifting his beer to his lips.

“I owed your Mom a favor,” he says without looking at her, “and your Dad too.”

He tilts the bottle up and takes a nice, long drink.

“But how did you know I’d be there?” she presses.

“I just knew.”

“But how?”

Jo,” he looks at her finally, pleading.

“How?” she asks again, not caring enough to stop.

Sighing, he sets his bottle on the nightstand.


He tells her the story, the whole ugly truth of it and when he reaches the end she hits him, telling herself it’s for her father. But mostly she does it for herself. She doesn’t walk away though, doesn’t take the keys and leave his sorry ass stranded. It wouldn’t do her any good. John Winchester is the only damn thing she has left.

“You were right,” she says as she presses a towel full of ice to his rapidly swelling cheek.

“I was right about something?” he asks, wincing at the cold burn. He almost sounds amused.

“I’m not hard enough.”

He smiles like he knows a secret she doesn’t know.

“You’ve got a damn good right-hook, if it’s any consolation.”

I should go, she thinks. I should go and never look back.

He's still smiling at her and she is still holding the compress to his face. With a pang of regret, she realizes she’s too far gone to leave him now.


Knowing the truth changes everything. Not for the worse, but for the better.

John talks more. He tells her stories about her Dad and Ellen. Tells her about hunts, even about his boys, but those stories are always short and he goes quiet after, so she learns to steer him away from anything that has to do with Sam and Dean.

They work more too, and Jo is even more grateful for that than she is for the conversation.

She wants to find the demons responsible for The Roadhouse; she wants to find them for Ash. For her Mom. They follow a lead to Duluth and John gets himself thrown out of a two-story window, but it’s the wrong demons.

Jo sends them back to Hell all the same.

“If she were alive, she would have found me by now,” Jo whispers to him that night.

“I don’t know about that,” John lies.

She’s not sure if she hates him for it, or loves him. Either way she stays in his bed that night; curls around him and takes what little comfort he can offer.


He kisses her.

The stubble on his jaw scratches her skin raw and there is something desperate and hard about the way he holds her tight to his chest. Jo has never kissed a man over twenty-five before. She always steered clear of the grizzled hunters, sure, she flirted with them just enough to piss Ellen off, but it never went any further than teasing. She stuck with the boys; the townies and the college kids that never had a clue what sort of world they had stumbled into when they walked through The Roadhouse doors. They were simple, and even better, they never came back.

John’s not a boy and he doesn’t kiss like one either.

“You really are going soft, Winchester,” she says when they break apart. John tries to look away from her; he’s either embarrassed or ashamed of himself, either way she’s not having any of that.

She holds his face firm and kisses him right back, lets her fingers drift down to the zipper of his jeans and tugs. He protests, but Jo’s smart enough to know it’s just a pretense, his way of being able to look at himself in the mirror without wincing at the thought that he fucked Ellen Harvelle’s daughter the night before.

“I’m a grown woman,” she reassures him, “and I know what I want.”

She slips a hand into his boxer shorts and knows what John wants too.


It’s his turn to drive.

Jo sits beside him, her fingers tracing the long thin line of a road across the map.

“If she can be found, we’ll find her,” John says, his eyes never leaving the highway.

He knows her too well.

“She’ll kick your ass when we do, you know that right?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he laughs.

She stares out her window as they pass a mini-van full of smiling kids, two parents sitting in the front seat. The American Dream, she thinks wryly.

“And if she can’t be found?” Jo asks.

John reaches across the seat to take her hand.

“Then we’ll kill them all.”

Jo loops their fingers together and holds on tight.
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January 2012



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