Summary: Deana and Michelle meet in the battlefield during the Civil War, standing in opposing sides of the conflict. When they part ways they decide to give one another a gift to remember each other. After the war, remembering something Deana said, Michelle begins her trip west in hopes to meet her again once more.
Word Count: 3,800-3,900
Characters: Deana Winchester, Michelle Grace, Benny Lafitte, Gordon Walker, Raphael Alastair, Lilith, Azazel, Elias Finch (aka the Phoenix though he not in this), Castiel
Horses: Horses: Lucifer, Gabriel, Sam, Kali, Meg, Joshua is a mule.
Pairings: Deana/Michelle (Dean/Michael)
Tags: Historic/Civil war, Western AU
A day after the Battle of Antietam September 1862 in Virginia
Michelle Grace watched watch as the dragged the struggling boy into camp sitting by her buckskin mustang Lucifer. It was sad he could be older then 19, though Michelle herself was only 22.
“Hold still,” a photographer who’d been travelling the confederates said.
“Sure I call this one Blue Steel,” the boy said making a stupid looking face, Michelle rolled her eyes.
“Miss Grace,” Sergeant Lafitte said, he was a nice man; from Louisiana as far as commanders went he was pretty easy going.
“Yes, Sir” Michelle said standing.
“Can you check this boy over? He could be useful and we don’t him bleed,” Benny ask the nurse. Their unit was a small one and Michelle was the closest thing to a doctor they had.
“Yes sir,” Michelle nodded and pointed to the medical tent, “Bring him this way, gentlemen. And tie him there”
The soldiers did as she told them to and told her to call if they need her.
Michele was gathering her medical supplies. And the boy tied to a post in the tent was just making bored noises with his mouth unable to do much else.
“Would you knock that off?” Michelle asked looking up from her work.
“You’re not cute you know,” Michelle said putting the pin knife down glaring at the Yank.
“I think I’m Adorable,” the Yankee smirked, “My name is Dean Winchester by the way.”
“Michelle Grace.” She said starting her exam
“Tell me about yourself Mikie. Where you what’s your story,” Dean inquired.
“Why would I tell you?”
“Humor me,” The cocky young man said.
“Fine. But only if you tell me yours next,” Michelle finally broke.
“My name is Michelle I come from a large cotton plantation in Alabama. I’m here right now because my father wanted me to help the man fighting, for our families honor and I am a good daughter.” Michelle told.
“Come on there’s got to be more to you than that.” Dean pressed.
“Fine, I guess I can tell you about my mother. She was a beautiful women always saw the good in people. She was a good Christian woman, read the bible to me every night, and could always make me smile. She loved the sunset and horse. My horse Lucifer out there was once a rebellious horse bond for the slaughter house but she saved him, she could save anyone,” As she talked there was a quiver in her voice. She didn’t know why she was doing this; she never talked about her mother. Maybe it was because now she could talk about her. She didn’t know.
“Then one night while my father was away some man broke in shot her both anyone could do a damned thing about it. Even as she was dying in my arms she still made me smile and she gave me her St. Michelle charm,” she held up the silver charm on the necklace she wore, “He’s the Archangel I’m named for and she promised me he’d keep me safe.”
“Well now, that’s somethin’,” Dean said.
“Now your turn and how about you start with your real name young lady.” Michelle said with a smirk of her own.
“Dammit how’d you know,” the girl asked dropping the ‘man’ voice.
“Not that hard to tell,” Michelle said pulling the bandages out from ‘Dean’s’ chest which sprang forth.
“Well my name Deana, I’m come from a small town on the coast of New York. I joined the army so I could get enough money to move west, California I think. I just don’t want to go home anymore. My parents both died there. My mom was killed in a fire when I was young and it left just me and my dad. He died last year, hunting accident, so if I ever make it out of this war I’m heading west. I know I can do it,” Deana told as well and then she thought for a minute before grabbing at the leather string around her neck to pull a golden amulet “Oh and this is the luck amulet I got from my mom too.”
“Very nice,” Michelle said smiling looking at the amulet on the leather string.
They kept talking and before they knew it they talked the night away.
December 10th 1862
It had just under three month sense the confederate unit had caught Deana and almost every night Michelle would sit with her and they talked, telling stories about their childhoods, like how Deana would run shores of New York, finding shell and fishing with her father. Or Michelle would talk about her father’s young slave Raphael, who her mother had taught to read alongside Michelle, even if her father didn’t know, and how the pair on slow days would fish for catfish in the nearby river.
Until the one day when the orders had come that the small unit needed to get rid of the ‘boy’ that he wasn’t worth keeping and they needed to get rid of him. That evening Michelle cut Deana loss and half dragged her though the woods leading them off always from the confederate camp.
