WHEN: post season five AU
WORD COUNT: 1226
DISCLAIMER: Characters are not mine, I'm just playing with them.
''Miss Milton, will you tell us a story? About Sam and Dean, please?'' The most outspoken member of her small class asks, standing next to her desk and shuffling his feet, glancing back at his classmates for approval. All of them are looking at her with stars in their eyes and she wonders why is it more important to them to hear the story again instead of running around and playing.
''I told you about them ten times already'', she tells him gently, and the entire classroom pouts at her. She smiles wistfully and says: ''But I guess one more time won't do any harm.''
She's still uncertain why she tells them about Sam and Dean and the apocalypse, but they all love it so very much, asking her to repeat it every week or so. They keep talking about it among themselves, playing it out time and time again, and Anna finds it oddly comforting that they care. Sure, it's just a good story to them, but she suspects they will remember it even when they grow up and stop believing in fairy-tales.
And this story ain't it anyway.
Her class settles down in a circle around her desk and Anna looks at each eager little face in turn before she starts her story-telling once again.
''Sam and Dean Winchester were brothers.''
Every time she speaks about them she feels less alone, even if remembering hurts her inside. It's like she's honoring their memory, honoring everything they did for this world by passing it on.
''They were sons.''
Sometimes she goes back to her hometown. She sits in church and replays that moment she first laid eyes on Sam and Dean over and over again.
She still remembers every word, every gesture, every smile and frown. She remembers how quick they were to protect her even though they knew nothing about her except the fact that she sometimes hears angels.
''They were beautiful.''
Time hasn't wiped Dean's face from her mind. It's been three years since she last seen him, and even more since she was human, since he lay her down in the Impala's back seat and made love to her. A part of her thinks that maybe it would be easier if she couldn't remember anything, but the other, more romantic one clings to the memories, finds comfort in the knowledge that Dean can be right there next to her if she just closes her eyes.
She's not supposed to have these kind of feelings for him anymore, she shouldn't want to press her lips to his and feel his arms around her, but she does.
God help her, she does, so much that she can almost feel his hands on her skin.
''They were fearless.''
The day the apocalypse ended is also the day she got released from her prison in Heaven. Her Father finally came home and she stood before him, unable to believe it was really happening. He was beautiful, and he was merciful, but she rebelled and he punished her the only way he saw fit: sending her back to Earth as an angel, knowing she would never belong.
She still has red hair and she's still Anna Milton, only she's not, not really. She's been expelled from Heaven and she will live forever, always alone, always the same.
Somehow, teaching third grade seems to be the only thing that keeps her relatively sane. She knows she can keep doing it indefinitely if she switches towns from time to time, and it's comforting.
''They were young. Dean was 31, Sam was 28.''
She tries not to think about her time in prison too much, but sometimes sensations assault her and she remembers her own screams, remembers watching her doppelganger traveling through time to kill Dean and being powerless to stop it.
''They were soldiers.''
It's silly, but sometimes she thinks she sees Dean. He's just a face in a crowd on a Sunday morning, and when she blinks he's gone but Anna cherishes those encounters even though the pain afterwards is like a knife to her heart.
She wishes they let her out sooner, when she still could've done something to help, when she could've look in his eyes and tell him that she believed in him.
That night he stood in Bobby's back yard looking at the sky and asking for help is the only thing about Dean she wishes she could foget.
''They were heroes.''
What hurts the most it the knowledge that Dean died thinking she wanted him dead, and she would've given her last breath to protect him.
The children are silent for a while after she finishes but she knows it won't take too long before they start asking questions.
''Are you certain they die in the end, miss Milton?'' Valerie asks, biting her lip as if she's trying not to cry.
''It's only a story, honey. And besides, it was the only way to save the world,'' Anna tells her and the girl nods, smiling a little to herself.
''Did they go to Heaven?'' Tom, a freckled boy who sometimes reminds her of Dean so much she's breathless asks with wide, hopeful eyes.
''Yes'', Anna lies, because in truth, she doesn't know. She often lays in her cold bed and spends hours trying to convince herself that they did, but she simply doesn't know for sure. Sometimes she wishes she could still hear her brothers talking.
''Of course they went to Heaven, silly. They were heroes'', Alice tells Tom, shaking her pigtails at him. Anna smiles and regrets not having that kind of faith anymore. She's seen God, and she's still reluctant to believe in happy endings, because she's never really seen one.
''When I grow up, I'm gonna be Dean'', David exclaims like it's a profession, and Anna hopes he never finds out how hard Dean's life really was. A chorus of child's voices claim Sam's role and they are so very young, so very innocent.
She's still glad she told them the story again.
She goes to see Bobby that weekend. They never met before the apocalypse ended and he barely tolerates her because she's an angel and he blames them for everything, but there's no one else to talk to, for either of them.
Impala is still parked in the back yard, next to an oak tree, next to Sam and Dean's grave.
Anna bypasses the headstones and goes straight for the car, sitting in the back seat and carefully closing the door behind her.
Nothing has been disturbed here. Dean's jacket is still neatly folded, like he's about to open the door to get it, grinning at her and rolling his eyes at something Sam says. Sam's cellphone still lays on the dashboard even if the battery's long dead, and she knows that if she turns on the radio, it will play that same classic rock station Dean used to annoy Sam with.
Anna likes it here. It's like her own personal time machine and she can pretend that when she comes out from it, she will be back in time when they were still alive, when the world was a much better place.
Anna smooths her hand over the leather of Dean's jacket, wipes away a few tears and wishes that the story could've had a better ending.