This demanded to be written after I watched 5x03, and I blame it on Anna deprivation. Hope someone enjoys.
In the end, Dean says ''yes''. He says ''yes'' and lets Michael in, and what follows is a fight that trashes a good part of American midwest.
Anna isn't dead, but she's not alive either, trapped in Heaven, unable to move, to see, even to speak. She screams inside for them to kill her, but no one listens. After a while, she focuses on what they are saying to each other and every sentence is about Michael, about the course of the war that never should've even started.
And then, everything is silent for a while, before Castiel says: ''Sam Winchester is dead.'' To Anna's ears, it sounds exactly the way ''Dean Winchester is out'' once did, and she can't understand why do they marvel in his death.
Three days later, Lucifer is defeated, and Anna gets her explanation.
Michael returns to Heaven, and nobody even mentions Dean. Anna never felt more alone.
Zachariah comes to her and releases her invisible chains and she blinks in the harsh white light, climbing to her feet and balling her small hands into fists.
He offers her a deal. She tries not to look surprised but she can't really pull it off. They will allow her to fall again if she wants, but this time, her grace will be destroyed and she'll never be able to come back.
''Where's the catch?'' She finally asks, and Zachariah just laughs.
''We've got no use for you here, and torturing you is getting old.''
Anna is chilled to the bone, but she doesn't even have to think about what her choice would be.
''I'll fall'', she says, and reaches for her grace.
''Are you sure? After all, we know your thoughts, and we know what would hurt you more than any physical torture ever could. Do you understand what I'm saying?''
Anna falters and tries to read his face, but he's wearing the same smug smile he always does, and she doesn't want to think; she rips off her grace and then she's falling, and it's painful, but it already feels like freedom, tastes like chocolate cake.
She crashes to Earth in the middle of nowhere and she's still wearing the same body, she still has all of her memories, she's still twenty-four years old; she's still Anna.
It's how she knows she's been cheated.
She picks a direction and starts walking. It's cold and she's naked, but there's nothing else she can do.
She steals some clothes from the line in someone's back yard when she finally reaches civilization, sleeps under a bridge and calls Dean's cellphone number because she doesn't know what else she could do.
The phone rings and rings and she's about to hang up when a gruff male voice demands to know who's he talking to and she stutters out her name, asking if she could speak with Dean.
There's silence on the other end of the line and she is so very afraid.
''What do you need him for?'' The man finally asks and Anna tells him that she's in trouble and only Dean can help her. It's the truth since her parents are dead and all her friends think she's a loon. She doesn't mention angels, though. She's got a feeling it wouldn't bode well if she did.
''Honey, Dean's the last person who can help you'', the man tells her, but gives her the address where she can find him anyway. She's two states over but she hitchhikes and she's standing on the ratty porch two days later, her stomach like a big void from both hunger and desperation.
The door opens before she even knocks and a man in a wheelchair looks up at her warily.
''Yeah'', she says, and he mumbles his name before rolling down the hall. She closes the door and follows, wrinkling her nose at the smell of scotch lingering in the air. She's afraid of what she'll find here, afraid of what's become of Dean.
Bobby pauses outside a room and opens the door, waving for her to go in before leaving her alone. Or, not alone, because Dean is sitting next to the window, staring back at her.
Anna can't stop herself from smiling because he's alive, but the smile falters as she comes closer to him and sees his face. It's blank and his eyes are dead and Anna whispers his name like a prayer. It doesn't get her any kind of response so she lays a hand on his shoulder, barely applying pressure, afraid of his reaction. A tiny frown creases his forehead, as if he's trying to remember something that has been lost to him for a long time.
Anna waits patiently, but nothing happens. Dean's forehead clears and she realizes that this is what Zachariah had in mind, that she's not free from Heaven's chains even if she's back on Earth.
''So this is what you get for letting Michael in and saving the world'', she muses and takes his cold, limp hand in hers, wiping away a tear with her free hand.
For the first time, she thinks that there is no difference between angels and demons.
Bobby assumes that she's just one of Dean's girlfriends and that she'd be staying with them, and she doesn't correct him and doesn't tell him that she's got nowhere else to go anyway.
