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He Was Broken and So Was She

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Buffy stepped off the platform of the train and headed into the crowded station, eyes scanning for her friend. She finally took a seat and waited, after an hour she called.

“Where the hell are you?!” She snapped when he answered,

“Sorry Buff, me and Jess can’t make it there for another three days.” Her mouth fell open in shock and her fists balled in rage.

“So I was just on a train, a train, Sam, for seven hours for nothing?!” She exclaimed loudly,

“We’re up in Maine, ended up having to get a hotel room, the weather took a seriously bad turn, we’re snowed in until tomorrow night.” Buffy couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was just stuck on a train for seven hours, five days before her birthday where, he, Sam Winchester, and his amazing girlfriend, were supposed to take her to some fancy ass restaurant and then go clubbing. She had come all the way from California only to get stuck because they were gonna be stuck until her birthday!

“Sam, what the hell am I supposed to do? I only brought enough money to pay for drinks. I barely even have enough to put myself up in a fleabag motel for the night.”

“I… I’ll call Dean.” Buffy’s eyes widen in horror.

“No,” she says. “Sam, the last time I saw your brother he was being taken into a police car.” She recalled the memory from her summer spent with Joyce and Dawn when she was sixteen in Lawrence with her moms family. That’s how she had met Sam, literally bumping into him at the store when she was told they needed more cheese…

“Yeah, and since then, he completed school, got his G.E.D, and joined the army. Buffy he’s… He’s changed. It’ll only be for three days,” she thought about for a minute and sighed.

“Sam, the only things I know about your brother are the fact that he’s ruggedly handsome, a total bad boy, has a criminal record a mile long, and is freshly out of the army on medical discharge and along with that is all his trauma… Is he even safe to be with?”

“Buff, I would not be sending you somewhere where you wouldn’t be safe… Not after what happened with Angel.” She sucked in a breath at the mere mention of his name. She was momentarily back when she had woken up the next morning naked and not remembering how she had gotten into that bed, the way her eyes hadn’t been able to focus. The way her vagina and core had ached… The blood. “Buffy?”

“Yeah… I…” She shook her head, when Sam had found out what Angel had done he had been rip shit. Ready to fly out to Sunnydale and take the fuckers head off. Now, about ten years had passed. Buffy was about to turn twenty seven and she was dreading it… Because on her seventeenth birthday is when he had drugged her. On her seventeenth birthday was when he raped her. And Sam knew all too well that she wasn’t going to be able to handle it by herself.

With Xander having gotten Married to Anya, Willow going to Yale, Dawn all the way across the country in college, and Joyce gone… Buffy truly felt alone. Yeah, she had Giles, but he was currently back in England visiting his remaining family. So, Sam talked it over with Jess and they decided that they would give her an amazing birthday, to prove that the “Bad Birthday Curse” didn’t exist, but the petite blonde was damned sure of it.

“Buffy, I would never put you in harms way like that. And Dean? Our dad would come back from the dead and tear him a new one if he ever hurt you. You’ll be safe, I promise.” She sighed,

“Okay, give him a call.”

“I’ll see you Wednesday,”

“You better… I’m holding you to it, Winchester.” He laughs and hangs up, Buffy is left sitting on a bench, in a horrible smelling train station, getting hit on by creepy old men and equally creepy woman. She had to fight off a few unwanted advances before she spotted him scanning the station for her. The first thing she immediately realized about him was the way the leather jacket that clung to him like it was almost too small. The way his short cropped hair barely hid the scar at the base of his hairline. The way his nose had been broken just so… Perfectly that it made his face even more symmetrical than she could remember from their one and only meeting.

She also realized that he had grown from being ruggedly handsome to just downright hot. But… The bad boy attitude he had seemed to have vanished, she could tell just by the way he carried himself. When he spotted her he spoke into his phone and nodded before disconnecting the call and heading over to her.

“You must be Buffy,”

“We’ve actually met before. About ten years ago during the summer…”

“Oh… You were the one who called the cops,” he said with guilty eyes. As he stepped closer she could faintly smell cigarette smoke on him, she guessed that would be his way of handling the weight of what he must have seen while deployed.

“Yeah…”

“Thank you,” he said sincerely. “What you did that day… Hell, I hated you for it… But it turned my life around, so thanks.” She smiled sweetly,

“Well, that’s what I do, it’s all comes with the name “Buffy.” Inadvertently turning peoples lives around for over a decade.” She stated,

“Alright, we got about an hours drive back to my place, we should get out of here.”  She went to reach for her bags but he scooped them up and she shrugged before falling into step behind him. The way he carried himself… It all seemed different. He seemed almost lost in a way. The deep engraved sorrow she saw dancing behind his brilliant green eyes was just an indicator to the horrible things he must have seen.


 

The ride to his house wasn’t filled with silence, it was filled with classic rock before he decided he needed a drink. By this time so did she. Buffy was not an uncultured woman, he was thoroughly surprised when recognized most of his collection. Even more surprised when she had sung along to the lyrics to “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas. What surprised him the most was when she did air guitar with the song.

But one could only listen to the blaring noise of classic rock for so long before getting a headache… And she decided that a shot of tequila wouldn’t hurt a thing. When they walked into the bar people’s heads turned at the newcomers. Older men, bikers, and some just plain farm workers were eyeing her like she was a piece of meat. A few cat-called, but an older woman stepped out from behind the bar.

“Larry, you even so much as talk to that girl I’ll blow your head off,” she threatened. Buffy smiled gratefully at the woman who nodded at her before walking up to the bar with Dean.

“What do you want?” Dean asked in a low voice that sent shivers down her spine.

“I was gonna go with tequila… But drunk Buffy needs to stay locked in a cage… Hell, I’m feeling rebellious, IPA.” She said, he nodded and ordered one for her and a different draft beer she had seen commercials for and that looked oddly familiar. Then it rushed back to her… Right before Sam had met Jess… Does sex really bring people closer together as friends? Because on her twenty first birthday she and Sam had gotten incredibly drunk and had fallen into bed with each other… One thing led to another and here they were, almost six years later, best of friends and not an ounce of sexual tension between them.

“Why are you looking at my beer like that?” Dean asked, she chuckled.

“Realizing why I haven’t had that beer in six years,” she stated with a laugh. The woman from behind the bar was eyeing Dean and she motioned him to come to her with a stern look on her face. He sighed and got up.

“Dean,” she said.

“Ellen, hey.”

“The hell you doing with a girl like that? She looks the type you take her home and the next morning she’ll wake up expecting a relationship.”

“She’s Sammy’s best friend. He got snowed in up in Maine, so she’s staying with me until he gets back.” He answered with a shrug, “and I’m… Ellen a lot has changed with me in the last two years… That’s not me any more. Jo forgave me, I just hope you can too.” He arrived back at the table and Buffy had heard enough to know that the change may be recent his words held true. There wasn’t an ounce innuendo when he spoke to her, no alternate meanings behind anything he had said to her.

“So…” She began, he looked just as uncomfortable as she did. Making small talk with strangers was easy enough in passing, but spending half an hour in a car with him and then couple that with the fact that they’d be living together for the next three days was enough to cause an air of awkwardness.

“So…” He echoed, she thought of something to say.

“You ever think of going to college?” The look on his face said it all. “Sorry… That… That was a dumb question.” She mumbled,

“No, it wasn’t… I… I guess I never really thought about it, you know? I didn’t even think I’d make it as long as I did. Back when you first new me, I thought my life was gonna end with a needle in my arm in some shitty motel with Celine Dion playing in the background.” She cracked a small smile even though his voice was serious he couldn’t help but smile back.

“But now… Now all I’ve got to my name is a G.E.D, a dog tag and title as one of the best sharpshooters in the world… Not much to put on a college application.” She shrugged,

“Well… I still managed to get in and this coming from a girl that burned down a school gym and then tried to kill one of her teachers because she smoked laced weed before going into school that day…” She trailed off, eyes widening as she realized she had said that to all but a stranger… But was he really that much of a stranger? He was one of her best friend’s older brother. “Wow… I never even told Sam that…” She said in a far away voice.

“You’re secret is safe with me, sweetheart.” She glared at him, “what?”

“You just called me “sweetheart,” what do you mean what?” She asked with another icy glare. Dean had seen some pretty scary things but the little blonde in front of him was in league all of her own. She had… Well, everything he’d ever want in a woman. Funny, cute, smart, sassy, witty, snarky, and above all, she was smoking hot. When he found himself thinking these thoughts he tried to shake them off. But it was hard not to think like that if you asked him.

“Sorry…” He trailed off, they finished their drinks in almost relative silence. Buffy stole glances of him every now and then, just appreciating his company.


 

By the time they pulled up to the large apartment complex she would say she had found a friend in Dean. He was witty, kind, handsome, laid back and all at the same time had an air about him that was just pleasant. She walked into the apartment and almost wondered how someone with no job could pay for such a huge place but she assumed that he didn’t, she made the reasonable assumption that person who paid for it was most likely his big shot lawyer baby brother. She looked at the pictures that were on the mantle.

She noticed one that looked a tad more recent. It was of him, a beautiful woman and a young boy that looked a lot like him. Then she noticed the ring box that had collected dust.

“Who’s this?” She asked before she could stop herself. He looked over and sighed.

“Uh… Back in high school, I dated a girl named Lisa, got her pregnant… That’s her and my son Ben. Second to last time I was home we ended up getting back together because she saw how I was changing… Two years on her birthday I was ready to propose and…” A tear slipped past his lashes, “uh, she got shot going out to her car to bring Ben to her parents…”

“I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked. Is Be-“

“Living in Palm Beach with his grandparents.” He said, “uh… I’m gonna call it a night. The guest bedroom is ready, there’s a TV in there if you don’t go right to sleep.” She nods and watches as he retreats to his bedroom, his shoulders bobbed as he got into the doorway and she could tell her was crying.


 

“Hey,” Sam answered when Buffy called. Not being able to sleep was definitely a bad thing and this was brought on by her incredibly guilty conscience.

“I suck,” she began.

“How come?”

“Because I asked Dean about a picture on the mantle and he started crying the second his back was turned and now I feel like a huge bitch.” He sighed,

“Buffy, Lisa… That was almost two years ago, but he loved her. He was just starting to build a relationship with Ben and now the Braeden’s won’t let Ben see him… It… He really went a little hey wire after that. Drinking again, different girl every night.” She nodded though he couldn’t see it, “but… Then it just stopped one day, he kinda dropped off the face of the planet for about a month and then he turned up on our moms doorstep basically with nowhere to go because of he was living with Lisa and now he’s just… Dean.”

“Sam, I feel horrible. He didn’t sound angry or anything but I feel like I really hurt him asking that.” Buffy flicked off the TV deciding she was in no mood to be watching Seinfeld reruns.

“You didn’t, all you did was make his “boys don’t cry” attitude shatter.” Sam said, “look, it’s three in the morning, go to sleep you insomniac.”

“You’re one to talk, you actually answered on the second ring,” she laughed. “So…”

“I’m gonna propose to her,” Sam blurted out. Buffy grinned,

“When?!”

“Tomorrow night, the hotel has a pretty fancy place in it…” She could hear all the nerves and anxiety in his voice when he spoke those words.

“Sam Winchester you listen to me. If Alexander Harris, the most socially awkward person I have ever met can propose to the most blunt and sometimes rude lady I have ever met than you, Mr. Bigshot, can propose to Jess.”

“Thanks Buffy, I needed that.”

“It’s what friends are for,” she answered.


 

Buffy woke at around ten, the smells of breakfast wafted through the apartment. She yawned and stretched before getting out of bed and getting ready for the day. She had begun to strip when there was a knock at the door.

“You alive in there?” Dean asked,

“Yeah, I’ll be out in a minute!” She called before rushing to get ready. She opened the door and headed to the bathroom across the hall and ran a brush through her hair before brushing her teeth. She walked into the kitchen and almost immediately found a mug of coffee in her hands.

“Are you God?” She asked in a tired voice,

 “Been called it before, princess.” She rolled her eyes,

“Someone is feeling self-absorbed this morning,” she remarked, he cracked a smile.

“Well, this self-absorbed guy just made you breakfast.” He put a plate in front of her, it was piled high with bacon, eggs, sausage, French toast… This man was adorable, funny, snarky, kind, hot as hell, and could cook. If he had a nerdy side he might just be the one.

“Wow…” She said looking at the plate, she cut into the French toast and took a bite and moaned. “Holy shit,” she said with a mouthful. Dean couldn’t help but smile at her.

“Like it that much?”

“Yes!” She exclaimed, “you should open a factory. A French toast factory and market this. You’d make millions Winchester.” She said before taking another bite, he laughed and she gave him a look that basically said “I’m serious.”

“Well there’s an idea,” he said with a low chuckle. He gave her an almost appraising glance and she felt her cheeks heat up. Here goes nothing he thought. “Hey… Wanna go out tonight?” Buffy almost choked but swore she would not and made a show of grabbing her coffee. “Wow, okay.”

“No, I’m sorry!” She exclaimed trying not to die of sheer embarrassment. “I just wasn’t expecting that.” She said in an honest voice. “But I’d love to.”


 

Night rolled around quickly. Dean had run out to grab something and she was just sitting in her room. She didn’t want to call Sam so she called Willow to get her advice.

“Wills!” She exclaimed into her phone,

“Buffy! I miss you,”

“I miss you too, Willow. I need help.” She explained how she was staying with Dean because Sam got snowed in then she began to explain her problem. “He asked me out this morning, Wills. Is it a date? Like, a date date? Or is it a “lets go out as friends”? Because I really think it is a date date.”

“Buffy, calm down.” Willow said, “I think it is a “date date” as you put it. And… I think you should give him a chance.”

“But-“

“Buffy, you listen to me.” She could just about picture Willow’s resolve face. “You haven’t been with anyone since Parker. If he’s as different as Sam says then go for it.”


 

“Hey, Sammy.” Dean said when his little brother picked up, he was standing in front of the building smoking a cigarette.

“Dean,”

“Uh… I need some advice man.” Dean said,

“Oh... About?”

 “About Buffy.” Dean began, Sam could tell just by the sound of his brothers voice where this conversation was headed.

“Dude, no.”

“I-“

“Dean, Buffy doesn’t need your baggage. I get that you’ve changed, a lot, but-“

“Sammy, this could really be something… Please,” Sam sighed.

“Fine… What do you need?”

“Anything, something!” Dean exclaimed,

“Well, take her to the movies and make sure it isn’t an action movie because she will point out holes in the fighting styles. Go either romcom or horror.”

“Thanks man,” Dean said before hanging up. He stubbed out the cigarette and tossed it before going back up. Buffy was standing waiting for him.

“Where are we going?”

"We’re going to the movies… What do you wanna see? I was thinking either that new Sandra Bullock one or the one about the doll.” He likes romcoms?! She smiled,

“Let’s do the one about the doll.”


 

They arrived at the theater and Dean paid for everything.

“You’re a sinner,” he said looking at the package of chocolate covered raisins  

“Hey, don’t knock ‘em till you try ‘em.” She shot back,

“And I have tried them, I’d rather be burned alive than have to watch you eat those things.” She smiled,

“You’re dramatic,” she then eyed the movie theater nachos. “And you’re one to talk, that cheese is like a molecule away from being plastic.” He rolled his eyes and put a dollop of cheese on her nose. Her eyes went wide and he smirked. “Oh you’ve done it,” she threatened. “I know where you sleep. I know where you live,” he rolled his eyes and cleaned her nose off with the napkin and she blushed.

“Better?” They walk into the theater and got pretty much the best seats in the house. Dean didn’t do the thing where he put his arm around her shoulder, she didn’t play the “I’m cold” card either. But halfway through the movie she had her head buried in his neck.

“It’s not that scary,” he whispered.

“Yes it is, not all of us are battle hardened. A doll that is killing children is pretty damn scary,” she whined. He put two fingers under her chin and lifted it so her eyes would meet his.

“Want me to chase away the scary?” He asked, Buffy could only nod and his lips pressed lightly against hers in a short kiss that stole her breath. When he pulled back he smiled at her, “still scared?” She shook her head and they both turned back to the movie. His arm had found its way around her shoulder at some point during the last half of the movie and she was reveling in this feeling… Now there was the problem that she was only going to be able to stay in Kansas for another two weeks and now it dawned on her with sudden horror that she was slowly falling for the man she had known for a day and a half.

What if we decide to become a couple? What if things actually start working with us and then I have to go back to school?! All these thoughts swirled around her head as she looked up at him, he was too engrossed in the movie to see her staring, so she took a deep breath and looked back at the screen and jumped when she saw the mother of the only surviving child claw her way out of a shallow grave.

They arrived back at the apartment and she sat on the couch in the living room, it wasn’t even ten o’clock yet and Dean decided on steak for dinner. Before he went into the kitchen she grabbed his arm.

“Thanks for taking me, I had an amazing time.” She said, he smiled.

