Sam didn't even wait for her answer, he had to get it out before he changed his mind. Turning to face her, he said, "Six weeks ago, he made a deal with one. Brought me back from the dead in return for his soul. Those claws you saw? They belong to hell hounds, and they're going to come collecting in less than a year."
He saw her blanch and put his hand over hers. "I'm gonna do everything I can to change that. Look, like he said, you saw him die before but he beat that thing, right? I think he can beat this
too. We just have to find a way. That's why it’s so important we keep in touch. I'm gonna give you my number, and Bobby's. Just in case numbers change or whatever." This was THAT important.
Just like that, she understood. His temperament, the way he'd been acting... He'd been pushing her away and Cordelia wanted, more than anything, to go right out there and punch the guy right in the mouth and tell him he was a stubborn jerk. Then, THEN maybe she'd kiss him and lie to him for a while and say it was okay.
Or maybe not. 'Cause lying just wasn't her.
"Six weeks ago? I woke from my coma," she frowned, "My first vision." She'd seen it. She'd felt... despair. Darkness. Dean at the end of his rope because Sam, his baby brother, was dead. And this had been the outcome. Jesus. Suddenly, remembering Gunn selling his soul for a stupid car seemed way out there - at least Dean had done it for something really important. Like, blood.
She signaled the waitress and she guessed she must've looked spooked 'cause when she asked for the pen and paper, the waitress brought them over right away - no mention of Cordelia's earlier post-vision snippiness . She asked the waitress for another three coffees to go and took the numbers Sam had written in silence, slipping them into her pocket. "If I can find anyone... My old friends or, y'know, anyone who can help? I'll call," she said quietly, moving to get out of the booth. "I'll help. Even if he's still an asshole," she murmured, the corner of her mouth lifting in a sad smile. She had the overwhelming urge to hug Sam but she fought it down. If she did that and Dean saw? He'd start asking questions. And she didn't think she was equipped to deal with him being all questioning guy just yet.
"He always was, always will be," he nodded, sharing the same sad smile, but pulling her close for a hug. She might not know his brother well, might not have known him for long, but she sure as hell cared, or she'd have been running long before she ever decided to help the guy who blew off her boyfriend's head. Her life was as screwed up as theirs.
"Yo?" Dean spread his hands, giving the two of them a 'what the fuck' look. "This isn't the time to sit around holding hands and singing kumbaya. Let's hit the road before the motel guy finds out we're above our credit limit."
"Singing kumbaya? You've watched too many bad movies," Cordelia accused, giving an exaggerated roll of her eyes. She got it now. Everything he'd been trying to do. And though her throat worked and she was literally cursing the Powers for letting things get this far in the whole fucked up lives of Dean and Sam Winchester, she'd give him this, even if he didn't know he was getting it. Normality.
She could pretend to hate him for a while. He was still, the asshole. The fact that he was an asshole living on borrowed time shouldn't change a thing.
She picked up their coffees, thrusting Dean's towards him and plastering a smirk on her face as it slopped over onto his hand. Petty, maybe. And something she probably would have done with total malice, earlier. "Oops, sorry." She continued past him and shot Sam a quick wink. Dean didn't suspect a thing.
"Fu--" he gave her an angry look, and tightened his mouth. It wasn't quite the going away present he'd imagined last night. Wiping his hand on his jeans, he strode out, cursing some more under his breath. This would be over soon. And then he'd crank up the music so loud that he couldn't think, couldn't imagine, couldn't remember. And then this would all be behind him. It was just the way things worked… always had, and always would.
* * *
All three of them got out of the Impala at the Greyhound Station. Dean went to the trunk and pulled out her new duffle bag. When he came around to Sam and Cordy, they were already hugging again. It weirded him out. Not in a bad way but just in the in-your-face way of another reminder that something he wanted or could have had was close enough to touch, but would be yanked away before he could get a good grasp on it.
He cleared his throat.
Sam moved away, a guilty look on his face. "I was just..." Deciding it best to just ignore his brother, Sam passed her the tickets they'd purchased online. "Have a safe trip. Call me if..."
Dean raised an eyebrow. When she looked at him, he wasn't so certain about what to do next.
