Day 34: Descendants

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 34: Descendants
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 34 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; horror elements that might be too scary for children under 13; bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005. This chapter was written in May 2010.
Word Count: 3,155
Summary: Sam and Meredith discuss the curse and how to stop it. Professor McNeal arrives in California, dreading the viewing of what may be the body of his daughter.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series.
Beta Thanks: Thanks to Sammie for beta'ing this chapter!
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #34 Broken and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #34 Colors.
Author's Notes: X-over with the TV series Supernatural. Set pre-series, during Sam's years at Stanford.


        Watching Sam as he dialed the number he'd gotten from directory assistance, Meredith surmised that he must be the tallest guy she'd ever seen. His long legs stretched across the floor from the futon couch on which he was sitting in her dorm room. The hoodie Sam wore made an attempt to hide his build, but Meredith could still tell he worked out a lot; it was a misleading contrast that he had the build of a weightlifter and the face of a boy. A sweet boy.

        Meredith just sat and listened in while he ordered flowers for some girl named Jasmine Fuller. Sam said it had something to do with the film they'd watched, but she couldn't see how.

        "Yeah, can you just put those in her room? Yes, I know exactly what I want the card to say. Put 'Copy the tape. Sam.' .... Yes, that's correct. .... Oh, I know it's unusual, but it'll make sense to her family. Can you get those made up as soon as possible? .... I know it's very late there... well, put a rush on it for in the morning. .... I have no problem with the fee."

        As he rattled off his credit card information, Meredith stared at him, confused over what he was doing. Copy the tape? She waited for him to finish the call and then immediately started in with the questions. "What did you just do, Sam?"

        He pushed his bangs back off his face with his hands. "The film Dr. Keaner has isn't the only recording like this. There are videotapes too." Leaning forward, Sam asked, "Have you been having nightmares about those girls?"

        "Oh God, yes. Awful ones."

        "Me too." It wasn't a total lie. "In my dreams, I've communicated with some people in Boston who watched one of the other recordings. Jasmine Fuller was hurt by some of these evil girls and she's in the hospital now. So I sent her some flowers. I'm hoping one of the persons I met in my nightmares will read the card."

        "You could always just call her room tomorrow..."

        "Yeah, I'll do that too. Just want to cover all my bases."

        "Why'd you have the card say 'Copy the tape'?"

        Sam broke out in a wide, honest smile. Not able to help it, Meredith grinned back; he had a great smile. "That's something I've figured out. I've done a lot of research on this thing, and I'm positive that the way you escape the curse is by making a copy of the tape."

        Sitting back, she slapped her knee. "You're kidding! You mean all of this could just end as soon as I make a copy of that film?"

        "I'm pretty sure, yeah."

        "But, how do I do that?"

        "There's a machine that will record a film onto videotape. I think that would be sufficient, don't you?" There was that smile again.

        "Oh, wow. We gotta figure out some way to get in his office and make that copy. You know, I think he's got one of those copying things. After he showed me the film, he brought out a little box and hooked it up to his VCR... anyway, if it will make those horrible little girls go away, I'd break in that office myself, right now." Laughing, Meredith sat back on the bottom bunk of the beds she shared with her roomie, tossing her chestnut brown hair over her shoulder. "After we make our copies, what do we do with them? Show them to someone else or something?"

        Sam shook his head. "No! No, no. Do you want to make another person deal with this fuckin' curse?"

        "Well, I'm just thinking aloud... you really think making a copy will get it all to stop?"

        "I'm pretty certain."

        "Why do they want us to make a copy?" asked Meredith.

        "They're hoping it will keep their curse going, as long as there are always fresh copies out there. Videotapes and films deteriorate, you know."

        She nodded. "But we're going to screw 'em, right? By putting our tapes down the garbage disposal?"

        Now Sam laughed. "Something like that. Maybe you should wait 'til your week is up before you mangle it all to hell."

        Meredith chuckled, shaking her head at the same time. "I can't believe any of this is real. But I'm really glad I met you. I wouldn't have known what to do without you coming along."

