musamea: (FNL kissing beneath an open sky)
[personal profile] musamea
Title: didn't know it was a devil town
Author: [ profile] musamea
Summary: A Friday Night Lights/Supernatural crossover. How one woman can become another. Tyra leaves Dillon, heads for California, and meets Sam Winchester.
Disclaimer: I own neither Friday Night Lights nor Supernatural. If only.
Warnings: Spoilers for SPN "Pilot." General season spoilers for FNL, I guess.
Notes: Title from "Devil Town" by Bright Eyes. Many thanks to [ profile] handyhunter for the beta!

The day after she graduates from community college, Tyra Collette packs a sleeping bag and two duffels worth of clothing into the bed of her truck and leaves Dillon for good. She stops by the Taylors' place about a half hour shy of dawn and watches Julie climb out of her bedroom window one last time. She's wrapped in Matt's letter jacket, overlarge and at odds with her pale cotton pajama bottoms. She pads barefoot across the dew-covered lawn to where Tyra's leaning against the truck, one foot propped on the tire behind her, knee bent, arms crossed.

"You know," Julie says, by way of greeting, "I really wish you'd tell my mom you're leaving."

Tyra rolls her eyes. "She's gonna be worried enough about you, come fall, when you leave for UT. No reason for her to worry 'bout me, too."

"Right. Because you disappearing in the middle of the night without telling anyone where you're going is really not going to freak her out."

She laughs at that. "Hey, you know I'll be okay, right? I'll send y'all a postcard once I figure out where I'm going."

Julie shrugs. "Landry's going to be real pissed that you're missing his graduation."

Tyra glances toward Julie's bedroom window. From where she's standing, she can see a neatly pressed robe hanging from a corner of the closet door. A corner of the matching cap is tucked precariously into the collar. The glow of one lamp throws the dark fabric into stark contrast with Julie's light walls.

"Well, you know, I figure with everyone coming into town for that today, it'll be easier for me to get out. Beat traffic and all that."

Julie purses her lips and looks at the ground, and the two of them stand there until the dark Texas sky is shot through with streaks of crimson in the east.

Red sky in morning, sailor take warning, Tyra thinks. "Look, I should get going. Tell Landry and Matt… good luck."

Julie tugs a package wrapped in plain brown paper out of one of the folds of Matt's monster jacket and proffers it to her. "Here. I know it looks like booze, but it's not. Sorry to disappoint you." She finally looks up, and smiles.

Tyra rips the paper off and feels her eyebrows shoot up. "Moby Dick? Really?"

"Hey!" Julie protests, laughing. "That's an American classic, I'll have you know. Thought you might need something to read on the road."

"O-kay," Tyra drawls out, holding her hands up in surrender. "It'll make a good doorstop at any rate."

They laugh together, because even if Tyra's not exactly reading Melville for pleasure, she's done what Tami Taylor told her to do two and a half years ago. She got her act together, worked her butt off in community college, and graduated in the top ten percent of her class.

"Well, thanks," she says, turning the book over in her hands. "For… you know."


They hug, a little awkwardly, because Julie's got her hands pulled inside her sleeves and the cuffs flap around like she's some deranged penguin. And Tyra's never gotten too good at this whole functional family thing.

"Drive safe," Julie says, when she pulls away and walks around to the driver's side of the truck.

"Aye, aye." She salutes through the window and places Moby Dick on the seat beside her. She drives away and only looks back once, when she reaches the end of their street and Julie's only a tiny speck in the distance, still waving. She touches the cover of the book, as if begging for luck, then takes a deep breath and pulls out onto the road that'll take her out of Dillon.


She's been on I-30 for about an hour before she turns down the radio, pulls out her cell phone, and dials Mindy's number.

Her sister doesn't pick up, which is what she'd been counting on. Mindy's probably still sleeping off the booze from the after-party of the party they threw Tyra yesterday. She feels a twinge of guilt when she listens to the voicemail message, which her sister had re-recorded only a few days ago. "You've reached Mindy Collette, and I'm probably not here because I'm too excited about my little sister graduating. Leave me a message!"

The beep sounds in her ear and she jumps a little. "Hey, it's me. Listen… I'm not coming back to Dillon. Don't worry about me, okay? I'll call you when I find a place. And tell Mama… tell her I love her. Bye."

She hangs up and drops the phone into her lap, and doesn't pick it up when it begins ringing every five minutes four hours later.


