For the past few days, when Sam wasn't researching a case, he was researching slayers. Especially anything that had to do with Sunnydale, CA. "Dude, listen to this," Sam began. Dean rolled his eyes but didn't say anything. "At a high school graduation ceremony, the mayor, who was the commencement speaker, bombed the school."
"What?!" Dean looked in shock at Sam. "Seriously?"
"Yeah, I guess even 'regular' people were crazy in Sunnydale."
"Holy Crap. I wonder if Buffy was there or knew about it."
"I think it could have been her class. Uh, '99?" Sam scrolled through the web page. "Yeah, '99. Think that was her?"
Dean shrugged, "Maybe. I d'know."
Sam looked at him for a minute. "Have you called her?" Dean glared at him. Sam shrunk back slightly, "I just think you should call her. I mean, you liked her, right?"
Dean shook his head, "Playing matchmaker, Sammy?"
Sam shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "No."
"I can get my own girls, Sammy."
"It's Sam, and I know that. I just thought," Sam sighed, and stopped himself, knowing it was useless to try to get Dean to do anything if he was pushed.
"Thought, what, Sam?"
"Nothing," Sam said rather forcibly, "just if I'm going to see Faith again, I thought you might want to see Buffy, that's all."
"Well, maybe you can have Faith pass her a note in study hall." Dean shook his head and turned up the radio ending the conversation.
"Hello?" Buffy grabbed her cell with one hand, her keys with the other and hurriedly stepped into her heels before rushing out the door.
"Yeah, this is Buffy," Buffy wrinkled her nose. The voice wasn't registering, yet.
"Hey, it's Dean. How's it going?"
Buffy froze. "Dean?" she nearly squeaked, clearing her throat immediately. She felt herself blush.
"Yeah. Did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No, not a bad time," Buffy's reply was a bit fuzzy. She looked around, why was she outside again? "I'm, uh, just heading out. Are you back in town?"
"No, actually, we're just outside Greenville, South Carolina."
Buffy was confused, why was he calling. Not that she minded, it was just unexpected. "Oh, okay."
"Sam called Faith and told her we wouldn't be back this week, so I figured I'd call you." Dean scratched his head. He hadn't planned on calling Buffy unless they were actually in Cleveland. Unfortunately for him, Sam had become somewhat infatuated with Faith and hadn't let a day pass without a call or text at the very least.
Having regained her composure, Buffy got in her car. "Okay, so not coming back. Check. Uh, anything else?"
Dean blinked, "No, not really. I guess. I was just…"
"Okay, then. Um, well, I guess I'll talk to you later," Buffy hung up quickly and slumped against the wheel of her car. God, I'm pathetic, she thought. I can't even handle talking on the phone to hot guy. She sighed.
Dean looked at his phone for a minute. That went well, he thought sarcastically as he tossed the phone onto the bed next to him.
Andrew typed a couple more keys, "There, as you can see, the entire database can now be.." He looked at his audience. No one was listening to him. Faith was texting, Buffy was doodling, Xander might have been sleeping, even Willow seemed to be using her laptop for something not remotely related to his topic. "I'm done," he said loudly enough to register with them.
Buffy stood and smoothed her skirt, "Good, thanks, Andrew. That was -- helpful." She smiled at him.
Andrew rolled his eyes, "Yeah, don't worry I'll explain it again when someone needs it."
"Thank god," Xander sighed. "You lost me in the first five minutes."
Faith snort a laugh. The room's attention turned to her. Feeling eyes on her, she looked up. "What?" she shrugged, smiling with slight color rising in her cheeks.
Xander's eyebrow raised, "Why Miss Lehane, I do believe you're blushing."
Faith's face became instantly serious. "I am not." She glanced at Buffy before returning a glare at Xander. "Xander do you mind? We've got girl stuff to talk about." With a roll of the eye, Xander left the girls alone.
