At 10:59 Jake stepped out of the clearing, sat on a rock, and waited.
By 11:55, Jake had a feeling he had been completely, utterly stood up.
Jake's jacket was pulled in tight against him, his gun digging into his back. It was a comforting pain at least. His shoes were full of sand, his nose was cold, and he was missing some serious sleep for this bullshit.
Then something moved on the water.
Jake was at the water line, his gun out and his ears straining to hear anything, before he realized it. A figure was walking across the water, from the other side toward him. Jake cocked the hammer back - hesitant to shoot across the goddamned lake in fear of possibly striking some random civilian on the other side - and almost stepped forward into the water.
Instead something pushed him.
Well, dragged him, really.
Jake was under water before he had time to scream. It was a cold slap to his face - dragging the air from his lungs - and something was shoving him under, pulling him deeper and deeper until the water around him was black. Jake coughed and inhaled - choking on water - hitting the bottom. Hands were on his shoulders - Jake fought not to breathe again. Fought not to panic - this was so not the first time something had tried to drown him.
He scrambled at his neck and pulled his cross out, and suddenly the pressure was gone. Jake shot up - maybe a good 20 feet - inhaling again before he got to the surface. He emerged, wet and choking on water - a pair of feet in front of his face. Jake didn't have enough time to look up and see who the demon was possessing this time - it knew, Jake guessed, that he would do something to it's body if he knew - so it kicked him. Square in the face. Jake felt his nose explode - dropping back under water.
Then he emerged again, it was gone.
Then, everything went black.
The next morning, Jake had cotton shoved up his nose, a huge black and blue on the side of his face, and eight more people were in the hospital.
Jake knocked on the Ramos door, and thankfully Shelly opened it. Jake wasn't sure what would have happened if her parents opened the door to fine him enraged, wet, and still bleeding.
"Oh my God, your face-"
"Is that little shit here?" Jake said gruffly. Shelly blinked, confused for a moment.
"You mean Ren?"
Jakes eyes were dark - ringed with burses that came from not sleeping. His entire face hurt, and he was still coughing up water. His clothes were still sticking to him. This was so not funny.
"Where is he?"
Shelly stepped back and let him in, closing the door and locking it behind him. She then moved toward the stairs and Jake followed.
Ren was splayed out on the desk in what looked to be the den, still wearing the clothes from the day before. Shelly stood at the doorway while Jake moved inside. "I found him here this morning. He's got a key and lets himself in whenever he wants. He must have been researching all night..."
Jake snorted - it fucking hurt - and kicked Ren's chair. The brown haired kid jumped and knocked some of his books over, falling out of his chair and turning - a gun in his hand trained on the center of Jake's chest. It took Ren a tense moment to recall who Jake was - and slowly he lowered his weapon. Ren's eyes were glued to Jakes face. "What the hell happened?-"
Jake move forward and seized Ren's collar, lifting him up and shaking him.
"Last night - " He spat. He could feel the anger wafting off of him. " - the demon tried to drown me. When I came up for air, it kicked me in the face. I finally woke up on the beach around 9 to find that someone jacked my car. I fucking walked here, and that took me at least two and a-fucking-half hours. Now, dick face, give me a reason why you weren't there last night that would prevent me from kicking your ass right. Fucking. Now."
Ren's eyes were wide. "I-I was researching. I completely forgot what time it was - I fell asleep - "
Jakes eyes, if possible, got darker. "You fell asleep!?"
"I - I'm - I didn't mean - " And that's when Jake saw it.
There was an extra ring of black in Ren's eyes. The normal blue of them was there - sparking and scared as hell - but the extra ring of black was over that blue and holding on and in control and Jake fought not to shoot the kid to kill what was living inside him - what he didn't even realize was living inside him. Jakes realization came way to late for his own comfort - he was losing his touch. Jake put a cap on his anger immediately, shut his face down, and placed Ren on his feet. His tone was controlled. "You fell asleep?"
Confusion snapped over Ren's face, eyebrows furrowed. He was almost sure that Jake had touched the peak of his anger - the cold, numb part - and was about to beat the shit out of him. "Yeah-"
Ren blinked. "...What?"
"Where did you fall asleep?"
Ren stared at him for a second, his mouth open - then snapped it shut. Confusion made his eyes darker - they dropped the to the floor in thought. "I - I don't..."
"When did you leave the library?" Jake pushed, and Ren's eyes met his. There was fear in them now.
Jake rubbed his forehead and sighed, relaxing ever so slightly.
"What the hell - " Shelly asked, her voice very loud. " - just happened?!"
Jake checked his watch - it said 2:30, but there was water on the face and the second hand wasn't moving - and cursed. He dug through his jacket and yanked out a vile. Pushing Shelly back, Jake unplugged the vile, dipped his finger into it, and drew a cross in the air, mumbling a prayer. He then crossed himself.
"Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis Spiritus Sanctus..." Jake said.
"Increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus..." Ren said, and Jake smiled - not feeling so left out by being the only one who when this Goddamend ancient prayer.
