Ch. 49 - Tease Me, Please Me
A/N: Part two of ‘Superstar’.
“Love Me Tender” is owned by artist mentioned
After spending over an hour getting ready, Buffy walked with Willow over to Tara’s dorm to pick her up. After exchanging compliments, the three girls headed over to the Bronze for Jonathan’s special concert.
A live band played upbeat standard tunes while a lively crowd swarmed the dance floor. Willow and Tara danced in the crowd while Buffy shared a table with Anya and Xander. Buffy bounced in her seat as she eyed the front door while Xander and Anya argued for a bit. Willow and Tara wandered back to the table. Willow glanced at Buffy eagerly watching the door.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be here,” she said with an assuring smile.
Buffy blew out a breath as her eyes clouded with a little doubt.
“Yeah, he’s probably just running late?”
Willow nodded. “Yeah. He’d never stand you up Buffy.”
The band on stage played a trumpet fanfare as Jonathan, dressed in a white dinner jacket ambled onto stage. Everyone whistled or applauded as a microphone was handed to him. He gave a friendly welcome and introduction speech as he looked over the faces in the crowd. Buffy was the only one not paying full attention to Jonathan, as her eyes remained set on the front door.
Buffy felt her hope fading rapidly away as she forced her eyes back to the stage. Jonathan caught her eyes briefly before he looked at someone in the crowd behind her.
“I’d like to dedicate this first song to two friends of mine who have recently discovered how much they mean to each other and are in need of a little encouragement to get them on their journey.”
Jonathan cued the band leader as the lights in the club were dimmed to create a more intimate atmosphere. Girls cooed and swooned as Jonathan began to sing a classic tune by Elvis Presley.“Love me tender”
As couples converged on the dance floor, Buffy bit back her growing disappointment. She held on to the hope swimming in her heart when she felt a hand slip over her back. She twisted around and lit up with the widest, happiest smile.”Love me sweet…”
Dean took her hands and gently pulled her onto her feet. He guided her through the crowd to a free spot on the dance floor. When he slipped his arms firmly around her, Buffy felt her heart shudder with intense delight. She saw the deep glow in his eyes that settled all of the fears that had rumbled through her mind over the course of two days. “Never let me go”
Buffy snuggled deeper within his arms as she wrapped her own around him. She nestled her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes, etching the moment in her memory. “You have made my life complete……..And I love you so..”
Buffy inhaled a deep breath, feeling overwhelmed by the love channeling through her. She hitched her head up and locked eyes with Dean. The intense flicker in his eyes mesmerized her.“Love me tender”
“Love me true”
Buffy drew closer to Dean, feeling pulled by the deep longing flaring in his eyes. When she inched closer to his mouth, he caught hers first. “All my dreams fulfilled”
Buffy felt pangs of boundless happiness swimming through her body as Dean kissed her passionately on the dance floor. “For my darlin I love you,
And I always will.”
Buffy opened her mouth and deepened the kiss. Dean brushed a hand over her hair while still holding her tightly against him with his other arm. She loved the feeling of his hands running through her hair. She loved the warmth that sailed through her body as he embraced her. She loved the electrifying sensation that blasted through her
mind and heart as he caressed her face. She loved the way he made her feel. She loved – everything about him.
Dean felt the icy void in his heart implode with warmth as Buffy drew the kiss deeper. She stroked the back of his neck lovingly and embraced him tightly. The doubts in his mind quickly swept away the longer she held and kissed him. He felt his throat tighten with moisture as he raked a hand through her hair. She was everything he had ever wanted for so long and now, as she leaned against him, he felt the intense love streaming from her heart, coursing through his veins, reanimating every vessel, every nerve, and every synapse in his body. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so alive. “Love me tender,
Love me long,
Take me to your heart.
For it’s there that I belong,
And we’ll never part.”
Buffy pulled away from the kiss, completely breathless. Her heart hammered beneath her ribcage as her mind soared with bliss. After a few more seconds to settle her rapid breathing, Dean swept a stray hair away from her face. Dean gave an apologetic smile.
