Sam is currently lost in the paperwork he diligently tries to fill out in Dean's absence as he continues to do his best to keep his crushing worry and sorrow at bay. He's sitting in one of the basic chairs in the waiting room and he's answering all the questions he possibly can. He's decided to go with Elizabeth Smith as the name on the form since the bunk insurance card they have is for the Smith family and Dean claimed Lizzy to be his wife. Why the hell he said that, Sam isn't sure. He has to assume it's because Dean thought he'd have a better chance of staying with her if they were legally married. Truthfully, Sam's willing to bet there isn't a married couple that knows each other better or loves each other more than Dean and Lizzy do. No one would second guess it.
"Excuse me?" a voice interrupts his thoughts and when he looks up he sees the doctor that was working on Lizzy the second they arrived. Disturbingly, his scrubs have a fair amount of blood on them but the expression on his face is soft, hopeful almost.
"Yes!" Sam eagerly answers and stands up immediately. Where the fuck did Dean go? "How is she?"
"Where's Lizzy's husband?"
"Out, for a walk. I'm her family though. Is she ok?" Sam's expression is crazed and searching. He needs answers.
"Honestly, with the condition she was in when you arrived I wasn't even sure she could be saved," the doctor begins without sugar coating it. "And if I knew how to explain what I saw once we started working on her, I'd be happy to, but I just… can't."
"What the hell happened?" Sam asks with serious concern.
"She just… got better," he tells the hunter simply. "One second we are performing artificial respiration just to keep her alive and the next she's fine. The color came back to her skin, she's breathing on her own, she stopped bleeding… I swear, give it a day or two and she might not even have the scars to prove this ever happened."
"Holy shit," Sam lets slip in his awe of what he's told.
"You said it, man," the doctor concurs, still in his own shock over what he witnessed. "Now, she's not awake yet, and I'm absolutely keeping her here for a least a day or two to be sure she's alright. For now, however, things are looking remarkably, inexplicably good for her."
Sam exhales hard with a small smile as the tears start to form along his bottom lids with his happiness. She's ok. Lizzy's alive and she's fine. It must have been Castiel. He must have come through after all. Sam heart races with happiness as the first thankful tears start to fall down his cheeks.
"Do you think you could go get her husband?" the doctor asks. "I would like to inform him of everything and let him know he can see her now."
"Yeah," Sam says, his grin growing in size with the sheer relief he feels. "I'll get him right now."
"You owe her!" Dean screams himself horse in the emergency room bay as his anger flies. "You owe me!
Breaking down a little more, he covers his face with the back of his hand, one of the few parts of him free from Lizzy's blood.
"I need her so much," he whispers to God or anything else that will listen and help. "Please…"
"Dean!" Sam calls as he runs out of the E.R. entrance to wards him.
"Shit," Dean balls up his fists when he hears Sam's voice and looks away, trying to hide the sadness written in his face.
"What!?" Dean questions incredulously and turns sharply to look at his brother in confusion.
"The doctor said he's never seen it before," Sam rushes out, a smile on his face and obvious cry lines marking his cheeks. "She's going to be fine."
"No one knows," Sam answers, still smiling. "She just kinda pulled through and started healing up. They said you can go see her."
He didn't need to be told twice. Dean's feet were moving before he even knew it was happening.
Running into the curtained off room that Lizzy had been worked on in, Dean stops short and has to stare with bewilderment at her for a second. No tubes down her throat, no torn up and stained clothing. She just looked like she was peacefully asleep. Wearing a hospital gown, most of the blood that had been covering her has been washed away and her skin is back to its usual color. She looked nearly perfect. The two cuts on her face are the only obvious signs of what she went through, but even those look like they've been healing at an increased rate.
"Holy crap," Dean whispers to himself with the shock as he walks to stand next to her bed, Sam standing to the other side. "How is that…?"
"Possible?" a voice finishes for Dean. Looking over sharply, Dean and Sam see the doctor who'd been working on Lizzy.
"Yeah," Dean quietly says. "How?"
"I've never seen it before in my life." The doctor picks up the metal file hanging at the foot of Lizzy's bed. "Mr. Smith, your wife came in here with hardly enough blood to pump through her system. She was bleeding out quickly, her heart rate barely there. At one point we had to start compressions just to keep her heart going. She wasn't breathing on her own and if I am to be completely honest, I feared the worst for her. Doing this job as long as I have, it's pretty obvious to see when someone is too far gone to save. I thought Lizzy was one of those."
Dean nods, and peers back down to Lizzy for a second. He's having a hard time keeping his focus on the doctor and not on her. Looking at her keeps confirming for him that she's still kicking and that he really didn't lose her. He picks up her hand and holds tightly to it. His right fingers weaving into hers, he closes his left hand around her wrist and feels his own heart skip a beat when he can make the steady drumming of her pulse under his fingertips. He closes his eyes briefly to keep from succumbing to grateful sobs right then and there.
