Author Topic: Safe, At Last  (Read 1357 times)

Becky Winchester

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Safe, At Last
« on: September 28, 2016, 10:22:09 AM »
[size=9]20th June, 2013[/size][/b]

Sleep could heal all manner of wounds, even those that cut deep into the soul. A sleep induced by the god of healing ... that can do wonders. And so it was for Becky, brought back to Porto Helio in the wake of Athena's trial and laid to bed, to sleep off the worst of the damage that had been done to her somewhere safe and warm.

Once Becky had returned, Sam had refused to leave her side, even to eat and sleep, taking his meals there in the rooms Ares had been so kind to offer them. Not even Ayden could convince him to abandon his vigil at Becky's side, even for a few minutes. He only sat there by her side, holding her hand, and waiting patiently and anxiously for her to awake - like a knight waiting for a princess to wake from a spell-induced sleep.

But she didn't wake, not until the night had come and gone, and the gentle warmth of a new day was beginning to dawn. As soft sunlight filtered into the room to illuminate her face, Becky stirred at last, moaning softly in protest against the light even as her eyes opened, blinking to clear the fuzziness from her vision. She didn't recognize the room, or the sounds of the place outside ... but she did recognize Sam, her lips curving in a sleepy smile as her eyes fell on him.

He'd surrendered to sleep some hours ago, unable to keep his eyes open any longer after his long vigil at her bedside and all the pain and worry he'd suffered after the Furies had taken over her mind. He was slumped in the chair by her side, his face peaceful in its repose, his fingers still tangled in hers despite his sleep.

"Sam." Her voice was barely more than a whisper as she shifted toward him, rolling onto her side with lazy comfort to squeeze his fingers and bring him round. "Sam, wake up."

Instead of the knight waking the princess with a kiss, it seemed it was the princess doing the waking of him instead. "Hmm?" he murmured, lifting his head with a small wince at the crick in his neck, his eyes slow to open and remember where he was. "Becky?" he asked, though, of course, it was Becky. Who else would it be? For the first time in what seemed like forever, but had only been a few weeks, she seemed like herself. Her eyes were bright and lucid, her smile warm and welcoming. "Are you okay? I've been so worried," he said, leaning forward to take her hands in his, his expression a mixture of relief and weariness.

It was Becky; Becky as she had been before her father's death, warm and lucid and brimming with the vibrant personality so few people had bothered to get to know. As Sam took her hands, her smile deepened. "I'm fine, I ..." But she wasn't fine, was she? She gasped as the memories flooded back; memories of weeks of nightmares, of fingers in her mind, of what she had done under their influence. "Oh god," she whispered, horror overtaking her expression as her eyes filled with tears. "I killed her. Sam, I killed Jo, I ..."

Sam scooted closer, moving off the chair to sit beside her on the bed, giving her hands a warm reassuring squeeze as if to remind her she wasn't alone. "It's okay, Becky. It wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. It was the Furies. They were trying to drive you to madness. It's a long story, but Mom is okay. I promise. You've been through a lot, and you need to take it slow, okay?" he asked, touching his fingers to her cheek and pushing a strand of hair back from her face, that worried expression in place again. "Everything's gonna be okay. I swear." There was one thing he couldn't promise though - he couldn't promise to bring back her father.

"But ..." It was a lot to take in, to realize that she had been targeted for some reason, that she had done something terrible under that influence and yet Sam said it was okay. "How is she okay?" she asked, rising onto her knees, needing to know. "Sam, I slit her throat. I had her blood all over my hands, and ... how am I still here? I ..." She looked down at her stomach, remembering how she had twisted the knife to kill herself.

"Just calm down and take it slow. I'll explain. I promise, but I don't want you getting yourself upset, okay?" he urged, settling his hands against her shoulders and meeting her gaze. He looked tired, worn, like he hadn't eaten or slept right in weeks, which was the truth, but all that would change now that Hades was dead and Becky had been returned to him. "First thing you should know is Hades is dead, so the war's over for now," he told her, tugging a tassled rope that would summon one of Ares' servants. It was a crude means of ordering breakfast, but they weren't in South Dakota anymore.