“Why are you doing this, Michelle,” Deana asked, they were becoming friends and she didn’t want Michelle to get in trouble.
“Because I don’t want to see you dead,” Michelle said stopping, “You are young and have faith in your dream which I hope you can accomplish.”
“Thank you for doing this, Michelle,” Deana said after a minute, “wish me luck.”
“Taken this,” Michelle said pulling off the necklace with her mother’s St. Michelle charm on it and handed it to Deana, “St. Michelle will watch over you and protect you.”
Deana stared at it for a minute from what the confederate nurse had told her this was very important to her, so Deana would care for it greatly.
“Here,” Deana said quickly pulling off her own necklace, “My Amulet will watch over you as well.”
Michelle took it.
“You’re gonna hear a gunshot don’t look back just keep going until you reach the union camp,” Michelle said point north, “it’s that way. I will say I saw you running and I tried firing a warning shot at you.”
“Hey thanks,” Deana said the sun sparkling off her eyes, “if you’re ever out west look me up.”
“I’ll do that,” Michelle replied after a minute. She still couldn’t believe that anyone eyes cold be as green her looked, “Now go.”
Deana looked back into Michelle’s eyes seeing the sun reflect off those green-gray eyes like the sunsets near her ocean home. She turned to run but hesitated for a minute clutching the charm Michelle had given her and whispered, “thank you Michelle.”
Michelle watch Deana start to run, she looked back down at the golden amulet that Deana had given her, sighed putting it into her pocket and whispered to herself, “how can you be in love with a another woman?”
Michelle then picked up the gun she brought aimed it to the sky and fired. As the shot rang out birds flew from the trees. Michelle lowered the weapon before calling out for the Confederate soldiers.
The Civil War came and went; Michelle had never forgotten Deana the Union girl dressed as a boy with the dream of moving out west, she’d had so much hope, so much faith. Michelle wished she still had that much hope and faith. But after the things she’d seen she just couldn’t muster it.
The war ended in May but it was June before Michelle made it back to her home in Alabama. When she arrived there the once rich fields of cotton were dead, the house from the front looked abandoned. She hitched Lucifer to a post and walked inside. The walls that had once been covered in pictures and paintings were bare, the shelves that were once filled with books ware empty. It looked like no one had been here for years.
“Father!?” Michelle called hoping someone would reply. When her father did not she called her father’s house slaves, “Raphael? Uriel? Naomi? Rufus?”
She found Raphael sitting on the back porch of the withered house.
“Miss,” Raphael said as he stood.
“Why are you still here Raphael you are free now,” Michelle said with a slight smile happy for a man she’d considered a friend, “where is father?”
“Miss… Your father left, two years ago, to England,” Raphael said almost sadly, “so did everyone else, but I stayed. I knew you’d be back someday. Here”
Raphael held out a small bible that had once been Michelle’s mother. Michelle took it from Raphael’s hand. The bible had been very important to her, as important as the charm she’d given Deana.
“What are you going to do now Raphael?” She questioned wonder what she herself was going to do. There was nothing left here for her now, “Where are you going to go?”
“I have nowhere to go,” Raphael said sitting back down looking to the setting sun, “What about you?”
Michelle sighed looking up at the setting sun. She remembered Deana those bright green eyes illuminated by the same sun light. She kept looking, looking…west. Her hand reached into her pocket. She pulled out the amulet and look at it.
“Let’s go west,” Michelle said putting the leather string of the amulet in the bible and put both in her pocket. She’d found something to have faith in again, she hoped.
“It won’t be safe for us,” Raphael said, “A black man and an unmarried white woman. Not after everything that has happened.”
“Don’t worry,” Michelle replied, “I have a plan.”
Michelle following the lead Deana had set, cut her short, bond her chest, dressed like a man, and started using the name Michael. She looked like young man but it would do.
It had taken them time to gather money. They sold anything they’d found in the house which wasn’t much, along with some hard work for a women whose husband died in the war had got them enough money to buy supplies.
Michelle sold the comb her father had given her, she wouldn’t need it anyways, which had got them enough money to get Raphael a mustang, Gabriel was the things name. Raphael swore Gabriel was messing with him and laughing about it. They’d also gotten an old mule dubbed Joshua.
They’d made it to north Missouri before winter stopped them. They’d gotten a little more work until the spring; it had gotten them a little extra money and a few more supplies.
So now it was June again and they’d made it the Northern Nevada. They’d stopped for the night to setup camp.
Raphael unsaddled the horses and unpacked Joshua as Michelle started the fire.
“Raphael, where is the rabbit meat we shot yesterday?” Michelle asked digging throw their things back turned to Raphael.
“Umm… Michael,” Raphael said nervousness in his voice.
