The Righteous Woman: 1.01 - Pilot (Part 1) [PDF]
Rating: R (Language and adult concepts)
Word Count: 12,000
Beta: Maz (poetrytofish)Tumblr / LiveJournal
22 YEARS AGO
Deanna Winchester sat cross-legged on her parents’ bed. Her mother, Mary, sat behind her, overseeing their nightly ritual: Mary’s careful hand delicately brushed all the knots and tangles out of Deanna’s long, wavy, blonde hair—so much like her mother’s—before twisting and tucking the hair into a neat French braid.
Deanna was four years old, nearly five, in fact. This quiet, relaxing time before bed was something Mary had initiated shortly after she had discovered she was pregnant with her second child, Sam. She had worried that Deanna would start to feel insecure with a baby brother, so she had started this quiet time with ‘just the girls’ before bed.
Of course, it had been over a year since the routine had been established. Baby Sam was born exactly six months ago, Mary had realized earlier that afternoon. Time flies, she had thought.
Every night, the routine was the same. Deanna would brush her teeth, Mary brushed and braided her hair, and then Deanna changed into her nightgown—sometimes a pink one, sometimes a yellow one, but on this night she wanted to wear her white one with the lace trim around the neck because, as Deanna had said, ‘it matched Mommy’s.’ Mary thought it was a precious sentiment. They would then say goodnight to Sam and Daddy, before reading a story in together as Deanna settled into bed. Her daughter was really captivated by The Berenstain Bears lately.
When Deanna was changed and all ready for bed, Mary picked her up and carried her out of the bedroom and across the hallway to Sam’s nursery.
“C’mon, Deanna, let’s say goodnight to your brother.” Mary said, smiling as she flicked on the light in the nursery and set her daughter down onto the floor. Deanna moved to stand beside Sam’s crib. Mary had been worried about Deanna feeling apprehensive over the addition to their family, but her daughter had proven her otherwise. Deanna took to her duties as big sister with zeal, often behaving as though Sam were her baby, rather than Mary’s. It was endearing.
“G’night, Sam!” Deanna chirped, dipping down to press a kiss on the baby’s forehead. Mary hummed a soft laugh behind her, and Sam crooned with glee.
Gently moving her daughter to the side, Mary leaned down to press her lips to her son’s temple, as well.
“Goodnight, love,” Mary whispered. Sam reached up and tangled a few fingers into his mother’s hair as she pulled back, just as her husband, John, entered the room.
John Winchester was a tall, handsome man with dark hair and kind eyes. He had been a Marine, but now spent his days as a mechanic. He often brought his work home with him at the weekends and would spend hours at the kitchen table—always on newspapers, Mary insisted—cleaning and repairing car parts. He would talk Deanna through his motions, even though she would often grow bored of his car talk. But she always hovered around him just the same, sometimes making little Lego creations of carburetors and cylinder blocks to mimic whatever part on which John had been tinkering. Deanna enjoyed her father’s company.
“Daddy!” Deanna squealed, scrambling over to her father only to be hoisted up into his arms. Deanna giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Hey, baby girl!” He grunted, a wide grin spreading across his face. “So whataya think, is Sammy ready to toss around a football, yet?”
“Don’t be silly, daddy! He’s too tiny!” Deanna giggled, her grin impossibly wide across her cheeks.
“No?!” John laughed, leaning forward to peck a kiss on his daughter’s nose.
“You got her?” Mary prompted as she strode past them, rubbing a hand across Deanna’s back as she passed them.
“I got her,” he confirmed, mimicking his wife’s soothing action as his gaze turned toward Sam’s crib. His eyes softened as he looked between his daughter and infant son. John’s love for his children was unmistakable in that moment.
“Sweet dreams, Sam,” John said as he turned and shut off the nursery’s lights before heading to put Deanna, who was still in his arms, to bed. But not before story time with Mary first, of course. Deanna and Mary read their story together, and Mary kissed her daughter’s forehead when it was finished. “Angels are watching over you, baby,” she told her daughter before she left the room. Deanna fell fast asleep soon after.