"So?" Willow asked with excitement, "who have you been texting this whole time?"
Faith looked at Buffy before she answered. "Well, last week we met these guys and, well, we've sorta been keeping in touch."
"You have?" Buffy was stunned.
Faith shrugged. "I know. I'm not usually the let's keep in touch girl, but Sam's different."
"Different, how?" Willow was intrigued, the Faith she knew was a 'get some and get gone' girl.
Buffy cleared her throat. "What did he say?"
Faith smirked at Buffy. It was obvious Buffy was asking about Dean without trying to ask about Dean. "He said that our boys were not coming back up here this week. But, that wasn't the good stuff."
"Wait, wait, what's this about? You both met guys?" Willow turned to Buffy. "I thought you were dating that Ken guy."
Buffy shrugged and looked back at Faith.
"Ken was a loser. This Dean guy, Willow you should see him. Might make you play for the other team," Faith grinned.
"Faith!" Buffy scolded.
Willow was confused, "I thought you said his name was Sam."
"Yeah, Sam is mine. He's tall and Hot with a capital H. And, his brother, Dean, well let's just say he made Buffy feel all kinds of happy."
Willow looked at her friend and noticed the blush creeping up her cheeks. "Buffy! You slept with some random guy?"
"He wasn't random…He's a hunter and.." Buffy couldn't think of an excuse to make her not feel like a slut.
Willow started grinning at Buffy's discomfort. "So it was good, huh?"
Seeing that Willow had just been teasing her and not judging her, made Buffy's smile return. "Oh, yeah, way good. Beyond good. Bordering on life changing." Faith's and Willow's brows shot up. "But, we haven't really talked since, so I doubt I'm even on his radar screen."
"I thought he called," Faith shifted in her seat studying Buffy.
Buffy made a face, obviously Sam and Dean had talked and Sam told Faith about it. She sighed. "Yeah, he called this morning to say he wasn't going to be coming into town this week. But I got the feeling he called because he knew you'd know, or something. Let's drop it, okay? I mean, I'm totally happy about you and Sam, Faith, don't get me wrong. I just don't think me and Dean are on the same page."
Faith smirked, "Maybe you need a lesson in sexting. That'll get his attention."
"Sexting?" Buffy and Willow said in unison.
"Yeah, here, let me show you." Faith scrolled through some messages on her phone, then sat back and enjoyed the looks on her friends' faces.
"Oh my god, Faith, I, uh, I could never say stuff like that." Buffy felt herself become flushed.
"Trust me, B, Dean would love it."
Buffy knew Faith was right, but sexting? She didn't think she could do it.
Xander returned to the room. "Girls, I hate to break up your little gossip session, but we've got a job to do. Faith? You ready to take down a nest with the new group of girls?"
Faith stood and cracked her neck. "Gimme a sec to change into something more slice and dice worthy, and I'm with ya."
Xander nodded, "Good, I'll meet you out back."
When Faith and Xander left, Willow cornered Buffy. "Tell me everything about this Dean guy. Where'd you meet? What's he like? How'd you end up taking him home?" Her questions bubbled from her.
Buffy sighed, "We met when they found the chalice the Yaunti was going to use. They helped me with a zombie problem. Then, uh, after Xander destroyed the chalice with them, we all went out to dinner. That's it, really."
Willow looked doubtful. "If that's it, then why are you acting all flustered."
Buffy squirmed. "Will, it's.." she paused, not sure how to explain her feelings. "Dean's … I don't know."
Willow studied her friend. "You like him," she teased in a sing song voice.
Buffy looked at her and gave in.
Willow's grin covered her face. "Oh my god, you really like him."
"Willow," Buffy whined. "He's hard not to like. He knows what I do, ya know, we're in the same 'business'. He's nice. He's funny. He's absolutely gorgeous. The way he kisses makes me melt." Buffy buried her face in her hands.
Willow's smile faded seeing her friend's distress. "If he's so great, why are you not happy?"
