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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 WinchestersuperslayerFR1867381,87821244121,25317 Mar 0923 Aug 12No

Chapter 36: The Laws of Attraction

Later in the evening, after dinner, as Joyce and John delved into a discussion about historical cultures, Buffy and Dean bailed out to patrol. After making a pass through the usual demon hangouts, they ended up in the warehouse district near the outskirts of town where they encountered some very unusual looking vampires. Dean looked over some of the vampires fashion choices of velvet coats and frilly collared shirts.

Buffy eyed Dean as she shot him her battle plan. Dean stumbled out into the alley and immediately drew attention from four vampires. He gave an annoyed look as the four vampires targeted him with hungry eyes.

“Oh man, I didn’t know we were supposed to dress up for this party!”

The vampires hissed and began to close in on him.

“I’m gonna go run over to the Gay Costumes of the Eighteenth Century shop….can I pick you ugly bastards up anything?....on second thought, you’ve got it covered…”

One vampire with curly black hair cascading around his shoulder hissed at him.

“Oh, I know that look, you’re hungry, right?”

Dean cracked an arrogant smile. “Well I am a tasty meal…but I’ve got other plans at the moment.”

“To die,” the vampire taunted.

The vampire flaunted his fangs as Buffy snuck into position.

“That’s right. Give this evil bastard a prize Vanna!”

The vampire roared and was about to lunge when he exploded into dust. Buffy glared at the remaining vampires just before she sprung into kick ass mode. As Buffy sparred with two vampires, Dean was left with a female one dressed in a silly velvet ball gown. He twirled his knife in one hand and grinned wickedly at the vamp chick.

“Can I have this dance?”

Fifteen intense minutes later, Buffy and Dean ambled out of the alley brushing vampire dust off of themselves as they headed back through the downtown district. When they returned to the house, Dean noticed his dad’s truck was gone. He paused in the doorway as Joyce came over from the living room with smiles.

“Your dad went out to get us some ice cream,” she said. “How did it go with the um…vampires?”

Buffy shrugged, “Fine. Although Mr. Big Mouth wouldn’t stop yapping, I thought I was going to have to camp out before he got to the punch line.”

She flashed Dean an annoyed look.

“Hey, you wanted me to be bait and I was kind of on a roll.”

Dean peeled out of his jacket as Buffy started up the stairs.

“I’m going to change and get the smell of vampire guts out of my hair,” she said.

Joyce gasped when she noticed the crimson stain on Dean’s shirt.

“You’re bleeding!”

Dean casually glanced at the blood. “I guess it’s become a running theme in your house.”

“Let me take a look at it.”

“I’m fine, really,” he said.

Joyce shook her head, “You are a guest in my house. What kind of hostess would I be if I didn’t give your wounds a little TLC? Now take that shirt off and let me take care of that.”

Dean let out a breath, “Yes ma’am.”

He peeled off his long sleeve flannel shirt and then his tee shirt. Joyce looked at the blood stain on the shirt.

“I’ll try and get the stain out,” she said.

“Don’t worry about it.”

Joyce took a look at the wound. Dean was surprised to see a long tear across his stomach as the adrenaline boost must have masked the sting of his injury.

“That vamp chick must have scratched me when we were doing the FangTango.”

Joyce looked through the first aid kit and pulled out bandages and cotton swabs. She padded over to the foot of the stairs.

“Buffy? Can you get the disinfectant from my bathroom cabinet and bring it down here please?”

“I can do this myself Joyce. You don’t have to go to all this trouble.”

Joyce gave a maternal smile. “I know but humor me. This is the first weekend in awhile that Buffy has been home since she’s started college and I guess I’m just feeling a little needy. Not that she’s a bad daughter, I know she’s got so much on her plate with school and her Slayer duties - I guess sometimes I feel like she doesn’t need me anymore.”

“She’ll always need her mom,” he said.

Dean drew out a breath as the memory of his own mother danced in his head.




