A/N: Okay I wanna keep this short and sweet. Here's the last chapter for Crash Course. It was one of the most difficult to write so I hope it came out okay and that I wrapped it up nicely. Anywho, enjoy and please review so I know I did a good job :D
Disclaimer: Still don't own em.
A/N #2: Oh and when you're finished this be sure to check up Postmortem! It is the sequel to this story and the Prologue is already up. It's not very long but I'm in the midst of getting the first chapter up which will be long. Enjoy!
Blood stained the pale blue cotton t-shirt a pitiful brown. Soaked thoroughly all the way through, it now clung to my chest. The trickling red; sticky and thick like good ole Canadian maple syrup felt unnaturally cold against my skin. The hairs along my arms stood erect as once again the wind blew my way. My teeth clamped shut, eliciting a sharp clicking sound throughout the night. Eyes closed, I waited for pain to pass. It wasn't hurting as much now that Dean had stopped moving me around but the fact that the suffering was improving on its own wasn't reassuring in the least. I was beginning to feel numb. Everything seemed swallowed up in this tangerine haze. It was rising out of the earth and surrounding us. It dulled my senses and gave me this euphoric type of feeling. I was sure at any minute the haze would grow denser and a thick orange cloud would form to carry me away.
Warm, protective arms that cradle me like the wounded animal I felt I was, tightened around my back. The gentle rise and fall of the hunter's chest beneath my head helped to calm my fears. I kept my head turned into his t-shirt, my nose rubbing playfully against his collar bone as I snuggled further into him. Were I in my right mind I wouldn't have acted so foolish, but the blood was streaming down the legs of my jeans and I couldn't help myself.
"You still with me Carlson?"
A thick index finger wedged itself into my back. I groaned and muttered something indiscernible to both of us.
"I'll take that as a yes."
Dean's breath -hot and tinted with the flavor of cinnamon and cocoa powder-washed across my face. I tasted the air around us and felt myself growing lightheaded. Was it possible to get drunk off a Winchester? I knew from personal experience a Winchester could GET you drunk but to get drunk OFF one was a whole other possibility I wasn't aware of.
"Mmmm" was the pleasurable sound I made while I struggled to lift my head.
A callused hand cupped the back of my head, gently pressing it back into place against the cotton shirt and leather jacket. Another wave of pain hit me and I moaned, clenching my teeth tighter. The arm that had up until that point dangle limply off the side now swung tiredly in mid air. I searched; reaching through the tangerine haze, needing to grab onto something. My other arm had gotten wedged in-between Dean's muscled right side.
"Shhh, it's okay Leah. Relax."
The hand cupping my head fell away and sought out my own hand, pulling it back down. Dean's fingers laced with mine.
"It hurts…bad…"I slurred, thick and unintelligent as I rubbed my face against his chest. "I know it does. Just keep breathing okay?"
My fingers tightened around his own. The pain was increasing. Where was that orange cloud when you needed it? Instead of making things dull, the haze only disoriented me and took me further away from Dean and not the agony in my abdomen. The torture I was feeling was no longer subsiding the way it had been, it seemed to only get worse.
A groan escaped. I bit through the tender flesh of my bottom lip and stared teary eyed at the trained hunter. I felt like a child. I hated the look he was giving me. Pity? Was that it? God, did I hate pity.
"Dean." I turned my face back into his jacket and kept out the haze by closing my eyes. "Dean…please."
"Just keep breathing Leah. That's all you gotta do."
There was a short pause where I tried to take in what Dean was telling me. Just breathe. It didn't seem that hard to do but when it felt like nails were being driven through your lower torso every few minutes you start to hold your breath and hope it keeps out the pain.
"Remember that day when you started hyperventilating outside that dive in Texas?"
I snorted. Dean chuckled.
"Well, you just gotta do for me now what you did then. Okay? Just take it nice and slow."
The dry night air trickled into my mouth and fingered my lungs appreciatively. I could taste pine and damp oak and Dean's overpowering aftershave. His chest rose and fell and so my head followed suit. Callused fingers slipped across clammy palms. I whimpered and blinked and breathed just like he said. It was the only thing I held onto. Dean's last words engraved in my head. Just breathe in. Breath out. Breathe in. Breath out. Do what you did then. Nice and slow.
