AN: NOBODY GET EXCITED! I am not OFFICIALLY back! I just have limited internet access for the time being, so I thought I'd let you all in on the summer story I am now working on. It's a Lila Bray story and it's basically a 'what if she had THIS kind of life' story. It's actually the first in a series. The series is 'Five Lives Bray Could Have Lived' and the reason all five stories are not in one big collection is because some of them got longer than I had planned. Like this one. It was supposed to be really short and look how long it turned out to be. So, anyway, I hope you all enjoy and...yeah...I really miss you all! Summer is unbelievably dull.

Title: Tell me my name
Summary: Even the most perfect of lives can be shattered in an instant. Lila Bray 'verse AU. First story in the 'Five Different Lives Lila Bray Winchester Could Have Lived' Series.
Characters: Dean Winchester, Ruby, Lila Bray Winchester (OFC), Sam Winchester, John and Mary Winchester, etc.
Pairing: Dean/Ruby.
Genre: Family/Tragedy
Rating: T for theme.
Timeline: It varies throughout the story. It's the story of their lives so it goes through quite a few years.
Spoilers: None stated.
Warnings: There is a birth scene in the first part that is probably mild to medium on the graphic scale. Plus, I do have to mention that there will be extreme angst, extreme AU, a human!Ruby and some major character deaths.
Notes: The title comes from the poem Maenad by Sylvia Plath. Chapter titles are also taken from various Plath poems.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything.

Tell me my name

Written by Becks Rylynn

Part One
''Once I was ordinary''

Dean and Ruby Winchester had a love story that made people go ''aww'' right from the beginning.

They met in college. In a psychology class, as odd as that sounds. Neither one of them were particularly into psychology, but they were both very opinionated and they both liked to be right. So when he answered a question and she vehemently disagreed, they naturally had to spend the rest of the class locked in a heated 'discussion' much to the chagrin of their professor and classmates. Their spectacle was helped along by the fact that neither one of them liked to be upstaged. They both knew they were smart and they didn't appreciate it when people disagreed with them because they were so clearly right all of the time. They got nowhere by the end of the class, both were totally and completely set in their ways and nothing would change that.

It was easy for them to dislike each other.

But still...

...Something drew them towards each other; an unapologetic magnetic force that pulled them into each other's gravity. He approached her after class, armed with a charming smile and a cocky, slightly arrogant offer of, ''What do you say we call a truce, sweetheart?''

Unlike all those other women he charmed, she was the only one to throw it back in his face with a smirk and a, ''You keep calling me sweetheart and we're going to have much bigger problems than an argument in a psych class, cowboy.''

But she was smiling and he was smiling and it was almost like a switch had gone off in their brains, telling them that this was it.

Years later, he would tell his enthralled children that she had him wrapped around her finger the moment she turned around.

It happened naturally.

They dated, fell in love, ended up engaged and were married before they even graduated college. Her mother loved him, his family adored her and they were in love. They were just one of those couples, you know? You'd spot them walking across campus and he'd be talking on his cell phone and she'd be searching through her bag for that elusive textbook and both would be engrossed in their own separate lives and yet he'd still have her hand held loosely in his own as if he were afraid if he let go, he'd lose her and never find her again. Stopping outside the Art History building, they would still be majorly distracted what with him talking his brother through whatever latest high school crisis the boy was involved in and her still searching for that MIA book, but they'd both pause just long enough to kiss for a moment that seemed to linger on and on.

It was almost sickening really. For two people who ''hated PDA'' they sure did it a lot. But they were young and in love and what was wrong with that?

They got married on a sunny day in May in his parent's backyard. It was small and she didn't have the Cinderella ball gown and there was no string quartet, but it was everything they ever could have wanted. It was their own little fairytale in Kansas. It was one of those 'they didn't have much, but they had each other' situations. The happy couple didn't have a big lavish wedding or a whole lot of money, but they had each other and in their young minds, that was all they would ever need.

After they got married and after they graduated, they moved out of his parent's house and into an apartment that was small, but theirs, they got jobs and they started a life together. Everything worked out great for awhile. Happy and in love, they lived what they thought was a perfect life for about a year. But then she started getting sick. Nausea, fatigue, vertigo, loss of appetite, she had it all. He began to worry. A close friend of his mother had died of kidney failure and his wife's symptoms were eerily reminiscent of the early signs of kidney problems.