Buffy tied her damp hair back and grabbed the bottle of disinfectant from her mom’s medicine cabinet before skipping down the stairs. She paused abruptly as her eyes widened. She was suddenly struck with pure adolescent glee at the sight of Dean half naked in her living room. In all the years he had stayed at her house, she had never caught him in the flesh. Her eyes snaked over the firm muscular tone of his arms and chest as he chatted with her mom.

“Woah,” she said softly.

She gulped in shock when a wave of heat spiraled through her body. Her heart beat thundered furiously in her throat as she struggled to steady her ragged breaths.

“Buffy?”

Buffy blinked and masked her embarrassment when she noticed her mom and Dean eyeing her curiously. She tore her own probing eyes away from Dean and slowly held up the bottle in her hand.

“Uh, one bottle of disinfectant as requested,” she squeaked.

She forced her feet to descend the last two steps. Her lower body swam with a throbbing ache as she struggled
to keep her eyes from dancing over Dean’s sculpted torso.

Oh – my – god!

She slowly handed the bottle to her mom. Joyce poured the liquid onto some cotton and glanced at Dean.

“This might sting a little,” she warned.

Dean drew an amused smile, “I’ll be fine.”

Joyce dabbed the wound with the cotton before picking up the gauze. Buffy hung out by the couch as the color in cheeks rose.

“Are you okay honey? You look a little flushed.”

Buffy bit down on her lip and drummed up a cover story.

“Um….it’s really hot in here, don’t you think?”

She sprung over to the window and yanked it open.

“Could you take this upstairs and treat it with some stain remover?”

Buffy followed her mom’s eyes to the blood soaked shirt draped over the couch. She was grateful for an excuse to hide.

“Sure!” she said.

She swiped the shirt up and darted up the stairs. When she reached the laundry room, she looked around the shelves for a stain treatment and found a bottle in a drawer. She squeezed out a few drops over the blood stain and let it soak. She stared at Dean’s shirt and felt her body surge with heat. She shot her eyes behind her before bringing the shirt to her nose and inhaling deeply. Her lungs filled with the scent of pine and soap. She drew a dreamy smile, remembering the time she had inhaled Dean as “One Million B.C. Buffy”. She frolicked in the scent some more.

“Mmmmm,” she cooed. “Manly.”

She jerked and put the shirt back on top of the washer.

“What am I doing?!”

She frowned with mild disgust as she tossed the shirt in the washer and shuffled out of the laundry room.



After her heartbeat had settled down, Buffy returned to the living room to find her mom, John and Dean digging into bowls of ice cream. Joyce looked up as Buffy appeared in the stairway landing.

“Want some ice cream honey?”

Buffy shifted her eyes around the room and gulped when she noticed Dean had not buttoned his shirt up. She gulped as she struggled to keep her eyes on her mom.

“Uh, yeah, thanks.”

Joyce smiled, “I’ll get you some, come sit down here and keep the Winchester men company.”

Before she could protest, her mom was already in the kitchen, leaving Buffy alone with John and Dean. It got worse when John got to his feet upon hearing his cell phone ring.

“I’ve got to take this, excuse me kids.”

She whimpered softly as she watched John step outside.

“Are you pissed off at me?”

Keep your eyes on his face Buffy.

Her eyes met his but began to drift downward. She gulped and darted them to the television.

“No, no,” she said. “I’m not pissed off at you at all.”

She switched the TV on and fixed her eyes on a car insurance commercial.

“Why would you think that?” she asked, not looking back at him.

“You disappeared for awhile…I thought it was something I said.”

“Oh, no. It wasn’t anything…I was uh…just taking care of some things.”

An old music video of Rod Stewart began to play complete with cheesy lighting and special effects.

“If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, come on baby let me know…”

Buffy widened her eyes and gasped as she fumbled with the remote. Her mom walked into the living room and shot her an odd look.

“Honey, you shouldn’t watch TV so close, it’s bad for your eyes.”

Joyce handed her daughter a small bowl of ice cream.

“I was um, just trying to find something to watch.”

