Title: Feels Like I’m Falling Far Out of Sight
Characters: Bela Talbot/Jo Harvelle
tamingthemuse Prompt: #278 ~ Rapid Eye Movement
charloft Prompt: 46. Endings
Content Warning: Spoilers through Season 3, femmeslash, angst.
Summary: The thing that makes dream root such nasty business isn’t the taste—it’s the timing.
Author’s Note: Written for the Anon Meme where I was given the prompt “Bela Talbot/female of your choice” and the lyrics to Mika’s Happy Ending. I thought about crossing this over, but I haven’t written Bela/Jo in a while and I miss it.
Disclaimer: I don’t own. They belong to Kripke. I’m just borrowing and I will put everything back where I found it.
The thing that made dream root such nasty business wasn’t the taste—it’s the timing.
You needed to get things exactly right. You needed the DNA of your target to be sure that your mind didn’t get lost in the ether. You needed to sip the brew just as they’re entering REM sleep, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to link to their subconscious. It was one thing when they were lying right there next to you, but factor in time zones, state lines—it made things a little bit harder. You sipped the drink while your target was still awake, and you could be lying unconscious for hours, waiting for them to fall asleep.
If there was one thing Bela Talbot didn’t have enough of to waste, it was time. Actually, the fact that she had very, very little time left was the reason why she was doing this.
Bela Talbot was also a selfish woman, but that really wasn’t a surprise to anyone. She waited for as long as she could, put it off for as long as she could because she didn’t want to believe it either, but in the end, she had to say good-bye somehow, she just didn’t have the nerve to do it the right way. So she made an attempt to time it out, prepared the dream root, and waited.
Maybe in the in-between, she might get a chance at a little sleep.
Bela met Jo in the middle of a hunt, when she had two years left on the clock and opportunities were starting to slip through her fingers. Everywhere she turned she was finding dead ends, and this particular demon just happened to be another one—especially once Jo sent it to Hell. She should have known better than to go back to demons to try and find a way out in the first place, but she was starting to get desperate and she was running out of leads. Naturally, when her last one got evicted from the premises, she was a little miffed and took it out on Jo.
Jo was very quick to tell her that a demon was a demon. You couldn’t reason with them, you couldn’t negotiate—as if Bela didn’t know that one already. But there was something about her, and when they kept running into each other, more only seemed to develop and suddenly Bela had someone who was important to her. Bela had someone who’s well-being she actually cared about, and that was a scary thought—but she was still selfish enough to take it, to not be lonely for a little while, and in the end it made all the difference.
If she was going to take it, then she couldn’t do what Lilith was asking her to do, even if that meant losing it all the same.
If she was going to take it, then she was going to have to say goodbye.
The dreamscape is familiar when they arrive on it. It’s a small hotel room that they shared when they were working a job in Florida. Jo was sitting at the vanity mirror, wearing what was probably the only dress she owned, and her hair half up. Bela had helped her clean up for that event, where they were supposed to play distraction, charm their hosts while Sam and Dean snuck up to take care of the cursed object in question. It was for that job, and that job only that Bela actually lacked an alternative angle, which mean she had time to focus on Jo for a little while, whether Jo wanted her to or not.
But this wasn’t that time. This was just a memory, meant to hold a conversation that would never actually happen, but needed to happen nonetheless. Bela needed to say goodbye.
Jo’s eyes met Bela’s through the mirror, and she slowly turned to face her. “This isn’t how it happened.”
“No,” Bela sighed. “It’s not.”
“Dreaming,” Bela supplied. “I don’t have a whole lot of time.”
“And you couldn’t pick up a phone?” Jo wasn’t buying this, and she wasn’t going to be happy with what Bela had to say either, but Bela didn’t know what else to do. This was what she had to do. She made her way closer, sitting down on the table next to the vanity for a moment.
“I needed to do this face to face.”
“Then drive out here.”
“I wouldn’t make it. It’s more than a two days drive.”
“Two days … ” The look on Jo’s face broke her heart, and she reached forward to grip Bela’s arms. “You said you had a way.”
“The price was too high.” Not for her, but for Jo. And she cared about her enough to not ask her to pay it. “I’m sorry.”
Jo’s eyes closed as she slumped back into the seat, turning to look in the mirror again. Bela knew that she was process, trying to find a way that they could get around this, to say that they had time, but she knew as well as Bela did that two days wasn’t time. It was simply a grace period. Time to get your affairs in order say your goodbyes.
“This isn’t how things are supposed to go,” she said. The defeated tone in Jo’s voice broke Bela’s heart, and she inched closer, reaching for her hand gently.
“I don’t think our world is made for happy endings.”
Jo nodded, before turning to face her again, one hand coming up to brush through her hair. “I wish it was.”
Bela paused for a moment, before leaning in closer to brush a kiss to her lips. It was soft and small, but still everything she felt needed to be said, and everything she never did. Bela Talbot wasn’t as good with words, after all. She would have to let this speak for her.
After a moment, Jo pulled back, tears in her eyes, and gave her a small smile. “Stay a while?”
Bela nodded. “As long as I can.”
You can only stick around for so long in a dream after all. But for right now, all she wanted to do was stay.