For my lovely reviewers: grapejuice101, Anastasia Katerina Black, XKaterinaNightingaleX and ebo579

The chair wasn't comfortable. Somewhere there had to be a manufacturer of cheap, uncomfortable chairs made specifically for schools and motels. However, Adiana would rather sit in this chair than spend another day stuck in bed, so after much coaxing, bribing and finally pleading, here she was, leaning against the back of a very stiff chair. She might as well treat it like a throne for all the effort it had taken her to get here. Maybe she would have if she'd been feeling any better. Her body ached. Her head was pounding. She still couldn't speak properly, and, oh yes, she looked like the world's first blurry photograph brought to life. Yet, none of that compared to the anger she felt, both with herself and Zetaya, for once more making the Winchesters drop everything and spend their time worrying about her instead. If she ever saw Zetaya again, powerful creature or not, she was going to walk up and punch that bitch in her pretty face.

Adiana peered down at her hand. She kept curling her fingers inward, digging them into her palm. No matter how hard she pressed, she couldn't see the little crescent marks that should have appeared from her fingernails. Her skin was too out of focus for that. All that visibly occurred was a slight pinking in the correct area. Deciding this was pointless, she flicked her gaze up to the Winchesters, who hadn't said a single thing since she'd explained her dream to them. As they both appeared to be lost in thought, she spoke up.

"Well, it makes sense." They stared at her as though she had said something even more baffling.

"Okay how… how does this make sense?" Dean asked. Adiana forced herself to straighten up a little from her slouch.

"We know that Zetaya is able to contact me in my dreams and Yejow – Yellow Eyes too, provided that I don't h've that bag of hoodoo near me at the time," she explained. She rubbed one side of her jaw. "We know that what they do in my dreams can have an effect on my physs – physical body. We also know that Yejow – Jesus Christ – Yellow Eyes wants both of us so that he c'n travel into my universe.

Therefore, Ye…llow Eyes appeared in my dream hoping that Zetaya wud – would show up as well to warn me, which she did. He found some method of bin – binding her with chains, which considering we found a ritual that did something similar, is highly possible. However, he couldn't get to me as will – well because Zetaya, I'm pretty sure, attempted to kill me. It's like a Freddy Krueger thing. You die in your drem, you die for real." At least, that's as best as Adiana could figure. Sam and Dean silently mulled over this new angle.

"So… by killing you, Zetaya was trying to stop Yellow Eyes for good? I mean, if you're a necessary part of the ritual or whatever, then it would be impossible to complete it without you," Sam reasoned after a moment. Adiana hadn't really thought about it like that. Where her life was concerned, it was easier to just be mad about Zetaya trying to snuff it out.

"I suppose," she agreed grudgingly. She leaned forward on her elbows. "So now we have a real problem. Attentions were probub – probably divided before, but now it's just me so uh... we're going to have to figure somefing out." Unless she just kept ripping apart until there was nothing left, but it might be best not to dwell on that possibility too much.

"And this is all for getting into your universe or dimension-thing?" Dean clarified.

"Right." Dean nodded, but the corners of his mouth momentarily turned down. So he still didn't believe her, not entirely. Adiana's gaze flickered to Sam. His expression was pensive, and he didn't appear to be totally on board either. She slumped back down in the chair. Her lips curled nearly into a pout. "I'm never gonna make you tew believe me."

"Babe, we believe–"

"No, but you really don't," she snapped, at which Dean was taken aback. "You believe in Yej – him. You believe in Zetaya," she listed carefully. "You believe that I'm wrapped up in soamething with them, and you believe that I bel'eve in what I'm saying." She shook her head and let out a breath that was just short of a laugh. "But don't tell me that you believe in parallel universis because you don't, and if all of thiss hasn't convinced you..." She lifted up her hands and shrugged. "I give up." She began to giggle. "I give up." The giggles turned into laughter. "I give up. I give up."

It wasn't funny. She didn't even know why she was laughing. Maybe everything was just so terrifying and infuriating that her brain didn't know what to do or maybe it was all the medication, but in any case she buried her face in her hands and laughed until she felt sick. When she finally lowered her hands, she noticed that Sam and Dean were now hovering anxiously right over her like they expected her to keel over.

"Oh, what 'm I going to do with you, boys?" she sighed, breathing in deep to settle the fit of giggles. "I'm sorry. I'm naught really giving up. I'm just… I'm just… out of it." There was a knock on the motel door. Adiana rubbed at the tears that had gathered in her eyes from laughing too hard. "Well, that must be her. I'll gife her this, she knows when to make an entrance." When no one moved to the door, Adiana lifted her eyebrows. "Well, I'm going to get it if one of you don't." Sam went then, and, after a slight hesitation, he opened the door.