She, however, remained stubborn. Like that was a shocker. Even if she was dying, she'd still tell him it was just the flu and she would be fine. But when she passed out at work, he took action. He literally had to trick her into going to the doctor and came this close to having to throw her over his shoulder and carry her kicking and screaming into the doctor's office. He figured he could deal with getting the silent treatment from her for a day and a half if she turned out to be fine.

She scowled her way through the tests, threatened bodily harm when they poked and prodded her and once she was out in the parking lot, she punched her husband in the nose.

''You're acting like a child, you crazy bitch,'' he snarled out through the blood running into his mouth.

She sneered. ''I don't like doctors, okay?'' She glowered and pushed her sunglasses up onto her head so he could get the full effect of her evil eye. ''Jackass,'' she added in a hiss. ''I'm not going to talk to you for the rest of the day. Just so you know.'' Then she stuck her nose up in the air and turned on her heel.

He smirked after her. ''You look really nice today, Ruby. Did I tell you that?''

She stopped, turned, opened her mouth to speak and then remembered that she wasn't supposed to be talking to him. Yep, he could always count on her vanity. Snapping her jaw shut, she scowled and stalked back to the car, leaving him laughing and wiping blood off his face.

Despite both of them acting unconcerned, he spent the days worrying about her health and she spent the days trying to tell herself that everything would turn out fine. She was barely twenty four, after all. What kind of twenty four year old had kidney problems?

One night, after an otherwise normal day, he came home, dropped his keys on the front table, took off his jacket, went into the kitchen and stopped dead in his tracks. She was sitting at the kitchen table with glassy eyes and the phone held tightly in her hands. All at once an icy hand gripped his heart. ''Ruby?'' He stood frozen in the doorway, terrified something was horribly wrong with the woman he loved. ''What's wrong?''

She lifted her eyes to him and looked at him like she had forgotten who he was. ''That was the doctor,'' she whispered, her voice hoarse and quiet. ''They...They got my test results back.''

Just like that, a million terrifying scenarios ran through his head, each one worse than the one before and he had to remind himself just to breathe because he loved her like no other and he had long ago forgotten how to live without her. ''And?''

She rose to her feet slowly, making her way over to him to place her hands flat against his chest. ''And,'' she murmured. ''I'm kinda pregnant.'' She smiled one of those smiles that lit up not only her, but everything around her and the look in her eyes reminded him so much of the day he asked her to marry him. ''It looks like we're having a baby, Winchester.''

That was how their little girl came to be. After the shock (and there was a lot of shock) and relief wore off, he lifted her into his arms and twirled her around and her happy tears soaked into his skin. Later, when the news came out at a family gathering, their mothers wept, his father clapped a hand down on his shoulder and Sam called dibs on godfather.

So the fairytale expanded, the family grew and if you were to look up the definition of perfect in the dictionary, it would say See: The lives of Dean and Ruby Winchester.

The morning sickness passed after the first trimester and Ruby was lucky enough to spend the rest of her pregnancy feeling wonderful and ecstatic (if not a little tired) while Dean spent the rest of her pregnancy feeling overprotective (more so than usual) and on top of the world.

She was thrilled when she couldn't fit into her clothes anymore, proudly displaying her baby bump under maternity clothes that fit her just right. She was one of those pregnant women that other women hated because pregnancy agreed with her so well. She looked great, she felt great, it was just unfair. It seemed they got everything in life. They were more in love than ever, expecting a baby and everything was going their way.

Her pregnancy was, for lack of a better work, unremarkable. Nothing went wrong, everything progressed just the way it should and they found out the sex as soon as they could. Yes, they were definitely the All American couple. He was handsome, she was gorgeous and their daughter would, no doubt, be absolutely beautiful. By her seventh month, the nursery was done, baby supplies were bought and they were both growing impatient. They wanted their daughter to just hurry up and come into the world so they could shower her with all the love they were saving for her. Everyone who knew them knew that they would be terrific parents. Both were raised well, both had good values and most importantly, they were in love.

Apparently, they weren't the only ones getting a little anxious for the impending birth. Their baby girl must have been a little bit impatient herself, a trait clearly inherited from both Mom and Dad, because she made an appearance a few weeks early, in early December, when the snow fell quietly in the middle of the night and Christmas was coming in a few weeks.

