A Harsh Reality
Time Can't Heal All Wounds
A Harsh Reality
Everything from Kris's neck down felt like it was on fire. Whatever Crowley had put on that knife felt as if it were burning it's way though her entire system. She tried again to call out, but nothing happened. Not a grunt, sigh, or groan. She could feel the blood oozing between her fingers and her next thought was that she would bleed out before Sam or Gadreel found her.
Foot steps and harsh voices, broke though the burning. Then Gadreel's face filled her vision. "Kris! Kris can you hear me?"
She thought she nodded, as Gadreel looked down to where her hands pressed against her stomach. She felt him lay his hands over hers and the burning intensified. She screamed and attempted to push Gadreel's hands away from her, "Stop, Stop it!" she cried out, "It burns!"
"What's wrong?" It was Sam's voice.
"I can not heal her." Gadreel's hands were covered in Kris's blood. "Every time I try it hurts her more."
Sam looked down at Kris. There were tears rolling out of the corner of her eyes and her hands were no longer pressed against the wound. The pool of blood was getting bigger, and they were running out of time. "Pick her up."
Gadreel looked confused for a moment but did as Sam instructed. "If I can not heal her I am sure no other angel will be able to as well."
Sam shook his head, "We aren't going to an angel. We're going to a hospital."
Sam lead Gadreel, with Kris in his arms out of the bunker and climbed into the driver seat of the car Gadreel and Kris had driven in. Gadreel slid into the back, keeping a tight grip on Kris, talking to her the whole way there.
Once there Sam started laying on the horn. Some nurse who seemed to be out for a quick smoke saw them and hollered for a gurney. Sam helped Gadreel get Kris out of the car. "What happened?" The nurse asked while checking Kris's eyes.
"She's been stabbed," Sam couldn't think of a good lie right now. "We tried to stop the bleeding but she's lost a lot of blood." Gadreel laid her on the gurney another nurse brought.
The four of them ran inside, Sam and Gadreel on one side, the nurse on the other. She was feeling for a pulse on Kris's wrist. "Get Doctor Olsen down here now!" The first nurse yelled at an aide they passed. The aide took off and the nurse started spouting off orders. The first was, "You two," she pointed to Sam and Gadreel, "wait here."
Neither of them protested and they stopped outside the doors, watching the nurse's take her back.
Sam turned away first, but Gadreel stood staring at the doors. He had noticed something when he tried to heal Kris, something very familiar he couldn't put his finger on. "Sam," he called over his shoulder. He turned to the man, "How do you know her?"
"She's from the future," Sam said taking a seat. "That was how she kept you from killing Kevin."
Gadreel looked away for a moment, that was not his proudest moment. "Yes, she told us that in heaven, but why did she come here?"
Sam leaned back into the very uncomfortable hospital chair, "She says Castiel and myself sent her back here because Dean goes dark and kills the both of us, but not before we were able to send her back. She wasn't very specific on the how part though."
Gadreel turned back to the closed doors. That familiar feeling was back but He just couldn't put his finger on it. He returned to Sam's side and sat in the empty seat next to him to wait.
It was dark and Kris couldn't see. Sam? Gadreel? Somebody? Her vision was starting to clear and she could make out off yellow walls, people around her and loud voices. "Twenty-something year old female. Brought in by her friends, with a stab wound to her lower abdomen. We've gotten the bleeding under control but can't seem to find the source."
"Is she responsive?" the new voice was shining a light into Kris's eyes and she wanted to close them but couldn't.
"No. She was unconscious when they brought her in. Her blood pressure is eighty-nine over fifty-seven, pulse is forty-five. Her vitals are dropping Doctor."
The voices were starting to fade and Kris knew that was not a good sign. It was getting harder and harder for her to make out what they were saying, until finally she couldn't hear anything. This can't be good, was her last real thought.
Four hours of sitting in the reception room waiting for information on Kris was starting to grind Sam's nerves. Crowley was right about one thing, hurting Kris the way he had had given him and Dean the head start they needed. For the hundredth time Sam left Gadreel's side to go back to the receptionists desk. The lady behind it looked up at him and sighed.