Her eyes followed his hand as he pulled the rope, a faintly curious frown touching her brow even as she settled down at his urging. She trusted Sam completely - even more so now she recalled the way he had looked after her as her sanity was eroded from the inside out. He had never once allowed her to feel alone or lost, and he was here now, even after everything she had done. She had to believe him when he told her all was well. "All right," she said quietly, twisting about to sit with him, her head on his shoulder. "Tell me."

He slid an arm around her to hold her close, while she rested her head on his shoulder, and he told her what had taken place over the course of the last six or seven weeks. He knew it was upsetting for her to know that she had killed his mother and tried to kill herself - to know it hadn't just been a dream - but he hoped the outcome would bring her comfort, knowing that Jo still lived and the conflict with Hades was over. He left nothing out, telling her how Artemis had led his father to the Underworld to rescue his mother and finish off Hades once and for all; how Ares had taken Becky to Olympus to see to her healing and to expose Athena's lies, not only to Zeus but all the Olympians. He explained where they were, and that Ares and Ayden had offered them sanctuary here in Greece for as long as they wished.

And lastly, once the story was almost at an end, and they were finished with breakfast, he tangled his fingers with hers, his eyes bright with tears, and asked her the question that he'd been longing to ask her almost since they day they had met. "I know this is sudden, and I don't expect it to happen today, but I love you, Becky, and I want to spend my life with you. Would you be my wife? You don't have to tell me today. Just think about it, okay? And tell me in a few days."

The storytelling helped. At heart, Becky was an academic; she enjoyed a good story told well, and Sam spun a good yarn. Add to that the fact that she knew most of the characters, and the circumstances that had led to this moment in time, and it became easier to square with the confusion in her own memories. It would still be a few days before all her questions were answered, but that was just the way she was. She took her time to analyze and understand, never rushing to a conclusion. So Sam's unexpected proposal was a bit of a shock.

"Uh ..." Blinking rapidly, she squeezed his hand, trying to put together a response that wasn't going to hurt him or give him false hope. "I ... I-I ... okay, in a few days," was what she eventually came up with. "I think you just made my brain stop working."

"Sorry," he said, frowning as he tried to hide his disappointment. Maybe he should have listened to his mother and given her a little more time, but watching Becky suffer these last weeks and worrying he might lose her only made him realize how much he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He had never considered she might say no, but he realized now that it was a very real possibility, especially given all the pain and grief she'd suffered because of him. "I shouldn't have asked," he told her, dismissing the topic of discussion from his lips, if not his heart.

"I didn't say that," she pointed out, touched by how disappointed he was not to have a resounding yes right away. Rising from where she sat, she moved to plant herself in his lap, turning his face until his eyes met hers. "You're all I have, Sam," she reminded him, her voice soft but vehement. "I love you, and without you, I'd be dead, or worse. But the Furies didn't let me mourn my dad, and I'm not cruel enough to give you the yes you're looking for when my heart's still hurting over the last words I said to him. It's not a no, and I don't think it'll ever be a no, I just ..." She could feel herself tearing up as she tried to explain this to him. "I don't want my yes to be dishonest. I don't want it to be fueled by loss. I want it to be only because I love you, and not because I'm afraid of being alone. Does that make sense?"
[color=indigo:9e1cb544fb][size=9:9e1cb544fb][i:9e1cb544fb][b:9e1cb544fb]The more real things get, the more like myths they become.[/b:9e1cb544fb][/i:9e1cb544fb][/size:9e1cb544fb][/color:9e1cb544fb]

Becky Winchester

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Re: Safe, At Last
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 10:23:31 AM »
He knew exactly how she was feeling, and though he would always have his family, he often felt as alone as she was. "I understand," he assured her, trying hard not to look too disappointed. She wasn't saying no, exactly, so much as asking for a little time, and time was the one thing he had plenty of. He reached up to wipe a bit of jam from the corner of her mouth, a soft smile on his face. "I want to show you something."

