Disclaimer: Supernatural doesn't belong to me. I only own my OC Mary-Elisabeth "Emmy" Winchester.
Mhmm, the sheets smell nice, Emmy thought as she buried her head deeper into the pillow, and soft. Something had woken her up but she still felt tired and forced herself to go back to sleep. She couldn't recall ever liking the scent or texture of motel linen. Motels usually didn't invest in fabric softeners or anything really.
"Stop lying to me!"
"I'm not lying to you!"
Emmy let out a short, irritated sigh. Now she knew what had roused her in the first place. She grabbed the covers, pulling them over her head in an attempt to block their voices. Maybe it was just a couple fighting next door again. It wouldn't be the first time, motels seem to be the perfect place for that for some unknown reason.
"Yes you are, I can see it in your eyes. And it wouldn't be the first time either."
"Really? Really. That happened like ten years ago, when are you gonna let this go, John?"
"How can I let something like that go, Mary? Tell me, how?"
John? Mary? Emmy frowned, confusion settling in the pit of her stomach. Pulling the covers back, Emmy opened her eyes, only to be confronted with the color purple – a lot of purple. In fact the walls were purple, the sheets were purple, the curtains were purple, even the picture frames were purple – everything was purple.
"What the hell?"
Jumping out of bed, Emmy instantly felt the fuzzy texture of the carpet beneath her bare feet. Looking down she frowned deeper.
"Where's my cast?" she mumbled to herself. "And where the hell am I?"
Looking around the room, she felt like a stranger stalking around someone else's bedroom. But then why did she feel comfortable, why didn't she feel like an intruder, why did she feel … at home? Something on the white desk caught her attention, a collection of multiple pictures pinned on a pinboard. Once she got a closer look, Emmy nearly jumped back when she recognized her own face. In fact she recognized most of the faces.
A picture of her parents hugging her – the only picture Emmy had of her and both her parents was when she was just a baby, a memory too far away to even remember. But in this picture she was at least eight years old. Another one was of her and her brothers who looked somehow different. The rest of the pictures were of Emmy and her family and a bunch of kids of her age she didn't know.
Was this some kind of a joke. A prank, maybe? Or how about a dream? Emmy pinched herself hard in the arm.
"Ow," she hissed. Nope this was not a dream, this was real.
"I told you already, I didn't do it!"
"Then how do you explain this, Mary? I'm dying to hear what you got."
"I don't know either! I'm as confused as you are."
"I'm not lying dammit!"
The more Emmy listened to the fighting people, the more she realized their voices didn't come from across the walls but from downstairs. Mustering up enough courage she slowly left the room, making her way down the hall to the stairs. She looked around the house that felt so familiar but she couldn't pinpoint why exactly. As she quietly made her way downstairs, her hand lingering on the wooden bannister, she observed another set of pictures hanging on the wall. Each member looked back at her with smiling faces, looking like a real happy family. Emmy had never seen so many pictures of her mother in her life. She had one image of her from the few pictures her father had saved from the fire and a memory of when she had seen her mother's ghost when they were back in Lawrence. That's when it suddenly dawned on her – this house looked familiar because she'd been here before. This was the house her family lived in before it burned down.
Still in a daze, Emmy followed the sound of the voices until she ended up in the kitchen. There, right in front of her were her parents. Emmy froze. She swore time stood still and the world stopped turning. She could see their lips moving but no sound came out. The only thing she could hear was the sound of her own heartbeat. If this wasn't a dream but her parents were alive, then what was this?
"Oh honey, I'm so sorry. Did we wake you up again?"
Emmy could barely make a sound when Mary's hand brushed some hair out of her face, her thumb stroking her cheek. It was such a motherly thing to do that she could literally feel and hear her heart skip a beat.
"M-mom?" Swallowing hard, the ten year old found it difficult to find her voice. "D-dad?"
"Are you alright, baby girl? You look kinda pale."
Emmy looked up at her father in adoration. He called her baby girl. She never realized how much she missed him calling her baby girl. Hell, she even missed his voice, and the way he'd look at her like with so much love and devotion, a rare look he didn't give anyone else but her. She missed his deep voice and the way it would rumble through his chest. She missed the way he smelled – like liquor, musky perfume and those mints he always used to chew on.
John almost fell over when his daughter suddenly grabbed him tightly around the waist. Surprised, he hugged her back with one arm, using his other hand to feel her forehead.
"You do feel a little warm to the touch. You sure you okay, Emmy?"
"I'll go get her something," Mary started to say when a small hand suddenly grabbed hers.
"No stay," Emmy pleaded against her father's chest. She pulled her mother closer until she could wrap both her arms around her parents. "Just stay. Stay right here."
John and Mary shared a look, confused about their daughter's strange behavior.
Emmy couldn't look away from her mother. She observed every little thing she did – the way she'd wipe her hands on her apron, the way she'd take a sip from her coffee, how she tucked her hair behind her ear, how those little crow's feet around her eyes appeared whenever she smiled. Emmy wanted to memorize all of it – the waves of her blonde hair, the sound of her voice, the flowery smell, the golden flecks in her blue eyes, the barely visible cleft in her chin. Emmy finally understood what her brothers and father used to see in her, there was no doubt that she was the spitting image of her mother.
She tried not to worry about the fact that this was beyond weird. She couldn't come up with an explanation as to why she was sitting next to her father, eating breakfast while her mother was baking pancakes. And frankly, she didn't even care. This right here was everything she ever wanted, she wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. For once, she didn't question it and allowed herself to just enjoy this rare and precious moment. If it turns out that this was all just a dream then so be it. At least it was a beautiful dream.
"Emmy, finish your breakfast honey," said Mary, pulling her out of her train of thoughts. "Your father's gonna drop you of at school in fifteen and you still have to get dressed."
Emmy bit her bottom lip. "Can I stay home today? I'm not really feeling well."
John's eyes peeked at her from over the top of his paper. With his eyebrow cocked, his face was all 'Really … ?'
The expression was so nostalgic, Emmy couldn't help but cover her smile. Her father could always see right through her lies.
"I suppose you could miss one day." Mary grabbed the phone on the counter and dialed a number. "I'm gonna let the school now."
"Well then, if I don't have to drop you off, I might as well get to work. The sooner I begin, the sooner I'll be back home."
Emmy watched her father stand up as he took a last sip from his coffee. She didn't want him to leave, like ever if she had a say in it. "Uh, wait Dad! Can't you uh, can't you stay home too? Please."
John chuckled. "I can't, baby, I have work to do. People are depending on me."
That last sentence was the exact same thing he'd tell her whenever he used to leave for days on end. And he'd come back disgruntled and bruised, never bothering to give her an explanation. But this John wasn't a hunter – his hands were too soft, his face was smooth and his eyes weren't hard. Emmy wondered what kinda job her father had but hadn't yet thought of a way to ask him without rising suspicion.
"Why don't you call in sick," she suggested. "Just today."
"Don't be silly. Maybe another time." John leaned in to kiss the top of her head and Emmy instantly missed his touch the second he pulled away.
She watched as her father exchanged some hushed words with her mother. Mary nodded, looking quite irritable. John leaned over to peck her lips but she turned last minute, his kiss landing on her cheek. Emmy frowned, wondering what was going on between her parents. She heard them bickering earlier on but was curious about the reason behind it all.
"See you girls tonight."
"Bye!" Emmy ran to give her father one last hug before releasing him. As she watched him get in his car, she was disappointed that the car wasn't as cool as the Impala. It was weird seeing him drive a car that wasn't the car she called home. She waved, already hating the fact he'd left after having spent only an hour with him.
"Emmy, get inside before you catch a cold!"