She stops in Dallas to see Lyla. Just shows up on the doorstep of her apartment, hoping to God that Lyla hasn't changed addresses since passing her a slip of paper with this street scribbled on it when she was home last Christmas.

She needn't have worried. Lyla opens the door, her lips the same shade of pink as her sundress and a sweating glass of sweet tea in one hand.

"Tyra Collette? Oh my God! What on earth are you doing here?"

Tyra grins, unable to help herself. "Good to see you, too, Garrity."

"Come on in! I can't believe this. Sit down. Oh my God, what are you doing here?"

"Oh, just passing through." She tries out Julie's shrug, all nonchalant and one-shouldered. Lyla's apartment is small, with the kind of eclectic furniture collection that marks poor college students everywhere. An engineering textbook occupies one corner of the living room table and a pair of men's basketball shoes lies in the hallway. Tyra takes in the pictures hanging over the faux fireplace -- the Garrity family, minus Buddy; a high school graduation shot; Lyla posing with the UT mascot; Lyla and a good-looking blonde guy with their arms around each other.

"Okay, Garrity," she says, looking back at Lyla, "spill. Who's the blonde and--" her eyes narrow as the sunlight flashes against the band on Lyla's left ring finger, "--and why the hell are you wearing what looks to be an engagement ring?"

Lyla laughs, delighted. "Why do people usually wear engagement rings?"

It's her turn to exclaim, "Oh my God!" And then, "How did I totally miss that? You'd think it'd be on the front page of the Dillon Gazette."

"It just happened a couple days ago, actually. I haven't even told my mom yet."

"What's his name? Is he an athlete?"

Lyla smirks. "His name's Michael, and no, he doesn't play sports. Except basketball, but he really, really sucks at it."

They laugh together and spend the rest of the afternoon talking. Lyla insists that she stay for dinner and to meet Michael. They swap stories -- Lyla tells her that Street's now playing quad rugby for a nationally ranked team; she tells Lyla that Matt and Julie are still together. They both break into helpless giggles at the mention of Tim working at a daycare center.

When she settles into their guest room that night, Tyra looks at Moby Dick lying against the flower-patterned coverlet on the bed and lets herself smile at the strangeness of her life.


She'd told Julie she didn't know where she was going, but that had been a lie. She knows exactly where she is going.


It's evening when she crosses the state line and full night when she pulls her truck to a stop in the parking lot of a deserted beach. She has no idea what city she's in or near, or what she's going to do in the morning, but she slips down to the water, just above the dark line where the tide's coming in, and lays down on sand that still holds an echo of warmth from the day.


She gets a job at a bakery, of all places. Maureen, the female (and self-proclaimed better) half of Maureen and Eddy's Bakery, hires her because of her experience working in the food industry and her attitude. Tyra suspects that her dimples and her rack don't hurt either, since she's definitely seen an increase of male young professionals in their client base in the one month she's been here.

Maureen and Eddy's is a cross between a head shop and a grandmother's kitchen. Both owners had been hippies in their day and had never quite grown out of incense and patchouli. But they had complimentary coffee every morning before eight, and their chocolate chip cookies had been featured in the state paper twice. Some people, Tyra reflects, will forgive anything for a sugar fix.

She bides her time, sometimes scanning want ads, sometimes almost convinced that she's happy here, with the crazy heat in the kitchen and the cat, Gemini, forever getting tangled in her feet during the lunchtime rush. She learns how to make meringue cookies that melt in your mouth and works to lose the drawl in her words. She reads Moby Dick at night, grows her hair out and perms it, and tries to figure out what, exactly, she feels like she's still running from.


Connor walks into Eddy's one August afternoon. He's got his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows and his hair is mussed in that faux-careless way that Tyra has now come to recognize as the product of a hundred-dollar haircut.

There's a woman with him, a cute, perky little brunette who reminds Tyra of Lyla. Except she's pretty damn sure Garrity could kick this girl's ass from here to San Francisco.

She freezes, holding a full tray of fresh snickerdoodles no less, because what the hell are the chances of running into him here, after all this time? His eyes flick past her, then return to her face (and she remembers, suddenly, that she'd liked him back in Dillon because of this, because his gaze didn't start at her chest and work its way upward). She sees the exact moment he recognizes her, and the quick flash of panic in his face as he looks from her to his companion. He leans over and whispers something into the brunette's ear before half-running out of the shop.

"He's gonna wait in the car, huh?" Tyra asks, moving behind the counter. She's half amused and half hurt, and wholly angry with a sudden, fierce anger that she can't seem to account for.

