“I have my reasons. You’re going to have trust me.”
“I don’t even know you.” He looks at Dean for the first time since leaving the station.
They fall into silence with Jake still looking at him until Jake looks away first, a sad smile on his face. “It’s really freaky looking at you, seeing what I’ll look like in ten years.”
“Dude, I’m not that much older than you.”
“Yeah, well. It’s doesn’t really matter how old you are, right? I’m not going to live that long.”
“Hey. Jake,” Dean waits until Jake looks at him. “I told your uncle I’m not going to let anything happen to you, and I meant it.”
Jake gets out of the car then, waits for Dean to come around to his side.
“It’s better than just about every place I grew up in.”
There’s a pool of water in the front of the house, probably at one time had fish swimming in it. Now it’s just dark water with leaves floating on the surface. The house has three stories with blue paint peeling off the frame, while the white paint peeling off the window frames and the big door in the middle reveals the wood underneath. With all that, it still looks nice, the kind of place that looks like a kid should be happy to grow up in. The inside looks lived in, worn wood floors, curtains not as white as they were when new. Same with the walls. There’s an old wood stove in the foyer, the first thing Dean sees when he walks inside. The second is the pictures on the mantle in the living room, under the big iron cross hung on the wall.
Jake stops at the entrance of the living room, at the sight of the open bottle of liquor on the coffee table, a glass in his dad’s hand. Jake knows his dad heard them come in but he doesn’t look up from the photos on the table.
“I remember when you and Connie first met at Sunday school.” He looks up and smiles, his expression faltering when he sees Dean.
“You drinking?” The disappointment is unmistakable in Jake’s voice.
“Who’s this?” Dean opens his mouth to introduce himself when Jake demands, “Answer me, dad.” Dean tells them, “I’m just gonna wait outside.” The last thing Dean hears is “Well, I’m not praying.”
Jake’s disappointed and furious. “You just going to throw away five years just like that?”
He closes the distance between him and Jake. “Conrad and Dakota are going to hell.”
“Don’t preach to me with a drink in your hand, Dad.”
“I’m not preaching. I’m telling you the truth. How we have sacrificed everything for you.”
“Sacrificed? You sacrificed? I could’ve gone anywhere, done anything, but I stayed here for you, for mom. What did you ever give up for me?”
“My beautiful wife,” said so fast, like he’s been waiting to say it, with it always just on the tip of his tongue.
Jake steps closer, gets right up in his dad’s face. “You trying to blame me for the way Mom is? For the accident? You want to blame me for that now? After everything that has happened with Connie and Dakota. You know the day I need you the most, the day I need help, the day I need my father, you do this. Shame on you!”
“Too bad I have no shame,” Paul Gray drains the last of his drink, then looks at Jake with eyes black as coal. There’s a smile on his dad’s face.
Later he’ll deny how he screams ‘Agent Plant’ as loud as he can, the scream cut off by a hand around his throat.
Seemingly a split second later, his dad’s body falls, a sickening hard thud against the floor. He watches black smoke disappear up the chimney.
It’s the wall holding him up at this point. Agent Page kneels by the body, checking for a pulse. The slump of his shoulders tells Jake all he needs to know. He says something but Jake can’t make out the words, but it must be about leaving because Dean’s pushing him out the door and into the car, prying the car keys from Jake’s hand.
They pull out of the driveway as fast as possible then Agent Page is on the phone saying, “Sam, they’re coming for him now. Meet me at the motel.”
Jake’s in his own head. Dean’s in his. His words - they’re coming for him - to Sam repeat in his head and they still don’t know why. What Bobby said doesn’t make any sense. What would demons want with the kid of a couple of Satanists? Except, of course, if he’s not just some kid. Dean sneaks a glance at Jake, who’s slumped in the passenger seat, a dazed look on his face.
Jake’s being in shock makes what Dean’s about to do easy. He takes out his flask, unscrews the top and then throws some holy water on Jake. Jake only flinches then looks at Dean like he’s crazy.
“What the hell was that for?”
“I’ll explain later.” Out of the corner of his eye, he watches Jake wipe his face with his left sleeve. He looks so young right then.