Joyce waited expectantly for her to take a seat on one of the couches. Buffy stumbled back into the armchair and clutched the bowl of ice cream. She pried a smile on her face.

“Thanks mom,” she said.

Buffy sighed in relief when John returned to the living room.

“Dean, may I speak with you?”

Dean noticed the morose expression on his dad’s face and slowly rose. Buffy let out another breath when he left the room. A few minutes later, John retreated to the kitchen to give Joyce a hug goodbye. He crossed into the living room and regarded Buffy.

“Buffy, as always, it’s been a pleasure,” he said.

“You’re going so soon?” she asked with genuine disappointment.

“I hate to cut this trip short but a colleague of mine is in need of some assistance,” he answered. “I’m afraid you’re stuck with Dean for another day or two.”

He walked to the door.

“You kids have fun,” he said.

Buffy gulped as her mind raced with ideas when she heard Dean in the living room.

“Get out, they made Chainsaw Massacre 3? Where have I been?”

She spied a look into the living room. Dean was sprawled out on the couch eating a second bowl of ice cream. Joyce paused in the foyer.

“I’m going to bed sweetie,” Joyce said. “Go and spend time with Dean. I’ll see you in the morning. I think I’ll make pancakes.”

Joyce retreated up the stairs, leaving Buffy alone with Dean. She bit down on her lip as she padded over to the seat furthest from him. Joyce flipped the light switch out in the living room.

“No funny business you two,” Joyce teased.

Buffy forced out a laugh as she noticed Dean was watching the opening credits of a movie called Death Eaters 3: The Next Wave

“Ha ha very funny mom.”

At least he’s watching something with lots of blood and gore and no flesh.

Buffy felt her nerves unwind as the opening scene of the movie involved a bunch of teenagers getting hacked to death then eaten by a mob of flesh craving zombies.

“Does your mom still think we’re dating?”

Buffy blinked as she shifted her eyes on Dean, who was fully engrossed in the horror flick.

“Uh, no, I came clean about that awhile ago.”

“Oh, good.”

After an excessively violent and graphic death scene, the movie changed moods as the bloodcurdling screams segued into giggles and moans. Buffy swallowed a gasp of horror as the camera panned over a pair of naked bodies entangled in a bed. The heroine of the film was rocking her body and moaning in ecstasy.

Buffy heard the abrupt clink of a spoon in an empty bowl. She spied a look at Dean as he drew a pleasant smile.

“Wow, blood, guts and boobs in the first fifteen minutes. This is the best movie ever!”

He chuckled to himself as he sat back against the couch. Buffy felt her cheeks heating up and stumbled out of her seat.

“Uh, I think I’m gonna go to bed too.”

Dean lowered the volume and shifted his eyes from the screen.

“You hate this movie, don’t you? We can watch something else if you want.”

Buffy forced out a yawn. “No, no. You keep watching. I really am exhausted….I’ll just see you in the morning.”

“Oh, okay, good night.”

“You too,” she said.

“Holy cow.”

She noticed the gleeful look on his face and followed his eyes back to the screen. The lusty twosome had suddenly become a threesome as another girl had joined in. Dean had a silly grin on his face.

“Best damn movie ever,” he said softly.

Buffy darted up the stairs, stamping out the incessant moans echoing from the living room. She crawled into bed a short time later and snapped her eyes shut, praying she wouldn’t be thrown into a late night skin flick movie in her mind.


After tossing and turning, Buffy finally drifted off into a dreamless state. The next morning, she came down stairs to find her mom busy making pancakes in the kitchen. Dean was skimming the paper and drinking coffee. She noticed he had already eaten.

“Morning sweetie, sleep well?”

Buffy gazed at Dean for awhile and was relieved when her heart continued to beat at a steady pace.

“Yeah, I did.”

“Do you want to go to the mall today?” Joyce asked.

Joyce glanced at Dean.

“That is if my car gets fixed.”

Dean paused before turning the page and gave a sheepish smile.

“It will, I swear. I’m going by the auto shop to pick you up a battery and then you should be good to go in no time.”

