betareader: Fleur LB
I lie on the ground, the wet green grass cooling my heated body. My arms stretch widely, my long blond hair spreading out. My mind is clouded by the great amount of alcohol I drank and the tranquilizers I took. The only sound I hear is my own breathing. In and out. Slowly. Softly. I wonder if I would realize if it stopped, if I just didn't breathe anymore. I don't think so.
There is no reason for me to breathe. But there is a reason not to. So why don't I just stop? I would even save oxygen for those who deserve it more than me. People, animals, plants… Creatures that aren't mistakes, lost causes like me.
So I stop. I shut my eyes, letting the dark welcome me as a long lost friend. Darkness… This is my world. This is where I am home.
"Hey," a rough voice pulls me back from my peaceful little corner in my mind and I breath in deeply.
"What are you doing here?" He asks and there is something so familiar in his tone, not just his voice, but the way he talks, but I can't put my finger on it.
"Where are your parents?" He tries again when I don't react to his latest question.
"In the ground," I answer with my eyes still closed, letting my lungs fill up with air again.
"I'm sorry," he says and somehow I knew he means it.
He lost somebody, too. I can hear it in his voice. Grief always stays with us. Death is one of those things that time can't heal. It haunts our days and nights, never leaving, never going away, always their in the back of our mind.
"You shouldn't be out here. Is there somebody I could call?"
The concern in his voice pairs with a strong commanding tone. No, he definitely can't be the man I thought. That man, Mr. Winchester was the nicest person I've ever met in my life.
I remember one time when Dad wanted to beat me up because I accidentally broke a lamp and Mr. Winchester protected me. Of course, later I got what I deserved according to my dad. I even got extra for crying in front of Mr. Winchester. But he tried and that was the point.
"No," I respond flatly, wishing he would just go away and leave me alone.
"What's your name?"
Too many questions. He really's starting to piss me off. I don't like people asking too much.
"It's none of your business," I groan.
"Don't use that attitude with me, young lady," I start to open my eyes to see the man above me.
Tall, dark, sad man in his mid-forties with broken green eyes.
"Mr. Winchester?" I ask, feeling stupid for letting my hopes run wild.
"Do I know you?" he looks at me suspiciously.
I guess it isn't such a big surprise he doesn't recognize me, after all, the last time he saw me I was only four years old with braids bouncing behind me.
"Taylor Heart," I sit up, putting my head in my hands, trying to clear my mind.
He nods, studying me carefully.
"Come on, I'll take you home," he starts to pull me up by my arms.
"No," I try to move away but I'm too weak to resist.
"Are you still living where you lived back then?" he asks me, almost carrying my whole weight.
"Yeah," I moan, my eyes shutting down again.
I'm tired. I just wanna sleep and never wake up again.
"Hey, don't fall asleep," he shakes me, rudely. "Did you take something?"
"Not enough to die," I blink few times.
"Dad, what happened?" a guy about my age gets out of the car, rubbing his eyes.
"Dean?" I fight against the tiredness, trying to keep my eyes open.
"Taylor?" he asks, his eyes widening with surprise and I nod or at least I try.
"Don't just stand there. Help me get her in the car," Mr. Winchester commands and Dean come to us to help me put in the car.
He's changed a lot and I don't only mean how he looks but his eyes. He was a happy kid. John and Mary Winchester were the best parents I've ever known. It's enough proof that they cared about me when my own family didn't give a shit about if I live or die. Well, Dad did but I wish he wouldn't.
Maybe my mind isn't clear but I know people just by the look in their eyes, no matter what. When I looked into Dean eyes, I see exactly what is in his dad's look. He's broken. The death of his mother broke him.
"I'll stay here," Dean slips next to me in the back of the car and suddenly the place feels very crowded.
I glance next to me, seeing a boy about 11 or 12 rubbing his eyes, staring at me questioningly.
"Who are you?" he asks, watching me carefully.
"Sammy?" he nods and I feel my eyes closing again, my head falling to Dean's shoulder.
Old memories appear in front of my eyes. Sam was only a few months old when Mrs. Winchester died in a house fire and they moved to somewhere far, far away from Lawrence. He became a pretty kid. Probably he will be as good looking as his father and brother.
I remember one time when we played in the garden with Dean. I climbed on a tree and fell, getting a nasty wound on my knee. Dean was scared to death, thinking I got hurt pretty badly and then his mom came, cleared it and took a bandage on it. That's a nice memory. It doesn't happen to me everyday that somebody takes care of me.
When Mrs. Winchester died and they moved away I lost the only people who loved me. I just cried and cried when nobody saw me, holding onto the necklace Dean gave to me, saying he would come back to me someday. I still have it. I never put it down, I wear it as a bracelet.
"Taylor," Dean softly shakes me and I feel the car stopping.
"Do you want me to take you inside?" Mr. Winchester turns to me.
"No," I answer quickly. Jenna would be very pissed if I woke her up. "But thank you," I mumble, getting of the car, staggering to the house.
