Summary: Jacob Pond has someone he can to go to.
Disclaimer: Somebody who isn't me owns Jacob Pond.
Leah Alamilla was in the middle of doing a book inventory when her cell phone vibrated.
She was up on a ladder, looking at a cookbook (one written for humans, of course) when her phone vibrated. She pulled her phone out of her skirt pocket, and looked at it. The number was one she did not recognize. She pressed "talk", put the phone to her ear, and said "Hello?"
"It's Jacob," said the young voice at the other end, and for a moment she wondered why her daughter Julia's ex-boyfriend was calling her at work, sounding like a lost little boy.
Her heart nearly stopped. "What's wrong?"
"A hunter killed my mom."
Like mother, like daughter. "Where are you?" No, not Amy. Not sweet little Amy, too good to even eat the brains of living people.
"I'm in a motel room. I don't know where I am."
"Is the hunter after you?"
"No, he let me go," Jacob was crying now. "I'm in a motel room with my mom."
"Okay, Jacob, I'm going to come get you, but I need you to figure out where you are."
An hour later, she was in the car. Jacob had finally figured out the address of the motel, and her employers had been happy to let her have the rest of the day off once they heard she had a family crises. Not everyone who worked at the library was a Kitsune, but enough were that they could read between the lines when Leah said her sister had had a heart attack and her nephew needed someone to come get him.
Leah called her husband, Luis, at work to let him know what was going on. She decided to leave their two teenage daughters, who were at school, in the dark for now.
It would be another two hours before she reached the motel where Jacob was waiting. Leah made sure she was pushing the speed limit. No point in making Jacob wait any longer than he had to.
This is what happens when a Kitsune settles away from other Kitsune. It had happened to their mother, and now it had happened to Amy.
It had been years ago now that she had received the same phone call from Amy, panicked in a bus station, saying that hunters had killed their mother and were after her. Once again, Leah had driven for hours to come get her little sister and take her back to safety, cursing her mother's stubborness every inch of the journey.
Leah and Amy were six years apart in age. They didn't look alike; Leah took after her African-American father, while Amy's father was white like their mother. Leah had spent the first six years of her life in the Kitsune community where she now lived with her husband and children. She'd been happy there. But shortly after Amy was born, their mother had lost her job, and decided the traveling life was better. Leah hated every minute of it. There were no other Kitsune around, and her mother wouldn't tolerate her and Amy befriending human children. Once, Leah brought a girl home from school, and her mother killed the girl and the family ate her. Leah gave up on making friends with humans after that. Amy, she suspected, never did.
When she reached eighteen, Leah moved back to the Kitsune community where she had spent her early years. There, she attended college and met Luis. She figured out how to make friends and be happy again. It had been only a few years after she arrived that the phone call came from Amy. Predictably enough, outside the safety of the community, hunters had gotten to their mother and killed her.
Leah brought Amy, only fifteen, to come live with her. Amy didn't fit in well with the other Kitsune. Leah had no problem killing people for food--it was the way she had been designed, after all, and it wasn't like she killed children--but Amy did. Amy would only eat pituitary glands that had been taken from the already dead. She went into training to be a mortician, which sounded like a terrible job to Leah, so that she could learn to feed herself.
"How can you eat people after we were friends with them as kids?" Amy would ask Leah.
"That was a long time ago," Leah said, "and I never had many friends, anyway."
After her son Jacob was born, Amy decided to leave the Kitsune community. She was disgusted by the killing her people engaged in. She and Leah had a huge argument before she left. Leah was furious that Amy would endanger herself and her young son by leaving, but Amy would hear none of it. "I am not raising my son in a place where he will learn that it's okay to kill people," Amy said, and she left.
Amy stayed in touch with Leah, and there were mutual visits on occasion. Leah was always careful to provide Amy and Jacob with pituitary glands taken from those who were already dead on the times they came to visit. Meal times were still hard to handle--Amy was frosty at best and critical at worst. She didn't like that Leah and Leah's family killed to eat.
The two hours it took to reach Jacob seemed to last forever. Finally, Leah reached the front of the dingy motel. She talked her way past the boy at the front desk and ran down the hall until she reached the room number that Jacob had given her.
"Jacob?" she asked as she entered.
Jacob was sitting on the floor on one side of the room. On the other side, on the bed, Amy was stretched out. Her eyes were open, and she was still. There was a gaping wound in her chest.