Relieved that he understood, even if that disappointment was still there, Becky curled her arms about his shoulders, breathing him in slow and deep as she let herself relax in his arms. Aside from her sister and her grandfather, Sam really was all she had. Leah had her own boyfriend, and they were planning to get married in the next year anyway; Ephraim had his place at the Men of Letters' bunker in Kansas. Becky had Sam, and hopefully his father wouldn't kill her the next time he laid eyes on her. Drawing back at the suggestion he offered, her smile turned a little crooked. "Is it outside? Because I kinda think I'd have to get dressed for that, and unless Ayden's filled that closet with her own clothes for me to wear, that could prove a little dicey."

"Just onto the balcony," Sam replied, with a smile. Though she wasn't exactly dressed for a tour of Ares' villa just yet, he was eager to show her the view. He touched a kiss to her cheek, his eyes bright with a hint of mischief. "Come on. No one cares what you're wearing." Or not wearing, for that matter.

"All right." Barefoot and clad only in close fitting pajamas, it was a relief to know he wasn't taking her outside outside. Rising up onto her feet, she wiggled her fingers to invite him to stand up and show her what he had in mind. "Am I allowed to know in advance what I'm seeing, or is it a surprise?"

"Oh, I kind of think the view needs very little explanation," he told her, linking his fingers with hers as he moved to his feet to lead the way to the veranda just outside their rooms that opened onto a sight nothing like any they'd ever seen before. White beaches and blue water, lush gardens and stone dwellings, clear and bright azure skies, and breezes that smelled like the sea.

"But I still have my top on," she teased as he drew her toward the veranda. "I thought that was your favorite ..." The teasing trailed off in the face of the beautiful vista that opened up in front of her. Though she had been here before, it had been in winter, and they hadn't had the luxury to explore on Ayden's wedding day. Here and now, she could see so much she wanted to look at more closely, moving to lean onto the railing as she breathed in the fresh air and warmed to the sun on her skin. "It's so beautiful here."

"Isn't it?" he asked, a soft smile on his face, happy to see her smiling for the first time in weeks. It seemed he, too, was talking about the view, but his view included her, and as far as Sam was concerned, there was nothing more beautiful than that. "Ares and Ayden offered us the guest house, if we want to stay a little longer," he told her. Though he wasn't too sure how she felt about that, he thought it might do them well to stay here a while, at least until they felt ready to go home.

"I think I'd like that," she admitted softly, absentmindedly drumming her fingers on the railing as she looked out over the gardens. "Not just because we're in Greece. It feels safe here. And ... I haven't felt safe for weeks." The glance she threw him was full of apologies; it wasn't a comment on him, or his ability to protect her. But weeks of sleepless nights and haunted days had left her more than a little on edge.

Fortunately, he didn't take her comment to heart, knowing he couldn't have kept her safe from the Furies even if he'd wanted to. He'd been well out of his league there; not even Ares had suspected what was wrong with Becky until a few days ago. "I want you to feel safe, Becky, and ..." He frowned a little. As anxious as he was to see his family again, he had to think of her first, and he, too felt safe here and at peace. "I'm not ready to go home yet," he said, turning his gaze over the vista before them. He hadn't yet spoken of the feelings of grief and guilt he'd had to struggle with over the last few weeks, but it was there to see in the expression on his face which, though relieved, held a hint of sadness.

At a loss as to how to help, she eased closer, curling her arm about his back as she kissed his shoulder. "We'll get through it," she promised him. "Both of us, we have a lot to work through. Let's do it together, okay? No more secrets. I should have told you that I wasn't sleeping, that I was hearing voices, but I didn't. It's my fault you had to deal with your mom dying, and me going nuts. Let me help you?"

"And I'm sorry about your dad," Sam said, his heart aching with guilt to know her father had likely died because of him, because of her connection to him and his family's struggle to save humanity from Hades' and his minions. In the end, what had happened was the fault of neither, but those forces that were bigger, older, and more powerful than themselves.

"It's not your fault," she told him softly. "He was a Man of Letters. He always knew he might die bloody. Look, I know my dad. He wouldn't have wanted to go any other way. He died saving my life, he bought me time so you could save me. I'm never going to forgive myself for arguing with him just before he died, but there's nothing to forgive you for."

"Becky, you should know that I never meant to stay here. Hope and I came here because of our parents, because we wanted to change the future. I never meant to stay. I wasn't supposed to stay, but I'm glad I stayed, not just because of my family, but because of you," he told her, taking her hands in his again, hoping she understood what it was he was trying to tell her.