“What happened to my dad?” Jake wants to know, a tiny tremor in his voice.
He flicks another quick glance Jake’s way before answering. “He was possessed by a demon.”
“Possessed like The Exorcist, but not quite.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Dean shakes his head. “Kids today.”
“I know the movie, it’s just…”
“Hard to believe.”
“That’s an understatement. Shit,” he says, leaning back and closing his eyes. Dean knows loss, but he can’t imagine losing so many people in the space of less than a week. Jake goes silent and Dean, not being one to press, lets the silence hang in the air the rest of the way.
The Impala’s already in the parking lot. Sam’s already changed when they walk in. “What the hell happened?” are the first words out Sam’s mouth.
“Goddamn demon possessed his dad.” Dean throws the keys on the dresser and his jacket on the bed, pulling at his tie, striding into the bathroom with his clothes that were left on the bed. He slams the door behind him.
The room looks like the inside of a typical motel room, ugly flowered bedspreads, furniture and carpet that have seen better days.
“Jake, you okay?” Sam asks. “I mean, considering?” He’s still standing by the door. “Sit down.” Jake does. “What’d Dean tell you?”
“That people getting possessed is real like in The Exorcist.”
“Almost. No head spinning and puking up pea soup. They do make people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. One possessed my dad, too.”
“How do you know about these things?”
“It’s a long story. The short version is my mom died in a fire. My dad was convinced it wasn’t normal. He was right. He tracked down the demon that caused the fire. His name was Azazel and he possessed my dad.”
“The demon had a name?”
“What did he want with your family?”
That’s when Dean opens the door. The air in the room changes, tenser than before as Jake waits for answer. Dean’s waiting, too.
“He wanted me to open the gates of hell.”
Sam looks at Dean then back at Jake. Sam tilts his head in Dean’s direction as he says, “Dean killed Azazel.” Jake looks at Agent Page, sees the smug smile on his face, and knows.
“So I’m guessing you guys aren’t really the FBI.”
It’s Dean that answers before dropping down on the other bed to pull on his boots. “Nope.”
“So hunting demons is your full-time job?”
“Hunting demons among other things,” Sam says, going over to the bag Dean’s put on the bed. There’s a rustle of what sound like tools.
“Yeah.” No elaboration just the removal of guns, knives, and other things that are probably weapons too but Jake doesn’t know for sure.
He watches in silence for a few seconds before saying, “Glad you guys are on my side.”
“Whatever side that is,” Dean says in an offhanded kind of way.
Sam says, “Dean,” at the same time Jake says, “What?”
“Kid, everyone around you gets possessed. Not you. We can’t figure out why. We don’t know anyone like that unless they’re protected. Got any tattoos, lucky charms?” he says in a tone that reminds Jake too much of his dad, like he knows Jake has done something but wants him to admit it first.
“Dean, come on. What my brother is trying to say is, there are certain things that will protect a person against possession like a pentagram. Some people wear them as a charm, some get tattoos.”
“I don’t have any of those.”
“Well, you’re still protected or they’re waiting for some special time. Azazel wants you for something and we need to figure out why.”
“You just told me Dean killed him.”
“Yeah, he did.” Dean doesn’t stop what he’s doing, he doesn’t even look at Jake. It’s Sam that stops completely, sits down on the bed to face Jake, pushing his hair out of his face. Jake turns to face him.
“You grew up around here, right?” Jake nods. “So you’ve heard about St. Mary’s, the priest that claimed he was possessed when he killed those nuns.” He nods again. “Before he died in jail he told the police that he was possessed by Azazel and that Lucifer told him to find a special kid to set him free from his prison that’s in or under St. Mary’s.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
The look that fixes itself on Jake’s face is one that Sam recognizes. He’s been looking at the face for way too long now.
“Sam, let me talk to you.” The room’s big enough that they can get a few feet away to have some privacy if they talk low enough. “I know he’s not a demon.” Sam looks at him. “I had to be sure.”
“Well, he’s marked. We just don’t know how. He’s got to be the kid Azazel wanted to free Lucifer. He wanted one of us at Cold Oak to let the demons out to find Jake. I just don’t understand all the deaths. Why not just take him when they found him?”