"Sir, I still don't have any information on your friend." She didn't sound annoyed but sympathetic, like she had years of practice dealing with impatient people. "I promise I will let you know…" Her phone rang and she held up a slender finger as she picked up the receiver, "Front desk."
Sam huffed, he knew it wasn't her fault, but he was starting to loose all patients.
"Sir, what is your friends name again?"
"Kris Richardson," Sam answered, with fatigue in his voice.
She smiled, "She is out of surgery and the doctor is on his way out to speak with you." She pointed to the far set of double door, "He'll be coming through there."
Sam nodded his thanks, then headed back to Gadreel and relayed the same information. They both walked towards the doors and saw a man dressed in scrubs coming out. "Richardson?" he asked, looking at the two of them.
"Well she is out of surgery, but there are still problems. She was bleeding internally and we are having a hard time finding the bleed. Her heart stopped twice and after the second time we decided to insert a tube to drain the blood from her abdomen and wait until she is stronger. The problem is we don't know when that will be. Right now we have her on continues blood transfusions and I am hoping this will strengthen her heart but I won't know for sure."
Gadreel seemed lost, he had no idea what all of that meant, but Sam did. "So if you can't go in and stop the bleeding she won't make it, will she?"
"To put it simply," the doctor said looking Sam in the eye. "No, she won't." He paused to let that sink in. "We have her in the ICU, if you would like I can have an aide take you up there."
Sam hesitated and Gadreel held him back for a moment. "I need to report this to Castiel and the others," he told him. "Can you stay with her?"
Sam looked put off, "I need to find my brother." He glanced back to the doctor who was speaking to an aide. "Can you hold off on telling Cas?"
"Let me tell Castiel first. Finding Dean and Crowley will wait." Gadreel put a gentle hand on Sam's shoulder. "I promise, I will be back soon, maybe someone will know how to help Kris."
Sam didn't want to stay put, he wanted to find his brother and figure out what the hell Crowley had done to him. He wanted to be out there hunting Crowley down, but leaving Kris here by herself went against something inside him. It just didn't feel right. "Alright, but hurry back."
Gadreel nodded and headed out of the hospital, while the aide showed Sam to the ICU.
Sam never thought someone so little could bleed that much. Six times they had to empty the bladder looking thing collecting her blood. Three time they'd had to hang new blood. If Gadreel couldn't find anything in heaven to help Kris, Sam wasn't sure she would last the night.
A nurse stepped in, "I need to check her vital signs again." Sam looked at his watch, one hour on the dot he thought, but just nodded and scooted back. This had become a routine now. Vital signs, fifteen minutes later empty the bladder thing, fifteen minutes later hang the blood, thirty minutes later vital signs. After about the second set of vitals there would be an hour lull, then it would start all over again.
Sam watched the nurse, "How is she doing?"
The nurse smiled at him, "Her blood pressure is stable, but that is mostly because of all the blood we are giving her. Her heart rate is still very low and her beat is still very weak. But she is hanging in there. She's a fighter, this one. I don't normally say this," she said typing in all the new vitals into the computer, "but if I had to bet, I would bet on her pulling though this. Just have a little faith."
Sam just nodded, but kept his thoughts to himself. He had seen to many good people die, and he didn't think Kris would pull though this.
Kris watched the nurse leave her room. "Damn right I'm a fighter," she said out loud, even though no one could hear her. She looked at her Dad just sitting there, he looked like he was ready to give up. "Trust me Dad, I am not quitting on you. Not now, not ever." It was a meaningless statement because A) he couldn't hear her and B) he had no idea she was his daughter.
When Kris had come to, she had expected a Reaper waiting for her, but so far none had shown themselves. On the glass is half empty side she chalked it up to the door to heaven being under new management and it would probable take the Reapers a lot of overtime to get caught up. Granted that was her being pessimistic. On the optimistic side she was hoping she was only having an out of body experience. She preferred the glass half full of her thinking.
Gadreel walked into the room and Kris held her breath, could angels see,… well what ever she was.
"Sam," Gadreel said gently and Sam looked up. For a split second there was hope in his eyes. "Castiel and the others are aware of the situation. One of the angels has an idea what Crowley might have done."
Sam stood up and nodded out in to the hallway. "Let's talk out there."
