Disclaimer: I own nothing; Joss Whedon owns all that is Buffy while Eric Kripke and the CW owns everything Supernatural. I am just playing with them all.
"I'm sure, Wes." Dawn says. "It's just one demon, no biggie." "Yes, I'll call when the demon's dead." "Don't be such a worrywart, Wes." "K, bye."
"Well?" John demands.
"Wesley agreed with me." Dawn replies.
"Bobby will agree too, John." Dawn interrupts. "Face it, I have to go."
"I am not letting you walk in there, like some sacrificial lamb." John growls.
"You kinda have to." Dawn pats his arm. "It'll be fine, I promise."
"Mom, there has to be another way." Sam protests.
"There's not, sweetie." Dawn says. "But hey, it's not like this is the first time something's tried to sacrifice me. Don't worry, I can handle this."
John clenches and unclenches his fists, fighting the urge to grab his family and take off.
"It won't work, John." Dawn cuddles into his side, her hand rubbing over his belly. "The mark is like a homing beacon; they'd find me."
"How'd you know…."
"What you were thinking?" Dawn cuts in. "Because I know you. Running isn't going to do anything but piss it off and a demon that big, I'd rather not piss off."
"What's the plan?" Dean asks, not looking up from the knife he's sharpening.
"Me and Sam go into the party…"
"There is no way you two are going in alone." John interrupts.
"John, you can't go to a frat party." Dawn says. "Either they'd think you were a cop or some great big perv. You and Dean will have to do the rescue portion."
"Why Sam?" Dean asks.
"Because you are too much like your father." Dawn replies. "It's a frat party; it's going to be filled with a bunch of drunk, clingy guys that think a short skirt is an invitation to cop a feel. It's an undercover gig and you beating the crap out of somebody because they got a little too hands on will pretty much ruin that."
"You think I'll let some guy grab you?" Sam asks disbelievingly.
"I think you'll control yourself a little better than your father or Dean would." Dawn replies.
"So not only am I supposed to let you be sacrificed, I'm also supposed to let some drunk feel up my wife?"
Dawn sighs, her head leaning against his shoulder. "I am not going to be sacrificed."
"But you will be felt up." John tightens his arm around her.
"It's not like I'm looking forward to it." Dawn says. "And I'll try my best to avoid it but I can't control what other people do."
"You can control yourself though and you're making the decision to do this."
"Yes, I am." Dawn agrees with John. "I'm not letting a bunch of innocent girls be sacrificed when I can prevent it. So, yes, I'm willing to put myself in a completely uncomfortable position in order to save people. And deep down, you know it's the right thing to do."
"John, if the sacrifices were middle aged men or playboy twenty something olds, you wouldn't think twice about letting you or Dean be bait."
"Hey." Dean protests. "I'm not a play…"
"Sweetie, Angel had you investigated." Dawn shoots him a look. "And there are pages and pages of girls saying things I could of lived without hearing; playboy fits."
Dean scowls. "What kind of things?"
"Stuff a mother never wants to hear about her son." Dawn winces. "Don't worry, besides the 'get some and get gone' thing you seem to have going on, most of the things that said were pretty nice."
It's Dean's turn to wince. "About…."
"You're almost twenty seven, Dean." Dawn holds up her hands. "Your sex life is your business."
"Why did you have us investigated?" John doesn't disguise the hurt in his voice.
"I didn't, Angel did." Dawn corrects. "I didn't know they did until he forced me to go to Stanford."
"Forced?" Sam arches an eyebrow.
"Threw me over his shoulder and carried me out to his car." Dawn explains. "Then drove me to Stanford. That's when I found out you were pre-law and that you went to Stanford."
"Uh…how much did he find out?" John rubs his hands on his pants.
Dawn sighs, unsure how to answer. She knows how her husband and sons survived financially. Before, she wouldn't have approved of it at all but now…she understands why they did it. "About the credit card fraud, yeah, I know."
John winches, unconsciously rubbing his thumb over his wedding band. "About that…"
"John, it's okay." Dawn interrupts. "Okay, not okay exactly because it's not right but….I understand why you did it. I can't condone the whole fraud thing but I'm not going to pass judgment on it." Then she taps him on the nose. "And I'm not going to participate in it either which means no more stolen credit cards."