He quickly finished his coffee and dropped his empty plate in the sink. A short time later, Buffy was helping herself to some more pancakes when Dean stopped back in the kitchen.

“Okay, I’m off. I’ll get back as soon as I can.”

“Sweetie, why don’t you go with Dean and keep him company on such a boring errand? I’ve got to tackle a stack of bills.”

“Um, okay.”

She eyed Dean in the doorway.

“Give me five minutes.”

“Is that in chick time or real time?”

He chuckled as she stuck her tongue out at him and ran up the stairs.




Buffy opted to wait in the car and spare herself an agonizingly painful walk through the boring auto shop. Dean had kept the radio on with an explicit “hands off” warning. Of course, as soon as he dropped out of her eyesight, Buffy shuffled through the stations. She paused when she was struck by the familiar low rumbling of a car engine. She glanced behind her to see an old bright orange car with the number “01” stenciled in black on the driver side door. A young girl with long dark hair was behind the wheel. Buffy eyed her curiously as she climbed out of the driver side window. The girl drew instant attention from the mechanics working in the adjacent garage as she swayed her barely covered hips up to the auto shop.

Buffy rolled her eyes when all the men in the garage shared a collective mouth opening stare at the girl dripping with sex appeal.



The shop had been barely open a half hour when Dean had walked in. He tapped on the bell sitting on the counter and waited for a staff member to attend to him. “Wild Thing” was playing through a modest stereo system set up in the corner. He leaned against the counter and tried to summon his patience when something outside caught his attention. His eyes gleamed and widened with excitement when a bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger eased into the parking lot.

“Are you kidding me? The General Lee?”

The car rumbled to a stop. Dean drew in a breath as his heart began to hammer when he saw an insanely
gorgeous brunette girl slide out of the driver side window, Dukes of Hazzard style.

“Holy cow,” he said breathlessly.

His eyes were locked on the girl as the beauty of her car matched her own looks. Her dark chestnut hair cascaded around her bronzed shoulders. She wore a pair of cutoff denim shorts, white cowboy boots and a tee shirt tied in a knot exposing her midriff. When she swept through the door, Dean noticed the sparkle in her cerulean eyes as she met his gaze. He watched her pink painted lips curve into an inviting smile.

A man in his late fifties waddled out from the back room and eyed the two customers in the shop.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Dean cracked a smile as he looked the girl over for the hundredth time.

“Ladies first,” he obliged.

The girl caught him with another enticing smile as she strolled up to the counter. Dean could hear the thunder of his heart beat blaring in his ears when he noticed her worn Lynard Skynard tee shirt.

“How can I help you miss?” the man asked.

The girl leaned over the counter at a ninety degree angle. Dean caught sight of the curves of her seemingly bare ass peeking out from the short denim cutoffs. He felt his blood flash hot as his body stiffened into steel. When he heard the recipe of auto parts roll out of her mouth with confidence, he nearly died.



Buffy blew out an impatient laden breath as she shifted in her seat. She glanced inside the store window and frowned when she noticed Dean creating a very deep drool pool as he ogled Miss Sex Kitten.
Buffy narrowed her eyes as the girl boldly leaned over the counter and flaunted the firm tones of her butt cheeks.

“Aw Dean, don’t look….don’t….ugh…”

Buffy rolled her eyes when Dean shamelessly scoped the girl out inch by inch.




“I’m Jasmine.”

Dean widened his grin.

And I am in heaven.

He started chatting with Jasmine as the sales clerk gathered the parts she ordered from the back room. She had a subtle Southern drawl in her speech.

“That is one damn sweet ride you got out there.”

Jasmine flashed him a sultry smile as she leaned closer to him. She locked eyes with his.

“You interested in seeing what’s under the hood?” she asked.

He saw the desire swimming in her eyes.

“Absolutely,” he answered emphatically.

Her outright sexiness, confidence, knowledge of cars and appreciation for classic rock elevated his attraction beyond anything he had ever expected from a casual encounter with a girl. Dean was surprised by how intently he was listening to her, hanging on every word that came out of her flawlessly shaped mouth.
The sales clerk rang her up and Dean noticed she had paid with a couple of crisp one hundred dollar bills.