Once out in the hall Sam asked what upstairs knew. "An angel I ran into believes he knows what was on the blade Crowley stabbed Kris with."
"Okay," Sam stated. "What was it?"
"Aric believes Crowley mixed the shavings of an angel blade with a potion and coated the blade in the mix. That is why I can not heal her. It causes more damage when I try, which is most likely why these doctors can not find the source of her bleed."
"And how does this help her now?" Sam was getting impatient.
"That is the good news, it will wear off in twenty-four hours. She has to hold on until then."
Sam looked back into Kris's room. Even with all the blood they were giving her she was still so pale, "Gadreel, I don't think Kris can hold on that long." Sam looked at his watch, surprisingly it had only been ten hours since she was injured. "Look at her?"
Gadreel laid a calming hand on Sam's shoulder, "I would think the same thing to had I not seen how bad she was in heaven. She is a fighter Sam, she will not give up so easily."
He couldn't figure out why he cared so much about this girl, but Sam truly hoped Gadreel and the nurse was right.
He turned his thoughts back to Dean, "I need to find Dean. I have to figure out what Crowley did to him." Gadreel nodded.
"I understand. I will stay with Kris, you go do what you must."
Sam pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and handed it to Gadreel, "You do know how to use this, right?" Gadreel smiled but just nodded taking the phone. "Good, call me with any news."
Six hours later found Gadreel still at Kris's side. He had not left her, it was one of the benefits of being an angel, no bathroom breaks needed. "I know you are here Kris," Gadreel said out loud finally. "I can feel you." Off and on over the last six hours he could feel her presence but couldn't see her. "I know you must be scared, but I know how strong willed you are. I could sense it in you when you stopped me from killing Kevin Tran. Thank you for that." He wondered if this was how humans felt when praying to his Father. It was a very one sided conversation, but he knew she could hear him. "Eight more hours, Kris. Just hang in there for eight more hours, you can do it."
Kris didn't blame her father for leaving, Dean needed him too and she had an angel to watch over her. When Gadreel first started talking to her, she thought for a moment that he could see her. "So much for that theory." He was right, she was scared. She was scared she would never wake up, that she would be trapped in this limbo forever. She was still surprised there were no Reapers any where. But having this angel who had been an enemy at first, showing that he really cared about her was a nice change. She took a seat on the side of the bed. "I'm glad you're here to keep me safe Gadreel, even if you did try and kill me the first time we meet."
Over the next eight hours two major things happened. The first was Kris's heart stopped again. Four hours before he could heal her, the alarms blared, Gadreel considered trying to heal her again and had to restrain himself by reminding himself she was in this situation because he tried to heal her to begin with. Three nurses and the doctor were able to get Kris's heart started again and the doctor insisted there be two nurse's assigned to her. Gadreel had never seen a human as pale as she was right now. The nurse said it was because of the blood loss.
The second thing to happen had nothing to do with Kris. Crowley call.
The phone rang and Gadreel had assumed it was Sam calling to check up on Kris's condition.
"Sam," Gadreel had said stepping out of Kris's room to take the call.
"Sorry Feather Boy," came the drawl reply. "Not Moose."
"Crowley," growled Gadreel. He glanced back into Kris's room. The nurse was hanging a new bag of blood.
"My mistake Bird boy. I thought I was calling Moose."
"Sam left me the phone so I could keep him updated on Kris. You know, the girl you are trying to kill."
A slight chuckle and Gadreel really wished his wings were working so he could get to Crowley right then and rip out his vocal cords. "Oh lets not be dramatic. It was only a simple spell, should wear off in a few hours."
"Yes and right now Kris is fighting for her life. Her heart has stopped three times now, she's bleeding into her abdomen…"
Crowley cut him off, "I really didn't call for an update on Future Girl. Just tell the Moose that his brother is doing fine and he should really take Dean's advise and let him go."
It was Gadreel's turn to laugh now, "I have been in Sam's head, that is never an option. He will figure out what you did to his brother and trust me, Sam will kill you. That's a promise."
"Promise's love," Crowley said almost sounding board, "are made to be broken. Just pass along my message like a good little boy." A sharp click and he was gone.
Gadreel had to really concentrate not to squeeze the phone to hard, but he really needed to break something.