“No problem… Wanna go out again tomorrow?”

“Yes,” she smiled. He nodded and turned in the door way to the kitchen, a very boyish grin on his face.

“Alright, I’m gonna throw dinner together.” She nodded and retreated to the guest bedroom and called Sam.

“Hey,” he answered.

“Hey!” She said cheerily, he knew that voice, and if Dean’s phone call earlier was any indication, she had an amazing time. “So…”

“Spit it out,” he said with a laugh.

“Dean took me out.” She began, “and not as friends but on an official movie date, we even shared a jumbo popcorn.” She told him,

“I know,” he laughed. “Dean called me earlier.” Her eyes widened,

“What? Why?” He laughed again, picturing her wide eyed and horrified expression.

“Because he didn’t want the date to be a total flop. And I’m assuming it wasn’t,” there was a pause. After about a minute she spoke,

“He kissed me,” she whispered. “Sam, we weren’t even an hour into the movie and he kissed me, and I let him. Am I easy?”

“No, you are the furthest thing from… Buffy, I love my brother to death, and yes, he has changed… But he still has a lot of shit to work on, not to mention you live in California… Are… Are you sure you want this?” Did she? Sam had just pointed out the two biggest things on the forefront of her mind. Dean had a lot of issues, not to mention she lived a good day an half away by car… Did she want this?

“Sammy… I don’t know, I really don’t know. He asked me out again for tomorrow and I said yes.” He sighed,

“Look, Buff. You’re almost twenty seven, I can’t tell you what you can and can’t do, so do what makes you happy. If you want to date my bother, date him… Just be careful, he has a lot of issues and the man is too stubborn to actually see a therapist.” She sighed,

“Thanks Sam, and…” She began prodding him about the details, if he had proposed yet. He sighed,

“I’m getting cold feet here.” A call beeped in, she didn’t recognize the number.

“One second,” she switched over the call. “Hello?”

“Buffy?”

“Jess, hi!” She exclaimed, “what’s up?”

“Uh… I think Sam is gonna leave me.” She began with a sad voice. “He’s been acting weird all day and almost avoiding me and I don’t know what to do.” Buffy sighed poor girl, she thought.

“He’s not leaving you, honey. I know him better than he knows himself… Look, I’ll talk to him if you want?”

“I-“

“Hold on someone is on the other line, I will be right back. Where are you right now?”

“Standing out on a snow covered balcony so Sammy can’t hear me.”

“Stay where you are,” Buffy clicked back over to her call with Sam. “Sam Winchester you listen to me right now. Jess is on the other line terrified that you are going to leave her because you’ve been acting weird and avoiding her all day. She is on the balcony right now waiting for me to get back on the line with her. So you are going to march your ass out there and get on one knee, you understand me?”

“Okay…” He hung up and she clicked back over,

“Jess?”

“I’m still here, I don’t know what to do Buff.”

“Listen, Sam isn’t leaving you,” in the background she heard Sam say Jess’s name and then she heard a small sob followed by a yes. Buffy smiled and hung up, walking back out into the living room she looked at his display of movies. She flipped through them and when she saw Lord of The Rings, all in their extended editions she looked into the kitchen where she could hear him softly singing to himself. He was a nerd. This was a deal breaker for her. She put the first part of the Fellowship in and turned on the TV and waited. He came in with two plates and set them down before going into the kitchen and retrieving two glasses of wine.

“You’re such a nerd,” Buffy commented. He looked confused until she pointed to the boxset. “And I like that, so we are watching all of these and are not going to sleep until it is done, you understand me?” He nodded with a smile. They began the movie and ate in silence. Buffy noticed for one thing that the wine paired perfectly with the steak and she had to wonder what else she didn’t know about this man. Had to wonder where he learned to cook, how he knew what type of wine was best served with what.

He already had so much personality that she expected there was nothing new to learn about him after the night before but now… Now she found another side of Dean, one that was a nerd, one that was an excellent cook, and one that obviously liked her enough that he called her best friend for advice. About half way through the two hour long first part of the movie she had leaned against him.

“Hey,” he said looking down at her. She just snuggled against him and continued to watch, when he began reciting lines word for word she knew she was a goner. When it was time to put the second disk in he looked down at her and chuckled when he saw her asleep. He sighed and turned the TV off before picking her up and carrying her to the room she was staying. One handed he moved the blanket and sheet down before placing her in the bed before leaning down and pulling the covers over her.

Chapter Text

Bullets rang out, Dean ducked behind an armored vehicle, his machine gun pressed against his chest.

“We need reinforcements!” Castiel barked, Dean nodded and began to speak into his radio.

“How you doing, brother?” Benny Lafayette asked him, Dean shook his head with a dark chuckle.

“About as well as you can be when you got bullets flying at you!” He snapped, “we need to get to higher ground, think we can make it to the building?”

“It’s fucking suicide, man,” Castiel said looking at Dean with those piercing blue eyes. “We really don’t have much of a choice do we?” They looked at the building, Dean motioned for everyone in the squad to halt.

“Alright,” he said turning to face Castiel. “Alright; Novak, you, Lafayette and Campbell cover our asses, the second we all make it in you run like hell, understand me?” They all nodded, he looked at his younger cousin who ended up in his platoon. He couldn’t let familial ties stop him now, they were in heated battle in the middle of Afghanistan, ten versus thirty and they were waiting for backup, getting into that building would at least give them some sort of an edge until some help arrived. “Alright, lets move!” They all sprinted, he heard the three he had chosen to cover them begin firing, he got the six others and himself into the building safely but when he turned he watched as Cas’ left leg was clown off below the knee, he stopped everything and ran out,

“Lafayette, Campbell, cover me!” He yelled, they began to fire as he dragged Cas into the building and tied a tourniquet around his leg.

 “Get them!” Cas yelled at him, Dean nodded and ran to see his cousin’s head get blown off, he screamed and then watched Benny get hit several times by machine gun fire and his body fell with a thud. He threw a smoke grenade offering him a little time to drag the bodies in, he covered them with a ratty old sheet, deciding he could grieve later. They were down to eight now, and possibly seven if Cas didn’t pull through.

“Cas, hey, listen to me, open your fucking eyes!” Cas’ eyes opened slightly.

“Control the spray, making me feel like I’m at fucking SeaWorld.”

“Glad your okay man, You think you can use your other leg?” Cas nodded and Dean help him, the arterial spray had stopped so the blood flow was slowing considerably, man looked like hell but Dean had seen worse the last time he had been deployed and Lloyd still pulled through. He got Cas up stairs and leaned him against the wall before handing him a pistol.

“You stay here, anyone comes through that door that isn’t a friendly you know the drill.”

By the time help had arrived Dean was slowly bleeding to death and was close to passing out from the combination of pain and blood loss. He looked over at Cas and saw the man looked dead besides the very faint rise and fall of his chest. Dean felt blood, sweat, and grime drip down his forehead into his eyes, clouding his vision.  He looked around at the dead bodies of his comrades, some he really didn’t know, some of them barely young enough to be out of high school. Then he thought to the friends he had lost that day. He felt tears well in his eyes.

“Winchester, hey, stay with me!” He heard a familiar voice shout, “he’s loosing too much blood. I need to work on him now! Get Novak to the hospital ASAP!” He felt a needle go into his arm, “we’re gonna get you patched up, alright?!”

“Bardbury?”

“Glad you still know where you are dude, now hold on to me, alright?” He was helped from the ground and looked at his friend, her short cropped red hair was a welcomed sight. “We’re airlifting you to a hospital right now,” Dean took a step and screamed out as he felt bones crunch against each other. “I need help!” She yelled, Dean looked around at his surroundings and saw a few medics rushing with a stretcher, they loaded him on and carried him off to the helicopter where he passed out.

Dean awoke screaming, he couldn’t catch his breath and it felt as though there was a weight on his chest unlike anything he’d ever experienced. He felt tears sting his eyes and he looked around wildly, expecting to be back there. Back in hell. But he gained his bearings enough to realize he was home in his bed, safe. But it didn’t stop the sobs that wracked his body as he thought back to that day.

It didn’t stop the feelings of loss he had experienced so heavily. Yeah, he had seen battle before that but it was different. He had become close to most of those men, a few of them he even saw regularly when he was home, away from the blood, dust, and death. He couldn’t stop when his stomach lurched or when he began to empty his stomach onto the floor by his bed.

He could still smell the gun-smoke, the dust that had been kicked up… He could still smell the blood. Still feel it. Buffy ran into his room with wide eyes holding a frying pan looking around for an intruder but what she saw stopped her. She set the pan down and instantly a side of Buffy took over that she was saving for her career as a counselor.

“Dean, hey,” she said in calming voice. When she touched his shoulder he went rigid. “Dean, you’re safe… Shh…” She tried calming him but all it did was bring more tears and silent sobs rocked his body as more of that week came back to him. Even though there was some good out of it… It didn’t change that it marked an end to a horrible chapter in his life.

When Dean awoke in a hospital room he was a bit confused. What the fuck happened?

“Good to see you awake,” he looked up and saw Charlie sitting next to him. There was a bandage on her shoulder, a sling hanging off the chair, and a book in her hands. She began to explain that he had been out for a week, and in and out for the last hour or so.

“What…” Things started coming back to him and he looked down. He had lost comrades… Friends. “Is… Is Cas?”

“In a coma, they said the only way his body was gonna heal is if he wasn’t awake.” She set down her book and but her arm back in its sling. “You’re finished man,” she said with a smile. “We both are, we can finally go home and forget about this shit.”

“What do you mean?”

“Medical discharge, both of us. Same with Novak if…” She didn’t dare say it, Dean and Cas had become extremely close over the years they were deployed together, but he knew what she meant and thanked God that she didn’t because he would have lost it.

“They want you awarded with the medal of honor dude, because of Jason. Yeah, Jason made it. We didn’t think he did but he did. He saw you run out into the fray to save Cas. When you took a bullet in the shoulder for him. Saw you jump in front of Adams and take the two bullets before he…” She saw Dean’s wide eyed look and the tears that were rolling down his cheeks. When she looked to the doorway she saw his mother and little brother, she excused herself before walking out.

“Mom?” He asked, not really believing she was there. “Sammy?” His voice cracked, Mary rushed over and embraced him, he began to sob into her shoulder.

“My little soldier,” she said kissing his head. He looked over at Sam and Sam ran to his side and put his arms around them both. He was either alive or heaven was a weird place but either way he was happy. He had served his country, gave it his 110% and he was finally done. Finally able to go home and be home where he didn’t have to fear about being called back.

That wasn’t the fear, being called back. The fear was that one day he would get deployed again and he wouldn’t make it back home. Not able to see his pain in the ass baby brother or his mother again.

“I… I tried to save David and I couldn’t I-“

“Shh… It’s okay sweetie,” Mary assured. The loss of her nephew sucked but she was more than thrilled that her son was okay. Her sister was distraught but was happy that Dean pulled through. When they had gotten the phone call that Dean had been severely injured and was being moved to London they were on the first plane out to make sure they were with him… Fearing the worst when they had first arrived at seeing him lying like that, unmoving was scary to the point Mary had almost fainted.

But in the five days that she and Sam had been there the doctors noticed the improvement with him and decided that he could wake up at anytime.

“Is Aunt-“

“Dude, she’s happy you’re okay,” Sam said trying not to cry. It was almost surreal when he had seen Dean like that. Like he was dead. But here he was, alive and well, besides the fact that they had to preform a nine hour surgery once he was stable enough. Dean then realized his leg was casted, 

“What the fuck?” He questioned,

“You broke your leg in four places, to of the places they had to put back together surgically… From what Charlie told us they had a team of surgeons working on you to get you stable and fixed up.” Sam said in a soft voice,

“I… I need to see Cas.” A nurse nodded and walked out and came back with a wheel chair, they helped him in and tried to push him but he swatted their hands away. “I can wheel my damn self,” he said, the nurse sighed but allowed him and he followed her to Cas’ room. The steady sound of a heart beat came from the monitor but it looked so foreign, to see his friend like that. With tubes sticking out of his throat, a machine that forced him to breathe, electrodes, several needles connecting to different things… He wanted to scream at Cas to wake up and stop dicking around but he knew that it wouldn’t work.

It was almost like looking at the shell of someone if you asked Dean. And he hoped to god that his family wasn’t around when he was like this. But that wasn’t the case seeing from the looks they had been giving him like he wasn’t actually there. He knew that they had seen him in a similar way and he felt horrible for it, though it wasn’t his fault, he couldn’t help but feel horrible for it. Because seeing his friend… No, his bestfriend like this was destroying him more and more for every second he looked, but he couldn’t find the will to pull his eyes away from his friend’s lifeless body.

Though all the sounds the machines were making indicated that he was alive it didn’t make a difference to Dean. This wasn’t Cas. It was a shell. A fucking shell of the bright, energetic person he usually was.

“Can… Can I have a minute with him?” She nodded and stepped out of the room, he wheeled over to the bed and got a closer look. He looked pale, even though there was clearly a machine that kept his blood circulating he looked like a fucking corpse and that made Dean think he was suffering, but that couldn’t be, could it? Could your body even respond to outside stimuli in a state like this? Hell, could your body even respond to pain in this state? He had to wonder because there was almost a pained look on the mans face…

Or maybe he was imagining things, because looking at him again the look seemed to have altogether disappeared. His eyes occasionally moved behind closed lids which indicated to Dean that his brain was still functioning, but beyond that he looked dead. And Dean had seen death on large scale since his first time being deployed, where he watched an entire town get massacred, where he watched allies around him drop like flies. Like the last battle he had fought, where he watched his entire platoon get butchered besides three, he being one of the lucky to survive… But was he really lucky? He shook his head.

Plain and simple, seeing someone you cared so much about like this was a scary thing to most, but knowing exactly what that person could do, what they had been through, their strength… It made him feel like he had lost him. Cas was never vulnerable, never weak, and he looked to be both those things now. The entire situation felt fake. Like he himself hadn’t just woken up after a week of being unconscious… How they even managed to transport his friend here was beyond him but he wasn’t questioning it.

Dean, after sitting in silence for ten minutes finally spoke.

“Cas… I, uh, I know you can’t hear me right now… But you better pull through this, you hear me? You can’t leave me, man.” Tears welled in his eyes, “I lost my little cousin, I lost Benny… I can’t lose you too.” He felt the tears dribble down his cheeks, “you die on me I’m coming for you,” he wheeled out of the room and experienced a large jolt of pain that traveled across his body, against his wishes the nurse wheeled him back to his room where he was helped onto the bed. They gave him some sort of really strong narcotic and he was out like a light.


“Dean… Hey,” Buffy sat next to him and she took his hand. His larger one clasped hers in a crushing grip.

“There were ten of us,” he whispered with wide eyes. “When… When the bullets started raging, I… I was the one who was supposed to get us all out…” The he spoke the words sounded like they hurt and she had no doubt that they did. “Only three of us got out… I watched my cousin die… I watched my friends die…” Tears rolled down his cheeks, “I… Son of a bitch!” His hand easily sunk through the drywall. “My bestfriend is in a coma… The other one died later in the hospital. He still got out but he fucking died! It… It’s my fault… They’re gone, because of me. Cas is in a coma because of me…”

Buffy closed her eyes against the pain her hand was in because he was squeezing so hard.

“Dean, listen to me,” she whispered. His gaze moved to hers and the wild look from moments before was gone, replaced by tears the rolled down his cheeks. His lips quivered as he tried to keep the sobs in. “It is not your fault, don’t you for a second think that it is.”

“I-“

“No, Dean. They aren’t dead because of you, you did everything you could, so don’t you dare believe that you are you are responsible for this, okay?” More tears fell out of his eyes and he nodded but began to cry openly.

“It fucking hurts…” He sobbed, Buffy pulled him to her and he laid his head against her shoulder. “It hurts so bad, Buffy… I couldn’t save them…” She nodded and pulled back from the hug so she could look him in the eyes.

“Dean, look at me.” She said, his eyes met hers.

“You’re here, you’re safe… I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through, Dean. All I can say is I’m sorry that you’ve been going through this by yourself… No one should ever have to, especially not you. If you ever need me after a dream like this, please wake me up, or call me, I’ll be there.” He felt an unfamiliar feeling pass through him at her words and he leaned in and kissed her and she kissed back.

“Thank you,” he said when he pulled back. “Jesus. Fuck. Thank you so much.” He hugged her to punctuate his point and she returned his embrace.

“Okay, I’m gonna try to go back to sleep, yell if you need anything.” Buffy said in a soft voice, as she was about to close his door he spoke up.

“Buff,” she turned around.

“Yeah?”

“Please… Just stay with me.” She nodded and crawled in next to him, he brought his arms around her and pulled the blankets over them. His arm was draped over her waist in his head rested just above hers, but he didn’t move to anything further. He fell asleep quickly, and Buffy found her eyes getting heavy as well. And before she fell asleep she heard a sleep thick “thank you.”