Emmy couldn't help but smile. She never knew she'd be so happy to hear her mother say those words. Hell, she wouldn't even mind if Mary was angry with her right now, or disappointed or sad – she was willing to give anything to have her mother acting like a mother supposed to.
"What are you smiling about, huh?" Mary questioned fondly as she cleaned up the table.
"Nothing. I'm just really happy."
"Well, seeing you so happy, makes me happy too." Grabbing her daughter's face, she dropped a loving kiss on her nose.
If anyone wondered what heaven was like, this was it, Emmy thought.
"Don't you have to go to work today?" Emmy asked as she helped her mother cut some vegetables. Usually she'd be opposed to any kind of healthy food but for once she was going to act like the perfect daughter that ate whatever she was served.
"You know Wednesday is usually my day off," Mary reminded her.
"Right, I forgot." Emmy pursed her lips, wondering how she could subtly ask her mother what job she had. "So uh, I have this assignment for my English class. We have to write an essay about our parent's jobs. So what is it that you like about yours, Mom?" God, she'd never get used to saying that. Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom – she would say it all day long if she could.
"Oh you know, the joy on people's faces whenever I help them. It feels good knowing that you can make a difference in someone's life. I mean it gets hard sometimes, especially when you realize you can't always save everyone, that's the only downside of it. And the occasional night shifts," she half-laughed.
Emmy tried to put two and two together. "So you're uh, happy with being a – " she trailed off, not really sure what to say.
"You know your grandmother wasn't happy with it first."
Trying not to focus on the thought of her grandmother, Emmy cleared her throat. "Happy with what?"
"With being a nurse," she clarified.
Oh. A nurse.
"She wanted me to study at college, become a doctor, get a PhD." Mary shook her head, as if merely the thought amused her.
"So why didn't you," Emmy wanted to know.
"I met your father. Got a little distracted." Mary sighed, putting her knife aside as she put the vegetables in the pan. "He was the most handsome man I had ever seen, I was instantly smitten. My father called it puppy love, said that it was just a crush that wouldn't last more than a month. Yet, twenty eight years later …" Mary absently twisted her ring on her left hand.
"You love Dad?" Emmy recalled their fight that morning and needed to make sure.
"Of course I do, with all my heart. He was my first love and I can't even imagine being with someone else. I wish your father could see that, too," she mumbled the last part mostly to herself and Emmy wasn't sure if she had heard it correctly.
"Is that why you're fighting? He thinks you don't love him anymore?"
Mary's lips formed a solemn smile and Emmy was momentarily stricken by how beautiful she looked even when she was sad.
"Your dad and I are just dealing with some stuff, but we'll get through, we always do," she smiled reassuringly.
As her mother leaned over to cut some more vegetables, Emmy suddenly caught the earrings Mary was wearing. Subconsciously touching her own ears, Emmy was surprised to feel hers were missing. The silver earrings her mother was wearing were the same ones her brother had given her for her tenth birthday. That's when it suddenly hit her – she'd been here for more than four hours and not once had she thought about her brothers. A sudden wave of guilt washed over her. Emmy had seen the pictures in her room, so she knew that Dean and Sam existed in this reality.
"So where's Sammy and Dean?"
Mary shot her a funny look. "At work, where else would they be."
"Right. Uh, are they coming over anytime soon?"
"This weekend … " Emmy nodded slowly, not really knowing why her mother was looking at her like that.
"For my birthday," Mary finished her sentence. "We've been planning this for like a month, you haven't forgotten have you?"
"What, no, no. Of course not," Emmy laughed nervously. If her brothers were coming over this weekend and today was Wednesday, then that meant that she had to wait another three days to see them. She couldn't wait that long. "Can I go pay them a visit?"
Mary chuckled, the sound sweet to Emmy's ears. "You want me to just drop you off in California?"
Marry eyed her daughter with light concern. "Palo Alto. You know, where Sam lives."
"Right, where he studies law … ?" Emmy tried.
"Four years ago maybe. He's a lawyer now, a busy one that has no time to bother to call every once in a while."
Emmy detected some resentment in her mother's voice. She herself couldn't understand why Sam would even live so far from home, that was so unlike him. But again, he did decide to leave the family when he made the decision to go the Stanford. But that was temporarily, he had planned on coming back – right? Emmy never dared to wonder if Sam would've come back if Dean hadn't called for his help.
"And what about Dean?"
"With him working at your Dad's garage and living with his high school sweetheart, I swear it's like your father and I all over again," she said with a fond smile.
"His high school sweetheart?" For some reason, Emmy couldn't imagine her oldest brother committing himself to one woman.
"Carmen." Mary walked over to her daughter. "Emmy are you sure you're feeling alright?"
Rubbing at her forehead, she nodded. "Yeah, just uh, a headache." She briefly closed her eyes as she felt her mother run her hand along the back of her head.
"Well if you're not better tomorrow, I'm taking you to the doctor's first thing."
"I'm okay, Mom."
I've never been better.
So her mother was a nurse who got off on Wednesdays. Her Dad wasn't a hunter and worked at a garage. Dean lived nearby and worked together with their Dad and apparently had a long term girlfriend. Sam lived in California living the dream. And as for Emmy, well she had yet to learn more about herself.
She snuffled in her closet finding mostly pretty clothes, some of the dresses were too girly for her taste, others were just perfect. She had found some photo albums on her shelf and couldn't stop watching pictures of her growing up. It was so strange to see herself captured in moments she couldn't even remember, let alone imagine. Everyone looked so happy, and it struck her how she wasn't used to see their faces so happy, not even hers.
There was a box under her bed with all kinds of stuff – her iPod (Sam's), her silver necklace with the little butterfly which Emmy put back on, Johnny the teddy bear, and even her favorite hairclip. It made her feel better knowing that these objects still meant something to her in this alternative reality.
"Emmy, can you get the door for me please!" Mary called from the living room.
"I'm coming!" Emmy practically flew down the stairs, earning an admonition from her mother to be more careful. It only made Emmy smile more.
Answering the door, she was surprised to see –
"Macy? What are you doing here?"
The black haired girl grinned cheerily. "I'm bringing your homework, silly."
Emmy accepted the binder with a little hesitation. "Oh, thanks."
"So how're you feeling?" Without being invited in, Macy walked inside with no worry in the world.
Closing the door behind her, Emmy watched the girl make herself at home. Apparently Macy and her were friends now? Great.
"Hey, Mrs. Winchester," she greeted.
Mary put a plate of cookies and a jar of milk on the coffee table. "Hey Macy! Thanks for bringing over Emmy's homework. How's your Mom, she still struggling with her shoulder?"
"No problem." Macy took a bite from her cookie. "And she is doing better, the doctor said she can take off her swing by the end of the week."
"That's good news. Tell her I'll call her tonight." Mary turned to Emmy who stood in the middle of the living room, looking like she was lost. "Come take a seat, honey. I'm sure Macy wouldn't mind filling you in on what you missed at school today."
Emmy never felt so out of place in her life before. She gingerly took a seat next to Macy, hugging the binder to her stomach, wishing she was holding Johnny instead.
"If you'll excuse me girls, I'm gonna do some laundry. You staying for dinner, Macy?"
"Oh no, thanks Mrs. Winchester. I already told my mom I'd help her tonight, she still can't do much with her shoulder."
"I understand." Mary nodded with a smile before disappearing. Emmy found herself watching her retreating back, whishing she'd stay.
"So you still haven't answered my question."
Emmy was confused. "What?"
"Are you feeling better? Tomorrow is the competition, we can't afford to lose this time."
"Track!" Macy leaned in closer, searching Emmy's eyes. "You really are sick, huh? How else would you forget about tomorrow, you've been nagging on and on about it for the past few weeks."
Emmy's eyes widened slightly. Track? She ran track? She liked to run and her brothers always told her she was fast, but track? Wow.