Buffy took a second to think. "He was a one night stand. I doubt he's looking for anything beyond that. I mean I'm sure the only reason Dean called is that for some reason Faith is hanging onto Sam. Otherwise, he wouldn't be calling."
Willow was surprised by her friend's admission. "You're not Miss One-night-stand, what happened?"
Buffy rolled her eyes, "He did this thing when we danced that made me go all," she shuddered and Willow laughed. "Yeah, well that, on top of the way he kissed, pretty much sealed the deal."
"Well, if he called, maybe he does want more than one night," Willow reassured.
Buffy shook her head, "Maybe he wants one more night, but he's not relationship guy. I mean he's on the road constantly."
Willow smiled, "Well if the one night was so wonderful, why not have one more night?" Buffy looked at her with wide shocked eyes. "There's nothing wrong with having some fun, Buffy. Lord knows you deserve some."
Buffy mulled that suggestion over, "So you think I should sext him?"
Willow raised a brow at her, "Maybe you should start with a phone call."
"Right, sexting is not really my style." Buffy admitted.
"This is Dean. Leave your name and number and I'll get back to you."
"Hey, hi, Dean, it's Buffy," She paused wondering what she should say. "Uh, I hope the fact that you didn't answer means that you're in the shower or something and not in any kind of danger. Um, well give me a call, if you want, if you have time, at least let me know that you weren't in some kind of trouble. Uh, okay, thanks, bye." Buffy shook her head, why did she ramble like an idiot when she liked a guy?
Dean smiled to himself while he listened to the message. He had to wait for Sam to find something to do before he called back, but he would definitely call back.
He groaned when he got her voicemail, but his grin returned as he decided to leave a message. "Buffy, it's Dean returning your call. Uh, we're weren't in any trouble, I wasn't in the shower, just in the middle of no reception land. But, hey, if you want, you can think about me in the shower -- naked. And since you didn't answer, I'll guess that's where you are. In the shower. Naked." He paused, "Okay then, talk to ya later."
Buffy closed her eyes in embarrassment as she listened to his message. She hadn't meant that she was thinking about him naked. Of course, now, she couldn't help it. He had gone and put that idea in her head. There was no way she was going to be able to concentrate for the rest of the evening. There was also no way she was calling him back.
Buffy answered on the first ring, "Dawn, the answer is still 'no'. You are not going to Cancun. Maybe, if just once, you acted responsibly when you vacationed unsupervised, I'd consider it. But having sex with a thricewise kinda screams irresponsible. And, again, I ask, just who is supposed to pay for this little excursion of yours?"
The line was quiet in response for a moment. Then the silence was broken by a deep chuckle. "Who is this!?" Buffy demanded.
"Oh. Uh, sorry," Buffy laughed, nervously, "I thought you were someone else."
"Yeah, so I gathered. Who's Dawn?"
"My kid sister. She's been calling all night trying to get me to let her go on spring break. It's been a total thing."
"Well, if she's anything like you, you should let her go somewhere. I wouldn't want a mini slayer angry with me."
Buffy smiled, "She's not a slayer. She's becoming a witch, though." Remembering Dean's aversion to witches she quickly added, "Not a bad witch. She's closely watched. She's very careful with the spells."
Dean laughed a little, "Right, 'closely watched', that's how she had sex with a thricewise."
"Well, she did that for attention," Buffy admitted.
"Bet it worked," he snorted.
"Yeah, but she got the same amount of attention when she borrowed my Jimmy Choo's without asking." Buffy plopped herself down in her big comfy living room chair.
"Choo's -- they're shoes. Really awesome shoes, that she destroyed, and didn't replace," Buffy thought she could hear Dean roll his eyes. "Anyway, you know what little siblings are like, though. Didn't Sam ever do anything irresponsible?"