"But you didn't even know me when you made that decision," she pointed out curiously as he took her hands in his, holding his gaze with storms in her gray eyes. "Sam ... for what it's worth, I'm glad you threw up on my boots. I'm glad that Ayden didn't let you back out of calling me. I'm happier with you than I have been for a long time, and ... I have no idea how to finish that sentence."

"You don't have to, Beck," he assured her, sliding his arms around her waist to pull her close, turning so that they could enjoy the view together. "Like you said, we'll get through this together," he assured her, unsure how to offer more comfort where her father's dead was concerned.

Drawn close, she curled her arms about him, closing her eyes as he held her. There really was nowhere in the world like Sam's embrace, but she didn't have the words to be able to tell him that. "I love you," she whispered to him, wishing there was some way to show him how deeply she felt that love for him. He was her anchor in the storm; without him, she would be adrift or drowned.

"I love you, too," he told her, unafraid to say the words, though those three little words felt so inadequate to describe the depth of feeling he had for her. He, too, wished there was some way to show her how he felt, but maybe each had already done that in their own way. He had stayed by her side through all of this, still believing in her, even when she'd taken his own mother's life, knowing it wasn't his Becky who'd done that, worrying she'd never be his Becky again. "I was so scared, Beck," he admitted quietly, almost reluctantly. "I was so afraid you'd never come back to me."
[color=indigo:9e1cb544fb][size=9:9e1cb544fb][i:9e1cb544fb][b:9e1cb544fb]The more real things get, the more like myths they become.[/b:9e1cb544fb][/i:9e1cb544fb][/size:9e1cb544fb][/color:9e1cb544fb]

Becky Winchester

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Re: Safe, At Last
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 10:24:36 AM »
"I thought you'd never forgive me," she murmured in return, revisiting that haunting moment when the cloud had lifted from her mind and shown her what she had done in her madness. "I'm scared to be alone. Not just to be by myself, but to be really alone, without anyone to love me. I was so sure I'd destroyed any hope of you ever loving me when I ... I'll always come back to you. Always. I promise."

"You're never be alone, so long as I live. Promise," he promised in return, tightening his embrace just a little as he held her close in his arms. Maybe he had jumped the gun a little in asking her to marry him, but it seemed no matter what her final answer was, they were both determined to stay together, no matter what. He touched a gentle kiss to her lips, soft and tender and loving. "I suppose we should see about a bath and find you some clothes to wear," he admitted, though he felt in no hurry.

She smiled into his kiss, easily reassured with just a little affection from the man she loved. She might only just have turned nineteen, but she was old enough to know her own mind and her own heart. "A bath sounds good," she murmured in answer, the tip of her nose circling his as they lingered together in the warm sunshine. "You need one, too. You're kinda stinky."

Sam laughed. "There's no kinda about it," he replied with a grin. He knew he needed a bath and a very long rest, but first things first. He had his Becky back, and nothing was as important as that.

"So what are we waiting for, hmm? Even you think you're stinky, and I bet I smell pretty ripe, too." She flashed him a hint of her familiarly cheeky smile. "I don't think Mad Me understood what soap and shampoo are for too well. I'm lucky I don't have lice."

Sam made a face, showing just disgusted he was by that thought. "You have to catch lice from someone who has it, Becky, and as far as I know, you haven't been around anyone with lice ... I hope," he added as an afterthought, scratching at his head, just at the thought of it.

She snorted with laughter, slapping his hand away from his head. "Unless you have lice, baby, we're all good," she promised him warmly. "Now ... there's gotta be a bathroom around here someplace, right?" The view could wait; now the thought of getting really clean had been planted in her mind, she wasn't letting go of it. Taking his hand in hers, she turned to march back into the room, looking around for a likely-looking door.

He already knew where the bathroom was as he'd made use of it multiple times since their arrival, but it amused him to watch her try to find it on her own. "You're getting warmer," he teased as she made her way back into the small suite of rooms Ares had so graciously lent them.

She paused, looking back at him with one brow raised. "Hunt the bathroom, really?" she asked in amusement. "Why don't I just strip off and go swimming in the sea instead? Might be easier."