"Don't worry, I'll be there tomorrow."
Macy clapped her hands. "Great! Anyway, you'll never guess what happened today. Emma kissed Aaron but she said it was only a peck on the cheek. But when I asked Leila she told me that the Morgan twins saw Emma kiss Victor, which is weird cause Victor is a bully and he still thinks girls have cooties. I think Emma was just making the kiss up cause she doesn't want to admit her crush on Victor. Also Charlotte was so rude today, she almost tripped me up in PE and then blamed it on my clumsiness. I'm not even clumsy, even though my dad says I am but that's not the point. Also you'll never guess what my brother did to my new bike …"
Emmy had long stopped listening when she suddenly felt an electric feeling all over her body. A tingling sensation pricking at her skin like hundreds of little bugs crawling all over her. She looked down at her hands, her eyes widening when she saw her veins pulsing, the color bluer than the sky. The lightbulb above her head suddenly popped, startling Emmy. She looked up when the lightbulb was flickering and gasped – the light was blue, why was it blue …
Being pulled back to reality. Emmy blinked, and everything around her was back to its normal color. The lightbulb above her head looked fine, nothing out of the ordinary.
"You spaced out," Macy said. "So as I was saying my dog killed the neighbor's rabbit again …"
Emmy pretended to listen when all she could think of was where she saw the blue light before.
Who would've thought that Emmy would ever have the chance to enjoy dinner with both her parents. It was like God somehow decided to finally grant every wish she ever made in her lifetime. It was about damn time. Emmy found herself smiling through the evening, unable to mask the happiness when the only thought going through her head was 'If this is some kind of a dream, I do sure hope no one ever wakes me up.'
After being forced to bed – because Emmy wished she could glue herself to her parents if she could – she started with her bedtime ritual. Observing herself in the mirror, Emmy found herself looking at the face she'd been looking at her whole life. Yet something was different, something she noticed with the rest of the family too. It was the eyes, the windows to our soul. It seemed that everyone now had a twinkling spark, a spark they had long lost in the real world after everything they'd seen and been through. Emmy missed that spark.
Entering her purple bedroom, she nearly screamed when a man stood in front of her window.
"Shh, it's just me," he told her, his voice somehow comforting and familiar.
"Wait, I know you." Emmy squinted her blue eyes, taking in this chocolate brown-eyed man. "Gabriel!"
The angel staggered when she jumped in his arms, hugging the life out of him.
"I can't believe you're here, too!" This dream-thing kept getting better and better. "This is so awesome. Oh wait, I need to introduce you to my parents. I'm sure you haven't met them before, they're so perfect, in fact everything is perfect. And my Mom, god my Mom is sooo beautiful. Come on let's go see them. I'm sure they can't wait to hear all about – "
Momentarily taken aback by his strict voice, she frowned. His usual playful demeanor and mischievous twinkle in his eyes was absent.
"This is isn't what it looks like."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"This doesn't strike you as weird? Haven't you asked yourself why all of this happening?" Gabriel realized he was going to have to work harder to get through to her. "How do you think you ended up here?"
"I-I thought this was just a dream," she stuttered. "This is just a dream right? Are you in my head again?"
"I am in your head," he confirmed, his voice laced with worry. "But this is not a dream, cupcake."
Feeling weak at the knees, Emmy felt like she had to sit down before she'd lose her balance. "I don't – I don't understand. What are you saying?"
Gabriel kneeled down in front of her, holding her hands in his. "What's the last thing you remember?"
She gulped, her mouth suddenly dry and her tongue too heavy to form any words. "I can't remember," she whispered.
The angel could detect fear slowly crawling up her spine. He kept his voice soft as to not set her off and scare her more. "Have you seen anything out of the ordinary?"
"You mean other than the fact that my parents are downstairs. Alive?" Emmy scoffed with no sign of amusement, her lips quivering. "Wait there was this weird thing earlier on today, I thought it was just my imagination …"
"What did you see," Gabriel pushed gently.
Emmy's frown deepened. "A blue light, I saw a blue light…" Meeting the angel's eyes, the truth and realization suddenly hit her so hard, she felt like someone had knocked the air out of her lungs. "The Djinn! Oh god, oh no no no. I-I-I can't –" she wheezed.
"Hey, calm down, just breathe. It's okay, sweetie," Gabriel soothed, rubbing her back. He continued holding her until she took even breaths. She was still trembling when he pulled back a little to catch her gaze. "Do you remember now?"
Emmy ran her shaky hands through her hair and down her necl. "I remember, I remember now," she said so softly, her voice just above a whisper. "Wait, Dean was there too. He was at the building, he – "
"The Djinn got to him, too," Gabriel cut her off, instantly reassuring her before she'd panic more. "But your brother Sam is looking for you two as we speak. Don't worry, you can make an end do all of this."
Emmy's head snapped up. No, she read in Bobby's book that the only way to escape from the fantasy universe is to … commit suicide.
"I don't wanna kill myself."
Gabriel felt the tug on his heartstrings as he heard her small voice, reminding him again that she was still just a little girl scared out of her wits. He retrieved her hands again that had subconsciously made their way to her teeth, a nervous habit she couldn't stop.
"Killing yourself won't work in your situation. The Djinn is feeding off on your blood, and let's just say that your blood is like a drug to any non-human being. It's making it stronger which makes it harder for you to escape this dream. But before you worry, let's not forget I'm an Archangel and there isn't anything I can't do," he smirked, his whimsical antics showing again. "Just close your eyes and grab my hand – "
"No!" Emmy jumped away from him, her hands clasped safely behind her back.
"No," she said again with a shake of her head. "I don't wanna go. Not yet."
Gabriel was stunned. "You do realize that this isn't the real world, do you? In the real world you're tight up, hanging by some rope while some blue hellspawn is trapping you in your own head, all the while feeding on your blood until he has sucked all the life right out of you."
Emmy blinked repeatedly at the tears pickling her eyes. "In the real world my parents are dead! In the real world my brothers are out there constantly risking their lives for strangers that don't even give a crap about what happens to them! In the real world there's monsters and demons that want something from me and I'm sick of having my family protecting me, I'm sick of losing the people I love, I'm sick of seeing them getting hurt! I hate the real world, Gabriel, I hate it!"
An electric blue spark appeared out of nowhere, disappearing as quick as it came, bringing a deafening silence into the room.
"What was that?" Emmy questioned breathless.
"It's the Djinn. It knows you found out."
"Gabriel, please," she begged softly. "Just give me a few days. My Mom's birthday is this weekend and I'm really dying to see my brothers and just enjoy some family time."
Running his tongue along his front teeth, the angel wasn't fully persuaded yet. He followed a single tear rolling down her rosy cheek and again he couldn't ignore the pang in his heart.
"When am I ever gonna get the chance to spend some time with my parents again? This is literally a dream come true and I don't want it to end so soon. I know none of this is real but I really don't care right now, I just wanna enjoy it while it lasts."
Swallowing down the lump in his throat, Gabriel threw his head back, closing his eyes.
Emmy wiped away her tears with a sniff, waiting for his decision.
"Fine," he sighed much to his dismay. "But the soon this birthday party is over, I'm taking you out of here whether you like it or not. Your life is at stake."
Emmy nodded vigorously. "I know, I know. And thank you Gabriel, thank you so so much."
"Don't thank me. You're gonna regret this, Mary-Elisabeth."
"You will." He casted one last, regretful look at her and disappeared.
Emmy let out a long, heavy breath and fell backwards onto her bed. She let her hands roam over the covers, marveled at how everything felt so real yet none of it was. She didn't know how long she was staring up at the ceiling, lost in her own thoughts, but she knew she wasn't going to get any sleep. She was about to grab Johnny out of the box when she remembered that before she got the teddy bear, someone else always succeeded at putting her to sleep, and that person was right here.