Buffy woke up in an unfamiliar situation. She had solid arms around her, she almost panicked but quickly remembered the nights previous events and she turned in his arms to still see him asleep. His chest rose ever so slightly while he slept and it began to get more shallow, she saw his eyes moving behind the lids and he jerked suddenly, pulling Buffy off the bed with him, they landed with a thud and his eyes snapped open

Buffy groaned and rubbed the back of her head as she sat up and looked at Dean who’s eyes were wide with panic.

“Dean, hey,” she said in a soothing voice, his eyes focused on her for a minute and then he took a steady breath before looking around the room. “You’re safe, you’re okay.” He took a few calming breaths,

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Don’t be,” she assured. Though in all honesty she wasn’t okay. She wouldn’t be bringing up her own issues with him though, but as the days grew closer to her birthday she realized more and more that sometimes the people you trust the most are the ones who hurt you the worst. And she trusted Dean, maybe a little too much considering she had only really known him for two days. But he wasn’t Angel, and he sure as hell wasn’t Parker… She shook that thought away. No one could be that low life piece of shit. “Hey… Instead of going out today, why don’t I run to the store, get a bunch of junk food, and we can finish watching Lord of The Rings? I’ll pick up something for breakfast too,” he nodded slowly.

“Okay, can I use your car?” She questioned, the look on his face said it all.

“No… I’ll go with you,” Sam had said once before that Dean’s attachment to the car was unnatural, but considering many things about the man in question this didn’t surprise her one bit. When they went to the parking garage of the complex she got a much better look at the car now that they weren’t in a rush to be anywhere. It was black with shiny steel lining the doors and the entire front fender. She didn’t have to ask what type of car it was, she knew the second she got the side profile.

“She’s beautiful,” Buffy said as she ran her hand on the hood. “She a ’67 or a ’68?”

“’67, you know cars?” He asked with a goofy grin, she smiled back.

“Only the ones worth knowing, and the Impala is definitely a car worth knowing… Or it was, now its all plastic and cheap china made metal.” She said before getting into the passenger seat. Dean had to take a moment to gain his composer. She liked cars. She liked his car. She called Baby “she” like he did. He looked at her through the windshield, her eyes focused on her phone as she laughed at something. The way her face lit up was enough to make his heart swell.

This woman… She was beautiful, funny, liked the same food, liked his typed of music, shared his love for American muscle cars, was a nerd… And she got him to talk about that day. She didn’t go running away when he punched the wall, didn’t really flinch, she just talked him out of it. Not even Lisa was able to do that and they had been together for almost a year. He and Buffy weren’t even official yet she had managed to get him to talk about that day. Sure, Lisa hadn’t been around when he got discharged, but the way she got him to talk before the shooting was by prodding constantly. With Buffy, he felt safe, he felt like he could tell her these things and not break completely.

“Dean, get your ass in the car!” Buffy called, he smiled and hopped in.


They walked into the grocery store, Dean grabbed a basket and they started walking. Being around this many people, where anyone could come up behind him… It put him on edge. Buffy noticed the way he tensed and she took his hand as they walked.

“You okay?” She whispered,

“No, paranoid, comes with the gig.” He said absently as he looked around, he caught a familiar sight of red hair and a smile crept on his face. “No shit, Bradbury!” He called, Charlie turned and a smile lit up her face.

“What’s up!” She hugged him, and then noticed Buffy. “Hi, I’m Charlie,” she shook Buffy’s hand.

“I’m Buffy,” Buffy said with a bright smile. She looked between the two, their closeness made Buffy try to tear her hand away from Dean’s but his grip tightened slightly.

“We served together, she was a medic,” he said looking at her. “How the hell are you?”

“I am awesome, working for Google now,” she said with a smile.

“The hell brings you out here? For the job or…”

“Oh, I’m visiting my girlfriend,” she said with a dreamy smile. Buffy cheered inwardly that there was nothing romantic between the two.

“You’re out?” Dean asked with a smile,

“Yeah, when I got home after that time in London… Finally told my parents who I thought were going to disown me, instead my mom cried, said she always knew and my dad just kinda did that thing where he nodded and looked back at the TV.”

“Christ, aren’t your parents super religious or something?”

“Yeah…” She trailed off and looked at Buffy. “I see you’ve found someone,” she whispered in his ear and a blush crept across his face. She giggled, “man you’re whipped,” she mouthed. Buffy was a tad distracted by the fact that a man kept looking at her, he looked a tad bit too familiar and it set her on edge. The way he carried himself, the way he glared at her. Her anxiety skyrocketed and she felt tears sting her eyes.

“Dean we need to go,” she whispered.

“Huh?” She turned to him with pleading eyes and when he saw the fear in them he nodded. Charlie kept glancing over to where Buffy had been staring and the man was trying to make it look as though he wasn’t looking at them. When she noticed Buffy’s sudden change she saw every single sign that pointed to her knowing him, and he terrified her.

“Guys, get out of here,” she and Dean then had an unspoken conversation,

“I’m gonna pay for these, I’ll meet you at your car.” Charlie said taking the basket from Dean, “make sure she gets there safe,” she mouths and he nods before taking Buffy from the store. The second fresh air meets her face she lets go of a small sob and buried her face in Dean’s neck.

“You okay?” He whispers as he brings his arms around her, she shakes her head.

“No…” Everyone knew about Parker, besides Dean. Well, they knew what Buffy had told them. That he was just a horrible boyfriend… That didn’t begin to cover it. Didn’t begin to scratch the surface of what that man really did to her. “He saw me…” She whispered, “Dean we can’t be he-“

“Let’s get to the car, Charlie will be right out, alright?” He kissed her forehead and lead her to the Impala where she practically tore the door from the hinges trying to get in and slammed it shut. Dean had never seen someone look so scared. Charlie walked out with everything.

“Thanks,” he said.

“Of course, we need to set a day where we can hang out.” She declared before looking at Buffy. “Dean, I know it isn’t any of my business but what wigged her out was some guy… We both know what PTSD looks like, whatever that guy did to her was bad…” She trailed off when the man she had seen in the store walked past them. When Dean saw Buffy’s eyes widen in fear he had to stop himself from breaking the guys neck… Correction, Charlie had to hold him back. “Dean, get her home and make her comfortable, okay?”


Arriving back at the apartment Dean helped Buffy up in the elevator, she wasn’t speaking, and he didn’t know what to do.

“Buffy?” Dean asked in a soft voice, he touched her shoulder lightly and her eyes went wide, next thing he knew he felt her knee go into his crotch and he was shoved roughly. Buffy sunk to her knees, staring at nothing in particular. “Buff, hey.” She finally looked at him, when she got a better look at their surrounding they were no longer in front of the grocery store but in the elevator going up to his apartment. It took her a long minute to process what had happened.

“Dean?” She asked slowly, Dean tried to ignore the pain his balls because the terrified look she was giving him.

“I’m right here, sweetheart.” He said in a soothing voice, running his hand up and down her back. She didn’t stiffen when he touched her. He stalled the elevator so she could get out what she needed to. When she didn’t speak he sighed and hit the button again, soon the doors to his apartment opened and he had to lead her out. She sat down in the living room and he set the bags on the kitchen counter before going to sit next to her.

“You’re okay,” he said. “Can you… Can you tell me what happened?” He asked in a soft voice,

“No!” She exclaimed,

“How come?” He said gently,

“He’ll come back and hurt me… He told me if I ever talked about it he’d kill me.” She whispered, Dean steeled his eyes shut. Whoever this guy was, the second Dean saw him again he was dead.

“Who said that?”

“Parker… My ex-boyfriend.” She whispered, before he could ask what the bastard did she began to cry. “He hurt me… He fucking beat me… I stopped talking to Sam, and to Willow and Xander... Because I didn’t want them to see the bruises, or the burns. Whenever I didn’t want to have sex he’d tear my clothes off and make me… When I didn’t want to blow him he’d hit me until I did…” She began to sob into her hands and Dean brought his arms around her. “It’s my fault… I stayed with him and I ended up getting hurt so bad…”

“Shh… Buffy, it isn’t your fault. None of this is.”

“Yes it is… I should have left him the second he hit me… I… I did this to myself. All the scars and the broken bones… It’s because I couldn’t leave him.”

“Don’t you blame this on you, you were afraid. Fear makes you do bat shit crazy things.” Dean said, Buffy buried her face in his chest and cried.

“I haven’t been with anyone in five years because I’m afraid they’re gonna hurt me,” she admitted. Why the hell was she willing to give him some semblance of a chance? “You’re the first person I’ve trusted enough to tell this too… Please, don’t tell anyone. He’ll find out.” He nodded and kissed her head and she cried harder. “Please don’t tell anyone, Dean.”

“I promise you I won’t tell a soul.” 


Against Dean’s better judgement he had let Buffy go for a walk to clear her head. The sun was just setting and Sam said he and Jess had wanted another day and she was more than happy to give it to him.

She heard footsteps behind her and she decided she should quicken her pace. She was almost back at the apartment, but when a hand grabbed her from behind and tugged her into and alleyway she tried to scream.

“Hi Buffy,” that same sickly sweet voice sent shivers down her spine. She tried to scream but it was silenced when she felt his fist connected with her eye, that scream being cut off by his hand around her mouth. “Don’t scream, don’t even make a sound,” she heard a knife click, “if you know what’s good for you.” She felt his length pressing up against her and she began sobbing quietly as he tore away layers of her clothing. She went to shove him off when he slammed into her but he held the knife tightly against her throat.

“Please stop…” She begged, he punched her in the side and she felt a rib crack causing her to scream out. “Stop!”


Dean had went out for a cigarette. He had heard some commotion but thought nothing of it until he heard a pained scream that sounded like Buffy. He took off full tilt in the direction of the noise and what he saw made him see red. He stalked quietly into the alley and hauled Parker off Buffy before slamming him into the wall.

“You go for that knife I’ll brake your hand,” Dean said in a deadly voice. He threw Parker away from him and quickly called 911. He screamed into the phone but it dropped from his hand when Parker hit him in the back of the head with something. Dean stood and slammed his boot into the mans kneecap before slamming his head on the side of the building before getting on top of him and delivering punch after punch.

Parker managed to get the knife between them and Dean felt it sink into his stomach, Dean gasped lightly but punched him again, knocking Parker out. Dean slid down the wall and looked on as police and ambulance lights could be seen.
Buffy was crying, he could see bruising around her eye and her ribs looked worse. She was shaking, trying desperately to cover herself up.

But the police and ambulance saw her condition, saw the unconscious Parker and Dean with a knife sticking out of his abdomen. Buffy managed to shake her head and point at Parker as they started walking over to Dean. They nodded and got the stretcher and handcuffed him to it. They then began working on Dean.


When Dean awoke he was in a hospital room, he felt a strong pain in his stomach, when he looked around there were balloons and a couple of cards for him. He didn’t see Buffy which made him a tad upset. He wished when he woke up all he saw was her.

“You’re awake!” A cheery voice exclaimed, “Mr. Winchester what you did to save that girl was above and beyond.” The doctor said, “any other person would have died doing what you did. Your military training is what kept you alive.”

“Is Buffy okay?” Dean found himself asking, the doctor nodded.

“She’s doing okay, her cheek bone was broken and so were a few of her rib bu-“ he trailed off when he saw Buffy standing in the doorway. “Let her tell you for herself.” He left the room and Buffy ran over to Dean, Sam and Jess behind her.

“I thought you died!” She exclaimed loudly, “don’t ever scare me like that again,” she cried as she looked at him, momentarily forgetting her own pain.

“Scare you? You think me being laid up like this is anything compared to how I felt when I saw what that bastard was doing to you?” Dean asked in a horse voice. She was okay. She was okay. It was now a mantra because she was under his skin. She was the first thing on his mind when he woke up since that night at the train station, and he had dreamt about her for however long he was out. He looked at Sam who looked shell shocked, this entire situation eerily similar to the year before when he was in the hospital in London. Jess had become close with Dean over the last few years, each time he came home he’d either stay with her and Sam or Mary up until Lisa… But after his slight bender when she passed two years prior, Sam had gotten him the apartment he was residing in now.

It was a kind gesture, it gave Dean a stable place to live, plus his pension from the military coupled with his social security paid for everything else that Sam didn’t cover, and that wasn’t much, all Dean really had to pay for was his car, food, and cell phone bill, everything else Sam covered. Jess had thought it was insane at first, but seeing Dean now, versus when he had first gone into the army, the man deserved the world. After everything he had lost, given up, and given to everyone around him, he deserved the motherfucking world and that wasn’t even good enough for him.

“I don’t care what he did to me, you almost died! How the hell are you concerned about me right now?”

“Because Buffy, he…” He stopped himself, he wouldn’t say it. She just nodded slowly and looked at Sam and Jess.

“Can… Can you guys give us a minute?” She asked, they nodded and walked out of the room. Buffy sat down and took his hand and he squeezed hers.

“Buff-“

“No, Dean… Please listen to me… I was terrified that I’d lost you, you know that? Do you know how scary it is seeing someone you care about laying motionless on a bed for three days?”

“You’ve actually known me for only three days Buffy, how can you care?” He asked in a soft voice,

“How can you even ask me that?” She questioned, “Dean, for the first time in half a decade I am finally trusting a man enough to let him in. To take me out on dates and watch movies with me. Do you know how fucking special that makes you?” She said, “I’m not worrying about the fact that I got raped and abused, I’m worried about the fact that my boyfriend almost died right now… I can deal later, because right now being here with you is more important than wallowing.”

Dean couldn’t believe this. She wasn’t dealing so she could be concerned about him. Had the world turned off its axis?  He was supposed to be the one to put his emotions and trauma on the backburner and help other people… Another thing in the ways they are similar. They cared more about other people than themselves. And boyfriend? Where the hell did that come from?

“Yeah? Well I care that some low life son of a bitch raped and abused my girlfriend and now she isn’t dealing with it because she’s too concerned over someone who isn’t worth it.” Dean shot back, his eye’s steely. She rolled her eyes,

“I can’t deal with it without you…” She whispered as tears stung the back of her eyes. “I would break in a second if I tried to deal with this by myself. Sam, Jess, Dawn… They know what happened… But I don’t need them to help me, I need you.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re the only one who knows what else he did to me… Because… I trust you.” She leaned in and kissed him sweetly on the lips and then pulled back, looking into his eyes she spoke. “Because you’re the only one who can begin to understand what it’s like living with trauma…” His eyes moved around her bruised face, he cupped her cheek lightly an bought her closer to him so he could seal her lips in a passionate kiss.

All the kisses they’ve shared so far had been all but simple quick pecks on the lips… This is how he had wanted to kiss her since seeing her at the train station, how he wanted to kiss her since the movies where he had stolen a small one.
When he pulled back to look at her she had a small smile on her face.

Chapter Text

When Dean and Buffy got home from the hospital she and Jess went to work getting the apartment ready so he could access things without too much difficulty. When he had asked Buffy for a beer out of the fridge she glared at him.

“What?”

“You are on 15mg of Percocet. You are not having anything with Alcohol.” He tried to stare her down but her resolve was unwavering, he finally gave up, deciding that he could have one after she left with Sam and Jess… That thought scared him. Yeah, Sam lived ten minutes up the road but he didn’t know what he was going to do without the petite blonde, especially since she walked into his life six days before and turned it upside down, making him feel things he thought he had lost the ability to feel long before.

“Dean, you okay man?” Sam asked, Dean shook his head.

“About as fine as somebody who just got stabbed can be,” he deadpanned. Sam had that knowing look on his face. “What?”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” Sam remarked,

“Shut it,” Dean grumbled.

“You’ve got it bad,” Dean glared at his little brother.

“Even like this I could still kick your ass to heaven hell and back again without jarring one of my stitches,” Dean growled, obviously trying to cover the fact that he was embarrassed. Sam poked lightly on Dean’s incision causing the older Winchester to yelp. An apple whizzed out of the kitchen and hit Sam on the head causing his eyes to widen.

“What the hell?!”

“Do it again Jess will cut off something important,” she nodded at Jess who was holding a knife and glaring at her fiancé. He sighed, Dean punched him hard in the jaw and Sam’s head rolled with it.

“What the hell Dean, you jerk!”

“Bitch,” Dean shot back. Buffy laughed at the exchanged and she and Jess put the finishing touches on dinner.

“Hey… Are you okay?” Jess asked softly, Buffy stopped what she was doing and looked at the floor, trying not to break down.

“No… No, I’m not…” She said in a controlled tone but the last part was broken as tears slipped past her lashes, Jess set the knife down and pulled Buffy into a hug, Buffy began to cry quietly.

“Buffy, listen to me,” Jess said in a soft tone. “You’re going to get through this, you are the strongest person I know… Sam has told me about some of the things you’ve been through, but he’s especially told me about everything you’ve done for the people you care about. You can get through this, understand me?” Buffy nodded, “at the end of the of the day, every day, talk to me while you’re here.” When she said that she saw Buffy look into the living room at Dean with a longing in her eyes.

