The smell of freshly baked banana bread wafted into Ashlinn's bedroom as she groggily wiped her eyes. Sitting up and putting on her glasses, she looked around at the room in quiet amazement. It had been at least 10 years since she'd last seen these pastel green walls. She wondered if, and when, she'd get used to it.
Waking up 15 years younger in the hospital had been quite the surprise. Even more surprising is that everything had gone back in time. Her parents were still together. Her older sister hadn't even graduated from high school yet. A yell from downstairs caught her attention, and she slowly got up and made her way downstairs. He was yelling again. After 8 years of not speaking to her father, she'd forgotten how his raised voice sent shivers through her body.
A door slammed as she descended the stairs. Her mother stood in the kitchen with her face in her hands. Ashlinn hesitated at the doorway. In the past she would have pretended not to see or gone back upstairs, but this was not the old Ashlinn. Her mother tried to hide the tears as Ashlinn quickly embraced her in a hug.
"It's okay, Mom," Ashlinn said and squeezed her mom tight. "It's not your fault."
After a moment of surprise, her mom returned the hug and said, "I just asked if he was still talking to that woman… maybe I should have waited. He's been… worried since you went to the hospital."
Ashlinn doubted that but said nothing. No doubt he was more worried about the hospital bill than her health. Her father was not a kind man, and she had no illusions about that.
"Shouldn't you be in bed?" her mom asked worriedly as Ashlinn pulled away. "You were really hurt. Don't overdo it."
"I've been 'resting' for three months. I just want… to go on a walk outside."
Her mom crossed her arms and gave her a measuring look. "Okay, but Caroline needs to go with you."
Ashlinn wanted to argue but agreed. Caroline would most likely go off on her own to smoke anyway. She found her sister on the back porch, chatting with a friend on the house phone. How nostalgic.
"Hey, mom says I need you to come with me if I want to leave the house."
"Oh, yeah?" her older sister asked mockingly. "Probably so you don't end up in the hospital a second time this year. God, you're so clumsy. Gina, can you meet me at the park in five minutes? Yeah, little superwoman wants me to take her for a walk."
Ashlinn clenched her fist and took calming breaths. Hitting Caroline would only ensure she stayed inside for another 3 months. Feigning a smile, she watched Caroline look at her in confusion before taking the lead. There was silence as Ashlinn left her sister by the gazebo to take a walk around the lake. Her sister wasn't a bad person, just a crappy teenager.
The wind in the trees calmed her nerves as Ashlinn slowly walked around the path. It had taken her months to accept her new reality. At first, she had freaked out so badly that the doctors had been worried about brain damage. She had fallen from the second story, so even she had considered it. However, the life she'd lived was still fresh in her head. She'd been able to predict her cousin being pregnant and her uncle's death. No doubt her family believed it was coincidence.
At least school would be easy. She smiled thinking about high school algebra as she picked up a dandelion. Maybe she could graduate early. Then she'd be able to get away sooner. Guilt pricked her conscience as she thought about her younger sister and her mother. Could she leave them with him? A scream caught her attention, but she ignored it. Probably some kids getting too excited with their game. But then there was another scream.
Ashlinn could see a tall shadow approaching two young children and sprinted toward it. As she got closer, she realized something about the man was off. She considered running the opposite direction, but the children's panicked screams convinced her to stay.
"Hey! Leave them alone!" her 13 year old voice was unconvincing even as she struggled to speak as tough as she could.
As the man turned toward her, her breath caught in her throat. He looked humanoid, but his features weren't quite right. His skin seemed like it didn't fit, and as he snarled at her, she noticed sharp teeth. The other children took the distraction and ran for safety. The creature turned to them as though debating whether he should go for them or her. He took a step in their direction.
"Hey, ugly! Leave them alone!"
With a hiss the creature ran for her. She barely had time to dodge behind some trees. The sound of snapping behind her made her turn around. A small tree fell to the ground as the creature crashed into it. Turning its eyes back toward her, it gave her a smile, once again showing off sharp teeth. Car doors in the distance seemed to make it change its mind about whatever game it was playing. Before she had time to react, it had snatched her off the ground and ran.
Ashlinn wiggled and thrashed, but her strength was nothing compared to this creature's. She tried to figure out what it was as it ran through the woods. Part of her wanted to believe it was a rejected actor on PCP, but she suspected that wasn't the case. A house loomed in the distance. It looked familiar even though she was sure she'd never been in this area. As it entered the dilapidated house, dust got into her eyes making it hard to see.
Ashlinn felt her heart drop as it walked down to the basement. For sure, this was where it planned to eat her. Part of the basement was flooded, and as she looked around, she couldn't help but feel as though she'd seen it before. The sound of a car door slamming shut from outside made the creature throw her inside a wardrobe. It shut the doors with a menacing stare.
The creak of one of the stairs filled her with hope. Whispering outside the door was followed by the wardrobe door quickly opening. Ashlinn let out a small scream as she looked into the faces of Sam and Dean Winchester.
"What the hell?!" she said before movement caught her eye. "He's under the stairs!"