Tiptoeing down the hall, Emmy carefully pushed her parents' bedroom door open. The room was dark save for the moonlight seeping in through the curtains. She could make out her dad's soft snoring and her mother's chest gently moving with every slow breath she took.
"You alright baby girl?" John sat up slightly, throwing her a worried glance.
"Uh, I just couldn't fall asleep," she said quite timidly.
"C'mere," he whispered.
Emmy happily obliged as she wormed her way in between her parents' warm bodies. Her mother sleepily threw her arm around her waist while John buried his face in her hair. Emmy wanted to cry, she didn't want to miss this, she didn't ever want this to be the last time. Not when she had finally found a way to fill that hole in her tender heart.
The rest of the week went by fast, too fast, and Emmy felt sad that the end of this dream was coming to an end until she remembered that she'd finally see her brothers. The past three days were uneventful and the youngest Winchester found out a lot about herself – apparently she loved track, hated school (even in this perfect world school sucked), the neighbor's dog adored her, oh and Macy and another girl named Amber were her best friends or BFF's as they would put it. Emmy's life was boring compared to her real life but she never thought she'd enjoy boring this much. It was perfect.
John chuckled as he watched his daughter plastered to the window, waiting for her brothers. "Emmy, Sam called. His plane just landed so he won't be here until another hour or so."
"I know. I'm just so excited to see them."
John's eyebrows were raised in awe. "Really? I can't remember ever seeing you this excited to see your brothers before."
Emmy turned to face her father. "What do you mean? They're my brothers, of course I'd be happy to see them. I missed them."
"Well, that's a first," he mumbled under his breath as he continued setting the table.
"Are you saying I'm not close with Sammy and Dean?" Emmy couldn't even imagine not being close with them, those boys practically raised her. But then again, they didn't in this world…
"I mean, I think it's just normal," he said. "For one there's the age gap. Also brothers don't always get along with their little sisters, especially if said sister is only ten and they're practically men."
Emmy wanted to object, prove him wrong. Her age or her being a girl never tainted her relationship with her brothers. In fact it made it stronger – they were more protective and more caring towards her.
"You were only two when Dean already moved out of the house so you didn't really grow up with him. And Sam, well there wasn't much a sixteen year old could do with a toddler. And when you were four he went to California and pretty much stayed there."
Taking all of this information in, Emmy suddenly wasn't sure if she even looked forward to seeing her brothers. What if they were different, what if she didn't like them, or worse, what if they didn't love her?
Someone pulled up at their driveway and Emmy stared out of the window to see a pretty brunette with long legs jumping out of a black pick up. She looked so pretty with her warm eyes and gorgeous smile. Distracted by the woman, Emmy didn't even notice someone else had gotten out of the car too until she saw a man with dazzling green eyes, a trademark smirk and that laugh that always made her feel like nothing else could go wrong.
Running to the door, she was surprised it didn't get off its hinges from how hard she pulled it open. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, she flung herself at her brother and squeezed him to death.
"God, I missed you so much," she said against his shoulder.
"Uh, okay?" Dean gently pulled him off of her but his sister didn't want to let go. "Emmy, get off."
Releasing her brother, Emmy's smile faltered a little when she realized he didn't even hug her back. Deciding not to dwell on it, she turned to the girl holding her brother's hand. "You must be Carmen."
"Yes, that must be me." The woman chuckled, sending her a weird look. "Unless you suddenly suffered from amnesia and forgot about me."
Emmy laughed nervously. "I was just messing with you."
"Alright," Dean broke the uncomfortable silence. "This is getting weird, let's get inside."
Emmy watched as the couple made small talk with her parents. Carmen never once detached herself from Dean and he always looked at her like she was the center of attention. Emmy felt a pang of jealousy. Fifty-two minutes and her brother hadn't even once glanced her way, all he noticed was his pretty girlfriend. But the ten year old realized that maybe it was because she wasn't used sharing her brother. She was willing to sacrifice anything if it meant he was happy, and he looked happy so that's all she wanted even if it did sting a little.
Deciding to at least make some effort to connect with him, Emmy tried an attempt to start small talk. "So Dean, how's work at the garage?"
"Great," he answered without bothering to look up from his phone.
"That's good." Emmy wasn't used to feeling awkward around her own brother. She always used to be able to talk to him and now she had no idea what to say. "How are things with Carmen?"
"She looks really nice."
"Yeah, I know."
Emmy pursed her lips, this conversation was going nowhere so she decided to change tactics. "There's this kid in my school who's picking on me. He's calling me names and even pushed me once, I ended up scraping up my hands and knees."
The Dean she knew wouldn't have sat there like she just told him the sky was blue. The Dean she knew, would've grabbed her hand and demanded her to take him to where this kid was to put the fear of God in him. Having enough of it, she stepped forward and snatched his phone out of his hands.
"Hey! Give that back," he exclaimed.
"You know it's rude not to make eye contact when a person's talking to you."
"Correction, you're the one talking to me. Not the other way around," he pointed out. "Now give my phone back."
Emmy scoffed. "You know I like my Dean better, at least he always listened to me. Too bad you're not like him. It's funny cause he always used to say he was one of a kind and that there was only one of him in the world, guess he was right after all."
"What the hell are you talking about?" The oldest Winchester laughed. "Dodge ball at school hit you too hard on the head or something?"
Emmy narrowed her eyes at the her brother's look-alike.
"Now give me my phone back."
Dean rolled his eyes. "Give me my phone. Now!"
Lunging at her, Dean grabbed her before she could ran away. Emmy had a déjà-vu of all those times her oldest brother would trap her and attack her with tickles. But this was not that Dean. She felt pain shoot at her wrist where he was holding her.
"Hey, that hurts. Let go," she struggled but he only pressed harder. "Ow!" Realizing he wasn't going to let go anytime soon despite of how much it hurt, she released her fingers around his stupid phone.
Emmy took an involuntary step back as she rubbed at the red skin of her wrist with tears welling up in her eyes.
"Oh come on don't be a baby," he rolled his eyes, before leaving the room.
Staring after her brother, Emmy couldn't believe what just happened. Did her brother just hurt her on purpose without a simple sorry? She never thought she'd say this, but she hated this Dean.
Fifteen minutes later, Emmy was helping her mother decorating the living room. Her wrist still hurt but she didn't dare tell her parents anything when Dean threw threatening looks her way. Emmy wasn't used to being on the receiving end and she didn't want to find out what her brother would do if she pushed his buttons.
"That would be Sam," Mary said when someone knocked on the door.
"I'll get it!"
Emmy eagerly made her way to the door, hoping that at least her other brother wouldn't be a total jerk. As soon as she lay eyes on someone she never thought she'd ever see, she gasped. Emmy almost felt honored that she had been given the chance to meet her in 'real life'. Pictures didn't do her any justice, she was far more beautiful with her blinding smile and perfect styled hair.
"Are you gonna let us in or what?"
Looking up at the man standing next to her, Emmy couldn't help but smile. "Sammy!" Giving him the same treatment she had given Dean, she was glad that at least he put some effort in hugging her back, even though the embrace was short lived.
He put her down and patted her head like she was some kid he didn't know. "It's Sam."
After helping him settle in their guest room, Emmy plopped down next to him on the couch. "So why California? Why not stay here in Lawrence, you can be a lawyer here too."
Sam shrugged, flipping his shaggy hair back as he turned a page in the book he was reading. "Nah, there's nothing here for me. Besides, I needed a change and change is good."
"But don't you miss us when you're away?"
"I call," he reminded her as if that was the perfect excuse.