“Are you kidding? This is their idea of fun. I’m sure of it. We need to get out of town, then figure out what to do with him.”
“We can’t kill him. We’re the good guys.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Well, it could come to that. Right now we should just take him to Bobby's till we figure something out.”
“If we leave, we are going to tell him the entire truth? We can’t not do it. The demons won’t stop until they find this kid.”
A cell phone rings, but it isn’t one of theirs. They turn to Jake. “Marisol…Not good…Dakota killed one of our professors and tried to kill herself…I’m not alone.” Jake looks up at them and lies. “I’m with the FBI…I want to see you too.” He stands, turns his back to them and continues talking but low enough so they can’t hear. It’s another couple of minutes before he hangs up.
“My girlfriend wants to see me,” Jake announces.
“No,” Dean and Sam say in unison. “She’s more than likely possessed. It’s a trap, Jake,” Sam adds.
“We need to get you out of town.” Dean moves back to the bed with the weapons.
“I can’t just leave.”
“You don’t really have a choice.”
“You can’t just take me if I don’t want to go.”
“Wanna bet?” Dean asks, reminding Sam of his father in that moment.
“Dean,” Sam starts.
“No, Sam. We don’t know what we’re dealing with here. I didn’t do what I did for you to do something stupid like get yourself killed.”
Just that fast, Jake’s forgotten, as Sam moves closer to Dean. He watches the two of them, both dressed in worn jeans with Dean in a green Henley, a black t-shirt underneath, and Sam in a red flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. They are not saying anything but it’s clear they’re communicating with each other.
Sam breaks first, shoulders slumping and hands leaving his hips. Sam opens his mouth to speak and Dean promises, “You say ‘Dean’ again, and I swear I will end you. I don’t care what I just said.”
“Good. Let’s get our stuff and the kid and get the fuck out of here.” He goes back to packing up their gear, not even sparing Jake a look.
“I just find out about demons, one of which wants me to free the Devil, and I don’t freak the fuck out but then you call me a kid?” He’s clearly freaking out now, yelling so loud that if there are people next door, they surely made out the words ‘demon’ and ‘devil’. “Fuck you!”
Jake’s doesn’t intend on breaking first. Through the haze of anger, he can hear Sam say, “Look, Jake…” He’s cut off by a knock at the door. Sam and Dean shift. Sam picks up a handgun and Dean a shotgun. Dean looks through the peephole. He looks back at Sam, says, “Sheriff,” before opening the door.
“Sheriff, what can we do for you?” He smiles like everything’s normal.
“Thought I’d check on my nephew.” Sheriff North smiles back, throwing a smile Jake’s way.
“Well, come in,” Dean says even though he doesn’t move to allow the sheriff to enter.
“I think we both know I can’t do that.” Dean raises the shotgun. Sheriff North warns, “I don’t think you want to do that.”
“You don’t know how wrong you are.”
“Kathy, you want to see your son, don’t you?” An older woman, a blonde with green eyes and a smile that would be welcoming if they didn’t know how she’s come to slide out of the shadows. Jake makes to move and Sam is right there to keep him in place.
Sam tells him, “She’s not your mom, Jake, at least not all of her.”
“He’s right, Jake. Your mom is still in here unfortunately. I can’t shut her up.”
Dean cocks the shotgun. “Get the fuck out of here.”
“You know you can’t stay in there forever.” Their smiles are too self-assured.
Dean wants to shoot them right off but he won’t, not with Jake right there, even if the rock salt won’t kill them. He slams the door in their faces.
“My mom is out there.” He gets around Sam’s arm and goes to the door. Dean leans against it.
“We know,” Sam says.
“Do something.” Jake sounds like he’s on the verge of screaming again.
“It’s not that easy,” Dean tells him, apologetic.
“I don’t give a fuck.” He looks at Dean, then at Sam. Neither says anything to that. Jake slams his fist on the dresser by the door. When done, he stomps off toward the bathroom. He slams the door behind him.
“I guess the kid doesn’t like it when mom and dad fight.”
“Really with the jokes?”