"Good afternoon."

Dr. Claudia Wyatt stepped through the doorway the second it was opened before her, as if she was afraid it would be closed again otherwise. At the sight of that familiar smile, Adiana was unable to contain a sigh. Yes, she had assured the Winchesters that she would be perfectly capable of coping with this, despite being somewhat irked with their decision. She knew they couldn't very well bring her to a hospital in her current state, but that didn't mean she was looking forward to this meeting in the least. Despite her trepidation at the entire affair, there was also a sense of desperation wriggling just beneath the surface. In a way, she knew, Claudia was her very last hope.

"Hello, Adiana," she greeted. "Glad to see you're awake. Feeling better, are we?"

"Oh, I dunno. Being uncun – unconscious doesn't really feel like much of anything," Adiana pointed out. "So I suppose that would depend on yoor definition of better." Claudia's smile never wavered. She stood in the middle of the room clutching the bag hanging over her shoulder, all the while eyeing Adiana critically as though the joke had just washed right over her. Adiana sighed again. "Thank you for coming, Doctor Wyatt."

"Yes, of course. I am happy to help," Claudia answered at once, closing the distance between them and standing right in front of Adiana's chair.

Adiana smiled back. Of course you are. The woman who was before fused to a demon is suddenly beginning to fade out of existence? She'd probably dropped everything at the chance. However, Adiana resolved, as she had before, not to antagonize the doctor. It was never a good plan to anger the people you needed help from and she urgently needed that help. Besides, she thought, as she glanced at the boys out of the corner of her eye, Dean already looked like he was waiting for an excuse to get rid of Claudia. She shouldn't give him one.

"Well, we all appreciate it. So any theh - theories?" she asked hopefully. "I was told that you were still trying to work things out."

This was a troubling bit of news in itself. From what she knew of Claudia, it wasn't like the doctor to admit that she hadn't gotten everything figured out, and that was a scary thought. Adiana had no way of knowing if she was going to continue to come apart or how rapidly. She could be gone in a day or even an hour.

"Oh, I –" Claudia's eyes sparked, and then her mouth froze, parted halfway open. She blinked several times, the flash fizzling out. She sniffed and drew herself together. "I'm still working with the samples I've been allowed." Claudia glanced sideways at Dean. Her cheeks tensed for a moment, pulling taut against her cheekbones. She looks tired, Adiana suddenly realized. There were dark circles forming under the doctor's eyes that she had attempted with marginal success to cover with foundation. The lines in her face also appeared more pronounced. She'd clearly been spending some long nights awake, but at this point Adiana was prepared to urge her not to rest until she'd discovered something.

"If you think more is absolutely necesse – nessesse – needed, then we can arrange that," she offered at once. "I'd like to have some idea what I'm going to have to de'l with." Claudia's smile beamed back to its standard brilliance.

"Of course. Yes. Yes, that would be very helpful," she stated, nodding with emphatic enthusiasm. Adiana thought she looked almost like she was trying too hard at something. Being nice, maybe? "But first I have some questions." Claudia set down her bag on the end of a bed and unzipped it, pulling out her notebook.

"Sure." She waited while Claudia rummaged around for a pen. Taking advantage of the distraction, Adiana shot a furtive thumbs-up to Sam and Dean to let them know that she was fine with all this, although they were being extremely quiet. They all knew just how critical this meeting was, it seemed. Finding the pen, Claudia flipped open to a page in the notebook and began with the questions.

"How are you feeling?" Adiana was determined to answer as fully and completely as possible.

"A little sore. Queasy. I got sick, like, maybe twenty-ish minootes ago. Sort of dissy. Either I'm feeling the start of a migraine or coming off one."

"Vision?"

"Uh, normal."

"Hearing?"

"Also fine."

"How's your breathing?"

Adiana had to take a breath and let it out before answering that one. "Doesn't feel anee different than befewre." She inhaled irritably. "Is there anything you c'n do about this speech thing? It's driving me nuts."

Claudia considered her over the top of her notebook, deliberating. Her hand reached once for her bag, but then she seemed to change her mind and clutched at her notebook instead. "I'm not sure," she finally admitted. "I'd need a CAT scan to see if it was brain damage, and I most unfortunately do not have access to that. If not, it is hypothetically possible that speech inconsistencies might be a side effect of some of the medication I've given you." She brushed back a stray hair from her face. "Which I did disclose before putting you on it," she added pointedly, in a tone that sounded like she expected some kind of outrage. She craned her neck around, not quite looking at anyone in particular. Not for the first time, Adiana wondered how the first meeting between Sam, Dean, and Claudia had gone. At the moment though, she was more concerned about fixing her speech. That, at least, she thought might have some quick fix.