"Not enough according to Mom." Emmy remembered the little comment Mary had made. "Is it because of Jessica? I mean I get it, you two have built your lives there, it wouldn't be fair if we told you to leave everything behind and come back. But I think it's hurting Mom that you kind of up and left, never bothering to check up on her. You should call her more often."
Sam huffed. "Why do you even care?"
Emmy tilted her head in question. "Why? Because you're my family and I love you. Duh."
"You never showed any interest in my life before."
"And I apologize for that." Emmy wished she could explain that she didn't do it on purpose, she couldn't be held accountable for the mistakes 'Emmy' had made in this world. She literally only got here four days ago. "I just wish you'd spend more time with us, especially with Mom and Dad. They miss you, you know?"
"Why are you saying all of this? You're a child, I shouldn't even be listening to you." He dismissed her as he got back to his book.
"Hey! I'm not a child." If he had any idea of all the stuff she'd seen, he would change his mind. "I'm just trynna help."
"Well, don't. I don't need your help," he shot back in annoyance.
"But – "
"Emmy, just drop it, jeez." He shut her up and motioned her to leave. "Go away."
Emmy was wrong, both her brothers were assholes. She sucked in the hurt and kept reminding herself that this wasn't reality, no matter how bad she wanted. She asked herself what she would do to keep her parents by her side and it surprised her that she was willing to stick with these stupid and mean versions of her brothers if it meant that John and Mary would stay alive. Did that make her a bad person? Was she really capable of sacrificing her two overprotective and loving brothers for this?
Sitting in between her parents in a dress that felt oddly comfortable, Emmy couldn't take her eyes off of the people sitting with her at the table. Everyone was chitchatting with each other about work, cars, weather, some new recipe they had found. Emmy could remember all those times she'd watch other families with envy, wishing she could be with all her family members without someone talking about victims, Latin incantations and ways to kill monsters. She still couldn't believe that the family she'd look at with resentment was now her family, and she was part of it.
Feeling someone's arm draped over the back of her shoulder, she looked up to see her father laugh at something Sam had said. Who would've thought that these two would ever get along so well. John caught her gaze and smiled down at her. Emmy's stomach did a little flip, no matter what universe they were in she was always going to be Daddy's girl.
"Emmy, you're not eating. Is the food cold?" Jessica asked concerned.
Emmy looked down at the gentle hand on her arm and smiled. She understood now why Sam loved her, he always used to say how caring and loving Jessica was. Emmy liked her too.
"Oh, I was just thinking about something," she said, getting back to her food.
"So how's school Emmy, you still first in track?" Carmen asked gently.
"School's just fine." Wiping her mouth with a napkin, she continued, "Our team won another race yesterday."
"That's great! Congratulations," Carmen beamed.
Emmy had to admit, her brothers chose their girlfriends wisely. They were very thoughtful and nice, not like the girls Dean hung around with who looked down at her like she was just some nuisance. The only thing that annoyed her was the fact that she was getting more attention from the ladies than her own brothers. Sam and Dean were caught up in a conversation with their Dad about something and she didn't fail to notice how they hadn't once started a conversation with her. Was John right? Did they really not get along?
It was weird to think that these versions of Sam and Dean were the same yet so different. They looked so normal in their suits, for once it wasn't because they were undercover. They also looked more at peace and rested, like the weight of the world wasn't on their shoulders anymore. It was a nice sight. Emmy also preferred them being happy even if it meant they weren't nearly like the real Dean and Sam.
"Mom, you alright?" Emmy leaned closer to her mother who hadn't said a word for a long time.
Mary stroked her daughter's cheek with a smile that didn't quite reach her gorgeous eyes. "I'm fine, honey."
The arm around Emmy's shoulder tensed and she looked up to notice her father clenching his teeth. She knew him all too well to know that something was up. Before she could get to the bottom of it, Sam demanded their attention.
"All right. Jess and I actually have another surprise for Mom's birthday." He glanced at his girlfriend with so much love. "You wanna tell 'em?"
The blonde looked at the people sitting around the table. "They're your family."
"All right," Sam sighed.
"What? Tell me what?" Mary smiled in anticipation.
Sam held up Jessica's left hand and as soon as Emmy caught the engagement ring she gasped.
Laughing happily, she found herself unable to move as she watched the rest congratulate the newlyweds. Emmy never thought in a million years she'd witness this moment. She was so happy her heart was going to burst.
Emmy couldn't get over how everyone was so happy. In her real world, happiness was a rare occurrence. Being happy never lasted long, it seemed like the Winchester family was cursed because every good thing always came to an end. But now, happiness seemed to be the rule.
As if on cue, a pair of warm eyes suddenly caught her attention over Sam's shoulder.
"No, no not yet," Emmy muttered. She excused herself and motioned for the angel to follow her to the hallway. She figured that no one had seen Gabriel because no one wondered why a stranger was in the house.
"You ready?" he asked as soon as they were alone.
"The night's not over yet," she pleaded desperately.
Gabriel didn't like this. "Emmy, you're in grave danger. If you wait any longer you'll end up in coma. You need to come with me now."
Looking at her family, Emmy wanted to cry but this time not from happiness but mourning. She didn't want to say goodbye, she didn't want to miss them.
"Give me two more hours," she started when Gabriel groaned. "Please, two hours that's all I'm asking."
The angel grabbed her shoulders, hoping to knock some sense in her. "The longer you wait, the harder you make it for yourself to let go."
Emmy didn't realize she was crying until a sob escaped her lips. "I don't wanna go."
Gabriel's hands moved to cup her cheeks. He used his thumbs to wipe away the tears. "One of the hardest things to do in life, is letting go of what you thought was real."
"I don't wanna go," she sobbed.
"I know, sweetie, I know." Gabriel wrapped his arms around her, feeling sorry but knowing there was no other choice. "How about I give you one hour. One hour to bid farewell."
Sniffing, the young girl nodded, composing herself. "One hour."
After cleaning up herself, making sure no one could see she had cried, Emmy joined her family again. As she walked through the kitchen she heard her parents' voices on the porch. By the looks of it they were arguing about something again and Emmy wondered if she even should feel bad when her encounter with the angel reminded her yet again that this wasn't real.
"They're at it again?"
Turning again, Emmy saw Dean grab a beer from the fridge. The way he'd opened the bottle and took the first gulp was so Dean, it was confronting. She had also noticed that he wasn't wearing the amulet or their Dad's ring on his finger. She didn't want to admit it out loud but she missed the real Dean, her Dean. The one that would let her eat candy before bed, the one that would always play with her hair, the one that would hold her like he never wanted to let go.
"They've been fighting a lot lately," she said, leaning against the counter.
"Nothing new there," he commented so offhandedly it bothered Emmy.
"What are they fighting about?"
Dean snorted. "Like you don't know."
"I don't," she persisted.
"Everybody knows, now cut the crap Emmy."
Emmy didn't like his tone, like she was somehow at fault for something she had nothing to do with. "I. Don't. Know." she repeated.
Dean returned the glare. "It's you Emmy. They're fighting about you!"
"It's always been about you, since the day you were born."
Emmy took a step back as her brother stalked closer. "What are you even talking about? I didn't do anything."
"You were born!" Dean's eyes were blazing. Emmy had seen him throw that look at their enemies and they'd shake in their boots but she never had that look trained on her. "From day one, all you did was drive a wedge between Mom and Dad."
"You're lying!" Emmy was heartbroken, why would she even do such thing? All she ever wanted was her family to be happy, she'd never do anything to do the opposite.
"What's going on?" Sam questioned as he joined his siblings in the kitchen. It took one glance at his angry brother and crying sister and he didn't need to know more.
Dean forcefully put his beer on the counter causing Emmy to jump before he left without a second glance.