"Spiritus Sanctus." They said together - cold snapping across Jake's chest, and Ren promptly passed out
His body hit the floor with a resounding thud - Shelly sucking in a hurried breath. Jake grabbed onto Shelly and stopped her from going to him, pulling her back and shutting the door. She hit him - in the chest, thankfully - and he let her go.
"The demon - " Jake said, his voice unnaturally calm and stuffed - his fucking nose hurt. "- is in him. It was in your brother too - it killed him. And it will try to kill Mop-head now that it knows we know it's in him."
Shelly was stricken. She stared at him, eyes wide - slowly, they started to harden - anger growing. "What can I do?"
Jake handed her the vile. She swooshed the liquid inside around, brushing her fingers over the cross that was on it. She looked up slowly. "Holy water?"
"Every hour, on the hour, from now until I get back - you need to dip your middle and index fingerers on your right hand in to it, make the sing of the cross," Jake show her, making the movement slowly. " And say 'In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen'. Now I know your Jewish and you live in this century, so I'll write this shit down, but it needs to be this blessing because I said it first."
There was paper in the kitchen. He wrote it down carefully and clearly - phonetically, so she couldn’t get it wrong. Shelly put the vile down next to the paper and checked her watch. Jake spotted one of Ren's notebooks on the counter and snatched it, moving toward the door.
"W-where are you going?" The woman sounded hopeless. She had lost her brother not two days ago, and now she was on the verge of loosing her - Jake struggled for a world - boyfriend? - too. Jake hated that sound.
"To learn Hebrew. Oh, and whatever you do, don't open that fucking door..."
Classically Cliché, Jake though, haft way to the synagogue. Nice touch. It's probably gonan screw you over...
Apparently, what was calculated as a five minute drive turns into a half an hour walk. Adding a two hours to learn how to role his H's - which he didn't think possible - and a half an hour walk back - made Jake, still damp around the edges and all together completely irritated, even more so. Having the Ramos door wide open and the sun sinking behind the horizon didn't help either.
Jake rushed in and found Shelly, face down, in the hallway - and the room Ren had been in empty. He gathered Shelly carefully in his arms and moved her up to the living room, shaking her awake.
"I don't know how -" She mumbled, her face bloody. Jake tried to find where the blood was coming from - head wounds bleed a hell of a lot more then they should. "I just wanted to check on him-"
Jake cursed and found the point of impact, just above her hairline. He put pressure on it and ripped his shirt, placing the cloth where his hand was. She put her hand over it while he moved to the kitchen, getting ice in a plastic bag.
"Did he say anything?" Jake asked after they finished whipping the blood off of her face. Shelly dropped her eyes to the floor.
"Shit. He's possessed - it's not him. Fucking demons..." Jake stood and finally pulled his gun out of it's resting place. It was shinny and cold in his hands - real and ready. Shelly's eyes widened.
"Don't shoot him!"
Jake looked down at her, his face passive. "He's going to hurt people, then off himself. I don't think shooting him will be the biggest problem he'll have tonight."
She dropped her eyes again, crying now. Jake felt a groan in his throat - he did not need this woman crying over some possessed-jackass on top of everything else. Her crouched down in front of her, placing the gun on the floor carefully. Taking her face in his hands, Jake pulled a real half-smile on to his face. "I won’t kill him - I'll try not to hurt him. Alright? So stop crying..."
It took Jake another half an hour to get back to the synagogue. It was dark - maybe near nine, if Jake was lucky. Back to where he had encountered the demon the first time. From he clearing, Jake could see the synagogue - brown and sturdy and the only one in the city. He wrinkled his nose and pulled out the hunk of quarts, set himself up, and waited.
He didn't have to wait long.
It was cold - a bite on his nose - and something set off bells in the back of Jake's brain.
He started the incantation.
The figure of Ren was standing twelve feet from the shore line - eyes black - hair moving in a wind that belonged to him alone. His feet were bare - pale - his arms loose at his sides. Slowly, the demon made Ren's face smile - something so wrong on Ren's face - and Jake realized he had seen that smile before. On the day of Shelly's brothers funeral. Dumbass! He should have noticed it then...
Jake started to incant faster. By the time the demon-Ren's feet touched the sand, Jake had almost finished. It stared at him, confused - and Jake started again.
He was three words into the very last phrase when he was tossed into the lake. This time, he was prepared. Flying through the air gave him time to gather breath before falling into the cold water. It wasn't as bad - and he was able to surface right away.
Ren's feet were inches from his face.
Something pushed down on his shoulders - Jake got one good breath before being pulled under. He hit the bottom quickly this time, pushed flat - air squeezed out of him. Ren was over him, hair everywhere, eyes blazing with darkness of a possession. Jake waited - waited till his vision started wavering - till he saw the demon flow out of Ren toward him. The blackness reached for his face - enveloping him.
Jake opened his mouth and spit the quarts out - shouting the last phrase of the incantation. Even muffled by water, incantations work wonders.