“Sorry I’m late,” he replied softly. “I uh…got held up at the….Laundromat. Damn senior discount night.”
She saw the embarrassment rising over his face and shook her head. She beamed an enchanting smile.
“You’re here now,” she said. “That’s all that matters.”
She rested her head back on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him. “Love me tender,
Love me dear,
Tell me you are mine.”
Buffy drank in the feeling of being within the arms of a guy she knew she loved and who loved her. She heard the steady beat of his heart and let her eyes drift shut. “I’ll be yours through all the years,
Till the end of time.”
“I know that I told you to take time but...”
Buffy opened her eyes and raised her head. She saw the inquisitive flare in his eyes. “When at last my dreams come true
Darling this I know…”
Buffy gave him a sweet smile.
“Dance now, talk later,” she requested softly.
She bowed her head on his shoulder and swayed to the music.“Happiness will follow you
Everywhere you go..”
“It’s just that….if you’ve had your time and you’re sure….then I….I uh…”
Buffy looked back up at him and gave a dismissive smile.
“I know what you want to say,” she replied confidently.
Dean cracked an amused smile. “Oh, is that so?”
She smiled and nodded.
“And how exactly would you know?”
“You showed up tonight,” she said. “And you kissed me. And you held me tight.”
Her eyes dampened with joy as she clung tightly to him.
“Dance now, talk later,” she said breathlessly.
Buffy closed her eyes as the music filled her ears and love filled her heart.
Tara glanced at Buffy and Dean on the dance floor. She turned to Willow.
“Oh looks like they are on their way,” she noted.
Willow spied a look at her friends and heaved a huge sigh of relief.
“Oh thank god. Buffy and new guy drama is always exhausting. I don’t know if I had much more steam left.”
The love song transitioned into a more upbeat, swing number as Jonathan snatched up a trumpet and began playing with fervent enthusiasm.
Buffy and Dean were oblivious to the mood change as the couples were joined by the singles crowd. They continued to slow dance, grossly off the beat but neither seemed to care. After a short time, they stopped dancing and simply marveled in each other’s presence. Buffy held onto Dean’s hand, relishing in the warmth of his touch.
Her angelic smile faded when she noticed the lines on his face had hardened. He was looking at something behind her for a long minute before his eyes drifted to the ground. When he caught her eyes, he sighed.
”Did you really settle things?” he asked with mild skepticism.
Buffy saw the intense flicker of worry in his eyes. She followed his line of sights and saw Riley a few feet from the entrance. Buffy noticed the two men were staring at each other with intense interest. She drew her hand up and gently pushed Dean’s sights to meet hers.
“Yes, I did,” she said firmly. “Riley and I are not together anymore.”
She watched as his eyes drifted back to Riley before he met hers.
“Well, he looks like he wants to come over here to talk to you.”
Buffy held his questioning eyes and snatched up his hands securely in hers.
“I don’t have anything to talk to him about,” she replied firmly.
Dean shifted his eyes back to Riley for a second.
“Well, he’s still coming over here,” he said flatly.
Dean dropped his eyes to the floor and shook his head.
“What is it with your ex-boyfriends always needing to hang on to you?”
Dean let out a long breath as the hard lines on his face softened a slight margin.
“I guess if you still want them to hang around, I have to be a – bigger person and – support you – huh? So if you want to talk to him, I can’t really stand in your way, I never really have….it’s just now things are different and….no, I guess I have to if that’s what you want….but - honestly I’ll hate it and….if you…”
Seeing he was working himself into a fearful frenzy, Buffy grabbed him by the collar of his jacket and yanked his mouth onto hers. She kissed him fervently for a very long minute until she felt the tension in his body dissipate.
When she parted from his mouth, she noticed Dean had taken pause for a second. He stood with his eyes closed, completely silenced by her passion loaded kiss.
Feeling a tingling sensation in his brain that seemed to freeze time, Dean opened his eyes and slowly adjusted back into the present.
