I stood with the Winchesters as they greeted people coming into the church for the service. I wore a black skirt with a white and black top. My hair I left down, held back from my face by a black headband. I didn't miss the curios glances thrown my way as people passed. Neither did Dean apparently because he stepped closer and threw an arm across my shoulders. We stood facing Sam and Mary, the four of us standing on the sides of a carpet that had the ugliest design I had ever seen.
"They're still looking at me weird," I mumbled.
He smiled and nodded to another person as they passed.
"Well, now they can think whatever they want about us," he replied, his voice soft, he added, "'cause you're as much a part of this family as anyone else."
I smiled sadly at that comment, my eyes caught a glimpse outside of the window. From the vantage point I could see people as they walked up the sidewalk before they entered the church. A certain female looking form in a dark blue dress caught my attention.
"Oh gosh, is that Rose?" I mumbled, watching a small form battle against the strong wind.
It was only fitting that the weather for John's funeral was crappy. It reflected the moods I saw in each Winchester's eyes as they continued to smile, shake hands, and hug people as they came in.
"Rose who?" Dean whispered, squinting, trying figure it out.
"Rose, uh," I searched my mind, "Curt…I think, remember her?"
It took a second for the realization to dawn. I felt Dean stiffen beside me.
"You mean that bitch who sold you out?!" he hissed.
I would've laughed at his reaction had we been anywhere else for any other occasion.
"Relax," I told him, as Sam shot a questioning look our way.
I waved off Sam's concern.
"Relax?" Dean asked, but his voice got noticeably quieter.
"She made a little mistake-"
"Little? You nearly died, if she shows her pretty little Barbie face I'm gonna-"
"Thank her for coming and move on," I interrupted gently.
I glanced up and met his gaze.
"We were in high school Dean, there was no way she could've known."
"Oh yeah, I forgot. A random dude asking about the whereabouts of a teenage girl, completely normal."
"Dean," I sighed and waited until his eyes found mine, "I put that behind me a long time ago."
"Well, I didn't."
"Yeah I can see that," I murmured sarcastically.
Rose entered the small church. There could be no doubt as to her identity. She hadn't changed a bit. Possibly gained a few pounds, but other than that…Rose's eyes met mine as she glanced our way. I felt Dean tighten his grip on my shoulder, and was silently thankful for the reminder that he was with me.
I mentally reminded myself that I had put what had happened behind me as Rose made her way over to us.
"Dean," she started.
"Rose," Dean replied curtly.
Her blue eyes met mine and I bit the inside of my cheek at a weak attempt of keeping my anger in check. 'What happened happened a long time ago,' I thought, 'she didn't mean it,' those two thoughts circulated around and around in my head as she stood before me.
"Lily, it's been a while."
"Hey Rose," my voice sounded cold, even to my ears.
Rose must have taken the hint and quickly nodded to Sam and Mary before hurrying inside the church.
"What was that about 'putting it behind'?" Dean quietly teased.
"Shut up," I mumbled back.
Sam stepped across to stand next to us, making me feel even shorter.
"Wasn't that the bitch-"
"Yeah," Dean cut his brother off.
"I love how that's all we need to say to know we're talking about her," I whispered.
Dean shrugged, "She is. She's lucky I didn't pummel her ass the moment I got back into school."
"You wouldn't hit a girl," I countered.
"Yeah, well I'd be willing to make an exception for that one," he whispered back darkly.
The service itself was nice. I sat at the end of the pew next to Sam. After the first person went to the pulpit to recount a story about John Sammy started tearing up. I reached for the box of tissues, conveniently placed at the end of each pew, and handed him one, trying to look as if I hadn't noticed the silent tears streaming down his face.
Somehow his hand found mine. I honestly don't know who it comforted more. It's was simply nice to know that neither of us were facing this alone, I suppose.
As another person started walking up I recalled the last funeral I had been to.
The black dress was tight, scratchy, and uncomfortable to its fullest definition. I sat in the front row. Alone. Lost in thoughts. I heard the people murmuring behind me. It didn't take a genius to know what they were talking about. Snippets of their conversations reached my ears.
"I knew Randi, well thought I knew him, I never thought he would do something…"
"To a kid too…."