Jess knew that look all too well, it was the same exact look she would give Sam while they were still in college and he would go home for the holidays.

“You… You don’t want to leave him do you?” She asked,

“No…” Buffy said as she watched a bright smile form on Dean’s face, the way his eyes crinkled at the corners when he laughed at what he and Sam were watching. The way his eyes lit up and that smile that seemed reserved only for her spread across his face, making him look years younger. The way the pain that seemed to always dance behind those green eyes of his disappeared.

“I can’t leave him alone Jess… Not just because he just had to get major surgery to stop internal bleeding from that knife… But… I’m falling for him, hard… And that scares me. But I can’t see when he’s around, you know? I’ve known him, actually really known him for three days and I’m already terrified of being away from him. Terrified that I was gonna lose him.”

Jess had to smile at this, when Sam had asked her out she had felt the same way almost immediately. Whether it was just the Winchester charm, seeing as both boys had this effect on women, or the fact that she had found her soulmate… Regardless she knew exactly what Buffy was feeling, because she still felt the same every day when she woke up next to Sam.

“Buffy, it’s not weird that you already feel like this.” She assured her,

“Really?” Buffy asked hopefully, Jess nodded.

“That’s how I’ve felt about Sam since day one,” she said in a sweet voice as she recalled the day she had met Sam. Jess sighed, “Buffy… I want to give you the number of a Trauma Therapist… She graduated in me and Sam’s year, she’s here in Lawrence…”

“Jess, I live in California,” Buffy said with a pained look.

“Buffy, if I know anything about that look you have you’re about to drop everything and move here.” Buffy shook her head,

“You don’t know that,” Jess rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, I do, because I did it. I lived across the country when I started college and holidays sucked because when I didn’t live on campus I lived with my aunt who was a raging alcoholic. I dropped everything to move to Lawrence to be with Sam.” She said, “I packed up and moved into that shitty one bedroom apartment he had, remember it?” Buffy sighed,

“Unfortunately… At least we got to burn that couch,” Buffy said thoughtfully. Jess groaned at the mention of the couch. They had gotten it from a pawn shop, it looked okay until they got it home. They then realized that it was saturated with smell of beer and sex. Buffy had braved the couch for a week when she had come out for Sam’s birthday. Buffy refused to come back unless they got a new couch, which they did while she was there. They made it a big thing too, they had a small party with a few of Sam’s other friends while they burned the son of bitch.

“I honestly almost forgot about that thing…” Jess trailed off,

“Well, it is my job to remind you that cheap doesn’t always mean “deal.”” Buffy said, she looked thoughtful for a minute. “I… I’m gonna go call Dawn.”


Buffy sat on her bed and called her little sister.

“Hey!” Dawn said cheerily, despite the last phone call she had gotten from her sister she was trying to stay in a bright mood for her sake.

“Dawn… Uh, I… I have a question.”

“Shoot,”

“I… I can’t go back to living alone at the house… Because it’s in both of our names I need to know if I can sell the house…” She finished; Dawn fell silent. There were a lot of memories in that house, a lot of memories that she wasn’t willing to just give up.

“I… I don’t know Buffy…”

“Dawn, I checked the going rate for it in the condition it’s in. It’s an amazing neighborhood, the house is in perfect condition, and we can leave it move in ready… We’re looking at $350,000 Dawn.”

“Buffy… Are you sure?”

“I can’t be living there by myself anymore… Not after what happened. Please Dawn, if not, I can sign the deed over to you. Mom made sure that house was paid off until both of us were at least in our forties.” Dawn sighed,

“Is this what you want?” Buffy had been through a lot recently and she knew why Buffy couldn’t be alone. Parker knew where they lived, he may be in holding but the way things were looking his rich father was paying off cops one by one to get him out. Not only that, but Buffy wasn’t in any position to be alone right now. But Dawn still didn’t know about Dean, not really. All she knew was that an ex-soldier saved Buffy and kicked the guys ass, getting stabbed in the process.

“Uh… Dawn, I’ll call you back.” Buffy said, “you don’t have to answer right now, just please let me know by the end of the week.”

“Okay, bye Buffy, I love you.”

“Love you too, Dawnie.”


Everyone was gathered around the TV, they were watching some action movie Dean had picked out and Buffy was glaring at the screen.

“That flying dragon kick is all wrong, see?!” She pointed at the screen and began to explain what the person should be doing. Dean had to laugh at this, he slung his arm around her shoulder and she leaned lightly back against him. Sam and Jess exchanged looks.

“Hey, we’re gonna call it a night,” Sam said. Dean looked up,

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, Buff, you coming?” Buffy looked from Sam to Dean and then back. Sam didn’t need her response, “I’ll see you tomorrow at seven. We’re taking you out to breakfast. Be ready.” Sam and Jess left the apartment, Dean looked at Buffy.

“What?”

“Why… Why didn’t you go with Sam?” Dean asked curiously, Buffy sighed.

“Because we need to talk… But mostly because I’d rather be with you.” Dean gave her a small smile, he moved a little on the couch so she could snuggle up against him.

“What do we need to talk about?” He asked when she took her place next to him.

“Us,” Buffy said looking up at him. “We need to talk about the fact that we gave each other labels… And what that means.” He nodded,

“Do you want to be together?” He asked,

“Yes,” Buffy answered swiftly. “But… I live a day and a half by car, and I got off lucky with the train because not many people take trains for that long anymore,” Buffy said. “I can’t be by myself after what happened… He knows where I live in Sunnydale, Dean.” Dean nodded and thought for a moment, a long moment. It was too early for that, wasn’t it?

“Move in with me,” he offered. “I know we haven’t been seeing each other long… But there is more than enough room here.” Buffy’s eyes were wide,

“Are… Are you sure?” Dean smiled,

“’Course I am,” he assured. In fact her leaving was scaring him more than he was letting on. “Look, you’re here for another week, lets… Just see how this living with each other thing works now that we’re actually a couple, alright? Then we can worry about the other stuff. Buff, if you’re serious about this, when the time comes I can go back with you and help you get moved out.”


The next morning, Dean awoke in pain, he almost wondered why but then he remembered. He looked around and realized he had passed out in the living room, Buffy was still curled against him. He had to smile at her while she slept, she looked innocent, like nothing bad had ever happened to her. He decided against waking her up. The door bell rang, he sighed and managed to get himself away from Buffy without waking her and going to the door. He pressed on the buzzer,

“Yeah?”

“Hey, Dean,”

“Meg?”

“Yeah, let me up!” Five minutes later the elevator doors opened and Meg stepped into the apartment with a struggling baby. The baby wasn’t even a year old yet, Dean could tell that much looking at him.

“Uh…”

“Dean, I just got a call from London, he’s awake.” She said, Dean’s eyes widen.

“Are you serious?”

“He woke up yesterday, drove through the night here… This is Mason...” Cas had told Dean he and Meg were expecting two days before the battle, but Dean couldn’t help but feel horrible for Meg. She had to do it by herself for the better part of a year now. She looked done, in a sense.

“Yeah, yeah… Cas, uh, he told me that you and him were expecting.”

“Apparently the first thing he did after waking up was demanding to see his child… Dean, Cas never even got to find out the gender… Mason is too young to fly out there… I need you to watch him for a week while I’m out there, please.”

“Yeah, of course.” She nodded and handed Mason off to Dean.

“You ever change a diaper?” She asked, Dean nodded. “I can’t thank you enough for this,” she said trying to control her emotions.

“You tell that bastard to call me the second he’s feeling up to it,”


Buffy woke up to the sound of an infant giggling. That wasn’t right. When she opened her eyes she looked around and found Dean sitting in the floor, sure enough, with a baby.

“Wow, what’d I miss?” She asked in a sleepy voice, Dean looked over at her,

“Uh, Cas woke up.” Dean said, Cas… He was the one Dean said was in a coma. Dean’s bestfriend.

“Oh… Then who’s the baby person?” Buffy asked, Dean chuckled.

“This is Cas’ son Mason… Uh, his wife turned up here earlier this morning, saying that Mason couldn’t go ‘cause he’s too young.” Buffy nodded, “it’s only nine o’clock, why don’t you try and go back to sleep?”

“I don’t want to,” Buffy said. She got up and sat on the floor by Dean, Mason smiled a brilliant smile and began to babble, “crap, I missed going out with Sam!” Buffy exclaimed,

“No, you didn’t, Jess isn’t feeling good, she called earlier.” Dean said absently as he made the stuffed dog dance causing Mason to squeal in delight, he went to grab the toy from Dean. “Not so fast, little man.” Dean said, Mason gave him a look that screamed “but that toy is mine.” Dean laughed and handed him the toy,

“How are you so good with kids?” Buffy wondered, Dean shrugged.

“Don’t know, sure I looked after Sammy when he was little, but I’m only four years older than him… I guess I just like kids.” Buffy nodded and looked at Mason who desperately trying to understand what the adults around him were saying. When he couldn’t he began to fuss.

“Uh-oh,” Dean said with a smile. He picked mason up, carefully not to jar his wound, and swung him around causing the baby to revert back to his happy self. Buffy sat back and looked on, a small smile playing at her lips. He was literally the perfect man. He cooked, was a nerd, liked cars, liked the same music as her, and was good with kids. He also will put up with her bullshit while watching action movies heavily dependent on martial arts. Did he also like cheese? Did he like all cheese equally or was he more partial to hard cheeses like she was?

She shook her head as she watched him making faces at the child. She smiled and laughed at him,

“Alright, give Buffy the baby,” she said holding out her arms, Dean handed Mason off and the baby squealed, beginning to pull and chew on Buffy’s hair, Buffy laughed. “You’re just adorable aren’t you?!” She cooed, the baby smiled and kicked his legs and began to babble, “I know, it is so hard being a baby,” he seemed to agree with her as he let go of an exasperated sound, Dean had to laugh at this. As he straightened to his full height the stiches in his abdomen strained in protest causing Dean to gasp.

“You okay?” Dean nodded,

“Just need one of my pain meds… I’m gonna call my mom see if we can get a couple things like a bassinet for Mason while he’s here.”

“How long is he staying?”

“A week,” Dean said, Buffy just nodded. Meg had left them with a car seat and enough diapers for the next two days but she was in such a rush the only thing she had the baby really prepared for was food and clothes, everything else was up to Dean and Buffy.


“Mom?!” Dean called when he opened the front door of his childhood home,

“Dean, hi!” Mary walked over to her son and hugged him and then smiled brightly when she saw Buffy. “Buffy,” she knew what happened but chose not to say anything, but she definitely had to say a few things when she the baby with them. “Uh…” Dean explained who the baby was and everything, Mary smiled and asked to hold Mason, Buffy gladly handed him off. “I know your Daddy, he and my son are bestfriends.” She told Mason who was seemingly fascinated by the woman.

“Mrs. Winchester, we came over to see if you still had Dean’s bassinet,” Buffy said.

“Yeah, when Meg dropped by this morning she was kind of in a rush.” Mary nodded,

“Of course I do, I didn’t save it to not get grandchildren,” she said with a laugh, Buffy had to smile at this.


“I’m going back,” Willow said after hearing about Buffy from Dawn.

“Wills…” Tara said,

“No, Tara… I have to, Buffy is my best friend… Come with me. It’s time they all found out about you,” Tara sighed.

“B-but, they don’t know you’re a lesbian.”

“So what? They’ll love me all the same… They’re not my parents, baby.” Tara nodded, Tara, as it tuned out, was from Sunnydale. The reason they hadn’t met until the first year of college was because Tara had gone to an all girls school four blocks away from Sunnydale High. Tara had been Willow’s biggest secret for the last seven years, and last month for Willow’s birthday, she decided it was finally time for Tara to meet her parents… Which ended horribly. Ira had threatened to disown Willow and Sheila… Sheila had said she’d rather had Willow stay that stoner boy Oz. Willow had not talked to her parents since that day, and she was done being I the closet from her closest friends.

“I know where Buffy is staying right now, she’s with her friend Sam.”


Buffy’s phone rang and she answered it,

“Jess, hey,” Buffy said picking up the phone,

“Buffy I don’t know what to do.” Jess said in a panicked voice,

“The hell did Sam do?!” She barked into the phone, causing both Mary and Dean to look at her.

“No, nothing… Buffy I made a doctors appointment this afternoon and I need you to bring me… I think I might be pregnant.” Buffy went slack jawed and decided she had to leave the room. Once she was outside she spoke,

“Oh, Jess…”

“I just haven’t been feeling right the last couple of days, I thought I was sick at first but I’m late.”

“How many days?”

“Three… Weeks.” Buffy sighed,

“Alright, I’ll have Dean drop me off and I’ll take you.”


Buffy walked back into the house and Dean gave her a weird look.

“What was that all about?” Dean asked as she sat next to him, Buffy sighed.

“Jess wants me to take her to a doctor appointment,” Buffy said vaguely. Dean cocked his head,

“Why doesn’t Sam just bring her?” Oh my god Dean, you’re so dumb, Buffy thought with a groan.

“Because Dean, something is going on with her and she isn’t ready for Sam to know yet.” Dean looked confused,

“Bu-“

“Dean, shut up.” Mary said from her spot in her chair, holding a sleeping Mason.

“Mom!”

“Buffy, you can take my car,” Mary said, “I think it’s time me and Dean caught up a little.” Buffy smiled and Dean stood.

“You gonna be okay with the baby by yourself?” Dean nodded and Buffy stood on her tiptoes to kiss him softly. “Alright, I’ll be back.” When Buffy took Mary’s keys and left the house Mary looked at her son.

“What?” He asked, Mary shook her head.

“I haven’t seen you this happy in a very long time, Dean… Not even with Lisa.” She may be the one person who could get away with saying that and Dean not scream at her.

“Mom… I’ve known her, really known her for four days now… Now she’s all I think about… And when I think of what that son of bitch did to her it makes me sick... And she won’t allow herself to get better because she’s too worried about me… Mom, how do I help her?”

“You tell her that you’re worried about her… Dean, that girl has been through a lot recently… Is… Is it wise for you to be entering a relationship with her?”

“Mom-“

“I’m just asking sweetie, I’m just worried for her, I’m also worried about you. You need to start healing, and you won’t. You refuse to see a counselor of any kind, won’t take any of the help that people are trying to give you… And Buffy is in the same boat from what Sam has told me... Is this the best time for either of you to be in a relationship?”

Silence fell over them because Dean didn’t really know…

“I… I don’t know mom.”


Buffy waited out side the building with a book. She heard the car door open.

“So…” Buffy began as she looked at Jess.

“Looks like Sam’s gonna be a father,” Buffy smiled and embraced Jess.

“I know this entire thing was unplanned, but congratulations.” Jess smiled,

“How do I tell Sam?”

“Well… You could tell him when you get home… Or wait until the morning sickness starts.”

“I think I’ll tell him when I get home, so he can be prepared for the morning sickness part.”


After an hour of sitting in awkward silence Dean finally spoke again.

 

“Mom… I really think she’s the one… I never thought I’d meet anyone after Lisa and I did, and she has surpassed Lisa in every way… She’s gotten me to talk about that day, you know?”

“She has?” Mary asked in surprise, Dean nodded.

“I had that dream… Long and short of it Buffy got me to talk about it and this was before we were even together… I really think she’s it.”


Buffy had walked through the door to Mary’s when she heard Dean.

“Mom… I really think she’s the one… I never thought I’d meet anyone after Lisa and I did, and she has surpassed Lisa in every way…. She’s gotten me to talk about that day, you know?”

“She has?” Buffy heard Mary ask,

“ I had that dream… Long and short of it Buffy got me to talk about and that was before we were even together… I really think she’s it.” Buffy smiled and blinked a few times trying to get those pesky happy tears in check before she made her presence known. In truth she could handle the bags of food she was carrying but she was a little thing and her arms still got tired. She closed the door with her foot so it would loudly shut.

“Guys, I’m back, with food!” She called, she heard footsteps and Dean appeared and she made a show of struggling with the bags, trying to gauge his reaction.

“Jesus Christ woman,” he said with a roll of his eyes and took the bag of food away from her.

“Thanks,” she said, he leaned down and kissed her softly. She followed him into the living room where he set down the bag of food. “Dean, I got the burger you texted, also, I had no idea what type of desert food you liked so I got Pecan and Apple pies from the bakery downtown.” Dean’s eyes lit up at the mention of pie and then he looked at her with abnormal amount affection.

“You got me two pies?” He asked,

“Yeah…” Buffy said, he stood and kissed her on the forehead and then her lips. “If this is the type of reaction I get for getting you pie I really don’t wanna know what happens if I get any of it on me,” Dean gave her a wicked grin.

“Mary, I got you...” Buffy reached into the bag and pulled out the burger. “The Blue Cheese burger, good choice,” Mary took the burger. “And for myself I got the angus cheese burger.”