Buffy flashed a playful smile as she brushed a finger over his jaw.
“Now, what were you saying?”
Dean tapped on his last train of thoughts for several seconds. His eyes widened when he drew a complete blank.
“I have no friggin’ idea,” he replied.
Buffy snickered softly.
“Oh, okay. Shall we go back to your place now? I thought I could, sleepover, if that’s okay with you?”
Dean was taken aback by the intense sparkle in her eyes as she shined a coy smile. He cracked an amused grin.
“Wow, you’re a cheap date,” he quipped. “I didn’t have to spend a dime on you and you’re aching to jump in my bed. Are there more girls like you where you come from cuz it’s still early.”
He broke into laughter until her smile shifted into a frown.
“You better not even go looking in my town for more girls or I will seriously kill you!”
Dean smiled smugly.
“Hate to tell you this but the Slayer can’t kill humans.”
Buffy raised her head defiantly.
“Maybe not but I can still….well think of the worst possible torture imaginable and picture me inflicting that upon you….”
“Oh, so scared Summers….NOT.”
Dean chuckled for a long minute. Buffy drank up the amused expression on his face.
“So….can I?” she asked. “Stay over?”
“Yeah, you can stay over,” he replied.
He took her hand and began to weave through the throng of people on the dance floor. Buffy leaned against him and shined a sweet smile. Her eyes sparked with excitement.
“You don’t need to make a stop at my dorm,” she said. “I already have what I need.”
Dean paused as he shifted his eyes around her.
“Really? Do you have twelve pieces of invisible luggage or something?”
He cracked a grin and chuckled to himself.
“No, everything I need is in here,” she said.
Buffy shook her black purse as she flashed a teasing smile. Dean stared at the small bag as his eyes sparked with wild interest.
“Well, seems the sleepwear gets skimpier every time you stay over,” he said.
Buffy feigned a dumb look. “Sleepwear? Oh! I just packed a toothbrush, I totally forgot about sleepwear…..”
Dean blinked in shock as his heart stopped beating for a second.
“Wow,” he exalted. “This side of you is…..different.”
When the shock dissipated from his system, he shined a wide smile.
“Who are you and what the hell did you do to the girl I grew up with?”
Buffy flashed Dean a coquettish smile.
“She grew up.”
She reveled when she saw his eyes rake over her body.
“Damn straight she did,” he lauded.
Buffy forced herself to breathe when Dean gave her a sexy smile. Her heart raced with anticipation and excitement as he guided through the crowd. She gazed at him longingly and let her mind drift away from the present when someone bumped into her.
The fan girl, Karen, stumbled into Buffy, her eyes wide with terror. Her right arm was caked in blood and her shirt was torn to shreds. Tears streamed down her face as she tumbled toward the ground. Dean instinctively reached out and caught her before she hit the floor. He set her back on her feet as Buffy hovered over her with concern.
“Oh my goodness,” she said. “What happened?”
Karen pushed past Buffy and Dean and staggered toward the stage, her eyes focused on the stage. Jonathan took notice of her and commanded the band to stop playing. A wave of silence swept through the club as all the patrons looked on. Jonathan hopped off the stage and bounded over to Karen. Buffy and Dean spilled out of the gathering crowd to get a closer look.
Jonathan slipped a comforting arm around Karen as she cowered in fear. He glanced at Buffy and Dean.
“Let’s get her back to my place,” he advised.
A few cops strolled along the grounds as Dean pulled the car into the driveway hugging Jonathan’s estate. Buffy peeled out of the car and caught up to Jonathan who was escorting Karen inside. After speaking with Jonathan, the cops got back in their patrol cars and left. Jonathan ushered Karen into the study as Buffy and Dean followed him in. Jonathan tended to Karen as Buffy and Dean wandered out to the patio.
Dean crouched over a pair of binocular and noticed the broken lens. He snatched the binoculars up and ambled back inside. Buffy glanced at the binoculars before examining them a little more closely.