"Uh, five minutes ago you didn't want to step outside in your pajamas and now you want to go skinny dipping? And you wonder why we find women confusing," Sam remarked with a chuckle. "Besides, I'm not so sure I want to share the view," he added truthfully.

"In that case, you should definitely point me toward the hot water," Becky informed him impishly. "Or I might lock you out until the view's all covered up again." She flashed him a sweet smile, blowing him a kiss just to lay it on thick.

"But I've seen it already!" he pointed out with a pout. He stopped in his tracks, crossing his arms against his chest and looking just a little too much like his father. "Just for that, you can find it yourself," he teased, sticking his tongue out at her.

"Oh, so you want to be locked out," she nodded sagely. "I get it. You want a little alone-time with your right hand, that's cool." Not even Jo would tease Dean like this, but Becky had the measure of her Sam. She winked at him, prodding open the nearest door to find a closet that had more than a few changes of clothes in it. "Huh. So I guess I'm not going naked here after all."

"Hey, if you want to get naked in the closet, knock yourself out," he teased further, having a hard time hiding the smirk from his face. "You're getting warmer though," he added, as she eliminated one more door in her search for the bathroom.

Laughing, she rolled her eyes at him. "You're enjoying this far too much, you know," she told him cheerfully. "Anyone would think you like the idea of getting really filthy with me. Maybe I should find some lice, we could share them then." The last door opened at her touch, and in front of her was the biggest tub she'd ever seen. "Oh, wow. Please tell me that doesn't take a day to fill."

"Oh, come on. Can you honestly say you didn't enjoy making mudpies as a kid? Besides, it's not about getting dirty. It's about cleaning up," he replied, as she finally found the right door. "It doesn't take a day to fill," he told her, knowing that wasn't quite what she meant.

"Ha, ha," was her sarcastic response, delivered with a smile as she let go of his hand to step into the bright space that was their bathroom for the time being. It was a matter of minutes to set the tub filling, and despite its size, it filled quickly. "Ares likes his luxuries, doesn't he?"

Sam shrugged his shoulders. "Why shouldn't he? They treat him like a god here," he pointed out. And why shouldn't they? This was Greece, after all, and Ares was an Olympian. In this place, at least, it seemed the past wasn't forgotten, and though he might not be openly worshiped, Ares certainly had the best of everything.

"Hope Ayden doesn't let it go to her head," Becky mused, bending to inspect the bottles on display, searching out a decent shampoo she could use to get the dry, greasy feeling out of her hair. She glanced back at Sam. "Are you planning on getting in fully clothed, or am I getting a striptease?"

"I don't think Ayden lets anything go to her head," Sam remarked, knowing Ayden better than even Ayden might think. After all, she had helped raise him once upon a time back home in his own time. "I wasn't sure you wanted me to join you," he said, regarding bath. It was certainly big enough to fit the two of them comfortably, but he didn't want to assume.

She straightened, looking him over with a teasing eye. "Get your pants off," was all she really had to say, crooking a finger toward him as she turned to close the faucet. A moment later, her pajamas were in a pile on the floor, and she was performing the delicate action to stepping into hot water without slipping, sliding, or making a big splash.

"You don't have to tell me twice," Sam replied, with a grin as he unbuttoned his jeans. The bath really was a luxury, especially to Sam. He was more accustomed to a quick shower himself. It wasn't often he had the time for such luxuries as this, and despite the lure of a soak in warm water, he felt just a little bit leery about it. "I'm not gonna come out smelling like a girl, am I?"
[color=indigo:9e1cb544fb][size=9:9e1cb544fb][i:9e1cb544fb][b:9e1cb544fb]The more real things get, the more like myths they become.[/b:9e1cb544fb][/i:9e1cb544fb][/size:9e1cb544fb][/color:9e1cb544fb]

Becky Winchester

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Re: Safe, At Last
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 10:25:16 AM »
"Do you see any bubbles?" she pointed out, settling into the surprisingly deep tub with a sigh of relief. "Stop being a wuss and get in here, you big baby. If you're good, I might let you scrub my back." It didn't exactly answer his question, but she never answered silly questions anyway.

