FFA response to Anne / Dean Winchester (pairing)
Disclaimer: I definitely don’t own any of these characters.
Note: Post S7 BTVS & post-S2 SPN WARNING: CHARACTER DEATH
(Ducking for cover now). This is the last story of this ficlet series and it was a little longer than intended, but there was a lot to wrap up…
Sequel to Hey! That’s My Gun!
It was six weeks before his expiration date when he asked Sam to stop trying to save him and just spend the time he had left with him. Sam argued, kicked, bitched, whined and moaned, but couldn’t resist when Dean pinned him to the ground and just stared at him with tears threatening to fall, telling him that he needed all the good memories he could get to keep him sane during his permanent demonic vacation. He knew that Sam had been trying to negate the deal any way that he could, and was well past annoyed with the number of times he sent Dean away from his family to meet with some contact on another pointless mission. All Dean wanted was to spend the rest of the time he had left kicking some demonic ass with the people he loved and so, with a heavy heart, Sam swore on their mother’s soul to let whatever would happen, happen, but that he would keep hoping, and even praying, for a miracle.
It was three and a half weeks before his expiration date when he first laid eyes on her. He would take that memory with him always. They were cleaning out a nest near a teen shelter and there had been more vampires than they had expected. It looked like it had been a trap after all. He could see Vi and Dana still attacking the vampires wholeheartedly, even with the blood running down the side of Vi’s head and Dana’s obviously broken arm. Dean himself was just barely holding his own against the four vampires that had cornered him, two of which had just incapacitated his brother. He could see his brother’s chest rising and falling, so he knew that he was still alive, but he didn’t look like he was in good shape.
There, in downtown LA, she appeared out of nowhere and was standing over his unconscious brother with a Super Soaker that seemed to be filled with holy water by the way that it was keeping the vampires at bay. Her blond hair flipped over her shoulder, weapon at the ready, she looked the very picture of a Valkyrie protecting her charge. If he were the type to be poetic, he would say that his heart made a wish at the sight of her. She provided cover while a few of the teenagers from the shelter pulled Sam into the shelter, then stayed near the door but provided an assist from time to time with a spray of holy water directed at a vampire that looked to be getting the upper hand. Strangely, none of the vampires were going after her to eliminate her assistance. In fact, when a couple of them saw her, they disengaged and left.
After the fight was over, she allowed them all into the shelter and Dana said the wards itched as she crossed them. His Valkyrie’s name was Anne, but there was something in the way that she said it that made him question if it was the name she was given at birth. She insisted on calling in a doctor to look everyone over when Dean refused to take Sam to the hospital. Dr. Paul was one of the good guys, she had told him and he let her make the call. He began to believe it when he saw the tall doctor give a kind smile to Dana and tell her she had done a good job before pulling a lollipop out of his bag for her. Unused to kindness from anyone other than their small family, she had looked at Dean, then beamed and accepted the candy at his nod. Dr. Paul spoke quietly to Vi and, though she had tears in her eyes, she looked brighter when he moved on to tend to Sam.
“You are always last to be mended, aren’t you?” Dean heard Anne come up beside him as he hugged an arm around his aching ribs and leaned against a couch.
“Comes with the job title,” Dean offered with a sardonic smile.
She helped him onto the couch fully and sat down next to him. She touched the area around the cut on his face gently. “This one doesn’t look too bad. Probably won’t need stitches.”
Dean caught her hand as she withdrew it and held it close as he spoke, “Thank you for saving him out there. It means…”
“It’s okay. We protect each other around here. I may not have superpowers like those two over there, but I do what I can to re-build what’s taken from us.”
Dean looked around thoughtfully for the first time that evening. He saw a mish-mash of furniture that didn’t really match, except for all of them looked comfortable, homey. There were teenagers milling about, talking quietly, studying, even watching some television. All of them seemed to understand and respect the events that happened that night. One of them even brought a change of clothes to Dana and Vi and then invited Dana to come watch television with them.
“Is that what you do here?” Dean asked, noticing that he hadn’t let go of her hand and not making any move to do so.
“What else should I do? Most of these kids have had some sort of bad experience with something from the nighter side of life and all of these kids are safer here than out there at night. Someone saved me, twice actually, and I can never pay her back for that, but maybe I can help someone else. She has her job and I have mine.”
Dean smiled at her, an honest smile, and despite his aching ribs, he leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
“Thank you again,” he whispered to her, his eyes bright.
“For what?” she questioned. She didn’t pull away from him; in fact, she wrapped her other hand around his hand as she waited for his response.
“Our lives are not easy, and though I’ll never admit it to my brother or he’ll be bitching at me until the cows come home, I’ve been thinking more and more and wondering whether it – all that we do – is worth it or if people just forget and go right back to their lives like nothing ever happened. What you do, it kind of gives me hope that somewhere out there, someone that I helped, remembers and works to take back the night.”
