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I've Loved You So Long

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Summary: A Look at the Lifetime Relationship between the Slayer and the Hunter

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: Dean WinchestersuperslayerFR1867381,87821244121,25717 Mar 0923 Aug 12No

Chapter Thirty-Two: I Want You to Want Me

A/N: This update involves the Angel crossover episode “I Will Remember You”. Here I go again with another song title as my chapter title but really, it is just so "Dean" in this update - I just kept hearing him sing it and just kicking himself in the head to do something.

Disclaimer: All songs mentioned are credited to the music artist- I own nothing.

Hope you like it. Thanks and happy reading!



(DAY 1)

Early the next morning, after prying information out of Willow, Buffy headed over to the Rise and Shine Lodge in downtown Sunnydale to catch Dean before he left town. She spotted the Impala in the parking lot and passed by a few doors until she reached his room. She rapped on the door and wondered if he was even up. After a few minutes, the door swung open. They regarded each other with surprise.

“Hey,” she said. “I wasn’t sure you’d be up this early.”

“I usually wouldn’t be but I’ve got to be in Colorado by tomorrow.”

He widened the door to let her in. She noticed he was all packed up. He snatched a Styrofoam coffee cup and finished it.

“What’s up? You got another spirit floating around?”

“No, I’m not here on business.”

“Uh….so what, you’re here for - pleasure?”

I’m joking because I know she’s not here for that….. is she?

“Yeah, you guessed it Dean, I’m so here for pleasure. So come on, let’s go, pleasure me.”

She cracked a playful smile.

No way, she’s got to be messing with me.

She shook her head and let out a soft chuckle.

“Not every girl who comes to your motel room is looking for a good time Dean, come on.”

Yeah, she’s messing with me….that….really….sucks.

“Anyway, I was wondering since you’re heading out if you were going to be passing through L.A.?”

He let out a long exhale. “Let me guess, you need a ride?’

Is that all I am to her? A taxi cab?

Buffy bit her lip, “Well, only if it’s on your way, I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

Dean tossed his empty coffee cup in the trashcan and looked at her for a minute. Hauling ass to get here is an inconvenience so what the hell?

“What’s going on in L.A.?”

“My dad invited me to spend a few days with him since mom’s away and school’s out. Normally he would come and get me and turn around but I was wondering….since you’re taking off…”

“That I wouldn’t mind being your personal taxi because that’s all I’m good for, huh?”

Buffy flinched with a guilty expression. “No, no. I meant…I just thought I’d see…but it’s cool, I can take the bus…”

Dean picked up his bag, snatched his car keys off the dresser and ambled out of the room. She took his silence as a sign and stepped into the parking lot. He had tossed his bag into the backseat and widened the driver side door.

“Okay, I’m bussing it….drive safe….”

He turned around. “Did I say no?”

“Uh…..actually, you didn’t.”

“So get in already. I got miles to burn.”

After he pulled out of the parking lot, he regarded her with a curious eye.

“Okay, remind me again where Hank’s place is?”

She spat out an address and he veered onto the main street. She noticed he was heading toward the freeway.

“Uh, is there anyway we can like take the scenic route through West L.A.?”

“You want me to take the long way to your dad’s house?”

“Um, well, I wanted to see if there are any cute shops near say, Fairfax?”

“Okay, how did a quick ride to your dad’s house suddenly turn into a shopping excursion?”

She drew out a breath and sunk in her seat.

“I didn’t say I wanted to stop, I just wanted to check out what’s there, near Fairfax. Please?”

He sighed. “Yeah, okay, fine.”




After passing through block after block of retail shops and businesses, traffic began to thicken as the day started its course. Buffy felt her stomach turn as she neared the address Willow had pulled from the internet for her. She figured Dean was not going to be happy but she had to confront Angel about his secret visit last night.

Buffy kept a close eye as they passed several storefronts.

“Can you stop here for a minute?” she asked.

Dean pulled to the curb, outside a business office. Upon closer observation, he noticed a very minimalist sign. On the outside of the door was a simplistic white outline of an angel. He felt a pang in his stomach as he read the name of the business: Angel Investigations.

“You got to be kidding me,” he groaned.

Buffy drew out a breath when she saw the wide disapproval spread over his face.

“I just want to stop in for five minutes.”

“And do what?”

“I just need to talk to him. I won’t be long.”

“You really think that is going to solve anything?”

Buffy opened the passenger side door. “I just need to do this. I’ll be right back.”

Before Dean could make any more protests, Buffy had charged through the front door of the business.




A short time later, Buffy returned to the car to retrieve her bag. Dean noticed her flushed face and her heavy breathing and felt another sharp pain in his stomach.

“Crap,” he grumbled. “Did you two just…”

She frowned, “No.”

He blew out a sigh of relief. “Well, it’s good to know you can practice self-control around him.”