Jesus Christ, she’s smokin’ hot, loves classic cars and classic rock and seems to be friggin’ loaded…

The sales clerk pulled the receipt off the register and handed it to Jasmine.

“How can I help you young man?”

Dean experienced a brief mind blank before he remembered the reason for his trip. The sales clerk went back inside the stock room. Jasmine hung back as she rummaged through her wallet for a business card. She pushed the card across the counter with a manicured hand. Dean eagerly snatched it up and glanced at it. His eyes widened with delight when he recognized the business logo.

“You got to be kidding me,” he whispered to himself.



When the sales clerk rang him up, Dean hurriedly filled out Joyce’s blank check and snatched the part off the counter. He walked out of the store with Jasmine in a complete trance as she took him over to the Charger. He looked inside with great admiration.

“Wow.”

“You can get inside if you want,” she said with a highly suggestive tone.

He glanced at her, completely dazzled and elated by her brazen attitude.

“Oh yeah?”

She nodded. Dean practically squealed when he grabbed onto the driver side window frame and pulled himself through. He gasped in ecstasy as he settled into the seat and raked his eyes over every inch of the interior. He brushed a hand along the dashboard in an affectionate manner.

“Baby, you are beautiful.”

Jasmine tossed the car keys to him. Dean gasped and drew a giddy smile as he slowly slid the key into the ignition. When he fired up the engine and let the car warm up, he let out a low, pleasure filled groan.



Buffy developed a sour taste in her mouth when she spotted Dean walking out with the slutty cowgirl. He had a goofy grin on his face as he ambled over to the orange car, ogling it with equal fervor. She watched as he climbed through the window and eased into the seat. She was abhorred by the look of ultimate pleasure on his face as he admired the interior of the car. She frowned when she practically saw the steam billowing off of their bodies.
Her heart began to tremor as she observed the almost erotic reaction on Dean’s face as he started the car and regarded the brunette temptress. She noticed the envious looks from the mechanics as Dean followed the girl around to the hood. The girl propped the hood open. Dean unabashedly checked her out as she leaned over the inside of the hood.

Buffy drew out a breath as Dean and the girl huddled over the inside of the hood for several long minutes. Her frown hardened when she realized she had become an invisible girl.

“Why don’t you come on over and I’ll show you mine?”

Dean watched as Jasmine’s eyes shifted away for a minute. The spark in her eyes faded and he grew
apprehensive.

“Look,” she said. “I think I’ve been a little too forthcoming and I’m sorry.”

“I’m not. Not one bit. I like a girl who knows what she wants.”

Her smile disappeared which set off his internal alarm. She was about to bolt.

“I don’t want to be a home wrecker.”

He blinked with confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Jasmine looked behind him. “Isn’t that your girlfriend in the car?”

He twisted around and was completely flabbergasted by his temporary lapse in memory.

Crap, I completely forgot I wasn’t alone.

He set his eyes back on Jasmine and chuckled awkwardly. “No, no, no. That’s….my cousin. I’m just visiting her for the weekend.”

He noticed her eyes studying him.

“Oh,” she said.

The light in her eyes returned and Dean blew out a breath confident he had roped her back in.




Fifteen agonizing minutes passed by before Dean finally broke away from the girl and headed over to the car. Buffy was startled when her heart was raging. Dean settled into the driver seat, still grinning from ear to ear. Buffy noticed he was still watching the girl as she climbed into the orange car and rode off. Once the adolescent glee finally subsided from his face, Dean took note of a blaring detail bleeding through the speakers. He shot Buffy an annoyed look.

“You touched the radio,” he chided.

Buffy folded her arms across her chest as Dean changed the station.

“I got bored and you were taking forever!”

“Never – touch – the – radio.”

She huffed as he steered the car out of the parking lot.

“What was the big deal about that girl anyway? I mean, just because she’s driving some clunker car like yours doesn’t make her so special.”