"Sam's had his moments. He once let this slayer drink him under the table and then let her take him home," Dean teased. "However, I couldn't tell you about him and spring break. I didn't hang out with him much when he was in college. And," Dean took a breath, "a reckless spring break is probably more my style than Sammy's."
Buffy's call waiting beeped in. "I'm gonna ignore that call. How have you been? Where are you guys?"
"We're in Montana. That's kinda why I called. Did you ever hear of vampires that only hunt animals, not humans?"
"Yeah. It's rare, but yeah. So I take it you ran across a nest of 'vegetarians'?" Buffy asked.
"Vegetarians? Uh, I guess you could call them that," Dean chuckled at her label. "I just don't know if it's the truth, ya know. I mean how do you trust a vampire?"
Buffy laughed to herself, not going to touch that one, she thought. "Yeah, uh, I could see how that could be an issue. Are you willing to test them?"
"What's the test?"
Buffy took a deep breath, hoping the Winchesters would take the necessary precautions. "First, promise me you'll be careful."
The concern in her voice surprised him, making him pause. "Of course," Dean promised.
"Okay, during the day, grab a vamp, restrain it, and drag it from the nest. Then," Buffy paused again, suddenly feeling dread.
"Then?" Dean coaxed.
"Then, bleed," Buffy continued.
"Bleed? That's it?"
Buffy sighed not thinking that Dean was taking this seriously. "Dean, if it's a vampire that feeds solely on human blood, your blood will send it into a frenzy. Be sure you and Sam have it restrained and are ready to kill it immediately. If it's a vegetarian," she went on, "it will be able to resist human blood, at first, if it's fed recently."
"Got it, thanks," Dean's reply was short.
"Dean, wait. This is very dangerous. Maybe you should wait. We might be able to send someone…"
"Babe, been fightin' the bad guys for years. We've faced vampires before, we got it," Dean affirmed. "This might be the first time we met 'vegetarians', but not our first rodeo, we're good."
"Right, I know," Buffy replied trying to sound relaxed.
"Thanks, for, uh," Dean had been about to thank her for her concern, but she interrupted.
"Oh, sure, you know. Professional courtesy and all," Buffy nodded, she didn't want him to think she thought of him as more than that. At least not until she knew how he felt. However, she was not feeling a any better about knowing that Dean and Sam were about to face a vampire.
"Right," he sighed. Dean was having trouble reading this girl. She changed from hot to cold so often she could be her own weather system.
"Dean, really, be careful. I know you've been hunting for years, but vampires are unbelievably strong."
Dean smirked. "I know, like I said, I've dealt with them before." He paused, he didn't want to come across as annoyed. "You want me to call you when I come home?" he teased.
Buffy felt like he was mocking her. "Hey, kid me all you want, but don't come crying to me if the vamp bites your face off."
Dean chuckled, "Don't worry, nothing is biting my face off."
"Good, 'cause that would be bad. I like your face just the way it is," Buffy smiled. "But if you want to call me when it's over, I would be okay with that."
The next day, Buffy paced, waiting for her phone to ring. When it did, it was Dawn. "Buffy, puhleease let me go to Cancun. I've got the money mostly saved up. I'm going with a whole group of girls here. You can send a slayer to watch over me if you want, but please let me go to Cancun."
"Dawn, go to Cancun. Have fun. I'll talk to you later, okay?"
"Buffy, what's going on? Why the sudden change? Is something wrong?"
Buffy's call waiting beeped in. "Dawn-I'll-call-you-back-later. Bye" As fast as she could, Buffy switch over to the incoming call. "Hello!?"
"Wow, another one ring pick up. Is little sister still bugging you about spring break?" Dean asked while trying to cover up a yawn.
Buffy breathed a sigh of relief, "You're okay."
"Yeah, we're fine," Dean chuckled a bit. "They passed your test, no faces bitten off. I woulda thought Faith had told you."
"Faith? No, she didn't tell me anything. Why?" Buffy wondered why it bothered her that Faith knew they were all right before she did.