“Really?” Dean asked, “with or without the bacon?”

“With the bacon, why?” He didn’t say anything, he just gave her that same adoring look and her cheeks flushed. Mary looked between the two of them,

“How was Jess?” Dean asked with a mouthful of burger before taking a sip of his beer.

“She’s good,”

“What didn’t she want Sam to know?” Dean tried again, Buffy went to yell at him but his phone started ringing, “huh, speak of the devil… Sammy, what’s up?” Dean listened, and Buffy could hear Sam’s excited voice on the other line.

“Dude, I’m gonna be a father,” Dean’s face lit up and he smiled brightly.

“No shit, you serious?”

“I am,”

“Congratulations, Sammy, yeah man, love you too.” Dean hung up,

“What was that about?” Mary asked,

“Go answer the house phone,” Dean said. Mary shook her head, fully knowing what was happening and walked into the kitchen where the handset was.

“Sometimes I prod…” Dean admitted, Buffy just patted his shoulder.

“Yeah, I see that. But now you know why I had to bring Jess to her appointment.”


Buffy laid in her bed and looked at the ceiling, the memories of everything Parker had ever done to her was brought to the surface recently… She wanted to die. How the hell was she supposed to deal with this? Dean was in no position to be putting up with her crap. He had enough issues on his own, not to mention she had almost gotten him killed.

She felt tears roll out of her eyes and she began to sob, she brought a pillow over her face to cover the sounds of her crying, she wished she had the courage to suffocate herself then and there.

“Buffy?” Dean opened her door and what he saw made emotion well in his throat. He sat down next to her, “Buff…” She moved the pillow from her face and looked at him, her mascara was smudged and it was trailed down her cheeks and onto the pillow. Dean sighed and opened his arms to her, she folded herself in them. “What’s wrong, baby?” He asked softly,

“I… I wanna die,” she said. “I want to fucking die!” She screamed, Dean closed his eyes and nodded.

“Why don’t you come out into the living room and relax with me, huh?” Buffy shook her head, Dean knew that if something happened he have to get her into the hospital. “Buffy, after what you just said I don’t want you alone, so you’re either coming or I’m gonna carry you out there,” he said in a calm but serious voice,

“You have to promise to hold me,” Buffy whispered. Dean kissed her softly,

“Of course, sweetheart.” That was the first time he had used that term not flirting with her. He took her hands in his and stood slowly, pulling her off the bed with him. She followed him out to the living room and when he sat he tugged her hand so she ended up in his lap, her back resting comfortably against his chest. The Percocet was probably the thing that was allowing this position he didn’t car, because when his arms came around her and she began to sob quietly his attention was only on her.

“How can somebody be so cruel?” Buffy asked, “how could someone do that to another person?” Dean closed his eyes,

“If we knew that… War wouldn’t exist. Rapists and women beaters, and murders alike… They wouldn’t exist.” Dean said in a soft voice, “if we knew why… So many people wouldn’t be hurt.”


Mason woke up in a horrible mood and hadn’t stopped crying since. Buffy was at her wits end with the child because no matter what her and Dean did wasn’t enough to get him to calm down. Finally Dean came into the room with someone on the phone.

“Mason,” Buffy heard a woman say, Mason’s smile reappeared and he began to babble. “I know baby, I’m gonna be home in a few days with someone you want to meet,” the woman said, it must be Meg. “Are you being good for uncle Dean,” Mason squealed and laughed loudly, “good boy, now stop your crying and be good. Dean, when he gets changed, don’t use baby powder, use cornstarch,” she instructed.

“Alright, how’s he doing?” Dean asked,

“Ask him for yourself,” Meg said. There was some shuffling on her end and then a deep almost monotone voice sounded.

“Hello?”

“Cas?” Dean asked in disbelief,

“Dean, how the hell are you?”

“How am I? Aren’t you the one who just woke up from a coma?” Dean asked with a pained laugh,

“It’s good to hear from you, man,” Dean had forgotten to turn it off speaker. Buffy smiled as she saw Dean’s face, he had a smile on his face that made him look much younger. “Honestly I’m not doing good. I missed out on six months of my sons life.” Cas said, “I missed helping Meg when she was pregnant... I really missed a lot,” there was regret in his voice.

“Don’t do that, it isn’t your fault, you know that right?” Dean asked,

“I guess not… I’m gonna try to sleep, ironic I’m still tired, right?” Dean laughed,

“Yeah, I guess it is.”


Buffy held a sleeping Mason while Dean was napping in his room. Buffy sighed and brought Mason over to his bassinet. Buffy took a deep breath and walked into her room and closed the door quietly before taking her knife out of her bag. She opened the blade and looked at the cold steel before running it across her arm. She made lines upon lines until the lightly tanned skin could no longer be seen underneath the angry red marks and the blood that seeped from them.  

She felt numb, she didn’t know if the cutting would make her feel anything, she barely felt as one went a little too deep.

“Why…” She whispered, “why me? Why did this have to happen to me?” She asked to no one in particular, when a knock at her door sounded she froze.

“Buffy?” Dean asked, Buffy didn’t answer, hoping he’d take the hint and go away… But when was she ever that lucky? He opened the door and Buffy turned her back to it. “Hey, you okay?” She didn’t answer, she just kept her back turned and her arm clutched against her. She hid the knife under her pillow. “Buffy, what’s wrong?” She felt tears leave her eyes when Dean sat down.

“Everything is wrong…” She whispered, “I-“

“Buff, why can’t you look at me?” He said softly, she finally turned, he noticed her arms was clutched against her chest. “Buffy, what’s wrong?” He asked more sternly, Buffy shook her head and she began to cry, Dean sighed and pulled her against him. “Babe, you need to talk to me. I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s going on.”

Buffy began to cry harder, but she pulled back and showed him her arm. He closed his eyes and nodded.

“Get some clothes packed, I’m taking you to the hospital.” He said,

“No,” Buffy said in a panicked voice.

“Buffy, you’re going, and if you don’t let me bring you I’ll call the ambulance, please don’t fight me on this.”


Dean was holding Mason against him while he waited for the doctors to look over Buffy. Sam and Jess had come as well and they were taking turns sleeping and watching Mason. They’d been there for six hours now, it was a little bit past two in the morning. Before getting her to the hospital it had been a huge fight that Dean didn’t want to ever revisit because she said some extremely hurtful things to him. Sure, she knew only so much, but the things she did know she had wielded like a weapon. But he wasn’t gonna dwell on it. She was hurting, badly hurting, and he wished he could take her pain away.

“Mr. Winchester?” Dean looked up at the doctor. “She’s been given some medication to help her relax. She’s ready to see you if you would like to come back.” Dean nodded and looked at Sam and Jess still sleeping away. He followed the doctor back and Buffy was laying in the bed looking spacy.

“What the fuck did you give her?” Dean asked upon seeing her,

“Klonopin, it’s a benzodiazepine that in higher doses has a similar effect as valium,” he pointed to the welt on his cheek. “Girl has got a mean right hook, I can tell you that much. I’ll give you guys a few minutes before psych comes in to evaluate her.” Dean nodded and took a seat next to Buffy’s bed.

“Hey, sweetheart, how are you?” Buffy looked over at him,

“I’m angry at you,” she said in a calm voice.

“I get that, Buffy, but you need help.” She shook her head in disbelief,

“And you’re one to talk?” She bit out, “about needing help?” Dean looked down and nodded,

“I get it, you’re angry and lashing out but what I do isn’t really you-“

“It isn’t my business? Is that what you’re gonna tell me? That my boyfriends mental health isn’t any concern of mine? But it’s perfectly okay for you to drag me to the hospital to get an eval?” Dean looked at the floor.

“Buffy… Look, I can’t say I’m not a hypocrite because I’m being one right now… But I’m not ready to deal with this, okay?” Buffy nodded and steeled her jaw,

“And you think I’m ready to deal with this?”

“I’m not cutting myself and saying I want to die,” Dean shot back.

“Get out of the room,” Buffy whispered. “Because I can’t even look at you right now, come back tomorrow and we’ll talk but… Right now I can’t.”


 

Chapter Text

Willow knocked on Sam’s door, a blonde girl answered.

“Uh, hi?”

“Is Buffy here?” Willow asked, the girl looked sad.

“Let me get Sam.” She said before retreating into the house. Willow had met Sam a few times before so it wouldn’t be as awkward as that was.

“Willow?” Sam asked in surprise,

“Hey,” she said with a bright smile. “Where’s Buffy?”


Willow ran into the hospital,

“Buffy Summers,” she told the receptionist. The woman nodded and told Willow to follow her. When Willow saw Buffy’s arm she sucked in a breath.

“Wills?” Willow flung herself at Buffy and hugged her,

“I-I came to see if you were okay because Dawnie told me what happened! I turned up Sam’s and he told me you we-“

“Wills, breathe,” Buffy said with a small laugh. “Look, I’m okay… I have to do this.” She said in a sad voice, “though I am seriously considering ripping Dean’s face off right now.” Willow sighed and sat down,

“You almost gave me a heart attack!” Willow exclaimed, “I told Tara to wait at the hotel room because I wanted to make sure you were okay but-“

“Who’s Tara?” Buffy asked curiously, Willow smiled shyly.

“My girlfriend… Of seven years.” Buffy’s eyes widened,

“What?!”

“Are you angry?!” Willow cried,

“No, Wills, no, of course I’m not, just… You’ve been dating her for seven years and you didn’t even tell me.”

“I was scared to come out, do you know how bad it is being Jewish and gay?” Buffy smiled at her friend,

“I’m proud of you,” she said giving her a hug. “Okay, you need to tell me what Tara is like.” Willow smiled and began to talk.  


Dean looked at a sleeping Mason. He decided why the hell not and tried calling the Braeden’s, he needed to talk to Ben.

“Hello?” An older woman picked up,

“Laurie… It’s Dean,”

“I told you not to call here,” she said.

“Look, I just want to talk to him, please.” He heard her sigh and call for Ben. Dean smiled slightly,

“Hello?”

“Ben, hi,” Dean felt tears well in his eyes at hearing his sons voice.

“Dad!” Dean laughed,

“How-how are you?” He asked, trying to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat, his voice was think with emotion.

“I’m good, top of my class… I miss you,”

“I miss you too, buddy.” Dean said in a sad voice,

“Dad, when I turn eighteen I’m coming out to see you, okay? They can’t stop me,” Dean nodded and let a tear fall from his eye.

“I wish they’d let you come stay here,” he said in a sad voice. “But it’s the way your mom wanted it,” Dean said sadly. If only he could tell Ben the truth. Mason began to fuss, “please, call whenever you want, alright?”

“Okay, dad,”

“Bye Ben,”

“Bye,” Dean hung up and let go of a few tears before walking into the spare bedroom where Mason was awake and fussing.

“What’s the matter, huh?” He picked Mason up and then wrinkled his nose at the smell. “Oh… Okay, let’s get you changed.”


With a clean and freshly changed Mason Dean decided it was time to see Buffy.

“You ready to see Buffy?” He asked, Mason giggled and blew a bubble causing Dean to laugh. Dean loaded him in the car before he heard footsteps in the garage. He straightened up and looked around before deciding to just leave it alone. He got in the car and drove out, but not before seeing a shadow moving through the garage, the figure was hooded and Dean decided then and there that he was not going to be staying at the apartment with Mason.

They arrived at the hospital ten minutes later, Dean walked into the emergency department and asked for Buffy and they let him in. He saw her laughing and talking with a red head that looked a little like Charlie.

“Hey, sunshine,” Dean said from the doorway. Mason saw Buffy and began to fuss trying to get to her.

“Willow, this is Dean,” Buffy said nodding at him. Willow stood,

“I’m Willow, nice to meet you,” she shook his hand.

“Dean,” Willow smiled at Mason.

“And who are you?!” She cooed,

“This is my friend Cas’ son,” Dean said. Mason began fussing and whining more now. Dean sighed and handed him off to Buffy who smiled at him.

“Will, can I get a few minutes alone with Dean?”

“Yeah, of course,” Willow walked out of the room before casting a “we need to talk” look at Dean who made a face.

“Does she not like me?” Dean asked as he took Willow’s vacated seat.

“No! She’s just worried about me, after what just happened with Parker and Angel…” She steeled her eyes shut realizing what had slipped out,

“Who the hell is Angel?” Dean asked,

“Uh… His real name is Liam… I was with him from when I was sixteen ‘til I was seventeen… When I woke up in his bed not remembering how I got there, with blood between my legs…” Buffy finished, “I don’t remember my first time ‘cause I got drugged… I wasn’t ready to fuck so he roofied me… Nice person, huh?” She asked with a bitter voice, Dean was looking at her in shock. She had been through so much. How the hell could anyone treat her like that? She deserved the entire world and he’d give it to her if she asked.

“I’m… Buffy I am so sorry,” she shakes her head.

“It’s fine… I wanted to apologize for last night. Dean… I was angry, but I think this is happening now for a reason… If you hadn’t walked in…” She shook her head, “I am not safe to come home unless I agree to go into a partial program… But I want your opinion, Dean… Am… Am I even safe to be around?” She asked in a sad voice, “’cause apparently I punched one of the doctors really hard in the face and I don’t want to send you into a flashback if I get violent because-“ Dean pressed a soft kiss on her lips cutting her ramble off. He smoothed his hand through her hair,

“I want you to do whatever you think will help you the most. If that’s being home and going to a partial program, then do it. If you think you need to stay in the hospital, then do it.” Buffy looked down and sighed.

“I… I need to be home… Not because I have really bad separation anxiety or anything.” She said in a hushed voice as she rocked a now sleeping Mason. “I also need to say this right now,” she said looking up at Dean.

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“Happy Birthday,” she said with a weak smile. How she had even known was beyond him. Actually, no it wasn’t, he knew exactly how she knew. He was gonna have to have a word with his baby brother about this.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” he said despite the fact that he hated celebrating his birthdays. He leaned in and kissed her forehead and then her lips.

“What do you want for your present?” Suddenly a very dirty thought went through Dean’s mind. A vey naked Buffy, with the only thing between him and her body was a large ribbon, but he shook his head against that thought.

“You being home,” he said in a soft voice before cupping her cheek. He stroked his thumb back and forth and her eyes closed, leaning into his touch.


“Hey, Sammy, can Jess watch Mason for a little? I need your help with something.”

“Yeah, what’s wrong?” Dean sighed,

“I’m probably just being paranoid but I have met everyone in the complex and I saw someone in the garage that I didn’t know. Person was wearing a hoodie, I couldn’t make their face but I got some serious bad vibes. I just wanna make sure it’s okay for Mason and Buffy to be there. You think you can help me out?”

“Dean…”

“Come on Sammy, I could really use your help.” Sam sighed loudly,

“Fine...”


As Dean walked back into the hospital Willow pulled him aside.

“Yes?”

“Let’s make one thing clear, right here, right now, Mr.” Willow said, “Buffy has been through hell and back again, you hurt her, I hurt you, understand me?” Dean nodded slowly before walking back into Buffy’s room. She and Mason were both dead to the world, Dean smiled. Buffy’s eyes moved behind closed eyes and when they opened they came to focus on him. A small smile appeared on those lips he never got tired of feeling against his own.

“Hey… Did you and Wills talk?” She asked with a yawn,

“Yeah… She threatened me,” he said with a small smile. “She cares about you,” she reached out for him and he took her hand in his and squeezed it. “You sure you wanna do this baby?”

“I can’t be in a hospital…” She said with a dark voice,

“Why not?” He asks in a soft voice,

“When I was seven… My cousin Celia got hospitalized for bronchitis. I went to visit her, while my aunt and mom were talking in the waiting room… I watched her have an Asthma attack and I kept screaming for help but no one came… She died. So me and hospitals don’t mix, and if anything they’re saying about the partial program is true then I am in good hands.” She finished in a hurried voice, Dean nodded slowly.

“I understand,” she nodded. Mason began to fuss as he woke and when his eyes opened and focused on Buffy he looked extremely unhappy that he wasn’t met with his mother’s eyes.

“Oh no,” Buffy says in a soft voice. “Mason don’t do this to me,” he began to wail, Dean laughed.

“I’ll be back in a little while with him.” He took the struggling baby and set off to drop him off with Jess.


Sam and Dean walked into Lowes, trying to find a good security system. When they had arrived back at the garage several cars had been broken into and a few tenants had said a couple things had gone missing from their apartments.

“Can I help you two?” A girl asked,

“Yeah, a few cars in my apartment complex were broken into along with a few of the apartments. So I decided it was time to actually get security.” Dean explained,

“Are you looking for standard home security or something more?”

“Something more, my girlfriend is moving in with me in a couple weeks and I’m watching my friend’s kid right now,” she nodded.

