Prologue [4] – Jo Harvelle

Jo Harvelle stalked the woods, following the tracks she'd found for days now. She was alone in this hunt, as she felt she didn't need help. She hadn't found the time to call for backup, this was all on her.

Jo swatted the bugs that buzzed around her face in annoyance. She kept a pistol at her side. Her prey was a shapeshifter. They'd caught on that they were being hunted and had made a run for it. On top of the tracks, Jo had found some...leavings of her prey. Piles of discarded, gooey flesh of its former identities. Each new pile almost made Jo sick, but she muscled on.

Of all the places, and it chose to run into the woods.

Jo's hair on her arms stood on end, and she stopped abruptly. Slowly, silently, she did a three-sixty, brown eyes making sure to not miss a trick. Even a trick of the eye could not be a trick at all.

Stiffening, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was close by. When she spun around, she aimed her gun at the figure. Her brown eyes widened. He wasn't a newcomer or a stranger to her. But she couldn't understand why he was in her Heaven of all places. No angel had check-in duty before, so why would it start now?

"Castiel?" Jo asked in confusion.

Before her stood Castiel, an angel she had worked with a few years ago, along with the Winchester brothers, Sam and Dean. Jo remembered those times. Back then, she, along with her mother, Ellen Harvelle, helped aid the Winchesters and their feathery friend to help stop the apocalypse and Lucifer himself. But that time also reminded Jo of her and her mother's death. She assumed her mother had died not long after she had: their situation had looked pretty bleak before Jo had passed on.

"Hello, Jo," said Castiel in his usual deep voice.

Jo lowered the gun, relaxing slightly. "Wait...are you...?"

"The shapeshifter that you're pursuing? No, I'm not. I'm not dead, either. Angels don't go to Heaven when they die."

"What are you doing here?"

"I need to ask a favor of you."

"I'm kind of busy right now." Jo gestured to the woods.

"Please, give me a minute of your time."

Jo considered it, watching the angel curiously. Sighing, she lowered the weapon at her side. "One minute. Go."

"Sam and Dean are in trouble."

"And this is supposed to shock me because...?"

"I can't track them. There's no one else on Earth that's willing to lend me a hand."

"So, you figured the best step was to pull me from Heaven?" Jo looked at Castiel like he had lost his goddamn mind. "You must be pretty desperate."

"I am," Castiel insisted. "Please, Jo. I need your help finding them."

Jo looked around the woods, thinking about her current hunt. Did she want to give up a run-of-the-mill chase for helping out an old friend? I'd be going back to Earth, she thought. I'd be alive again. Castiel would bring me back to life.

Jo's eyes widened at the realization. "You would be able to restore my body so that I can use it again?"

Castiel looked slightly apprehensive, but nodded all the same. "Yes."

"Would this change become permanent?"

"That's your choice."

Your choice. Jo couldn't believe this! She had her ticket back to a second life! A second chance!

"You know a way out of Heaven, Castiel?" asked Jo.

The angel nodded.

"Is it legal?"

"By all means, no. It's very dangerous, and it has major repercussions. But I've run out of options. I can't find Sam and Dean on my own."

You probably could, Jo considered, you're an angel. Unless...unless something's made your trail of them go cold. A shiver ran up Jo's spine. Whatever she and Castiel were going to walk into, it seemed pretty formidable. Something that was clever enough to hide Sam and Dean Winchester from their angel friend, Castiel? That was unheard of.

"Well," Jo said, looking at the angel who looked lost without his Winchesters, "if we're gonna have any chance of making it out unseen, we better get moving."

**Fun fact: Jo was a last-minute addition. I couldn't believe I forgot about her! Charlie, Meg, and Jess were the original three. But then I remembered, like, 'wait a second, Jo is a legit hunter. If anyone deserves a second chance to help Sam and Dean, it's this girl.'

Y'all can hate her, yes, I'm looking at you Dean girls. Some of you hated Jo, so much that all the hate got her character killed off. 

I love our fandom dearly, but there's a shadowy place some of y'all created that I never wanna get sucked into.**

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