So once again I would like to thank Arashi for being my Beta. I would also like to thank everyone who has stuck out with me this far. On with the Chapter!
On the way to Bobby's, Dean filled Sam in on the supposed future that he was given a glimpse of. The only things that Dean left out were the parts about Laura and the strange woman. Sam had gotten all moody when he heard that he eventually would say yes to the Devil, but Dean tried to not let him dwell on it. "So what do you think happened?" Sam asked for the umpteenth time, referring to Bobby's phone call.
"We'll find out when we get there." Sure enough, when the brothers arrived at Bobby's, they had an idea of why he called them. Instead of the normal dead grass and bushes that occupied his land, everything was green. The grass was lush as it filled in the spaces between the cars and the bushes in front of Bobby's house were not only alive, but in bloom. Sam and Dean exchanged confused looks and with weapons drawn, slowly made their way up the porch. Using the hand gestures that their dad had taught them, the brothers communicated. Dean nodded to Sam who nodded back and then the two burst into their friend's house.
But before they could begin to attempt to clear the house they heard Bobby from the living room/library. "Would you igits put those guns away before you shoot someone?" This only confused the brothers more but they complied all the same. "Now before you two start asking questions; we gotta wait for Laura to get back."
"Where is she?" Dean practically shouted causing Bobby and Sam to give him curious looks.
"She went to the store when she heard you two were coming," Bobby said slowly. "I can't really explain it all anyway."
"Does it have anything to do why it looks like you've been reading Better Homes and Gardens?" Dean asked pointing to towards outside.
"All I know is that it's some type of omen."
"Like a demon omen," Sam asked confused.
"Not exactly," was all that Bobby said. The brothers tried to get Bobby to explain, but he wasn't in a sharing mood. With nothing else to do, Sam and Dean resigned themselves to waiting for Laura to return. Fortunately they didn't have to wait long. They were on their second beers when the sound of a car came up the drive way. "You boys go and help her."
They complied after sharing another confused glance. Laura was driving one of Bobby's many old pickup trucks. She smiled when she saw the two Winchesters causing Dean's heart to briefly stop and his stomach turned. "Hey boys," she said with a smile as she climbed out of the truck. "I hope you're hungry 'cause I got a big dinner planned." She completely brushed off any questions that the two tried to ask her. "Just set the bags on the table", she said, "and could one of you go out and get the grill started? We're having steaks and…"
"Not until one of you two tell me why it looks like the jolly green giant paid you a visit!" Dean snapped. Laura sighed; her hope of being able to fatten them up first just went out the window.
"Go on," she said tiredly, pointing to the living room. She didn't immediately follow the brothers out, but reached into the fridge to get them all a beer. She had a feeling they were going to need them. After passing out the beers, she settled herself on Bobby's desk. Not sure how to start, she opened her beer and took a sip. Dean's and Sam's went mostly ignored as they waited for some sort of explanation. "For the past couple of months now," she started, "I've been having these strange dreams. They're always the same. I'm surrounded by darkness and I hear this voice calling out my name. I try to find it but I can't; then suddenly there's this light. As I go towards it the voice gets louder, but before I can get to the person, I wake up. And when I wake up…"
"You get what happened outside," Sam offered. Laura gave him a nod. "So why is it happening?"
"Well, we've got a theory", Bobby said.
"Theories are good", chimed in Dean.
"According to the stuff that Bobby has, as well as the stuff Alyssa gave me, there are limited explanations. One is that a group of dryads is doing this, but since it's only me, that throws that out the window."
"What are the other two?" Sam asked, not sure if he really wanted to hear the answer.
"Well, they both involve someone, per text, referred to as 'The Mother'." Laura glanced at Sam and Dean who wore identical confused looks. "You know," she said waving her hand, "as is Mother Earth."
"You're kidding," was the first thing that popped out of Dean's mouth.
"With everything that you've seen and the fact that you're fighting the Devil right now, you can't believe this?" Laura asked.
"It just seems a little too much," Sam said.
"Well, you didn't really believe in angels either," Laura said with a smirk. Dean had to admit, she had them there. "We believe," she said gesturing to Bobby and herself, "believe that she's trying to get in touch with me."
"No idea," Bobby said.
"So what are we gonna do?"
"Well," Laura said carefully, "there's this spell that may summon her, but we're not exactly sure what's gonna happen."
"No," Dean said.
