AHAHA TEAM FREE WILL 2.0 IS MY LIFEBLOOD RIGHT NOW. I’m going to use this as my masterpost excuse me.
Team Free Will 2.0 is the hunting team formed by Ben Braeden, Claire Novak, and Jesse Turner. I didn’t come up with this idea, but it is marvelous and amazing.
Becca and I were discussing it. Here’s the over view of what we’ve got:
- Claire Novak’s life went to hell after her father was kidnapped by an angel. She had no dad, she became the laughing stock among her friends. When her dad finally returned, it was with demons and angels on his heels. She felt the gut-wrenching wrongness of being possessed. She watched her father sacrifice himself for her, even though he only said yes in the first place because he thought he was serving God. Claire watched her demon-possessed neighbor die in her house, saw her demon-possessed mother, and the police investigation that followed turned her into a social pariah. Her mom started to unravel. Claire’s become tired of watching things happen. She wants to act. She wants to save her dad. She wants to slaughter the angel who did this to her.
- Ben Braeden knows that “Dean Winchester” was a huge part of his life for a year. All his friends remember Dean, but he can’t. It just comes back in bits and pieces. He knows his memories were erased. He followed leads from information his missing-father left behind in their old house and found the hunter network through that. He learns about the monsters hiding in the dark, the things that almost killed him when he was eight years old, and that his dad is out there. Ben wants answers about his own life, about who Dean was to him, and he wants to kick monster butt.
- Jesse Turner fled from his home after learning he was the antichrist. He’s been a street urchin ever since, and is terrified of his powers because they scare people. He’s timid, anxious, desperate for companionship. He feels beyond lucky when he meets Ben and Claire, who aren’t scared of his powers, who want him to be helpful. He knows in the end he’s likely just Claire’s Excalibur, (he’s the only one with the power to smite angels) but he doesn’t care if he’s being used. He has friends. He gets to save people! He sees grateful faces, not horrified ones. He validates himself this way.
Jesse Turner, saving people.
Claire Novak, hunting things.
Ben Braeden, the family business.
Cas knows about TFW2. He knows they’re out for his head, but he doesn’t view them as a threat (bad idea, Cas). Instead he focuses on his promise to Jimmy to keep his family safe. He watches them, keeps an eye on them, makes sure Claire isn’t doing anything that’ll get her killed. He’s got an interest in keeping Ben safe, for Dean’s sake. Cas will even occasionally possess Claire to pass on important information. Claire hates being possessed like nothing else, but she lets it happen. She knows Cas only does it when he’s got vital information. Still, it stings her pride. It seems like a huge “fuck you” from Cas that she’s out to kill him and he’s so condescendingly unconcerned that he’s working to HELP HER.
Really though, Cas isn’t just doing it to keep a promise. When he possessed Jimmy, he had very little sympathy for humans. They were already writhing, mortal, tortured, cruel creatures. He took Jimmy like one might ride off in a new car. Now he sees his actions through Claire’s eyes. He sees the family he destroyed. Sees the man whose life he commandeered, and the little girl he destroyed. He wants to keep Claire safe out of his own guilt as much as for the promise he made Jimmy.
Claire wrongly believes Ben and Jesse are just as interested in killing Cas as she is. She knows they’ve each got a reason to hate Cas (Ben for the mindwipe, Jesse for the “trying to kill him” incident). This usually leads to conflict when they’re faced with the choice to follow a lead on Cas or work an actual case. Ben and Jesse are usually more interested in the Case, Claire in Cas. Jesse hates picking sides though, so he usually just shrinks back quietly as Ben and Claire argue.
They’re in possession of a pitcher of Holy Oil. They got it early on and it makes them optimistic. However they just keep hitting dead-end after dead-end with how to capture Cas with it. The only concrete plan they have is to use Claire as a vessel and capture Cas while inside of her, but they’re afraid that if they kill Cas like that, they’ll kill Claire too. At her lowest, Claire is all for this plan. She’s got no life OUTSIDE hunting Cas, so why not? Mostly it’s Jesse that makes this plan fall through. He knows he’s the one who has to kill Cas. He can’t even bring himself to think about killing Claire for it, to cause the death of something he doesn’t even really want to die. He’s terrified of losing his friends. He’d never do it.
