Title: New Life (AU-sorta)
Author: Platy Amherst
Word Count: 1000
Spoilers: Set sometime after the Season 4 premiere.
Characters: Dean Winchester, and a special guest from Season 1. Mostly from Dean's POV.
Disclaimer: Supernatural and all its characters belong to Eric Kripke.
Notes: This is only AU because it's a “what if” tale... But, you never know. ;)
Dean didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know which way to look, but anywhere not in her direction sounded like a good idea.
“Wait, I know you. Dean, right?”
When her hand touched his shoulder, he flinched. After swallowing deeply, he slowly turned to face her; the name on his tongue, but his lips unable to utter it.
“It is you. It’s so good to see you, Dean.”
“And you too, L-la...”
She smiled that tense smile of hers, “Layla.”
“Yeah,” he swallowed again, unable to say or think of much else.
Her smile softened as she whispered to him, “I’m cured.”
They were sitting at a park bench now, and she was telling him how she had survived her terminal illness. Yet there was still some sorrow in her voice, and Dean knew there was more to her miracle than she was letting on. Perhaps it wasn’t as joyful as Layla had attempted to convey.
As if in response to Dean’s thoughts, Layla’s tone changed. “I had been very sick in the days leading up to...” she paused, moving her mouth around as she breathed in more courage. “When time passed and I started feeling better again, I went back to the doctors but they said the tumour looked the same as it had before. It just wasn’t acting the same way. It was mid-November then, so as an early Christmas gift my mother wanted to take me shopping. We did that, bought some lovely clothes and things, but on the way back home...” she wiped away a stray tear. “I think she had a heart attack before the crash. Either that or she saw what I saw when I woke up but couldn’t handle it...”
Dean’s mind was pulled in all directions, “What did you see?”
“I’m not sure, but he — it seemed like a he... An angel, maybe,” Layla hesitated. “I was trapped there, but he took my hand and pulled me free from the car. I knew my mother had gone, but I felt this great sense of calm and optimism for the future. It was... incredibly weird.”
Dean shook his head, “Can barely believe it.”
“Barely?” Layla smiled, “That’s more than what I felt the day after. I thought I’d dreamt it all, and that I had really gotten out on my own somehow. But grief does that — it makes you think no one cares, that no one’s looking out for you.” Her mouth became tense again, “It wasn’t til after the funeral that I went back to my doctor, and... realised I had been looked after.”
“You think that guy... the angel... shrank the tumour?”
“Or God through him, or something,” Layla shrugged. “I haven’t seen him since.”
“But how’d you end up here? It’s a fair way from Nebraska.”
She sighed, “One thing you learn when you escape certain death is that you really have to figure out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. I couldn’t just sit around and wallow; I’d been given a second chance, for some reason that I’m truly grateful. But I had resigned to the fact that I was dying; that there there’d be no healing, and I would be leaving my mother and greeting the Lord. Perhaps I did that, just not in the way I’d imagined.” Layla looked straight at Dean, “But to answer your question, I’m here because this is where my parents met. I’m trying to backtrack my mother’s life – from where she died to where she was born. To journey from the end to the beginning. I just woke up one morning with the knowledge that I had to do this; to keep her alive in my heart and to keep my life from becoming stale. After all that happened, I just couldn’t stay in the one place. I had to keep moving. Luckily, my parents were good travellers before my father died.”
Dean thought over that. Having a big-picture plan sounded much better than just wandering over the country. He started wondering what kind of car she had, and what kind of music she’d play in it, and hoped to God that she didn’t have one of those odd emo jack things Sam had douched up his Impala with. Another thought crossed his mind, and he opted to speak that one out loud: “Do you still get checkups?”
“Every month, and it’s still a tiny blot. No damage.”
“Don’t you want it out?”
“I don’t know,” Layla grimaced. “Every month I get that option, but I don’t want surgery. And I figure, if God wanted it all gone he would have taken it all away.” She shrugged, “This faith thing doesn’t always make sense.”
“You’re telling me,” Dean muttered. Out of the corner of his left eye he saw a familiar looking coat. Then those familiar shoes and trouser legs came into view, but before the figure faced him Dean turned back to Layla. “So, this angel-guy... Did you get a good look at him?”
She gave a short laugh, “You think you know him?”
“Just,” Dean glanced to his left again and saw that Castiel was definitely coming his way. “Blast!”
“What is it?” Layla lightly touched Dean’s hand and then gasped, her head moved slowly to take in the sight of Castiel. “He’s here.”
Dean whisked his head around to stare at her, “Who’s here?”
“The an—“ Layla quickly closed her mouth, lowered her head and then nodded. She looked back at Dean and smiled. “He’s just telling me not to be afraid.”
Glancing back and forth, Dean breathed out with alarm, “Beige coat guy? He’s not talking.”
“Beige coat?” Layla shook her head, “No... He’s much brighter than one of those.”
“But...” Dean swallowed and stared at Castiel, who just smiled and nodded. He looked back at Layla, her face all aglow; and in that moment Dean desired what had been gifted to her: new life.
Really well done! Hope you continue to write.
Wow ... This is great! I, also, hope you continue to write!! Loved the appearance of Castiel at the end! ;)
aawww, that was so cute... coolios to see Cas show up at the end. keep up! let me know when you post again!