"We have to do something," Laura said. "If this keeps going on then someone's gonna notice and I don' think we want that." When Dean didn't say anything she continued. "That's why we wanted you guys here, you know…"
"Just in case something bad happens," Sam said softly. Laura nodded. "When?"
"Tonight," Bobby said, but he wasn't happy either.
After diner, which included a pie dessert for Dean, they went outside to conduct the spell. Bobby had stayed in his house, leaving Dean and Sam to go with Laura. "So how exactly is this supposed to work?" Dean asked for what was like the thousandth time.
"I will make a circle and you two will be outside," Laura said, without looking up from the paper that the spell was written on. Dean huffed, causing both Laura and Sam to roll their eyes. "Alright, let's get this party started." Laura picked up a bowl of salt and sprinkled it while walking around in a circle. She did the same thing with the bowl of water and the incense. Lastly she picked up a lit candle and walked around for the last time. When she had completed the last circuit there was a small flash of light and the outline of the circle was burned into the ground. "The circle should keep out anything and keep it in if it goes wrong."
"Can we hurry up?" Dean complained. The whole situation was making him nervous.
Laura closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Raising her arms to the night sky, she began to chant the words softly. At first nothing seemed to happen but the wind slowly began to pick up and the air was filling with electricity. The pressure continued to rise as Laura finished the spell and they all held their breath; but nothing happened. Everything died down and Laura turned around confused. Before she could open her mouth, the ground began to give out beneath her. She screamed.
"Laura", yelled both Dean and Sam. They threw themselves at her but were stopped just outside the circle. "What the…?" The brothers pounded on the invisible barrier and watched in horror as the ground swallowed Laura whole. Even though she was gone, the circle's barrier remained, causing the brothers to beat at it till their fists were bloody. Once the reality of the situation finally set in, the brothers slowly made their way back towards the house.
"What happened", Bobby asked from the porch.
Dean said nothing and went straight for the hard alcohol, leaving Sam to explain. "It was like the ground swallowed her." Bobby's eyes grew wide as he watched a visibly upset Dean walk over to the desk. "There's got to be a way to bring her back or undo what happened," Dean said as he filtered through the books and documents.
"There's nothing that can be done," Castiel said, appearing suddenly. The hunters turned to stare at their angel ally. "It's as it should be."
"What?" Dean said angrily. "How can you say that Cas? I thought you were on the side of free will!"
"I am, Dean," Castiel said, "but there are some things that have to and will happen no matter what."
"Bullshit" Dean snarled.
"It's true, Dean," Castiel said sternly. "Whether you like it or not, this had to happen. But if it's like how I think it will be, then everything will be fine." No matter what they were feeling, there was nothing that any of them could really do. Dean spent the rest of the night pouring over everything he could get his hands on, even after he was too drunk to see straight. Bobby and Sam tried to help but they both knew it was useless. The only thing they could do was to keep looking out the window hoping to see Laura. Castiel was the calmest of the entire bunch. He just sat in a chair saying nothing. By the early morning hours, Castiel was the only one still awake. "Interesting," he said getting up. He started to walk out of the house but stopped and looked back at Dean, Sam, and Bobby. Castiel decided that they needed to witness Laura's return. "Wake up," Castiel said loudly. The three hunters wake up startled and confused, reaching for their weapons. "You will not need those."
"What the hell, Cas," Dean grumbled.
"Laura has returned." Castiel then disappeared, leaving the others to realize what he had said. Then all at once, they leapt from their spots and ran outside. Dean was the first to round the corner and sure enough, there was Laura sitting in the circle. Panting, the brothers reached the edge of the circle and just like the night before they couldn't pass it.
"Laura," Sam said placing his hand on the barrier, "are you OK? Drop the circle."
Laura looked up confused and they were glad to see that she appeared to be unharmed. She waved her hand counter clockwise and the barrier disappeared. With one Winchester on each side, Laura got up and made her way towards the house. As she passed Castiel he gave her a small bow that didn't go unnoticed by either Sam or Dean. Bobby greeted them with a blanket in one hand and a beer in the other. Laura took the blanket but ignored the beer. The boys gathered around her waiting for an explanation, but Laura seemed to be staring off into space.
"You alright?" Bobby asked kindly. This seemed to bring her back and she nodded her head and then took the offered beer.
"I'm not completely sure," she said, taking a sip.
"Well, start from the beginning."
