Disclaimer: I do not own "Supernatural."

'Tis Utterly AU.


You'll know when you see it, my father always said. Just wait, be patient... wait for it, you'll know.

He told me not to rush it. He told me that if I were lucky it wouldn't happen until I was older, until I was much wiser and much more weathered-- I know now, he meant that if I were lucky it wouldn't happen until I didn't have as much to lose.

It happened when I stopped waiting, stopped expecting it. It happened when I'd outgrown squinting my eyes to try and catch a glimpse, it happened when I finally developed some of that patience my father preached of, it happened when I'd finally resigned myself to years of waiting...

It would come, that was a certainty. A Guardian did not exist without a being to guard. I'd known it would come-- just not when.

I walked into class.

I was foolish to think I'd have to squint to see it. It like was the glare off a snow covered field, sudden and blinding and beautiful. An aura, a beacon and for a moment I couldn't breathe.

Then it faded and I could breathe and I could see...

He was sitting in class. He looked up and our gazes met-- my fate was sealed then; that was it. Game over. The end. Fin.

I knew it then; it enveloped me, consumed me... an overwhelming certainty-- he was mine; mine to guide, mine to protect.

They found him like nothing I had ever seen. Relentless and deadly; at the dorms, outside classes, inside pool halls... everywhere. Succubae and vampires, poltergeists and creatures-- in the shadows they stalked his steps.

And for all his intelligence and all his training, he just didn't see it.

He was a hunter, I guess; one who ran.

It's always the ones who can never get away that run.

I never really knew his history. I had no way to ask, no foothold to investigate with. I couldn't arouse his suspicion.

I didn't mean to love him. I meant to protect him; it's what I was trained to do after all, what my family does. We protect. We guard. Ours is a task as ancient as the evil those we protect fight. As essential as their battle, is our protection of them. Hunters cannot hunt all the time. Each warrior is vulnerable at one point or another, each one requires guidance at some point. It is different for all. For some it comes in childhood, other adolescence, others adulthood, and to some, it comes at deaths door.

But it will come, each warrior reaches a point where they are vulnerable-- and when they do, they need to be guarded, because invariably evil will come for them.

I don't think he thought about that. I think he just thought about getting away; it's the way most runner's are-- or so I was taught.

He was special though. Special in a way I didn't expect that is, after all when the supernatural stalks someone's steps you expect that there's something special going on with that someone. But he was special in a different way too...

He was kind and sweet and... steady, somehow. I didn't expect that from a runner. He was looking to put down roots. I didn't expect that either. Usually the runners wanted to keep moving, keep dodging. Not him. He wanted to play football and go to dances. He wanted to take me to the movies and out to dinner. He made me smile-- and really, he was hot too.

My father didn't warn me about that-- about falling in love. He probably thought I would know better.

Hindsight is 20/20 and for a smart girl I really should have known better. We were doomed from the beginning. He was running from the only thing I had to offer him. I understood what I was, who I was, my fate. I accepted it. He did not. It was a chasm between us only I ever saw.

But we were happy and young and it's easy to ignore tomorrow when today is so bright.

You can never really run far enough.

It's a lesson all runners have to learn. Tonight my Sam will learn it.

I didn't want him to go. I wanted to put up more resistance, to throw a fit and maybe fake a sickness-- I wanted to keep him here, with me, where I can protect him, guard him.

He was mine to protect. I had faithfully guarded his steps, guarded his sleep, and abolished everything that threatened him. I had done my duty and would have done it willingly for the rest of my life.

But that is not the fate of a Guardian. Ours is only a transitional protection. Our warriors will move on, their vulnerability will fade-- they will achieve what they are meant to be and there is no place for us at their side.

He and I were doomed from the start.

I shouldn't have loved him. I shouldn't have let him love me. I shouldn't have become so much a part of his life.

I should have revealed myself. I should have prepared him. I should have opened up the supernatural world to him. I should have lectured him on who he was, what he was capable of, what he was meant to be.

I should have guided more and protected less.

But he was a runner and he had dimples when he smiled and he glowed so brightly when he thought of tomorrow.

It's alarming how quickly it all happened. I'm trained to know better, trained to see into shadows, to hear what is barely audible. Physically, pre-cognitively, even emotionally I have all the tools at my disposal to protect my warrior.

I forgot the first lesson, the most basic-- a Guardian cannot change what is meant to be. A Guardian cannot change the destiny of her warrior...

From the start he was meant for more. I should not have fed his illusion, I should not have lulled him into false safety. I loved him. I wanted him safe. I shirked my duty-- I became his and forgot that he was mine.

He was mine to guide, mine to protect, but the flames bloom around me and I can't protect him from this.


Author's Note: I was sharing my SN addiction with a friend and she carelessly tossed out this plot bunny. I tried to get rid of it, but it persisted.