        For the first time, Sam noticed how she was looking at him, leaning back on her bed with her legs crossed, the top one bobbing playfully. Two conflicting feelings passed through him. One, that he had feelings for Jessica, and two, once a cheater, always a cheater. Better to just keep his mind on saving Meredith for now, yes, that was the important thing. "You said you'd have no problem breaking into Keaner's office right now, huh?"

        "Well, yeah... I said that..."

        He flashed her that boyish grin again. "That can be arranged."

        "What, we just kick the door in? Or can you pick locks?"

        Sam just chuckled mischievously in response. That devilish sound, coupled with the innocent looks, is what put Meredith over the edge. Oh yes, she would sleep with Sam Winchester. In a New York minute.

        As they headed out to Professor Keaner's office, sneaking along the halls, Sam mused that this would be the first paranormal case he'd solve all on his own. Dad or Dean or both of them had always been there in the past, but this time... not this time.

        He thought he had it all figured out.

*****

        The plane had landed in Los Angeles at 9PM Pacific time. By 9:35, Lassiter McNeal was checked into his room at the airport hotel and lying on top of the bedspread, just thinking.

        Tomorrow morning. The police would have him view the dead body tomorrow morning.

        For a moment, he looked at the keychain hanging off his keys. The one Adrianna had made him. When she was ten, she took part in a crafting class run by the city recreational department, where she made him a small rainbow in stained glass. The "stained glass" was little beads of colored plastic that melted together to form the design inside a metal frame. The beads didn't dissolve uniformly, leaving tiny holes here and there. The fact that the keychain was imperfect, coupled with the knowledge that Adrianna loved rainbows, always had, only made Lassiter love it more.

        He had to work hard to hold back the tears that threatened at that thought. There would be time enough for that after he viewed the body.

        Akemi had left him two messages.

        "Professor McNeal, it's Akemi. One of your students has called me, Jodie Searling. She wants me to come over and supervise a séance since she couldn't reach you. You remember, she and her friends watched that tape. I'm going to do it. I watched the tape too, you know, and I'd like to see what they can find out by contacting this spirit. I may call again. Thank you, Sensei. Goodbye."

        "Professor McNeal? McNeal-sensei? It's Akemi again."

        This second message sounded more excited, almost frantic.

        "I wish you would answer your phone. No disrespect, but something happened. The séance was successful. We really contacted something. But it attracted a violent spirit, one we didn't ask for. She screamed in our faces and threw things around, even tipped over the table. We're going through the results of the séance now; I could really use your input, Sensei. Please call back. Thank you."

        Lassiter couldn't deal with it right now. He couldn't act like everything was business as usual when his daughter could be the one lying on that slab tomorrow morning. Found in a dumpster, like a piece of trash.

        He called his home.

        "Hey Dad."

        Lassiter checked his watch. "It's after midnight there; what are you still doing up?"

        "I'm almost done with my homework. I was just heading to bed," Tracy explained, a little whine in his voice. "Why'd you call so late if you didn't think I'd be up?"

        Lassiter had to laugh. "Okay, you got me. Um, I'll be talking to the police in the morning."

        An awkward pause. "Okay."

        "Has Akemi called the house?"

        "Mm-hm."

        "Alright, if she calls again, tell her that she needs to deal with the situation herself. I trust her judgment. If she wants to learn more about the occult aspects of my career, there's no better study than field study." Sighing, he added, "It's not something I can deal with right now."

        "Okay, Dad." Tracy chuckled to himself. "I hope she won't be calling anymore tonight. It's really late."

        "Probably not. Akemi's very concerned with politeness, so I doubt she'll call again."

        Once they'd hung up, Lassiter turned his phone off for the night and laid it on the nightstand. And then his keys... his eyes stole to the rainbow keychain once again.

        On the back, in a child's scrawl with permanent marker, were the words, "Happy Father's Day Daddy, 2000. XOXO, Adrianna."

        No matter how hard he tried, Lassiter could no longer hold back the tears. He hoped tomorrow would bring no more cause for them.

*****

        The door to Sam's dorm room opened and he and Meredith stumbled in, laughing and shushing each other. "We shouldn't be so loud. It's late," she said, a finger to her lips even as she giggled again.

        "I had no idea I was so rusty. I think I broke the lock on Keaner's office," he commented with a roll of his eyes. "Oh well."