"That's not mine," she told him, gesturing to the duffle bag he held in his hand. He looked down at it, then back up again, as if he was wondering himself how it got there, and Cordelia found herself wanting to wrap her arms around him, just like she had his brother. Instead, she forced the normal again and shook her head. "This isn't awkward at all."
"It's yours," he put the strap over her shoulder. "I don't do awkward," he said, making his mind up and suddenly pulling her into his arms. Even assholes deserved a proper goodbye. Something to remember much later, when they kicked themselves over shit they had no control over. Slanting his mouth over hers, he kissed her. But what was meant to be a light kiss, turned into something much more. Something uncontrolled and too emotional, something that got to him when nothing should.
She tried to tell him, in that one kiss, that she knew. She tried to tell him that she was sorry, that this was her way of helping, that she hadn't meant what she said in the diner. She tried to tell him everything but in the end, the kiss was just that. A kiss. Bittersweet and heartbreaking and when Cordelia pulled back to look him in the eye, she felt her composure wobble at the look on his face.
"I hate you," she told him, her voice barely a whisper. It was a total lie. She was good at that. She reached up, pressed her palm to his cheek and nodded, biting her lip. "Go on. Go. You got an elsewhere to be, Winchester," she said quietly.
She turned away first, heading toward the Greyhound Station and keeping her composure until she heard the engine of the Impala kick start again. It wasn't until it pulled away that she sat heavily on one of the crappy little plastic chairs, feeling bone weary. She wouldn't cry, not in public and not in some bus station that smelled like it had seen way better days than the one in Sunnydale and that
was saying something.
Instead, she opened the duffle bag and began to rifle through, smiling as she saw he'd packed the clothes he'd bought her and--Oh. Cordelia frowned, biting her lip so that she really didn't fucking cry. He'd dropped in his shirt, the one she'd worn and which she hadn't
got blood all over. It smelled like him and all of a sudden she remembered more than that kiss. Every word, every touch... Dean had cared alright. He'd cared about her so much that he'd done the decent thing, the smart thing of pushing her away and--Look at that. Maybe she was going to cry in the fucking bus station.
* * *
After Cordelia had walked away, Dean had gotten in the car and slammed the door a little harder than he'd intended.
This was bad, Sam decided, given that Dean took the slightest knock to the car as a bruise against himself. "Dean--" He began, but didn't get very far. His brother cut him off with a hand and cranked up the music so loud that Sam's ears almost started bleeding. Conversation over, Sammy.
Sam loved his brother, but he could see the way the rest of their trip was going to go almost as soon as they pulled away and he cared enough about himself to not want to ride with cranky Dean for the rest of his potentially short life. Inspiration struck another half hour later and, hoping he was as good at acting as he was at lying, Sam clutched his head and groaned.
Did he feel bad using his visions as a way to get Dean to turn round and hotfoot it back to that Greyhound Station to stop what might be the best thing that'd happened to him in a long time from walking out of his life? Not even a little.
The Impala fishtailed and ground to a halt in the gravel and Sam felt a tiny flash of guilt.
"Dude--Dude? What'd you see?" Dean's voice was worried.
"Cordelia." He murmured, not quite meeting Dean's gaze. "The station..."
* * *
"Whoa..." Sam had his hand on the dashboard to steady himself as Dean gunned the car. "Dean...."
"What." Steering suddenly across three lanes on the freeway. "Sonova... sunday driver."
"Dean, it was a school bus!"
"Yeah, well maybe it should be taking the streets. How are we on time?"
"We'll get there, if we don't crash. We can't save her if we crash," he stated the obvious, a stab of guilt making him wince. Good thing Dean couldn't look at him while he drove like a maniac.
All he heard was that they'd make it, and all Dean knew was that he'd make damned sure of it. By the time they exited and took an old highway, his heart was slamming into his chest. Sure she could protect herself, he'd seen her in action. But would she be expecting an attack in the bus station or on the bus? No, knowing her, she'd be enjoying her latte, looking at some chick magazine and comparing three shades of lipstick that looked exactly the same.
As the car lurched over a big pothole, Sam didn't say a word. Not this time.
"There it is... the station. Time?"
"Dean, there's a half hour before she takes off again, we're going to m... make it," he said through gritted teeth.