"So what happened?" Sam asks, his hunter's curiosity kicking in.
"Well, in the middle of chest compressions her heart just kind of jump started itself, much like if we had shocked it back to life but we hadn't. The car was still charging up at that point. In seconds, her heartbeat was strong, perfect. Then I literally watched as her skin went from pale and drained right back to normal in about five minutes time. We were only able to get her one pint of blood through transfusion but somehow she's back to normal, like her blood regenerated itself faster than humanly possible."
"So she's fine?" Dean has to check. "Just… fine?"
"Absolutely." The doctor writes a few notes onto the medical paperwork he's holding before replacing it to its place hanging on the end of her bed. "After what she went through, she's probably exhausted so she might be out for a while. We gave her a sedative also, to make sure she got enough rest. Could be sleeping for some time but considering how impossibly well her body is handling the assault she could be awake at any second for all we can tell."
"Ah," Dean starts to say to the man that saved Lizzy, his voice choked as he blows out a breath of relief. "Thank you… so much."
"Honestly, don't thank me, Mr. Smith." The doctor shakes his head in disbelief. "You better thank whatever it is watching over her because I'm pretty sure that what just happened would fall under the miracle category, not medical."
He goes to leave the family for a moment but stops short. "Uh, I need to warn you that I have to report this to the police. She came in here with clear signs of attack and we are legally bound to inform law enforcement when that happens."
"We completely understand," Sam assures the doctor as his mind begins racing, looking for ways to explain away Lizzy's injuries and her recovery. "Um, do you think you could hold off a while? I don't think we'll be of much help until we have some time to sort through everything, process it all." Sam nods to Dean inconspicuously as he hopes for a little mercy on the doctor's part.
"I'll do what I can," the doctor smiles, studying the shock and pain and love on Dean's face as he looks Lizzy over. "I'm sure they'll be here sometime late tonight, possibly tomorrow. They'll want to talk to you both and Lizzy also once she's up."
After the doctor is gone Dean and Sam share a look of bewilderment.
"Cass?" Sam questions.
"Better be," Dean frighteningly responds.
"What else would have done this?" Sam asks his brother, confused by his comment.
"These days, Sammy… who the fuck knows." In the back of his mind he has to wonder if someone was listening to him outside the hospital. Cass doesn't have the level of juice anymore for that kind of rapid recovery and he knows that. And if it wasn't Cass then who, or what, did this? It's a terrifying thought.
Looking at her again, Dean has to wonder if he cares all that much. She's still there so what did it matter the details. She didn't leave him. That's what matters.
A silence grows in the room, only the beeping of machines around them filling the air.
"We're going to move her," a nurse announces as she walks into the small portioned off area while looking at only Dean. "We have a room on the second floor. It's more private and we can get you somewhere to sit."
She begins unlocking the wheels under the hospital bed and getting everything ready to move.
"Um, I'm sorry sir, but you can't come with," the nurse gently says to Sam. "Family only."
"He is family," Dean immediately explains in a lie. "Sam's her brother."
Sam smiles small for Dean's quick thinking. The last thing he wanted to do was get exiled into waiting rooms and be stuck anywhere away from Lizzy right now. And his brother, for that matter.
"Oh, I didn't know. Sorry about that."
"It's fine," Sam nods to the nurse.
"Alright, then lets head up," the nurse says with a warm smile as she beings pushing Lizzy down the hallway.
It's a beautiful day out. The sun is shining down on her and heating her skin as she lies out in her lawn chair overlooking the bright green grass behind the modest, two story house. The lawn was just mowed and she can smell the grass in the air. The radio is playing a local rock station and 'Traveling Riverside Blues' floats all around her. Lizzy smiles to herself, loving how wonderful the moment feels. It's quiet, it's calm, it's absolutely perfect.
"For you," she hears Dean's voice happily say to her and when she turns to look to her side he's standing next to her with an extended arm.
"Thanks, Hot Shot," she says contently as she takes the offered beer.
"Fuck yard work," Dean says as he drops into the lounge chair next to her on the stone patio with a grunt, as if his body had seen a long day already. "Pain in my ass."
"Looks damn good out here though," Lizzy tells him to lessen his grumpiness.
"Fucking better," he remarks while sipping his beer. "Took me hours."
Lizzy laughs hardily at him.
"Just think it's funny, you know?" Lizzy starts to explain herself. "Few years back you would've been bitching about digging up a dead guy, not mowing a lawn."
"At least grass smells better," Dean quips with a smirk. He sits back with an 'ah' and smiles to himself while tapping his foot along to one of his two favorite songs. Lizzy takes a moment to revel in the fact that the dirt on his shirt and jeans came from the yard, their yard, and not a graveyard. Wonders never cease.
"I can't remember the last time it was this quiet around here," Lizzy observes as she turn her face up to the sun again. "Never knew this place could be so damn peaceful."
"Well, with our little hellion running wild around this place on most days, it gets kinda hard to remember the quieter times." Dean huffs a laugh. "It's your fault he's like that you know?"