Dean's condition doesn't change. He doesn't talk and he doesn't meet her eyes, but she doesn't give up on trying to fix him.
She ends up cooking and taking care of the house and both him and Bobby, who's drunk more often than not, and still she doesn't regret falling again. Being alive is worth it all, and taking care of Dean feels effortless despite the fact that every day breaks her heart all over again.
Months fly by, and she convinces herself that there's progress even though everything is an intricate routine when Dean is concerned.
She sees scarce flashes of the old Dean, the one who kissed her and made her smile when she thought she would die, the one before Michael, and she keeps them all close to her heart. He meets her eyes for the briefest of moments and it lights her entire week, he stands up when she tells him that they're going for a walk and they're out of the house with minimal fumbling, and to her, walking down the street with his hand firmly in hers feels like floating on clouds.
She wakes up and finds Dean standing next to her bed. His eyes are closed and he's shaking all over and Anna climbs to her knees and slowly touches her hand to his chest, flinching when he does.
''Dean? What's wrong?''
She doesn't really expect him to respond and she gently tugs him down on the bed next to her. He sits down and sighs, and the sound of it is so lonely that she reacts on an instinct; her arms go around him and she presses herself against his side, his head cradled against her shoulder.
Dean doesn't relax against her like she hopes he would, but his arm wraps around her waist like a vice and it's even better.
She doesn't acknowledge the pain.
Five years after she falls, they're sitting on the couch and both pretending to be watching TV, and all of a sudden, her hand is lost in Dean's. Anna is afraid to move, and when she looks at him from the corner of her eye, she could swear that there's a half smile on his lips.
She doesn't get up from the couch that night and he falls asleep with his head in her lap, her hand still in his.
It's so nice to pretend that nothing's wrong with him, that they are just continuing what they started on Impala's back seat, once upon a time when they were both young and unbroken.
It's a bright summer morning and she's forcing Dean's arms through the sleeves of a T-shirt when it dawns on her: she's in love. It's not that insane feeling she used to get when she was a teenager; everything is clear and painful and a part of her knows that it's hopeless, but she can't help herself.
She can't understand why didn't she realize that it was inevitable the second she laid eyes on him.
Bobby's liver shuts down for good nine years after the end of the apocalypse and it's the first time she sees Dean crying, tears rolling down his cheeks for hours, and it seems they would never stop. She wants to join him more than anything, but she's so used to being strong that she just can't. She wraps her arms around him and just holds him, and it hurts to know that she's the only thing he's got left.
On Anna's thirty-fifth birthday as a human, she blows out the candles and doesn't ask for a miracle. There's nothing she wants that she can have, and she'd be happy with status quo.
Dean dies in his sleep fifteen years after her second fall and Anna is a mess. All she can think about is that it wasn't enough time, that she didn't get to fix him.
She buries him on a Sunday, rain coming down in sheets, soaking her to the bone. She comes back home from the funeral in a daze and fills the tub with hot water, but she can't shake the cold.
Dean is gone, and Anna doesn't know what to do with herself.
When Castiel appears in her living room, she barely recognizes him. She can't think of a reason for him to be there and just stares blankly at him, wondering if maybe they think she hasn't suffered enough.
''I found God'', Castiel says and Anna's not sure why is he telling her this. Does he think she cares? ''He wants you to come home.''
Anna raises an eyebrow and says nothing.
''Do you want to, Anna?''
''You know I can't.''
''Zachariah's dead'', Castiel tells her and looks at her expectantly.
Anna looks around the room, at all the things that remind her of Dean, and shakes her head. ''I don't wanna be an angel again.''
Castiel frowns, unable to comprehend her response, but she couldn't care less.
Dean is the only home she wants.
She never marries. She never makes babies and looks into the eyes of chubby grandchildren. She never stops dreaming of Dean and her memories are more of hand holding than making love.
The light is so bright when she finally steps into Heaven again, and she can't believe her eyes when she sees Dean, coming to meet her with a smirk on his face.
''Took your time, didn't you?'' He says and Anna smashes into him. Who ever said that you couldn't go home was wrong.
She's finally, finally exactly where she's supposed to be.