“Okay this one here is standard home security that notifies police if there is a break in,” she explained. “This one connects to your computer, it is the model up, I know it is about a hundred dollars more but it comes with two cameras, a new key and lock system that has a pin and police are notified if the code is put in wrong five times in a row, and pressure sensors in the key hole that will get tripped if the lock is being picked.” Sam nodded and looked at Dean,

“What do you think dude?” Dean nodded,

“I think this is it,” the woman nodded.

“Now, I can teach you how to install it in store, a team from the company can come out and do it for you or you can self install.”

“I’m gonna have my friend self install it, she works for google.” Dean said,

“No shit! My girlfriend works for them, she’s in town right now.” Dean nodded knowingly,

“So you’re the girlfriend huh?”

“Wait, you know Charlie!”

“We were deployed together,”

“You’re Dean, she talks about you a lot.” She laughed, “well, it was nice meeting you, I’m Lauren.”


“Ms. Summers,” Buffy looks up and sees a doctor from psych standing in her doorway.

“Hi,”

“I have the paperwork for your discharge… Are you sure you want to do this?”

“I am… I can’t not get help, but hospitals make everything worse for me… But I promise I am going to that partial thingy.” She said in a quiet voice, she could tell, just by the looks he was giving her, he was extremely worried. Dean had worn the same worried expression but with him it seemed different. He knew, not exactly, but had an idea what she was experiencing because of what he himself had been going through.

She sighed,

“Look, I get that you’re concerned bu-“

“You said you wanted to die,” he interjected, “but as a legal adult… And not a resident of this state I can’t legally hospitalize you, but what I can do is set it up so you start the partial program tomorrow morning.” Buffy nodded and began to fill out her release form, the doctor saying every now and then that he wished she’d reconsider, but she wouldn’t listen. Willow had stayed for a while but decided to get some sleep seeing as she had driven through the night instead of flying(Tara was afraid of flying.)

Buffy got the things she had taken with her and went out to the waiting room and called Dean to let him know to come get her. As she was waiting she noticed a young woman walk in, she couldn’t have been more the eighteen. She was naked, her eyes were wide with fear, she was covered in bruises and dried blood, her entire body trembling.

“Someone!” She screamed, Buffy watched her fall to the ground as doctors rushed to her. “Someone call the police,” the girl whispered. “Someone call the police!” She screamed,

“Ma’am we will call, we need to get you seen,”

“No, he’s coming…” She sobbed, “please, get the police.” Buffy wanted to help the girl, but she sighed before stepping outside. The air was a welcome change versus being cooped up in a room for almost two days. When she heard the roar of the Impala she smiled softly, Dean pulled up and she got in.

“Hey, ready?” He asked,

“More than,” she said.


When they arrived back at the apartment Buffy was exhausted. She really hadn’t slept the night before, and she didn’t think she was going to be able to again tonight. She set her bags in her room and decided to try and nap while Dean went to get Mason from Jess. When she woke up she could hear Dean on the phone. She decided against eavesdropping but when she heard the name Ben she listened a little more closely,

“Listen, I don’t give a shit if you’re his grandfather, I care that he’s my son. He should have the right to see me… You know, Lisa would be sick if she knew you were doin’ this.” Dean said in an angry voice, “why? Are you really askin’ me that? He’s my fucking son, I have the right to see him. It wasn’t in her will and one day he’s gonna find that out you son of bitch.”

She heard him slam the phone and she heard what sounded like a sob. She rolled out of bed and walked out of the room, padding silently across the floor until she was standing in the living room looking at Dean. His hands were on either side of his face, his elbows propped on his knees as he leaned forward. Tears rolled down his cheeks.

“Dean?” Buffy asked quietly, he looked up at her and quickly wiped at his tears.

“Hey,” he said in an unsteady voice that broke Buffy’s heart.

“Dean…” He sighed and she sat next to him,

“He’s my son… And they won’t even let me fucking talk to him on the damn phone… He called me to wish me a happy birthday…” He shook his head and steeled his jaw. “I can’t even talk to my damn son… Because they decided I wasn’t fit to support him… Well they can go and fuck themselves… They’re breaking the law by doing that, you know? Lisa… She wanted me to keep him if she died and I woulda, in a fucking hart beat… And now I can’t even talk to him on the phone.” Tears fell out of his eyes as he desperately tried to keep his composure.

Buffy hugged him tightly and kissed him.

“I’m so sorry, Dean.”


“You’re such a dork,” Buffy said with a laugh as Parker said something. His face then turned serious and she felt a stinging slap followed by a hard punch.

“You don’t talk to me like that,” he warned, Buffy felt tears leave her eyes as she tried not to sob. “What?”

“I’m sorry…” She whispered, he slammed her into the wall and she cried out.

“If you’re “sorry” then you will stop doing it, right?”

“Yes… I’ll do better, I-I promise.”

“Good… Now blow me.” Buffy shook her head,

“Please, not right now…” He grabbed her hand and began to squeeze, “stop, Parker!” He punched her in the face and she cried out.

“I. Said. Blow. Me!” He punched her once for every word.

Buffy woke up with a start, she felt the phantom pains all over her body, she began to cry silently, it had been years since that day and it was still on replay every night. She got up slowly and made her way across the hall to Dean’s bedroom where she knocked on the door. It opened a moment later to reveal a shirtless Dean.

“Can-can I stay with you?” She asked through her tears,

“Of course,” he said moving aside so she could walk into the room. She sat on the edge of the bed and looked wide eyed at the floor, not really knowing where she was other than the fact that Dean was now with her. What had she done to deserve that? What had she done to deserve being beaten the way he had?

“Buff…” Dean sat next to her and took her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.

“Dean… What did I do?” She whispered, “what did I do that God decided that I needed to be punished for it?”

“You didn’t do a damn thing, Buffy. People are cruel. They’re the worst creature out there because they can lie and get you to trust them and then they show their true colors.” Dean said in a soft voice, “you need to know right now that I’m never gonna hurt you, okay?” She nodded and more tears fell from her,

“How can you even look at someone and care about them when they’re so broken… So damaged?” She whispered, he tilted her head up so she could look in his eyes.

“Because you aren’t broken sweetheart. You are the furthest thing from. You’re bright, full of life, you’re so beautiful and you don’t even see it.” She laid her head against his shoulder and she cried silently. “Even if you were as broken as you say you are I’d always care about you,” he whispered in her ear. She looked up at him, she felt a very unfamiliar emotion pass through her. One that felt like caring but it was magnified, it swirled in her gut and made her a little light headed as she looked into those green eyes.

“You deserve the world, baby, and if you asked I’d give it to you.” He told her, she kissed him, he felt her tears. “Shh… It’s okay.” He pulled her into a full embrace.

She felt that same emotion again, only stronger this time. It coiled within her, almost taking her breath away. It felt almost electrical, charged with energy as it coursed through her. It felt like adrenaline and anxiety mixed, but it wasn’t unpleasant. It was also warm, it felt right, and in his arms it kept growing until she felt as though she was bursting with it.

On the flip side it almost scared her. She had never felt something so strong, so intense for another human being before, and she didn’t really know how to handle it. But at the same time it felt safe, felt like home. Not even her house on Revello Drive has felt like home since Joyce passed. But with Dean, the feeling she got in that moment… It felt like home.


Buffy woke up the next day entangled in Dean’s arms. She decided this was her new favorite way to wake up. This was the first time since breaking up with Parker that she had actually managed to fall back asleep after one of her nightmares. She looked at the clock, she didn’t start the program for another two hours. Buffy turned in his arms and managed to look at his sleeping face. His mouth slightly parted in a soft snore, Buffy smiled at him.

She felt something brushing against her thigh and her cheek heated up. She wanted it… But at the same time she was terrified of sex. She wanted that with Dean, but the thought of it scared her. Scared to the point that she hadn’t been with anyone since Parker. Terrified to the point that having his quite impressive morning wood brushing against her was making her uncomfortable.

“Dean…” She said in a slightly panicked voice, his embrace on her tightened but he shifted so he was no longer pressed against her. She breathed a sigh of relief.

“’M sorry,” he mumbled,

“It’s okay,” she tried a tad bit apprehensively, Dean sighed.

“I’m sorry, babe,” he said with a sleep thick voice.

“I’m gonna go get Mason up and make breakfast. I’ll wake you up when it is ready.” He nodded and she got up and left the room. Dean sighed and waited for the sound of the door to shut. He got out of bed and locked the door before getting back in and pulling himself free of his boxers. He grabbed his length in his fist and began to stroke himself, his hand gliding slowly up his shaft and playing with the smooth skin of his head. He groaned softly at the smell of her, still clinging to the bed.

His hand moved downward, bouncing off the cushioning of his balls and back up his shaft. He thumbed his head, thinking about her lips around his pulsating cock head, licking his slit, sucking hard. He thought of her tongue curling around his shaft as she worked downward. His movements began to get faster, his hand creating a tight hole that he thrust into, imagining it as her mouth around him. The wet, delicious heat that he wanted. That he craved.

He moaned softly, imagining the bulge his length would make in her throat, his breathing quickly turned ragged, uncontrolled, like a starving animal looking at food. He groaned a little louder, desperate for his release that he could feel building in the base of his cock as he thrust into his hand. Precum coated his hand and he moaned as it lubed him, now he was sliding easier. He thought of what her pussy felt like, smelled like, tasted like. With a loud grunt his movement became erratic, he took hold of himself so he could go faster, his hand gliding over the his thick member.

He made the hole tighter as he stroked himself, occasionally bucking his hips. He angled the head of his cock over his stomach as he pumped his shaft, moaning a little loudly, but damn if it didn’t help him get closer. Each glide of his hand, each stroke of his thumb over his head brought him closer to the release he was seeking.

With a small gasp he came, ropes of cum shot onto his flat stomach, his hand still pumping as spurt after spurt was released from his body, riding out probably the most mind blowing orgasm he’d ever had. His body twitched, his muscles were tense and he didn’t want to stop, he kept stroking, still thinking about that blonde he was so enamored with. He grunted loudly as he sped up, lubing himself with his own cum as he slid up and down his shaft.

He felt his balls tighten and he gasped before steeling his eyes shut and letting out a loud groan of pleasure as he was reaching his mounting orgasm. Dean closed his fist a little tighter and began to thrust into his hand, becoming a groaning mess of pleasure as he felt his balls tighten.

His body spasmed and he came with a shout, more ropes of cum coating him, his hand pumping slowly, milking his how release. He lay in post orgasmic bliss, panting heavily, his cock head red and swollen, still half hard and resting against his cum covered stomach. He sighed and moved out of bed. He felt like a fucking teenager all over again. Jerking off till he was spent, but it was worth it, considering two back to back mind blowing orgasms.


 Dean hadn’t even bothered just wiping off, he had made it across the hall without being seen and showered away all the cum and sweat. When he stepped out of the bathroom he made his way to his bedroom, towel hung low on his waist. He changed into a Henley and a pair of jeans, before slipping on his usual combat boots. He walked into the kitchen and walked up behind Buffy who was trying and failing at making pancakes.

He wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned his chin on her shoulder.

“How’s it going?”

“I’m failing,” she said in an annoyed tone. “I’ve been at this for twenty minutes and I only got one to come out right. I suck,” she said with a pout, he laughed and kissed her.

“Let me help.” He said, he poured the batter in, “you wait until you start seeing bubbles on top and then you flip it.”

“That’s the part I am having trouble with. The flipping,” he nodded and took her right wrist in his hand.

“Ready?” He moved her hand and the spatula slid under, he raised her hand. “Drop it off,” she did so and it landed, none of the batter cascading out from the side that hit the pan.


“You want me to come in with you?” Dean asked as she started getting out of the car,

“I’m okay,” she kissed him sweetly. “Thank you,”

“I’ll see you at two?”

“Yes,” she smiled before turning to the building. She felt intimidated by it, it was new, foreign. She walked through the doors, “Buffy Summers,” she checked in, a blonde woman who must have been about her moms age if Joyce was still alive, and an older gentleman who had a thinning hair line and a large pot belly. They led her into the back room and began talking to her.

“So what bring you here?” The woman asked in a soft voice, Buffy took a deep breath and began to explain what had happened with Parker and then proceeded to show them the cuts. “I’m so sorry you’re going through this,”

“I…” She told them about her relationship with him before, how he had beaten her, everything she had told Dean she told them. “He… When we were together, he said that if I… If I ever told anyone what he did to me he’d kill me.” She finished with a whisper, the blonde woman she now knew as Vitoria gave her a sympathetic look.

“You’re in the right place darlin’,” she said. The older man nodded,

“Now, do you have any support systems outside this program?” He asked, she now knew his name was John.

“I do… I have two of my bestfriends… My little sister an my boyfriend Dean… We… We kind of got together after he saved me.”


Buffy sighed and stepped out of the building, waiting for Dean to pick her up. The day had went well, all things considered… Besides getting triggered by that two faced bitch Cheryl.

“Hey,” Dean said walking up to her.

“Hi… She said tiredly,

“You okay, babe?” He asked, she just shook her head. He opened his arms to her and she folded herself in them.

“They… They’re good, they know how to get you to talk.” She said, “it is the most exhausting thing ever.” Dean nodded and kissed the top of her head.

“I know, sweetheart.” Buffy buried her head in his neck and breathed in deeply. The smell of leather, cigarettes and whiskey seemed to always cling to him and it was comforting. He closed his eyes and rested his chin on her head and breathed deeply. This girl was going to be the death of him.


The week flew by in a haze, finally it was the weekend and Willow was bringing Tara over.

“Buff, Meg is gonna be here in fifteen minutes to get Mason.” Buffy frowned, “what?”

“It’s gonna be weird not having him around,” she said. Dean nodded,  

“I know what you mean,” he admitted. He hated, absolutely hated, but more importantly regretted that he had missed most of Ben’s childhood. Completely hated himself for missing out on his son’s infancy. Having Mason with them for the last week and a half had been amazing, given Dean some shot at being a father that he never got the chance at. It felt wrong to think like that but he couldn’t help but feel it either way.

Buffy had seen a side of Dean that she never would have thought existed considering the rough exterior he had. He was fatherly. She didn’t know if she wanted kids, but she knew that if she decided to one day, hopefully it would be with Dean. Alas, it was more of a fleeting thought than anything else, certain things just weren’t in the cards for her. Not that she couldn’t have kids, but more that she was surprised she had made it this far. Survived as long as she had.

Thinking too far ahead in the future really screwed with her. Hell, Dawn coming out in a week to sign the papers to inherit the house was fucking with her brain… She was too spur of the moment girl to have anything set in stone if it wasn’t a party or vacation (not that she had been on a vacation in the last five years.)

“Earth to Buffy!” Dean called, she looked up.

“Hmmm?”

“I was asking if you maybe want to go out for a little before Willow and her girlfriend get here?”

“Yeah, what’d you have in mind?” She asked quietly, Dean could see some gears moving in her mind, she was thinking about a lot of things and he couldn’t help but wonder what.

“Fishing,” he said. “I know it’s been really cold for Kansas, most of the ponds are frozen over, but I know a place.” He said with a warm smile, she smiled back,

“As stupid as this sounds, I don’t know how to fish.” She responded, “my parents were either too busy fighting for my dad to teach me or he was fucking one of his secretaries.” She said in an angry voice, “Giles ended up taking me once, that ended with me snapping the rod in half and having the break down of the century because I hooked the fish by it’s eye and I felt bad.” Dean laughed and pulled her to him, he kissed her softly,

“Babe, I can teach you. We can’t keep the fish anyway, don’t got a license so…” She smiled,

“Okay, it’s a date.” She kissed him sweetly.


“Hiya,” Meg said when Dean opened  the door.

“Meg, how’s-“

“In the car sleeping… Managed to get his strength up enough so he could come home. When he starts feeling up to it I’ll give you a call, have you come out.” She smiled at Mason, “you ready to meet Daddy, little man?” Mason smiled and squealed at her causing Meg to laugh. She pulled Dean into a hug, “I can’t thank you enough for this,” she whispered. “You’re good people, Dean, never forget that.” She gave him one final squeeze and then looked at Buffy who was standing in the background.

“Oh, uh, this is my girlfriend Buffy,” Dean said. Buffy walked over and Meg smiled at her.

“Well, I never thought I’d see this one move on,” she said. “Thank you for taking care of Mason,”

“It’s no problem. You ever need a baby sister you call us,” she nodded and headed out.


Buffy and Dean arrived at the almost still river, there was a patch of dead ground surrounded by snow. They set up chairs and Buffy sat gracefully in her seat. Dean handed her a fishing rod.

“Okay, watch me,” he cast his line and Buffy did the same with much difficulty.

“Which way do I spin the spiny thing?” She asked, he explained it to her and she reeled the line in, getting a feel for it before casting again. She then waited, she felt a pull on her line and she yanked up and started reeling in but the fish came off just at the surface. “Damn it!” She put another worm on and cast, this went on for minutes until the rod bent to the point she thought it might snap.