"What? Oh, right." The other woman laughs. "You know, men."

"Oh, honey," she mutters under her breath, "do I ever."

When the girl leaves with her purchase, Tyra goes into Maureen's office, closes the door behind her, and gives notice. Two weeks later, she's on the road to Palo Alto.


She walks into the Stanford admissions office with nothing but her community school transcript and a low-cut blouse and emerges two hours later with a new name and an acceptance letter clutched tightly in her hand.

It isn't easy, but she picks her mark well -- a forty-something admissions officer set to go into his midlife crisis any day now. He protests that applications for this fall closed in the spring and looks up at her with a rueful smile after looking at her SAT score. It's the rueful smile that tells Tyra she has him, and she amps up her flirtatious grin and smooths the hem of her short skirt over her thighs before leaning forward and telling him she's just desperate to get into Stanford and couldn't he just give her a chance?

He rubs his eyes and asks for her middle name.


"Short for Jessica, I assume?"

She just smiles and lets him rummage through some files on his shelf, not bothering to tell him no, her middle name in full is "Jesse," after the father she can barely remember.

He finds the closed application of one Jessica Lee Moore, class of '81, and with a little creative copy-editing, she's in.

It's not until she's safely in her truck, parked two blocks over, that she begins to shake. She thinks of Connor, the morning he left her and Dillon, thinks of how shocked he'd be to see her here. How shocked they'd all be.

She thinks of her mother and the string of men the Collette women with their so-called genetically superior asses have left behind them. She thinks about how carefully she played her cards in the admissions office, how the knowledge that this man could report her at any time had driven her to make damn sure that if she went down, she was taking him with her. Her hands scrabble against the steering wheel, fingers gripping tight, eyes clenched shut against tears she doesn't want to shed.


She meets Sam the following January. Her friends drag her away from her Marketing homework for a birthday party, and there he is, sitting on the other side of the table, the friend of one of Sarah's friends, apparently.

She wants to write him off immediately. He's got hair hanging in his eyes like Tim's did, and his hands look entirely too capable where they rest on the table. Like Lyla, she's done with tortured jocks.

It takes her half the evening to figure out that the shy smile that ghosts across Sam Winchester's face when he looks at her isn't a come-mother-me ploy to get into her pants. That's right around when she starts realizing how smart he is. Sam's a junior, majoring in History and Classics, but he gets the random Calculus-related joke that Robbie throws out.

The way that he gets animated in a debate reminds her of Landry, except she can already tell that Sam is about a million times less awkward. At one point in the evening, he glances across the table and catches her watching him. When his eyes don't leave hers, she wonders if she's finally found a guy like the one Landry described, all those years ago at the disastrous Panthers Roast.

It's what he says about Melville that decides it for her. "Come on," he insists, when Deb teases him about liking Moby Dick, "you've got to love a book that describes a character as 'George Washington cannibalistically realized.'" She snorts her beer up her nose at that, and when Sam asks for her number at the end of the night, she scribbles it down for him on the back of a damp coaster.


She's not sure what it is about Sam that makes her fall in love with him. Sometimes he asks her, and she teases him by saying that it's how tall he is; she's so tired of towering over most guys when she wears heels. Or it's the excellent foot massages he gives her at the end of a long day, or the way he'll try to cook for her during exams. (His specialties are Easy Mac and Spaghetti-Os, and sometimes she wonders how he didn't die of starvation growing up.)

It's these things, but it's also the way he really listens to her when she's talking, the way he proves himself to the world through hard, steady work rather than bar brawls or verbal swagger. She loves him for his quiet confidence, his puppy-dog look, his sure hands, for the way he throws spilled salt over his shoulder (and he spills the salt a lot).

She loves that he's fierce in bed, that he doesn't treat her like she'll break, though there's always reverence in his eyes when they make love. The first time they ever slept together, he'd muttered something under his breath when he pushed into her, something that sounded almost like a prayer.

"What?" she'd gasped, arching up to meet him.

He'd ducked his head, suddenly shy though his body was wedged into hers, both of them as naked in every way as two people together can be.

"Sam, what'd you say?"

"It was… um, Latin."

She'd thrown her head back and laughed, which did all sorts of wonderful things to the lower half of her body. And this, that they can laugh together in the most intimate of moments, is as much a reason for loving him as any other.


When they move in together, Sam takes out a carefully wrapped picture frame and balances it carefully on one of their shelves, next to her now-battered copy of Moby Dick. She peers at it over his shoulder.