Buffy filled him in on the demon attack in Angel’s office. He shook his head.

“Jesus Christ, trouble really does follow you everywhere,” he noted, “But tell me why this is your problem and not Grandpa’s?”

She gave him an icy glare, “Don’t call him that and it’s my problem because I’m the Slayer and vanquishing evil is my thing – remember?”

Dean felt a little deceived and didn’t hide his hurt. “So did you just rope me into giving you a ride so you could Dr. Phil your issues with the old man? Was the whole seeing your dad thing just a ploy?”

Buffy sunk with guilt when she noticed the look on his face. “No. I really do have plans with my dad. I just thought since we would be driving by that I would…..I didn’t expect a demon to attack Angel and I…”

She shut the car door.

“I don’t have time to plead my case to you. There’s a demon on the loose and I’ve got to find it. You could help if you want.”

He drew a disdainful frown. “Help Angel? Are you kidding me? I’d rather take a hot fire poker to the eye.”

“Okay fine, take off then. Thanks for the ride….I’ll call my dad and have him pick me up here.”

She was already through the door when he began to mull over the situation. He hated the idea of her hanging out at Angel’s place for any amount of time. He had noticed the pain that had flared into her eyes when he pulled to the curb. There was no way she was going to leave that office without a wall of pain hitting her again. He drew out another long breath as he drummed his fingers on the steering wheel.

“God dammit,” he grumbled, as he cut the engine and climbed out of the car.

The front office area was unoccupied when he swept through the door. He heard muttered voices in the back and followed a short hallway into another office. Buffy and Angel were in the middle of a discussion, a heated one at that when Dean stepped inside.

“So what kind of demon are you hunting?”

Buffy and Angel looked over at him. Angel was clearly surprised and dismayed to see Dean leaning against the doorway. The air thickened with animosity as the two regarded each other.

“What’s he doing here?”

“Nice to see you too, Gramps.”

“Quit calling me that.”

“Oh, do you not like it?”

“Obviously,” Angel grumbled.

“Well, tough shit, Gramps,” he chided.

“Would it kill you to be civil?”

Buffy glanced at Dean and saw the intense hostility flare into his eyes.

“Would it kill you to be dead - for good?”

Buffy sighed and narrowed her eyes on each of them.

“Knock it off you two! We’ve got bigger things to fry right now. Let’s get moving.”



Angel led the way through the office to the underground access. Dean paused at the foot of the entrance to the sewers.

“Why do we have to trudge through the city’s toilet bowl?”

Angel withheld a biting insult as Buffy frowned at Dean.

“Hello? Sunlight….vampire.”

Dean shifted his eyes to Angel before setting them back on Buffy.

“Uh huh…and?”

Buffy rolled her eyes as she moved deeper into the tunnel. She had wedged herself between Angel and Dean to prevent any bloodshed along the way.

“We should head toward the ocean….the demon is headed there,” Angel stated.

“How do you know?” Buffy asked.

“I wounded it. I can – smell the blood from the wound.”

Dean shot him a look, “Nifty skillset you got there Pappy.”

Angel clenched his fists and swallowed the desire to punch him. Buffy glared at Dean.

“Will you quit it?” she growled.

She turned her eyes on Angel.

“You know, if your band of cohorts hadn’t bolted the minute I got here, they could have actually helped us figure out what kind of demon we’re dealing with and why it attacked us.”

Buffy tensed when she heard a rustling nearby. She flew around a corner of the tunnel and gripped her stake. A lonely rat skittered through a murky puddle. Angel heard a click as Buffy watched the rat wander away.

“Just a rat,” Angel noted. “No need to vanquish it.”

Angel noticed Dean had a pistol at his side.

“We’re not dealing with a vampire, so I don’t know why you even need a stake.”

Dean watched the two ex-lovers and heard the increasing tension in their tones. He wasn’t about to sit through a verbal sparring match, especially since he could see the bitterness tightening on Buffy’s face as she regarded Angel. Why the hell did she want to put herself through this?

Angel was about to comment when Dean shook his head.

“Can we please get this over with so I don’t have to see your face again…I’m really sick of it.”

“No one asked you to be here,” Angel said scornfully. “So please – leave.”

“Oh, you would love that, wouldn’t you Pops? So, I think I’ll stick around.”

Angel let out a low growl, using all of his self-control to hold back from attacking. Dean preyed on Angel’s growing frustration with wicked delight.

“Oh, look at that, I made grandpappy mad.”

Angel got in Dean’s face, his fists curled, ready to fight. Dean flashed an antagonistic smile.

“Are you mad old geezer? You want to hit me? You want to bite me? Come on, I dare you…bite me…give me a reason to kill you.”

“Nice bruise you got on your jaw there Winchester, how would you like me to give you another one on the other side?”