She woke up in the middle of the night, not to pain exactly, but there was definite discomfort. But she was so used to the normal aches and pains of pregnancy, that she wrote it off as normal and tried to go back to sleep. But fate had something else in store for her because instead of sleep coming, something else did. Something else that brought a paralyzing fear that it was too early and what if something was wrong? ''Dean.'' She reached over to shake her husband awake, distress written on her face. ''Dean, wake up.''

''No,'' he whined.

''My water just broke.''

In his half asleep state, a little perturbed at the fact that she was shaking him awake in the middle of the night, he grunted, mumbled a slightly incoherent, ''I'll fix it tomorrow'' and promptly went back to sleep.

Fear was replaced by annoyance for a moment as she shook her head, sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of her nose. ''You are such a moron, sometimes.''

''Unappreciated insult, woman.''

''Dean, it's time.''

He groaned, burying his head in his pillow. ''Time for what?'' She blinked and gave him a few minutes to figure it out. As expected, he bolted upright with wide eyes. ''Oh! Time time?''

She nodded, but couldn't bring herself to speak because a contraction seized her body, discomfort taking over. Squeezing her eyes shut, she rubbed her stomach and mentally whispered a hold on, baby girl to her unborn daughter. Since she was scared and shaky, Dean was left to take charge of the situation, even though it wasn't hard to tell he was panicking too.



She had a plan. She wanted to be calm when her child came into the world. She wanted to have a nice, serene natural birth that she could speak fondly of in the years to come. Her pregnancy had been so easy so far, was it too much to ask for an easy delivery? Early baby or not, she was going to stick to the freaking plan, damn it. Because it was a good plan.



Her plan fell through somewhere around hour sixteen or so when she quickly realized that natural childbirth without the nice drugs was pure, unadulterated hell. Pain in its purest form. Serenity be damned. In her own words, her plan was fucking stupid. There was lots of moaning, lots of whimpering, a fair amount of crying, a few pleas for the doctors to ''get this kid out of me'', many threats of castration and even a ''fuck off, Doogie!'' directed towards the, admittedly young, doctor who was just trying to do his job. (Although, that last one sure made Dean laugh.)

Yet through it all, Dean remained right by her side. There was no puking, no fainting, no turning white as a sheet. He was very calm. It surprised her in the nicest way. She had been so worried that he wouldn't be able to take it. As it turned out, he took it better than she did. But naturally, as per usual with their relationship, while she was amazed by him, he was amazed by her.

Ruby was a trooper. All those hours of pain and she still remained steadfast in her decision to refuse drugs. He was convinced she was either the strongest woman he had ever known or she was absolutely, positively insane. Not to mention he found the fact that she was actually giving birth to their daughter nothing short of awe inspiring. And since she was the one who was actually doing the whole giving birth thing, he figured the least he could do was stay calm and soothe her as best he could.

The transition stage was by far the worst part of the labor. For both of them. Time quickly lost all meaning and their impatience was growing. She alternated between drifting in and out of sleep and begging the doctor to let her push so she could get this over with. Unlike the women who demanded not to be touched during the final stages of labor, all Ruby wanted to do was to be held. The only position that was remotely comfortable for her was sitting in between Dean's legs and leaning back against him and even then, it was only preferable because of the words Dean was whispering in her ear and the feel of the cool cloth he was mopping across her forehead.

For his part, he didn't seem to mind. He never complained. Even when her fingernails dug into his skin. He gladly indulged her in all the comfort she wanted, remaining cool, calm and collected on the outside. Hey, she was the one who had to do all the hard work. It was the least he could do. He stayed calm and that was more than they could say for her. She was just fed up with the whole thing. She just wanted her baby out so she could hold her in her arms and love her.

Finally, just as the first cracks were starting to appear in Dean's armor, the sound of his wife's moans getting to him and he was pleading, ''Can't you give her anything, Doc? She's in too much pain. Can't you help her?'' she was given the go ahead to start pushing.

Everything started out fine when she started pushing. She seemed to be in better shape and higher spirits than before. But when the doctor announced, after quite awhile, that the head was crowning, she fell apart into a million little pieces. Dean wasn't sure if it was fear, pain or exhaustion, but she just crumpled. Collapsing back onto the bed, she shook her head adamantly, sobbing and clinging to her husband like he was her only life preserver. ''I can't...I can't...''