"Amy," Leah whispered. No time to grieve, they had to get out of there before people showed up to ask questions about Amy's death. "Jacob, come on. Get your stuff, and let's go."
He got up wordlessly, grabbing a backpack. As she watched, he went to his mother's side, and pulled off the crescent moon-shaped necklace with the little star that was around Amy's neck. Leah remembered that necklace. Leah had given it to Amy for her birthday when Amy was nine, and Amy never stopped wearing it.
Jacob followed Leah out. "Are you hungry?" She asked. He nodded. "I brought you some food." She fumbled about in the car, and pulled out a jar of pituitary glands, handing it to Jacob.
"Did you kill people for this, or were they already dead?"
Leah sighed. In her hurry to get to Jacob, she had forgotten to go to the secret market and get pituitary glands from those who were already dead. She wasn't sure if she'd gotten these at the market or if they had come from people she killed herself, but she knew Amy wouldn't approve. "I don't know," she said.
Jacob handed her back the jar. "I'll eat later," he said.
"All right," she said. "Come on."
She got Jacob in the car. He had been crying, but he wasn't now. "Do you wanna talk about what happened?" she asked. He shook his head. She couldn't stop herself from asking a question. "How did a hunter find your mom if she wasn't killing?"
"She was killing," Jacob said quietly.
Leah, about to put the key in the ignition, stopped. "What?" All those lectures on the evils of killing people--had Amy actually changed her mind?
"It was my fault," Jacob explained. "I was sick. I needed fresh brains. So she killed a bunch of people, and we went on the run. But this hunter found us."
"Oh, honey, it was not your fault," Leah said, getting in the front seat. "Your mom was just doing what our people do." Amy, Amy, she thought. You could have told us. We could have helped. But Amy was too stubborn for that--stubborn as always. She could solve her problems without involving her family.
Jacob was quiet for most of the drive. Leah, increasingly uncomfortable with the silence, tried to make small talk.
"How has school been going?"
"Good," Jacob said, and offered no further information.
"Julia and Guen are in high school now," Leah said, just to keep the conversation going. "Julia loves school--Guen hates it. I hope you'll like the school where we live."
"School is not important," Jacob said.
"Yes, it is! Your mother would want you to do well in school."
"My mother's dead," Jacob said, and lapsed into further silence.
By the time they reached Leah's house, Guen and Julia were home from school. Luis was still at work.
It was a fairly small house, white with green trim. There were two bedrooms for the girls, plus the main bedroom. Julia and Guen would have to share a room again, now that Jacob was living here. They would both hate it.
"Mom, what's wrong?" Guen asked, as they came in. "Why is Jacob here?"
"Guen, I need you to go to the market and buy some pituitary glands that are certified to be from dead bodies only. Jacob is going to be staying with us for awhile."
"Why?" Guen asked.
"My mother's dead," Jacob said. "A hunter killed her."
"What?" Guen was shocked.
"Do you want to go to the market," Leah said, "or should I asked Julia?"
That brought Guen out of her shock. "No, I'll go." Leah handed her some cash, and Guen scampered off.
Julia went up to Jacob, and hugged him. "Do you want something to drink?" she asked.
Jacob accepted a pop, and sat in the arm of the couch until Leah told him that was not allowed, then he sat on the couch itself. Julia pulled her mother into the other room.
"I don't know, exactly. Jacob doesn't want to talk." Leah explained what she did know. Julia listened, wide-eyed.
"That's terrible! I'm glad we're safe here, in the community."
"Me, too, sweetie." There were guards--police officers of a sort--charged with dealing with hunters. They knew how to keep the community safe.
Guen returned shortly with the pituitary glands. "Dig in," she told Jacob. He ate as if it he hadn't eaten in days, which seemed possible, but unlikely.
"How are you feeling?" Leah asked, touching his forehead. "You were sick, right?"
Jacob nodded. "I'm better, now," he said.
Luis arrived home a half hour later. Leah pulled him into the back and told him everything she knew. "I guess we have a son," Luis said, after hearing the story.
"If he wants to be one," Leah said. "He may not want to think of us his parents. Amy hasn't been gone for long. Let's not go there."
"I know," Luis said. "I won't say that to him."
