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Supernatural Gen Fanworks Exchange
Summer 2019
Call My Name or Walk On By, for amypond45 
6th-Jul-2017 02:36 pm
Title: Call My Name or Walk On By
Recipient: amypond45
Rating: All Ages
Word Count or Media: ~1100
Warnings: none
Author's Notes: many thanks to my lovely beta, she-who-will-be-named later, for the quick turnaround. The song title is a line from "Don't You Forget About Me"

Summary: after confessing to Jody via voicemail and getting no reply, Claire worries that she's been cut loose.

At first, when she calls Jody and gets her voicemail, Claire is relieved. She can just pour her confession out and not have to listen to the recriminations, or worse, the silences.

Two days later, when she still hasn't heard from Jody, she starts to worry. Maybe Jody's decided to cut her loose, decided she's too much trouble, decided she's a liar and she's gonna get herself killed so why not get out while she still can. She's still got Alex, who is going to nursing school and will be fine and won't keep her up all night worrying that she's going to get a call from some small town sheriff or forest ranger saying that they've found her body.

Hell, it's not even the first time someone's decided to bail on her. She should be used to it by now.

She doesn't care, she tells herself. She definitely doesn't cry herself to sleep that night, curled in her car because she can't afford a motel room.

Maybe it's the uncomfortable position, not able to stretch out fully. Maybe it's the pizza she ate for dinner. Whatever it is, she finds herself in a long, nonsensical dream. She's being chased by a werewolf who turns into her mother, then she's in the history class that she dropped after six boring weeks, except apparently she didn't and now she has to take the final and Castiel is standing at the lectern, looking stern and disappointed. She knows it's him and not her father the way you always know things in dreams, which is also how she knows that Sam and Dean are speaking to her in Enochian, but of course she doesn't speak Enochian, which is why she doesn't understand that they're trying to warn her that she hasn't put her clothes on, and she walks out of Jody's house and onto a busy street, and only then does she realize she's stark naked and everybody is looking at her, Jody and Alex both laughing so hard that they have to hold each other up, and that's when she finally jerks awake, heart hammering.

Sitting in the dark, neck and heart aching, it's easy enough to interpret the dream; it's the same stupid crap she's been stewing about for the past few days.

But if she's going to be honest with herself, it's been a lot longer than that. Lying to Jody never felt right, and though she's justified it to herself by the fact that she is an adult, the truth is, she felt like a kid sneaking around behind Jody's back.

And if Jody can't forgive her for it, if she's decided to cut her out of her life, Claire realizes she has no one but herself to blame.

She can either wallow in self-pity, or she can go find something to hunt.

She shoves herself upright, fumbles the key into the ignition and turns it. The engine gives a weak groan, tries to turn over, and then sputters into silence.

Claire slams her fists into the steering wheel, which doesn't help at all and worse, doesn't make her feel any better. She tries to start the car again, but it just wheezes once before falling silent.

She's about ten miles from town. Jody insisted she get AAA. Once she's got the car towed, she can see about the tricks Sam's taught her for getting a card of her own.

She pulls out her phone, and at least it's got 34% charge. She dials the number on the AAA card, but instead of connecting, a computerized voice tells her "we're sorry, but your monthly payment has not been made. Please pay online, or call our customer service line between eight and five mountain time, Monday through Friday. We're sorry, but - "

It takes all of her willpower not to throw the phone across the car, but the last thing she needs is to break it. Or crack a window.

Ten miles. That's not too far. It's a chilly night -- or rather, morning; her phone is still capable of telling her that it's 2:57 -- but not dangerously cold. She pulls the coat she'd been using as a blanket on, checks her weapons, and starts the long walk back to town.

Her idle hope that she'd catch a ride evaporates; there's no traffic along the one-lane blacktop she'd pulled off of. Still, she hopes, maybe when the sun comes up, assuming she hasn't reached civilization by then.

She feels like she's been walking forever, when she finally spots headlights in the distance. She turns on her flashlight and starts waving it.

Then, like a miracle, Jody's truck is pulling to the side of the road. Alex is behind the wheel, and Jody's riding shotgun and she's clearly been asleep, but she's out of the car almost before it's stopped. She throws her arms around Claire and hugs her fiercely. A moment later, Alex reaches her too, and Claire is nearly crushed between them but she doesn't mind a bit.

"Jody, I'm sorry," Claire says, and with that the floodgates open. "I'm sorry I lied to you, I know it was wrong, but I just -- I was so afraid you'd be mad at me."