''Yes, you can,'' he said firmly, pulling her back up into a sitting position.

''I can't,'' she insisted stubbornly. ''I can't do it. It's too big.''

''It's not too big.''

''But it's going to tear me open.''

''Ruby, this kid is going to come out one way or another whether you like it or not, do you really want to make things worse by not pushing?''

She paused, swallowing down gulping sobs and letting him smooth damp, stringy hair from her eyes. For a moment, he feared his tone may have been too harsh, but in the end it seemed to get through to her. Nodding slowly, she drew in a few breaths that still shuddered because of her sobs and mumbled out a determined sounding, ''Okay...'' The only thing that told him she did not appreciate his tone was the sudden death grip she had on his hand. She pushed and pushed and when the head finally emerged, she let out a gasping, breathless scream, looking more worn out than ever before. It wasn't hard to tell that all she wanted was for this part to be over and done with.

Voice far softer than before, he leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead and whisper praises in her ear. ''You're almost there, baby,'' he whispered soothingly and she tried her hardest to use the sound of his voice as something to hold onto desperately. ''She's almost here.''

''Can you see her?'' She choked out; sweat dripping down her neck and chest.

''Yeah,'' he nodded with a smile and she caught sight of his eyes sparkling in the light of the hospital room. ''Yeah, she's coming, babe. She's got a head full of hair.''

''She does?'' Her eyes lit up and excitement pierced her heart, taking over for the fear. When she started to push again, she made him keep a very close eye on their baby girl to make sure she came out all right.

He did as she told him - ''Okay, we've got a neck, shoulders, chest...'' - but of course, it all ended in a stunned inquiry of, ''Jesus Christ, how the fuck are you doing this, Ruby?'' Which didn't exactly earn him any points.

It took forever and then some and it hurt like hell, but then their baby girl was out and everything was suddenly so worth it. Their girl came out with a healthy pair of lungs, the sound of her loud wails mixing with her mother's sobs and her father's, ''You did it.'' She was perfect from the moment they laid eyes on her. Their little girl.

Ruby cried and Dean cried and their baby cried and there was no doubt in their minds, no doubt at all, that it was the best moment of their entire lives.

They had no name picked out and Baby Girl Winchester ended up going home with no name. While she scoured baby books looking for a name that was just right and he ended up going to his mother for help, their daughter's name actually came to Ruby in a dream.

In the middle of the night, while they were still getting used to their baby's sleeping patterns and they were both passed out on the couch with the infant sleeping comfortably in her daddy's safe arms, Ruby opened her eyes with her daughter's name on her tongue.

''Oh,'' she whispered. ''Dean.'' She smacked him on the arm, effectively tearing him out of his slumber quite rudely.

''No violence in front of the infant, crazy girl,'' he muttered, opening his eyes.

''Lila Bray.''


''That's her name,'' she insisted, taking their daughter from his arms. ''Lila Bray Winchester. Is that okay with you?''

He looked at her for a long time in that silent way of his that he got from his mother and then he smiled. ''Lila Bray, huh?'' His eyes strayed to his daughter. ''I think that sounds...just about right.''

And so Lila Bray Winchester started her life.

Their daughter was their whole world.

She was their little angel and they doted on her constantly. Since she was the first grandchild, so did his parents, his brother, her mother, her aunt and uncle and any other family friend or relative who happened to meet her. From the moment she was born, they did everything for her. No matter what they did, they always thought of her and how it would affect her life. In many ways, she was what made them grow up.

Soon after her birth, Dean realized his college degree was pretty much wasting away while he helped his father out at the family garage and what he really wanted to do with his life was help people. He wasn't sure why it was something he wanted to do. It wasn't like he had been a do-gooder his entire life. It just felt like...that was what he should do. Ruby was, admittedly, terrified when he told her of his plans. Movies portrayed firefighter's wives as tragic figures who were always waiting and always ending up alone. The thought of losing her husband and having to raise Bray on her own petrified her. But if it was something he really wanted to do then she would support him.

In return, he supported her when she decided to quit her job as an assistant to a photographer (a really icky and downright mean one at that) and become a professional. Eventually, he did become a fireman, reveling in saving people's lives (again; he couldn't really explain it. It just felt right) and she became one of the most sought after photographers in Lawrence. They created a nice life together. A hero and an artist with a beautiful baby and a nice house and yes, they had money too.

