Title: Key of A Minor
Characters: Claire Novak, Jesse Turner, brief Ben Braeden
Contains: scarification, and a bit of blood
Word Count: 1013
Summary: Jesse tries to keep his powers in check. Claire helps.
Notes: The Five Acts Meme is starting up again next week /shameless pimp, and I'm writing fills for old rounds to get back into the swing of it. For bittersweet_fic, who wanted Claire/Jesse, scarification and magical themes (though it turned out pretty gen). Posted to octoberwriting and cross-posted to spn_nextgen.
The final vampire's head comes off with a sickening squelch, and Claire turns her head away. The vampire's blood sprays over her hair, and it's disgusting, but better that than the blood getting near her mouth.
"For a nest that killed a dozen people just this week, I was expecting a bit more of a fight," Ben says, from behind her. He sounds oddly disappointed.
Claire rolls her eyes, and hands him her machete to stow in the trunk. "Me too, but I'm not complaining -- we get back to the motel earlier, and I get to shower sooner."
"It's only eleven," Ben says, when he joins her in the cab of the truck, "and we're running pretty low on funds. We should head to a bar, try and hustle up some cash."
"You do that. I'm going to shower."
Ben fiddles with the radio for most of the way there, and fidgets the rest of the time there.
When she pulls to the curb, he wheedles, "C'mon, just one game."
"I am covered in vamp blood. I am going to shower," she repeats slowly.
He looks like he still wants to push it, but mercifully doesn't. "Alright," he says, getting out of the car. He hangs back, a moment, and adds, "Take care of yourself."
It's less flippant than it should be, but her clothes are sticking to her, the blood is cooling and clumping in her hair, and she still needs to clean the equipment, and she doesn't really care.
The drive back to the motel is short, and she makes quick work of grabbing all the bloodied and dirtied hunting gear from the back of the truck. She juggles everything around so she can grab the motel key from her pocket, and unlock the door.
She nudges the door open with her boot, steps inside, and everything falls out of her hands.
Jesse is on his bed, lying on towels that are stained a blood red.
It takes a moment, but she sees that the blood is dribbling from small cuts down the side of Jesse's thigh, which he is slowly carving into himself.
"What the hell are you doing?" Claire yells, making her way over to him.
HIs hand stills. "Done with the vampires already?" he grits out, eyes screwed shut.
"Yeah," she says, dumbly. "Nest wasn't as big as we thought it would be. But seriously -- Jesse -- what the hell?"
"I'm the anti-Christ," Jesse says, and when he opens his eyes, they're shining a demonic black. "This is a power binding ritual, so I can control myself."
Her pulse picks up, but she clamps down on the rising spike of fear. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Jesse barks out a laugh that raises the hairs on her arms. "How's your Enochian?"
"I was an angel's vessel once," Claire points out. She kneels down next to the bed. "What do you need?"
Jesse's eyes are flickering blue again. "If I give you a piece of paper with Enochian runes on them, will you know what they say? What they mean?"
She hesitates. Even though the experience has stayed with her ever since, her stint as an angel's vessel only lasted three minutes. And even though she's been studying up on it, her Enochian is more than a bit rusty. "I'll get the gist of it?" she offers.
"Will you understand it enough to make it command?" he asks through clenched teeth, eyes a sharp blue.
"Yes," she says, without hesitation. She cannot understand the runes by themselves, not intellectually, but she has an instinctive knowledge of it.
Jesse convulses, tremors running through his body, and then he's on his side, facing away from her, curling into himself. The light next to his bed flickers, and the table it's on quakes slightly.
Claire cautiously leans back on her heels. There's something about him that is making her worry; worry for Jesse's welfare, but also for her own. She wonders, briefly, if Ben knew anything about this. "Jesse?" she asks, carefully.
And then he's on his back again, shoving a strip of paper in her direction, body shaking. "Make it quick," he says, voice ragged.
Claire takes the paper, then picks up the knife laying by his side. It's silver, has faint markings etched on the blade and handle, and it sends a jolt up her arm as she adjusts her grip. She presses it lightly to Jesse's skin.
He gives out a sharp cry of pain as soon as it touches him, and she jerks it back immediately. "I'm sorr--"
"Don't apologize, just do it," he grits out. When she continues to hesitate, he continues, "It's... I'm getting stronger, there's less time to control it, you need to do it now--"
Claire is already cutting into his skin. He hisses, but Claire blocks it out, blocks out the smear of red spreading on his leg; she just focuses on copying the runes from the sheet of paper, a hidden part of her internally speaking them as she does it.
As she nears the end of the line of runes, the light bulbs start flickering. She glances up, and sees that Jesse's back is arched off the bed, his fingers clawing into the mattress, his bottom lip split from where he's biting it. A wave of panic washes over her, and she can't keep her hand from trembling slightly as she finishes up the last three runes.
Jesse cries out in pain and the lights burst and a static shock passes through the air.
And another second later, the lights are back on, and Jesse is sitting up, looking cool and collected. "Thank you," he says, calmly.
The red smear of blood on his leg is gone, replaced by thin white runes. They shine in the light.
Claire's heart is still beating frantically in her chest, but she gives him a polite smile. "No problem," she says, her voice sounding breathless to her ears.
Then she gets up, heads to the bathroom, and takes her shower.
- [Supernatural] Key of A Minor