"So can I stop taking the ones with that side effect?"

"That would be ill-advised." The words came out as a snap, although still through smiling teeth.

Adiana shifted in her chair, discomfited. "I just can't believe I need eeate meds at the moment." It didn't sound like a good idea to be taking that much at once, either. She'd always been under the impression that mixing a lot of medications was a bad idea.

"Nine."

"What?"

"Nine. I've given you–" Claudia licked the tip of one finger and flipped back a few pages in her notebook. "–Foradil, Corvite, Fentanyl, Panhematin, Zartonin, Trileptal, Erythropoietin, Minocycline and Pentoxifylline."

"Um, okay. I don't know wha' any of that means." Adiana had been assured by the Winchesters that they'd gotten all the information on the medication before she was given anything. She believed that they'd taken the decision seriously, but she also knew that they probably let Claudia give her a few things only on the off-chance they might be necessary rather than risk her condition worsening. "But isn't there at least one or two I dun't need?"

Claudia narrowed her eyes, as if in disbelief she had just been asked that question, but then dragged her gaze down and contemplated the list. "You could try going off the Fentanyl and see how you feel. It's an opioid analgesic, ah, pain medication. Similar to morphine." Considering she was feeling sore while on that particular painkiller, Adiana decided that probably wasn't the best plan.

"Great." Since it didn't seem like this was going to be a point that could be argued, and there were more serious matters, Adiana prompted, "Other questions?"

"Only one." Claudia lowered the notebook in her hand. Her eyes glittered with curiosity. "Heat can sometimes cause adverse chemical reactions in the body, especially when there are already anomalies to be considered." Adiana flinched back in surprise. How did Claudia know about the fire? "Now, I was told you were sitting in a hot car when all of this started." Adiana nodded, feeling like an idiot for not thinking of that in the first place. Claudia nodded along with her once and then continued, "However, I was wondering if you could think of anything else that might have triggered this? Maybe something you felt at the time or something else that happened?"

Adiana stared at her, unsure of what to say. There were three options really. One, she could lie outright and say she couldn't think of anything in particular. If Claudia hadn't found an explanation for her condition so far, how much help could it be to know the truth? Surely if there was a scientific or medical explanation for the condition of her skin, Claudia would find it in time and on her own terms. However, it was possible that having some idea of what to look for would speed up the process. Two, she could give a half-truth. It was a more helpful option in all likelihood… or maybe not. If Adiana wanted to omit anything, it would be the fact that she came from a parallel universe. That hadn't been brought up the last time she'd seen Claudia, and she'd like it to stay that way. The conundrum with this was that, according to Zetaya, this jump between the universes was at the crux of her problem. That left her with option three: the truth. Would the doctor believe it when even the Winchesters didn't? Adiana knew that the truth sounded like something she'd just made up. Claudia was extremely rational. If she'd thought Adiana had just gone crazy, that would be a distraction from more productive and important findings. Option two it was then. At least some knowledge might be enough to provide a beneficial clue.

"Well, I was feeling drowsy, since it was so hot," Adiana stated carefully. "So I just closed my eyes for a minute, and I fell asleep. I ded have this dream. There was a woman in it. She luked normal, except I could sort of see these black, scahly wings sometimes. She shot fire at me, and that's the last thing I remember." Adiana hoped that she'd sounded convincing enough. She made herself sit as still as possible under the weight of Claudia's piercing gaze. At last, Claudia's eyes flicked sharply over to where Sam and Dean stood.

"You said the case you were working involved a selkie?" she questioned.

"Uh, yeah," answered Sam.

"Yeah," responded Dean at the same time.

"We're pretty sure."

"Hmmm…." Claudia lifted her notebook and scanned the page. "Well, selkies have no control in dreams, and they certainly hate fire."

Almost positive that Claudia was about to drop the matter entirely, Adiana added, "I've dreamed about her before." As expected, that got Claudia's attention. "Um, over the past feew months, a couple times. She, uh, seems very interest'd in me."

"Oh?" Claudia made a few notes. "And why would that be?"

"I…don't know," Adiana lied.

"Are you sure?" Claudia purred.

"Well, she just said I'm importahnt for something." That sounded much less hesitant. Claudia made a kind of thoughtful clicking noise in her throat and stared at Adiana for several seconds.

"A few months ago, that was before you were possessed," she noted.