And Lila Bray? Well, she grew up to be an adorable, sweet little girl who loved both of her parents fiercely. They were a lovely family with great personalities and wonderful careers. What more could they possibly ask for?

There was nothing in the world Dean and Ruby wouldn't do for their daughter. There was no limit. The sky was the limit when it came to Bray. To the little girl in question, it made her parents seem like superheroes. She learned that at a young age.

When she was five years old, she came within an inch of leaving this mortal coil forever. In other words, she was seconds away from painting the pavement red. She was playing with the neighborhood boys while Daddy worked on his car and Mom was inside working on her costume for her school play the next week. All the neighborhood boys were bigger than her and they were never really keen on letting her play with them, but she was Lila Bray Winchester and she could hold her own just fine. Plus those boys were a little afraid of her mother so one frown from Ruby Winchester and they leapt at the chance to please her. They did have a nasty habit of making things harder for her though just because she was a girl and younger and smaller than them. But while she was a very sweet little girl who couldn't hurt a fly, she knew how to teach those boys a lesson. She was her mother's daughter, after all.

But every once and awhile, they would make an attempt to catch her off guard and one day, they did just that. They startled her by throwing the ball they had been playing catch with too high and too fast and it whizzed right past her head, bouncing off the lawn. ''Oh, you guys suck!'' She cried out before turning and stomping off to get the ball, the sound of their cackling making her cheeks flush red.

As soon as she stepped off the curb and onto the street, it was like an internal alarm went off in her parents brains because her father slid out from underneath his big black car and her mother raced away from the kitchen window, appearing on the front steps. She purposefully ignored their calls to her, darting across the street to retrieve the wayward ball. She was determined to grab that ball and throw it back at the boys so amazingly that it made their jaws drop. But when she did throw it back towards the boys, suddenly their faces had gone pale and Mom and Daddy's shouts had grown much louder and they were running towards her with fear in their eyes. It scared her. They never got scared. Not even when she fell out of the big Oak tree in their backyard and broke her leg.

They were shouting at her to stay where she was, but she once again ignored their wishes because they were frightening her and she just wanted her parents, whether that made her a baby or not. So she stepped out into the middle of the road and as soon as she did, she found out why Mom and Daddy had wanted her to stay put on the other side of the road. There was a car coming towards her at a dangerous speed and she could see that the driver wasn't looking at her, a cell phone in one hand as he bent to retrieve something from the floor of his vehicle.

She should have moved, should have screamed, should have done something. But she found that no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn't move and Mom, Daddy and her friends were doing enough yelling and screaming for all of them, but still, the car didn't stop. It didn't even slow down. As she stared at the approaching car, sure she was going to die; the one thing that ran through her mind was how fast her parents could run. She had never seen them run that fast. It paid off in the end because seconds before the car hit her, she felt very familiar hands grab her and yank her out of the way harshly.

Her father took the brunt of the fall that followed, landing hard on his back while she landed harmlessly on top of him. The car sped by and then screeched to a stop, the door opening and a frenzied voice ringing out through the neighborhood. After her parents were satisfied that she wasn't hurt, her Daddy got up to go and yell at the driver of the car, while her Mom held her close and refused to let go. That was when Bray's brain finally caught up, the terror came swooping down and she started to cry. Mom told her friends, ''You boys should go on home now'' and Dad was talking to the driver of the car in a very low, calm voice, but Bray could tell he was spitting mad and she...well, she sat in her mother's arms and listened to the birds chirp. She didn't realize she was shivering, her quiet sobs sounding like thunder to her, until her mother's soft voice broke through her fog and she recognized the song her mother was singing to her as the lullaby her parents used to sing to her when she was a baby.

Still shaken, tears still dripping down her cheeks, Bray allowed herself to calm in safe arms, holding on with all that she had. The gravity of the situation hit her full force and she decided that she would not, ever again, play in the front yard.

That night, she was always in her parents grasp. They weren't willing to let go of her and she wasn't willing to let go of them. When Daddy put her to bed, she stopped him before he left after kissing her goodnight. ''Daddy?''

''Yes, Lila Bray?''

''Thank you for saving me.''