"I've tried to say that many times before." Sam says. "They don't listen very well."
"Yeah, I noticed they're a stubborn set of men." Dawn smiles at him.
John snorts. "If that isn't the kettle calling the pot black."
"I am not stubborn." Dawn lifts her chin. "I am just very determined to have things my way."
John lets out a full belly laugh.
Dean pulls out a random gun as he plops down on the second bed and takes it apart as he watches his parents. It's beyond freaky that his mom is younger than him, that under different circumstances, he'd be trying to get into her pants, but instead of seeing that, he sees just her. His mother. Her laugh, the way she talks, the tilt of her voice, and the way she makes his dad laugh. John Winchester barely smiles let alone laughs like he's done in the past few days. He makes a vow to himself in that moment that he will do everything in his power to make sure nothing ever happens to his mom again. Or anyone else in his family.
"I can't believe you did that." Sam whispers out of the corner of his mouth. "If dad knew you were wearing that under…"
"He would have never let me go." Dawn cuts in. "Kinda why I wore the sweater and pants over it." She tosses said sweater and pants into the bushes along the walkway to the party and then adjust the shirt she had on under it. Basically backless, one strap around her neck to hold it on, that and the fact that it's tight as hell, it bares more skin than her husband would have ever let her outside in. Coupled in with her short jean skirt and calf high boots….John wouldn't have let her out of the hotel room. "If Frat boy is really connected to the demon, he'll probably be able to tell that I'm no longer a virg…"
"Mom." Sam winces.
"In." Dawn finishes. "Hopefully, since the ritual is starting in about an hour and with my kick ass outfit, he'll be too distract to notice my non-virginal state."
"I'm going to need therapy after this." Sam shakes his head. "Jess had the same shirt. My mom is going to a frat party in the same outfit my girlfriend would have worn. That is disturbing on so many different levels."
"You think you're disturbed." Dawn whispers over her shoulder as she opens the front door. "I'm served beer to my son, when a little over two weeks ago, I was changing his diaper. That's disturbing."
"I didn't need to hear that." Sam winces.
"You know, I'm kinda enjoying this whole making you and Deanie uncomfortable thing; it's highly entertaining." Dawn grins at him. "Okay, on a serious note, no matter what happens, do not let your father stop the ritual. No matter what. If he does, I will be bound to that demon until the next time it rises and I really don't want that. Nobody can do anything until the actual demon manifests. Do not let him forget that."
"I won't, mom." Sam whispers. "Be careful."
"I will." Dawn brushes his arm gently as he passes. "Be careful and blend."
Sam watches as his mom walks through the packed fraternity house, her hand reaching out to grab a beer out of a cooler as she passes. She blends in perfectly, like she's been to countless parties. Which he's guessing, she probably did before all this.
It's the first time he's thought about it, what she did before she became their mother. She's technically younger than him and he wonders what they tore her away from. What she was going to be before she remembered who she really was. He moves over to the corner of the room, grabbing a beer, and leans back against the wall. His mom moves to the middle of the floor, blending in with the mass of people gyrating on the floor. Something tells him this isn't going to go well and his mother is about to see how much John Winchester has changed.
"Dad, take a deep breath." Dean orders. "She's fine. Mom is fine."
"I'm going to fucking kill that bastard." John growls as he stomps through the grass towards the frat house.
"Don't, Dean." John holds up his hand. "That little prick touched my wife's ass. I am going to kill him."
"We can't go in there until Sam calls us." Dean reminds him. "Mom will be bonded to that thing if you do."
"I know." John tightens his hand around the axe in his hand. "But thank you for reminding me."
"Is it the same?" Dean asks quietly
"Yes and no." John doesn't have to ask what his eldest means, it's the only thing any of them have been thinking about. "She is still your mother, still Mary, but she's also someone else. Mary would have never approved of how I raised you boys and she wouldn't have approved of hunting demons. And there's no way in hell she would have come with us. But she's still just as stubborn and aggravating as always. She's still Mary, just different."