“Is that blood maybe?”
Jonathan took a brief look at the lens. “Condensation most likely.”
Buffy looked embarrassed as she lowered the binoculars.
Jonathan consoled Karen for a few more minutes until she was able to provide a more elaborate description of the being that had viciously attacked her.
“That’s all I can remember…it was a blur….and oh…it had some sort of tattoo or something, on its forehead.”
Dean padded his pockets and fished out a small piece of paper and a pen. He handed the paper and pen to Karen. She inhaled a deep breath before she started to draw a weird symbol. When she finished, Jonathan hastily took it from her and calmly studied the symbol.
“This seems, significant,” he said.
Buffy noticed the hesitation on his face.
“Significant?” Dean asked. “Have you seen it before J-Man?”
Jonathan masked his acknowledgement as he strolled around the study. He folded up the sketch and stuffed in his breast coat pocket.
“I seem to recall seeing this before. We’re not dealing with a demon, just your run of the mill monster. It frequents the deep woods on the edge of town, stays away from the city.”
Buffy shrouded with dread. “Well, how come it didn’t stay away this time? What made it come all the way out here? What does it want? We should gather everyone and patrol the immediate area.”
“Shouldn’t be too hard to find a big, scabby, ugly dude,” Dean replied. “They don’t exactly blend in around here.”
Jonathan remained calm as he stood tall.
“No need,” he said. “Apparently Karen scared it away. It’s not used to people so it was very fearful, tame. I’ll arm up and venture out myself. Don’t you worry about it, I’ll take care of this. Now Karen, let’s get you home.”
“Jonathan, we’re bored,” said a clipped female voice.
Just then, two attractive, Playboy like Swedish models posed in the doorway wearing very skimpy silk robes. Buffy glanced at Dean who was trying to mask his glee but a giddy smile broke through after awhile.
“The twins,” he muttered.
Buffy frowned and punched him lightly in the arm.
A short time later after departing Jonathan’s estate, Dean drove with Buffy back through town. Buffy studied his reflective expression as he veered the car down a winding road. She scowled a little as a thought pressed on her mind.
“Are you thinking about them right now?”
Dean eyed her curiously. “Thinking about who?”
“Not really, but now that you mentioned it….”
Dean rumbled with laughter until Buffy hardened her scowl. He rolled his eyes.
“Oh sweet Jesus, here we go, huh?”
Buffy drew out a breath and sulked in silence. Dean read her expression and shook his head.
“No, I’m not thinking about being with the twins,” he said firmly.
When she stared out the window, he reached an arm out and swept a hand over her hair.
“But you noticed them,” she said flatly.
“Yeah, so? I notice girls all the time that doesn’t really mean anything.”
Feeling the soothing effect of his hand brushing over her hair, Buffy relaxed in her seat. The scowl began to fade the longer she absorbed Dean’s uncharacteristically affectionate action.
“So you really weren’t thinking about them?”
“Are you kidding? I haven’t been able to process any thoughts after you told me about packing just a toothbrush. My brain kind of stopped functioning at that point.”
He smiled and laughed for a minute.
“I better not find a rolled up pair of pajamas in there or I’m gonna be really pissed,” he replied with a mock frown.
Buffy felt the cloud of doubt in her mind drift away as she saw the pure pleasure on his face as he thought about her. She snuggled within the crook of his arm and drew an elated smile.
When they reached the motel, Buffy felt her lower body swimming with a tingling sensation. She gasped softly as the oxygen in her lungs seemed to thin out the more her mind lingered on what was about to happen over the next few hours. She followed Dean up the stairs to a room at the end of the hallway.
She shivered with intense excitement as she padded into the room. Dean snapped the main light on as Buffy peeled off her coat and sat down on the end of the bed. She watched him as he picked off his jacket and ambled over to a small fridge. He swung the door open and looked over at her.
“You want anything?”
She spied a look inside and saw a pack of beer and Styrofoam take out boxes. She shook her head.
“No beer flavored smoochies,” she reminded.