"Damned straight we are." He pulled into the parking lot, squeezed into a compact car parking stall and was out the door like a shot. Sam had the rock salt rifle and he could hear him hard on his heels as they headed straight for the platform. In this town, the greyhound let off passengers at the train station.
The sound of their running feet echoed against the walls. "There she is," he shouted, seeing her standing hipshot, next to a bench.
God, she was bored. He'd put money in her duffle bag too, ever the gentleman, and with it Cordelia had bought a way over-priced latte and a copy of this month's Cosmo and realized two things. One? The world's sense of fashion had died along with Angel - there weren't even enough things in there to be considered retro and two? The Starbucks in town was the offensively expensive, we'll-use-decaf-and-hope-nobody-notices kind. Except Cordelia had noticed. And she was pissed about it. She'd tossed her copy of Cosmo
in the trash, finished off her latte with every intention of going back there and bitching out the scrawny looking kid who looked like he'd never had any in his entire span of living when she heard them.
Voices. Way, way familiar voices that she'd only heard hours ago? Cordelia turned, blinking at them as they came skidding to a halt beside her, armed to the hilt with a shotgun and her fighting axe. Yeah, hers.
"Okay, I've heard of making an entrance but this is going a little far," she pointed out, refusing to acknowledge the way her heart had skipped when she'd seen Dean again. "What the hell is going on?"
"Where is it?" Dean shouted, turning to look around after he'd made sure she was in one piece. "Where the hell is the sonovabitch. Sammy?"
Sam watched his brother stride away to look behind a pillar. "You know how to use the axe? I might need protection," he muttered to Cordy.
Dean was back. "I didn't see anything. Do you think it.... Sam." His brother was strangely silent. "Sam?! Sonovabitch... you lied!" The fury in his eyes and tone wasn't just because of the lie, but all the built up adrenaline, all the fear for her. "God damn it..." his gaze slid to Cordelia.
Cordelia looked between the two of them, puzzled. She might have found this funny if Sam wasn't practically cowering behind her. "Uh, hi for those of us who've just tuned in... Explanation? You guys are toting some pretty serious weaponry for being out in public." And they were amassing quite a crowd.
"Sam." He could kill his brother. And she looked pretty damned amused too. "Did you guys cook this up or... Sam," he knew the answer. Dean's chest was still heaving, and he was looking her over again. "Get to the car. Both of you," he added, walking away from them, her axe swinging at his side. He might look angry from behind, but there was a stupid grin on his face and he had to get rid of it before they got to the Impala or these two would never let him live it the fuck down.
Cordelia shot Sam her trademark 'what-the-fuck?' look when he was done playing the idiot. He gave a slight shrug, making her frown deepen, and as she noticed the line of Dean's back, the angry strut, her gaze darkened. "Okay, what did you do?" She rounded on him, as they got near the Impala. "In case you haven't noticed? My bus leaves in half an hour and I don't need two guys running in with enough ammo to blow up a small country trying to--" She paused, looked between the two of them for an explanation and huffed, impatiently. "I don't even know! What the hell was that?"
Sam made a face. "I-I had a vision."
"And it was... what, wrong?" Realization suddenly dawned and she blinked, looking from Sam's open, innocent face, to Dean's furious one. "You faked a vision?" She hadn't done that EVER, had she? "You faked a--And that's why you guys were--Oh. Okay." She vaguely got it. Couldn't understand why the hell Sam would do something like that but hey. She looked at Dean and threw her arms upwards. "I'm fine, see? Not eaten or disemboweled or anything. Still very much alive. And with a bus to catch. Can I go?" She did not want a repeat of the earlier goodbye, thanks.
Dean was leaning against the car and found it impossibly amusing that she was talking and walking. He waited for her to come to a complete stop. "No. Get in the car, we're driving you home. Sam... stay out. I think I owe you something
." He didn't have to say 'ass kicking' out loud.
"When I have a perfectly good bus ticket here and you guys are going in the opposite direction?" She asked, turning her 'what-the-fuck?' look on Dean. "Why would you do that?" Besides, did she really want her Mother laying her eyes on him? She had a new theory now, where the darkness Dean had actually been swallowed by was her mother. And she wasn't itching to take him home.