However, they’ve killed their fair share of other rogue angels. Claire sees it as the only way to save the vessels, and prevent future vessels becoming victims. They always do it with the hope that they’ll discover a way to kill the angel with Jesse’s powers without killing the vessel.
Claire’s greatest fault is her temper. Whenever they hit a dead-end after weeks of following a lead, she can’t take it. She smashes lamps and breaks vases and destroys televisions, screaming and crying and daring Cas to show his coward face. Jesse hates the conflict and always hides. Ben usually stays in the room watching, making sure Claire doesn’t hurt herself.
Once Claire calms down, she’ll go for a walk. Jesse will slip back into the room after her and silently, mechanically repair the things she broke. Ben will watch him crouch over a smashed vase and pick up the pieces one-by-one, sticking them back together and having them magically heal together.
He’ll repair the TV last, so he can sit on the couch and put on cartoons to watch just too loud. Claire being gone scares him. He’s afraid every time that that was the final straw and she won’t come back to them. He turns up the volume louder.
Deep down, Ben’s sick and tired of these lows. He’s tired of being the only composed person while Claire rages and Jesse sobs. He feels cheated. He wants to smash things too, wants to scream and cry, wants to go home. But he can’t, because he has to watch over Jesse and Claire. Another part of him though is relieved at every dead end they hit, relieved that they haven’t found Dean, because he’s terrified Dean won’t be the man he pictures. He’s afraid of learning that Dean abandoned him and Lisa for a reason, and that he never should have come looking. He hates himself for this.
Lisa required Ben stay in contact. She thinks he’s on a roadtrip with his friends Claire and Jesse. Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the aftermath of a hunt, rain pouring down and mixing with the monster gore that’s splattered all over their bodies. Claire’s silently nursing an injury, Jesse is crying from the panic and stress following a fight with monsters, even though he’s infinitely more powerful than the creatures he’s killed. And Ben flips his phone out, dials his mom, and tells her about the mountain they went hiking up that day, the farm animals he saw, the local places they ate at. (“Yeah we’re headed to bed. Claire’s brushing her teeth. I think Jesse’s already asleep…Yeah I’ll brush my teeth too. Love you.”)
And he’ll look over at Claire, ask over Jesse’s sobs if she needs to be stitched up.
She’ll scoff. “Stitch what up? I thought I was brushing my teeth.”
(This is Becca’s idea) One day, by sheer accident, Sam, Dean, and Cas show up in the same town as TFW2. TFW2 is packing up getting ready to leave, and they sent Jesse on a quick grocery run. There he spots the Chevy Impala, sees Sam Dean and Cas (Sam, Dean, and the possessed body of Claire’s father).
But Jesse is afraid of their adventure ending. He’s afraid if they ever DO catch and kill Cas, Claire and Ben will go home. They’ll leave him for good. So he says nothing. He goes back to the motel with their groceries and they leave.
(and me) Once Claire DOES find out, she absolutely flips out on Jesse. Jesse’s used to watching her break lamps and tear pillows, but he doesn’t know how to handle BEING the object of her rage. She screams herself hoarse at him and leaves. Ben’s angry too, but he knows Claire’s wrath was more punishment than Jesse could take. He walks up to Jesse and takes him by the shoulders, and Jesse just collapses into Ben pleading, “I’ll make it up to you. I’ll kill him. I’ll kill Cas. I will. I’ll kill him. If it’s the last thing I do. I’ll kill him for you guys. I promise. I promise. I’ll kill him I swear.”
Ben just sighs and says, “You better tell Claire that.”
Up to this point, Jesse and Cas were on the same side. The social outcast. The group member being abused for his powers. Whose only goal was to protect Ben and Claire, protect the two humans who have stood by him. Jesse never wanted to kill Cas. Jesse never believed they would trap Cas anyway.
He can’t lose Claire though. He can’t lose Ben. This anti-christ is now determined smite that angel if it’s the last thing he ever does.
I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING
IN THE MUSICAL EPISODE OF SUPERNATURAL
DEAN WILL STILL BE A DEMON
Slow clap for the Buffy fandom