My fingers dug into my palms. I wished I could be angry with them. Wished I felt something other than this numbness that encompassed my very being and threatened to suffocate me. I stood up half-way through the service and walked down the side aisle to the outdoors, the inside of the building to stuffy for my taste.
I yanked off my nice shoes and tossed them to the side. No doubt that foster lady would come out any minute and try to pull me back in.
'Didn't she see? Didn't she understand that I couldn't go back in there?' I thought, glaring at the door, silently daring her to come out and demand I return to the torture. I started walking down the sidewalk. I needed to be away, even being on the same street…the sight of my siblings lying in their coffins haunted me every time I closed my eyes. My walk turned into a full on sprint. I didn't know, or care, frankly where I was going. It vaguely registered that running around without an adult could get me killed in a small city like this. That fact didn't even scare me. I glanced down every alley I passed, but it wasn't out of fear. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to die, or if I felt like I was already dead.
A slight squeeze from Sam reverted my attention back to the present. He eyed me before raising his eyebrows in a clear question. 'You okay?' I nodded and squeezed back.
After the burial service we decided to just head home. The car ride was completely silent.
A week later and we had fallen into a routine. I would help Sam sort through his things in the morning, then help my mom in the yard in the afternoon. While Lily worked in the kitchen and around the house with my mom in the morning, and did various things with Sam in the afternoon to keep him busy, things like shopping, going to the library, anything she could think of. She even talked to him about the benefits and downfalls of living on campus and vice versa, apparently she had already done both. We had fallen into such an easy-going routine that it surprised me when I glanced in her room one evening to find Lily packing her bags.
"You're leaving?" I asked standing in the doorway.
She barely glanced at me before rummaging through the dresser and pulling out more clothes to fold and stuff in her suitcase, "Tomorrow, yeah."
"And you were going to tell us when?"
She eyed me as she folded a t-shirt, "I told your mom," she shrugged as she dumped the shirt in the case, "Figured she tell you."
"And you weren't even gonna say goodbye?" I admit, the thought hurt.
She laughed, "Usually people say goodbye when they're actually leaving."
I tried to hold onto my remaining shreds of dignity and not sound like a pouting child, "What time?"
"Bus leaves at twelve, so I'll probably try to get there around eleven fifty, just to be safe."
"I can give you a ride," I offered.
She gave a me a mischievous smile, "Sure, but if you make me late..."
"When have I ever made you late?" I argued.
She raised an eyebrow, the task of packing momentarily forgotten, "You really want me to answer that?"
I rolled my eyes and sighed, "Oh shut up."
She shrugged and started packing and folding once more, "Hey, you brought it up."
"So you really are leaving again, huh?" I asked, looking around the room.
She let out a long sigh, "I have to Dean," she sounded almost apologetic, "I've already missed a week of school and..."
"And what?" I asked gently.
She met my gaze, "I owe it to your father to try and get the best education I can."
"He paid for my college tuition," she stated, as if that were obvious. At my confused reaction she cocked her head, "He didn't tell you? He paid for everything, it was insane. I just had to pay for books and housing."
"So not everything," I stated.
She rolled her eyes, "It might as well have been everything."
I sat in the passenger seat of the impala at the bus stop. Not quite ready to leave yet. I glanced at the clock, I still had roughly five minutes left. I bit my lip. The silence seemed deafening but I didn't know how to break it. The bus pulled up and parked. I knew I should get out. I couldn't find the will power to do so. I had already said my goodbyes to Sam and Mary. It was easier this time around, it didn't feel quite so permanent. But Dean? The ride over had been filled with pointless chatter and arguing. Both of us trying to put off the inevitable for as long as we possibly could. The bus brought an end to that.
"So..."Dean started, shifting in his seat as he eyed the bus.
"So," I agreed, my voice quiet.
"Two years, huh?"
"Yep, two years then I graduate," I confirmed with a slight nod.
"Two years," he repeated, a statement.
Before I knew it we were both leaning, as if some unseen magnetic force was driving us together.
His lips brushed against mine. We drew apart slowly, not entirely sitting up straight. Still leaning towards each other, less than a foot between us. I brought my eyes up and held onto his emerald green gaze. Warmth flooding through my veins as his gentle, loving, gaze met my own.
"Two years?" he asked, a question.
"Two years," I breathed back, a promise.