Some hours later, Mary was roused from sleep by the baby monitor on the nightstand beside the bed. She turned the bedside light on and shifted into a seated position in the bed, listening to the sound of static and Sam’s gurgling. John was not in his usual place by her side.
“John?” Mary called out. Her voice sounded sleepy and her eyes were only barely open. When she did not get a response, Mary swung her legs over the side of the bed and went to the nursery to investigate.
Padding towards Sam’s darkened room, Mary peeked inside to see a tall figure standing beside their son’s crib.
“John, is he hungry?” she asked, still sounding sleepy. Why else would John be up so late in the nursery? Normally, he would have woken her up if Sam required feeding.
To her confusion, the shadowy figure of her husband brought a finger up to his lips and motioned for her to be quiet.
“Okay,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. Mary reached a hand up to rub her eyes and headed back to bed. She paused, however, as the sound of crackling electricity and the sight of a flickering light down the hall caught her attention. Intrigued, she walked over to it and tapped the light bulb a few times, but to no avail. It continued to flicker on and off.
Mary was about to head back to bed for the second time when she heard the sound of the television from downstairs. Confused, she headed downstairs to investigate. Who forgot to turn it off? Before she reached the bottom stair, Mary peered over the railing. The living room was lit up with the pale blue light of the television, and John was fast asleep in his favorite recliner.
Realization dawned on her. That was not John in the bedroom.
Without another thought, she rushed back up the stairs, calling her son’s name in panic. “Sammy!”
In the nursery, Mary stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes widening at the sight that greeted her.
The sound of screaming filled the Winchester house. John bolted up out of his seat at the sound, and it took little less than a second for him to realize that the screaming was coming from Mary.
“Mary?!” he called out, running up the stairs. He yelled his wife’s name again as he burst through the door to Sam’s room. To his surprise and relief, there was nothing wrong. Mary was not in the room; she must be in bed. Sam was fine, safely secured in his crib. It was just a dream, he realized. Thank God.
Breathless, he strode over to the edge of his son’s crib, a tired smile at the corners of his lips.
“Hey, Sammy. You okay?” he asked, and was met with the baby’s happy crooning as a response. John felt his panic dissipate. Everything was all right. It really was just a dream.
Reaching down to pet his son’s head, John paused as something dripped down onto his hand. Puzzled, he pulled back to examine the liquid before realizing it was blood. His gaze traveled upward, to the ceiling, trying to find the source. What he saw there on the ceiling above his son’s crib would haunt his nightmares for decades to come.
Mary Winchester, beloved wife and mother, was pinned to the ceiling by some unseen force; blood spread out across her abdomen from a horrific wound, staining her pristine white nightgown to a hideous shade of crimson.
John screamed. “No! Mary!”
Just as the words left his lips, fire erupted from his dying wife, spreading out over the ceiling and engulfing her until she could no longer be seen. Sam started crying, which spurred John into action. He snatched the baby up from the crib and rushed from the nursery. Deanna was in the hallway; her father’s scream had served as a horrific alarm.
“Daddy?!” Deanna cried out, confused and panicked as she caught sight of the flames.
“Take your brother outside as fast as you can and don’t look back. Now, Deanna, go!” John ordered, leaving no room for questioning or doubt.
Deanna dutifully took Sam into her arms, turned on her heels, and bolted down the stairs.
John scrambled back into the burning nursery in a futile attempt to save his wife, screaming her name as he tried to shield himself from the rapidly spreading flames. He realized, however, that it was too late. Mary was gone. The flames erupted, bursting forward from the nursery to the hallway.
Outside, Deanna came to a halt in the front yard. She glanced down at her crying brother in her arms, whispering a few comforting words that she’d heard her mother and father use before when Sam was upset. Everything was going to be okay, Mommy and Daddy were going to be fine.