Dean saw a movement out of the corner of his eye and realized that Dr. Paul had managed to get his brother up and into a sitting position. Sam was even smiling at the doctor, though it did look fairly odd with the two black eyes forming. The smile turned to a grimace as the doctor prodded a tender spot along Sam’s ribcage, but from the look on Dr. Paul’s face, Sam would pull through just fine.
Anne left him when it was his turn to be tended to by Dr. Paul. He could have sworn he saw the doctor’s eyes glitter for a moment when he looked at the cut on his cheek, but that must have been a trick of the light. He had to admit that the doctor’s easy confidence and patient manner let Dean relax a little bit and realize that he just knew Anne wouldn’t let anyone within 15 feet of the place if she thought they would hurt her kids. When Dr. Paul was finished examining and patching up Dean, he handed him a card with a symbol he had never seen before. His name was handwritten on the back, along with a phone number. He instructed Dean to call him personally whenever they needed medical attention, wherever they were, and he could be there in just a few minutes time. He said that he knew that their family was doing good work and that the least he could do was keep them in fighting shape. Dean accepted the card with a raised eyebrow and a critical review, but eventually the doctor won him over and he nodded, shaking the doctor’s hand as firmly as his bruised body would allow him to.
The moment the doctor left, knowing that Vi was looking after Dana, he checked on his brother and then went in search of Anne again. He found her in the kitchen, putting finishing touches on four plates of food – cheeseburgers. Now I know she’s heaven sent,
he smiled. Without a word, he walked right up to her and, when she turned toward him and offered him a smile of her own, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her desperately. He couldn’t say why or how, but he knew that if he wasn’t about to die in just a few short weeks, she would have been his future. Images flashed before his closed eyes and he saw what he knew he’d never have, a home, a family with small children fighting over the first piggy-back ride, and his wife’s warm smile to welcome him home after a grueling hunt.
It was two weeks before Dean’s expiration date when Anne found out about the deal. Dean had wanted to stay in L.A. and no one would argue with him, so they stayed in L.A. Still, she knew that Sam watched him out of the corner of his eye whenever he thought no one was looking. When he looked at her, though, he would give her a sweet smile and suggest that she go spend time with Dean. He had even started taking over some of the administrative functions at the shelter so she would have more time to spend with his brother.
She knew that Dean was keeping something from her, and was beginning to wonder if he was sick, but she had patience and would allow him however much time he needed to come to terms with what he was hiding. But, it was Dana that let it slip. She went to Dean for confirmation. He held her as she cried, rubbed his chin after she punched him for not telling her, and then held her again as she cried some more. Then, she straightened up, startling him and nearly knocking him over as she called out to him that she’d be back and he’d better not go anywhere.
Three hours later, she returned with a minister who owed her a favor. She had a pair of silver rings and informed Dean that if he was going to leave her alone in this world, he was damn well going to do so as her husband.
The entire shelter staff and make-shift family assembled in the recreation room to watch them exchange vows. Somehow, in the few hours that she pulled everything together, she had also managed to write very quick wedding vows and when the minister prompted her, she looked Dean straight in the eye and promised, “Our paths have crossed and now they merge. All that I am and all that I ever will be, I give to you.”
No long, flowery, poetic lines. The words were few, as if a single sentence more would be a waste of the limited time she had left with him. She held his gaze and when it was his turn to speak, her eyes sparkled and a tear slipped down her face as he repeated her words back to her. Rings exchanged, this kiss was different than any of their previous ones; it was solidifying.
Later that night, though they had been together before, when she cradled his hips and invited him into her, the warmth she found in him grew brighter than the sun before merging seamlessly with her own and she knew there would never be another man in her bed or her life.
It was the day after the Crossroads Demon didn’t send Hellhounds after Dean’s soul that his brother confessed to everything, including the dog whistle when he was trapped with Nina. Dean swore his revenge would be sweet and that Sam wouldn’t see it coming. Sam just smiled and assured him that he had called every single one of the multitudes of supernatural contacts that he had made and they had all guaranteed that the brothers were both safe. He even went to a Seer who snickered a bit, then informed him that Dean would be tormenting him for years and years to come. Dean refused to have the party that Vi wanted to throw, but in the quiet of the night, with Anne wrapped around him tightly, his emotions finally uncoiled and he sobbed into her shoulder.
The next morning, she offered to let him go, then cried herself when he joked that she only married him because she thought it was temporary and that now that it was forever, maybe she wanted out. He was only playing with her, but seeing how desperate she was to hold onto him, he begged her forgiveness until she relented and they wound up spending the entire day in bed, except for short trips to the bathroom and to the door when Sam announced that he was leaving food for them so Dean didn’t hit that pleasure button one too many times and starve to death. That was followed by an “Ew” from Vi and they were left to their own devices for the rest of the day.