He chuckled. “Stop calling it ‘smoochies’. You’re not ten and I really don’t want to think about you that way.”
Buffy leaned back and pouted deeply. After a minute, he rolled his eyes.
He kicked the fridge door shut as he settled into an armchair. He picked up a car magazine and began sifting through the pages.
Buffy frowned as he got comfortable in the chair, completely oblivious to her desires.
“Ahem,” she said.
Dean glanced at Buffy and gave a friendly smile.
She curled her legs up on the bed and smiled. “Um…you’re too far away and…you’re not paying to attention to me.”
“I’ve been paying attention to you the whole night, can’t I take a break for some ‘me’ time? Geez, one date and you think you own me,” he cracked lightly.
Buffy scowled as he went back to reading his magazine. After a second, she growled under her breath.
“Dean,” she snapped softly.
He pitched his eyes up from his magazine and looked at her.
“What? What’s wrong?”
“I thought we….were gonna have a – sleepover.”
“We are. But it’s early and I’m not really tired yet.”
She gave a coy smile.
“Well, I could help….tire you out….”
He gave her a blank look before breaking into a smile.
“Oh, I don’t really feel like sparring but thanks.”
Her eyes widened at his apparent cluelessness. She drew out a breath of frustration as she got up from the bed and shuffled over to the arm chair. She snuggled into his lap, slipped her arms around his neck and began to plant kisses all over his face. She caught his mouth and kissed him flirtatiously until she noticed his eyes were open and focused on the magazine instead of her. She frowned with offense, kissing him longer. She grew annoyed when her advances had no effect on his attention.
“Dean,” she barked.
She watched his eyes slowly drift onto hers.
“Do you have to read now?”
“Well, this is a pretty interesting article and since I’ve got some time to kill before we go to sleep, I thought I’d catch up on my reading.”
Buffy stared at him in wonder as her brows furrowed with annoyance.
“Are you kidding me with this?”
Dean gave her a doe eyed look. “With what?”
She studied him as her frown deepened.
“You have a cute girl sitting in your lap attacking you with kisses but you’re more interested in that stupid magazine,” she grumbled.
“Hey, you have no appreciation for good literature,” he said lightly.
Buffy slumped with aggravation as she tore out of his lap. She dropped down onto the bed and sulked. After a second, Dean flipped the page and glanced at her.
“What’s with you?”
She balked at his obliviousness. She drew a deep breath and moped. “Why – why did you even bring me here?”
“You wanted to have a sleepover,” he recalled.
“Yeah but I didn’t think we’d actually sleep.”
Dean lifted his eyes off the page he was skimming and studied her.
“What? Well, what’s the point of sleeping over if we’re not going to sleep?”
He propped his legs on the coffee table as he burrowed his back into a set of pillows.
“What are we supposed to do then?”
Buffy gazed at Dean in complete amazement.
“You seriously don’t know what I’m talking about?”
“No, what do you want? I seriously have no idea what you want from me,” he said firmly.
After a long minute, she saw a spark in his eyes that prompted her to shake her head with sudden acknowledgment.
“You’re messing with me, aren’t you?”
The blank expression on his face rapidly painted with amusement. He burst into a fit of hysterical laughter.
“Yeah, the tables are turned princess, how does it feel?”
He rumbled with laughter for several long minutes. Buffy snatched a bed pillow and hurled it at his head.
“You’re evil!” she gasped.
Dean continued to laugh as she glared hard at him.
“Damn that was fun. I impressed myself with how long I was able to keep that going without losing it….”
After he settled down, Buffy drew a deep pout.
“That’s so not funny,” she lamented.
“Oh, I beg to differ. That was pretty damn hilarious! The look on your face when you believed I was clueless was just – priceless.”
Dean broke into another bout of laughter. Buffy sunk back against the headboard and deepened her pout.
“I really hate you sometimes,” she groaned.
Dean paused in his amusement when he heard his cell phone ringing. He fished his phone out of his pocket and eyed the screen.