Sam just wore a happy grin. He knew there was a time for battle, and there was a time for surrender. Dean was wearing his invisible white flag.
"Just making sure you get home safe and sound." Dean glared at his brother to stop his antics, then looked back at Cordy. "Might have a couple of detours along the way. I mean, might take a while to get there. You in any rush?" He cocked his head to the side.
"I wasn't in any rush earlier," she pointed out, maybe a little huffily, "But someone wanted me gone." She noted how Sam was making himself scarce and frowned as she felt the underlying ice thaw a little She'd been plenty pissed at Dean earlier, when he'd got her that ticket home - should it matter that he'd rushed in all Joe Heroic and ready to raise hell about his brother's vision? "Dean, I can't do another goodbye like that," she said, her voice soft, "And, y'know, I don't want to."
Dean rubbed the back of his neck. Even if his relationship track record were better, he couldn't promise her that. He opened his mouth and was close, so fucking close to telling her the truth, but it wouldn't come out. "There's always a good bye at some point. Ours could be... I don't know, months from now?" Locking gazes with her, he almost held his breath. It was wrong, wrong for him to want her to say yes, wrong not to tell her what she was getting into if she agreed. Maybe she was too smart for this... maybe she'd turn around and walk away. God... since when did he have trouble deciding what he wanted?
"And it could also be tomorrow," she answered, quietly, "God, Dean, it's not like I don't know that." And it wasn't like she didn't know about his deal. Did it make a difference?
Honestly, it didn't. It made her want to help look for a solution, it made her want to spend more time with the guy. It made her want to kick him from one town to the next and damn near demand that he help her and Sam find a solution that would benefit them all - where Dean wouldn't die and they'd travel the country kicking the ass of the evil demon popula...
Crap. "I want to go with you. God, I want... But if I get too close again and you decide that pushing me away is the better plan? I'm pretty liable to castrate you using just my fingernails and trust me, nobody wants that." She took a breath, "And if you get too close..."
She was a realist, damnit. There were things she needed to find out, for herself, about what had happened to her friends. There was things she needed to tell him about her past. And, sure, there was the biggest secret of all hanging over him and he hadn't yet divulged... But this, he was likely to kill her for. Hell, she'd seen how he'd reacted when he'd found out about Groo being a demon - was going with him really the better plan?
"Dean, listen... There's things you need to know... About me. About decisions I made and shouldn't have done, about things that I--About who I am." She licked suddenly dry lips and dropped her duffle bag at the wheel of the Impala, stepping forward and fisting his shirt in her hands as she kissed him.
His hand came up into her hair and she sighed against his mouth, wishing that she didn't have to say this, that she didn't have to end it like this
. Because it would end now. When he found out what she was. Hell, his reaction about her dating a demon had been bad enough - how was he gonna react when he realized he'd been fucking one?
She pulled back from the too brief kiss, met his eyes, and took a deep breath before speaking. "I'm part-demon, Dean." He didn't stiffen, didn't even move, just looked at her. And Cordelia wondered if he'd heard her at all. "My visions... They were killing me. So the Powers... Well, I think it was the Powers, they put a little demon in me to make it... Not. Kill me, that is."
He took a step back and Cordelia let him go, dropping her hands to her sides. Great.
At least now she was in a public place so he couldn't go all demon-hunter on her ass and kill her. "Rethinking that offer of a ride?" She asked, trying to harden her voice and failing miserably. At least now it was out there. And he hadn't found out on his own and totally went nine shades of crazy. Okay, so it kind of hurt... But this was better, right?
A muscle pulsed in his jaw. Demon. Everything he fought against, everything he hated. He swallowed, thinking back at how her blood affected the creature they'd fought. That had been on his list of things to look into, but he'd been distracted. His trained instincts told him run from this, that it could be yet another trap that demon-kind set for them, that she might have infiltrated in order to use them as her tools for whatever fucking purposes the demons had in mind.
But his heart, which he thought he'd lost a long time ago, it had other ideas. He didn't want to be alone anymore and sleeping with a bunch of different chicks didn't take away the loneliness. Neither could Sam. But a demon... A beautiful demon at that. One who'd saved his ass more than once.