That night, Julia moved into Guen's room, the room she had shared with her younger sister for most of their lives. Leah apologized to her about the move. Julia shrugged. "We have to make room for Jacob." Leah was relieved that both girls were being so supportive.
Julia's room still had posters of her favorite rock stars, and pink glitter on the walls. It seemed all wrong for Jacob. He didn't complain, though, just settled in.
That first night, Jacob woke Leah and Luis up at midnight, complaining that he couldn't sleep. They set him up on the floor of their room, and he still couldn't sleep. "I keep seeing Mom, and that man," he said.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Leah asked again.
"There's not much to say. I was out. I came back into the motel room, and a man was standing in front of my mom. She sort of collapsed, and he lay her down on the bed. Then I saw there was a knife in her. He pulled out the knife, and he saw me. I thought I was going to die. Then he asked me if I had someplace to go."
"He let you go," Leah said. She was grateful for small favors.
"He asked me if I had ever killed anyone, and I said 'no'. Why would I kill anyone? He said if I did, he'd come back for me. I told him I was going to kill someone."
"Who?" Luis asked.
"Him." Jacob said. Spat it out, more like.
"Jacob, no," Leah said. "Going after a hunter is like suicide. Your mother would not want you to do that."
"He didn't attack you, when you said that?" Luis asked.
"He said I should look him up in a few years. I should have asked him his name, but he would probably just have lied."
Leah was relieved that he didn't know the guy's name. "Jacob," she said. "I have lost my mother and my sister to hunters. Please, please, don't let me lose my nephew, too."
Jacob said nothing.
The next few days were a flurry of activity. Julia and Guen moved all of Julia's stuff into their shared room. Leah registered Jacob at school. The girls treated Jacob like he was made of glass, and fussed over him. Leah figured that wouldn't last.
Leah ran to the secret market to store up on pituitary glands that had been taken from the dead. The secret market was located behind an old warehouse. A Kitsune had to step behind the warehouse and reveal their Kitsune status with a flash of yellow eyes and a claw. Then, they could go down in the basement of the warehouse and buy pituitary glands. It was a little safer then killing humans themselves, although Leah did that, too. Furthermore, there were options for socially conscious Kitsune: Pituitary glands that were certified as taken from the dead.
Jacob was still quiet and subdued. Leah was called in to meet with one of his teachers after the first few days, because he wouldn't talk in class even when specifically called on.
"You have to talk in class," Leah said to him, later. "Your mother would want you to get good grades."
"You keep bringing up my mother," Jacob grumbled. But after that, he spoke up in class. On occaison.
As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, Jacob brightened up. He even made a few friends at school. Julia and Guen stopped treating him like a little prince and little more like an exasperating little brother.
Food was an issue in their household. Like his mother before him, Jacob gave the family grief about killing the living.
"It's what we're meant to do," Julia said.
"I respect you not killing people," Guen said. "You should respect me killing people."
"You've never killed anyone in your life," Leah said with a laugh. Julia she had taken out killing, but not Guen. Not yet.
"I will," Guen said. "And I'm not ashamed of it."
"Those people haven't done anything to you," Jacob said.
"They taste good," Luis said, and laughed.
Jacob scowled, but dropped the argument for the moment.
It's not that Jacob always opposed the idea of killing people. When Luis and Leah checked the search history on their web browser, they found that somebody had been searching for information on a thirty-something-year-old brown haired white man. Luckily, Jacob's knowledge of his mother's killer was so limited that he had found nothing.
Jacob found a lead on his mother's killer purely by accident. A little over a year after Amy's death, he accompanied Leah to the supermarket. Kitsune need only human pituitary glands to survive, but most of them enjoy other food. Pop, candy, chips and salsa were particular favorites. Leah kept her kitchen well stocked with such treats.
Jacob was pawing through the magazines in the check-out line, when he gasped out loud.
"What?" Leah asked.
"It's him!" He pointed to a photo.
The headline read, "The Winchester Brothers: Notorious Killers!" Two men stared at the camera, looking quite pleased with themselves.
"Who?" Leah asked.
Jacob pointed to one of the men. "Dean Winchester killed my mother."
"They've killed humans, too?" Leah asked, surprised. "I guess I shouldn't be so shocked. Hunters do tend to be the anti-social types."
Jacob bought the magazine with his own money, and took it home.