“Set the hook!” Dean commanded, she did so and began to reel in fast, when the fish broke the surface she began to get excited with a few final reels the fish was on dry land.

“Dean, I did it!” She exclaimed, he smiled. Leaning in he kissed her softly, the air around them cold and bitter, enough to make them see their breath. He took the hook out and handed the fish to Buffy instructing her how to hold it.

“Smile,” he said, she did so and his camera went off. Buffy walked to the edge of the water and put the fish in, watching as it swam away.

“What kind of fish was it?”

“Bass, that thing was massive, never seen ‘em that big in here before.” She smiled, “I’m proud of you,” he said. She watched the end of his rod dip towards the water.

“Dean!” He ran to his and yanked up, the line snapping in half and he watched as the red thread was pulled up-stream.

“Son of a bitch!” He exclaimed, “stupid fucking fish,” he grumbled. Buffy laughed and kissed him. “Alright, we need to be back for Willow and Tara.”


Dean put the finishing touches on dinner while Buffy showered. The buzzer at the door beeped. Sighing he wiped off his hands and walked to the buzzer.

“Yeah?”

“It’s Willow!” He buzzed her in, soon there was a knock at the door. He opened it and she stepped in, behind her was a timid blonde girl.

“Hey,” he said to her, she cowered behind Willow just a little but waved any way. “Uh, Buffy is in the shower, you guys can wait in the living room if you want, dinner is almost ready.” He walked back into the kitchen, shortly after Buffy came out of the bathroom, her hair pinned back. She was wearing a red tank with black skinny jeans and black stiletto ankle-boots.

“Buffy!” Willow beamed, she got up and hugged the blonde.

“Hey,” Buffy smiled, she sat down and looked at Tara who seemed very uncomfortable. “Hi, I’m Buffy,”

“I-I’m T-Tara,” she stuttered shyly. Buffy resisted the urge to frown, she remembered when Willow was once that shy, that awkward.

“I love your outfit!” Buffy said as she looked at the floral dress the taller blonde was sporting, Tara smiled shyly.

“You do?”

“Yes, I do. It really brings out your eyes. Also, those shoes, where’d you get them?”

“Willow, for my birthday.” Tara said as she took Willow’s hand.


They sat at the table, Dean put prime rib on the table and handed out wine glasses.

“So, how’d you two meet?” Buffy asked, Willow looked at Tara and smiled a brilliant smile.

“First day of Freshman year,” she said happily. “I was on my way to Wicca group and I bumped into her, we were friends for about two months… Then Oz left and…” Willow couldn’t keep the smile off her face. Yes, she and Oz had been the perfect couple, never fought, but she seemed off dating a man now that Buffy really thought about it. Looking at her now, she was definitely different than she had been all those years ago.

“Tara, where are you from?” Buffy asked,

“Sunnydale,” she said quietly. “I went to-to an all g-girls school,” she said.

“I’m so sorry to hear that,” Buffy said. “I went to one when I lived in LA, lasted about a week before I got myself kicked out. Couldn’t date anyone, couldn’t really even go five steps without someone deciding you were either their bestfriend or a total bitch… Most girls chose the latter.”

“It was bad,” Tara agreed.

“Uh… What’s a Wicca?” Dean asked,

“Belief in magic and pagan gods and goddesses versus the belief in a singular god, we more believe in nature and the power of many gods.” Tara explained, “we have a deity for love, the moon, life and death…”

“That’s interesting, I knew a couple people back in high school who did something among the lines of that.” He looked a tad spooked if you asked Buffy. “Convinced me to play with a Ouija board…” He lifted his sleeve to show the scaring on his shoulder. “Something scratched me, now no Ouija boards around me.” Willow nodded,

“Spirit boards are dangerous business, you let something in, sometimes it takes just short of a priest to get them back to wherever they came from.” She said knowingly,

“I used to think it was all bullshit ‘til that night… Now, I have respect for what’s dead, what’s actually out there, and I’d rather just not fuck with it.” Dean admitted, if something like this had Dean spooked…

“So… Any plans for the future?” Buffy asked, Willow nodded.

“We are buying a house together next month.” She said with a wide smiled, Buffy grinned.

“I’m so happy for you guys!”


“How long are you guys in town?” Buffy asked as she walked them to their car.

“A week, so I have time with my best bud.” Willow gave her a hug, Tara smiled and waved. Buffy rolled her eyes and hugged her.

“I have never seen Willow so happy… Thank you so much for making her happy, she deserves it.” She whispered, “it was so good meeting you Tara.” Buffy waved goodbye and headed back into the apartment. When she closed the door behind her she didn’t see Dean. “Dean?” She called, no answer.

She walked into the bedroom at the end of the hall and found him looking at a box. Inside was a sonogram, baby shoes, stuffed animals…

“Dean?” He turned and set a teddy bear down. As she looked around the room more in the dim moonlight she noticed that it was painted a vibrant baby blue, a half finished cradle in the corner. “Oh…” She whispered, he nodded sadly.

“Yeah... Uh Lisa… She… She was five months along when-“ he took a deep breath and looked around. “I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything to room, you know?” She nodded, “kinda pathetic, huh?”

“No, Dean, not pathetic. It’s a part of your life that you’re afraid to let go of.” She whispered, she walked over to him. “Nothing about this pathetic,” Dean nodded sadly.

“I just wonder what it would have been like, you know?” His voice cracked, besides the obvious blue of the wall, in the moonlight his face was barely highlighted, but she could faintly see the silvery glow of tears in the blueish streams of light cascading from the window. “Nothing ever prepares you to lose someone you love, Buff… But, it destroyed me because I lost two…” His gaze to the ground, Buffy took his hand in hers.

“Dean, look at me.” She said in a soft voice, when his gaze met hers her heart broke a little. She had seen him after his dreams, where he was so shaken he could barely form words, where the crushing weight brought tears to his eyes. But this wasn’t the weight of battle and loss of friends. This was grief, unbridled, untamed grief, that she suspected had been building since the day Lisa had died. “It’s okay to grieve, you have to let yourself.” He shook his head,

“I missed out on Ben’s childhood, on him being a baby… When Lisa told me she was pregnant I was so happy, happy that I got a second chance, then it was ripped away by someone with a gun…” Each word cut like a knife, “the… I…” His voice was so quiet she could barely hear him, “I just wish something for once wouldn’t get taken from me…” He tried to take a deep breath but instead a sob escaped him,

“Nothing is gonna take me, Dean.”  She hugged him tightly, “I’m not going anywhere.” She assured him,

“It hurts so bad, Buffy…” He whispered, “every night I come in here and stare… And it breaks my heart every damn time… How-how do you even move on from that?”

“You don’t just move on, Dean. It… It slowly gets better.” She said quietly,

“It hasn’t!” He screamed, he ripped his arms away from her and turned to face the room. She took a few deep breaths and looked at him. “It doesn’t. I don’t have Ben… I lost my unborn son! To something so fucking careless,” he whispered. “I…” He sunk to his knees and began to cry quietly, “why does it hurt so bad?” He whispered,

“Because you’ve been keeping this grief bottled inside you for two years, baby. Two years you’ve been ignoring it.” She said slowly as she walked over to him and crouched next to him. “You need to listen to me, okay?” He managed a nod, “I am here for you. I will always be here for you.” She kissed his head.

“I can’t let it go, Buffy… I just can’t.” She nodded slowly and kissed his tears away before pressing a soft kiss to his lips.

“I am always here, De.”

Chapter Text

After Dean had fallen asleep Buffy sat in the living room, sipping on a glass of wine. What Dean had been going through by himself for the last two years made her heart break for him. Even worse so he was dealing with memories of war, memories that would cripple and destroy any other person. She heard a scream from his room and set her glass down before going in.

He was grabbing at the sheets in his sleep, sweat beaded down his face, his knuckles white. Another scream escaped him and he bolted up gasping.

“Dean,” Buffy said quietly. His eyes focused on her and he took a deep breath and then another before looking around the room. No sand, no dust, no blood. No fires raging, no explosions, just the quiet of a dark bedroom.

“Buff?” He tried,

“I’m here,” she whispered. “I’m right here,” taking a seat next to him she looped her arms around his middle and planted a kiss on the side of his head. “You think you can talk about it?” He shakes his head,

“I-I can’t,” he said hurriedly. He moved out of her embrace and got up before quickly pulling on his jeans, a shirt, and a pair of shoes before leaving the room. Buffy went to follow him.

“Dean,” she said, no answer as his back was turned. “Dean!” She barked, he turned around and looked at her, “stop, please stay here.” He shook his head and walked out the door, slamming it behind him. Buffy took a few calming breaths and called Sam.

“Buffy, it’s three o’clock in the morning,” Sam grumbled upon answering.

“Dean just woke up from a nightmare and stormed out of the house.” She said in as calm a voice as she could. “Do you have any idea as to where he could be?” The line was silent for a moment and then he spoke.

“The Roadhouse… It’s about a half hour out, let me throw some clothes on and we’ll go get him.”


Dean sat at the bar, Ellen didn’t really believe in last call. Her husband, a man Dean looked up too, a man that treated Dean like a son had been more than willing to let Dean into the back room.

“What’s eatin’ ya?”

“Fucking nightmares, Bobby.” He said, Bobby nodded and slid him a tumbler of whiskey. Dean observed the dark amber colored liquid. “They never stop,”

“That’s cause you haven’t gotten help, son,” Bobby said slowly. It was a game they had been playing for a little over a year now, Dean would wake up from a nightmare and go to the Roadhouse and get blind drunk while Bobby tried to convince him to get help, but it always ended the same; with Dean either in tears, leaving Bobby with a “fuck you”, or Dean adamantly saying he didn’t need it, that he could deal on his own.

But Bobby wasn’t an idiot. He’d experienced some things himself, he knows first hand what seeing battle can do to a man and his heart went out to the kid. But he didn’t push, didn’t try to force Dean into anything, just let him talk if he could, and if he couldn’t he’d sit with him until he was calm, that’s usually when Bobby or Jo found themselves designated driver.

“I don’t need help, ‘m fine.” Dean said as he drained the liquid in one go. Bobby rolled his eyes,

“And I’m the queen of England,” he shot back. “Nothin’ wrong with gettin’ help, boy. Took me years to figure that out, and once I did, Ellen took me back.” Dean didn’t say anything causing the older man to sigh and pour more whiskey into the glass tumbler which Dean picked up with need.


Buffy and Sam arrived at the bar, not many cars were left sitting in the dirt parking-lot. Buffy walked through the doors of the bar and saw the woman who had told off the trucker her first night with Dean.

“Ellen,” Sam said, she turned and smiled.

“Sam Winchester, look at you.” She pulled him into a hug, “he’s in the back with Bobby.” She said, Sam went to walk forward but Buffy grabbed his arm.

“Let me do this, alright?” He nodded slowly and Ellen cast a look at the two. Buffy took a breath and walked through the doors and found an older man sitting across from Dean. He was a tad heavyset, baseball cap covered in grease and dirt, flannel jacket with a vest over it, jeans and work boots. Buffy looked at Dean, bags were under his eyes, he was clearly a tad drunk and was looking at her like he was in trouble.

“Dean,” she said, the older man turned around.

“Who are you?”

“His girlfriend,” she said before turning back to Dean. “Get out of the chair, we’re going home,”

“No we’re not, ‘m staying here.” He said defiantly, Buffy rolled her eyes.

“We’re not doing this. You march your ass out that door now and get in the car!” She ordered, “I am not playing this game with you, you either get up or I get Sam in here to drag you out.” To Bobby’s surprise Dean stood and brushed past Buffy a little roughly but headed toward the door.

“How’d you manage that? He never listens to anyone,” Bobby commented,

“A pagan sacrifice coupled by dark magic,” she said dryly.


In the parking lot he could barely stand on his own. He was shaky on his feet, the alcohol hitting him harder as the fresh air hit his face. His head felt warm, fuzzy, he didn’t even think he could still get drunk considering the last two years of his life.

“Dean,” he looked and saw Buffy with Sam causing him to roll his eyes.

“Uh-oh, wardens are here,” he slurred, flinging his arms out to the side causing him to almost fall flat on his face. Buffy just stared at him while Sam rolled his eyes.

“Dude, get in the car.” He said motioning to the Cadillac that was parked next to the Impala. “Buffy will drive you back while I drive the Impala.” Dean smirked,

“Try gettin’ ‘m keyyys,” he taunted holding them up. Buffy ripped them from his hand and handed them to Sam. “What the fuck?!”

“Get in the car,” she said. “I have watched alcohol destroy people and I don’t need to see you go down that road.” She said,

“I’m not going down any road,”

“Really? Then why don’t you explain the six empty nips next to your bed?” His gaze turned to the ground,

“I get wanting to be numb, Dean, I really do, but you have overcome so much. You are a recovering heroine addict for God’s sake!” Sam jumped in, “you don’t need another poison in your life. You’ve had enough. It’s okay to drink a beer every day, but getting drunk every night so you’re comatose to the point you don’t have nightmares? Waking up and going to a bar to drink it all away like it never happened?

It happened Dean!” Sam exclaimed, tears shining in his eyes, “and it isn’t going to go away no matter how much you drink, but you can learn how to cope, you have to learn.”

“I don’t gotta-“

“Damn it Dean!” Buffy finally screamed, “stop acting like a child for one second!”

“I’m not-“

“Yes you are.” Sam said, “please, just get in the car, go home… Please,” Dean glared at the both of them before going to the car and getting in. Sam handed Buffy the keys.

“Take a minute to calm down before you drive, alright?”


Arriving back at the apartment, Buffy killed the engine before looking at Dean.

“Dean-“

“No,” he said.

“What did you dream about?” She asked,

“We’re not talking about this,” he said angrily.

“You told me before,” she countered,

“Just because I tell you something once means I’m gonna be an open book, Buffy, now leave it the fuck alone!” He barked causing Buffy to jump, “so what, you expect me to just share it? Because I did it once, huh?”

“I expect you to let me in because you did it before. Because I told you things no one else knows about be-“

“So that makes it suddenly okay then? Tit for tat right? Eye for an eye? You tell me something I gotta spill my guts too?” He questioned, “not how life works sweetheart!” He got out of the car and started to walk away. Buffy felt the beginning of tears but she pushed down her feelings and got out of the car.

“You’re really gonna walk away from me? Afraid I’m gonna hit a nerve and make you open up?” She asked causing him to stop dead, “well news flash, you are the first man, in my entire life that I have truly let in. So send me to hell for wanting to help someone I care about. But if you’re too much of a coward to talk then walk away!”

“A coward?” He chuckled darkly and advanced on her, “a coward doesn’t walk into the fray to save his best friend who’s leg was just blown off. A coward doesn’t go and retrieve bodies and take bullets for two different people.” He said getting closer to her, “I am not a coward.” Buffy held her ground,

“Oh yeah? Then why can’t you talk about it? Why can’t you let people in?”

“Because-I-it’s not-“

“Because you’re afraid, Dean. And I understand.” She said calmly,

“No you don’t you couldn’t possibly-“

“Oh I can’t?” She scoffed, “I can’t understand what it’s like to be afraid? I got raped by the same man who abused me. I can barely leave this apartment by myself because he’s free now and I still do it because I can’t just put life on hold!” She stated angrily, “you’ve been going through the motions for two years Dean. Since you lost Lisa and the baby, since you lost your friends and witnessed something so horrible that I don’t know how you haven’t gone insane.

You get up, you brush your teeth, you shower and go through the day smiling a fake smile at everyone you see besides me. You’re going through the motions and you don’t even realize it because it’s a norm for you. It is okay to grieve and you have to understand that it is okay to get help.”

“Don’t being her into this!” He barked, “and don’t you dare bring my unborn son into this.” He growled,

“What the hell is it going to take for you to realize that you aren’t well?!” She screamed, “what is it going to take for you to realize that you need help? Back to the point where you think your life is gonna end with a dirty needle in your arm? Where you want to pull the trigger of a gun as it’s pressed against your temple? What is it going to take, Dean?”

“You need to drop this, now,” he said in a low voice, “or-“

“Or what? You’re gonna scream at me? Shove me? Hit me? Nothing that hasn’t been done to me before.” She said shaking her head, running a hand through her hair she began to let her emotions rise to their climax. “Me walking out and leaving?” That stopped him dead, he didn’t have a retort for that. He didn’t have something snarky or threatening to say because knowing her she would leave. He felt tears sting the back of his eyes and he turned so she couldn’t see them. Men don’t cry, especially not in front of their girl.

“It was dawn… We… We had to set up camp for the night, recon, you know?” He began quietly, “and… I was sniping… First kill I ever made,” he whispered. He turned to face Buffy. “Through the scope… Through the scope I saw them massacre a family. The husband and the wife, a girl who couldn’t have been more than fifteen and little boy who could barely stand by himself…” He whispered, “I froze… I took the shot almost too late. I coulda saved ‘em and I just froze.” He let a tear fall and he clenched his jaw, “you happy now?” He asked, voice unsteady.