Terror filled Laura as the ground began to swallow her up. She saw how the brothers tried to reach her, but were stopped by the very circle she had put up to protect them. "Dean! Sam! DEAN!" The brothers were the last thing she saw before her world was engulfed by darkness. At first Laura was surprised because instead of earth pressing around her, it seemed like she was in a large cavern. She stretched her hands out wide and felt nothing. Her eyes were open as wide as they could go but there was no light, only the pressing darkness. Tears ran freely down her face as she started to panic and then she realized that this was exactly like her dreams. Laura took several deep breaths trying to calm herself as she turned around slowly. A light began to shine softly to her left and without another though Laura headed towards it. She didn't care what she would find; she just wanted light.
Her feet made no sound as she walked closer towards the light. Although it illuminated her path, Laura could not see any walls, just endless darkness splintered by the light. The closer she got the brighter the light became, to the point that she had to squint her eyes against it. When she had to close her eyes completely, she finally reached the apex of the light source. The first thing she noticed was the tile that was beneath her feet instead of soil. The air seemed warmer and there was a faint breeze. The light dimmed and she was able to open her eyes, and when she did, her jaw dropped. Laura found herself on a balcony that looked out into a big blue sea. When she walked to the edge she saw that below, in the hills, there was a small village. But what surprised her most was the temple that was on the other hill. It looked like one from the time of the Ancient Greeks, but it looked brand new.
"It is and it isn't," a voice said from behind her. Laura turned around quickly and noticed that instead of a cave opening, there was a door that opened up to what appeared to be a bedroom. A woman with long white blond hair came out from the bedroom. While the woman was beautiful the thing that caught Laura's attention was her eyes; they were the same shade as hers. "It's about time you answered," the woman said with a small smile, "I've been trying to reach you for months now."
"Who are you?" Laura asked defensively.
The woman's smile faded and she walked out onto the balcony. Laura side stepped to keep the distance between them. The woman paid her no mind and walked to the edge of the balcony, placing her hands on the railing. "I guess the easiest way to explain it is that I am your mother, Laura."
"But the demon said that my mother was dead."
"Well I am; in a way," the woman, Laura's mother said, turning around.
"I am not mortal. I am a goddess, well, the goddess."
"Which one?" Laura said carefully.
"I have had many names since mankind took to naming things. I have been call Earth Mother, Isis, Pachamama, Ashera, Danu, and Gaia. Even though they have called me different things throughout time, I have always been the same. I am a child of the beginning and life is my domain. And if you like you may call me Gaia. I have always liked that name."
"When the universe was created there were energies that attached themselves to planets. I attached to earth. Every living thing on this world comes from me."
"But what about all the other gods", Laura asked. "I mean right now we're in the beginnings of the apocalypse of the Christian god."
"All the gods are my children. I made them to suit the people they were meant to serve." Gaia sighed suddenly and tried to take a step towards Laura, but Laura took one back in turn. "As my children grew they learned how to make people and those people gave them more power through their prayers. As they gained strength I lost mine. They began to tear down the sacred wild lands that I draw my power from and in the end I had to retreat into the earth or risk my own demise."
"Well maybe your time was just over," Laura offered.
"My time is over when this world is over. My life is tied to this planet and if I were to die then so would it." Laura fell quiet. This was just too much to take in all at once. The fact that her true mother was the most powerful goddess out there was enough to make her head spin. Suddenly Laura became afraid; if her mother is the mother of all creation and the gods, what did that make her? "You are my daughter and heir," Gaia said with a small smile.
"I can't live in the mortal world anymore," Gaia said. "But the earth still needs me and it is from that need that you were born. You were born in this modern world. Your powers are in tuned with the world's current energy. You can assume my role and help to protect what is left of the nature spirits."
"This is just too much," Laura said softly. Her mother walked over and placed her hands on Laura's shoulders. Although she said nothing Laura felt comforted. "If I have no choice…"
"You always have a choice," Gaia said softly. "You don't have to take on this burden."
"But what will happen to you if I don't?" Laura asked, confused.
"I will continue on as I have for the last two thousand years."
"But it would be better for our people if I did take over?" Laura asked, looking her mother in the eye. Gaia said nothing but Laura understood. Her mother would live on in this alternate plane and the world would live, but she would grow weaker and weaker as mankind destroyed more of the planet's natural resources. If Laura were to assume the role and Earth Mother, then those who depended on the earth's natural settings would have a fighting chance. She knew how to protect these sites using modern tools. She could reclaim a few, making it better for everyone. Laura was not a person who backed down just because it was hard. Most of her life was spent fighting and she knew that she had the determination to succeed. "I will do it," she said and was rewarded by her mother's smile.