It was the pressure of light against my eyelids that stole me from this mantra. Dean started to shift impatiently. The movement jarred my bruised chest and open wound. White, hot agony shattered the night around me. Unable to hold back, a sharp scream pierced the silence. I snaked a hand around my abdomen and threw my head back into the hunter's broad shoulders. He grunted, wrapped his arms about my body and ran. Deep, ragged breaths rang through my head. I was too sore to scream so that now only a small cry fell on deaf ears. The light grew brighter as we neared our destination. I took a chance and opened my eyes. Pale light cut through the air towards us, blinding me almost instantly. It was moving fast at first but as Dean stopped dead center in the middle of the dirt road, the lights began to slow.
"Sam…"I moaned against Dean's chest.
The high beams went out, leaving only the dimly lit headlights. The familiar form of the black Chevy quickly took shape before us. A low growl emanated from the heap of metal and upholstery. The soft grind of metal sounded and the drivers' side door opened, revealing the lanky form of the youngest Winchester.
"Dean?" the form cocked it's head. "Is that you?"
"No Sammy. I'm the other guy with the wounded girl…Dude, of course it's me! Now move your ass will ya?"
Sam Winchester stepped into the light, wielding a wool blanket and a bottle of water. His movements were quick and precise as he came to a stop beside Dean. A reassuring smile was flashed my way. I wanted to cry with relief at my own personal guardian angel, now here with me. That's was Sam was. A big hand combed back the bangs from out of my face. Sam loomed over Dean and I, as he always did and leaned in for a look at my stomach. I shifted uncomfortably as he ran fingers along the caked blood.
"She doesn't look too good Dean."
"Is that so college boy? Huh, and all this time I thought she was faking."
Sam cursed his older brother and turned back to the running impala. Dean followed suit. The youngest Winchester was already slipping back behind the wheel when Dean lowered me into the backseat.
"Hey, Green Giant!"
The shaggy head whipped around and glared miserably at his older brother.
"Dean, we don't have time for this."
"I know. So, get in the back with Leah. I'm driving."
The hunter reached through the car and dragged the lanky man out by his shoulders.
"Come on Grandma we all know how you drive."
The backseat shifted under Sam's weight as he climbed across the upholstery and moved to get comfortable. Metal doors slammed shut and the engine turned over. Dean shouted something to us over his shoulder but his voice was drowned in the increasing noise of the running engine. A sharp jolt and a minute later Dean had the Impala on the road, breaking the speed limit and possibly the sound barrier.
Sam draped the blanket over my chest and pulled my head onto his lap. My legs curled painfully over the edge of the seat and I could feel the wound shifting under the new position. I groaned. Sam placed the bottle of water into my hands and helped me to take a long sip.
"Dean, can't you drive any faster?"
"Hey! Don't you say anything about MY driving! Okay little brother?"
Sam lifted the bottle to my lips again and I drank.
"Fine. Just get us to the nearest hospital as soon as you can. She's loosing too much blood."
The word echoed through the halls of my mind.
Devil. Red eyes. Flat lining. The whir of machines. Dead. Dying. Bleeding. Doctors.
The plastic bottle slipped from my hands and rolled towards the front passenger seat. Water still sitting in my mouth dribbled down my chin as I thrashed in Sam's arms.
Dean's face stared at us from the rearview mirror.
"What the hell is she doing Sam?"
"Leah calm down. What is it?"
I gripped the younger man's t-shirt and clung desperately to his chest.
"Can't go…I can't go…hospital…no hospital Sam…."
I sputtered water onto our laps. Sam pulled me into him, hugging my tight to his body.
"Leah, you need a hospital…"
I thrashed and screamed, and came close to kicking the back window out. Dean was cursing up a storm from behind the wheel.
"Why Leah? Why can't we take you?"
"Devil. Sam the devil's there. He…killed me. Killed me there…"
Tears ran rampant down my cheeks at this point. I shifted to find Dean's gaze in the rearview mirror. He'd gone quiet with this new knowledge. I waited, watching him, trying to get it across to him.
"Please, don't take me back" I mumbled.
"Okay Leah. It's alright. We won't take you back" whispered Sam.
He rubbed my arms and dragged the blanket over both of us. After a moment I relaxed and let my eyes close. The brothers remained silent and soon the silence turned into peace. Darkness was creeping in, slowly filtering through the pain and numbing my senses once again. I relished in it and soon found myself falling down a long, winding tunnel into unconsciousness.
