Disclaimer: See previous chapters. Nothing has changed.
It had been a week since the fight. They had destroyed the seal on the cornerstone of the courthouse and the spirit seemed at rest. Dawn was just grateful they were heading back to the Roadhouse. Ellen had called for something or the other and off they went. Dawn needed a break and she figured she could convince the guys to leave her with Vi for a couple of weeks. Maybe pick her up after the next hunt. Maybe. . .
She pulled her self out of the back seat of the Impala and instinctively, Sam reached for her bag. “No, I got it Sam,” Dawn said wearily walking forward and pulling her bag a little closer. She followed the brothers into the lobby of the motel they had stopped at and pulled out her council card.
“Two rooms, next to each other,” she heard Dean say as he plopped down cash on the counter.
“Put one on the card,” Dawn said moving forward and putting her card on the counter in what had become a ritual over the past week.
“Put the card away, Princess,” Dean growled picking it up and shoving it at her.
Too tired to argue tonight, and it would serve him right, Dawn finally, after a week, gave in and with a dismissive eye roll, slipped the card back into her wallet. She waited patiently while Dean scooped up both keys and signed the register. The first time they had all checked in like this, she had tried to take her key and retreat to her own room to lick her still raw wounds from the screaming match they had the day before, but Dean had muscled his way in, checked the room, salted her windows and door, and made sure she was armed before stalking out the of the room to bunk with Sam.
She figured that trying to argue with him every night would be too much of a fight. So she gave in and let him check the room. Secretly, somewhere in the back of her mind, she hoped that one night he would just give in and stay, but every night for the past five nights, he walked out with an admonition to dead bolt the door behind him.
Like a tag team, Dean and Sam opened the door and swept the room. As they walked out to check the room next to hers, she walked in and dropped her bag on one of the chairs around the small round table that seemed to exist in every motel room of every motel on the face of the planet. She started pulling out her soaps and shampoos as Dean came back in with the salt. Totally ignoring him, she walked into the bathroom and closed the door. Damn if she was going to break down in front of him. He could just secure the room and get his ass out.
“Son of a bitch,” Dean muttered to himself as the bathroom door closed behind Dawn and Dean took a moment to slump weakly onto the bed. He put the salt down and dropped his head into his hands. Sammy had been at him for days now to just talk to her. Have a damn chick moment. Give in. Dean Winchester gives in to no one. Not even a stunningly beautiful woman who he might just not be able to live without.
Absently, the heel of his right hand came up to rub at his chest where a heavy ache had started to grow exactly four days ago when he decided that even if they got a second room, he would stay with Sam, let her sleep alone for a few nights, it’ll be good for her. Good for the both of them to have some space. He had rapidly come to the conclusion that he didn’t need space from her and now that there was some, he didn’t know how to make it go away. Sam had been truly annoying smirking and offering to give Dean advice. Damned if he was going to take advice about women from his baby brother. He’d been doing just fine on his own. He’d figure this out, somehow.
He heard an odd noise and his brows drew down into a confused pout. Odd, the water wasn’t running. If there was something he learned about Dawn during the months they spent on the road, that girl loved her showers. How long had she been in there? There that odd noise again sounded like. . .
Dean was up in an instant and pounding on the door. “Dawn?! Dawnie?! You open this door, you let me in!”
He shook the doorknob and was startled when it twisted in his hand. The sight totally unmanned him. Huddled into a little ball on the floor, her shoulders shaking as she tried to muffle her sobs, a half dressed Dawn sat rocking back and forth. “Dawnie?” Dean said approaching carefully. He couldn’t see her face as it was buried in her arms and her long dark hair was a curtain spilling across her shoulders and legs.
He knelt down next to her and tentatively extended a hand to stroke down her hair, to push some away from her face so he could see her. “Baby girl, hey,” Dean said softly. He settled himself on the floor and was almost knocked over when Dawn threw herself at him, all long limbs and flying hair, wailing in abandon. Her face buried into his neck and her arms clenched at his back. “Aww, baby,” Dean crooned as he shifted Dawn to sit more comfortably in his lap and then scooted so that he could lean against the tub. He continued to stroke her hair and murmur nonsense at her until after ten minutes or so, she started to quiet to the occasional sniffle.
A knock came on the door of the room and Dawn and Dean could hear Sam on the other side asking after them. “I got to go tell Sammy we’re o.k.,” he said as he dropped a kiss on the top of her head and shifted her so that he could stand. She clutched at him for a moment and he felt a surge of relief go through him that she still wanted him there, still wanted him. She let go and Dean stood, leaving the bathroom.
Miserable, Dawn sat for a moment before going to all fours. She pushed herself up, deflated and drained. She looked at herself in the mirror and almost started wailing again. She looked like a banshee. In fact, the last banshee they banished looked better than she did right now. The only thing she was grateful for was waterproof mascara, or she’d look like worse than a banshee masquerading as a raccoon for Halloween.
Dean appeared in the doorway, “You better? Sam’s going to go get us some food. I told him to get you a salad and mashed potatoes with extra gravy. You can have some of my steak.” Dawn nodded listlessly. Gently, Dean continued, “Wash your face, baby girl, then come out and we can talk, o.k.?”
Dawn nodded again and started to run the water in the sink. Dean went to salt the windows and doors. He figured he’d give her a minute or two to get herself together. Not to mention, he needed a moment to gear himself up. Gird his manly loins, so to speak, because after that little break down. He knew he was in for a chick moment, whether he wanted one or not.