The magazine claimed that Sam and Dean were dead, but Jacob was not convinced. "It says they faked their deaths before," he said. "They might have done it again."
Now the google search engine was filled with searches for "Dean Winchester" and a few for "Sam Winchester". Leah and Luis discussed it.
"It's perfectly normal for him to want revenge," Luis said.
"Want it, yes, but if he seeks it out, it'll kill him!"
"He's twelve," Luis said, calm to Leah's frantic. "He'll outgrow this. We just have to keep giving him reasons to stay here."
There wasn't much they could do. They gave Jacob a lecture, but he listened in that way that Leah had come to recognize was Jacob not really listening.
"Jacob?" Leah called, as she came in the front door. "Are you back from school yet?"
It was three years later. Julia and Guen had both left home for college. Jacob was in high school, and getting decent, but not great, grades.
Leah spotted a note on the refrigerator. she picked it up.
"Got a lead on the Winchesters. Took the car. Don't follow me. I'm sorry--but I WILL come back. Love, Jacob."
"Oh, shit," Leah whispered. "Shit, shit SHIT!" By this point she was shouting.
She pulled out her cell and called Luis, and got his answering machine. "Jacob went after the Winchesters. Come home--now." Then she hung up and dialed Jacob's number. As she expected, his phone rang and he didn't answer. She got his voice mail. "Jacob, call me, now."
She had no way to go after Jacob until Luis got home. She'd taken the bus to work that day, and left her car at home. That was the car Jacob had taken. Leah paced up and down the living room, edgy. It seemed like forever until Luis arrived.
"I'll go after him," he said.
"I'm coming with," Leah said. "I can't stand to just wait around here."
"Let's check his search history, first."
A quick check of the computer's search history found what they were looking for: Sam Winchester had been spotted at a gas station in Wisconsin. "Wisconsin it is, then," Leah said.
The drive to Wisconsin took several hours. By the time they arrived at the gas station, no one was there. They drove around town, asking passer-bys if they had seen anyone matching Jacob's description.
It was getting dark. Leah was exhausted. It seemed like they would never find Jacob. Finally, her cell phone rang. The caller ID said it was Jacob.
"Jacob?" she asked.
"It's me. I'm on my way home."
"Are you okay?"
"We'll meet you there."
They drove home. Leah's car was in front of the house when they arrived. Leah stormed in. "Jacob Pond! Where are you?"
Jacob was sitting on the couch, staring at the wall. His mannerisms reminded her of when she found him in the motel, waiting with his mother's dead body.
"Jacob, are you alright?"
As she got closer, she saw that Jacob was playing with his mother's necklace.
Jacob said, "Dean Winchester is dead."
Leah gasped. Luis said, "You killed him."
Jacob shook his head. "No, some angel killed him. I found Sam Winchester," he explained. "I was going to kill him, but he told me--he told me he wasn't involved in Mom's death. He told me he was friends with my mom. He wasn't scared of me. I don't think he was lying. But he told me a lot of strange things."
"Of course he wasn't scared of you! He's a full grown hunter, and you're a baby Kitsune!"
Jacob rolled his eyes. "I'm not a baby."
"To him, you are."
"Aunt Leah, listen. Sam told me that Grandma wasn't killed by hunters."
"How would he know that?" Leah demanded.
"He was there. He said that he was a kid, and Mom invited him over. Grandma showed up tried to kill him and--Mom killed her."
It took a moment to register what he had said. "No way. No, way. Amy liked humans, but--no. No way she kills her own mother to save a human kid."
"That's what he told me. Why would he lie?"
"Pathological liar? He is a murderer of his own kind."
"He told me they were framed by some kind of--shapeshifting creature. He bought me coffee. We had a talk."
Could sweet little Amy really have killed their mother? "Well, he lied to you. Don't believe every charming man who comes by your way. Especially a hunter." She added, "I'm glad he didn't kill you, though. I'm thankful to him for that."
"I think he was telling the truth," Jacob said.
Leah sighed. "Well, at least Dean is dead. Run off like that again and you're grounded for a generation. Are you hungry?"
Jacob nodded. Leah went to the fridge and pulled out some pituitary glands. Jacob took them, and glanced down. "Are these certified from the dead?"
"Um, I'm not sure, I'll get a different batch."
"No, it's okay," Jacob said, and ate a mouthful of the glands. "It's what we're made to do, after all."