“Huh…that’s interesting. It’s you calling….hello?....uh yeah, she’s here, hold on.”
Dean extended the phone out to Buffy.
“It’s for you. It’s Willow.”
Buffy felt her sour mood shift rapidly into apprehension as she snatched the phone.
“Will? What’s going on?”
Buffy gasped as her eyes widened with dread.
“I’ll be right over!”
Buffy shot to her feet and handed Dean back his phone. His entertaining mood cracked away when he regarded her fearful expression.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know exactly,” she said shakily.
Buffy picked up her coat and tossed Dean his jacket.
“Something about Tara. Willow sounded really frantic. I need to get back.”
A short time later, Buffy bolted through the door to her room to find Tara curled up in Willow’s bed. Buffy gasped when she saw the cuts and blood on Tara’s arms and hands. Parts of her clothes were shredded.
“Willow! What happened?!”
Willow sat on the edge of the bed and watched over Tara. Dean hung back in the corner as the girls conversed.
“A night shift employee found her unconscious in the janitor’s closet a short time ago. I don’t know how long she was out but when she came to, she was asking for me. That’s how I got to her. I brought her here….”
Willow’s eyes welled with tears as she sobbed briefly. Tara opened her eyes when she heard the crying and glanced at Willow and Buffy.
“Tara, sweetie, can you tell me what attacked you?”
“Um, it was scabby and – big and it had a symbol, a tattoo on its forehead,” she answered meekly.
Buffy froze with acknowledgement. She rushed over to her desk and began scrawling on a notepad. She flashed the drawing to Tara.
“Was this the symbol you saw?”
Tara widened her eyes and nodded. Buffy steadied herself as she felt a wave of dizziness. Dean anchored her with a hand.
Buffy winced when a pang rang through her head. Willow drew concern.
“I thought Jonathan said he took care of the monster. He said we had nothing to worry about.”
“Well, maybe he was wrong,” Buffy replied morosely.
Willow shook her head defiantly. “No, Jonathan is never wrong. He always has the right answer, the right solution.
He always does the right thing.”
Buffy blew out a breath as she rubbed her throbbing temples.
“Um, yeah….he’s always right.”
Willow went back to tending to Tara. Buffy eyed Dean as he walked toward the door. She followed him out into
the hallway and closed the door a crack.
“So much for our little sleepover,” she said softly.
Dean gave a dismissive wave.
“There will be many more nights for me to tease you and leave you sorely unsatisfied.”
He smirked with amusement. Buffy frowned.
“Oh, so you’re just going to draw out the feigned cluelessness and holding off on giving me what I want until I’m what….begging you desperately for it?”
“Yeah, that’s the plan,” he acknowledged.
She crossed her arms as he let out a brief laugh.
“Well forget it Dean, I am not going to beg you,” she groaned.
“We’ll see about that,” he taunted. “I am the master at the art of teasing.”
“I’m not begging,” she repeated firmly.
Dean cracked a smile. “Is that a challenge?’
He leaned forward and lifted a lock of her hair up. He dipped his mouth toward the nape of her neck and licked a circle with his tongue.
Buffy struggled to stamp back the moan hanging in her throat as small jolts of electricity jerked her body. The more rapid he made the circle, the quicker her composure blasted away. A soft moan tumbled from her mouth as her body quivered with ecstasy. She let out a long breath and laced her arms around him. She felt her feet absorbing into the ground as her mind was paralyzed with pleasure.
When Dean heard the soft gasp erupt from her mouth, he abruptly stopped. He straightened and grinned smugly.
“Gee, sounds like you really want more of that,” he said. “So, I’ll stop because you’re just going have to wait – a LONG time to get what you really want.”
Buffy widened her eyes in horror.
“You’re such a jerk!”
Dean chuckled as he ambled down the hallway.
“You want more, you’re gonna have to beg for it!”
“No way! I’m not begging!”