Emmy wasn't surprised when Sam didn't even come closer, he kept his distance like he did all day. She wanted him to hold her, console her like the living teddy bear he was. But this wasn't her Sam – her Sam always held her in his lap no matter how old she was, her Sam kissed her cheek every time she'd flash her dimples, her Sam reminded her she was loved every single day. The painful truth was that all these people were just strangers, a creation of a malevolent demon.
Looking at her parents still fighting, Emmy shook her head. "What did I do?"
Sam sighed. "You didn't do anything. You're just the constant reminder of a mistake our Mom made."
Emmy was confused. "What did she do?"
Sam looked uncomfortable. "Emmy you know what she did, don't make me say it."
"No, I don't. I wanna know. Tell me," she demanded, eyes hardened.
Rubbing the back of his neck he worked hard to avoid eye contact as he spoke. "You already know that you're … that you're not really uh, you're not exactly – "
"Oh, just spit it out, Sammy!" Emmy was getting fed up with this. She couldn't believe that even in this reality her brothers still kept secrets from her, it seems like not everything was so different after all.
"It's Sam," he reminded her. As if she cared. "And what I was going to say is that you're not a Winchester."
Emmy felt offended. "What's that even supposed to mean?"
"Do you need me to spell it out, paint a picture maybe," he spat. "You're not a Winchester Emmy! Dad is not your Dad!"
Did gravity suddenly mean nothing in this dream, because Emmy thought the floor was going to swallow her up. What kind of a sick, twisted reality was this? Wasn't the Djinn supposed to grant her wishes and create a world that was based on her dreams?
"They're talking about a divorce." Sam sounded unaffected, he wasn't aware of the bomb he just dropped on his little sister. "Just taught you should know."
"Shut up," she whispered. "Shut up, shut up, shut up!"
"Hey, what's wrong with you?"
"I said shut up! You're lying, you're all lying!" Emmy was so angry, she couldn't even think straight. How could they? How dare they insinuate that her father wasn't – god, she couldn't even think it let alone picture it.
Not wanting to see Sam's face any second longer, or Dean's for that matter, she barged through the door to the porch. "Is it true?"
John and Mary looked at each other, not knowing what to say.
"It's not that hard of a question to answer, is it? Just say yes or no." Emmy waited but her parents didn't even have the audacity to meet her eyes. "IS IT TRUE?!"
Mary held up a hand. "Emmy, honey, calm down."
Not being in the right state of mind, Emmy pushed her mother's hand away. "How could you? How could you."
"Baby, you gotta believe me," Mary pleaded. "It wasn't like that. I don't even know how this happened, I swear."
"Oh come on Mary," John scoffed, "Stop fooling yourself, everybody knows. We even took the test!"
Emmy blocked her parents' voices. This couldn't be happening, no this was not happening. This was supposed to be a beautiful dream and now it was turning into a nightmare. She started walking away when she bumped into Gabriel.
The angel offered her his hand but Emmy refused to take it. Instead she pushed him away from her, pointing an accusing finger at him. "You did this! This is all your fault!"
"Emmy, who is this?" John's voice sounded from the background but Emmy ignored her father.
"You didn't want me to stay so you ruined everything," she cried, filing claim with tears streaming down her cheeks. "You thought if you drove my parents apart I would give in. You thought if you made my brothers assholes, I would wanna leave. But did you have to do this?" at the last word she waved her hands around. "Why would you lie about that? My parents are dead, Gabriel! Have some respect! My mother would never cheat on my Dad, never!"
The angel approached her slowly with hands held up high. "Mary-Elisabeth, I understand why you'd think this is all my doing, but it's not, alright? You made a wish, you wanted your parents alive and these are the consequences. Now I get why you're upset – "
"Don't try to put the blame on me!" she cried, not noticing how the rest of the family had joined them outside looking confused as hell. "And I'm not only upset, I'm angry, disappointed, hurt and – "
Emmy didn't get to finish her rant when lighting struck above their heads – blue lightning.
"Alright, we need to go now! The Djinn knows I'm here, not let's move before he traps you here forever." Gabriel was about to grab her when John blocked his path.
"Stay away from her."
"I'm not coming with you, Gabriel!" Emmy refused, her voice drowned by the thunder. "I don't care what you did. This isn't real, this is all happening in my head so I can determine how this reality goes, I can change all of it if I want, I can I can …"
Gabriel's nostrils flared as he pushed John aside, ignoring the protests of the others. "Snap out of it, they are not your family, Mary-Elisabeth! Can't you see what's happening? You're getting attached, you're confusing this fantasy with reality, it's exactly what the Djinn wants! What about your real brothers, what about Sam and Dean, huh? You're willing to trade them with these fake impersonators who are just a figment of your imagination?"
"I-I just, I just d-don't wanna l-leave them again," she sobbed. "Don't m-make me l-leave them a-again."
"Hey dude, you gotta go before I call the cops," Dean warned.
Gabriel never turned away from Emmy. "Come with me," he said softly, his face lighting up every time lightning struck.
"She's not going anywhere," Mary said through gritted teeth before turning to Emmy with so much care and love. "Come here, baby. Come to your mother. Don't you wanna stay with me?"
"Don't go, Emmy, please don't," Sam begged with his puppy dog eyes that always melted her on spot.
Dean shot her an apologetic look. "I'm sorry about what I did earlier. I'll make it up to you, sweetheart, I will."
Looking at her brothers who suddenly sounded like her real brothers so much, Emmy felt more conflicted than ever.
"I wanted you to be my bridesmaid," Jessica smiled at her.
"Baby girl?" John caught her eyes. "If you stay, I promise I won't ever leave you again. Stay, please…"
Emmy felt torn, she was being pulled in different directions and it hurt, it hurt oh so bad.
Gabriel grabbed her face, forcing her to look at him and only him. "Don't listen to them, Mary-Elisabeth. They're all in your head. This is all just a dream, a dream you can wake up from. Just say the word, say the word and I'll take you back to your real brothers."
Emmy's chest constricted with every sob, this was the hardest thing she ever had to do. She looked at her family, her beautiful and happy family. This was too good to be true and like an idiot she fell for it. She was so caught up in this fantasy she failed to forget one important thing. She was a Winchester, and Winchesters never get a shot at happiness.
With pain in her heart, she looked away from them. Meeting Gabriel's eyes, she nodded and in less than a second a pair of wings engulfed her. The last thing Emmy heard was the crack of the thunder, bathing them in a blue light.
Sam usually was the one who was calm, he wasn't the type that panicked quickly. Usually it had a contagious effect on others, as if his power to keep his cool kept others cool too. But now, now Sam was far from composed. He'd been stressing out all night searching for his siblings. The moment he found them the relief was short-lived when he found them hanging from the ceiling with tubes in their throats, transporting their blood to blood bags. His brother and sister looked pale and frail due to the loss of blood and it worried Sam to no end when he thought of everything his father wrote about Djinn in his journal.
But first things first, Sam grabbed his sister around the waist before cutting her loose. He didn't like how she fell into his arms like a ragdoll, lifeless. He put her down, carefully pulling the tube out of her neck before doing the same to Dean. Sam was more concerned about Emmy than his brother – at least Dean knew about the Djinn, with his hunter skills he would find a way out, he was Dean dammit, he always found a way out.
But Emmy, poor Emmy…
Sam bit back the tears as he searched for her pulse, it was there but too faint for his liking. How was she supposed to dig her way out of this state she was put in? How the hell would she know how to put an end to this all? She couldn't possibly know that she had to kill herself in order to come back, and even if she did, she would never be able to do it.
With a gasp, Dean suddenly came to.
"Oh god," Sam let out a heavy sigh, shaking his brother. "Hey, hey, you with me?"