Dean looks down at the ground, nudges the sidewalk with his foot. "I don't want anything to happen to her again."
John nods. "Me either."
"Oh, is my husband going to kick your ass." Dawn taunts Thomas, the frat boy, arms testing the chains wrapped around her wrist. They're old and tight, cutting into her skin hard enough that she's going to have bruises. Her head hurts, she must have been knocked out, and there are girls whimpering beside her.
"So now you're married?" Thomas arches an eyebrow. "That's different. Aren't you a little young to be married?"
"Oh, honey, I'm old enough to be your mom." Dawn smiles at him.
"Yeah, whatever." Thomas scoffs.
"No, seriously." Dawn nods over his shoulder. "Right Sammy?"
Thomas turns around in time to get clobbered across the face. "Right, mom."
"Did you call them?" As she asks it, the door to the basement slams open and two very angry men run down the stairs.
"Behind you, Sammy." Dawn screeches.
Sam barely gets down before a very large tentacle swipes over his head.
"Mary!" John runs over to her side. "Baby, are you okay?"
"I'm fine." Dawn assures him. "Just kill the demon before it kills Sammy."
John kisses her temple and then turns to join the fight.
Dawn tugs on the chains, grunting as the metal digs into her skin. Then she remembers something Spike taught her and twists her wrists, trying to reach her hair. It takes a few tries but she manages to pull a bobby pin out. She pries it apart without dropping the pin, but barely, and turns her wrist the other way until she can find the lock. She hasn't done it in a while but with only a few tries, pops the lock. Not that it matters because before she can even start on the other demon, her boys are covered head to toe in green goo, the carcass of the dead demon at their feet. "Well, you guys are pretty damn good at this."
"We try." Dean grins at her. "Gotta say mom, I'm impressed by the juvie display."
"An old friend taught me how." Dawn smiles back. "Comes in handy sometimes."
John looks down at the kid on the floor and then back it his wife. "This him?"
"If I say no, will you not…"
"What the fuck, you little bitch." Thomas groans as he pushes to his feet. "You're married?"
"Yes." John grabs the front of the kid's shirt and then slams his fist into his face. The kid crumbles again, blood spraying profusely from his broken nose. John kicks him in the gut twice and starts to pull him back to his feet when a small but strong hand grabs his arm.
"John, don't, he's not worth it." Dawn whispers. "Come on, let's get out of here."
John tenses but doesn't let go of the kid's arm.
"Come on, Johnny, I kinda have this thing where I don't like spending anymore time in the places where somebody's tried to kill than I have to." Dawn says.
"Dad, take mom back to the hotel." Dean adds. "Me and Sammy'll clean this up."
"Go, on dad." Sam urges. "We got this."
Dawn grabs John's hand and tugs, pulling him with her. "See, it all worked out fine."
"You call this fine?" John tugs her against him with a growl, his hands roaming over every bit of skin he can touch, which is too damn much in is opinion, trying to assure himself that she's fine. He cups her face, tilting her head back, and growling at the bruise forming on the side of her face.
"Okay, not fine but okay." Dawn turns her head and kisses his palm. "I'm fine, I promise."
John scoops her up into his arms and without another word, carries her up the stairs and through the still crowded party, the look on his face keeping anyone from questioning his actions.
Dawn sighs and leans her head against his shoulder. This part of her husband always scared her before, not that he would hurt her because he never would, but that his innate violent nature was going to get him into trouble. But now, now she appreciates it, actually likes it. In fact, she's never felt safer in her entire life.
"Is mom okay?" Dean questions quietly, eyes staring at the bulge under the blankets on his parents' bed.
"She's fine, Dean." John rubs a hand over his face. "Hell, she's a little too fine for my liking. Someone almost slices her open for some sacrifice and she doesn't so much as bat an eye."
"There was eye batting, Johnny." Dawn murmurs as she rolls over, her face poking out from under the blanket. "I'm just used to it."
"And that's what bothers me." John says. "How many times does a person have to be kidnapped before it no longer bothers them?"