“Yes Raphael?” Michelle said turning around and felt a revolver pressure against her temple she could see out of the corner of her eye an evil looking woman holding it. And she could see a man whose eyes she could swear where yellow, likely from a hard life on his liver, pressing a rifle to Raphael’s head. And another snake like man with another rifle aimed at them standing just behind where Raphael hid the horses.
“Look at what we have here, Azazel,” the blonde woman hissed, “a couple of rich travels.”
“Tonight seems to be our lucky night, Lilith,” the yellow eyed man replied, “What do you think we should do with ‘em Alistair?”
“Let cut ‘em up and leave ‘em for the coyotes,” the one called Alistair hissed.
“Lucifer,” Michelle said getting his horse attention, “Exorcizamus!”
With that the dun stallion kick back catching Alistair in the ribs, this had been a trick Michelle taught the horse had they ever need to get away during the war. In the confusion Raphael grabbed Azazel’s gun knocking the yellow eyed man to the ground and Michelle grabbed Lilith and they wrestled for it.
At the same time Alistair, holding his ribs tried to slink away only to come face to face with a Colt revolver himself.
“Hands up, down on the ground,” a commanding female voice ordered.
Having gotten the gun off Lilith, both her and Michelle dropped to their knees, as did Raphael Azazel put his hands in view for he was already on the ground.
“Look at who we got here sheriff,” A man’s voice cut in, “three of the Hell’s Knights.”
“Why yes we do Finch,” the sheriff replied, as she stepped into view.
In a second Michelle knew who she was, her hair was longer, she looked little older a little worn from war and a western life style but those green eyes in the setting sun Michelle knew it was that union soldier girl, Deana Winchester, the one Michelle had come out here to chase. Faith it seemed had brought them together again.
“You two can get up,” Deana said to Michelle and Raphael, “from your struggle I’m guessing you aren’t with them.”
Michelle and Raphael stood as Deana and Finch secured the outlaws.
It took only a second for Deana to realize who Michelle was before wrapping her in a hug, “Grace, Michelle Grace. Long time no see. Guess you decided to come follow me west after all. I like your hair by the way.”
“You could say that,” Michelle said leaning into the hug ever so slightly, and wrapping arm around the younger woman, before they pull apart, “and thank you, I guess.”
“Michelle, this is my deputy, Elias Finch,” Deana told pointed, “I’m the sheriff of a small town just south of here called Devil’s Gate. And those three other there are part of a gang called the Hell’s Knights.”
“Howdy,” Finch said tipping his hat, “You can call me Elias.”
“This is Raphael my friend,” Michelle introduced, “Raphael this is Deana Winchester, the Union soldier girl I told you about.”
“Nice to meet you,” Deana said offering a hand to shake, “Michelle told me good things about you.”
“And I you, Deana Winchester,” Raphael said shaking the offered hand.
“We best get a move on,” Finch stated, “The moon may be bright tonight but this is when the snakes come out.”
“Hey if you guys need a place to stay the town of Devil’s Gate isn’t that far,” Deana suggested, “it’d be better than sleeping out here.”
“That would be great,” Michelle replied. The horses and mule where quickly packed and they were on their way, guided by the full moon and Deana and Finch’s knowledge of the area.
“So how does, a union soldier girl become sheriff in four short years?” Michelle asked Deana as they rode side by side back to the town of Devil’s Gate. Elias with the three Hell’s Knights tied to his saddle by lead ropes around their necks and Raphael with Joshua bring up the rear.
“Well after that night I found my way back to a Union camp nine days later we got into the middle of the Battle of Jackson, Tennessee, which you confederates won. But I got away with a bullet to the thigh; Doc said if it were an inch to the left I could bleed out. After that I was kicked out have been discovered. I tried going home but there was nothing for me there so I bought Sam here and we moved West. I was going to California but much like yourself, got caught by Hell’s Knights after getting way found my way to Devil’s Gate. Where the head Bitch herself Abaddon had killed the last sheriff. The major offered me the job, even though I was a woman and well as Finch back there would put it, ‘You’re the only one, man or woman, dumb or crazy enough to go through with this’ ever since though the town has been fight back and I think we’re winning,” Deana told, “Oh, I still have that St. Michelle charm you gave me I swear it is my lucky charm.”
“I still have yours as well,” Michelle remarked “And that sounds like quite an adventure.”
“It was,” Deana stated thoughtfully.
The group made it back to the town jail where the prisoners were locked up to tried and hanged another day.
“Winchester, I gotta go head back home to my wife,” Elias yelled walking out, “Say you tomorrow.”
“See ya, Finch,” Deana replied, then turning her attention to the other two new comers, “So since you two are staying the night in this here town I’ll get you two set up at the local hotel.”
“That would be very kind, thank you” Michelle said with a slight nod of her head.
“And look guys,” Deana said sitting at her desk, “I don’t know if you are just planning on pasting though, but if you want to stick around I could always use a couple more deputies, Around here they don’t care if your man or woman just as long as the job gets done. So what do you say?”