"And how does that benefit me?" he countered, though the gleam in his eyes hinted at his amusement. "And here I thought women liked it when men washed their hair," he muttered as he stepped out of his jeans and followed it up by stripping off his shirt.

"No one's washed my hair since I was a kid." Becky giggled, slithering to the edge of the tub to rest her arms on the side and watch him undress. It felt like an age since she'd just been able to enjoy Sam, no doubt because of the influence of the Furies on her mind, but she was taking every opportunity to savor him now.

"You're staring," he pointed out, eyeing her sideways just as he was about to remove his boxers. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was making him a little self-conscious. In that way, he and his father differed. While Dean would likely be flaunting his nakedness, Sam was a little more self-conscious, though he had nothing to be ashamed of.

"Would you rather I didn't?" she asked softly, raising her eyes to his face with a tender smile to light up her gaze. "I can turn around, if you'd rather. I don't want to make you uncomfortable." Of course, she wouldn't be Becky if she didn't add, "Or I could drape myself over the side here. Give you an eyeful to make us even."

"I'll have an eyeful and a handful soon enough," he countered. If anyone was able to put him at ease, it was Becky. While his father might have been with countless women before he got married, Sam's list of "conquests" was much shorter. In fact, he'd never really had much time for women before he'd met Becky.

He hadn't been her first, either, but Becky was pretty sure he was her last. Despite all the turmoil in her heart, the mourning she still had to go through, she was sure Sam would be there for her, no matter what. She might be young, but she knew what she wanted. She just didn't want to give him that yes he wanted with anything hanging over their heads that might give either of them a moment of doubt. "Just the one hand?" she asked sweetly, easing back from the edge of the tub to give him room to get into the steaming water.

"Depends on if I'm multi-tasking," he teased, once the boxers were off and he was climbing into the tub to join her. "This thing is huge!" he remarked, meaning the tub, which was even bigger than he'd at first realized.

"Kinda puts our pokey little tub to shame, doesn't it?" she agreed with a grin, already reaching for a cloth to begin scrubbing his skin clean. "Not that the lack of space ever stopped us before."

"Ayden said something about Ares offering us the guest house," Sam told her, though he'd mentioned it once before. "I wonder what the tub is like there," he mused aloud, reaching out to take the cloth from her so that he could spoil her for a change. "You first," he told her, gesturing for her to turn around.

"It's the guest house, maybe it's smaller," she shrugged, for once not arguing as he took the cloth from her hand. She knew him well enough to understand that he probably needed to spoil her a little, even if she didn't feel as though she needed or deserved it. "Is the guest house nearer the sea?" she asked curiously, turning her back and pulling her hair over her shoulder as she glanced back at him.

"I don't know," he replied, as he soaped up the cloth and rubbed it over her back. "I haven't seen it yet, but I doubt it's too shabby," he said. If their rooms were anything to go by, the guest house was probably nothing to sneeze at. "I know it sounds terrible, but I'm not really in any hurry to go home."

She was quiet for a long moment, biting her lip as he washed her back. "I don't know if I can handle going home," she admitted softly. "To the apartment, I mean. I ... there's just so much that happened there. So many dark thoughts and nightmares, and ... I don't know, Sam. It's been weeks since I got a full night's sleep without something haunting my dreams or waking me up. I don't know if I'll ever be able to sleep there again."

"Then don't," Sam said without hesitation. She might not be ready to say yes to his proposal, but they were practically living together as it was. He paused a moment as he squeezed out the cloth to rinse the soap from her back. "Seriously, Beck. I'm sure Ares and Ayden don't mind us staying as long as we like. Or we could stay with my parents a while. It would be safe there," he said, though he wasn't entirely sure of that, and he wasn't sure they'd feel comfortable living together under his parents' roof. "Or we could get a new place of our own. Make a fresh start," he suggested further, leaving it completely up to her.

She laughed, but there wasn't much mirth in the sound. "Your dad would love that," she said, her tone more than a little sarcastic. Oddly, she wasn't afraid of what Jo would think of her, but Dean's reaction was something that rose like a dreadnought of terror in her mind. "He's never going to approve of me now." She turned to face him, stroking her fingertips against his cheek. "I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose you. But I can't get between you and your family, Sam, I won't."