Angel cut the distance between them to mere inches and glared at the cocky young Hunter. Dean glared back with a stone cold expression.

“Just try you goddamn sonofabitch but this time, face me like a real man instead of lurking in the shadows waiting to jump me,” he growled caustically.

Buffy eyed them. “What are you talking about?”

She thought back to the previous day’s chaos at Giles’ place before looking at the bruise on Dean’s face. Angel drew an arrogant grin.

“Oh, he didn’t tell you how I kicked his ass last night without much effort?”

Dean lunged toward Angel prepared for an all out confrontation but Buffy swiftly shot a hand out and knocked him back against the tunnel wall. She glared at Angel while keeping Dean firmly pinned to the wall.

“You attacked Dean? Why would you do that?”

Angel regarded Buffy and was both surprised and hurt to see she wasn’t pleased to hear this.
She bore her fury filled eyes into him until the arrogance drained from his face. Nothing pissed her off more than when people messed with her friends. Angel shifted uncomfortably feeling the weight of her glare.

“Um, because I….I um….I don’t….like him.”

Buffy hardened her glare on Angel. “You don’t like him? What are you – four? You can’t just sneak around in the dark and attack people because you don’t like them…”

Dean drew a smug smile. Buffy heard him stifle an amused laugh and set her eyes on him for a brief moment before looking at Angel.

“No matter how much of a jerk they are,” she added.

She shifted her intimidating glare on Dean and watched his smug smile quickly fade away. She let him go and heaved a huge sigh.

“God, you two are impossible,” she grumbled.

Angel sighed, “If he could just be civil…”

“Yeah that’s right, go crying to mommy,” Dean sneered.

Buffy growled loudly and clenched her fists.

“You see? This is exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe if you learned to be more polite, you wouldn’t get your ass kicked so often.”

A sly smile appeared on Angel’s face. Dean shot steely eyes at him.

“Maybe if you learned to be…”

“Enough!” Buffy shouted. “You two can piss on each other later. Right now we need to focus. The sooner we find this demon, the sooner I can kick both your asses,” she growled.

The two men shut up for the moment as Buffy took a couple of long breaths to calm herself down.

“You really don’t need to be here. I can take care of this myself.”

Buffy glanced at Angel as they approached a tunnel junction.

“You helped save our asses last night. I’d like to pay the debt.”

Dean scoffed, “Excuse me? Who – saved your asses last night?”

“We’re paying debts now?” Angel asked.

Dean rolled his eyes when he was completely ignored. Figures, one look at Angel and I don’t exist anymore.

“Can we get back to the matter? Are you sensing anything because all I’m sensing is the stink of the sewer,” Buffy said.

Angel moved to a wall of the tunnel junction and touched a green spot. Dean watched as Angel smelled the green ooze and pointed to a tunnel leading to the left.

“That way,” he said.

“I’ll reiterate, nifty skillset you got there Pops.”

Angel let the insult roll off of him as he led the way down the tunnel. When the three spilled out of the mouth of the tunnel, Angel paused and frowned. Buffy noticed his demeanor.

“Are you okay?”

“I feel – strange.”

Buffy sighed and confessed, “Yeah, me too. I thought I could just drop by in person to tell you not to see me in person but…”

Dean let out a breath and shook his head, “Jesus Christ. Here we go.”

He bolted down the tunnel, leaving Buffy and Angel to hash it out. He stamped out their discussion as he continued down the length of tunnel until he saw rungs leading above ground. Eventually, Buffy and Angel wound up a few feet away from him. She noticed the ladder rungs.

“It could have gone up, into daylight.”

Angel nodded, “Where it knows I can’t go.”

“It doesn’t know I can,” she said.

“No….you shouldn’t go after it by yourself.”

Dean scoffed, “Am I even here?”

“He won’t be much backup for you.”

“Is that a challenge dead guy? Why don’t we take this upstairs so you can start feeling the burn in every way possible?”

Buffy rolled her eyes, “It’s probably best if we spilt up and cover more ground.”

She regarded Angel’s hesitant expression.

“You know I can handle myself.”

Angel nodded after a minute. “You should try this dive on Second near Beach street, it’s called The Lone Bar. Demons drop in from time to time when they need medical attention on the fly.”

“Okay, we’ll check it out.”



After having no luck finding any demons at The Lone Bar, Buffy and Dean made a pass around the block before splitting up. A short time later, Dean headed back to the rendezvous point and stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of Angel in broad daylight. No smoke was billowing from his undead body. He blinked a couple of times in disbelief as he spotted Buffy in a park overlooking the beach. She turned, feeling a presence and gasped at seeing Angel. Dean swallowed a hard lump in his throat as his stomach turned violently. His body tensed painfully as he quickly ambled over. He abruptly paused when Buffy and Angel fell into an embrace and proceeded to kiss each other passionately.