        "It doesn't matter. The important thing is, we got 'em." Meredith held up the two videotapes. "You were a wonderful lookout."

        "Why thank you." Truthfully, Sam felt guilty about that. He had insisted on acting as the lookout while she made two copies of the film with Professor Keaner's converter. That was because he hadn't really seen the film, and didn't want to get himself cursed by watching it as she copied it. But what was he worried about? He knew how to save himself from it even if he did see the film.

        Are you doubting your own conclusions, Sammy? the inner Dean voice asked him.

        No. No, he wasn't. There just wasn't any use in purposefully putting this curse on himself, now that he'd saved Meredith's life.

        "Here's yours." She handed Sam his tape before sitting in his desk chair. "So how do you know so much about these girls and the curse anyway?"

        "Well... when I started having the nightmares, I asked around and stumbled upon these books about an artist named Alexandra Baptiste." Sam picked up one of the books from his desk, opening it. "She painted all of these girls in the late 1700's. See?" He showed her one of the paintings of Suzette and Sophia.

        "The late 1700's? How'd she do that?" Meredith asked, looking up at him.

        "She had to be psychic or something. You know? Precognitive."

        "Holy shit. I guess she would." She flipped a couple of pages to look at more paintings. Sam just handed her the book and crossed the room, leaning against Gerald's desk.

        "Baptiste said that the Metternichs were her descendants. That's why she got so involved in their lives."

        "Oh yeah, like that one thing in the film."

        "Yeah." Sam had no idea what she was talking about, so he fished for information. "The part near the beginning?"

        "No, it was more near the middle. The part where the Nazi guy was painting?" Meredith's face lit up with recognition. "Hey, here it is!" She turned the book around to show him one of Baptiste's paintings. "He was reproducing this one, remember?"

        Sam pretended to examine it closely. "Oh, yeah. I remember that now."

        "It all makes a lot more sense, now that I know about this artist. Hey..." Getting up, Meredith walked over to Sam and nudged his arm. "That's how you figured it out, isn't it? The Nazi was reproducing the painting to end the curse over him, just like we reproduced the film."

        "Yup. That told me a lot."

        "You're so smart." She remained standing, trying to brush his body with hers, but only casually. "Can I hang around here a little longer, read some of this?"

        "Sure. Gerald already told me he won't be back tonight. He's sleeping over at a friend's house." Suddenly, he realized how suspicious all that sounded, like he was suggesting they could do something since they were alone. "We don't, you know, have to worry about anyone interrupting us. I mean, that no one will be annoyed with you being here so late."

        Meredith had to laugh, lowering her head and then tossing her hair back when she looked up again. "You're very cute when you're all awkward like that."

        "Uh, yeah, so I've been told." Sam felt like he had to explain something. But why? So he had feelings for Jessica. Did it matter?

        Did it matter to Jessica?

        "It's true."

        He saw the way she was smiling at him. Time to change the subject. "Why did Keaner show you the film?"

        The smile faded slightly. "Uh, he was tutoring me in History. I've been having trouble with World War II and I asked him for help. He told me the film would be really helpful."

        "Why would Keaner do that? Do you know... why he'd want to kill you?"

        Swallowing hard, Meredith sat back down in Sam's chair and ran her hand over her face. It was obvious this subject made her uncomfortable. "Um... is that what the film does? Really?"

        Sam took a pause himself. "It does seem unbelievable, doesn't it? But yeah. I think the curse does really kill people."

        "Wow." She thought about her answer to his question for a long time. "Where are you from, Sam?"

        "Where am I from? Huh." He had to think over his answers as well. "That's a hard one. I've been moved around all my life."

        "Where were you born, then?"

        "Lawrence, Kansas."

        Meredith had to laugh. "Lawrence, Kansas. Well, I'm from New Jersey. A pretty bad neighborhood, really. My parents were so happy when I got accepted to Stanford. It was my chance to get out, you know? So I wouldn't wind up like all my cousins. I already had a baby at sixteen. My daughter, Lizzie. My parents are taking care of her so I can get a college degree and make something of myself. My mom says that my aunt cries every night, thinking about her girls, married with babies by eighteen. One's a stripper, another's getting beat by one of her baby daddies all the time. My parents don't want that for me."