Sam frowned, disappointed that she seemed so eager to give up already when she hadn't even talked to his father yet. "You should give my dad a little more credit. It's not the first time my mom was killed. The first time, she died saving my dad from hellhounds, so if you want to take the blame and feel guilty, you might have to get in line behind him," he told her as gently as he could. After all, Becky didn't know much about his parents' past. To be fair, they didn't talk about it much, but Sam had learned all he had to from Bobby and Ellen and Ayden.

She took away from that what he meant her to, but one thing stuck in her head a little more immediately. "What do you mean, the first time she died?" she demanded, shocked to hear that apparently dying was a way of life in his family. "How often has she died?"

"Twice now, but Dad has died countless times. They're not from this Earth, you know. They're from some ... I don't know ... alternate Earth, I guess. After Mom was killed by hellhounds, Aphrodite rezzed her somehow and brought her here, but she didn't know who she was. Brian found her and took her in, treated her like his own. He gave her the name of Nimue. She only remembered who she really was when Mnemosyne gave her back her memory," he explained.

Becky stared at him, not entirely sure how to process this. "And this is ... normal ... in your family, huh?" she asked, just a hint of droll humor suggesting that she wasn't as weirded out about it as she first seemed. "And because this is only the second time your mom's died, your dad isn't going to go one-man-lynch-mob on me?"
[color=indigo:9e1cb544fb][size=9:9e1cb544fb][i:9e1cb544fb][b:9e1cb544fb]The more real things get, the more like myths they become.[/b:9e1cb544fb][/i:9e1cb544fb][/size:9e1cb544fb][/color:9e1cb544fb]

Becky Winchester

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Re: Safe, At Last
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 10:26:17 AM »
He chuckled, but there was little humor in it. "Nothing about my family is normal, Becky. I thought you knew that by now." For starters, he was from the future, while his younger self was still a baby in this reality. "My dad is more likely to hug you than lynch you, trust me." Maybe he was exaggerating a little, but he didn't think his father was going to blame Becky for Jo's death, knowing it hadn't been her fault. If anyone understood that, it was Dean Winchester.

She held his gaze for a long moment. "I'm so glad we met," she said suddenly, easing closer to kiss him. "No one else in the world could possibly have understood even half of that, and you need someone to keep you on the mild side of insanity."

"I'm sure most people would think I'm nuts if I told them what I just told you," he said, smiling into her kiss. He hadn't even told her half of his parents' story, but for now, it was enough. Thankfully, she'd been raised to keep an open mind about such things, just as he had, but that didn't make what she'd gone through any easier.

"Becky," he started, his expression turning serious. "My family is never gonna be normal. I'm never gonna be normal, but what we do is important. Essential, really. I know you've been through a lot, and I know it's gonna take some time before you feel safe again, but if we're gonna be together, you should know this is who I am and this is what I do. I can't be anyone else. I promise I'll do my best to keep you safe, but being with me ... being part of my family ... it's dangerous, and ... maybe it's selfish of me to want you to be part of my life, but you deserve to know the truth. I wish I could take back everything that happened, but I don't regret meeting you or being with you. If you decide it's too much and you don't want to be with me, I'll understand, but I want you to know that I'll never forget you and I'll never stop loving you."

She listened, letting him get it all off his chest in one fell swoop, her fingers playing in and out of his hair. "Sam ... normal is overrated," she told him softly. "I love you. And I want you to teach me how to fight. Sure, someday I'll have to take over in the bunker, but ... well, there's something I haven't told you about my family." She lifted the pendant that hung from her neck, showing him the ruby stone. "This is one half of the key to Atlantis," she said quietly. "It's been in my family for generations, further back than recorded history. It's the reason I'm so obsessed with Atlantis; it's why my great-grandfather joined the Judah Initiative and why we ended up a part of the Men of Letters. We're guardians to something that almost everyone in the world thinks is a myth. And somewhere out there is the other half. Still think I'm normal?"