She'd worked with vampires, been in love with demons. He and Sam had looked into her story about Angel Investigations and it had checked out, the vampire she'd worked for was working against evil. And Sam had forced him to see that not all vampires were evil. Then there was something else he hated to think about. Sam might have some demon blood in him, yet he loved Sam, and he was not evil... not one of them, those they fought every day.
"You... ah... do your eyes go black? Have big assed teeth? Any strange feeding habits," he asked, half joking as he tried to process. He'd mostly made up his mind though.
He was taking this better than she expected - way too well, actually, because he wasn't coming at her with the fighting axe or anything. "Nope, no black eyes or big scary teeth. I have glowed a couple of times," she admitted, making a face. "I also floated once, post-vision, but that was a long time ago, back when the visions didn't hurt..."
She held his gaze for a long moment before speaking again. "You're not going to try to kill me?" She hadn't meant to make it sound like a question. Or to sound so surprised.
Glowing. He could live with that. Floating... that was a bit odder but hey, he always thought it was cool when a magician did it. "Isn't that what you asked me last night? You're still standing." Grinning, he cocked his head, "you could at least limp or something... you know, for the old ego."
When had she--Oh.
Right. Her amazement at still being alive turned into sheepish embarrassment and she gave him a mock-glare.
From inside the car, there was a loud, unsubtle cough.
"I can live with that," Dean said, serious once again.
She breathed out a sigh of relief, "That, I didn’t expect." She still remembered the look on his face when she'd told him Groo was a demon. Her eyes met his and she smiled suddenly, "It's 'cause I'm hot, isn't it?"
He started to agree, then raised his hands up like he was surrendering as he shook his head from side to side. "No, no, no... it's because of your brains, definitely because of your brains," never mind that his eyes were unabashedly clinging to those dangerous curves of hers. Then he crooked a finger, "c'mere." Sweeping one arm around her waist when she stepped toward him, he lowered his mouth over hers. She tasted like coffee and fresh starts, and that was a helluva thing for someone like him who hardly ever saw second chances.
"Hello," pulling away slightly, he smiled. It sounded a hundred times better than 'goodbye' to his ears.
"Hello yourself," she grinned, reaching up to kiss him again.
Sam cleared his throat once again and Cordelia laughed, arching an eyebrow in his direction, "Y'know, I'd be quiet over there... I don't think Dean's quite got over the wanting to kick your ass stage..."
Sam closed his mouth abruptly and sunk back in the seat, sulking a little and muttering about stubborn asses and the girls he hooked up with.
* * *
[2 months later]
It still surprised Dean how quickly he and Sam had gotten used to having her as a 'third' when they went hunting. At first, the guys had tried to suggest that she stay behind... be safe. She'd suggested a lot louder what they could do with their suggestions and that had been that.
Then she'd proved her competence. Sure, he'd known she knew her way around an axe, but that wasn't all. She was good with swords and knives and the modern crossbow that now got pulled out of the trunk more often. And she knew hand to hand combat, though, somehow, their practice sessions usually ended them up in bed. Well lots of things did that. Dean had never had so much sex, and that was saying something.
He'd also never had that much love, that much trust... and the fact she gave it to him still surprised him every freakin' day of the week. And the fact he might not deserve it, didn't escape him.
"NOW!" Sam shouted, and all three of them descended on the flesh stripping demon, aimed and shot repeatedly until it fell to its knees, then to the ground, tangled up in its long, white hair. A moment later, it shriveled up into a mess of bones and crackled skin.
Dean nodded in in satisfaction, then looked at Cordy with a smoking gun in her hand. "Anyone ever tell you how hot you look with a gun?"
"Oh no...." Sam whined, knowing what was coming next.
"What?" Cordelia tried to look innocent, "He's just... Making an observation, right Dean?" She crossed the room to stand next to him, smiling a little. "I think I got a little more of that ick monster on me than I'd like... A shower could be in order."
"You guys could try to be at least a little subtle about it," Sam scowled, trying to clean his gun and NOT glare at the pair of them.
Cordelia smiled sweetly at him, "And miss the opportunity to see you blush? Doubtful, Sammy, real doubtful."