"Was that a rhetorical question or one you want me to answer?" Dawn sits up and pushes her blonde hair over one shoulder. Her body is pleasantly numb from the rough but satisfying sex they recently had while her husband looks anything but relaxed.
John turns towards her, his face automatically softening at the sated smile on her lips. "Answer it."
"At least once a year since I was ten." Dawn replies. "So about a dozen or so times." Then off her boys' looks. "I told you I had a trouble attraction problem. That added in with my big sister being a slayer, it tends to get one in trouble."
"I thought you were exaggerating." John scowls.
"Nope." Dawn yawns and snuggles back down into the John smelling pillow. "Night boys."
"Night mom." Sam and Dean say, words overlapping.
"We're going to be leaving in a few hours." John sits down beside her, fingers combing through her long hair.
"K." Dawn murmurs sleepily, the past few days finally catching up with her. "Wake me up when we're leaving."
"Okay." John brushes a kiss across her forehead and then stands up, motioning for his sons to move across the room with him. "Did you get the girls out alright?"
"Yeah, they're a little freaked out but fine." Sam replies. "They don't remember the demon but do remember the frat guys taking them. They're pressing charges; we got the demon out of there before the cops got there."
"You boys are okay?" John asks, eyes raking over them, looking for injuries.
"We're fine, dad." Dean replies. "Some scraps and bruises. Is mom really okay?"
"She's got a bump on the back of the head where she was knocked out and her wrists are bruised but other than that, she's fine." John rubs a hand over his face. "We have to head back to Roadhouse, Ellen has so information for us. We're leaving in four hours, try to get some shuteye until then."
"Yes sir." Both boys reply.
"Good." John nods and crosses the room to where his wife is sleeping. He brushes the hair out of her face again, smiling when she grumbles, and then pulls the covers up to her chin. He watches her sleep for a few moments, ignoring the sets of eyes on his back, and then stands up to start packing. His stuff is fairly simple, just a few pieces of loose clothing and some weapons which is shoves into his duffel. The boys are already packed so all that's left is Mary. And god does she have a lot of stuff. Clothes, books, makeup, hair products, computer equipment, weapons….she has more stuff than all three of them combined. He packs it all up, pulling out the flannel she took from him to wear in the car, and then quietly starts loading everything into the trunk of the Impala while his family sleeps. Then and only then, does he crawl in bed beside his wife, body wrapping protectively around hers, and goes to sleep.
"You hungry?" Dean looks into the rearview mirror, his eyes meeting his mom's.
"Yeah." Dawn brushes her fingers though Sam's shaggy hair, her son sprawled across the back seat, one leg on the seat, one on the floor, and head resting on a pillow that's on her lap. He's asleep, both him and John, who is the front seat, head resting against the window. "Starving actually."
"Me too." Dean takes the next exit and within a few seconds is pulling into a decently packed Waffle House. He turns off the car and nudges his dad, who just grunts. "We're getting food."
"Take care of your mom." John mumbles, shifting slightly on the seat but making no move to get up.
Dawn carefully moves out from under Sam, brushing his forehead with her fingertips when he mumbles, and then climbs over onto the front seat. Dean takes her hands and helps her out, John sprawling out across the bench seat the second she climbs out of the car. "Guess they're tired."
"Dad hasn't been sleeping much." Dean locks the doors, the windows cracked slightly to let air in, and then shoves his hands into his pockets. "Sam either."
"How about you?" Dawn asks, glancing up at her eldest. Physically, he looks like a blended mix of her and John but personality wise, he's all John. Charming, tough, hardheaded, and extremely protective.
"I sleep okay." Dean opens the door and follows her to the back of the restaurant, climbing into the booth that is against the wall. He turns slightly, leaning against the window so he see the entire restaurant. His mom climbs into the seat across from him, smiling up at the waitress that stops at the table.
"H'ya." Brandy, her name printed across the tag above her right boob, smiles at them as she places two sets of napkin wrapped utensils onto the table. "My name's Brandy, I'll be your server. Can I go ahead and get you something to drink?"
"Coffee." Dean smirks up at her. "Black."