"Of course I'm mad," Jody says, not showing any sign of releasing Claire. "You lied to me, you almost got yourself -- if I could, I'd ground you for a month. I'm scared as hell by the thought of you hunting alone. But I don't want you to ever think that there is anything you could possibly do that would make me stop loving you. Do you understand me?"

Claire nods against Jody's shoulder. "Thank you," she whispers. "How did you even find me?"

Jody pulls out her badge. "I backdated a missing persons report the second time your phone went to voicemail. Now, where's your car?"

"Pulled off the road about nine miles back. It won't start."

"Okay. So here's what we'll do. I noticed a diner back in town. We'll go and have a good breakfast, and by the time we've eaten the local mechanic should be open. We'll get your car towed, rent a room and all get some sleep. With any luck your car will be ready by the time we're ready to hit the road again. Sound good?"

"Sounds great," Claire says; not because it'll get the car fixed -- she would have managed that somehow -- but because, despite everything she's done not to deserve it, Jody is here for her.
6th-Jul-2017 06:46 pm (UTC)
Love this. Jody has so much love and those girls are the lucky recipients of her support and dedication.
6th-Jul-2017 08:31 pm (UTC)
What an excellent exploration of Claire! I appreciate someone taking the time to expand on her character, I think there is a lot to be explored with her. And this feels very right for any young person at odds with a parental figure.
6th-Jul-2017 09:10 pm (UTC)

This is wonderful! I love getting to know Claire better, and Jody the fiercely protective mama bear is a joy. Thank you, anonymous gifter!

7th-Jul-2017 10:20 am (UTC)
Jody the fearless and fierce Mama Bear is just perfect. And what a wonderful exploration of their relationships. Claire and Alex are so lucky to have her. Wonderful piece hun :)
7th-Jul-2017 11:12 am (UTC)
What a wonderful exploration of Claire! I loved how her default thought process of being abandoned gets turned on its head here, seeing not only Jody but Alex too, offering her love and support.

Such a positive and heartwarming fic - thank you! Take care :)
8th-Jul-2017 11:19 am (UTC)
This was such a wonderful ride. <33 I love how Claire's almost instant assumption was that Jody had cut her off and she was alone again because she didn't deserve Jody's kindness after all she'd done. Because we as readers know that that's absolutely not true, and that Jody would never, which made Claire's headspace--and the heartbreak of that--all the more apparent in so few words. Just gorgeous. I really felt Claire through this whole thing, the loneliness and low-grade despair at sleeping in the car, the post-dream feelings, the car breakdown. Following Claire through that made the ending feel exactly as welcome and full of relief as it did for Claire herself. I love this! <333
10th-Jul-2017 09:47 pm (UTC)
Well-paced fic with great characterization. The dream was hilariously sad, just the way nightmares often are. Ironic also that all of this drama was because of bad cell reception.
10th-Jul-2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
Hell, it's not even the first time someone's decided to bail on her. She should be used to it by now.
Aww, Claire. This was wonderful. ♥
10th-Jul-2017 10:19 pm (UTC)
Loved this! Claire assuming that Jody had cut her loose, and finding out later on that Jody loves her unconditionally. It's exactly what she needs to hear!
20th-Jul-2017 12:42 am (UTC)
As a reader, I find something compelling about the “normalness” of Claire’s experience here—the relational worries, the money shortage, the car breakdown, the cell phone issues—in the context of a supernatural world/storyline. But “normal” or not, the experience is still a crappy one, and that crappiness is a matter of fact (that’s our Show!) which Claire faces with a mix of vulnerability and toughness. The ending has really nice flavours, too: not picture-perfect (I love that Jody has probably just woken up for the reunion), but still happy. It was lovely to go on this journey with Claire!

(Also, when Claire was dreaming and Sam and Dean appeared sans preamble, speaking Enochian and saying things that she understood as a commentator, but not as a player, within her dream, I was like, THIS IS IT. THIS IS WHAT A DREAM IS. :D)
24th-Aug-2017 08:26 pm (UTC)
JODY IS THE BEST. I felt like I knew Jody was going to come anyways, but I still got really emotional when she showed up. I love this look into Claire, too - she's SO angry and hurt, and in so many ways, rightfully so, and she's not truly ready to accept the love Jody wants to give. But then here, when she thinks she's been cut off, she realizes how much she really DID care (despite her usual professions that she doesn't).

Also, the dream description was perfect because it was rambly and non-sensical but completely flowing in that way that dreams are (where things Just Are and you Just Know Stuff even though it actually does not make any sense outside of the dream).

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