Before she could realize what was happening, John came running out of the house and scooped both her and her brother up in his arms, running from the burning house just as the window to Sam’s bedroom exploded.
Hours later, Deanna understood two things: the first was that Mommy was not coming out of the house, and the second was that the fire trucks were really loud. She sat quietly on her father’s lap, with Sam cradled in her own. John was seated on the hood of his car, a black 1967 Chevy Impala, solemnly watching as the firemen sprayed down the charred remnants of their home with water.
THE RIGHTEOUS WOMAN
Deanna Winchester sat in the driver’s seat of the Impala. She had parked the car around the corner from the apartment building several hours earlier. Unseen in the darkness, she had watched as a tall man with an attractive blonde on his arm had entered the building two hours ago. The blonde had been dressed in a rather revealing nurse’s costume. Deanna had forgotten it was Halloween. The long drive across the country from Louisiana had taken its toll.
She checked the time on her cell phone, flipped the device shut and placed it in the back pocket of her jeans as she got out of the car and carefully closed its heavy door, making as little noise as possible. It was 2 A.M. Lights, camera, action, she thought to herself.
She kept close to the shadows, moving stealthily down the street and crossing the well-kept lawn of the apartment building. She buttoned up her brown leather jacket as she went; the night air held a distinct chill. When she reached the door to the building, she worked quickly. With a practiced jab and turn of her lock picking tools, there was a satisfying click as the door opened. Deanna smiled and slipped inside, carefully closing the door behind her.
There were several flights of stairs standing between her and her conquest, but she took to them silently. She tucked the tail of her long braid into the back of her jacket and popped its collar as she climbed. She soon found herself standing on the dark landing of the sixth floor, facing the door she was here for, the door of the apartment that she knew the man and his adorable nurse had disappeared into. Moving with even more care and control, Deanna jimmied the door’s lock just as she had with the one downstairs, pausing for a moment after hearing the click of the lock as it gave way. Silence greeted her. She smiled again, entering the apartment.
The living room was small, but nice. Student living wasn’t as bad as she had thought it would be after all. It was certainly better than the motel rooms she frequented on the road.
Squinting her eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room, Deanna carefully closed the door behind her and padded across to the kitchen, soundless. She stopped to listen again, but was once more greeted by silence. She rolled her eyes and went over to the fridge, opening it carefully. Light flooded the kitchen for a moment and she took the time to look for a beer, but the fridge was bereft of any ice-cold bottles or cans. She scrunched her nose up at the abundance of salad.
Sighing to herself, noting the continued lack of movement or noise, Deanna shut the fridge door with a loud, intentional click. And she only waited a few seconds before she could make out the distinct slide of bare feet on wooden floors. Finally, she thought. She pretended not to notice his tall shape in the darkness of the hallway and stood her ground, as if unaware that she had been discovered. Within seconds, she felt his hand on her shoulder. Showtime.
Spinning on her heel, she swatted his arm away as easily as one would a fly and sent her fist to his jaw, only for him to duck. So, maybe he wasn’t as rusty as she had figured, after all.
Still, too slow, she thought, grabbing onto his arm and swinging him around at full force. He sent a kick sent straight for her gut and another hit to block, but she shoved him away violently, sending him stumbling into the next room.
Deanna resisted the urge to comment on his weakened fighting skills, but settled on elbowing him in the face, instead. A good substitution, in her estimation. Her move didn’t leave him down for long, though. The man was up and kicking within the next second.
She crouched down to avoid the contact. Deanna swung at the man only for him to block that, too. He was getting a little cocky, and Deanna couldn’t have that. She needed to knock him down a notch. Or four, she thought to herself.
She tackled him down to the floor, one hand on his neck and the other tightly gripping his wrist as she successfully pinned him to the cold floor.
“Easy there, pussycat,” she chimed, grinning down at the man as she took a breath; he seemed to be breathing pretty hard, too.