"Yes."

"Hmm, I had thought this might be a case of residual black blood cells in your bone marrow or an aftereffect of the oxygenation in your blood, but perhaps…" Claudia frowned, a crease forming between her eyebrows. "What happened a few months ago?" Adiana's fingers curled around the edge of the armrests. It was more than a few months really, since she had been pulled from her universe into this one.

"Nothing in particoo – particoo–" She gritted her teeth, but the mispronunciation helped to cover any trace of the lie. "Specific." Claudia tapped her pen on her notebook in three short raps.

"Do we have any theories?"

Adiana thought that she was the one being addressed, until Claudia turned her head towards the Winchesters. During this entire exchange, Adiana had been very careful not to glance their way. She'd figured that Claudia might take that as a sign she was lying, but she felt free to do so now. One look was enough to make her tense. It was always blatantly obvious, to her at least, when the boys were about to disagree on something. They would straighten up defensively and flash a few looks back and forth as though they were arguing through expressions alone before any actual words were required. She didn't need to know their thoughts to get what the disagreement was about in this case either. It was the same one they'd been having for a while, not so secretly as they believed, over whether or not they should tell her what Zetaya was. Now, while Adiana was extremely curious to find out if Sam would finally decide to speak up over Dean's protests, she didn't need their opposing answers to create some kind of argument between the two in front of Claudia and wasting everyone's time.

"No," she answered for them. "We don't, and Sam and Dean would tell me if theyee did." She smiled at them. "When something's important, we don't keep secrits." That was the biggest lie she had told yet. They all had secrets. There was some famous quote about that, lying to protect people, but she couldn't recall it in the moment. Dean and Adiana's eyes met, and she held the look. Slight creases appeared around the corner of his eyes. Oh, he had just figured out that she suspected something. Her gaze flicked to Sam. She expected his expression to be fixed in guilty-puppy mode, but he appeared surprisingly resolved.

Claudia must have felt the tense silence and considered its implications. She grasped her notebook so hard that it appeared like it was the only thing keeping her from bursting apart. However, she simply said, "Well, I'll bear all this in mind then. Now, about those samples…" Adiana had to smile more genuinely at that. Obviously, Claudia had decided that additional samples were worth more than a cover-up. As much as she despised and was kind of creeped out by Claudia, the woman could be very shrewd.

Since none of them were outrageous, Adiana tolerated all of Claudia's demands as patiently as she could. All right, she probably would have gone along with them even if they were outrageous. It wasn't as if Adiana really had the medical knowledge to know which testing would possibly provide results and which wouldn't. She let Claudia prod her skin and test her reflexes to see if they had changed, which they hadn't. She allowed her blood pressure to be taken and her heart-rate measured with an ice-cold stethoscope. She hardly winced when several layers of her skin were scraped off for testing. They were nothing more than a smear of color against the glass case. She even offered up saliva and blood samples, and Claudia also scooped up a little of the vomit into a tube, which was disgusting but apparently vital in the doctor's mind. The entire affair created a visible shift in Claudia's attitude, so that by the end she looked genuinely excited and pleased with everything.

"Is that all, Doctor Wyatt?" Adiana asked while Claudia was putting the two vials of blood into a case in her bag with great caution.

"Yes, yes. I should really get this back to my lab as quickly as possible," Claudia responded, giving the top of the case a light and affectionate pat. "Of course, it would be much easier if you came to stay with me." She turned to Adiana hopefully, but Adiana's expression clearly told her there wasn't a snowball's chance. That much, at least, she knew wasn't strictly necessary. Claudia's lips screwed tight, but she sighed as though she had expected as much. "Yes, well, I brought your medications." She took out several small bottles. They all had white labels with her neat printing on them. She lined them up on a bedside table. "I've left instructions on what they are, how often to take them and when, and I would remind you once more not to stop taking any of them." She lifted the bag gracefully and slung it over her shoulder. "I also recommend that you rest as much as possible and avoid any extracurricular activities." She shot a pointed look at Dean. Adiana blinked several times, although considering that Claudia had asked about her sex life before, she couldn't be that shocked. Dean just gave the doctor a tight, though slightly wolfish, grin.

"Thanks for the advice," Adiana said, once more hurrying to speak just in case Dean decided to make a remark. "I'm shoore I'll be seeing you again." Claudia nodded, pleased.

"Quite soon, and hopefully I will have made a breakthrough by then." Claudia's tone implied that she was sure such a thing would happen. She walked towards the door. "If there's anything pressing, of course you may call me at any time." Sam opened the door for her. "Goodbye to all of you."