"Diet Coke." Dawn bites her lip to keep from laughing; he is so much like his father. He probably doesn't even realize he's flirting with the teenage girl, just does it naturally.
"I'll be right back with those." Brandy smiles shyly at him and then shuffles away from the table.
Dean leans back against the booth, arching a brow at his smiling mom. "What?"
"Nothing." Dawn curls one leg under herself. "You're just so much like your father."
"Really?" Dean knows he's like his father in so many ways but is curious to how she thinks he's like him.
"You both have that natural cockiness, you know, the one where you can get almost any girl into bed with only a few smiles." Dawn says. "And sometimes you don't even realize you're flashing one of the smiles, you just naturally do it."
Dean rubs his face, not knowing how he's supposed to respond to what his mom just said.
"Deanie, I don't mean it in a bad way." Dawn reaches for his hand but stops when Brandy returns to the table. She rattles off her order without having to look at the menu, she always gets the same thing.
"And extra onions." Dean finishes, smiling at the now blushing girl. He waits until she walks away before turning back to his mother. "You were saying?"
"Me and Sammy, we don't have the charisma that you and your dad do." Dawn says. "You command attention when you walk into a room, we don't. Which doesn't bother me cuz I don't like attention being drawn to me. Your dad instantly puts people on edge the second he walks into the room, he always has, and while yours might not be because you're all intimidating, you still command attention. Mostly from girls."
"Don't mean to." Dean mutters.
"I'm saying this all wrong." Dawn says. "I just mean you're so intense that everyone notices you, just like your dad. Me not so much and I'm thinking the same thing with Sammy."
That he can see, Sammy tries his hardest not to drawl attention to himself, especially from the girls. Not since Jess.
"You were the same way when you were little." Dawn places her elbows on the table, chin resting on her palms. "Do you remember your preschool teacher, Ms Bryans?"
Dean furrows his brow, the image of a tall redhead that smelled like oranges floating through his head. "She had red hair, didn't she?"
"Yeah." Dawn nods. "A few weeks before, well you know, I picked you up from preschool and you came out, grinning ear from ear and told me you were going to marry Ms Bryans one day. And that you had kissed her."
"I was getting play when I was four?" Dean laughs. "I'm cooler than I thought."
"All I could picture was twelve years from then, angry dads storming over to our house to strangle you." Dawn says without thinking. And then when she does realize what she said, the reality of it hits her like a ramming ball. She should have went through that. She should have had to deal with the stress of her sons dating, worrying that they're having sex and not using protection. It's one of those things that parents dread and the fact that she was robbed of that is devastating in that moment.
He doesn't do chick flick moments. Doesn't handle emotions well at all. Never has. So when his mom's face crumbles and she looks ready to start bawling, he wants to run. Almost does but it's his mom and he can't. Instead he moves over into the booth beside her, awkwardly wrapping his arm around her.
Dawn grips Dean's shoulder, her face burying in his shoulder. She tries not to, tries to bite back her sob, but she can't. She's been trying so hard to be strong about this whole situation but it's too hard. She wants to hit something, pummel something to a bloody pulp for what was taken from her. The anger is Dawn, not Mary, because Mary wasn't a violent person. But the tears, those are Mary because Dawn would bite it back and wait until there was something to beat the crap out of. Most of the time she feels like one person but occasionally, like in this situation, she's split into two different directions; Mary and Dawn.
But Mary is stronger than Dawn, more real than Dawn, so Mary usually wins out which is why she's currently shaking against her eldest son, his hand rubbing up and down her back while he talks quietly to her. Food is deposited in front of them without Brandy saying anything. It isn't until her stomach growls, which makes her laugh and then Dean laugh, that she stops crying.
Dean grabs some napkins and hands them to his mom, a concerned look on his face. "You alright?"
"Yeah." Dawn wipes her eyes and then blows her nose, flashing him a reassuring smile. "I'm just still dealing, you know?"
"Yeah." Dean eyes her for a few seconds before moving back into his own seat.
They sit in relative silence for the next few minutes, both of them starting on their breakfast.
Dawn reaches for the ketchup only to see that her son has it….and is squirting it all over his scrambled eggs and hash browns, just like she was getting ready to do.