That caused her to laugh. He seriously hadn’t noticed it was her? She was a bit hurt, actually. “Hey, Sammy,” she said, grinning in the dark.
“You scared the shit out of me, Dee!”
“That’s ‘cause you’re outta practice. Too many frat parties and not enough training!”
Deanna ate her words in the next moment, as she was abruptly the one being held down on the ground when Sam flipped their positions.
“—Or not. Now get off, your flab is crushing me,” she said.
Deanna took in a dramatic intake of air as Sam deftly jumped to his feet, tugging her up onto hers afterwards.
“What the hell are you doing here, Deanna?” he asked.
“Well, I came in looking for a beer, but then you decided to try and kick my ass, instead,” she replied innocently.
Scoffing a laugh, she patted her brother on the shoulder.
“Dee, what are you really doing here?” Obviously, Sam wasn’t convinced.
“Okay, all right. We gotta talk,” she said, losing her smile.
“Uh, the phone?” Sam said, as if she had been born in another century and had never heard of such a newfangled device.
Purposely ignoring the condescending tone in her brother’s voice, she continued, “If I called, would you have picked up?” she asked earnestly, though her voice betrayed her. They both knew he would not have answered, indeed.
Sam didn’t have the time to answer, as the overhead light was turned on, pulling them both out of their exchange. Ah, the nurse. She’s a heavy sleeper, it seems, Deanna thought as she took in the woman’s appearance. The first thing Deanna noticed was her legs.
Looks like Sam’s got himself a winner for a one-night stand. The woman was petite, blonde, and wide-eyed. She was wearing underwear and a cartoon t-shirt that she had obviously worn to bed. Maybe not a one-night stand, after all, if she had a change of clothing here.
“Sam?” the woman asked, hesitant. Deanna couldn’t help but muse over how this must look, to see the man you just went to bed with in a heated discussion in the middle of the night with another woman. Deanna arched an eyebrow at her brother, but Sam ignored his sister and instead focused on the other woman.
“Jess, everything’s all right. Deanna, this is Jess. My girlfriend.”
Girlfriend, huh? Sam’s done well for himself, at least, Deanna thought.
“Deanna? You mean your sister?” Jessica smiled, taking a step into the room.
“Cute top, I love the Smurfs. But, I gotta say... you are way out of my little brother’s league.” Deanna said, smiling.
“Just, let me put something on.”
“Oh, no. You don’t have to, Sam’s not bothered by it, are you Sammy?”
Backing up a bit, Deanna half-turned toward her brother.
“Sorry, I’m just here to steal your boyfriend for a minute. Gotta talk about some private family business. But, nice meeting you, Once again, love the top.”
“No,” Sam replied.
Deanna’s eyebrows rose a bit; did Sam seriously want to talk about this in front of her? A feeling settled in her stomach, and not a good one. Had he told this Jess girl about what they do?
“No, whatever you need to say Dee, you can say it in front of her,” Sam reiterated. Deanna’s eyes bore into her little brother’s, who was now currently standing beside his girlfriend with an arm around her shoulders.
Deanna took a moment to take in his appearance, finally. Sam looked happy and healthy. He’d fully grown into his once awkward and gangly 6’4” frame. He was tan, so he was obviously not spending all of his time in libraries, and his hair had grown out considerably since she had last seen him. A part of Deanna wanted to stalk over and ruffle her fingers through it, just as she used to when Sam was younger. He had hated it then, but would probably despise the action now, so she stilled the impulse.
“Fine. Dad hasn’t been home in a few days.”
“So? He’s working overtime on a Miller Time shift. He’ll pop up sooner or later.”
Licking her lips and rolling her shoulders, Deanna let out a breathy laugh. Great, this was going to be fun.
“Dad’s on a hunting trip. And he hasn’t been home in a few days.” She was certain he’d get the message.
Deanna saw the light go on in her brother’s mind. Thank God, this wouldn’t have to get anymore awkward than it already was.