I walk to the school with a cigarette in my hand when I hear the familiar sound. The Impala. That's one of those sound I would recognize anywhere. It stops next to me, Sam and Dean getting out, Mr. Winchester waving to me.
"Hey," Dean greets me, studying me, probably looking for signs if I drank or had taken some pills again.
"Morning," I smile at him, then look at his younger brother. "Hi, I'm Taylor."
"Sam," he shakes my hand.
"You can't remember me but I remember you," I grin at him. "You were a cute baby."
"Thanks," he glances away, blushing.
"So, how are you?" Dean asks as we start toward the school.
"Fine," I shrug, throwing my cigarette away.
"You really were knocked out yesterday," he says, watching me closely.
"Yeah, it happens," I smirk, not wanting to start a conversation about my drinking habits or the pills I often take.
We walk past next to some girls, all of them glaring at me and I hear them whispering.
"Can you see it? She killed Adam and now she has a new one too…"
The bitch doesn't have time to finish her sentence because I turn back and hit her with my bag. Her head flies back and she falls on the floor. The others start to scream, some kids stop to stare at us with wide eyes but I could care less.
"If you got something to say, say it to my face, bitch," I grab her by her hair, my knee on her stomach, ready to push.
"Jesus, let me go," she screams, tears rolling down her bruised face.
"Pathetic," I groan, letting her head fall to the ground.
I grab my bag and start to walk away, not caring about the eyes on me.
"It isn't such a surprise he'd rather die than be with a crazy whore like you," she hisses after me and I turn back and kick her in the stomach with all of my strength.
I rush out of the door, practically running away with my hands shaking as I reach into my pocket for a cigarette.
"Taylor!" I hear Dean's voice and try to steady my breathing.
"You wanna come with me?" I stop and ask him, hoping to avoid any question.
"Yeah," he shrugs, watching me carefully.
We start to walk slowly. Neither of us says a word. I don't talk because I've got nothing to say and I guess, Dean doesn't know what to say after what he saw.
"Who is Adam?" he asks after about 10 minutes of silence.
I glance at him, taking a gulp of my cigarette.
"Come on, I know a place you'll like," I throw my cigarette away and start to Mr. MacKenzie's confectionary.
"Taylor, sweetheart, ditching school again?" Mr. MacKenzie shakes his head when we enter the shop.
"Hello, Mr. MacKenzie," I smile at him. I love him, he's such a nice old man.
"And you even brought somebody with you," he looks surprised at Dean.
I can understand why he's surprised. I haven't brought anyone with me since Adam…
"Yeah, he's an old friend. Mr. MacKenzie, this is Dean. Dean this is Mr. MacKenzie, the God of ice cream," I motion between them, laughing.
"You make me blush, darlin'," Mr. MacKenzie chuckles, offering his hand to Dean.
"It's nice to meet you, sir," Dean shakes his hand.
"Nice to meet you, too, son. It's good to see my favorite customer finally has some friends again."
"Mr. MacKenzie, please," I groan, rocking on my heels.
"Sorry, honey, didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
"Never mind," I shrug, feeling Dean's eyes on me.
"So, the usual for you?" Mr. MacKenzie grins at me.
"Yep," I nod firmly. "Dean?"
"I dunno, what we've got?"
"Mostly everything," I say before Mr. MacKenzie could answer. "I would choose the hazelnut with biscuit and cherry when those meet, now that's magic."
"You really are a sweet-tooth, aren't you?" Dean laughs at me and I blush.
"Here's the chewing gum flavored for you and that's yours," Mr. MacKenzie gives us our ice creams.
"Thank You," I wave to him as we step out to the street.
"Chewing gum?" Dean raises an eyebrow, watching me attack my ice cream.
"My fave," I nod, grinning.
"That's gross," Dean makes a face.
"That was the first I ate. Your mom bought it to me," I say.
Dean body's stiffens next to me and I know I shouldn't have brought it up.
"Sorry," I mumble.
"Never mind," he shrugs, glancing away.
"We are here," I stop at the old wooden bridge.
"Wow, this is beautiful," Dean gasps, looking around.
"And peaceful," I sit down, leaning against the bridge. "This is my secret place, kind of a sanctuary for me," I say, lighting a cigarette.
I like being here. This is a fantastic place and people don't come here anymore. I like watching the birds in the wood on the other end of the bridge and listening to the low hum of the river under me. It makes me calm.
"What are these?" Dean asks, grabbing my arm with a terrified face, when I shrug off my jacket and he sees the scars.
"Nothing," I jerk my arm away roughly.
The last few months have been hard for me and I know I got really deep this time. I started cutting myself when I was about 12 but stopped when Adam came around, bringing some light to my life but after what happened to him… I need something to make me feel I'm still alive, I'm not dead.
"So where do you live now?" I ask, trying to find a new subject what isn't about me or my mental problems.
"On the road. Did you do that to yourself?"