"Dad and Sammy think it's gross." Dean shovels some eggs into his mouth.
"So does Buffy." Dawn liberally coats her eggs and hash browns in ketchup. "But I can't eat them without ketchup."
"Me either." Dean agrees, his mouth full.
"Don't talk with your mouth full." Dawn says automatically.
Dean tenses but doesn't say anything.
Dawn pushes the food around on her plate, realizing that she just crossed a line. If it were Sammy, it wouldn't be a big deal, but Dean isn't Sammy and he isn't ready for a mom again. "I'm sorry, Dean."
"For what?" Dean grunts.
"For doing the whole mom thing when you're not ready for it." Dawn says. "Sammy is clean-slate, he doesn't have any memories of me so it's easy for him to accept me."
"I accept you." Dean takes a sip of his coffee. "You're my mom, I get that and accept that."
"That's not what I meant." Dawn says. "Accept as in….it's okay that you're mad at me and that you're not ready for me to be your mom again."
"I'm not mad at you." Dean frowns.
"Yes, you are." Dawn says. "You're pissed and a part of you hates me…and that's okay."
Dean stops eating, frowning, but doesn't say anything.
"When my mom died, I was so mad at her and it took me a long time to get over that." Dawn says. "And then when Buffy died, I hated her for it. It should have been me, not her, and she left me alone. Everything changed and from that point in my life, I felt like I couldn't breathe anymore. It was like I could never relax because I was terrified the second that I did, something else would happen and everything would change again. I don't think I even really forgave Buffy for dying until a couple years after the fact, and only then because she came back." She forces herself to take a bite of food, not hungry anymore but knowing she should eat since she hasn't really in the past couple days. "Don't feel guilty for what you're feeling because I completely understand it."
Dean grabs his fork again, staring at his food like it's the most interesting thing in the world. "Mom?"
"I'm glad you're back." Dean says quietly.
"I know you are, sweetie." Dawn smiles at him. "Everything else will just fall into place when it's ready to."
"You sound very sure of that."
"Yeah, I'm a mom so I'm supposed to be all wise sounding and stuff." Dawn grins. "So mostly, I'm just faking the know-all and winging it."
"You seem to do that a lot." Dean comments, a smile crossing his lips. "It'll drive dad nuts."
"Yeah, I know." Dawn shrugs. "Your dad is so 'Mr. Plan Guy' and me, not so much. Giles always tried to get us to do the planning thing but it never worked. As a group, we pretty much wing it most of the time."
Dean laughs. "Yep, you're going to drive dad nuts."
"She always has, Dean-o." John grumbles from beside the table, Sam stumbling up behind him, rubbing his eyes. "Has since the first time we met."
"Hey." Dawn glares up at him.
John just grins as he slides into the booth next to her. "Mornin' baby."
Dawn doesn't even attempt to stay mad, just melts into his side as he leans down to kiss her. His thick stubble rubs against her face, something she's always loved, and she has to bite back a whimper when he breaks the kiss. She'd rather deepen the kiss but with the boys right here, knows they can't. "Morning."
"Um, can I get you two something?" Brandy asks from the table's edge, her eyes wide as she stares at them.
"Coffee." John grunts. "Two waffles, three eggs over easy, an order of bacon, and hash browns, plain. Sammy?"
"Same." Sam murmurs. "Some orange juice too."
Brandy nods and then scurries away from the table.
"Yeah, I'm thinking we're going to be getting a lot of those looks." Dawn leans her head against John's shoulder as she picks at her food. "That going to bother you?"
"No." John looks across the table at his boys. "Is it going to bother you two?"
"No, sir." Both boys reply.
Dawn wrinkles her nose, head tilting back slightly to look into her husband's face. "K, you know I'm not calling you sir, right?"
"Oh, you never know." John smirks down at her. "Under the right circumstances…."
Dawn pokes him in the belly. "Only if you play your cards right, bud."
"Can you two not do that?" Dean winces.
"Please?" Sam adds.
Dawn looks up at John, watches the grin spread across his lips, and then smiles right along with him. "Yeah, that's not going to happen."