"Uh, no reason. Just, I know Sam was texting her earlier," Dean replied.
Buffy hmphfed. "You mean sexting."
"What?" Dean was suddenly wide awake.
"That's what she does. She's been sending Sam what she calls sext messages," Buffy explained.
Dean laughed. "That's awesome."
Buffy suddenly felt very inadequate. Is that what Dean wanted her to do? She wondered.
"Oh, I can't wait to rib him about this," Dean laughed again. "No wonder he's been glued to his phone." Dean began to think of creative ways to interfere with Sam's messages. "Hey, I'll talk to you later."
"Yeah, fine," Buffy replied, but Dean had already disconnected.
"Hey, gorgeous, I got your text." Faith had just parked her jeep in a strip mall parking lot when Sam called. "I was glad to see you guys are all right."
"Yeah," Sam yawned his reply. "We're beat, but not beat up."
Faith shift grinned, "So, get some rest, and let me come help work out any of that tension ya got built up."
Sam groaned, "Yeah, I wish. Dean's found another job and we're heading there first thing."
Faith slumped down in her jeep's seat. "Come on, Sam. Don't you ever get a day off? I mean you gotta take time for yourself once in a while." She picked at the steering wheel absent mindedly.
Sam sighed. He could see her point, but Dean was driven to save as many people as he could while he could. Sam couldn't abandon him. Not now, not so near the end. "Faith, it's just, this one's really important. Dean found out kids are involved."
"You guys want help?" Faith asked eagerly. "I could totally help you guys kick some ass and then be around to help you get some r and r."
Sam scratched his head, "Yeah, sounds good. I'll talk to Dean about it and get back to you. 'Kay, babe?"
"Yeah, fine," Faith mumbled irritably.
Over a week had gone by and Buffy hadn't heard from Dean. She began to avoid Faith, since she didn't want to know if Sam had been calling, or sexting. When she finally did hear from Dean, it was well past one in the morning.
"Hey," Buffy's voice was soft. She yawned and stretched . "I'm surprised to hear from you."
"I know, it's late. Sorry. I just wanted to hear your voice," Dean sighed heavily. "How's was your day? Did your sister call?"
"Dean, what's wrong?" Buffy had heard the weariness in his voice.
"Nothing, I was just gonna go," he swallowed. He knew she knew what he did, he knew she'd understand, but suddenly, he didn't want to burden her.
Even softer than before, she asked, "Dean, what happened?"
"It was a demon. It got kids. It got about a half dozen of them before Sam and I could get there. God, Buffy, it was awful."
"I'm sorry, Dean, god, I am so sorry."
Dean blew out a breath. "I know." They remained on the phone together silently for a moment. "Sorry. I shouldn't have called. I guess I called you instead of drinking enough to pass out."
Buffy smiled at that, "So I'm like your sponsor." She tried for kidding, hoping he'd take it that way. "Okay. What can I do?"
"Nothing, I shouldn'ta called so late. I'll talk to you --"
"No, Dean. It's fine. Really. I know what you're going through, remember?"
"So tell me what I can do to help."
"Take my mind off it. Tell me some crazy story about you."
"Okay, sure, give me a sec." She paused and looked around her room for something to jog a memory. Seeing a picture of Xander and Dawn, she smiled. "This one time, Xander and my sister, accidentally, summoned a demon that made our entire town into a musical. Everyone broke into song and dance numbers."
Buffy laughed lightly, "Yeah, the whole town was like an old Hollywood musical."
"Yeah, Sunnydale. My old stomping grounds," Buffy said as she plopped down on her bed.
"Hey, Sammy was just telling me something about that place," Dean looked around as if he could find the memory somewhere in the car. "Oh yeah, something about the mayor bombing the high school. I guess living on the hell mouth made the politicians extra evil."
Buffy laughed, "Yeah, kinda. He turned himself into this super demon snake and my class had to put him down. It did destroy the school, though."