Later the next afternoon, Buffy strolled through town lost in thought. She paused when instinct made her eyes drift up to a billboard of Jonathan. She felt a faint pang in her gut as she looked at all the advertisements featuring Jonathan. She walked over to a shop window with several flyers promoting Jonathan’s fanclub site. She narrowed her eyes on the flyer and studied it for a long time.
A short time later, Buffy stopped at Giles’ place and made phone calls to the gang. When everyone arrived, Buffy relayed her suspicions and questions.
“I’ve just gotten this feeling lately and it’s grown stronger as the days move on,” she said. “I mean, he was in The Matrix and Mission Impossible but he’s always here, he never goes out of town and they didn’t film those movies here, there weren’t any film trucks. And how does he have a degree in medicine? He’s eighteen, he’s not old enough to go to medical school.”
Xander shrugged, not buying into her suspicions.
“He is quite the genius,” he reasoned. “Perhaps he just excelled.”
Giles looked genuinely confused.
“Buffy, I am having difficulty understanding your point.”
“I don’t think there is one,” Anya replied flatly. “When is Jonathan going to get here? He called this meeting fifteen minutes ago.”
“No, he didn’t,” Buffy stated. “I did.”
Willow displayed her shock. “You did? Why would you call a meeting? Jonathan is the one who organizes the meetings.”
“Yeah, who gave you the authority to call meetings now?” Anya asked curtly.
Dean shifted in his stance as the growing mood unsettled him. “Hold on, don’t go jumping down her throat. Something is obviously on her mind so let’s hear her out, okay?”
All eyes shifted back to Buffy. She moved to the center of the living room.
“Um, it’s just, I wanted to know if anyone else thinks he’s too good to be true,” she said. “That he’s not….real.”
Xander blinked in disbelief. “What do you mean he’s not real? He’s real as you and me but…better! He killed the Master and prevented him from rising. He barbequed big Mayor Snake! He led the US Bobsled Team to its first gold medal in fifty years! He’s a real dream! A real inspiration!”
Buffy eyed all the skeptical looks from the group.
“Well, that’s the thing. I mean, how can we really trust these things really happened? Anya, fill everyone in about alternate realities.”
Anya began to give a very confusing, bizarre explanation. Buffy stopped her and shook her head.
“What I’m thinking is that perhaps Jonathan created this world somehow and we’re all….his…puppets.”
“Or maybe, you are just jealous because you can’t do what he can,” Xander griped.
“I think Xander is right. This seems really out of your realm of thinking," Giles conceded.
Buffy drew a frown as the group came down on her. She shied away, bounding over to Dean who looked incredulous. Chaos erupted in the living room as the group recalled their own glorious memories of Jonathan.
“You trust me, don’t you?”
After a long minute of studying her intently, Dean drew out a breath.
“Quiet down!” he hollered.
The noise ceased as all eyes turned toward Buffy.
“I think we need to give a little weight to these concerns,” Dean remarked.
Xander scoffed. “You can’t be serious. This is Jonathan!”
Dean looked disappointed about the possibility of a false idol but trusted his instincts.
“Look, you know how long we’ve known each other so, I’ll vouch for her.”
The group settled down and listened as Buffy paced around the room, imparting details to backup her suspicions.
After several minutes of dialoguing, Buffy eyed Giles.
“Do you have the latest Swimsuit Calendar?”
“Absolutely not,” Giles answered hastily.
The group eyed him doubtfully. He sighed and nodded. He fished the calendar out of a drawer and placed it on his desk.
“It was free with purchase,” Giles covered.
Buffy thumbed through the various months as the gang hovered around and admired the photos.
“Ah! There! On his shoulder. That’s the symbol Tara saw on the monster.”
The group blinked, now starting to believe a little in Buffy’s theory. Jonathan suddenly walked into the living room.
“Buffy was just enlightening about how you and the monster that attacked Tara have matching tattoos,” Anya replied dryly.
Buffy gulped as Jonathan regarded her.
“Uh….I was just concerned because I remember seeing this and then the monster had it and….you said we didn’t have to worry but then….oh….I guess I’m confused.”
