Hello! So I wrote this story way back in September during some stormy weather. Thanks to ispiltthemilk for helping me come up with the storyline and to sweetkiwi604 for reading it and helping me push through to the end! It's different from my other stories, but I hope you guys like it! It will have three chapters, which I already have typed up, so it shouldn't be long between updates :)
Credit to Led Zeppelin's song for the story title.
Read, Review, and ENJOY!
It all started four months ago. Four months ago, on a cold February morning. A thin layer of snow had dusted the ground throughout the night and then time almost seemed to stand still outside of the hospital walls. Dean clasped his wife Laura's hand, holding it close to his lips, wanting to breath in the warmth of her body while he still could. Uninvited tears filled his eyes, as a few stray ones escaped and trailed down his face. And then it happened. The moment he had tried to brace himself for during the last 6 months. The moment he had played over and over in his head to try to familiarize himself with just the idea that one day he would lose her. But none of that had actually worked. There was nothing that could prepare someone for the moment they lost their loved one.
His eyes refused to blink as he stared at her chest, willing it to move up and down with life just for a few seconds longer, but it didn't. It never rose again. The nurse walked over and turned off the monitor and the room was filled with a deafening silence as reality began to settle in. As the nurse quietly excused herself, the tears came freely now. Unable to hold them in as pain and helplessness surged through his entire being.
After he was able to pull himself together momentarily, he did the only thing he could. He called Sam. Dean was never one to admit that he needed help, but then again, he had never been so far under like he felt right now. Death had plagued his family from birth, and he had learned to deal with it over and over again. But there was something different about it this time. Because this time he hadn't been able to see what was coming. He was blindsided in the worst way and then there was no way he could fix it. And to top it all off, he had no idea how he was going to tell his 16 year old daughter that her mother had lost her battle with cancer. How would he be able to form the words and tell Allison? He was slightly thankful that Laura had insisted she continue going to school so she wouldn't fall behind. Dean couldn't bear the thought of her seeing him like this. Lost. Hopeless. Broken. But Sam, Sam would know what to say. The words would come effortlessly for him and he would know how to comfort her. He would know what to do, because at this moment, Dean wasn't even sure he could take care of himself.
The first few weeks were full of hard adjustments. Coming home to an empty bedroom, knowing Laura would never step foot in there again. Everywhere Dean looked, there was something to remind him of her. Her favorite coffee mug. Pictures on the wall. Her empty seat at the table. A closet full of clothes. A half empty bottle of her perfume. The memories were almost suffocating. The funeral passed in a haze and he could barely recall any details. He had been on autopilot, not fully comprehending what he was doing, but going through the motions nonetheless. Thankfully, Sam had stayed as long as he could, but he had his own wife and kids to get back to. So Dean and Allison were left to meddle through it together.
There were silent dinners every night, where only the polite "How was your day?" was exchanged. Fine, Okay, Good. The answers never changed. Details were never shared. It was a half assed attempt on both of their ends to try to restore some normality. Then Allison would retreat to her room to hide from the reality outside of her bedroom walls, to avoid watching her father slowly drink himself into oblivion.
Dean would drink to forget, to get away from this nightmare that devoured his every waking thought, and even then it would haunt his dreams. He drank to numb the pain, to put out the fire of anger building up in his chest, to try to ignore the over consuming helplessness that he felt. He had spent his entire life hunting all things evil. He had saved countless lives and always managed to get the bad guy one way or another. But not this time. The one time that it had mattered the most. Something evil had slowly taken over his wife's body and he hadn't even known, until it was too late. The cancer had already spread to her lungs, spine, and brain and there was nothing left for modern medicine to do. He had wanted to make a deal, to fix this. The night after he had found out the cancer was terminal, he disappeared into the darkness, in search of the crossroads. It had worked once, so he had to work again—the sheer thought of going back to hell not even fazing him.
But much to his surprise, he found Sam already waiting for him there. He had known what lengths Dean would go to. Sam tried to talk him down from the ledge and told him how selfish he was being, inconsiderate for not thinking of his daughter. Dean let him believe he was convinced, but the next free moment he had, he was back to the same crossroad. Only the demon wouldn't deal. Said one offer was all a person could have in a lifetime, and there was no way a Winchester could be an exception. He chose to save Sam all those years back, and now he was going to have to sit by and watch his wife slowly die right in front of his eyes. He was so used to saving people he hadn't even know, but when it was the one he loved most and couldn't fix it? There was no erasing that feeling, not for Dean Winchester.
Each morning, Allison would walk down the steps to see her dad sprawled out in the same position on the couch as the previous morning, beer bottles carelessly discarded on the floor and coffee table. It was the same routine that they had built their lives around now. Dean would start to stir as he heard her footsteps coming down the stairs. Slowly he'd sit up and rub a hand tiredly over his face, trying to quickly cover up any sign of a hangover, even though they both knew it was worthless to try. "Heading to school?" he'd ask when Allison appeared in the living room.
"Yeah," she'd reply with no emotion, effortlessly swinging her backpack over her shoulder.
"See you tonight," he'd call back, equally matching her detached tone in some attempt to convince himself he was still a parent.
