Sunday, December 5th, 2010 03:48 pm
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] spn_fs_exchange
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] shampayn
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: temporary major character death, technically underage in some countries? (Anna is 16 or ageless, depending)
Pairing: Anna/Tessa
Summary: When Anna Milton was sixteen years old she died and woke up.
Wordcount: 1000
Notes: Thanks to [personal profile] st_aurafina for the speedy beta and late night first aid. It turns out that my Nano goal - of writing more fic - applied to this pinch hit, too. This is the fastest turnaround I've ever had on a fic! Then again, I'm on prednisolone and antibiotics for my wretched cough and vile sinus infection, so maybe it's the drugs.



When Anna Milton was sixteen years old, in that beautiful summer of 2001, she was stung to death by a bee. She was sunbathing on the lawn of her friend Jenny's home, laughing, and her waving hands disturbed its flight. It stung her on the right shoulder and, as she clapped a hand to the pain, swearing, it died. A few horrible, gasping minutes later – her Epi-Pen impossibly far away back at her house – so did Anna.

"I'm sorry, bee," she tried to say, then, for no reason that she understood, "Bees are beautiful. I used to wear one like a jewel in my hair." Her throat was entirely closed, though, and no sound came out. Her eyes swelled shut and the hot white sun was the last thing she saw.

***

The sun was bright, but it didn't hurt Anna's eyes. It only warmed her long hair and her bare skin. She was naked, but she didn't feel embarrassed or cold at all. She really only noticed because she had been wearing Jenny's pink-striped bikini. Jenny was going to want that back. Even Anna's brand new Hard Candy toenail polish was gone.

Anna thought that she should be more worried than this, considering that she was probably dead and this was some kind of oxygen deprived hallucination. Her mother, an ER nurse, had told Anna all kinds of amazing things that people on the brink of death had said they had seen. That must be it. She must be dead.

Still, it was a perfect day in a huge jungle of a garden, and she couldn't feel anything other than relaxed and warm. It wasn't even a scary jungle. Flowering plants and huge trees towered over her; the only sounds were rustling leaves, the distant hum of bees, and her own breathing. Most of these plants she'd never seen before, but there were a few that she recognised. There were yellow and white frangipani up there, like when her family went to Florida, some tiny forget-me-nots bordering the grass where Anna stood, and even a flotilla of pink lotus flowers in a small pond at the base of a gentle hill. She ran one finger down the edge of a frangipani petal.

"That's a symbol of death in many cultures," said a quiet female voice.

Anna turned, a smile on her face, and saw a girl about her own age, also naked. She was a white girl with bobbed, dark hair and a kind expression. Anna openly looked at the girl's body in a way that she never would elsewhere, and knew that the girl was looking at her body with just as much delight.

"Am I dead? Do I live here with you now?"

The girl stepped forward and put her arms around Anna. Her round breasts pressed up against Anna's small ones, and Anna felt completely at home.

"No, you're only here for a little while. My name is Tessa and I'm here to watch over you."

Anna stroked the side of Tessa's neck, where her skin was soft like the frangipani petal. "Is that what you do? Watch over people?"

"Not usually, but right now you are in my realm and you need my help. There are other forces very interested in you, Anna Milton, and they would divert you from your life's path and your true death." She stroked Anna's spine, leaving a trail of tiny goosebumps.

This conversation should be frightening, but it wasn't. "Does everyone have a true death?"

"Of course they do. It's not what they think is good or right, usually, but it's part of the universe."

"Oh." Anna gently moved her body against Tessa's, bending down slightly to kiss her neck. "Well, the universe is a beautiful place. I don't want to break it."

Tessa kissed her lips. "You wouldn't break the universe, my darling. You only want what is right and good."

In a moment, Anna knew that she had known this girl for a long time: they had traced nebulae together, and lain together in bodies that were as vast and glorious as time; they had argued with poisoned words and fought with blazing swords; Tessa had taken Anna's beloved humans away and Anna had hated and loved her for it, once the battle was done and they rested.

Tessa laughed but her eyes held tears. "You remember me! Do you remember the Garden?"

"With my soul, but not with my mind. I think…I think I'm too small for all of that right now. I just remember you. I only need you."

Tessa kissed her again, running her hands down Anna's body, and they sunk down together into the soft grass and loved each other as they had for endless nights and days. Tessa was patient but Anna's human body was hungry and rough and very young. She didn't remember, exactly, but Tessa did, and kissed her body into bliss and submission.

Around them, the bees hummed quietly, at their endless, perfected work while the great beings played and loved, making mistakes and laughing at the ways they were different and the same.

***

When Anna Milton was sixteen years old, she woke up in pain in a brightly lit hospital. Where her throat had felt hot kisses, it now burned; where her mouth had been wet with desire it was parched into silence.

"She's awake," a voice said, harsh on her ears, and she winced. "You've had a tube in your throat, honey, and we've had you sedated until it came out. You're going to be fine."

Anna closed her eyes again, unable to shut out the brightness of the overhead lights. She had been somewhere, she knew, and she used to wear a bee like a jewel in her hair. Somebody loved her and, for all the pain she was in now, she knew that someone would come for her again, one day, when the time was perfect, and they would lie together in the Garden.
Sunday, December 5th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
This is lovely!
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Crivens, that is a stunningly gorgeous piece of writing. Thank you for sharing!

Also, happy birthday!
Thursday, December 9th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
This is lovely, and I like the sweetness tempered with a bit of melancholy.