“You have got to be kidding me,” he grunted.

Angel took Buffy’s hand to lead her away when she turned around to see Dean, seething to the core. She broke from Angel, who wandered off.

“What the hell was that shit about?”

Buffy searched the eyes of the guy she had known for so long and was astonished when she couldn’t find an ounce of him. A pair of icy eyes stared back at her.

“Angel is alive…. the blood of that demon that attacked him it did something….and now he’s human and we….he and I…” she stammered.

“So that’s it? He gets juiced with demon blood that turns him back into a human and you two skip off into the sunset and live happily ever after? All is forgiven? Un-fucking-believable.”

He tore around and started to pace in a circle as he felt a deep despair flare into his heart. I do not want to go through this shit again.

Buffy let out a breath, “Don’t you want me to be happy?”

He drew out an exasperated breath and shook his head.

“Being with Angel is going to make you happy? Seriously? We’re talking about the guy who dumped your ass in a sewer, tried to kill you and all of your friends countless times, not to mention that he thinks he can use me as his own personal punching bag whenever the hell he wants…”

“That was the past – when he was a vampire….he’s human now. He can live and experience the world among everyone else.”

“You are always so quick to go running back to him – no matter what.”

She drew a frown.

“So someone does one bad thing and you just write them off? No second chances, is that it? I thought you said you had a heart Dean…people with hearts have compassion and the capacity to forgive.”

“And apparently to you, forgiveness is the gift that just keeps on giving,” he replied contemptuously.

Tears pooled into her eyes as her voice broke. “I love him and it killed me that I couldn’t be with him. I gave up a chance at happiness because I had to, not because I wanted to….and now I have a chance to be with the man I love…why can’t you be supportive? Why can’t you just be happy for me? Is it because of Angel?”

“Gee, you’re really smart.”

“Dean, please.”

She choked back tears as he gazed at her for a long time.

“This is what you really want?’

“Of course it is. You know how I feel about Angel,” she answered.

He inhaled a deep breath and tried to quell the ache in his heart.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he replied softly.

He swallowed the misery thickening in his throat.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

She may as well have shot me because I feel numb.

“I don’t have time for this shit. I’ve got places to be and you….you’ve got formerly undead guys to do.”

He forced his feet to start moving. He had to get out of there.

“When are you coming back?”

He paused and let out a deep breath before turning around to face her. Just cut your losses Dean and get the hell out of there.

“Not for awhile….maybe not ever,” he answered. “I really don’t know.”

“Are you serious? You would throw away our friendship because you don’t like that I’m happy with Angel?”

He had nothing left to say as he watched her eyes fill with dread.

“So this is it? We’re not friends anymore? This is goodbye?”

He averted his eyes and took another long breath.

“No,” he said almost inaudibly.

He hastily walked back over to her until he was mere inches from her. She looked at him expectantly, wanting answers. It should have been easy to walk away from a girl he no longer had an interest in but the longer she held his gaze, the more difficult that action became to accomplish. This was not just any girl. This was the girl he had watched grow up from a silly child in pigtails to a strong, resourceful, courageous young woman who faced unimaginable evil every day and put her life on the line for others.

Oh who the hell was he kidding? He probably would show up back in her life someday, just not anytime soon.

Buffy noticed his steely eyes suddenly spark with an immense sadness she was all too familiar with. She was so enthralled by seeing the emotion in his eyes that she didn’t realize he was cradling her face in his hands. She was even more captured when those same eyes flared with longing. She opened her mouth when a gasp caught in her throat.

Dean drank her in as he looked into her eyes. As painful as it was to look at her now, he hoped over time that feeling would wash away. He took a breath before he leaned over and kissed her. He felt his eyes water as he told her everything he had been feeling over the past couple of months in one single kiss. When he broke away, he saw the astonishment and recognition flood over her face.

“That’s goodbye,” he said.

Dean shut himself down emotionally and ambled away. Don’t look back Dean, if you look back, you’ll break, just keep walking.

The hope he had been carrying around for the past couple of months had rapidly spiraled away with each step he took. He felt his eyes and throat moisten with the agony of what he had lost. He swallowed the urge to release any of the pain gripping his body.

I’m such a fucking idiot.

He wiped away the tears clouding his eyes and quickened his pace.

You really only have yourself to blame Dean, you had the chance to start something with her but you didn’t because you were too chickenshit. It’s your fault.

When he got back to his car, he quickly climbed in and pulled away from the curb. He groaned when Steven Tyler from Aerosmith crooned a love song over the radio.

“You’re my A-a-a-a-a-angel…..”

“Jesus Christ,” he grumbled.

He turned the dial as Gregg Allman from The Gregg Allman band sang:

“No, I’m no Angel….”

He frowned with extreme annoyance.

“Are you kidding me with this shit?”

He turned the dial again. Juice Newton was singing.