Some days Allison would go to school, others she wouldn't. She had been at the top of her class a few months ago, and every day she was falling lower and lower, but there wasn't a bone in her body that cared anymore. A woods sat on the other side of town where she would hide all day, hidden beneath the cluster of trees, out of sight of the knowing stares and concerned glances of her classmates and teachers.
If the school called Dean to let him know about her multiple absences, he never brought it up. They were each caught up in their own world. She wouldn't reach out to him for help or for anything, so he stayed holed up in his own depression as well.
And then things started to change for Dean a few months after Laura's passing. The sadness slowly morphed into anger. An ever growing, all consuming type of fury. The drinking had temporarily masked any form of emotion inside of him, but it wasn't cutting it anymore. The beer bottles turned into glasses of whisky and his nights were no longer spent on the couch, but instead at the table for all hours, pouring over website after website, trying to fill this hole inside of him. One night, it occurred to him that he had to get back out there and save as many people as he could. He needed to save someone's wife or someone's husband, so they would never know or suffer from the same pain as he had. It was the only solution he had.
Allison entered the house, tossing her jacked on the reclining chair. "Dinner," she announced flatly, holding up a paper take out bad from the burger joint up the street. As she passed by the table, the stack of books beside her father's laptop caught her eye. Tossing the bag carelessly on the table, she grabbed the book on top and started flipping through the pages, each one filled with every type of symbol possible, with Latin scribbled all over.
"What are these?" she asked, her tone almost accusing.
"You know," he replied without taking his eyes off of the computer screen. Yes, she did know what they were. She knew they were books related to her dad's 'previous' life—the one where he hunted demons and everything that went bump in the night. The one where he road tripped it across America with her uncle, saving people from their worst nightmares. She had known about her dad's past for a few years now, after she had stumbled across these books hidden away in the attic. After confronting her parents about it, they had decided Dean should come clean to her. It filled in quite a few blanks she had about why her dad was so absent the first six years of her life, but then Laura had given him an ultimatum: hunting or his family. It took Allison a while to get used to the idea of there being monsters out in the world; however, she was comforted by the fact that even if they did show up, at least her dad knew how to take them out.
"What are you doing?" Allison demanded, throwing the book down on the table. She had heard the story before—how Sam died and Dean sold his soul to bring him back and then somehow it didn't end like they had planned. Details were never shared—how was Dean going to explain that he had literally been to hell and back. But just seeing those books, all kinds of ideas started to fly through her mind.
Not even making eye contact with her, he responded flatly, "That's not your business."
"I think it is my business when my father suddenly takes an interest in his demon books after so many years," she countered, eyes narrowing.
Tearing his eyes away from the computer, he instantly matched her glare and let out a sigh before replying, "It's research about h—."
"About how to work some bewitched mojo and bring mom back," she finished.
Dean's jaw instantly became rigid and his eyes hardened at the mere mention of Laura. "No," he said harshly, as if that explanation was enough. Allison continued to stare at him and for a moment she could have sworn she saw a flicker of remorse pass over his expression, before he said, "I couldn't."
"You tried?!" Her voice was full of disbelief.
"Of course I tried!" he yelled back, matching her voice. "She…she w-," he stuttered, unable to comprehend talking about her in the past tense. "She is my wife!"
Tears began to sting Allison's eyes as she suddenly realized just how close she had been to losing her dad. "Did you ever stop to think about me?" she accused, not able to digest the idea that he had been so willing to leave her behind.
"You were the one I was thinking about! You don't deserve to grow up without a mother!" he yelled, strong emotion lacing each word.
As hard as she tried to hold the tears back, a few escaped down her face as hot anger pumped through here veins. "Yeah, well I don't deserve a drunken father either," she spat, unable to control the words as they passed her lips. At hearing how low she had gone, she was filled with deep regret. She had crossed the line more than she even thought was possible for her. Even though Dean had never laid a hand on her, she half expected him to lunge across the table. But he didn't. He didn't move, didn't talk, didn't flinch. He just stared at her, whether he was digesting her words, thinking of a comeback, or just trying to comprehend the situation, she wasn't sure. The anger was still strong inside of her and even though she had unnecessarily attacked him, she wasn't ready to back down from the first real interaction they'd had in months.
"I would never do anything that'd leave you here alone," Dean finally said, his tone calmer than before.
"You could have fooled me," she jeered, crossing her arms.
Dean took a deep breath, trying to keep his temper in check. "I'm trying to fix this."
"Yeah? How then?" she demanded.
"Hunting," he said flatly.
A small chuckle escaped her lips in pure disbelief. "Hunting? How the hell is that going to fix any of this?" She asked, motioning between them.
"Saving people, Allison. That's what I used to do. I saved people. I…I have to get back out there so every night people can come home to their husbands and wives and never have to deal with this," he explained, mimicking her same gesture. He needed to get back out there and fill the void inside of him and the only way he knew to do that was by hunting.
"So you just leave me here so you can go on some suicide mission to rescue strangers—all in an attempt to what? Put your life back together?" she quipped.
Seeming to ignore her specific question, he replied simply, "You won't be alone. You're coming with me."
Sorry to leave you guys on a cliffhanger, but I just couldn't help it :) Please let me know what you thought of this chapter!