Gradually darkness began to fade to light. Off white walls, illuminated by incandescent bulbs burned my retinas. A pained groan escaped past my lips. Slowly I began to ease my eyes open. I was drowning in large, soft padding. Deep cushions it seemed had swallowed me up, trapping my frame between them. I shifted in the seat and noticed a heavy quilt draped across my chest. The smell of green tea fragranced the still air while perfumed flowers tortured my lungs. A bowl of potpourri stood on the table next to me. Rolls of gauze, sewing needles, rubbing alcohol and anything else you would expect to find in your average first aid kit were there also. Bloodied hand towels lay in a heap on the mahogany table. They were stained an awful brown from hours of soaking in the bodily fluid.
Light breathing arose from an evergreen armchair. In the far corner of the room, snuggled comfortable beneath his own blanket was the sleeping form of Sam Winchester. Thick brown bangs, drenched in sweat and pasted to his forehead, he remained innocent and peaceful in sleep. Dark purple bruised his cheeks while a few minor scratches marred his face here and there. The boy's lip stuck out, swollen and red. I cringed as he shifted and groaned before settling once more.
Footsteps padded quietly across the floor. I heard the movement and dug the heels of my hands into the couch cushions, attempting to sit myself upright. My attempts were halted when a burning sensation blazed a trail of agony along my chest and into my stomach. With a dull cry I sunk further into the soft bedding and pinched my eyes shut against the pain.
"Well, look who decided to grace us with her presence."
A smile tugged my lips apart. Eyes now open I stared up at the chiseled frame of Dean Winchester. A dark blue washcloth, dripping water onto the carpet sat in his open hand. He stepped in towards the couch and kneeled on the floor beside me.
"You gonna give me a sponge bath?" I teased. Dean cocked his eyes mischievously at me.
With gentle hands he lowered the quilt revealing nothing but my naked stomach and black bra. I swallowed the lump of embarrassment bubbling to the surface and tried to convince myself that this had been necessary. They had to strip me down to save my life. My eyes narrowed on the protruding tummy and a wave of nausea hit me. Seconds later the man had covered my stomach with the heavy rag and slowly began to wipe at the gathered sweat and caked blood. He moved the cloth around the thick white bandages, careful not to get them wet.
"How long have I been out?"
Dean pulled his focus away from the cloth. Hazel eyes met my own for half a second before they fell on the rag once more.
"Not very long. Two, maybe three hours."
"And Sam, when did he fall asleep?"
"Thirty minutes ago."
I sighed. "And what about you?"
The washcloth paused a few inches above my navel. Warm water trickled along the curve of my stomach and down onto the quilt. Dean's lips quivered in the dim lighting but only enough so that I almost thought that it wasn't happening. Rough, callused hands peeled the rag from my skin and tossed it carelessly onto the table. An awkward silence fell upon us soon after.
A forced grin stared back at me.
"Well, someone had to watch your ass."
The hunter eased himself to his feet, pulling the quilt back into place over my chest. Warmth immediately enveloped my body. I turned my face against the soft pillow, nuzzling my cheek against the comforting smell of the lilac fabric softener. Dean picked the soiled cloths from off the table and tossed them into a plastic salad bowl I hadn't noticed before.
"How's the pain?"
He shifted the bowl into the crook of his arm, glancing back every now and then to his sleeping brother. I shrugged.
He nodded. "Okay, I'll go get you something for it. Just don't move alright?"
"I'm serious. We don't want an infection setting in since someone was too stubborn to go to a hospital. You're lucky Missouri and I know a thing or two about stitches."
Dean sighed, loud and deep before mumbling something about getting me some pain pills. He left, salad bowl in hand as he made his way towards the kitchen. The metal taps squealed and the sound of running water filled the house. My eyes suddenly felt very heavy. I listened as Dean ran the water over the rags. I could hear them sloshing around in sink. The darkness was creeping in again. I pressed my face against the pillow and breathed in the smell of lilac. The light fragrance pulled me under, back into unconsciousness before Dean had even returned with the pills.
…Two Weeks Later…
Sam and Dean busied themselves with the small task of packing their things into the back of the Impala. The engine purred anxiously. Missouri had already said her goodbyes and was already hiding somewhere deep inside the moderate Lawrence home. I on the other hand couldn't help but sit on the front steps and watch as the two young men prepared to head out on the road.