Dean snapped his eyes on her.

“That wasn’t some clunker car,” he replied derisively. “That was a replica of the General Lee. A pretty damn good one too.”

Buffy crooked her eyebrows in a confounded expression. “What’s the General Lee?”

Dean drew out a breath and reminded himself about her complete lack of appreciation of anything circa 1970.

“It’s the kick ass car from Dukes of Hazzard,” he replied with a slight chastising tone.

He narrowed his eyes.

“You better know what I’m referring to or I swear I’m never speaking to you again.”

She shrugged with an indifferent expression, “Yeah, Daisy Dukes and all that. Is that why you were all hot and bothered? Because that girl looked like she walked right out of the TV show, equipped with the car and hot pants?”

Dean felt his blood running hot at the thought of Jasmine.

“Well, she was equipped with a lot more than that,” he answered with a smile.

Buffy rolled her eyes. Dean caught her dismissive glance as he turned onto Revello Drive.

“She’s one cool chick in a fine package is all I’m saying.”

Buffy rolled her eyes again.

I’m sure she is cool with her ass hanging out like that – she’s got be freezing.

Buffy was a little unsettled by the jealousy stemming through her. She was stunned when Dean suddenly began to ramble on about all the qualities he liked about that girl. She rolled her eyes as Dean got to work on her mom’s car.

“Her dad is Anders Freed! As in Freed’s Classic Auto Show, Freed’s Classic Auto Parts….she’s the heir to a friggin’ classic auto empire!”

“I thought you hate Paris Hilton types,” she replied.

Dean took pause at her comment. “Well yeah, I do but she works for her dad promoting auto shows across the country. That set of wheels she was driving – she helped put that beauty together. She even spent some of her high school graduation money to buy the parts instead of taking a trip or buying shoes. She’s no prissy princess carrying her lap dog in a two thousand dollar handbag and mooching off her parents.”
Buffy growled in her throat when he continued to yammer on about his soon to be conquest.

“Why don’t you just marry her,” she blurted.

Dean looked up from the hood and thought pensively.

“Maybe I should.”

Buffy gulped when she saw the seriousness on his face.

“I was making a joke! You – you can’t really marry her.”

“I can’t?”

“No. You- you’re not thinking straight. You’re just fueled by your adolescent teenage male fantasies!”

Dean set the old battery aside and tore into the packaging of the new part.

“Maybe initially but then she started talking about cars and rock music and pool tournaments and she just got cooler and cooler by the minute…..”

He drifted off for a second.

“Still, you can’t seriously consider marrying a girl like that. I mean, what kind of real relationship can you have when she doesn’t even know who you really are? You can’t really be yourself around her. You can’t be honest about what you do.”

He blew out a breath as the reality of his family secrets settled in.

“Yeah, maybe I am being a little impulsive,” he confessed.

Buffy masked her relief as he went back to tinkering under the hood. After a few minutes, Dean shut the hood and wiped the grease from his hands. She slowly followed him back inside the house. Joyce got up from the kitchen table and smiled warmly.

“That should do it,” he said. “My job here is done.”

“Oh, my hero,” Joyce replied. “Thank you so much Dean. I can’t imagine how much you saved me in hiring a mechanic.”

Dean smiled, “No problem. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to head out.”

Buffy panicked at his unexpected departure. “You’re taking off? But you’re dad said you could stay for awhile.”

“I just meant I was going to get myself a room at the usual place so I can shower and kick back for awhile.”

“You can do that here,” she noted. “You know my mom is cool with you staying here.”

Dean drew out a breath. “I know it’s just…I uh expect to have…company later and I’m not really looking to wear out my welcome here…”

Buffy masked the dread in her eyes.

“You made a date with that girl? Bbb-but you were only there for a half hour!”

He chuckled to himself, “Yeah, I know, I’m a little disappointed with myself. I usually can work a lot faster but she….she seemed to put a spell on me I guess.”