The quarts exploded - shooting out light everywhere. It was blinding - ate away at the darkness, sucking in the demon, the sickness, everything in. And - just as quickly as the light had come, it went out, the quarts falling to sit on Jake's chest and suddenly the pressure was gone. Jake grabbed the crystal on the way up, exploding to the surface with a gasp. Coughing, Jake turned - searching the water around him. He shoved the crystal into his pocket and dove down - kicking hard.
Ren was at the bottom - pale and green and not moving. Jake grabbed him and pulled - pulled like his life depended on it.
They broke the surface - Ren not breathing, and Jake swam and swam and fucking swam until he hit the shore line. Forcing air into Ren's lungs, Jake had to try three times before Ren came around and started spitting up water by himself. Jake sat back, breathing, and looked out toward the lake. The moon shined bright on the water - light and reflective.
Ren was out of the hospital in two days - along with all the patients who had miraculously recovered from their blindness. No one said anything about someone coming into their room and touching their foreheads with a slowly blackening stone - and Ren had a feeling no one would remember.
The quartz crystal was pure black by the time Jake was done with it - full of demon energy. Jake - who's face looked better after two days of rest at Shelly's house - managed to find his car. He locked the crystal in a box in the trunk that was full of other gadgets - most of which Ren had little if no idea what they were for.
Jake threw the last of his stuff into his car and slammed the door shut, sighing. Ren, who was leaning on the hood of the car across from him, smiled.
"You know, we did pretty well together."
Jake rolled his eyes. "Yeah. I would say you trying to drown me - twice - would qualify as 'pretty well'."
Ren snorted, his eyes light. Without the demon, that black ring was gone, and Ren's eyes were so blue they almost shined. "No dude, I mean - ...we did well, together, in the library, and whatever. We both know shit - "
"-I know a lot of shit." Jake said, shifting his weight to his other hip. The sun was starting to set, bouncing off the lake - lighting up some houses by the shore line.
Ren nodded. "True. You’re the only other person - next to me - who knows the Athanasian Creed by heart."
Jake found himself smiling. Ren looked down, shuffling his feet. Jake waited.
"I was - " Ren started, licking his lips, his eyes moving to where his hands were, lace together. "I was wondering...if you hand a position open...for a partner...."
.Jake trued to look at him. Ren couldn't be more then 20 - to young - but then, Jake thought, look at me. 24 and already ass deep in this shit. Shelly slipped up next to Ren and smiled, her eyes light - a weight lifted off of her shoulders. She was smiling at Jake. "You leaving now?"
Jake looked away and nodded.
"Where you going?"
Jakes eyes moved to the horizon.
"San Antonio......San Deigo, Baltimore, Minneapolis, San Jose, Tennessee, Wyoming, Colorado, New York...doesn't matter." Jake turned and managed a grin. It made his brown eyes sparkle ever so slightly in the dying light. "Anywhere that I can help, and if I have to, anywhere in-between that..."
Shelly moved around to the front of the car, moved as close to him. Her eyes were dark and suddenly serious. Jake normally never let himself get this attached to one person - didn't let anyone get this close. "Why do you do this?..."
Jake dropped his eyes, moved them to the side - away from her. "...I'm looking for something." .
Shelly leaned forward and kissed him, softly, lips closed. She swept a hand through his hair and smiled. "You two are very alike, you know...."
Jake raised his eyebrows. Shelly nodded toward the boy on the other side of the car.
"Ren's looking for something too."
Jake's eyes immediately went to the other man. Ren's eyes were hard - callused - with grief and pain and his own loss - his own reason. Jake, after starting for another moment, shook his head.
"Get in the fucking car, Mops."
Ren's eyes lit again - a grin on his face.
"It's Ren." The brown haired by laughed, relief relaxing his shoulders.
Shelly hugged Jake, then moved to hug Ren - tightly. Shelly helped put Ren's bag into the car, her fingers lingering on the door handle as Ren settled into the leather seats. She leaned forward as Jake started the car, her smile thin and eyes wet.
"I'll call you if I hear about anything."
Jake nodded, eyes ahead of him. Shelly nodded and tapped the hood of their car - moving back toward her white picket fence house, looking very out of place. Most people, after they've experienced something like what she went through, didn't fit the images around them anymore.
That's why Jake never had a home.
Ren waved as they pulled away, a smile on his face.
Jake and Ren were out of Glenwood, Minnesota - heading south. Or North. Or which every way Jake felt like going.
Ren pulled out a note book while they were passing through North Platte, Nebraska - headed west on I-80. Jake gave the thing two looks before he screwed up his eyebrows and said something.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Writing a log." Ren scribbled something down.
Ren turned to look at Jake, eyes level. "So I don't forget what we do, how we do it, and where."
Jake after a moment, rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Freak..."
"Yeah, whatever..." Ren shot back, relaxing back. Knowing full well that Jake would be checking to the not book, come later cases...if they had later cases.
'You know this is only until I can't stand you anymore, right?' Jake had said earlier. Ren knew that Jake was serious - they would split up the moment Jake didn't want him hanging around any more. But, for now, Ren could sit back, and for once in eleven years, relax - knowing someone else could handle the things that go bump in the night just as well as Ren could.
~demonic possession, poisoned water, and Hebrew