Two years to the day that the Crossroads Demon did not come to collect Dean’s soul, he stood in the doorway of the nursery and watched as his daughter nursed at his wife’s breast. Her belly was already swelling with their second child – Irish twins, Anne had called them. It seemed like the moment she had healed from childbirth and indicated that she was interested, they managed to get pregnant again. They figured that there must be some higher power at work, considering Anne insisted that their daughter was conceived on their wedding night, even though the timing hadn’t been right and
they had used birth control. Anne had decided they were gifts from above, an effort to give back what they had taken from both of them, and Dean couldn’t find it within him to disagree with her, especially not now, seeing his daughter wrap a delicate hand in her mother’s hair. She was a perfect mixture of them with Dean’s mischievous eyes and Anne’s kind smile.
Dean still hunted, although he kept his hunts much closer to home these days, and the vision he’d never admit to Sam that he had, came true. When he would come home, bloody and weary, she would turn that wonderful smile in his direction and he would fall, sometimes literally, into her arms and let her do what no one else was ever allowed to do; he let her take care of him. She would use her healing touch to soothe not only his aches and pains, but also the rough edges of living out of a duffel bag and sometimes barely surviving a monster to return to her. She was his home base and he knew, even if he received a fatal wound, he would do everything and anything he could to die in her arms, just to be able to see her one last time.
He would have a few more hunts before he called a “time out” to be there when his son would come into this world. One of his new rules was that he wouldn’t hunt once Anne reached the 9th month and he insisted that Sam do the same for Vi. They had actually beaten him to having a child. Apparently, Dr. Paul had informed Vi that she was carrying a child that first night that he saw her. She hadn’t known, but he could hear the baby’s heartbeat. Their daughter, Molly, was named after one of Vi’s fallen friends from Sunnydale, and it seemed like she was following in her father’s footsteps. If someone didn’t move fast enough to get her what she wanted, they’d better duck fast or it might hit them in the head as it flew past.
They had anxiously awaited the six-month birthday of both girls, making sure the wards were especially strong and loading up on enough coffee to stay up all night – just to make sure that the sun still came up in the morning. Winchesters may take a lot of chances, but not when it comes to their children.
He smiled when he saw that Anne had fallen back to sleep in the overstuffed rocking chair. His daughter was finished nursing, so he gently lifted her out of Anne’s arms and closed her nightgown. He placed a sweet kiss on the top of her head, “I’ll be back for you in a minute.”
In another lief, Dean would have considered changing a baby’s diaper and burping her to be disagreeable tasks, but here, now, this was his daughter and he couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else at this very moment. With a smile, he pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead, too, and whispered, “Good night, Sammy. Angels are watching over you…and, if they can’t protect you, I will.”
He lowered her into her crib and pulled up the covers to keep her warm, then set her music box to play. Anne woke up with the first note and looked over at him. He knelt down next to her side and took her hands, “Dance with me?”
Dean pulled his wife into his arms and they danced around the nursery – a little tradition of theirs in the middle of the night. Usually, their dancing led to more strenuous activities, but tonight Dean was content to just carry Anne to bed when he realized that she had fallen asleep in his arms. He curled around her, looking forward to the future.
It was at the age of fifty-seven, twenty-five years after the Crossroads Demon did not come for Dean’s soul, when Sam had to help Dean across the threshold of their home. Even with all of Dr. Paul’s efforts to stabilize him long enough for him to reach his Valkyrie, Dean collapsed on the floor just in front of the couch Sam had been trying to get him to. Anne came running at the sound and stopped dead at the sight in front of her. A decade ago, Dana had died at that very spot, defending her own son from a demon that had broken through their wards. Now, her husband was dying in front of her; she knew this as certainly as she knew that he needed to see her one more time. She moved to his side and took his hand, her other hand reaching up to cup his face. He hadn’t shaved in a few days and his beard was caked with dried blood and grime, but he was still the most beautiful man she would ever see. His face contorted with pain, but he managed to open his eyes and give her a small smile. His breath was shallow and he had a hard time getting the words out, “One last dance?”
As a tear slipped down her cheek, she reached into her pocket and pulled out the small music box that she always carried with her when Dean was out on a hunt. With one last squeeze to his brother’s arm, and an instruction to give Dana a hug for him when he saw her, Sam faded back into the corner of the room to give them their privacy.
Anne wound the box and set it on the table to play. She kissed Dean carefully and told him how much she loved him and how much his children loved him. She said that it was okay for him to go be with Dana and his parents and that she would see him again one day and it would be like they were never apart. As the music began to play, a small smile formed on Dean’s face and he closed his eyes for the last time with his heart’s wish having come true.
End Ficlet Series