Strawberry Woman

Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke and the WB. Charmed belongs to Constance M. Burge, Brad Kern, and Spelling Entertainment

Author's Note: Written for tonic2w who suggested "strawberries" during the ABC Drabble Meme (which I am determined to get through)

Strawberries. Their sweet scent pushed into his brain, tugging at his consciousness. The aroma, however, didn't make any sense. He couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Before he could focus on it, another sensation touched him. Warmth. It started at his stomach and spread to cover his whole body. His muscles relaxed, letting the warmth take the pain away. Within minutes, the warmth vanished, but no pain remained. All that was left was the intoxicating smell of strawberries.

"Sam? Sam, can you hear me?" A soft, female voice echoed in his ears. "Sam?" Was it Jess? No, Jess was gone.

Memories flooded back to him. A large, hairy beast with claws longer than his arm. Dean yelling. The claws tearing into his flesh. Then the darkness.

Slowly, Sam's eyes fluttered open. He looked into a pretty face framed by long, dark hair, with dark, worried eyes to match. He realized immediately the strawberry smell came from her.

"Am I dead?" he asked.

The woman laughed. "If you were, I'd be out of a job," she smiled. "Welcome back to the land of the living, Sam. I'm Paige, your Whitelighter."

"My...what?" Sam's brow wrinkled in confusion.

Before Paige could answer, another face appeared in his line of vision. Dean's worried hazel eyes peered at him. "Are you sure he's okay?" his older brother demanded.

"Yes, I'm sure. You can check his wound if you like."

Dean jerked up Sam's shirt without hesitation. Sam struggled to sit up and see the wound for himself. All he saw was the normal shape of his stomach. No wounds, no blood. It was as if the monster had never touched him. Sam turned to Dean. "What happened?"

"After the son of a bitch scratched you, I filled him full of silver bullets. Took him out, no problem. But I thought you were a goner, man. Then, out of nowhere, she showed up." Dean indicated Paige, who smiled and waved. "She held her hands over your stomach, and, I don't know, healed you, I guess."

Sam pulled himself into a full sitting position, wincing at the stiffness in his muscles. He studied the woman sitting next to him. Something about her was familiar. Where had he seen her before? His eyes widened as the memory struck him. That small town in California. She had stood on the sidewalk across the street with the strange woman in the robes. And that hadn't been the first time he'd seen her, either. He'd dreamed about her, too.

"I didn't think you were real," he blurted.

Paige's eyes sparkled in amusement. "Well, that's a new one. I don't think any of my other charges have ever said that to me."

Sam blushed and quickly tried to change the subject. "You said you were my Whitelighter. What's a Whitelighter?"

"It's a long story, Sam, but basically, I was sent to look after you."

"Like a guardian angel?" Dean asked.

Paige nodded. "Pretty much. Demons have targeted you both, so the Elders thought you would need some extra help. That's why I'm here." She stood up and held her hand out to Sam. Sam took it, pushing himself to his feet.

"Elders? Extra help?" Dean's eyes darkened as he, too, stood. "What do you know about demons?"

"A lot." She held her hands out to both brothers. "Grab a hold and hang on tight. I'm taking you back to my house." Sam glanced from Paige to his brother, but stood warily away from the offered hand. Paige sighed. "Look, I know you don't know me from Eve, but you've got to trust me. I'm one of the good guys, and I have two sisters and a brother-in-law who can help you, too. Something big is coming, and I think we're all in this together."

Sam looked at his brother. "She did save my life, Dean, and I want to know more about this Whitelighter business."

Dean set his jaw, showing he clearly didn't like this decision. "This is our fight." His fingers tightened around his sawed-off shot gun as if to assure himself it was still there.

"It couldn't hurt to have some help," Sam pointed out. He then turned to Paige and took her left hand.

"Oh, man." Dean's jaw remained clenched, but he took Paige's right hand.

"Hang on tight," Paige said. Before Sam could ask why, small blue lights encircled him and the forest disappeared.


© 2007 Crimson Idealist