“Just call me angel of the morning, Angel.”

He rolled his eyes to the sky and groaned loudly again.

“Someone upstairs is having a big laugh.”

He gave up on the radio and stuffed a tape in the deck. As he put miles behind him, his mind drifted back to the last look in her eyes after he kissed her.

Maybe I shouldn’t have done that since I’m probably never going to forget the way she tasted and how it felt to be with her like that.

Dammit.

Then again, she’ll probably end up telling Angel about it and it’ll drive him crazy.


Dean drew a small, smug smile.

Yeah, that kind of kiss would bother Angel, so hey, at least I got to stick it to him in the end.



Back in Angel’s bedroom, Buffy finally confessed to him about Dean’s shocking exit. Angel could only focus on one particular detail.

“He kissed you?” Angel asked.

He felt a large knot in his stomach.

“You mean he kissed you the way a brother kisses a sister?”

She frowned.

“Not unless you’re allowed to do that in your country without getting arrested.”

“Oh, I see.”

Angel fell silent for a long moment as an ugly thought crossed his mind.

“Did you uh…..like it?”

He saw her brows furrow. “That’s what you’re concerned about right now? I just told you that a guy I’ve known most of my life just took off and might never come back.”

“And he wanted to leave you something to remember him by so you kissed each other passionately?”

“He kissed me, I didn’t kiss him back,” she corrected.

“Did you….want to?”

Buffy bit her lip in frustration.

“You’re missing the point here.”

“The point being that he kissed you goodbye?”

“No,” she said.

“The point being that he loves you?”

Her eyes widened. “Are you kidding me with this?”

“No, I guess I really am missing the point. What is your point?”

She noticed Angel’s blank look. She sighed.

“I guess there isn’t any since he’s gone and probably won’t be back for awhile…if at all….I’m just totally shocked right now and trying to process it all…I just can’t believe he would do that.”

Angel frowned, “I can. He kissed you that way because he knew you’d tell me and that I’d hate hearing it.”

She shot him an annoyed look. “I’m talking about threatening to never come back. I just can’t believe he could just stop being my friend just because you’re going to be in my life more.”

“Buffy, do you….love him the way you love me?”

She thought for a moment, “No….I mean I do love him but just as a friend and I may have had a small crush on him when I was fifteen but no, I don’t love him like that.”

“So that kiss didn’t mean anything to you?”

“No, of course not….it just surprised me that he felt that way…I mean, we’re talking about ‘one night’ Winchester….”

Her voice trailed off as her mind shifted to another Winchester’s absence in her life.

“It’s just, after Sam stopped…..”

Angel saw the sadness in her eyes and drew her close to him. She blew out a breath.

“Sorry, I know you probably hate talking about him.”

“No, it’s fine. If you want to talk about him, I’ll listen – I may not like it but I’ll listen.”

“No, we don’t need to talk about him….or talk at all.”

She smiled coyly and rolled on top of him.



Later that evening:

The white robed woman eyed Angel and rattled mechanically, “We shall turn the clock and take the day back.”

And it was done. The hands of time were turned back and the previous day began again.



(DAY 1 - AGAIN)


Buffy kept a close eye as they passed several storefronts.

“Can you stop here for a minute?” she asked.

Dean pulled to the curb, outside a business office. Upon closer observation, he noticed a very minimalist sign. On the outside of the door was a simplistic white outline of an angel. He felt a pang in his stomach as he read the name of the business: Angel Investigations.

“You got to be kidding me,” he groaned.

Buffy drew out a breath when she saw the wide disapproval spread over his face.

“I just want to stop in for five minutes.”

“And do what?”

“I just need to talk to him. I won’t be long.”

“You really think that is going to solve anything?”

Buffy opened the passenger side door. “I just need to do this. I’ll be right back.”

Before Dean could make any more protests, Buffy had charged through the front door of the business.



A short time later, Buffy returned to the car and climbed inside. Dean noticed her flushed face and her heavy breathing and felt another sharp pain in his stomach.

“Crap,” he grumbled. “Did you two just…”

She frowned, “No.”

He blew out a sigh of relief. “Well, it’s good to know you can practice self-control around him.”

She folded her arms across her chest and sulked. She stared blankly out the windshield.

“I take it that wasn’t a walk in the park?”

She set her eyes on him. “Are you going to say ‘I told you so’ because I’m really not in the mood. Can we just go?”

“Sure, the meter is running anyway.”



Angel peeked through the blinds and watched Buffy get into Dean’s car. He watched with soulful eyes before the car pulled away from the curb. If there was anything positive about the day’s true events, it was that his suspicions about Dean had been confirmed. Winchester loved Buffy as much as he loved her and that it was only a matter of time before she realized it or if the arrogant prick finally grew a spine and told her. Angel pondered over the idea of that pompous jerk making his girl happy. He frowned.