Dean shrugs. “Can’t help it.”
“Anyway, maybe you were right. I say we give him until we’re finished loading up. We leave, go somewhere to think about what to do next.”
“Glad you’re finally seeing it my way.”
A couple of seconds later there’s the sound of a car starting up and then lights coming in through the gaps in the curtains.
“Son of a bitch,” Dean growls. Sam goes to the window. “How did we not see that coming?”
Jake remembers the way to St. Mary’s. By the time a kid’s out of high school, he or she has been there more times than they can count. It’s just a few miles out of town going south.
It’s a stone structure, black and gray, cold and imposing. It’s a huge place, four stories high and seemingly just as wide. There are windows everywhere, some broken, others boarded up.
If this were a movie, he’d be calling the unarmed main character a moron for doing what he’s about to do. It’s not a movie though. It’s real life, his life. Finding out you’re supposed to set Lucifer free doesn’t leave much hope for the future.
He pulls up and there’s a door. He can tell by the light spilling out. He climbs the steps and enters into a long hallway. He can’t tell what the floors are made out of, for they are covered in years and years of dirt. The walls are just as dirty. He passes under several stone arches; between each arch, there’s a stained glass window and a stone angel, nearly black with age. The place smells of dust and things that shouldn’t be able to make homes in a place like this. At the end of the hall are heavy wooden double doors just barely open. He steps inside and there’s Marisol. She smiles and he remembers every time she’d ever smiled at him. Even now he’s drawn to her with her red hair in loose curls, red lips, and white dress, like she’s a bride and he’s her groom.
The room looks like the hallway except for the marble altar at the end of the room, which isn’t that big. On the altar there are big candelabras on each side covered in wax and cobwebs.
“Where are your friends Sam and Dean, Jake?”
“You know who they are?”
“Of course,” she tells him, moving in even closer. “I know everything about them just like I know everything about you.” She cradles his face in her hands. “I mean everything.” Then she kisses him, gentle and soft. He can’t say the same for the flashes behind his eyes. It’s like every crazy ass thought he’s ever had that would have him praying until he realized it never did any good goes through his mind.
When she pulls back, she smiles at him again, hands still on his face. He knows what she is, but she’s kind, looking at him with such sympathy, like she understands.
He swallows, says, “I don’t know anything about you.”
“You know my name; well, the name of my body, the girl still inside. I decided to keep it. It’s just so pretty, sea and sun. Not like my real name Lillith. But you can call me Mom.” Her hands are on both sides of his head now. He sees his parents, blood dripping down from their hanging bodies. He drops to his knees, breath coming fast, hot tears on his face.
She kneels down and places a hand on his back. He jerks away from her touch, falling back on his hands. “They had to die, Jake. They stole you from me, came to where I was giving birth and took you from my arms. I’m sorry I had to do this to you.” Jake shakes his head.
“Why pretend you liked me, wanted to be my girlfriend?”
“It was the only way I could get close. I had to make sure you were you.”
“You’re sick,” he tells her, his disgust with her and what she did clear on his face.
She opens her mouth to respond but rises instead. She listens then says to Jake, “We have company.” She waits a couple of beats, frowns. “Come on in boys. Don’t keep us waiting any longer than you already have.”
Dean and Sam enter, slow and wary with guns drawn.
“Finally, I get to meet the famous Sam and Dean Winchester. I wish I had my autograph book.” She laughs.
“You okay, Jake?” Sam asks. He doesn’t answer.
“What did you do to him?”
“Just straightening out his family tree.” She turns, walks towards the mantle, turns again to leans lazily on it. “You guys are smart. I’m sure you’ve figured out most of it already.”
“Paul and Kathy Gray aren’t his mom and dad. His real parents are Paul Reisz and Anne Kilton,” Sam says.
Marisol sighs. “So close, Sam. Paul and Anne aren’t his real parents either.”
“Who is?” Dean demands.
“Take a guess.”
“And who am I?”
“Look lady…” Dean starts.
“Why so impatient Dean? Do you have someplace to be?” She smiles. “Oh, I forgot – you do. I think in about five months or so. I can’t believe I forgot that. It’s all every demon talks about.”