"I am glad to hear that," she said, "I truly am. Fortunately you don't have to take it all on at once." Gaia reached under her dress and pulled out a small necklace. The chain was simple enough, just a bit of twine, but it was the charm that was important. At first glance it looked like nothing more than a shell that had been carved into a leaf. But when Gaia handed it to Laura it radiated with pure power. "This will help you to learn," Gaia said. "It allows you to know what I know but only as you need it. When you are ready, it will show you what needs to be done."
"Thank you", Laura said putting the necklace on and, after a pause, added, "mother."
Gaia smiled once again and then gave Laura a strong hug. "I wish that I could have been there for your childhood. It hurt me more than you know having to watch you grow up from afar. But even though I cannot be with you physically, I will always be watching over you."
Laura returned her mother's hug with tears in her eyes. Gaia then pointed to the cave opening that appeared once again. Laura looked into its darkness but was no longer afraid. When she turned around to bid her mother goodbye again, Laura saw that she was gone. With a small sigh, Laura walked through the cave's opening and was once again swallowed by the darkness.
Everyone was silent as Laura finished her story. If not for the seriousness of the situation she would have found their open mouths funny. Instead she fiddled the necklace that her mother gave her waiting for someone to say something, anything at all.
"It is an honor to be in your presence", Castiel said finally breaking the silence. "I had heard rumors, but I never believed them till I saw you…Mother."
"I'm not the Mother yet," Laura reminded him.
"So you're a goddess," Sam said carefully, still not fully believing it all.
"More like a demi-god," Laura explained, "or at least for now." She looked at the three men who had become a part of her life and she was afraid of how things were going to change.
"After all that," Bobby said, picking up on the tension, "I could use a drink. Anyone else want one?" Both Laura and Sam nodded their heads, but Dean was staring at the floor, unmoving. Bobby wheeled himself into the kitchen and returned shortly with four beers. "So you got some kind of plan?" Bobby asked taking a sip.
"Well I'd thought I go along with Sam and Dean," she said, "helping out when I can."
"I don't think that's a good idea," Sam said. "What if something happens to you?"
"Well, it's not like I can sit around here and do nothing!" Laura said angrily. "And besides, now that I know who I am, I can really help. I'm more powerful than any angel or demon out there."
"Not right now," Sam pointed out. "Dean, back me up on this."
Everyone's attention turned to Dean, who was still staring at the floor. "It's not like we can stop her," he said finally, taking a sip of his beer.
"You have got to be kidding me!" exclaimed Sam. "Dean, if she goes out there and one of them gets their hands on her, it will be over for all of us!"
"That is not entirely true," Castiel said calmly. "She may be a fledgling goddess but she is a goddess none the less and the descendant of the most powerful one. Even before she knew her true identity she was able to hold her own against my brothers and demons."
"And it's not like we can stop her," Dean said. "She's not like any other supernatural creature we've dealt with. If she wants to do something there's nothing anyone can do to stop her."
"You know I'm right here," Laura said tersely. "Look it's been a long day for me so I'm going to get some sleep. You guys can battle it out all you want but I AM going to ride along with you. It would be stupid of you to try and stop me." She then chugged the rest of her beer, got up, and headed to the upstairs bedrooms. "See you tomorrow."
"Dean you can't be serious!" Sam exclaimed again after Laura disappeared upstairs.
"Sammy, do you really want to piss off another god?" Dean asked pointedly. "If we leave her, who's to say that she won't just pop up where ever we are, like Cas does."
"The markings," Sam started to say but Castiel cut him off.
"They only protect you from the angels. I do not think they would work on her."
Sam looked back and forth from Dean to Castiel, not believing what he was hearing. He turned to Bobby, hoping for some support. "What do you think Bobby?"
Bobby was silent for a few moments contemplating but he soon offered his opinion. "If Laura wants to go with the two of you then I don't think there's anything you can do to stop her. The best thing is to just go with it." Sam let out an irritated sigh. "At the very least she may give you boys an edge stopping the apocalypse. But it also puts her in a position where she will be better protected."
"Even though you boys have Lucifer and Michael on your tails, they won't do anything that will hurt you or put you in danger. If they know that you two are protecting her they might just leave her alone, at least until she comes into her power." Although Sam didn't want to admit it, Bobby had a point. And although he didn't like it, it looked like there was going to be a new passenger in the Impala.
Once again, thanks for stopping by. The only thing that would make it better would be for you to fill in the box bellow with a review. Till next time.