Characters: Jo Harvelle
Word Count: ~1000
Warnings: language, some blood/violence
Notes: Okay so I really wanted to write something for Jo Week. Which is sometime around now? I think? I DON'T KNOW I STARTED THIS MONTHS AGO OK anyway comments are love and stuff.
Jo Harvelle took to the road shortly after she learned that John Winchester had gotten her father killed. She’d already had a taste of killing, a taste of the life; it wasn’t exactly a difficult next step.
There are dark creatures in the corners, Jo knows this. She’s always known it, but now she sees.
Sees and kills, knives and guns and fire are practically an extension of her arm, now. She’s a hunter. She can’t regret it.
It isn’t long before she’s facing down her first unknown, first monster she doesn’t even know what name to call. All hunters have one, her father told her when she was young enough and brave enough to perch on his knee and ask. And here’s hers, a huge grey-brown beast of a thing with talons that stinks to high-heaven, to boot.
Jo cocks the gun against her arm and pulls the trigger and fires, and suddenly there’s blood everywhere, every-fucking-where, in her hair and over her clothes and in-between her fingers.
She drags the thing to the middle of the forest and buries it there, covering the mound in stick and leaves so that it won’t be found, ever. She doesn’t need some curious hiker getting traumatized on her conscience.
She hits the road and drives until she sees a motel. She rents her room with the tangy scent of blood and the earthy one of death on her nostrils. She smiles at the man behind the counter and doesn’t mean it for a second.
She gets into her room and she cries because she misses her mother, and then she wipes the tears from her eyes and starts to clean the blood from her gun.
She still misses her mother, though, and she thinks of the Roadhouse then, sliding her cloth down the silver flank of her gun, thinks of Ash and of the regulars and of everyone else.
Thinking of the Roadhouse makes her think of Sam and Dean, and she feels a sharp spike of jealousy towards them, because at least they have each other. She has no one, and the loneliness might just be the hardest part. Rock salt may save her life, but it’s shit company.
Jo turns on the television and then she takes a shower to clean her hair. The cheap motel shampoo gets most of the red out, but Jo knows it’s still there. For weeks she can taste blood in-between her teeth, soaking into her gums and dying her a different color.
Maybe this is what it means, she thinks. To be a hunter. You touch the blood once and it taints you for a lifetime.
She doesn’t really mind it, though, because while it may be changing her, she knows now that she’s living. Jo’s spent half her life feeling like she’s slowly dying, but that feeling is gone now. It’s impossible to feel dying with her hair streaming out behind her as she runs, the press of he father’s blade right up against her racing pulse.
She certainly understands the rush of hunting, now, gets why hunters come into the Roadhouse grinning just as often as they come in already on their fifth beer. She’s driving down the freeway in the middle of God-knows-where and she rolls down the window and screams, a wild feral sound. She does it because she can, because she’s Joanna Beth Harvelle and nothing, nothing, can touch her.
There are bad days, of course; days where she’s chasing a fully formed rugaru in the southern slope of rural Virginia and she watches a small child get devoured right in front of her eyes.
Jo murmurs shit under her breath and half a minute later the rugaru is shrieking as it burns to the ground. She feels the heat of the flame on the back of her head as she turns to sit in her car. She watches until it’s nothing but ashes, and then keeps sitting there for a few moments because she doesn’t know what to do. She wonders what the parents will think happened to their child and wishes there were a body, at least.
Those are the bad days, the days where her breath comes too fast in her throat and tears aren’t far behind her eyes. She doesn’t cry, though, hasn’t cried since that night with the unknown. She takes long showers and watches bad television, and thinks she can understand Dean a lot better now.
She calls Ash every week to let her mother know she’s okay. She wishes she wasn’t such a coward, and that she and her mother had parted on better terms, and well, Jo Harvelle has a lot of wishes. She doesn’t think that too many of them are going to be fulfilled.
It’s all right, though—her mother’s her mother, but Jo thinks she understands. Jo is her own person and she has to make her own decision, for the reasons she sees fit. This may not be the occupation her mom might’ve picked for her, Jo thinks as she flicks the match down into the grave and lets flames envelop the remains; but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It not for her mom to pick.
Besides, it’s in her heart, hunting, and her mother knows that, because it was in Mr. Harvelle, too. She feels a whistling, trembling, in her bones when she fights, like something trying to get free.
Sometimes she lets it loose.
The man behind the counter at the shitty little hotel turns out to be a vampire, of-fucking-course, and Jo has to smash in a mirror just to get something sharp enough to take off his head. He slumps and she lets out the breath she was holding while she ripped through his flesh, her hand giving her stabs of pain where the little bits of glass cut into it.
The blood drips down her knuckles in tiny crimson rivulets and that’s her life, right there. Flowing down her hand and turning it a darker shade.
But hey. Her canvas could use a dash of color.