"Cut it, Dean," I groan, turning away.
"I'll take it as a yes," he sighs, brushing his fingertips against my skin, causing me to shiver.
"So how is it?" I swallow, moving away from his touch.
"What?" he moves his gaze back to my face.
"Living on the road."
"Sometimes it's hard but I guess it's okay," he shrugs a little. "So how is Jenna?" Dean asks after a little silence.
"She's a bigger bitch than ever," I smirk. "Sometimes I wonder what has been worse, when Dad was still alive or this."
"Is it really that bad?"
"No, I just like saying it," I laugh, bitterly.
Hell, yes, it is that bad. My sister is my worst nightmare and I am hers. It's a miracle we haven't killed each other yet.
"So, what is it you exactly do on the road?"
"Well, this and that, you know…" Dean rubs the back of his neck, glancing away.
"It's fine. You don't have to tell me if you don't want," I say, shrugging. "After all we haven't seen each other for more than 10 years. I get it if you don't trust me."
"It's not that, Taylor," Dean sighs. "I know I can trust you. It's just… Just complicated, okay?"
"Okay," I nod after a few seconds, studying him.
I believe him. Whatever they do makes Dean looks so much older than he really is. It's like he always waits for some kind of danger. Like he's waiting for something to attack us.
"You still have it," he looks at the bracelet on my hand, smiling.
"Yeah, it's a part of me," I smile back at him.
"I have mine, too," he takes out the necklace I gave to him.
"Wow, I thought you'd dump it," I gasp, surprised.
"Why would I do that?" he raises an eyebrow. "It's a part of me, too."
I smile at him, glancing away. God, it would be nice have him around again like when we were kids. There aren't many people in the world I can trust, but still Dean Winchester is one of them.
"Adam is…" I swallow hard, trying to hold back my tears. "Was my boyfriend."
"What happened?" Dean glances at me.
"Accident," I push my sunglasses to my eyes. "His car stopped at the train tracks and…" I brush my hair nervously. "Well, you can figure the rest."
"I'm sorry. When did it happen?"
"A few months ago. It was my fault," I feel a single tear rolling down my cheek.
I didn't talk about it to anybody. Not like I have anybody to talk to.
"What do you mean?" he raises an eyebrow, pushing my hair away from my face.
"He was on his way to me. I'd had a fight with Jenna again and I called him."
Dean pulls me to his body, murmuring comforting words and it feels so strange to be so close to somebody again. It was so amazing finally talk to somebody who understands me and with him, I feel like my walls can go down.
"What?! You can't throw me out!" I yell at my sister who has just announced that she's sending me away to a special school, saying that she's talked to the principal and they can see no other options for me.
"Watch me," she glares at me.
"Fuck you, Jenna," I scream, rushing out of the house.
I walk down the street, not knowing where I am heading, just away from my sister, my life, everything. I've had enough. I want it all to end.
Of course, in the end I came to the bridge. I walk slowly on the side of it, balancing, cigarette and whiskey in my hands. I feel dizzy, the world spinning under me. I look down, the river invitingly washing under the bridge.
"Taylor," Dean shouts and I turn to him, losing my balance for a moment.
"Jesus!" Dean turns to white and I giggle a little, steady myself. "This wasn't funny."
"Yeah, it was," I laugh, the wind lightly blowing my hair.
"Taylor, come down, please," he offers me his hand.
"No," I shake my head, starting to walk again.
"We can talk about it, whatever happened, just come down," he takes a step closer to me.
"Jenna wants to send me to a special school. That bitch just waited for the best moment to get rid of me," I groan angrily.
"Okay, I'm sure we can figure out something," Dean says, watching my every step.
"Yeah, you know, the thing is that I don't wanna figure out anything," I turn to him, and I'm on the edge.
"Taylor, come on, this is not funny," he groans.
"I wanna be free," I laugh hysterically. "Can you hear it?"
"What?" he watches me nervously.
"The river," I throw my arms up in the air. "It's calling me."
And I jump. I can hear Dean calling my name and I wait for the crashing, the cold water welcoming my body but I only feel a strong hand grabbing mine. I open my eyes, Dean staring back at me. He holds me but I can feel my hand slipping off of his.
"Let go," I whisper but he takes a hold under my arms.
"No," he growls, starting to pull me up.
"Dean, no, please," I beg him but he pulls me up, breathing heavily.
"What the hell did you think?" he yells at me.
I stand there, staring at him blankly. My mind is numb. I don't feel anything. He keeps yelling at me but I can't hear a single word.
"Answer me, Taylor," he shakes me roughly.
"You should have let me fall," I start crying, my tears coming out unstoppable. "I just want it all to end. I hate being alone. I hate being lonely. No one would miss me anyway. Why can't you just let me fall?" I collapse against him, my knees giving out.
His arms come around me, holding me close, both of us slipping to the ground. I bury my face to his chest as I keep sobbing.
"I'm here, I'll be always here. You can always count on me."