She had just stepped out of the doorframe when Sam said, "I'll walk you to your car." That surprised everyone, though none more so than Claudia. She was also, however, the first one to recover.

"Why, thank you," she replied.

"Sam," Dean called. Sam just shut the door behind him in response. Dean stalked across the room, peering out of the window. "Dammit, Sam."

"Welp…" Adiana pressed her hands down against the armrest and got slowly to her feet. It seemed that Claudia was the one getting a confession from Sam. Hopefully, he didn't keep her too long. Her only hope had just walked out the door. What a frightening idea. "I feel gross. I'm tehking a shower." Dean dropped the curtain he'd been holding, clearly torn between assisting her and storming out after Sam.

"Do you want help?" he asked.

"No, I got it." While his help would buy Sam time, Adiana really needed to be on her own for a bit. Besides, he'd watched after her enough. "But you c'n do me a favor, and please just let Sam be. I know whawt Zetaya is, so Claudia might as well know, too." She smiled softly and shut the bathroom door, allowing time for her comment to sink in. Two surprises in one minute. Poor guy, he really was putting up with a lot lately.

Adiana turned on the shower and extricated herself from her clothes, which were damp with sweat. She stepped into the spray, relaxing as she was immediately engulfed in steam and warm water. She pulled the curtain closed and moved right under the showerhead so that water rolled over her in rivulets. She had never found anything quite as comforting as a shower. For a while she just stood under the water, concentrating on each little stream against her skin and trying to shift them around with tiny movements so that she wouldn't have to think about anything. Water, at least, was something she could control. Eventually, she reached for the tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner taking a long time to work the products through her hair.

What were they going to do? More importantly, what was she going to do? There was no way of stopping Yellow Eyes, not since he had the Colt. They'd been looking for a way, sure, but with nothing so far, she wasn't going to count on that possibility. Zetaya was no longer going to be of any help, since she had been captured. They could just keep moving around, hoping Yellow Eyes didn't show up, but she didn't want to put the Winchesters in that kind of situation. There had been too many close calls already. Suppose one of them got hurt? Besides, there was no guarantee that jumping from place to place ensured safety. If Yellow Eyes got to her, well, she didn't know exactly what he had planned, but she knew it was nothing good. In fact, it was likely something bad of astronomical proportions.

Adiana was beginning to feel dizzy. Apparently standing around for long periods really wasn't a good idea, but she didn't want to leave the comfort of the shower. Instead of stepping out, she turned the temperature of the water down minutely and sank down into the tub. She rested her head on her knees as she thought and wrapped her arms around her legs.

As if Yellow Eyes' master plan wasn't enough of a problem, she was coming apart, literally fading out of existence. Zetaya had done this, but that creature had also told her that this was inevitable anyway. The process had just been sped up, she guessed. There was a chance Claudia would figure something out, but Adiana wasn't going to kid herself and think it would be a long-term solution. That was assuming she could even find a short-term solution. She had to though. Claudia just had to. But in the meantime, what options were left? Adiana bit on her lip. None that she liked, that was for sure, but she supposed her feelings weren't so important anymore. She turned her head, leaning a cheek against one knee. Only a few days ago, she'd made a choice and now that was all blown to hell.

She clutched her legs more tightly and buried her face into her legs. Why did everything have to happen at once? How could there possibly be so many things wrong with her life at the same time? Zetaya caught. Yellow Eyes practically breathing down her neck. Claudia as her last and best hope. Sam and Dean trying not to appear totally crushed every time they looked at her. And here she was with the universe ripping her apart. How was one person supposed to deal with all of that? She stared at the water dripping down against her thighs. The worst part of it was the uncertainty. She could blink and never open her eyes, because she'd be gone. She felt like she was standing on a suspension wire about to snap with no end in sight in either direction. Sure, she could pick a direction and start moving, but she might not make it and she couldn't even see where she was going. What are you going to do? She ran a hand through her slick hair. What the fuck are you going to do?

"Adiana?"

Adiana lifted her head at the sound of Dean's voice. "Yeah?"

"You doing okay in there?" Dean poked his head around the shower curtain.

"Super," she responded with a faint smile, not managing to sound very enthusiastic. Since he continued to scrutinize her curled up on the tub floor, she continued, "I'm fine, really." She waved a hand at him in a shooing gesture. "Go ahead. I'll be okay." He disappeared. Adiana waited a minute. "You're still here, aren't you?"

Silence and then, "Maybe." Adiana pressed her eye sockets against her knees and took a deep breath. Whatever happened, she couldn't freak out.