She heard his, 'it's Sam' before he hit the top of the stairs and was gone, turned to Dean who'd decided to make quick work of the space between them and was already pulling her into his arms. "If you think you're macking on me in front of the dead corpse of that
thing, you've got another thing coming, Winchest--Mmph."
He cut off her rant with a fevered kiss and Cordelia whimpered against his mouth. "Home sweet motel?"
* * *
They had dropped Sam off at the handy diner down the street and Cordelia could barely keep herself from hopping in Dean’s lap as they pulled away. She’d resisted, but only just, hands trembling as she tried to get the key in the lock of their door. His impatient voice at her ear, the breath that caressed her cheek made her jump and Cordelia wanted him now, damnit. Inside her, where he belonged.
It started like it always did. Divesting each other of clothes as quick as damn possible, quick, feverish kisses and God, she thought she'd die if he didn't--
At least they'd hit the bed this time, she mused, as they lay there gasping for breath, a mess of tangled, sweaty limbs. Cordelia moved slightly, feeling his cock twitch inside her and her lips quirked, "Again?"
The look on his face told her, yes, definitely... But softer, this time maybe, and she sighed, totally content. She reached up, wrapping herself around him and pressed her lips to his.
It still amazed him... after all this time, it was still hard for him to keep his control around her. She'd gotten so far under his skin, he'd never get her out. Didn't want to, not ever. "Again and again and again," he whispered against her soft lips, his heart kicking up a notch as she shifted under him.
She smiled and reached up cupping his cheek, "I don't think we have time for that many agains
. Your brother tends to get a little pissy if we leave him for too long..." Still, she groaned all the same when she felt him nudge that sweet spot inside of her and closed her eyes. "Mmm, forget I said anything..."
"Hmmm?" he wasn't thinking too straight, or listening too straight either. All he knew was that she felt damn good, not just under him, but in his life. When her legs tightened around his waist, he was inside her so deep he couldn't tell where he ended and where she started. "Keep doing that and I might just have to marry you," he said, coming to a sudden stop when he realized what had come out of his mouth instead of the shout of triumph.
Her eyes flew open and she stilled beneath him, blinking. So far, they'd avoided all talk of this going anywhere - and though usually that might have had Cordelia running in the opposite direction, with Dean she got why
and she hadn't pushed. "What?" She was surprised at how soft her voice was, how even just the notion had her heart flip-flopping in her chest.
Sure, there was excitement too. Had she ever, in her whole life, had a wedding dress? Uh, that would be no. And with Dean Mr. Credit Card Scammer it wouldn't actually cost anything and oh God, she could so imagine walking down the aisle and--
"I... what?" He was buying time, but the way she was watching him, he didn't have any. Really, that was the whole problem. Because he could imagine asking her for real, and he could imagine her saying yes and screwing his brains out and asking where her ring was, in that order... but then he'd have to be prepared to imagine her in black at his grave site, and... that just wasn't fair. He licked his suddenly dry lips.
The look in her eyes. The trust. And maybe hope... was that what he was seeing? "I... wish." That was all he said, lowering his mouth suddenly over hers in a deep hungry kiss to stop the words that might have come. He didn't deserve her trust. He didn't. Not when he hadn't told her the truth about his future, the future that was getting a step closer every fucking day.
She'd waited with more patience than she knew she had for Dean to open up, to tell her what was going on with him. It was a surprise, even to her, that she didn't just beat it out of him one day and on the occasions Sam asked her if he'd spilled, Cordelia just shook her head and told him to give her time, that somehow, she'd get it out of him.
"You make it sound like you can't," she murmured against his lips, frowning when he began to pull away. It just strengthened her resolve and Cordelia tightened her hold on him, shaking her head. "What do you think I want from you, Dean? A forever?" She pressed her forehead to his ignoring the wave of sadness that gripped her. Sure, a forever might be nice but this... This was enough, for now. And she was working on the rest.
"I don't put a lot of stock in forever. I put a lot of stock in the here and now. That," she smiled at him, "And the fact that we have amazing sex on a regular basis..." And the fact that I think I might love you...
She added silently.
Then, she dropped the bombshell. "I know."