Neither Sam or Dean says anything in response, doing their best to not let her get to them.
“Oh, alright, if you two are going to give me the silent treatment. His dad is Lucifer and I’m Lillith, the first demon he ever created. Maybe you’ve heard of me. Anne Kilton was the perfect surrogate.” Lillith looks at Jake. “We thought her and Reisz would make the
perfect foster parents but then he got scared. Kater didn’t disappoint though. Still hasn’t. Anyway, while Anne was giving birth, Paul and Kathy showed up and stole him from her, from us. I was upset of course. I knew they weren’t going to raise him right. They wouldn’t understand his visions.”
“What visions?” Sam asks.
“Jake, you didn’t tell them?” She pushes off the mantle and starts moving towards Jake. Sam puts himself between her and Jake, who’s still on floor.
She stops, rolls her eyes. “Don’t worry Sam, I’m not going to hurt him. Anyway, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, Jake. They’re just your average homicidal or suicidal daydreams. They probably started as early as you can remember.”
“Shut up,” Jake shouts.
“Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, Jake. When my helpers said they’d finally found you, I nearly wept at what they told me. Living such a boring life before you meet your destiny. Paul and Kathy derailed our original plan but we’re back on track. I guess you know all about that, Sam.”
“Whatever plans you have for them are not going to happen,” Dean growls, closing the distance between them.
“Please, Dean. It’s inevitable, just like your death.” She laughs. “Thank you by the way. A fresh body is always better than a dead one. More fun that way with the soul still around.”
Sam and Dean look at her, letting what she just said sink in. “What are you talking about?”
“Your little Sammy here is going to kill Jake. His spilled blood right here is going to set Lucifer free. And when he’s out, he’s going to possess Sam.”
“I’m not going to do it,” Sam tells her with all the conviction he can muster.
“Yes, you are.” She isn’t smiling now. “You may not enjoy it but you are going to do it. I will, though.” She looks at Dean and smiles. “Jake looking just like Dean? You think that’s just dumb luck?” Neither Sam or Dean says anything. “Every heard of a doppleganger? I’m not surprised that Dean doesn’t know but you Sam?” She shakes her head. “Maybe you’re not as smart as I thought. I wish it was Dean though.” She shrugs. “A girl can’t have everything.”
“Aw, one of those great Dean Winchester comebacks, I’ve heard so much about. In fact, I’ve heard so much about you two that I’m actually quite disappointed.”
“I guess we should do something about that then.” Dean reaches into his jacket. He doesn’t get to pull anything out before he’s flying across the room through the open door. They slam shut behind him.
“Dean!” Sam yells, running over to the doors. He tries to open them. He can hear Dean on the other side saying something.
“Now you know, Sammy, you won’t be able to open those doors. He’s alright. Now that we’ve got just the very important people in the
room, we can get to why we’re all here.” She moves towards Jake again, who gets to his feet and backs away.
“Jake, you really shouldn’t be afraid of me.”
“You want to kill me.”
“I don’t make the rules.”
“I’m not going to kill him,” Sam repeats.
“Oh, you will, Sam. I have no doubt about that.”
“Why is that?”
“You’ll do it to save Dean.”
Sam visibly pales. “What?”
“You’ve been looking for the demon that holds Dean’s deal.” She smiles so big and bright. “You’re looking at her.”
“You want me to trade Jake’s life for Dean’s?”
“Yes. It’s an easy choice.” She lifts up her left hand. “On the one hand, you have your big brother Dean. The only Winchester left besides you. The brother who sold his soul for a measly twelve months so you could live.” She lowers her left hand and lifts up her right. “On the other hand you have Jake, a kid you just met who just so happens to be the Devil’s son. It’s a no-brainer Sam.”
The room falls silent. Lillith looks like she has all the time in the world. Sam won’t look at Jake and he won’t look at Sam.
“If I wanted to do it, Lucifer can’t possess me.”
“Because of that stupid tattoo? Please.” She laughs. “We’re talking about the Devil here. You’re right he can’t possess you, but not because of the tattoo. He needs your permission.”
“So I won’t give it.”