“No way Winchester, any guy but you,” he muttered.



Buffy shot Dean a strange look as he tore away from the curb and got back onto the main road. After a couple of miles, she delved into the meaning of his last words.

“What did you mean by that ‘meter is running’ comment?”

He eyed her and saw the combination of annoyance and misery on her face.

“Nothing, forget it.”

She looked at him and mulled over the deep reflection in his eyes.

“You’re not just a taxi Dean.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, really not convinced.

“I mean it. You’re not a cab, you’re my good friend who happens to have a car who happens to be passing through town and who I thought would be nice enough to drop me off at my dad’s house.”

“With a little detour you neglected to tell me about until five minutes ago,” he groaned.

She glanced at his annoyed expression and let out a breath.

“What?”

“Did you have to be so deceptive? You could have just told me.”

She scoffed, “Yeah right. I could have just said, “Hey Dean, could you drop me off at my dad’s and oh yeah by the way if you wouldn’t mind making a stop so Angel and I can hash it out?’ You would have taken off and left me in the dust.”

“No….I probably would have dropped you off at the bus station then left you in the dust.”

He was about to laugh when her glaring eyes set upon him.

“You didn’t exactly come clean about knowing Angel was in town yesterday.”

“Why the hell would I go and ruin your holiday like that?”

“I just feel like a fool since everyone but me knew he was here.”

“Jeez, that undead bastard can’t leave you alone and somehow you blame yourself. And if you must know, he wasn’t very stealthy in keeping his presence a secret – he was damn near sloppy.”

He let out a sigh and watched her sulk in silence. I should have just killed Angel last night, I don’t care if he plays for our team. I hate to see her like this.

“Did you eat?”

Her eyes drifted from the shoreline to his.

“Uh, not really,” she answered. “I was kind of too anxious about….”

“Are you hungry now?” he asked as he rolled down the window.

She thought for a long minute.

“Um….yeah, now that you mention it…I’m kind of starved.”

“Well, there’s this little shack off the pier that has a killer breakfast special. I’ve only been there once with dad and I’ve been wanting to go back. The place doesn’t look like much but the food is awesome.”

“Oh, that sounds nice but you don’t have to. I know you’ve got to places to be.”

Dean glanced up at the clear blue sky, soaked up the warm sunshine and inhaled the sea breeze. He shrugged.

“I’ll get there eventually. Besides, it’s not too often when the day is nice, the view is amazing, the car is awesome and the company is….existent.”

Her sad eyes flared with warmth as she managed to smile.



The beach shack was right on the strand. Buffy and Dean sat at a table outside and soaked up the warm sunshine. After ordering, Buffy fell into a reflective silence. She stared out at the water and watched the waves crash along the sand. Dean let out a long breath as he admired her in the sunlight. This is getting too difficult. Is it so much to ask that she have a bad hair day or something? Oh hell, even Cave Girl hair looked cute on her.

He sat back and sighed again, “Okay, if you really need to talk about it, I’ll do my best to try and listen but I can’t promise I won’t make a smart ass comment every minute.”

Her eyes broke away from the shoreline and set upon his. She drew out a few breaths.

“It’s just….I – I don’t really want to talk about it.”

Dean looked relieved. “Oh, good, because I was kind of lying about the whole trying to listen part.”

She pried a smile on her face, “Yeah, I realize you don’t like to hear about Angel.”

“Well, that’s not necessarily true. I mean if he accidentally fell on a fence post or didn’t make it home before the sun came up, then that I’d really like to hear about.”

Hell, beers would be on me.

He chuckled to himself as Buffy looked at him for awhile.

“Are you always going to feel that way about Angel?”

He met her inquisitive eyes and paused.

“Uh, am I supposed to be honest or can I lie?”

“Be honest, I always want you to be honest.”

“Then yeah, I’ll probably always feel this way.”

She seemed a little disappointed.

“What if things were different?”

“Different how?”

She shrugged as their food came.

“I don’t know. What if Angel wasn’t a vampire with a soul?”

Dean paused, “You mean if by some bizarre circumstance Angel became a regular guy with like, an eight to five job and paying rent and his biggest problem was trying to figure out where to eat real human food?”

“Um, yeah. Say he was a human again and he and I were together and we were…”

“What - living out the American dream of marriage and two point five kids and paying a mortgage on a house with a white picket fence?”

He studied her face and saw the small longing in her eyes.

“Are you trying to make me lose my appetite?”

She sank in her seat, picking at her food.

“So you wouldn’t be happy for me?”

“Happy for you and…..Angel?”

She nodded. He tried to stomach her picture perfect life with that undead bastard and felt uneasy.

“Would you force me to be his friend?”

She saw the intense dread in his eyes, “No, I guess not. But could you at least be civil?”

He drew out a long breath, “Jeez, I really don’t know.”

