Far Away


Story Summary:
Dean struggles to cope following Luna's death.

Chapter 01


Far Away

He hadn't cried yet. Not since it had happened, anyway. Whilst it had been impending, he often found himself shut away somewhere that the children wouldn't discover him, stifling sobs. Now, though, he felt empty.

For the last three months one sentence had haunted him. It had been running through his mind like a mantra, but one that he should reverse rather than accept.

'I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do.'

He had not believed it. He didn't tell anyone for weeks because it was impossible to believe. Something would come up; something, anything, and this would all look like a nightmare from long ago. It wouldn't happen.

Then, three weeks after the sentence had been uttered, she called him to their room. She was getting weaker now, confined to her bed all day. Still, she managed to smile at him when he entered.

'Hello, Dean,' she said, as he sat on the bed, next to her. She was on the left, and he was on the right. They had always slept like this.

'Do you need anything?' he asked, taking her hand in his, and stroking it softly. She shook her head.

'I just wanted to talk to you about what the Healer said.'

'No, you're too weak, you should -'

'Dean,' she interrupted, sharply, but then softened as she continued, 'I know you're afraid. I know. I'm afraid too. But we have to face this together.'

'I don't know what I'll do - the children...'

She stared into her lap. He remembered a conversation from long before any of it had become a reality, when she talked about the loss of her mother. She had coped, but she desperately didn't want to put her own family in that position.

'The children have you, Dean, and you're a wonderful father. They have Daddy, and your mum. It's going to be hard, but you'll all be okay because you love each other.'

'I love you.'

'I love you too,' she whispered. She allowed a single tear to fall, and then pushed on. 'We have to prepare for everything. Dean, please accept what's going to happen so that we can be strong. Don't let our last weeks together be completely miserable.'

He had taken her advice on board, become more accepting, and tried to help her. But still the Healer's voice wouldn't leave his mind.

'I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do.'

And there wasn't.

It was now a week since Luna's death. It was the day of her funeral. He could barely bring himself to get out of their vast bed. Eventually he did, of course, for the children - and for his Luna.

She had told him on the day she passed that she would look for his father. She seemed very sure that she would be able to find him, if he was there, because she felt her mother's presence at their wedding day, and if Dean's father had gone on, then he would have been there too. Dean simply wondered how she could be that sure she was going anywhere.

Luna had always had a certain closeness with death, though. Dean had put it down to the loss of her mother, but over time had seen that it ran deeper than that. It was part of Luna's whole outlook on life, for a start. He had always questioned her about it, curious about her beliefs. It wasn't something they touched on often, and he didn't mention it at all once she became sick.

She told him one day that she was incredibly upset to be leaving, but the time had obviously come for her to move on. She promised to meet him there, on the other side. Dean simply kissed her, he didn't know what else to do.

Now, he was dressed in black, his children stood one either side of him. He stared at the photo of Luna at the front of the room. It moved, but it still did her no justice. It lacked life - spirit.

There was a heavy feeling in his chest, and Dean searched for something to comfort him. If Luna had felt her mother at their wedding, why wasn't she, in turn, here with Dean and her children now? The only conclusions he could draw were bleak, and caused the heavy feeling to sink from his throat to his stomach. He almost expected an owl to arrive with a note from her, telling him not to worry, she'd found a Blibbering Humdinger and she'd be back next week.

He couldn't comprehend the fact that he would never talk to her again. He needed her here, helping explain to the children what was happening, holding his hand. But if she were, then none of these problems would exist. They would simply sit on the big bed; the four of them, eating strawberry jam on toast and laughing.

Dean closed his eyes. The Healer's words haunted him no longer, yet a sentence he could not get out of his head remained. The last words that Luna, his partner of seventeen years, the love of his life, had spoken to him.

'I won't be far away.'

After these words, she was gone. Her eyes were closed, and her fingers still entwined with Dean's. For a short while, her final words gave him comfort. But the more he thought of them, the more he felt that she had gone further than she had imagined - if she had gone anywhere at all. There was always the irksome question of whether or not she had simply ceased to exist. He had often felt as though their hearts beat as one, as though they had a kind of effortless Legilimency between them. There was simply a void where that connection had once been, and it caused Dean to question everything he believed - everything he knew Luna had counted on him to hold onto.

Later that night, when it was all over, Dean tossed and turned on his horribly familiar side of the bed. He hadn't shut the curtains; Luna had always done it since they were nearest to her. The moonlight flooded in through the large windows, and gave the room a deep blue-grey hue. Dean sat up and took it in. His limbs felt incredibly heavy.

He got out of bed, and found himself downstairs, his wand alight, before he realised what he was doing.

The studio had been left untouched ever since Luna had fallen ill. They'd both used it frequently, for work and for pleasure. Luna hadn't been up to it of late, and Dean hadn't been able to face it. The door opened with a slight creak, and Dean turned on the lights.

Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. He would need to clean it properly if he started to work again. Perhaps he'd recruit his mother for the job. He approached his easel (for they'd had one each), and saw the half-finished painting of the Shrieking Shack in the snow that he had long since forgotten about. He removed it and put it on the floor, before locating a fresh canvas.

Soon, the beginnings of a pair of deep blue eyes were visible. Luna's eyes. They were kind, smiling, and comforting. Dean didn't exactly hear the words spoken, but felt them in his heart as he painted.

'I'm never far away.'