"Okay." She scooted backwards along the bottom of the tub and pulled back the curtain enough to peek out. Dean was resting on the edge of the sink with his arms folded across his chest. Her lips curved down as she felt a burst of sympathy. He was getting really worn-down. "C'mere." She patted the side of the tub. "Have a seat." She leaned on the rim, setting her head on her hands as he walked over and sat down. "All right, talk tuh me."

Dean gave her a considering look. "Are you sure you're fine because you –"

"No, don't talk to me about me." She was going to start crying if she had to talk about herself. She reached out and set a hand on top of his. Obligingly, he turned over his hand so that she could intertwine their fingers as she wanted. "I've done anough talking about me. Talk to me about you."

Dean grimaced and shifted his gaze from her face down to their hands. If Adiana had learned anything about getting him to talk about himself, it was that patience was the key. He was getting better about these conversations, but it still took him some time. She knew that he must think he'd be dumping his problems onto her when she was already dealing with a lot, but she honestly thought he took everything harder than she did. He was just better about not showing it. Maybe if she couldn't help herself, she could help him. Besides, this wasn't his problem or her problem. They were a couple, or something like that, so it was their problem.

"I just…" Dean started hesitantly. "I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. First that demon and now this." He lifted her hand from his lap. The difference in her skin was even more apparent when it was against someone else's. "And I haven't been able to do a damn thing. And both times I've had to take chances on your life this doctor who I don't trust as far as I could throw her." He bit down, tension running up along his jaw in a flash of anger. "But I know I have to 'cause otherwise, I could…" All the anger seeped away in an instant. He sagged back against the wall and turned his face up towards her. "I could lose you. Babe, I'm so afraid I'm gonna lose you, and I just don't know how to stop that from happening. I'm in way over my head here."

Words and emotions clogged Adiana's throat. Seeing him look so helpless made her feel guilty that he had to experience this even for a moment. Yet, she knew she couldn't think that way. If she started going down that road, it would make an already bad situation worse. She had to pull herself together a bit and remind herself that this only worked as long as she could act strong sometimes, too. Besides, his eyes had taken on a shining cast, and if he cried even a single tear, she was going to lose it. She was about to have a complete breakdown as it was.

"Dean, you have done so, so much for me," she stated. "You trecked me down when I was kidnapped. You brought me to Bobby's. You looked out for me while I was uncunscious. You've tolerated Claudia, when I know how mooch you want to puntsh her in the face." She smiled, mostly because that image made her feel a tiny bit better. "You've dedicated a ton of tim to researching things that might help me. So don't ever say you heven't done anything, because you, and Sam, have done more than enough as far as I'm concerned.

As for the current situation, well…" She shrugged. "Maybe you don't know what ta do. I don't know exe – exactly what to do either, but hey, how often do we really know what we're supposed to be doing? I'm pretty sure over halve the things we do are either based on guesswork or we're straight up making shit up as weh go. We'll figure somefing out." She lifted her head up off her hand. "Or maybe we won't, but in that case, it won't be for lack of trying. And I won't blame mehself or you or Sam because what is happening is not any of our faults. Sometimes the universe just sucks, and there is nothing you c'n do about that, but I don't regret a single thing." She was fighting to sound more upbeat than she felt and was doing okay at it. She tapped a finger thoughtfully against her chin. "Well, maybe that gehm of strip poker we all played once. That was pretty awkward." When that got no response, she stretched out her hand and brushed his cheek. "C'mon, smile for me, Dean." Please, please smile. "I cahn't even make my werds sound that serious." That got to him enough that he broke into a grin. "There we go." She squeezed his hand, and he returned the pressure. "Let me esk you something. Do you regret it?" His eyebrows drew together.

"What?"

"Us." The pupils in his eyes darted back and forth as he peered at her, trying to figure out what she could possibly even mean.

"How could you even ask me that?" That was about the answer Adiana had been expecting.

"Well then, whatever happens doesn't really matter, does it?" she pointed out. She took a shaky breath. "I've got my Hallmerk one-liner. You rady? It's better to have loved and lost than to ne'r have loved at all." Maybe he would have argued with her. Maybe he would have told her that was a complete load of bull. Maybe it was.