“Jess, excuse us. We have to go outside.” Sam said, sounding cold.
Great, he was talking a mile a minute, freaking out about everything. Typical Sammy.
“I mean, come on. You can’t just break into my apartment, in the middle of the night I might add, and expect me to run along with you and Dad to hunt whatever creature’s hiding under someone’s bed!”
“You’re not understanding this at all, Sam. Dad is missing. I need you to help me find him.” Deanna said calmly as she climbed down the stairs together, Sam just ahead of her, as though he couldn’t wait to put her in the Impala and see her drive away.
“You remember the poltergeist in Amherst? Or the Devil’s Gates in Clifton? He was missing then, too. He always disappears, makes you go everywhere looking for him, and then he turns up. He’s always fine, Dee.”
This made her stop on the landing of the second floor and he carried on down a few stairs before realizing she wasn’t behind him, anymore. She folded her arms across her chest and narrowed her eyes at him.
“Not for this long, Sammy. Now are you coming, or not?”
“I’m not,” he said firmly. Damnit, Sam.
“Why not?” Deanna asked.
“I swore I was done hunting. For good,” he replied. She couldn’t believe him sometimes. You don’t just give up hunting.
“Come on, it’s not easy, but it’s not that bad either.”
Turning around, she started back down the stairs, with Sam following her this time.
“Yeah? When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45!”
Reaching the main door, she pursed her lips and glanced back at him.
“What the Hell was he supposed to do?”
“I was nine years old, Dee! He was supposed to say, don’t be afraid of the dark!”
Rolling her eyes, she faced him fully. He was being unreasonable.
“Don’t be afraid of the dark?! Are you kidding me?! Of course you should be afraid of the dark; you know what’s out there!”
“Yeah, I know, but still. The way we grew up, after Mom died, and Dad’s obsession with finding the thing that killed her.”
Deanna rolled her eyes again; she was starting to get angry with him. This wasn’t how she had expected this little family reunion to go, not by a long shot.
“But we still haven’t found the damn thing. So we kill everything we can find.” Without missing a beat, Deanna addeded. “And we save a lot of people doing it, too.”
That made him to shut up and think for a second. Good.
“You think Mom would have wanted this for us?” he finally replied.
That was the last straw. Shoving the door open none too lightly, Deanna stalked outside.
“The weapons training and melting the silver into bullets? Deanna, we were raised like warriors!”
And we’re still alive because of it, she wanted to say. But instead, she held her tongue and headed down the street to where she had parked her car.
The sight of her Baby calmed her a little bit, a small smile turning up at the corners of her mouth. The Impala, the best car anyone could ever ask for, the car her father gave to her on her eighteenth birthday.
“So what are you gonna do? You’re just gonna sit on your ass all day, living a normal and happy apple pie life? Is that it?!”
“No. Not normal. Safe, Deanna.”
This again, great.
“And that’s why you ran away.”
“I was just going to college, Dee! It was Dad who said if I was gonna go, I should stay gone. And that’s what I’m doing.”
“Yeah, well, Dad’s in real trouble right now, and if he’s not dead already he’s going to be soon. I can feel it, Sammy.”
Sam stared at her, but she met his gaze without falter. She wasn’t backing down; this was Dad they were talking about.
“I can’t do this alone.”
“Yeah, you can. You have been the entire time I’ve been gone.”
Damnit, she’d been hoping not to have to resort to the sappy stuff.
“Yeah, well, I don’t want to.”
Sam sighed, glancing down at his feet and then back up to his sister.
“What was he hunting?”
There we go, now we’re talking. Sliding over to the back of the car, she popped open the trunk, and then the spare-tire compartment. Inside, was an arsenal of everything a hunter of the supernatural could need: guns, rosary beads, holy water, bags of salt. You name it, Deanna stocks it..
“All right, let’s see, where’d I put it…” she said to herself, before rifling around the contents of the trunk.
“So, when Dad left, why didn’t you follow him?”