She sighed with disappointment. “So you couldn’t just shake his hand at the wedding and say…congratulations?”

He almost choked on his food. His face shrouded with extreme anxiety. “Uh, you would expect me to go to your wedding to…..Angel?”

Buffy frowned, getting too caught up in her fantasy world. “You wouldn’t go to my wedding?”

“To Angel? Are you serious? Why the hell are we talking about some make believe wedding to make believe human Angel anyway?”

Buffy sighed, “Yeah, you’re right. There’s no point in this conversation. I guess I was just wondering if you’d still hang around if Angel and I could be together in that way.”

“As opposed to what? Not hanging around in your town?”

She shrugged, dwelling on the thought of another Winchester walking out of her life.

“We would still be friends, right? Even if Angel and I could be happy together?”

Dean heaved a huge breath and pondered over the idea. What the hell would I do? My options are: never see her again or stomach the extreme nausea of seeing those two together all happy and in love and all that crap. I don’t like either one of those options.

“Why are you asking?”

“I just wanted to know if you’ll always be around, no matter what happens in our lives.”

Dean met her eyes and knew exactly what she was implying.

“Oh, you mean if you and Angel could live happily ever after would I be so pissed off about that I’d go and pull a Sam Winchester?”

Her eyes filled with sadness as she nodded. Dean lingered on that question for several minutes.

“Well, that sounds a little extreme even for me. I’m not saying I’d be jumping for joy and yeah I’d still probably hate him but taking off for good? I don’t know….. considering our history, I’ve always ended up coming back at some point.”

“But you always had to….because of Sam and your dad.”

“Okay, yeah,” he confessed. “But Sam isn’t around anymore.”

Buffy noticed the pain in his eyes as he thought about his younger brother. She reminded herself that the cocky guy she had grown up with had a real, beating heart that bled if you broke it.

“If you don’t want me to come around anymore, I won’t.”

Dean felt numb after that comment rolled out of his mouth. Christ, what if she wants that to happen? She really has no reason to want me around. She’s got her friends and ex demon lovers lurking in the shadows to help her out. I’m probably not even a thought in her mind.

Buffy let go of her ill fated dreams of a life with Angel and regarded her oldest friend. Dean rolled his eyes when he realized the song blaring from the patio speakers. It was by a song by Cheap Trick.

“I want you to want me….I need you to need me...I'd love you to love me..”

He swallowed the groan rising in his throat.

Someone upstairs is having a big ass laugh today.

“Of course I want you to keep coming around. I’d hate it if you just upped and left without a word,” she replied. “It’s just funny you know? I always thought that you’d be the one to disappoint me and not Sam.”

Yeah, he’s disappointed people all around.

She leaned forward.

“You’re like the one constant in my life that I can count on. So keep coming around or I swear I’ll find you wherever you are and kick your ass.”

She sat back and giggled. Dean snapped out of his blue mood at the sound of her infectious laugh. He smiled as he watched her completely demolish her breakfast, despite its cold temperature.

“Well, at least you’re still hungry.”

“Sorry, no more talking about marrying Angel, human or not human, I promise.”

“Glad to hear it because I was beginning to think you lost your marbles. You marrying Angel in this world is about as likely as you marrying….Spike.”

Buffy choked on her juice and look horrified, “Ewww! Now I’m going to be sick.”

She clutched her belly and tried to calm the nauseau churning inside at the sickening thought.

“Well, I’m glad to know we’re on the same page about that,” he said.

The server dropped off the check. Buffy spied a look at her portion of the bill which came out to seven-fifty. She thumbed through her wallet.

“Uh, could you possibly spot me a couple of bucks? I’m a little low on the cash.”

“How much do you need?”

She gulped with embarrassment, “Uh, six dollars and fifty cents?”

Dean shook his head after glancing at the check.

“So let me get this straight, you have exactly one dollar in your wallet?”

Buffy winced with guilt, “Uh, I guess I was a little distracted this morning and forgot to check how much money I had on me.”

“And how exactly were you going to pay for bus fare if you didn’t bum a ride off of me?”

“Um, I guess I just assumed….”

“That I couldn’t say no to you?”

He sighed as he handed the server a bunch of bills.

“I’ll pay you back, I promise.”

“Forget about it,” he replied.

“No really I will,” she said.

“I said forget it.”

He saw her eyes spark with playfulness.

“Hmm,” she said. “It’s daytime and you just bought breakfast for a pretty girl. That’s pretty date like, don’t you think?”

She smiled smugly until he fidgeted in his seat.

“I’m going to check in with dad. Hopefully when I get back you’ll have returned from Bizarro World or wherever it is you live.”

He got up and wandered inside the beach shack. When he returned a short while later, Buffy was leaning against a wall on the strand.

“Are you back on earth now?” he asked.