Adiana would never know exactly what he thought because she shifted up onto her knees and, leaning over the rim of the tub, kissed him. He returned the kiss fervently, threading his fingers through her damp hair and holding her to him. They held the kiss as long as they could, breaking apart to gasp in air, only to press their lips together once more. There was a neediness in the way they clung to each other, holding on almost to the point of pain. Adiana climbed out of the shower and onto his lap, soaking his clothes with water, but neither of them cared. Her lips parted, and he thrust his tongue into her mouth. He tasted strongly of coffee, which he'd undoubtedly been drinking a lot of to keep him awake. Somehow that thought only made Adiana want to pull him closer, to cling to him more tightly. One hand traced down his jaw and between them against his chest. Dean caught her wrist when she began tugging at his belt buckle. He turned his head enough to break the kiss. The green in his eyes had gone dark, and tautness ran up along his cheekbones.

"We shouldn't."

"I don't care." Adiana attempted to continue loosening his belt, but he held her in place.

"Adiana…"

Adiana kissed him because she knew it would silence him and that he could sense how truly desperate she felt. He only required a push to make his resolve crumble. He needed this, too. Fuck what Claudia said. Right now she had to have him and that was the only thing that mattered to her. Dean's grip on her wrist tightened and then went slack. She immediately undid his belt and the front button of his jeans. She slid a hand into his boxers, drawing out his cock. She stroked down the length, working up and down until he grew hard under her fingers. As soon as she thought he was ready, she slid onto him. They both made low sounds of desire against each other's lips. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and she used that leverage as well as the force on her knees to rock against him. His hands gripped her waist, pulling her down as he thrust up into her. They tried to be gentle at first, but soon they were bucking frantically against each other's hips. This was nothing like their usual long, playful lovemaking. This was desire and love and need and fear and most of all, desperation.

Dean came inside her, his hands clamping hard enough above her hipbones that she was sure to have bruises. Adiana tried to shift against him a few more times, but it was his fingers slipping between her legs and rubbing quickly over her clit that made her come. They were left panting and trembling against one another. Adiana wasn't sure if this had improved her situation, but it had satisfied some part of her. Nothing had actually changed. She was still fading and they still had no idea what to do about it, but at least she'd vented some of the churning mess she was feeling. She lightly kissed Dean's cheek and rested her head against his shoulder. She felt him trace a hand up along her back. At least, for this short while, nothing could tear them apart.


Adiana reclined in a very comfy divan in the middle of a study. She stared at the flames in the fireplace, considering whether she wanted to get up and move the four steps it would take to get to the desk, where a steaming cup of tea was waiting. It was so relaxing to just sit here. Yes, she was in a dream, so she had to keep her guard up in some sense. However, she remembered to put the bag of hoodoo under her pillow, so no demons should bother her. She stretched her arms and rolled onto her back. From somewhere outside the door, a crash sounded. Adiana sat up. This had better not be a dream that was a few seconds away from becoming a nightmare. She got to her feet and backed up against a bookcase. Someone was running around out there and getting closer.

The door flew open, and Zetaya barreled through it. She looked absolutely wild. There were cuts in her grey skin, and patches where the skin was missing all together. Symbols were burned into her flesh like brands. Patches of a slick blue substance ran down one arm and soaked into her hair. Adiana was fairly certain it was her blood. Then, she noticed that the hand on the arm Yellow Eye's had shackled was gone. Her stomach churned unpleasantly.

"You have a lot of luck, girl," Zetaya hissed. "But not this time." She raised her one hand.

"Stop!" Adiana shouted before she could again be engulfed in flames. "I know what I have to do." Zetaya froze, but didn't lower her hand. Her fingers curled. She glanced at the door and back to Adiana.

"What do you mean?"

"We have to close the portal or whatever it is. It's the only way. I know that now." Adiana put up her hands to show she meant no harm and took a step forward. "I was going to tell you that before, but I just wanted one more case with the Winchesters. I needed it to say goodbye. Well, I'm ready now."

"You… you're telling the truth?" Zetaya looked uncertain, but Adiana nodded.

"Yes. I'll leave right now. I'll meet you there before anything else can go wrong." When Zetaya continued to hesitate, Adiana added, "I can't watch them suffer anymore. Not for me. Besides, I think the safety of both our universes is more important than just me."

Zetaya lowered her hand. "Fine. Go now and go fast, but know that if you are lying, I will kill you." Adiana grabbed a letter opener off the desk. "No, wait. You are not well enough to think and act clearly in reality." Zetaya strode across the room and touched Adiana's forehead. Adiana flinched. "I am just clearing your mind."

"Oh, okay. Sorry, I guess I am on a lot of meds."

Zetaya's eyebrows rose. "How much medication are you taking?"

"Nine different drugs. Well, technically ten at the moment." She'd also had to take a morning-after pill after realizing that she and Dean had forgotten to use protection. Neither of them had been thinking very clearly.

"That's the best I can do."