“You think this makes me happy?” She asked softly, “I’m trying to help, Dean. And it hurts, seeing someone I care so much about afraid to the point they can’t let me in. Where I can’t help them.” Buffy said in a half whisper, “where I see someone I care about slowly sink further and further into a hole?” Dean’s gaze shifted to hers, his eyes stung with unshed tears.

“How can you care so much?” He asked, “how can you care so much about someone so… So broken? Because I’m not a man Buff… I’m a fucking shell.” He said, “I go through the motions because it is the only way I know I am gonna survive this, don’t you understand that?” Sam had seen the entire exchange and he felt a tear leave his eye. “I…” Dean shook his head and bit his cheek until he tasted blood, “I’m so broken you should have just run for the hills the second I asked you out. The second I pulled you into the bullshit that is my life.”

“You’re not broken,” Sam spoke up, “you’re in pain. Every time I see you… You look less and less like my brother.” He said, his voice breaking. “Like you’re becoming this thing that I don’t even recognize because this weight… This guilt is destroying you. And you won’t get help… You won’t, and I hate it!” Sam screamed, “do you know how bad it hurts to watch someone you love slowly destroy themselves? Because I do! I already watched you do it… I-I,” Sam closed his eyes and began to sob, barely getting out the last part of his sentence, “I can’t watch you do it again…” Dean finally felt the damn he had put up when Lisa died crack and he sunk to his knees sobbing, grabbing at the sides of his head.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. “Sammy I’m sorry.” He said as the hot tears rolled down his cheeks. “I’m so fucking sorry!” He sobbed, Buffy knelt next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her, tears falling from his eyes. “I-I-I” she kissed him.

“Listen. Dean, hey, look at me.” She whispered, he couldn’t hold her gaze so she sighed. “It’s okay. Shh…”

“Dean, please, get help.” Sam all but begged, “please…”


Sam had driven himself and Dean to their mothers while Buffy had Willow come just so she wasn’t alone.

“Wills… I… I have never seen someone so hurt… In so much pain.” Buffy said, Willow had managed to get the blonde to go to sleep for a few hours. A tired Buffy was a scary Buffy if you asked Willow. Willow nodded and handed Buffy a cup of coffee which she gladly accepted.

“I know Buff, I know.” They sat in the living room, “he’s a strong person from what you’ve told me, Buffy. He… If anyone, he can get through this,” Willow said in a steady voice, trying to gauge Buffy’s reaction to her words. Buffy nodded,

“It sucks. I want to help him, I’m training to be a trauma therapist for God’s sake! But here I am, going to partial and trauma therapy in a week because I can’t deal with my shit and not being able to separate my damn emotions to help Dean because I care about him so damn much!” She exclaimed, “it fucking sucks!” Willow just nodded, “how do you even separate feeling like this? I’m trying to become the one thing that man desperately needs and I can’t even do it right.”

“Buff, it’s different when it’s someone you care about, someone you love.” Willow said knowingly, Buffy went to protest but the wiccan kept talking, “it’s different because you’re close to him. It’s hard to separate any type of feelings from someone you care so much about.”

“I… I don’t love him.” Buffy whispered,

“Yes you do, and that’s fine, just… Just don’t say it yet.” Buffy sighed, she was in denial, and she would remain as such. She went to speak but her phone rang,

“Hold on. Hello?”

“Buffy, hi,” Buffy’s eyes widened,

“Dad?”

“Dawnie told me you were in Lawrence and I’m in the area, I was hoping we could meet, catch up?” Buffy shook her head,

“Fine… Where?”

“The café downtown, three o’clock?”

“Sure, see you then.” She hung up and gently set the phone down.

“Why the hell is Hank calling you?” Willow asked, an edge to her voice.

“He wants to catch up…” She looked at the clock,

“When?”

“At three….”


Buffy walked into the café and saw Hank. He smiled and waved her over,

“Hi, pumpkin,”

“Hi,” she said in a bored voice. “What’s up?”

“Just checking in… How’s Dawn?”

“Good, in college, getting a degree in sociology,” Buffy said absently. Did he even know what happened to her? Did he care?

“Good things, I’m proud of her.” He said,

“What about me?” Buffy asked in small voice, “I’m becoming a trauma therapist an-“

“Let’s not kid ourselves, Buffy.” He said, “all you’ve ever done is suck up to me and it’s not gonna work. What, you want a pat on the back every time you do something right?” Buffy looked blankly at the wall behind him, trying not to break down.

“No… I want my dad.”

“I am your dad,”

“No, you’re not. You’re a man who loves his youngest daughter unconditionally, but doesn’t care about his eldest. You’re a man who got blind drunk and knocked his wife around and if she wasn’t home turned on his eldest. You’re a thing that left his daughters by themselves after their mother died because you were too busy fucking one of your secretaries… You’re not a father, Hank. At least you never were to me.” She said with conviction, “I cut you out for a reason, and now I am remembering exactly what that was. Have a nice life.” She went to get up but his voice stopped her,

“Sit back down,” he commanded, “you’re really gonna cause a scene?” She sat down, anger rolling within her, “you were a mistake. You got bad grades in school, you burned down a gym, you-“

“I’m sorry no one believed me that I had mental problems back then, I’m sorry I turned out to be such a disappointment,” she said in a calm voice. He glared at her and caught her wrist as she went to leave,

“You stay here,” she ripped her hand away,

“Why?”

“Because I said so,” she scoffed.

“That’s rich,” she remarked. “The trade marked Hank Summers “Because I said so,”” she deadpanned. “You say you care so much about Dawnie but where were you when mom died? Fucking another one of you secretaries is where you were.”

“I thought you could handle it, clearly I was wrong.”

“Yeah, you were, because I couldn’t handle it. But I managed. I got Dawn through high school, balanced the most abusive relationship I have ever had and managed to consistently make top of the class. First year after mom died, I took off from college because my little sister was grieving and acting out. Cutting herself, and you were where? When we both needed you the most?”

“I was busy,” he said simply. “I thought you could handle it. I guess should give you a little credit, I mean Dawn made it to college.”

“Don’t look so proud,” she spat. “She’s in college because I made her go to school every day. Because I pay for it. Not you. You’ve been gone for fifteen years, rarely even saw Dawn and you claim you care about her? You can fuck off.” She threw money at him and took the cup of coffee, “thanks for the fucking coffee.” She stormed out of the café and out into the street, she walked over to Willow’s car and hopped in before driving off.


Buffy’s phone rang as she stepped out of the car.

“Hello?”

“Why are you so mean to him?” Dawn asked,

“Dawn, not now,” Buffy said.

“I just don’t understand Buffy, he’s our dad, he-“

“He may be to you… But he never was to me. Dawn, all your memories with him are good because he treated you good. You weren’t old enough to remember how he was, but I am. He treats me like I’m nothing. Like I’m a failure, like I’m worthless.” She began, “he was never a dad to me. Do you know how hard it was? Hiding the bruises from mom when he wasn’t knocking her around? Do you even remember how much he beat her?

Dawn, mom died and he didn’t even care. Didn’t help because he thought I could handle it. Well I couldn’t. I was alone. I had to put my entire life on hold to help you through your grief while I was left alone in mine. Where was he when we needed money? Off fucking one of his secretaries.”

“Buffy-“

“Dawn, it’s okay if you want to let him in, but I can’t. I won’t.” Buffy took a deep breath, “I hated you for so long… Because he treated you like a daughter… Not some mistake. And now I am so glad that you never had to go through what I went through with him. How when he got drunk and mom wasn’t home I became his punching bag… I’m just so glad that he loves you because no one should have to go through what I did. So, if you want to let him in, Dawnie, that’s fine. You’ll always be my sister, and I love you… But I can’t let him back in. Every time I have it’s blown up in my face.”  Dawn was silent,

“I’m so sorry, Buffy.” Buffy shakes her head,

“It’s okay Dawnie,” Buffy said quietly. “Are you still coming out?”

“Yeah, I’ll be out in five days. I’m getting my work from my professors.” Buffy sighed,

“I… I gotta go, Dawn. I’ll talk to you later.”


Hours pass, it was five in the morning and they had made no progress with Dean. Mary was beginning to worry more every second that past.

“Dean,” he looked up at Mary who handed him a cup. “It’s tea,” he nodded and sipped at it. Mary and Sam exchanged concerned glances as Dean’s eye began to look far off.

“Dean?” Sam asked, he was looking at a man… One with dead marigold yellow eyes, he had a cruel smile.

“Dean, sweetie,” Mary said quietly. He finally looked away.

“Yeah?”

“It’s not worth the pain anymore, Dean. You know where your dad’s gun-safe is, just get the pistol and end it. I’ll help you.” The hallucination said in a singsong voice. “Just go upstairs to use the bathroom, take your moms car, and go to the overlook. Would it help if you knew my name? I’m Azazel,”  

“I… I need to got to the overlook… Clear my head.” Dean said, Mary nodded tersely.

“No, mom, no.”

“No Dean, I’m not letting you.” She agreed, Dean nodded before knocking Sam out, “Dean!” She exclaimed, he advanced on her,

“He said to do it. Don’t… Don’t you understand?” He asked,

“Who said-ah!” He shoved her roughly and she fell, hitting her head on the corner table.

“Azazel, he told me too… I’m sorry my mom.” He disappeared upstairs before returning with the gun,

“Dean, no,” she begged.

“I’m sorry mom.”


“Hello?” Buffy answered sleepily, a panicked voice sounded on the other line.

“Buffy, it’s Mary, Dean knocked Sam out, he-“ Her voice was so shaken that Buffy could barely understand her.

“Mary, what’s going on?”

“Dean is hallucinating, he took a gun, stole my car and is going to the overlook in town!” Buffy slammed her phone down and ran out of her room. She got the keys for the impala and ran to the car before turning it on and gunning out of the parking lot. She arrived at the overlook and shut off the car before stepping out.

“Dean?” Buffy asked softly, his back was turned to her. In the very faint light provided by the predawn sky she saw the glint of medal in his hand. “Dean, you have to come inside.” He turned slowly,

“I bet half the kids down there don’t even know what was happening over seas... What people have done to keep them safe. What I’ve done.”

“Dean, please come inside, we can talk about this. It’s-“

“There’s nothing to talk about,” he says in a hurried voice. He looked at the gun and back at her.

“Dean, please don’t do this. You need to trust me, that things that’s haunting you? It isn’t real. It’s a hallucination.”

“Nah, Buffy, it is haunting me… It’s also showing me. Holding up a mirror.”

“What’s it showing you, huh?” She asked,

“What I am, someone who kills on command.”

“What you were.” She emphasized,

“And ever shall be.” He turned back and looked over the horizon, “I wanted to know what my place was… Why I survived.” He shrugged before turning to face her, “now I do.” He looked behind her, as if staring someone directly in the face. “Azazel is the reason I’m still alive.”

“You don’t know that. What, some hallucination takes credit for keeping you alive after a bloody battle where you saved your friend? Almost gave up your own life and you just buy it? You just give up?”

“Either kill yourself or kill her,” Azazel whispered.

“He wants me to kill you… I can’t take anymore life. I won’t.”

“The you fight it!” She exclaimed,

“It’s too hard.” She could see the unshed tears in the dank light, she shakes her head, her frustration close to it’s boiling point.

“Dean, please… Just come inside.”

“It told me to kill you. You were in the dream you know… Told me to take you in any way I wanted. Lose myself and become a monster again.” Buffy took a deep breath, deciding to play along if bought her more time.

“I know what it told you. Why does it matter?” She questioned,

“Because I wanted to! Because I want you so badly, I want to take comfort in you and I know it’ll cost me, and part of me doesn’t care. I’m weak, I’ve never been anything else. It’s not the demon in me that needs killin’ Buffy, it’s the man.”

“You’re weak. Everybody is. Everybody fails. Maybe this thing did save you, but that’s because it needs you. And that means you can hurt it. You have the power to do real good, Dean, to make amends. But if you die now, then all you even were was a monster.” He didn’t say anything, Buffy felt tears sting her eyes. “Dean… Please put the gun down and come inside.” Dean’s eyes went wild and he began to yell.

“You think this is simple?! You think there’s an answer? You can never understand what I’ve done. Now go!”

“You’re not staying here! I won’t let you,” she grabs his arm but she feels a hard punch and she drops her arm.

“Leave!” She nods and rears back, punching him in the face. He stumbles, he shoves her and she falls back, hitting her head on a rock. He rushed to her and pins her lower body while grabbing her arms and shaking her.

“Am I thing worth saving, huh? Am I a righteous man? The world wants me gone.” Finally tears fall from her eyes and he lets her go, she stands and looks at him.

“What about me?” She asks quietly, “Dean… I love you so much,” she sobbed putting all out in the open, “and I’ve tried to keep you out, I tried to keep you at arms reach but it didn’t help.” She wiped angrily at her tears, “and I hate it! I hate that it’s so hard... And I wished I wished you dead. But I don’t. I can’t.”

“Buffy… Please… Just this once. Let me be strong.”

“Strong is fighting! It’s hard and it’s painful and it’s everyday!” She screamed, “but if you’re too much of a coward take the gun and shoot yourself!” Her anger came through strong,

“Buffy…”

“No! Do it! Take that gun and shoot yourself. Because if I can’t convince you that you have a place in this world then I don’t know what will. So die. But don’t expect me to watch, and don’t you dare expect me to mourn for you… Because I don’t have… I don’t have it in me to lose anyone else.” She whispered, he shook his head and pulled the hammer back and placed it against the side of his head. “Dean, no!” She tackled him and the gun flew from his hand, “stop… Please.” She begged, tears falling from her eyes. She looked down at him and he was crying.

“Buffy… I’m sorry…” He whispered, she heard multiple cars pull up, when she turned she saw Mary and Sam and Jess.


They all sat in the hospital, Mary had to get staples and Sam had a large bruise and concussion. Buffy had a large welt on the back of her head from where her head had hit the rock and a large bloodied gash and broken cheek bone from where he had hit her. For the most part they were okay.

“Sam?” Buffy asked, he looked over at her.

“Yeah?”

“I… I shouldn’t have let him go with you.”

“Don’t do that. Dean isn’t well, Buffy, none of this is your fault.”

“He’s my son, he’s Sam’s brother. We can deal with the bumps and bruises if it means he gets better… You could have been killed,” Mary said. Buffy just shook her head.

“You do really stupid things for the people you love.” Buffy said, Jess shot her a glance and Buffy rolled her eyes.

“You love him?” Sam asked in surprise,

“Let’s not dwell on the fact that I am over emotional attachment girl and focus on the fact that my boyfriend is about to be put into a locked ward.” Buffy grumbled, she had almost forgotten about her declaration but the brief look of hope that had crossed his face when she had… She sighed and rested her head against Jess.

“When was the last time you slept?” Jess asked, Buffy sighed.

“I don’t know… I was in and out all night but not really sleeping and then Mary called…” Her phone buzzed, “that’s Dawn. I’ll be right back.” She walked out of the lobby and stood by the entrance. “Hey, what’s up?”

“You okay?” Dawn knew just by the sound of her voice. Buffy shook her head.

“No… My boyfriend is in Psychosis, he punched me, tried to kill himself-“

“Boyfriend?”

“Not right now, Dawn. I’m at the hospital, they’re trying to find a locked ward for him to be in. Everything okay?” Buffy heard a male voice in the background, “Dawn, who’s with you?”

“My… My boyfriend.” She said a little apprehensively,

“We will discuss this later, right now I need to go back inside.” She said when she saw Sam motioning for her to come inside. “Gotta go, I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay, bye Buff.”

“Bye,” she hung up the phone and took a few deep breaths before walking into the hospital and following Sam.


Dean was sitting in bed just staring at the wall in front of him. Was this all really happening? Was he really about to get carted off to some mental institution and be in a locked ward for a month and half? Had he actually hit Buffy? Or was it just a bad dream that he couldn’t wake up from?

“Dean?” When he looked at Buffy and saw the obvious welt on her cheek he grimaced.

“I’m dangerous… you shouldn’t be in here.” He whispered, Buffy sighed and sat down next to his bed and took his hand.

“What’s your point?” He gave her an incredulous look.

“What’s the point? I fucking hit you. I told you I wanted to rape you. I’m no better than Parker.” He said in an angry voice.

“Dean… you’re mentally ill… Parker is just a horrible person. You’re not.”

“You said you loved me. After I hit you, you said you loved me. How can you love a monster, huh?” Buffy had hoped to god he hadn’t heard her.

“… You heard that?”

“How the fuck could I not?” He asked, “that’s not something you don’t just ignore.” He shook his head, “it really doesn’t matter. You need to leave the room because I’m not safe.” She nodded slowly and stood, placing a kiss on his forehead she spoke.

“I’ll visit you, wherever you end up, okay?”