Dean leaned back, completely shocked at Buffy's admission. "He was a…Wait, your class put him down?"
"Yeah, it was a pretty crazy graduation."
"That's putting it mildly. So, did everyone know you were the slayer?"
"Not really, but they knew that I protected them. They gave me a trophy and everything."
"A trophy? that's just freakin' weird."
Buffy chuckled, "Yeah, well my high school life was far from normal."
"Normal's overrated," Dean said with bitterness.
"I hardly remember it," Buffy agreed. "But sometimes, sometimes I wish I had it."
"Careful what you wish for."
"Me and Sam were hunting a djinn, but, uh, I ended up one of it's victims. It gave me this, dream I guess, where my life was normal, no demons or ghosts, but Sam and me didn't get along, and the people I had saved were dead. Normal kinda sucked," he sighed. "My mom was still alive, though."
Buffy felt horrible. It seemed like she had made him more depressed. "Sorry, Dean, I didn't mean to make you feel worse."
"You didn't," Dean was quick to reassure. "Sammy tried for normal, once. He went to Stanford for a few years. Was gonna be a lawyer."
They were both quiet for a minute.
Buffy sighed, "You ever hear of those fantasy camp things? Like for baseball? Or here in Cleveland, the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame does the rock star one?
"Yeah, sure, why?"
"Fantasy camp for us would be living a 'normal' life for a week. You know like a total nine to five thing."
Dean laughed. "Yeah. I can see that. I'd have to wear a suit and work in some office or something."
"And I'd be your secretary," Buffy added with a smile. The sound of Dean's laugh bringing her unexpected happiness.
"If you were my secretary, I'd chase you around my office all day."
Buffy laughed, "Oh, you would?"
"Damn straight I would. And since it's fantasy camp, you'd have to let me catch you."
Buffy giggled, "Oh really?"
"Yeah. And you'd be wearing your hair up and have glasses, but when I catch you, you take off the glasses and let down your hair…" Dean's voice trailed off.
"Hey, is this my fantasy camp or yours?"
"Yours, I catch you, remember?" Dean teased and Buffy laughed again. "I'd probably sweep everything off my desk and have my way with you then."
"Dean!" Buffy was blushing and giggling and making Dean feel much lighter than he had when he first called. "I thought this was my fantasy."
"It is. Are you trying to tell me you wouldn't want me to have my way with you?" he asked in mock indignation.
Buffy paused, "On the desk? Doesn't your office have a couch?"
Dean laughed, "Right, if I'm some corporate hot shot, I'd definitely have a couch in my office." He thought a moment, "tell you what, we'll work our way there after the desk."
They both sighed.
"For what? The office fantasy?"
"Yeah, that's gonna keep me warm on those cold nights," he teased. "But I meant thanks for answering when I called, taking my mind off everything for a while."
"No problem, the job sucks." She paused for a moment before adding quietly, "and I like hearing from you. I mean it." Buffy closed her eyes for a second, relieved that Dean was in a better mood. "Where are you? Or, I guess, where are you going to be?"
"I don't know, sweetheart, wherever the job takes me. But, I'll try to get back to Cleveland, soon."
"Well, don't make it too soon. I'm going out to L.A. on a small business trip. But I'll have my phone. You know, you can call me anytime."
"M'kay," Dean liked how that sounded. "Business trip? What's that about?" Dean leaned back with his head against the headrest of his seat.
"Just a friend needing a favor," Buffy replied remembering the 'don't talk about the ex' advice Xander had given her. "I'm glad you called. I'm going to have totally hot dreams about you now."
Dean chuckled again, "Well, glad to be of service. I think I'll go hit a cold shower."
"Are you trying to get me to think about you naked, again?" Buffy giggled as she teased him about his previous comment.
Dean laughed, "Absolutely."
With a laugh, Buffy said, "Good night, Dean."