She brightened with a theory. “Maybe she did! Maybe she put a love spell on you…maybe she’s some sort of vengeance demon looking to make you pay…that must be why you’re acting so…so enchanted! I should call Giles and – and let him know and we – we can research and then figure out a way to break you from this girl – this bad, bad girl….”

Dean pursed his lips together in dismay. “Jesus, I meant figuratively speaking. What is with you this morning?”

He ambled into the kitchen and opened the fridge door.

“I just meant that you can’t make plans because….because mom is making a nice dinner for us tonight….right mom?”

Joyce looked up from the table. “Actually, I wasn’t really going to make too much fuss. Maybe we can just order out?”

Buffy feigned a look of sadness. “But mom, you said I could always get a home cooked meal here when I come over and….and I’m sure Dean always looks forward to a meal that isn’t from a carton since he’s always on the road….”

Joyce smiled. “Well, I do miss taking care of you.”

“See Dean? You have to at least stay for dinner. My mom is so looking forward to it.”

Dean sighed. “Yeah, okay but I still need to go out for awhile.”




After an hour alone in the house, Buffy sprung to her feet when she heard voices outside the door. Dean was carrying a couple bags of groceries as Joyce swept through the door. He followed her into the kitchen.

“You have such good timing Dean,” Joyce praised. “I didn’t even need Buffy’s help. Set those down anywhere.”

Dean dropped the bags on the counter as Buffy ran in. Joyce cracked a smile at her daughter.

“Looks like Dean is scoring points today,” she said.

Buffy gasped. “What?”

“He got to the house same time I did and got you out of helping me take in the groceries.”

Buffy blew out a breath as the anxiety in her body abated. “Oh.”

She noticed Dean had snuck out the back door. As her mom began to put grocery items away, Buffy soundlessly opened the door a few inches.

“Hey Jasmine, it’s Dean.”

Buffy frowned.

“Honey?”

Buffy staggered back from the door and quietly pushed it shut.

“Can you help me for a sec?”



By the time dinner was on the table, Buffy was completely beside herself when Dean was still on the phone. Joyce drew a curious eye as well.

“Who is he talking to?”

Buffy sulked silently. “Oh, just some girl he met in town.”

Joyce smiled. “Oh, he sure has been out there for awhile. He must really like her.”

“I guess,” Buffy replied softly.

“Good for him. He should be happy with everything his family has been through.”

Buffy slumped against the counter.

“I guess,” she echoed.



After dinner, Joyce swept up the empty plates and took them to the kitchen. A few minutes later she returned with a plate of fresh baked cookies. Buffy perked up in her chair when she noticed her mom had made the “special” cookie.

“Look hon, just like always,” Joyce replied. “Your special cookie.”

“Uh…I think I’ll let Dean have it….he’s always taking it for himself anyway.”

Joyce shifted the tray to Dean and offered him the cookie. Dean glanced at it very briefly as Buffy silently watched him.

“Uh…thanks but I’m stuffed.”

“Oh just take it for later,” Buffy said. “Come on Dean, you know you want my cookie. You always want my cookie. You can’t resist taking my cookie for yourself.”

Dean felt the weight of stares from the Summers’ women and pried a polite smile on his face.

“I really am stuffed. I don’t think I can manage another bite,” he said.

Buffy stared at her rejected cookie as her mom set the tray on the table. Dean got up and collected his jacket from the living room. He dropped by the kitchen and caught Joyce’s attention.

“Thanks for dinner,” he said. “Everything was delicious as usual.”

Buffy stopped him at the door. “You don’t want to patrol now?”

Dean glanced at his watch. “I really can’t tonight.”

“Will I see you tomorrow or will you be leaving in the middle of the night?” she asked curtly.

Dean blew out a breath, taken aback by her tone.

“I’ll be around at least another day or two.”

Buffy swallowed her resentment as he stepped onto the porch.

“Maybe I’ll stop by and see you tomorrow after my last class?”

“Uh, make sure you call first.”

Her stomach turned violently at his assumption that a night with Jasmine would likely bleed into the day.
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