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14 February 2007 @ 12:28 pm
 
lay me down to sleep
Gen: Dean, Tessa
WC: 1081
Spoilers for ep. 201.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.






So Tessa’s always gotten a kick from her job, but not in any kind of sick way. She just kind of likes the idea of letting people rest, because hey, life is pretty damn exhausting, especially for people like Dean Winchester.

She always watches her charges to get to know them a bit before taking them. People, she figures, deserve that much respect, to be known, remembered.

Dean’s wandering empty hallways and stairwells toward the main nurses station and she holds her breath, waits for realization to sink it. It always happens about the same way, sometimes with tears, sometimes not.

He’s surprisingly calm-looking, but she can taste his fear on her tongue, feel the tendrils of it spiking through the air. Dean takes a quick look around and hurries back to his room, eyes wide and hands unsteady. Tessa follows, even though she knows what he’ll see.


***


It's odd that she likes Sam because she rarely notices people who aren’t in various stages of dead or dying. It’s probably because Dean’s so invested in Sam; he follows and talks to him like Sam’s going to be able to hear him.

She feels a sigh escape because she just fucking knows Dean’s going to be one of those types, the kind that refuses to stop clinging to the vestiges of their old lives and move on. What they never realize at first is that the world moves on without them and nobody mourns their dead forever. Same old game.

At her sigh, Sam turns, peers curiously at the wall she’s leaning against and she shivers.

Well now. That's new.


***


He wanders the hall like a ghost, bare feet padding noiselessly against the cold floor he can’t feel anymore.

She feels a tug in her belly; one of her other charges needs her but she's reluctant to leave him.


***


Cynthia is a pretty nurse, in her early thirties, two kids and a nice house. Chokes to death on a peanut. It’s ironic, in a way. It’s not the worst death - there was that guy, with the fork and the pimento loaf - but it’s one of the saddest because no way Cindy saw this one coming. She had a fight with her husband earlier and left without kissing him goodbye for the first time. Cindy thinks about it in the last minute before she dies, wishes she’d said something else, anything else.

Tessa sweeps a cool hand across her forehead, feels her spirit tear away from her body.

Sometimes she doesn’t like her job.


***


Dean’s having trouble leaving Cindy’s side. He feels bad for not being able to do anything and becomes more determined to stop whatever’s killing people. Tessa thinks, exasperated, that death doesn’t kill people, life does.

She really needs to end this now.


***


She sweeps a hand over his chest, or at least tries to, when Dean grabs her arm. She throws him back, but dammit, she knew he was going to be trouble.

There’s always a choice, but most people don’t realise they have it. She doesn’t take people against their will, but few people bother to fight her. Dean’s already made a half-choice, not to go quietly with no pain, but clawing and scratching for the right to live - without even realizing he lost that a while ago.

What a pain in the ass you’re turning out to be, Dean.


***


Tessa could go blonde or brunette, but she figures Dean would prefer a blonde, so she goes with the darker. She doesn’t need Dean hitting on her, though it makes her smile to know that he’d try it.

Pale skin, large, dark eyes. She’s read Neil Gaiman; death should be sassy.

“Why won’t you look at me?” she calls out, knowing Dean’s just a hallway down. “Somebody talk to me! Say something, please.”

“Can you see me?” Dean asks from the bottom of the stairs.

“Yeah,” she says breathlessly.

“Alright, just uh, calm down. What's your name?”

“Tessa.”

“Okay good, Tessa, I’m Dean.

“What’s happening to me? Am I dead?”

“That sort of depends,” he says, calm and trying to help, and it makes a warmth seep through her belly. He's trying to help her because that's who he is.

Sometimes she hates her job.


***


“I gotta say, I’m impressed,” Dean says as they walk way from her “room” where her body's unconscious.

“With what?”

“You. Most people in your spot would be jell-o by now, but you’re taking it pretty well.”

Funny, Dean’s calmer than her while he’s the only one actually dying.

He adds, “Maybe a little better than me.”

Which is a lie, but she’s willing to let it slide.

“Don’t get me wrong, I was pretty freaked at first, but now I don’t know. Maybe I’m dealing.”

“So you’re okay with dying?” he asks, eyebrows raised like he couldn’t imagine anything more appalling, other than the emo rock that Sam listens to when he thinks Dean’s asleep.

“Now, of course not. I just think whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. It’s out of my control.” And she means it, she really does. She thinks Dean probably deserves to stay more than a lot of people she’s taken, but no one’s completely bad. They all deserve to live at some point in their lives, it’s part of why dying 's sad. “It’s just fate.”

“Hm, now that’s crap. You always have a choice. You can either roll over and die or keep fighting, no matter what-” A page for a code blue and a Dr. Krpke interrupts them and she sighs.

“Dean, where’re you going?”

“Just wait here,” he calls over his shoulder, already running.


***


She feels the moment he knows; his rage spreads around him like a ripple in the water and it’s almost a relief. She’s not going to be able to do what she needs while lying to Dean. She wants him on honest terms because he deserves no less.

Tessa wants him to understand so much: that she’s not trying to hurt him, she’s here to help him move on, to get a little well-earned peace. To rest.

He’ll take it, because he’s scared of becoming what he hunts and because she’s telling the truth - Dean’s family may or may not be able to carry on without him, but it’s out of his hands now. And he’s so tired.

“Hi, Dean,” she says softly, glad it's all over.




The end.

 
 
 
Neal's ass is magicfatale on July 8th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. *smooch*