Dean grunted, feeling like he got hit by a truck over and over again. Blinking, his view became less and less blurry until he could make out his brother's face. "Sam?" he whispered, and just like that he knew that was his Sammy, he just knew.
Sam swallowed hard, forcing his heart to be still. "Thank god. I thought I lost you for a second."
Dean groaned as he sat up, he momentarily had to close his eyes from the dizziness that washed over him. When he opened them again, his blood suddenly ran cold when he noticed his baby sister lying next to him.
"Oh no, no, no, no, no, no," he rambled as he grabbed his sister, shaking her. "Emmy! This can't be happening, Emmy!"
"Dean," Sam tried retaking his role as the calm one, but it was futile, Dean wasn't listening.
"C'mon baby, wake up," he grumbled, putting his ear on her chest, making sure she was breathing and alive. "I told her to get to the car, I frigging told her!"
"I found the car keys on the ground next to the Impala, she made it but the Djinn got to her first." Sam put a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Dean … she doesn't know how to make it back."
Dean put his balled fist against his lips. "I should have never taken her with me." This was all his fault, he was stupid stupid to bring her along. What was he thinking?
"Dean stop blaming yourself – "
"Shut up, Sam. Don't you say it, don't you frigging say it." Dean wanted to smash something, kill something just to get this pent up anger out of his system.
"Wait, there is another way," Sam began, "We have to kill it."
"Great." Dean didn't waste a second as he got to his feet. "Where is the bastard?"
Sam looked around, keeping his hand on Emmy's cold wrist where he still focused on her pulse. "I think it's gone. It probably left when it saw me coming."
"Coward," Dean spat. "Where are you sonuvabitch?" he shouted, his voice echoing against the walls of the abandoned offices. "Why don't you show me your fugly face, come into the blue light!"
Sam wasn't sure if this tactic of his brother would work, he didn't think they'd stand a chance with a Djinn, let alone a pissed off Djinn.
"Dean," Sam said as he saw two bright blue eyes staring back at him in the shadows.
Dean saw and lunged at it with his knife, it was an erratic move from his part with no much thought causing him to miss. The Djinn materialized next to him, grabbing his throat before slamming him to the floor. Dean ignored the pain in his back and focused on getting his little sister back. This sonuvabitch was going to die.
The Djinn's glowing hand reached for his forehead and Dean struggled, not wanting a repeat of his dream. This time he was able to punch the creature away – it gave him enough time to retrieve his knife which had fallen out of his hand. The demon growled, managing to drag the Winchester up by his jacket, pinning him against the wall. Dean fought in the demon's hold until he had enough space to move his arm. He threw his hand up and stabbed it in its neck again and again and again until the light in its eyes went out. Wiping off the spatters of blood on his face, Dean turned to face his siblings.
Sam was holding their sister up who was coughing her lungs out. Dean knelt next to her, brushing her hair out of her face. She's okay, she's okay, she's okay, he repeatedly thought, reassuring himself.
Emmy looked up at her brothers, her real brothers and her heart ached just at the thought of how she considered for a moment to leave them. How selfish could she be? She was disgusted with herself, ashamed that she hadn't thought of how it would've affected them if she had decided to stay. She couldn't bring herself to look them in the eyes and started bursting in tears agains. She was crying for having to leave her parents even if they weren't real, and for the fact that she had betrayed her Sam and Dean.
"Oh honey, it's alright, you're gonna be okay," Sam cooed as he and Dean grabbed her in a warm embrace, rubbing her back and shaking shoulders.
"You're safe now, sweetheart," Dean whispered in her ear, repeatedly kissing the side of her face. "Shh, don't cry, we got you now."
Emmy looked over her brothers' shoulders to see Gabriel looking down at the Djinn's corpse. He met her eyes, offered a tight smile and a nod before vanishing into thin air.
Dean was sitting on the edge of one of the hotel beds, flipping through a magazine. The corners of his lips twitched as he saw an ad with a woman lying on the beach, holding a beer – now he knew why Carmen, his lover, looked so familiar.
Sam emerged from the bathroom where he had helped his sister cover her cast so she could take a shower. Rolling his sleeves up on his arms, he grabbed two beers, handing one to his brother. "You all right?"
Dean never looked away from the stain on the carpet. "Yeah, I'm all right."
There was a pause but Sam decided not to fill it, giving his brother enough space to say whatever he wanted without any pressure.
"You should've seen it, Sam. Our lives. You were such a wussy."
A chuckle released itself from Sam's throat. "So we didn't get along then, huh?"
"Nah," Dean half-grinned.
"I thought it was supposed to be this perfect fantasy."
The grin fell from Dean's face as he thought of his fake reality. "It wasn't. It was just a wish. I wished for Mom to live. That Mom never died, we never went hunting and you and me just never uh … you know."
Sam looked at his brother who still hadn't made any eye contact. "Well, I'm glad we do. And I'm glad you dug yourself out, Dean. Most people wouldn't've had the strength, would have just stayed."
Dean laughed lightly with a shake of his head. "Yeah, lucky me … I gotta tell you though, man. You know, you had Jess. Mom was gonna have grandkids…"
Sam could practically feel his brother's anguish rolling off of him in waves. "Yeah, but Dean … it wasn't real."
"I know, I know," he claimed, pulling at the label of the bottle. "It's just, ever since Dad … all I can think about is how much this job's cost us. We've lost so much. We've sacrificed so much."
Sam couldn't disagree with that but Dean was forgetting the important part of their job. "People are alive because of you, Dean. It's worth it. It is. It's not fair and … you know, it hurts like hell but … it's worth it."
Dean finally looked away from the floor to stare at the bathroom door. Was it really worth it, he wondered. He hated putting his sister through all of this crap. She didn't deserve any of it, nothing. Protecting her proved to be a hard job but when you love someone you never give up on them. He hoped she realized how much they cared about her, how they didn't hurt her on purpose. He didn't think that little girl had any idea of how much they really loved her. If only he had the ability to let her see herself through his eyes, only then would she realize how special she was to them.
"Did she say anything?"
Sam shook his head. "No, nothing. I think she has a lot to process, poor thing."
"I wonder what kinda fantasy she landed," Dean wanted to know.
"Prolly one where Mom and Dad were still alive," Sam guessed.
It wouldn't surprise Dean. "You know … she wasn't in my fantasy."
"What?" Sam didn't understand.
Dean played with one of Emmy's bobby pins he had found on the table. "She didn't even exist, no one had ever heard of her."
Sam didn't know what to say. "But h-how? Isn't the whole purpose of these fantasies to show you what you want?"
"I figured Mom was still alive, which means no fire, no Yellow-Eyes, Mom didn't get pregnant, … no Emmy."
"You're saying that if it wasn't for this," Sam waved at their current situation, symbolizing their hunting life, "Emmy wouldn't even be here?"
"I guess." Dean always used to wonder how his life would've turned out if his Mom never died. But now that he found out that his wish came with a price, he didn't think he'd ever change the way things were if it meant Emmy wasn't in his life. That girl was the reason he woke up every day, she actually gave meaning to his life. A world with no Emmy, was a world Dean didn't want to live in, and by the looks of it, Sam was probably thinking the same.
"You know what this means?" Sam broke the silence. "There was a reason why Mom had another baby. Something or someone wanted her to conceive another child, maybe that's why …" Sam didn't want to say it out loud, Emmy's parentage was still a sore subject.
Dean didn't want to think about it. He'll be damned if his sister was brought in this forsaken world for a reason, like hell. Nothing's touching his sister, they had no right to use her or claim her, she was theirs dammit.
Sam cleared his throat. There was something else he'd been dying to tell his brother but didn't know when to tell him. Seeing as Emmy was still in the bedroom, he decided to get over it now before it was too late.