Two days earlier a new set of coordinates had been sent. John was demanding they slay another evil and save another innocent and so after their two week stay in Kansas they were leaving. We all knew it was bound to happen sooner or later but I guess I hadn't really imagined them leaving so soon; especially leaving with me behind.
In all honesty, the last nine days spent with the Winchesters hadn't been all that pleasant. The first day or so after the accident I'd been too tired to care about anything else except the overwhelming pain. There'd only been so many pain pills I could take a day so every other minute was spent moan and groaning on the couch and watching Oprah with Missouri. However as the pain dulled and each day passed I started to get back to my old self. It was around the fourth day when things finally hit me. The reality of my situation hit and hit hard. I was never going home. I'd never see my baby sister again or her beautiful family. I'd never watch her little girl grow up and I'd never be able to hug my mom again. They'd never know what really happened to me.
A few tears escaped and ran along my cheeks. I brushed them away before anyone could see and stared defiantly across the driveway to where the two men continued to pack. I couldn't look at them the same way anymore. Not since the accident when I decided that were it not for them and their need to save everyone from the big bad world that I'd still have a chance to go home. There would still be that possibility of seeing my mother and Caitlin. Now any chance of ever seeing Vancouver again had been shot to hell. All because of the Winchesters. All because they refused to listen to me. I'd told them nothing good would come of this. That someone was going to get hurt and that someone happened to be me.
Sam closed the trunk to the '67 Chevy. Dean went around the front to grab something out of the driver's seat. They both knew where they stood with me now and yet as upset at them as I was I couldn't help but feel a bit sad that they were leaving. I didn't think I'd ever forgive the brothers for what had happened and now that they were leaving…
Sam stood a few feet from me, arms dangling uselessly at his sides. He shuffled his feet awkwardly as I rose to stand before him. The boyish smirk flashed my way before once again disappearing behind the man.
"Hey you" I smiled back.
My arms wrapped about his waist hesitantly at first and then as his own wound about my back I tightened the embrace. Time froze for a moment and any feelings I'd harbored for him were put on the back burner. Who knew when I'd see him again?
"Miss you" I mumbled into his shirt and I could feel Sam chuckle slightly at the comment. As he pulled away I noticed his eyes had welled slightly but he turned back towards the Impala and muttered his own 'I'll miss you too' before leaving me alone once again.
I watched as Sam disappeared inside the black Chevy without a second glance my way. The passenger door slamming shut broke the silence. Minutes passed, I stood hugging my arms against my chest. Dean crawled out of the car and came around the side. Before I knew what was happening, I started to walk towards him. We met each other in the middle of the gravel driveway. Dean flipped a piece of stiff, brown suede in his hands. Cautiously he placed it in my own. I knew right away what it was. The protective sheath only covered the thick hunting knife that lay inside. It was the same knife he'd leant me days earlier when he told me to be careful in the cemetery.
Dean nodded. "Sure. "
Silence fell upon us and we both shifted under the others gaze.
"Look" he said while running a hand through his short hair. "I'm no good at this sorta thing so…"
"Yeah, me either" I added.
"Well then, uh, I guess I'll see you in a few weeks."
"Yeah, sure. I'll still be here."
Dean shrugged and lowered his hand. "Alright then. I guess that's it."
I smiled. "Guess so."
We both leaned in, arms apart, embracing each other as if afraid we might contract some type of transmittable disease if we held on too long or got too close. We broke apart after a few mere seconds and shuffled on the spot once again.
"Well, goodbye Dean."
Fingers curled tightly around the suede sheath in my hands. Dean moved back inside the Impala and revved the engine. My vision blurred as tears began to well up in my eyes. I blinked; sweeping them away with my thick lashes and when I looked again the Chevy was kicking up rocks and pulling out onto the road. A shudder overtook my body and my lips quivered. The lean muscle car crawled along the baking asphalt and out of sight. I could still hear its familiar engine even after it had disappeared. The sobs came harder and faster and I only held on tighter to the knife in my hands. I cried for home, to be with my family. I cried for the boys to come back and for us to be the same as we were before all this shit had happened. But I cried mostly because now it was official. I was alone. Stuck in a strange world that was like a nightmare I'd never wake up from.
Taking a deep breath, I took one last look at the empty street and strained my ears in hopes of hearing the sound of Chevy being carried across the light summer winds. The pain in my stomach was surfacing once again and so reluctantly I headed back towards the house. My new home; in Lawrence Kansas