He arched a brow at her confession. He'd often wondered about the stone she wore about her neck, but had never asked about it. As far as he'd known, it was just a family heirloom of some sort, pretty but without any real usefulness. He smiled as he realized she'd just taken him into her confidence, as he'd taken her into his. "I think normal is over-rated, too," he said, leaning close to touch a soft kiss to her lips, relieved she still loved him, and even a little amused to know they weren't so different, after all.

Her smile echoed his as he kissed her, the last of her secrets gone as her arms wrapped about him, deepening that kiss. For months, that secret had been something she'd hated keeping from him, but it was too important to share with just anyone. If he was listening carefully, he would realize that she had just given him that yes, albeit not in so many words. She'd trusted him with the most important thing about herself, something that she had told no one else. It was no small thing for a person who knew about Thules and monsters and demons.

He sensed that yes in her kiss and her embrace, not quite realizing the depth of the secret she'd just shared with him. It would most likely occur to him later, when she wasn't there to distract him with kisses and caresses. For a short time, it seemed as if it was just them - that nothing and no one else in the world existed or mattered. For just a little while, it was true; Becky was Sam's world and for just a little while, nothing else mattered.

For just a little while, she had no intention of being anything but distracting. Forget washing - they'd get clean enough in the process, but for now, she wanted to reconnect with Sam, to show him that she really was back as she had been before. So long as they remembered to wash her hair before they got out, it was all good.

Without any distractions or interruptions or responsibilities, they had more than just a little while; they had all the time they wanted. Time to rekindle their love, time to renew the promises they'd made, though no words were needed. Sam went slow, letting Becky choose the pace, patient despite being unable to hide his obvious desire for her. What mattered most was making sure she knew that he loved her, and if that love could be measured in gentle kisses and tender caresses, then there should be no doubt left in her mind.

Gentle was what she needed, though she would never have admitted it aloud. The girl who was quite happy to tease and grope him in public needed soft touches right now, like a horse newly broken to bridle, afraid to give too much in case she let anything else in again. But with Sam, there was no need for fear, and slowly, gently, her fear turned to tender laughter as she reciprocated his affection with her own, finding the fun as well as the love and reveling in it for its own sake. Now there was the Becky he knew.

They might have spent the rest of the afternoon cavorting in the tub if not for the fact that they were both starting to shrivel like prunes. But before Sam would let her leave, he made good on his promise to wash her hair, taking as much care with that task as he did with anything else that concerned her. He washed her hair as gently and thoroughly as he'd made love to her, only then pulling the plug on the tub before anyone came looking for them.

In that respect, they were lucky that it was Ares' house they were staying in. Neither Ares nor Ayden would consider disturbing them, not even to satisfy their own curiosity, unlike Sam's parents. If they had been at the Winchesters', someone would have "accidentally" opened the door by now. As it was, Sam had the leisure to lull Becky into sleepy warmth with the gently thorough cleaning he gave her hair, the weeks of sleepless nights already beginning to catch up to her. It would be a while before they could both get through a full day without needing a nap.

Maybe it was the warm water or maybe it was their lovemaking that lulled them both into a sense of drowsiness. He had shared her sleepless nights, as he'd worried and fretted over her, and now that they were both relaxed and safe, it was easy to give in to the need for rest. With that in mind, Sam led Becky back to bed, not to finish what they'd started but to let her rest, safe in his arms, for as long as she wanted.

There would be plenty of time to finish what they had started. The rest of their lives, in fact. But for now, all Becky really needed was to sleep in Sam's arms, safe in the knowledge that he could keep these nightmares at bay. She nestled close to him, sighing softly as her weariness began to catch up to her. "Sam?" she murmured, just on the edge of sleep. "Thank you for loving me."

He smiled, eyes heavy with sleep after fighting against it for so long. How did one respond to that? "Always, Becky," he told her as he held her close in his arms and allowed sleep to claim him, content in the knowledge that she was safe at last.

[size=9]((Hugely enormous thanks to my partner for these last few scenes - epic and fun!))[/size]
[color=indigo:9e1cb544fb][size=9:9e1cb544fb][i:9e1cb544fb][b:9e1cb544fb]The more real things get, the more like myths they become.[/b:9e1cb544fb][/i:9e1cb544fb][/size:9e1cb544fb][/color:9e1cb544fb]