She snickered, “Come on Dean. What scares you so much about actually dating someone? Oh…wait that’s right…you actually did date someone.”

Avoid and deflect.

“Let’s get you to your dad’s so I don’t have to deal with you anymore,” he grumbled.

As they wandered along the strand, a young dark haired woman passed by them. She whipped around and caught up to them. She looked directly at Dean.

“Oh my god, Dean…is that you?”

Dean swallowed a breath as the young woman smiled.

“It’s me, Emily.”

Shit, is that supposed to ring a bell?

He pried a smile on his way and feigned recognition.

“Emily, yeah, hey,” he said. “Uh, how are you?”

“I’m good. I’m great now that I’ve run into you.”

Oh shit, she’s going to hit me.

Emily smiled sweetly. Dean relaxed a little and became painfully aware of another set of eyes observing him.

“How are you?” Emily asked.

“Uh, good,” he answered.

“Oh,” she said. “That’s good.”

She kept smiling.

“That’s great. Gosh, it’s so good to see you because now I get to do this….”

She backhanded him hard across the face. Her eyes filled with fury as Dean absorbed the sting in his jaw.

“Asshole,” she growled.

Dean heard a soft chuckling behind him.

Great, that is just what I needed.

Emily turned her attention to Buffy.

“You look like a nice girl so do yourself a favor – run, run far away from ‘Dean the Machine’ and keep him the hell away from your sister.”

Emily glared at Dean before storming away.

Jesus Christ, please just let me get hit by a bus now.

Buffy looked at the mortified expression on Dean’s face.

“Did you sleep with that girl and her sister?”

He blinked, “Uh, it appears that way.”

Buffy’s amused smile faded, “Has anyone ever told you you’re kind of a sleazebag?”

His eyes turned onto hers with slight apprehension.

“Are you going to hit me too?”

“No,” she answered.

“Well, that’s good because there’s a one hit limit per day,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”

As they walked toward the car, Dean was grumbling under his breath.

“Of all the beaches in all the cities in all the states….”

Buffy perked up suddenly. “Wait a minute!”

He paused and glanced over to see a wide grin on her face.

“Dean the Machine?! Are you serious?”

Aw crap, I really hope she hadn’t heard that part.

Buffy chuckled hysterically for a long minute. “Is that your pitch to get a girl?”

Dean narrowed his eyes on her. “Shut up or you’re walking to Hank’s house.”

She snickered some more as he got in the car and shut the door. She stopped laughing and hopped into the passenger side. She saw the sheer humiliation on his face as he tore out of the parking lot and bit back the need to poke fun at him some more. After a couple of minutes, she couldn’t fight it off anymore.

“Dean the Machine,” she snorted.

He groaned, “You better cut it out right now or I swear I’m kicking you out of this car. I don’t care how long we’ve known each other.”

She swallowed the remainder of her laughter as the car veered back onto the main boulevard. Fifteen minutes passed and Buffy managed to contain her amusement until Dean pulled up to the curb of her dad’s house. She saw the relief flood over his face at the sight of the house.

“Thanks for the ride,” she said.

He drew out a breath, “Uh, you’re welcome. Don’t ask me to do this again.”

She giggled, “Are you kidding me? This morning was better than any chocolate muffin you could ever buy me.”

“Well, I’m so thrilled I could amuse you. Now hurry up and get out, I’ve got to haul ass to Colorado because of you.”

She eyed him curiously. “Oh, I’m sorry. You really didn’t have to bring me.”

“What’s done is done, no point in going back.”

She opened the passenger door and started to climb out.

“So I’ll see you around?”

“If you want,” he said softly.

She leaned through the window, “Yeah, I want. Give me a call when you get settled in somewhere, okay?”

She flashed an endearing smile that made him forget about the past couple of hours.

“Yeah, okay.”

He watched as Buffy ambled up the walkway to the front door. He waited for Hank to answer and let her inside. Hank gave him a wave and he waved back before pulling away from the curb.

Hank regarded his daughter as he closed the door.

“Dean has grown into a handsome young man,” he said.

Buffy looked at her dad curiously.

“Yeah, he has,” she said nonchalantly.

“Is there….anything going on between you two that I should know about?”

Buffy covered her mouth with her hand and snickered at the thought of being with “Dean the Machine” until she noticed her dad’s expectant look.

“No dad, we’re just friends.”

He draped an arm around her and guided her through the house.

“Dean the Machine,” she muttered under her breath.

“What honey?”

“Nothing,” she said with a wide smile. “Nothing.”


FEEDBACK FUELS ME SO PLEASE HELP GET ME GOING! If you haven't guessed, the next update is a retake of "Something Blue" - Giles can't see, Xander is a demon magnet, Buffy and Spike are betrothed...what on earth will ail Dean? Stay tuned! Thanks to everyone for reading!
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