He went back into the room, the nurse was just leaving, "Was that your friend?"
Gadreel shook his head, "No."
She left without saying another word and He returned to his seat beside Kris's bed. "Three more hours Kris. Hold on, you are almost there."
Three more hours, Kris thought to herself, as she stood just inside the door. She wasn't sure she had the strength to hold out that long. That last heart failure must have taken it's toll on her. She could feel herself getting weaker. 'I can do this,' she said out loud. 'I have too."
"Oh come on," a voice behind her said. She spun around and found an older man in a suit, with brown hair, a beard and a mustache. "Keeping yourself alive can't be that hard."
"Reaper." Kris stated more then asked as she walked towards him.
He nodded but held up his hands, "I am just not your Reaper."
"I don't understand. If you're not here for me, then why are you here?"
The man shrugged his shoulder, "Well we are actually caught up on our work, FINALLY. And I was curious about you." He wandered down the hall and Kris followed.
"Why me," she asked as he walked into an empty room.
"Well for starters, you are Sam Winchester's daughter; my boss is very interested in why you came back."
Kris crossed her arms. This was treading in dangerous waters. First of all in her timeline Dean hadn't parted ways with Death on very good terms, and second, did Death know what might happened to him. "It's like I said, I came to keep Dean from going Dark."
The Reaper nodded, "But there is more to your quest now isn't there?" He sat on the empty bed, "Something you're not telling them."
Scoffing Kris sat next to him, "There are a lot of things I am not telling them. But I'll let you know this, in my timeline the Mark is destroyed and your boss knows what that means."
Another nod, "Yes, we Reapers know what that means." He looked at her, "But with Dean having the Mark what is your plan now?"
A full fledge laugh came out of Kris this time, "In case you haven't been following the game, NONE of my 'plans' have worked so far."
The Reaper tilted his head to the side, "That's not completely true, your plan to save the prophet seemed to work just fine."
She looked hard at the Reaper, trying to decide if he was telling her something, "Are you trying to tell me, me saving Kevin was against some kind of rule? Because Sa… I mean my Dad told me of the time your boss made him a reaper to get Sam's soul back."
The Reaper shrugged, "Not to my knowledge, but then again I am not privy to the Master List. I just go where He tells me."
"So this little visit really is just you being curious?"
Again he nodded.
"Does that mean I'm not going to die?"
It was the Reapers turn to laugh, "We Reapers don't tell the future, we just guide the souls."
They sat there for a moment. When they weren't trying to blow things up, or reap souls, Reapers seemed pretty cool. "So now what?" she asked after a few moments passed.
"Well I believe your time it up."
Kris's heart dropped, "But you said.."
He chuckled, "Not that time. I believe the time has passed and if your angel friend wished it he could heal you now."
"But it's only been a few moments."
"Time in the Veil moves very differently." He nodded to the clock on the wall.
Sure as shit, three an a half hours had passed. She looked at the Reaper, "Did you do this on purpose?"
Much to her shock, he nodded. "You hanging around your body like that is the reason your heart failed. The stress of your mind worrying and all that. I figured if I could get your mind on something else, even for a moment, you would have a better chance."
Kris chuckled and shook her head in disbelief, "So you kind of just saved my life."
He winked, "Don't tell anyone." He vanished.
She left the empty room and drifted back to hers. Gadreel was still sitting beside her, but he wasn't healing her. "Well come on."
The nurse had just left, but still Gadreel didn't heal her. He was worried, worried he would hurt her again and make her worse, worried not enough time had passed. He held his hand over her abdomen but couldn't bring himself to fix her. She had been in so much pain, what if that happened again. He glanced at the monitors. Her heart rate was back up, so was her blood pressure. Maybe she could pull out of it without him.
A cold draft hit his back and he smiled. "I know your back Kris.," he said to the empty air. "I am sorry, but what if I am wrong? What if I do this and you end up in worse shape?" Gadreel clasped his hands, "I can not be responsible for your death."
The cold draft was back, ten folds. Cold enough he could see his breath, Kris was getting mad. "Alright, I get it. You want me to take the chance." The temperature increased, she was happy. "Fine, but if you die, do not come crying to me."