There was a long pause and then Daddy sighed and laughed a choked sounding laugh that seemed to get caught in his throat. ''Oh, sugar,'' he murmured, coarse hands brushing hair away from her face. ''Your mother and I...we'll never let anything bad happen to you. You know that, don't you?''

''Yes, Daddy. I know.''

He kissed her forehead again and she could feel him smile in the dark. ''Go to sleep, darlin'. It's been a long day.''

''I love you, Daddy.''

''I love you too, Lila Bray.''

''More than the moon?''

''More than the moon and the sun and the stars in the sky.''

''Wow. That's an awful lot.''

''Not enough.''

To her, the fact that they did that for her, the fact that they saved her and rather than getting angry, made sure she was okay, made them superheroes. It made them better than anyone else in the whole world. Of course, years later, she'd learn what they did was no different than what any other parent would do. When your child is in danger, you react. It's instinct. But when she was five, it made them seem like they were made out of magic.

She was their world. There was no denying that. Even she knew she was their world.

But they were hers.

Another, less dramatic, example of how her parents would do anything for her, is how she got everything she asked for. She was spoiled. It was the truth. She was spoiled rotten. But she still remained undeniably sweet. She always had a smile ready for whoever crossed her path and she was absolutely a-okay with sharing. But then...

...Then things changed. Things changed and suddenly she couldn't get everything she wanted. Suddenly people were saying no to her (oh, the horror) and then all of a sudden, people got to see a whole different side of Lila Bray Winchester. The ugly, jealous side. Why did this side suddenly appear, you ask? Well, because Bray gained something in her life. Something she did not ask for and something that could not be returned.

A sibling.

Dean and Ruby Winchester were great parents. And more importantly, they truly enjoyed being parents. So having a second child just seemed like the natural progression of things. Plus, she had genuinely liked being pregnant and everything had been so easy and they were still young, so what was the harm in having a new baby?

When they decided to try for another baby, they never dreamed it would end up being one of the biggest challenges of their lives. It took them over six months, two miscarriages and three false pregnancies before the real deal finally happened. The pregnancy was not smooth sailing, however. It was not at all like how it was with Bray. It became riddled with complications right from the get go. She developed awful, terrible, monstrous morning sickness that had her losing more weight than she was gaining and when it got so bad that she couldn't manage to keep anything down and the weakness had her bedridden, Dean finally gathered her up and took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum and was eventually sent home after a day or two of observation with medication to control the vomiting that had taken over her life.

Even that was not the end of the problems. Cramps and bleeding in her fourth month led to a threatened miscarriage that had her on bed rest for a month and a half, which she hated with a passion because it made her feel useless. Something on the ultrasound had her doctor believing that their baby was sickly, possibly inflicted with Down's Syndrome and when he 'recommended' terminating the pregnancy, they wasted no time in switching doctors, (although, they might have been asked to leave anyway considering as soon as the word 'termination' came out of Dr. Asswipe's mouth, Dean threw a chart across the room and had him pinned up against the wall with fire in his eyes, deterred only by his wife's sharp, ''Dean!'' and the sight of her red rimmed eyes) and decided that even if their baby did have Down's Syndrome, it wouldn't change a thing. Their new doctor, one with a much better bedside manner, told them that not only did their baby not have Down's Syndrome, but he was a perfectly healthy, albeit slightly underweight, baby boy.

It returned hope to the young family and suddenly their moods were much brighter. Her pregnancy was still being classified as high risk, but things were looking up. Even Bray seemed happier. She had always been excited to be a big sister, save for the bursts of jealousy that seemed to happen now and then and showed a nasty side of their sweet little angel, it was the journey there that she didn't like. It frightened her how weak and sick her regularly tough as nails mother was. But once they got the good news, the happiness was contagious.

The family's euphoria over the positive diagnosis was unfortunately short lived when Ruby suffered from a ruptured placenta and went into active labor at only twenty seven weeks along, endangering not only child's life, but her life as well. It was horrifying for Dean and Bray. Dean, for one, was sure that the image of his wife, writhing in pain and begging the doctors to save her baby would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Their son was born two months premature and they were told he wouldn't make it through the night. It was devastating news for the family who had waited so long for this perfect little boy to join their perfect little family. If the nurses and doctors thought telling them was difficult, they had no idea what it was like for Dean when he had to tell his six year old daughter that the little brother she had been anxiously waiting for for so long wasn't coming home. All Bray ever wanted was a little brother. She wanted so badly to be a big sibling just like Daddy was, but it was looking more and more like she would never get that chance.