“I think we can stick around for a while,” Michelle said with a smile.
The next few years were good ones Michelle and Raphael had fit right in with the town. It seemed to be a town of misfits from the young female sheriff Deana to the owners of the local saloon, “The Roadhouse” Ellen and her daughter Jo to their live in friend Ash the town’s banker Garth. It seemed as if everything and everyone should be out of place but somehow they worked.
And like Deana had said Devil’s Gate was winning against the Hell’s Knights.
Michelle was still working for Deana as a deputy alongside Finch. But Raphael had taken advantage of what Michelle’s mother had taught him when he was young and growing up alongside Michelle. He used his reading skills to learn the law and when the opening can up he was appointed judge of the town. But in this town of misfits a black man as judge wasn’t so strange.
They’d both become friends with Deana’s good friend Father Castiel. He was nice man and would often help the sheriff and the deputies when they needed it, but he seemed to be a man with a questionable past which no one here questioned.
Even Lucifer and Gabriel seemed to like it here. Getting to go on long rides with their owners and getting to come back to Deana’s appaloosa colt Sam, Elias’ pretty mare quarter horse Kali and Father Castiel’s beautiful mustang Meg.
And since they were no longer going anywhere, Joshua was able to retire from his life as an old pack mule into a much quieter life in Bobby Singer’s, the owner of the general store, garden. Bobby’s wife had really taken to the old mule.
But for Michelle her heart was still heavy from her love of Deana. A love it seemed would never be fulfilled, because in this town Deana was the woman who got around with all the men, not caring how people viewed her. Plus it was wrong, it was a sin, what would her mother think of her now. Michelle’s faith was fading again.
Which lead her here, sitting in the small western church looking at small stain glass window in the back of the church.
“Forgive me Father for I have sinned,” Michelle said, to no one.
“Michelle, my girl,” Father Castiel’s voice cut in making Michelle jump a little, thinking she was alone in the church, “You are a good an honorable woman how have you sinned?”
Michelle turned back to look at the window of the angel as Father Castiel sat down next to her. And with a heavy sigh she answered, “Father I have falling in love with another woman. I’ve been in love with her for seven long years now,” she knew it was a sin to love another woman, and that he could easily be run out of town for speaking it out loud but at this point her faith had run out again so it didn’t matter.
“Deana Winchester,” it was a statement not a question. Because for the 39 years he’d been living Castiel had seen very few people look as lovingly as Michelle did at Deana, and the way Deana did Michelle.
“Yes Father,” Michelle replied.
“If you truly love her good to her girl,” the preacher told her, “Just be careful not many people will like it but I believe you two were meant to be.”
Michelle smiled and spoke softly, “Thank you Father,” Before she got up to head to the sheriff’s.
Castiel looked up at the stain glass angel and smiled.
Michelle walked into the jail house and looked around, Deana wasn’t there but Elias and Raphael were.
“Have y’all seen Deana around?” Michelle asked the deputy and the judge.
“Think she’s at Rider’s Hill,” Finch answered not looking up from the news print he was reading, “she likes to go up there sometimes to watch the sunset.”
“Thanks,” Michelle said quickly leaving and mounting Lucifer outside.
“So ya think they’re finally gonna kiss already,” Finch asked Raphael as he laid the paper down.
Raphael smiled and replied, “I hope so.”
As Elias promised Deana sat on Rider’s Hill feet hanging over edge looking at the sunset over the Nevada basin. Michelle sat down next to her.
“Lovely sunset,” Michelle commented after a minute of silence.
“I like come here and watch it sometimes,” Deana answer not looking away, “I still miss it reflecting off the ocean though.”
They sat in silence for the next ten minutes watching the sun continue to disappear.
“I never asked; why’d you come all the way out here?” Deana asked.
“I was chasing something,” Michelle replied.
“Was? You find it?” Deana questioned taking her eyes off the horizon to look at Michelle. She still loved then way the last bit sun reflected off the others eyes, like the sun off the sea.
“I hope so,” Michelle said turning to look Deana in those emerald green eyes.
Michelle hesitated for a minute, but before she could stop herself pressed her lips to Deana’s, She half expected Deana to push her back or just off their perch on the cliff. But instead Deana started kissing her back. They kept on for a minute or so before stopping to breathe.
“I’ve been wishing you’d done that ever since that last moment we saw each other during the war.” Deana panted, “But it was worth the wait.”
For once, since she’d last seen her mother, Michelle smiled a real smile, before Deans pressed their lips together once again. As they kissed the two necklaces they still wore got tangled together. The St. Michelle Charm hugged the amulet closely.
And that sunset for them didn’t mark the ending of something like most sunsets do. For them it was just the beginning.