"All right. See you in Independence." Adiana jammed the sharp end of the letter opener into her chest –

– and woke up. She blinked several times to clear her vision until she could clearly make out the outline of Sam's back in the dark. Dean's arm was wrapped around her chest, and he was breathing softly into her ear. They'd wanted to take shifts staying awake in case anything happened to Adiana during the night, but fortunately she'd talked them out of it. That would have made what she had to do now a whole lot more difficult. She wanted to stay right there just for a few extra seconds, but she knew a few seconds would quickly turn into minutes. With the utmost care, she slipped from Dean's hold, wincing at every creak of the mattress.

"Adiana?" Damn. She looked over her shoulder. Dean gazed up at her sleepily. She smiled at him.

"Just need the bathroom. I'll be right back." She leaned down and kissed him. His lips were always so warm, and they had grown familiar, too. Pain spiked in her chest, so real that it felt physical. She made herself pull away and turn her head, so that he wouldn't see the tears that had sprung up in her eyes. "I love you… Go back to sleep."

"M'kay. Let me know –" He yawned. "– if you need anything."

Adiana got up off the bed and moved to the bathroom. She shut the door and leaned against the sink. Her eyes drifted up to the ceiling. She tried to blink back the tears but they rolled down her cheeks anyway. She tightened her jaw, swallowing hard. This was really it. This was the last time she would ever see them. She turned on the faucet. The warm water on her cheeks washed away the tears, but it was all she could do not to start sobbing. She forced herself to breathe, making the sound even and soft. Only then did she open up the bathroom door again.

She crept into the room and went for the folded-up jeans on top of Dean's bag. Technically, she could take the keys to the Impala, but the familiar sound of her engine starting was likely to wake the boys. Instead, she pulled out his wallet and took all the money he had inside. She would have to get a rental car instead. There had to be a place somewhere nearby or, at least, she could find a convenience store to ask about a local car rental service. The only other item she took was her jacket, although she removed one thing from the pocket. It was the note she had written, in different bathroom in a different motel, when she'd first decided that leaving was the only choice. She placed the note on the table where it would be easily spotted. Then, she returned to the bathroom, hesitating in the doorframe for just one last glance at Sam and Dean sleeping. Her throat constricted painfully. She shut and locked the door. She pulled open the bathroom window and used a pocket knife to cut open the screen. It took a bit of maneuvering, but she managed to wriggle out and drop onto the ground. She pulled the jacket on over her shoulders as she looked back through the window.

"Goodbye."


Dear Sam and Dean,

This is not how I wanted to do this. Believe me. I really wish I could say this to you in person, but then you would try to stop me.

I need to go with the creature back to my universe. It's the only way to stop Yellow Eyes' plan. It's the only way to stop what's happening to me. That's how I can fix this. Please don't come looking for me. You won't find me. Don't try to bring me back. It won't work. Difficult as it might seem, you need to try and forget about me. Look out for each other. That is what's important now.

Sam: I'm sorry that I've had to put you through this. Please don't blame yourself for this or anything else. I know I've said this many, many times, but I really mean it. You aren't responsible. You are so smart and caring and funny and just a really awesomely amazing guy. And don't worry about your future so much. Whatever "plans" Yellow Eyes has for you, you'll just find a way to tell him to shove it. Screw destiny. You've got this. Make sure to keep an eye on Dean. He needs more support than he lets on, so it's a good thing he has you as a brother. Most importantly, take care of yourself. Have an extra milkshake on me, just not one of those peanut butter and banana ones, because I don't care what you say, they are gross. Although, I will admit they were fun to make. I'm going to miss that. And you, Sam. I am really going to miss you. I am so incredibly grateful to have been your friend.

Dean: I'm sorry that I didn't tell you. There was nothing you could have done to stop this. Don't be angry with yourself. If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at me. I deserve it. That aside, Dean, I have to ask that you please let me go. There are a lot of people out there who need your help, and you're so very good at saving them. Save the people who need to be saved. This time, I had to do the saving for both of us. For once, huh? Hey, and one day you'll find someone else. I know you will, as I can attest that you are one sexy, funny, thoughtful guy who any woman would be most lucky to have. Don't you dare shut anyone out, because of me. You deserve more than that. You deserve so, so much more than that. Make sure you look after yourself. You're just as important as Sam, and it's okay to let him help you out sometimes. I think he'd actually appreciate it. Don't ever stop being a closet nerd or making jokes at inappropriate times or singing along to the radio. Don't ever stop loving life, even when it sucks. Especially when it sucks. And please know that no one has ever made me happier and prettier and better than you did. I'll miss you. I love you.

Always,

Adiana