"When Emmy woke up … it wasn't after you killed the Djinn."
Dean's head shot up to stare at his brother. "What are you saying?"
Wetting his lip, Sam clenched his jaw. "She, she was up before you killed it. The Djinn was strangling you and she, she woke up."
"How?" The only way to come back was to kill yourself and Dean felt sick to his stomach thinking of his sister doing such unspeakable act … or worse, what if someone else … "God, she must be traumatized, my little cutie pie."
Sam couldn't imagine it either but he suddenly couldn't wait for his sister to get out of the shower so he could hold her close again, and hopefully take all the pain away from her.
As if on cue, the bathroom door opened. Dressed in a Metallica t-shirt that reached her knees, Emmy limped her way into the room. Dropping her dirty clothes on the floor in a corner, she went to grab her hairbrush from her duffel bag, all the while feeling two pairs of eyes on her back. Turning around, Sam patted his lap, motioning for her to come sit with him.
Emmy obliged and handed him the brush. She closed her eyes as she felt the soothing strokes through her wet hair. The Sam in her fantasy would never offer to brush her hair. Emmy reminded herself that she needed to stop comparing her imaginary brothers with her real brothers. The alternative reality was just a dream and nothing more. She shouldn't get attached to some people that didn't even exist, not anymore.
"How are you holding up?" Sam suddenly asked, breaking her train of thoughts.
She shrugged at his question, not really knowing what to say. Physically she was fine, but mentally and emotionally? She really didn't know.
Reopening her eyes, she caught a pair of green pools staring right back at her. She swallowed hard, telling herself that this Dean was her Dean and not the Dean that was a total prick to her.
"Talk to us, sweetheart. How're you feeling?"
Emmy chewed on her bottom lip knowing that Dean wouldn't let go until he got an answer out of her. "I'm okay," she whispered.
Dean dropped his head in his hands, she may fool herself but not him. He raised that girl, spent every second of her life with her. He knew her better than he knew himself. "You're not okay, Emmy, don't lie to us. Why don't you tell us how you got out."
She bit harder on her lip to prevent it from trembling. "I-I don't remember."
The brothers had to strain their ears to hear her talk. Dean huffed. "What do you mean you don't remember? Think Emmy, think."
"I really don't remember," she repeated with a little more force.
Dean didn't believe a word she said, Sam wasn't convinced either but he didn't think now was the right time to discuss this. His baby sister had a lot to process, maybe she wasn't ready to tell them yet. And as the loyal brother he was, he'd wait until she was and be there to listen.
"Dean, not now," he cautioned softly as he finished Emmy's braid.
Rubbing a hand over his mouth, it took everything in Dean not to force the answers out of her. He just needed to know what she did and more importantly how she did. He knew it was too late to do anything about it but it would put his mind at ease.
Emmy was aware of the tension in the room. She wished she could tell them about Gabriel but knew she couldn't. Confronted with Dean's protective side and Sam's gentle side, she was yet again assaulted with the fact that for a second she contemplated leaving her family for brothers that didn't even care about her and parents that she didn't even know.
Sam was the first to notice his sister's shaking shoulders, he instantly picked up on the sign and hugged her from behind as she silently cried. Nothing broke his heart more than seeing her sad and hurt, he really wished he could make whatever made her miserable go away.
Dean swallowed down the lump in his throat as he knelt beside her, he stroked her knuckles and kissed her little hand. He understood how she felt, he understood the pain of being ripped away from something or someone you loved. It's like fixing yourself after being broken only to be ripped apart again in pieces, and having no strength to heal yourself again. It was bad enough that she had to go through that too, but he couldn't stand seeing her like that. It made him want to turn time and prevent all of this from happening.
Feeling her brothers consoling presence was another stab in the heart as Emmy thought of how she ever wanted to give this up, even if it was only for a second. They should be angry with her for letting them down.
"I-I-I'm so s-sorry," she hiccupped.
Sam kissed her temple. "What are you sorry for, honey."
She hid her face with her hands, not wanting to see the disappointment on their faces. "I d-didn't want to go. I-I knew it wasn't real and I s-still wanted to s-stay. I-I'm so so so sorry."
Dean could no longer keep the distance. He reached out and held her in his arms, squeezing her to him. He of all people knew exactly how she felt because there was a moment he thought of staying too. But he didn't, she didn't, they both didn't. What was she feeling sorry for? Like Sam said, a lot of people would've just stayed. She was so much stronger than she knew.
"Don't feel sorry," he said into her ear, feeling her small body shake. "You're here now, that's the only thing that matters."
Emmy nodded against his shoulder. She knew he was right but it was going to take a while for her to accept that. For now, she just wanted to be mad at herself until the guilt was gone.
Sam playfully pulled at her braid. "Tell us about your fantasy. Dean said I was a total wuss in his, don't tell me there was another Sam-wuss."
Emmy couldn't help but giggle a little. She pulled away from her oldest brother who kept his arms around her. "You were actually a jerk," she said as she blinked back her tears. "And so where you."
Dean's eyes widened in surprise. "Is it weird that I wanna punch myself?"
Emmy thought back of the bruise on her wrist and remembered she never got her payback. Punching the oldest Winchester's shoulder, she half-grinned when Dean hissed.
"I deserved that." He rubbed his shoulder even though he didn't feel a thing but he would gladly play along if it brought a smile to her cute little face.
"I saw Jessica," Emmy said, watching Sam's face light up for a second. "She was really pretty and nice, I couldn't understand what she saw in you though."
"I deserved that." Sam chuckled, copying his brother's words.
Emmy's smile widened a bit when she thought of someone else. "Mom was really beautiful. It was weird seeing her, she was so … "
"Real?" Dean offered. "Yeah, I know what you mean."
"Dad looked good, too," she added before frowning. "Did Mom and Dad fight a lot when you were younger."
"Not really," Sam said. He could only remember this one huge fight they had before Emmy was born. His Dad even left for a week. Now he knew why, he'd be pissed too if he found out his wife was pregnant with a child that wasn't his. "Why you asking?"
"In my dream they were constantly at each other's throats."
"For what reason?" Dean asked curiously.
Emmy fiddled with the hem of her brother's shirt. She didn't want to say it out loud, afraid that the lie would turn out truthful. But she shook her head, forcing herself to hear how ridiculous that was. "Apparently in my fantasy, I wasn't a Winchester. We shared the same mother but not father, which means we were half-siblings. It's stupid I know, Mom would never, she would never … you know. Forget about it."
Sam and Dean held each other's eyes for a full minute. What the actual hell. What kind of a sick joke was this? How did this secret end up in their sister's fantasy? The Djinn only used thoughts and memories from its victims and there was no way Emmy knew about this. Then who planted this in her head? The brothers were the only one that knew about it …
"It was just a dream right?"
Dean looked up at his sister's glistening eyes and had a flashback of staring at the same eyes. Mary …
Sam cleared his throat. "Yeah, it was just a dream, honey. Just a dream…"
A/N: Thank you beautiful people for all the reviews/favorites/follows! Also thanks for the feedback, I received some pm's and comments on what I should do with this chapter. I tried to appease you all, so forgive me if this chapter didn't turn out the way you wanted… I'm dying to hear what you guys think of this one!
Ps: As Dean put it, the Djinn only uses people's experience, thoughts and memories when creating this alternative fantasies. I don't know if you guys remember the chapter where Emmy finds John's journal and reads it. She found out that there was something between her mom and dad and basically put the pieces together. So she knew her mother was "infidel" but then Gabriel appeared and told her she wasn't supposed to know, so he erased her memory. So I figured that the information might be lost to Emmy but it was still there in her head so that's how the Djinn got it. I don't know if that made any sense lol