“Just like you’ll make Jake bleed all over this place, you’ll say yes to Lucifer. He can be pretty persuasive. But if somehow you’ll stronger than you brother and your father, I can think of a couple of reasons – Bobby, Ellen, Jo…” Silence fills the room again as Lillith makes her way back to the altar. She picks up a knife. It glints in the light. She turns back around. “What’s it going to be, Sam?”
“Give me the knife,” Jake demands, walking towards Lillith. Sam says nothing in response. He can hear Dean pacing just outside the door, his banging and shouting having stopped.
“Look at you,” Lillith says proudly. “But no. You can’t spill your own blood. Again, I don’t make the rules.”
When he’s close enough, Jake leans in to whisper, “You were right about me, my visions. All my life I’ve been fighting them, fighting who I am. I’m tired of it.” He visibly deflates a little. She cups his face in her empty hand.
“My poor baby. You don’t know how I’ve wished to find you so you could know who you really are.”
“I’m the son of the Devil and I must die for him to rise.”
“Yes. You must sacrifice yourself for the greater good. It’s just your body though. Your soul will live on. You’ll come back like I did. You can come back as whoever you like.”
“Whoever I like?”
“Yes. I promise you that everything will be okay. Remember what you told me? You told me you didn’t want to end up like Paul, getting up to go to work at six, coming home at eight and then getting up and doing it all the again the next day. This is your grand adventure. Your chance to get out of this place.”
“You promise?” Jake’s eyes are glassy.
“I do. No more lies.”
“Okay.” Jake places his left hand over the hand in which she holds the knife. She releases it and then cups his face in both of her hands. She looks so proud of him, like how the woman he’s always known as his mom always looked at him.
He smiles back. She leans in and places a kiss upon his forehead. He can’t help it, he closes his eyes at the feel of her lips on him again. He doesn’t get lost in the feeling this time though. He stabs her, shoves the knife into her stomach as hard as he can. Then he lets go, pushing away from her. Sam’s there, a hand on Jake’s shoulder.
She looks at him, betrayal evident in every inch of her. She opens her mouth to say something that’s lost in the sound of Sam firing a bullet from the Colt into her head. She had time to be surprised but not enough to do anything.
The smoke leaves her body in a violent rush. There seems to be more of it than what he saw come out of the man he always thought was his dad.
The doors fly open and then there’s Dean walking to stand beside Jake and Sam, who are staring at the body on the floor.
Sam breaks the silence with “We should go.”
“What’s going to happen to her?” Jake asks looking at blood pool around the body.
“We need to burn the body,” Dean answers.
“That’s another thing you’re going to have to learn.”
They pretty much work in silence prepping the body. Jake stands just off to the side.
It’s a couple of hours till dawn when they pile into the Impala. Dean turns around in the driver’s seat after a silent conversation with Sam. “We’re gonna head to a friend of the family’s place in South Dakota. We can figure some stuff out once we’re there.”
Jake asks even though he’s pretty sure the answer is going to be no. “Are we going to stop at my house so I can get some things?”
“We don’t want to risk it. We’re lucky we had time to take care of the body.”
“Well, wake me when we get to your friend’s place.” Jake stretches out the in the backseat like he’s been doing it for years.
Fifteen minutes out on the road, Sam deems it safe to talk.
“Dean, you sure about taking him to Bobby’s?”
“No, but what choice do we have?”
“He’s going to kill you. Or at least threaten to.”
“So nothing out of the ordinary then.”
Sam huffs a laugh. “Seriously, the Devil’s kid in his house.”
“Well, we knew Meg was coming. This can’t be that different. Can it?”
Sam shrugs. ”Who knows?” It’s few minutes before Sam speaks again. “I feel sorry for Jake but I’m glad it’s him and not me. I only had to open the gates of hell and I didn’t even do that.”
“Don’t go feeling bad over there, Samantha.”
“I’m serious. I don’t feel bad it not being you. I’m glad Dad was wrong about what I might have to do.” He chances a quick glance at Sam as he says it.
“It still doesn’t seem right,” Sam says as he stares out his window.
Dean sighs. “What about our lives is ever right?”