He was bracing his weight on his elbows and forearms and had his palms over hers, sliding against each other each time they moved. His heart constricted. "Know what?" He licked his lips hoping... that she didn't know... that she did know... that... "No, you don't know. Believe me, it's better that way," he ended, unable to accept that Sam had gone around his back, or that she knew all this time because knowing her… he knew she wouldn't have left it alone.
She kept her fingers linked through his. He'd be mad at her, maybe, mad at Sammy. But she'd figured this out on her own, Sam had just confirmed her fears, that was all. Then later, she'd helped him look for solutions.
"Better how?" Her voice was soft without being pitying. "Because you can pretend it's not happening? Because I can help you forget?" She raised her hips to meet his thrust, biting her lip to stifle her moan at the jolt of heat that ran through her.
That drove ice into his gut... and he really should stop fucking, but his body had other ideas. "You think I'm using you?" His jaw went all sorts of tight. He might be that guy
, but he didn't want her thinking that about him, and he'd changed. "Maybe once. That first time, but never after that." He tried to fight against her pull, fight against the way her body closed around his, still demanding he finish what he started. A soft moan broke from the back of his throat as he ground his hips just a little harder against hers.
Cordelia frowned and it suddenly seemed wrong to be having this conversation while they were doing this
, while Dean thought that she thought that.
"I don't think that... Hey," she was not about to let this go, not now, not when there was so much riding on this. "I do not
think that, Dean. I never did. Would you look at me?"
It seemed like sheer effort of will on his part when he finally did look at her, and Cordelia wished she could chase that look from his eyes as much as she wished she could take back that deal of his. Since she could do neither, she went on. "You've got this big bubble of denial going right on around you and you're too scared to let anyone in, least of all the people who want to help – like me or, y'know, Sam?"
"The hell I am." Sliding his arms down his sides, Dean managed to unclasp her legs and pulling out, rolled over onto his back. He was aching and throbbing, but the sudden need for air trumped that. The walls of the room were coming down on him, or was it the world? All he knew was he had to get out of here ... had to find a place to think.
She recognized the look on his face instantly. Dean's fight or flight response was kicking into overdrive - telling him to cut his losses and run - only she wasn't about to let that happen. She moved up onto her elbow, trapping him between her and the wall, and leveling her gaze with his. "If this were roles reversed, if this were Sam, you'd be the first fighting it, Dean. You'd be kicking and screaming and clawing your way out of it. Now, because it's you... It's like you've accepted it. And that really pisses me off."
Dammit, move an inch forward, and they were touching again. He could tell from the look on her face that if he tried to get out of bed, have to fight for it. And did she really think he’d just given up for no reason?
"When little brother was out spilling his guts to you, he didn't tell you the rest of it, did he?" Anger, sarcasm, pain... Dean couldn't hide it now. "I get out of the deal, Sam dies. Sam tries to interfere with the deal, Sam dies. You got any more questions, Cordy, cause I'm all out of answers for now." He glanced toward the door, hinting for her to move.
Of course, she didn't. Move, that was. She swallowed around the lump in her throat and arched a perfectly plucked eyebrow at the guy, having processed that bit of information and decided that, once she'd hit Sam, she was back to helping. "What you think I'm here just to keep you busy in bed?" She poked a finger into his chest, "Your crossroads demon hasn't seen me coming yet, Winchester. And I'm not in line to kill either of you, okay? Although I may kill Sam myself for not giving me the skinny on that
part of the deal..."
Her frown deepened at that and when she looked at Dean, she really couldn't read his expression. "I'm scared too, okay? But the only way I can meet this is head on. I refuse to lose something else I love by sitting back and being coma-girl or not-all-there-girl. I'm fighting. Whether you like it or not," said Cordelia, her chin coming up defiantly.
"And what I want doesn't figure into it?" he demanded, then it dawned on him... she'd said love
. Some of his anger dissipated. "You love me? I thought you were smart." His lips quirked, funny... how you could laugh even when you were in the pits of despair.
smart," she retorted, frowning. It wasn't like she'd meant to fall in love with the guy. Hell, she'd hated him and for genuine reasons too, even if she knew the... Well, the reasons behind those reasons. It wasn't ideal but it was real and there was part of her - a huge part - that simply would not let this go. “But... There was this fine line between love and hate and you fell way too heavily on the wrong side of hate..." Yeah, that wasn't failing at flippant at all, was it?