"Your parents?"

They've never talked about their families. He'd told her early on that his mother had died when he was a baby and there was a lot of water under the bridge with his dad and brother, and that was all she needed to know. She'd been secretly relieved that he wasn't going to open up that can of worms. It meant she didn't have to, either, and she was pretty sure the skeletons in her closet were a lot uglier than the ones in his.

But now, he takes her hand and draws her next to him, wraps an arm around her and pulls her tightly to his side. "Yeah, that's my mom and dad." He looks down at her. "You've got hair like hers."

"What's this, some weird Oedipal thing?" she teases.

His entire body tenses, and she feels the frown on her own lips as she reaches out and cups his cheek, turns his head toward hers. "Hey, Sam, it was just a joke, okay?"

He gives her a half-hearted smile. "Yeah, okay. I know."

After he goes into their bedroom with a box of clothing, she stops in front of the picture again and runs a finger down the glass, wondering what's going to happen the day all their secrets catch up to them.


They're at the mall one day, window-shopping to escape the summer heat, when Sam grabs her hand and pulls her into one of those booths that takes a row of black and white pictures. It's barely big enough for the both of them, and she mutters something about freakishly long legs as he pokes her in the back and says, "Smile!"

They make wacky faces at each other, then he pulls her in for a kiss right as the shutter clicks a final time. Afterward, they hold hands, shoulders barely brushing, as they wait for the pictures to print. Sam tucks his copy into his wallet, carefully, after the film has dried. She tosses hers into her purse and forgets about it until it gives her a nasty paper cut a few days later when she's rummaging around for a chapstick. She pulls it out and looks at it for a long time, thinking about how happy she and Sam look, how happy they are.

Finally, she scribbles a Thank you on the back of the strip, puts it into an envelope, and addresses it to Tami Taylor.


The night Sam gets his LSAT score back, she bakes him a cake with a gavel drawn on it with frosting. They eat it holding hands across the dining room table, and later, as she's brushing her teeth, he comes into the bathroom, meets her eyes in the mirror, and says, "Jessica Moore, I do love you."

She closes her eyes for a moment, thinking of dusty Texas afternoons and cool California breezes. She turns and plants a kiss on his cheek, leaving a smear of toothpaste there, and if she's crying, let him think that it's only because she's overwhelmed by his declaration. He walks back out, practically strutting, and she nearly chokes on how much she loves him.

When she crawls into bed next to him and switches off the light, she kisses him again, gently, and there is nothing behind this kiss but her pride in him and all her hopes.


She spends the weekend he's away with Dean alternately worried and pissed, baking up a storm to keep herself from calling him every hour.

Finally, late Sunday night, she gives up waiting for him and gets ready for bed, pausing only to leave out a plate of cookies and a note. She smiles as she writes Love you! on the card. When she passes the mirror in their bedroom, she stops and takes one long look at herself.

"You're not going to turn into your mother," she tells her reflection aloud. "You and Sam are going to have a talk when he gets back."

She hears the sound of low, male laughter and catches a whiff of a smell like rotting eggs right before a pair of yellow eyes appears over her shoulder in the mirror and everything goes black.


Date: 2007-07-13 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved this. It feels so very Tyra for me, and knowing what's coming at the end, makes it all the more heartbreaking.

Date: 2007-07-13 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, thank you! This is my first time writing in either of these fandoms, so I'm glad the characterization rang true.

Date: 2007-07-14 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You already know that I love this. And this line in particular still stands out: "And this, that they can laugh together in the most intimate of moments, is as much a reason for loving him as any other."

I didn't this was your first time writing in either fandom. I hope you continue to write them! *bats Dean-lashes*

Date: 2007-07-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, thanks, hon! I have tons of new-fandom love for both of these shows, and at least one more SPN story spinning around in my brain, so yeah, expect to see more of me. :) Now, if only I could figure out some comms to post to...

Date: 2007-07-26 03:41 am (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Oh, shit.

This is the first time I read a Jess story that really made me squawk, "No, don't kill her!"

Don't kill Tyra! ::sobs::

This was very good. Creative and well-written and I could see her doing that, if she could. Jumping for the brass ring, once she'd gotten herself out of Dillon.

Date: 2007-07-30 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Jess never pinged me much in SPN, except in relation to Sam, but when I started watching FNL and realized it was the same actress, my brain went to some crazy places. I'm really glad you liked it.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2007-11-27 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!


musamea: (Default)

September 2007


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