        "I'm sorry," Sam replied.

        "Nothing for you to be sorry about." She chuckled. "I bet there's not a lot of those kinds of stories in Lawrence, Kansas."

        "I wouldn't know."

        After another pause, she continued. "I'm only in my second semester and I'm already having trouble. My grades are decent, but some subjects... I'm really struggling. Like History. Really, really struggling. Sometimes I feel like I'm in completely over my head here."

        "That's why Keaner was tutoring you."

        "Yup. But he eventually showed me that he has a special way of tutoring..."

        Shocked, Sam let out a sigh, shaking his head. He didn't think stuff like that went on at a school like Stanford. "What happened?"

        "Keaner told me that if I... performed certain favors for him... he would fix my grades, and talk to some of the other professors to make sure I pass this semester. So I... took him up on his offer." Meredith looked at him, trying to read his reaction. "I can't disappoint my parents."

        "You did it for Lizzie," Sam added. He knew a little something about doing the extreme for the sake of your family.

        She almost sighed with relief. "Yeah, that's right. But maybe someone found out. Maybe Keaner has other girls, and one of them threatened to tell on 'im. If he was trying to actually kill me by showing me this film, then maybe that's the reason."

        "Because you could tell on him too."

        "Yeah. Except I never would have. I've got too much to lose."

        Slowly pacing the room, Sam considered what to do. "We've got to shut this guy down somehow. He can't keep putting girls' lives in danger by showing them this film just to clean up his mess."

        "I'm the only one he's shown it to."

        "How do you know that?"

        "Have you heard rumors on campus about any other girl who's freaking out over a film she saw?"

        She had a point there, maybe.

        "Besides..." Meredith stood up again, going to the backpack she'd taken with them to their clandestine errand. When she reached in the bag and took out the reel of film, Sam's face lit up with amusement and more than a little relief. "...how's he gonna show it to anyone else when I've got it?"

        "Oh, Meredith... you're awesome." They both laughed with mischief. "Why didn't you tell me you took it?"

        "I wanted to surprise you."

        "Well, that's all well and good... but what if he's made copies?"

        All she could do is shrug. "What do you want to do, then?"

        "I don't know yet." A hand to his mouth, Sam walked the room. "But I'll think of something."

        While he thought about it in silence, Meredith sat down to look through the book some more. She didn't leave him alone with his thoughts very long. "Why did this Baptiste broad have visions of the little girls anyway? Was it because she was related to them?"

        "That probably had something to do with it. Although, I think the fact that her daughter was one of them was the primary reason."

        "Really?" Meredith flipped to the front of the book, where she'd seen a short biography. "Which one?"

        Leaning over her shoulder, Sam pointed to a painting of Sasha with a finger to her lips, shushing them. "Sasha." Then he pointed to her other daughter, who had been depicted in another painting. His stomach turned briefly when he suddenly realized that this woman was the one Alexandra had sculpted lying on her back on a column of fire, who looked, for all intents and purposes, dead. The statue called Head on a Pike. "This is her other daughter. She lived long enough to marry and have children, so she's the one who made all those descendants possible."

        "Oh."

        "What was her name, anyway? Do you see it there?"

        "Uh..." Meredith found it, and read it off the page. "Phaedra. Her name was Phaedra."


it won't stop

The Ringu series is (c) 1998 The Ring/The Spiral Production Group. It is based on the novels by Koji Suzuki. My fanfic is more based on ideas presented in the films, which were created by director Hideo Nakata and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi.
The motion picture The Ring is (c) 2002 DreamWorks Pictures. The title "She Just Wanted to Be Heard" comes from a line of dialogue spoken by Rachel Keller in this movie. The motion picture The Ring Two is (c) 2005 DreamWorks Pictures. This fanfic is heavily inspired by ideas presented in the American movies, which were directed by Gore Verbinski and Hideo Nakata and written by Ehren Kruger.
I do not know if the prequel, The Ring 3, will have any bearing on this story or not until I see it.
Supernatural is (c) 2005 Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.


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there really is a tape