As Sam and Dean turned their attention to the stairs as the creature bolted out from under the stairs. Dean tried to hit the creature with a taser but missed. The memories of this particular episode came flooding into Ashlinn's brain as she watched the creature run to the flooded area of the basement. Dean would get electrocuted here. Dumb bitch.
"Take her and go!" Dean shouted at Sam, but Ashlinn stole the taser from Sam and ran to the flooded area. The creature tried to grab her, but she flung herself to the wet ground and rolled onto the dry pavement. Dean yelled at the creature, and Ashlinn aimed the taser.
"Hey, ugly!" she yelled as she backed up.
The creature roared and charged her, but she pressed the button. The electricity made the creature dance and scream before it fell to the ground. Sam ran up to her and took the taser from her shaking hands.
"Are you okay?" Sam asked as he put an arm around her to steady her.
"Freakin' suicidal is what she is!" Dean yelled as he checked to make sure the creature was dead. "You could have gotten hurt! You could have died!"
"So could you!" Ashlinn snapped back. "Did either of you think about what could happen using a taser down here?!"
"You're the one who pulled the trigger!" Dean argued back as Sam tried in vain to calm him down.
"Yeah, but I made sure we were both on the dry concrete. You wouldn't have."
"And how do you know that?!"
"Because that's what you did, Dean!"
Dean and Sam looked at her with shock and confusion before she elaborated, "I know who you two are. Sam and Dean Winchester. You're hunters… and brothers. Tonight you were going after a… rawhead, right? Sam would have taken me up the stairs and gave Dean the taser. Dean would have tried to stun the thing while both of them were in the water and given himself a heart attack. Oh, God, what's happening right now?!"
"I don't know. You tell me!" Dean yelled as his face's horrified look echoed her own.
Sam gripped her shoulder and said, "Let's get out of here for now. We'll sort this out in a minute but not here, okay?"
Ashlinn nodded and saw Dean roll his eyes. Sam carefully helped her out of the basement and sat her down inside the back seat of the Impala. She took a second to breathe and buried her face in her hands. This might as well be her life now.
"So… how do you know about us?" Sam gently asked her as Dean started the engine.
"TV show… I… Okay, so this is going to sound really weird. I'm not sure I've accepted this as real yet."
"Oh, honey. We know weird," Dean replied, and Ashlinn peeked through her fingers to see Sam throwing him a dirty look.
"I'm 28 years old… or I should be. I woke up one day, and I was in my 13 year old body and in the hospital. I'd fallen from a window and nearly died… I did die for a few minutes actually…"
"So… you just woke up young? What's that got to do with us?" Dean asked skeptically.
"I woke up 15 years in the past… there was a show I used to watch called 'Supernatural' which had two brothers who fought the monster of the week and got into trouble."
"'Got into trouble'?" Dean asked mockingly clearly not believing her.
"With the law among other things. Let's see… you should still be in season one, so… lady in white, wendigo, some ghosts, and a killer scarecrow. That's not everything, but it's pretty good, right?"
Sam turned to look at her before looking back at Dean, "That's pretty specific, Dean."
Dean's face hardened, but he was clearly thinking about it.
"Not convinced? Okay. Your mother died in Kansas in a fire. Your dad had been hunting whatever did it ever since. You grew up going place to place with your dad. Sam's got a little bit of rebel in him when it comes to your dad, but Dean is his 'soldier'. And Jessica… something got her too. Now you're trying to find your dad and avenge your loved ones. Did I miss something?"
"She could be a demon," Dean said and gave her a look.
"You'd be dead. Demons are ridiculously strong, Dean. How else could one have opened the airplane door from the inside?"
Dean seemed to be looking for another argument, so Ashlinn turned to Sam with pleading eyes.
"I thought I was crazy too, but how else do you explain 15 years of memories? I know things will happen to my family before they do because I've lived this before. The only thing that's been different is you two."
Dean turned onto the main road and said with irritation, "Okay then. You still gotta go home. Which way?"
Ashlinn sighed and gave him directions. It was a lot to take in. And even if they did believe her so what. She was 13. It's not like she could go with them. Her family would notice if she went missing, and it's not like she knew for sure that things would go exactly the same as they had in the show.
"What's going on?" Dean murmured, and Ashlinn looked out the window to see smoke billowing from the direction of her house.
Her breath caught in her throat as her house came into view. Flames engulfed the house and yard. Firefighters tried to put out the blaze as police waited further from the house. Sam got out of the car and helped her out. She ran to the officer.
"Where—where's my family? Are they out? Please…" she could feel herself shaking as she fought to not let the panic flood her senses.
"Are you Ashlinn?" the cop asked sadly. "They'd just reported you missing. I was coming by to get a statement… I'm sorry, darling. We'll know more after they put out the fire. Here, come sit by the ambulance."
As Ashlinn sat down, she clutched her arms and watched the fire. Any second… they'd be coming out any second. She could faintly hear Sam explaining why they were with her as she watched. Dean sat beside her. It felt like he wanted to say something for a moment, but he just sat with her and watched. The flames yielded. A firefighter walked up to the cop and shook his head while speaking. Sobs erupted out of Ashlinn as she felt Dean's hand wrap protectively around her shoulder.