So with heavy hearts and never ending tears (while Ruby's tears were nonstop and she made no effort to stop them from raining down her cheeks, Dean made a valiant attempt to stay strong so he could hold Ruby up, only to crumple at the sight of his tiny, helpless son and then it was quite literally her holding him up) they prepared themselves for the worst.

They named him Connor because every little boy needed a name and then they did the one thing that haunted all parents' nightmares. They waited for their child to die.

He didn't.

Against all odds, the small, fragile baby boy made it through the night. And the one after that and the one after that and the one after that and so on. It was not the end of the bumpy road, of course. Just a few weeks later, they were told Connor's heart rate was dropping and it looked like the sick little boy wasn't going to make it. The grave situation was persisted and soon, his frail body was unhooked from the scary looking machines that looked like mean little monsters and placed in Ruby's arms for what was expected to be his last breath. Still, as his mother and father cried over him, the baby boy weathered the storm and again, beat all odds when he started breathing on his own in his mother's arms.

They were told he would have permanent defects, permanent health issues, developmental issues, even social issues and that was only if he lived. But they took him home three and a half months later and he grew up to be a very healthy little boy with only minor form of asthma to show for his harrowing journey into the world.

While Bray was their little angel, Connor was, without a doubt, their little miracle. He survived when the world was against him. He hung on when doctors had given up on him. And that was the sign of a true Winchester.

When Bray first met her baby brother, he was still in the hospital and there was still worry radiating off of her parents in waves. He was so tiny and fragile looking that she honestly believed he would break into pieces if she touched him. And the wires all around him were scary. She shrank back into her father's arms when she saw them. But she could see things about him, even trapped in that tiny little cage of his, that no one else could see. Even if his eyes were closed, she knew he had Daddy's eyes and he was going to have Mom's smile that lit up everything close by like a Christmas tree. He was going to grow up to be handsome. She could tell.

All she was looking at was a very sick child. But all she could see was her brother.

She wanted to play with him, teach him everything she knew, protect him from all the bad things because he was so small and she was his big sister so it was her job to look after him. She waited a real long time for him to be born and then she waited some more and just when she was starting to think she would never get the chance to play with her little brother, her mom and dad came home with that little baby safe in her...their daddy's arms.

From the moment she was allowed to hold him for the first time and he opened green eyes and looked right at her, he had her.

Proving herself to be a true Winchester in every possible way, Bray became Connor's unofficial bodyguard as he grew up Winchester style. He was small for his age, he had asthma and he was her little brother so nobody was ever going to touch him while she was around.

Their parents couldn't be happier that their children had such an unbreakable bond. It was not hard for Dean to look at his children and see himself and Sam. Perfect was still the word for their lives. The years passed, time flew by and their peaceful family life was just right. It was everything they could ever want. Their careers flourished, their children grew up healthy and happy and the rest of their family thrived.

His brother married a pretty young blonde named Jess who had been part of the family for years and the similarities between the Winchester brothers wives were not lost on anyone. Instead of being just a little bit creepy, it became a running joke in the family. Every Winchester man seemed destined to marry a gorgeous and feisty blue eyed blonde with a stunning personality to match. From Mary to Ruby and finally to Jess.

Dean and Ruby were just waiting for the day when Connor would come home with a tough, pretty little blonde. (Actually, the woman Connor would end up spending the rest of his life with would end up being a mousy little delicate thing with brown hair and big eyes who was so shy and quiet it was hard to tell if she was there sometimes. But that's okay because Connor would end up being loud enough for the both of them.)

Time passed and perfection continued on uninterrupted.


Until that fateful rainy day when Bray was eleven and Connor was six and perfect became nothing but memories and photographs of life before...



end part one

AN: So, there we go. There's the first part of 'what if Bray lived a totally and completely normal life with two normal parents and no monsters.' As you can see, that doesn't mean her life was all happy. Now, I feel I should mention that just because I have this limited access means nothing for Queen of Hearts. It is still on hiatus until at least the end of August. I don't even know if I'll be able to get the rest of this story up until then. But...what can I say? I missed you!

The title of the first chapter came from the poem Maenad by Sylvia Plath.