"Okay, first, ditto..." he raised his hand to stop her from asking him for more right now. "Second, I'm starting to think fighting you and Sam is harder than not fighting... but we gotta be smart about this. I can't
lose him after all this. Third, you've got to promise me... if it comes to a choice between saving me or saving yourself or Sam... you let me go. Promise me," he said, raising himself up over her this time and staring into her eyes.
"I promise I won't let anything happen to Sam," she repeated, "The rest, I'll work on." Because she couldn't, honestly, see herself promising that. Not that she had a death wish or anything but still - God knew what would happen when she got her hands on that bitch demon. "You just work on letting us help, deal?"
He couldn't make her
do a damn thing she didn't want, and that was what he both hated and loved best about her. Already, he'd slid his hand under her and was lifting her up to meet his thrusting hips. It only took a few strokes before he surged inside her, like he'd never left. Only a sweet ache accompanied the heat inching through his veins as he took her with increasing speed. "Promise me," he muttered against her lips, trying to persuade, browbeat... whatever. "Promise me, Cordy," he said, this time pleading with her, asking her to give him what he needed to hear.
She shook her head slowly at that and for the first time she let herself truly acknowledge what she'd known all along - that Dean would sacrifice himself for Sam a thousand times over, didn't matter which way it happened or what the circumstances behind it were. But that had somehow switched to her too and though she was flattered, sure (how many girls could say that she'd had three, maybe four guys, literally willing to give up their life for her?) she didn't want that.
"I don't make promises I can't keep, Dean," she told him, "I don't plan on it getting that far, anyway." She figured she was owed one or, like, twenty from the PTB on account of the whole coma-vague-stab-at-incest-letting-a-higher-power-take-over-her-body thing. And it was weird thinking of that
when she was doing--Well, this. She kissed him again, wrapping herself around him and sighing because if this was as good as it got then she'd take this, a thousand times over even after everything that had happened before.
"You gonna promise me that you'll at least keep an open mind about whatever it is Sam and I find?" She asked. Which, sure, was a lot when she wouldn't commit to his end of the deal but hey... She could have double standards.
"Anyone ever tell you that you talk too much during sex?" Hell, he was burning up and she was trying to extract promises. Like that was happening. Gripping her tight, he started to thrust in earnest, a smug smile spreading across his face when she stopped talking and went all soft-eyed on him. "Cordy, put your legs around me," he ordered, biting his lip and lifting her higher, "come... come with me."
She nodded, unable to deny him this at least, and locked her legs around him, taking him deeper. Her back arched and she reached up, pulling him down to her lips as she tightened around him, feeling him throb inside her. "God, Dean..." Her hand slid between them and she thrummed her flesh, once, twice and she was gone, taking him tumbling over the edge with her.
"Oh yeah," he couldn't help the guttural cry that broke from him as he exploded deep inside her. His heart was pounding, his lungs were screaming for air, but he kissed her and delayed taking a breath for another moment. When he lifted his head and took a couple of labored breaths, he knew what he wanted. It might not be fair. It might be selfish. But he was gonna do it, reach for the brass ring. "Now about making an honest woman out of you..." he grinned and holding onto her, rolled onto his back so she was sprawled over his chest... right where she belonged.
She grinned right back, feeling tired and happy and kind of relieved that it was out in the open now, his big overhanging secret. "You mean all of that was to get me to marry you? Jesus, Dean, you could've just asked..."
She reached up and kissed him, settling back against him. "We'll kill your brother later..."
* * *
Sam had eaten dinner, ordered and played around with his dessert, and was now on his third coffee. Thank God the place had wireless or he'd have gone nuts waiting for the pair of them. He happened to glance up toward the door and there they were. Only one of them was coming toward him from one direction, and the other from another. Huh.
He searched Cordelia's unsmiling face, then turned and saw Dean's. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say they looked like predators and he was the prey. What the hell... Slamming his lap top shut, he got up and started to back away from them.
"She knows," Dean said, pointing an accusatory finger at him.