Still focused on finding what she was looking for, Deanna replied, “I was working on my own. This, uh, voodoo thing, down in New Orleans.”
“Dad, our Dad, let you go on a hunting trip by yourself?” The disbelief was apparent in his tone.
Glaring, she turned to look at him.
“I’m twenty-six, dude. Or is this about something else?”
Sam just shook his head instantly. He knew more than anyone how she hated that misogynistic bullshit some—no, most—hunters liked to pull when it came to the subject of women who hunt.
With a victorious sound, Deanna tugged out the papers she had been looking for, before shifting through them.
“All right, well, Dad was checking out this two-lane blacktop just outside of Jericho, California. About a month, this guy—“
Handing the papers over to Sam so he could take a look, she continued,
“—They found his car, but he vanished. Completely MIA.”
Sam looked down at the print-out in his hand, reading through its contents.
The headline read: “Centennial Highway Disappearance,” and was dated September 19th, 2005. A man’s picture was beside the text, and beneath it was the caption: “Andrew Carey, MISSING.”
“So maybe he was kidnapped. I don’t see how this is a hunt.”
“Yeah, well, there’s another one in April—“
With each date, Deanna placed a new page in her brother’s hands.
“Another in December ’04, ’03, ’98, ’92 and ten of them over the past 20 years.”
Giving him a moment or two to take in all of the information, she reached over and took the pages back, returning them the folder.
“All of them are men, and all of them have disappeared on the same five-mile stretch of road. It’s a hunt, Sammy.”
With a soft huff, she tugged a bag out of the arsenal in the trunk.
“Started happening more and more, so Dad went to go and find out what the Hell was going on. That was 3 weeks ago, Sam. I haven’t heard from him since, which is bad enough.”
Rummaging through the bag, she revealed a handheld tape recorder.
“Then, I get this voicemail yesterday.”
Pressing play, static was the first thing the two Winchester siblings heard, and then their father’s voice broke through the mix.
“Deanna, something big is starting to happen, I need to try and figure out what’s going on. It may—Be careful, Deanna. We’re all in danger.”
Clicking the button for it to stop, she pursed her lips and gave Sam the I told you so, look.
“Y’know there’s EVP on that?” Sam observed.
“Not bad. You’re not as rusty as I was assuming. Like ridin’ a bike, isn’t it?”
Shaking his head, Sam let out a small laugh.
“All right, I slowed the message down and all and I ran it through a gold wave. Took out the hiss, and this is what I got.”
Deanna pressed play once more.
Static once again, but not as prominent, and then a woman’s voice echoed: “I can never go home…”
Deanna pressed the stop button.
“Never go home.” Sam repeated, obviously thinking.
Dropping the recorder down into the bag and shoving it back into the compartment, Deanna knocked off the shotgun that was holding the trunk open and the lid slammed shut. Leaning back on the Impala, she looked over at her little brother.
“You know, in almost two years I’ve never bothered you, never asked you for one damn thing.”
This bugged Sam a bit, from what she could tell.
“Fine, fine, Dee. I’ll go. I’ll help you find him.”
Nodding, a small smile spread across the female Winchester’s lips.
“But, I have to get back first thing Monday. Just, wait here.”
Turning to head back to the apartment, Deanna asked, “What’s first thing Monday?”
Glancing over his shoulder at her, it seemed this topic was not what he was aiming to discuss.
“I have this…I have an interview, Dee.”
“What, a job interview? C’mon Sammy, skip it. You’re smart, you’ll get another.”
He faced her fully, almost looking like he wanted to grimace.
“It’s a law school interview, and it’s my future on a plate.” Oh.
“Law school?” she repeated, trying to register the idea. Her hope for Sam to return to hunting full time after he had sown his wild oats with all this college business had just been shot down. Deanna smirked suddenly in an effort to conceal the emotions that threatened to run rampant through her. “So, we got a deal or not?”
Sam went back inside his apartment to pack.
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