"It's my fault he's like the fucking Energizer Bunny?" Lizzy grins with disbelief.
"Oh yeah! I met you as a kid. You were exhausting, just like our little guy is. And there's a reason we've been through two babysitters this year alone."
"No one can keep up," Lizzy laughs.
"You know that just means he's a pretty perfect combination of the two of us, right?" Lizzy smirks, her heart still completely filled with the thought of how awesome their son really is and how much they adore him.
"Well aware," Dean answers, knowing how true it was as he looks out to the corner of the yard with the swing set and sandbox he build for the little guy.
"But he's not a hellion," Lizzy rebuts, defending her son's honor. "He's a great kid."
"Yeah, he is, isn't he?" Dean smiles over to her.
"Totally." Lizzy downs some of her beer and sigh contently. "Speaking of, when's he expected back here?"
"I told Jake's mom to have him back by five so…" Dean checks his watch. "We have a whole two hours left with the place all to ourselves for once."
"I know!" Dean laughs a little. Suddenly he gets an inspired look in his eyes when he leers at Lizzy, scanning her body from head to foot and then up again. "Huh. You know, I think I'm gonna go head upstairs."
"Right now?" Lizzy asks with confusion, not understanding why he doesn't want to stay out in the perfect day.
"Yeah," Dean confirms as he stands up. "Think I'm gonna take a nice, long shower after all that yard work. Maybe hang out in the bedroom for a little while. Enjoy the childless time I've got left."
He bends down to drop a kiss on Lizzy's cheek and before he stands back up he whispers in her ear, "If you're smart, you'll get that smoking MILF ass up there with me."
"Oh yeah?" Lizzy slyly asks, a smile creeping across her face with the use of his nickname for her. MILF has been his name of choice for her when horny ever since their son had been born.
"Yeah. And don't make me wait or that MILF ass is gonna be in trouble."
"The good kinda trouble I hope?" Lizzy grins, knowing that she's right.
Dean simply winks at her before walking toward the house and Lizzy grins to herself. After all they've seen and been through they are still completely crazy about each other and if it weren't for their son always being around they'd still be holed up in their house every day, constantly going at it now that they had the time to do so. Life is damn good.
Standing up to go catch up to the man that's still perfect in her eyes, even with the few wrinkles forming and the graying hair at his temples, she's stopped in her tracks.
"Cass!" Lizzy smiles when she sees him standing right in front of her suddenly and hugs him tight instantly. "Oh my God! I haven't seen you in years! Wait…" Lizzy backs off and looks the angel straight in the eye. "Why are you here? What's wrong?"
"You need to come back," Castiel flatly tells her. "You don't belong here."
"What are you talking about?" Lizzy asks him. "This is my house."
"You don't have a house, Elizabeth. And you don't have a son."
Lizzy backs away from Castiel a few steps and looks at him with terror.
"Yes I do," Lizzy confirms as the hole in her heart grows by the second. "Dean and I have lived here for a few years now, with our son. He just turned seven. Sam lives like two towns over…"
"No, he doesn't," Castiel sadly informs her. "This is an illusion. It is your brain taking over in severe crisis. In reality, you are in a hospital."
Her eyes wide, Lizzy swallows hard. "No I'm not. Come on, Cass, this is my life right here. And it's finally good…"
"You are making this much more difficult than it has to be." Looking up that the small house Castiel already feels regret for pulling her away from the life she so very much deserves, real or not. "Think hard, Elizabeth. Really think about it."
As she peers curiously at the angel she can suddenly hear the faint sound of beeping machinery, the tone marking an even pattern softly somewhere in the distance.
"You are not really here," Castiel continues. "You almost died."
Her mind flashes quickly to her being in the backseat of Dean's still beloved Impala. She can barely move, her weakness dominating her, and when she looks up she can see Castiel's struggling face above her. She was dying. She remembers that happening.
"You were taken by an aswang."
She sees glimpses of Jason's face with an evil sneer, she can remember the feel of the rope burning against her wrists and ankles as she's tied down and the fear when she sees the intimidating butcher knife in his hands as he eyes her over.
"He nearly killed you."
She can see the slice running down her forearm and shredding Lou's image on it. She can hear the slapping sound of her own blood dripping into a puddle on a concrete floor as she grew weaker by the second.
"You have to go back," Castiel tells her with sad eyes. "This isn't where you belong."
She knows it's true now. She knows this whole happy reality isn't reality at all. It's all that she's ever hoped for out of life that she is fully aware she can never have. There's no way life just suddenly handed her this happiness.
"You have to go back… to Dean."
Dean. Lizzy's mind pulls up the image of panic on his face as he holds her in his arms while rushing to the car. He looks so terrified, so absolutely frightened. She's never seen him look that scared before, never. He needs her so much so of course she'll go to him
"Shit," Lizzy laments as she feels herself returning to the real world.