Xander and the group looked relieved at Buffy’s admission. Jonathan smiled calmly.
“Perhaps I can clear things up,” he said. “Buffy’s suspicions are right.”
Xander gasped as he looked crestfallen.
Jonathan dished out an explanation that calmed everyone’s nerves, everyone’s except Buffy who held on to her instincts.
A short time later, Jonathan led Buffy and Dean into the cemetery to hunt for the monster. After running into Spike, Jonathan knocked him around until he bled with information. The three headed over to a cave deep in the woods.
The cave was dark and eerie inside. Buffy and Dean edged slowly behind Jonathan as he paused to peer down a deep chasm. They flanked him and peeked down the seemingly endless abyss. Dean widened his eyes fearfully.
“Woah, scary,” he said softly.
Dean stared down the deep tunnel when a vague feeling suddenly struck his mind.
“There is something strangely familiar about this.”
Jonathan eyed the two as beads of cold sweat coated his face.
“Careful, wouldn’t want you to have a misstep.”
After a short second, he cautiously drew them back from the edge of the chasm. Dean squinted in the dark corners of the cave.
“I don’t think big scabby puppy is around.”
Suddenly, a low growl echoed through the cave. Buffy and Dean tensed as a flash knocked Jonathan down hard to the ground. He passed out cold leaving Buffy and Dean to stand against the monster.
The monster howled as it encroached upon Buffy and Dean. They exchanged looks of worry for a second. Buffy inhaled a deep breath before she spun around and delivered a weak kick to the monster’s head. The monster didn’t even blink, merely swiped its heavily clawed arms out at Buffy. She staggered back and tumbled toward the dirt. Dean caught her in his arms and barely dodged out of the monster’s grasp. He dragged her out of the way when Jonathan let out a soft groan.
Buffy and Dean sighed in relief when Jonathan sprung to his feet and dusted himself off.
“J-Man! What the hell are we supposed to do?”
“You must work together to defeat the monster,” Jonathan answered.
Dean gasped in horror.
“What?! You want US to fight it without you?! But – WE’LL DIE!”
“No, you won’t,” Jonathan replied firmly. “Buffy can take down the monster and you’ll be able to fight it with her– you two make a great team.”
Buffy gulped. “How do I take it down? What do I do?”
“It will come to you. The more you weaken the monster, the more you’ll weaken…”
The monster sprung from the dark and charged toward Buffy. She kicked her leg out and swept the monster’s feet, sending it crashing to the ground. Jonathan moaned as his confidence shriveled. He shook violently as sweat thickened over his face. He zipped out of the cave.
The monster quickly bolted onto its feet, looking stronger than before. It roared and barreled toward Buffy and Dean at incredible speed. Dean glanced behind him to see the narrow ledge they were standing on. One little misstep and they would fall off the edge into a dark death.
Dean widened his eyes. “Oh shit! We’re so screwed!”
Jonathan returned in a flash, looking rejuvenated. He dove over Buffy and Dean, flipped around and swung a sharp shard of stone at the monster’s head. The monster bolted backward and weakened, draining Jonathan of his strength. Jonathan yelped with pain and crumbled to the ground.
Buffy blinked, as if snapping out of a daze. She impulsively charged the monster and began to rain a series of hard hitting punches. Buffy beat back the monster with increasing confidence and skill. She drew a smile
“Oh! I got it!”
Dean watched in awe for a brief second as Buffy lunged toward the monster. She fought with a flash of punch combos and spin kicks that weakened the monster.
Dean broke out of his daze when the monster tumbled into him. He felt some sort of snap in his brain as he instinctively threw a hard punch to the monster’s face. The monster stumbled back a foot.
Fueled by a bout of confidence, Dean wound his arm up again and delivered a two punch combo. He brightened as Buffy attacked the monster from the left.
“Hey! That’s right! I’m good at this!”
Buffy and Dean attacked the monster and blocked its counterattacks. After several arduous minutes, the monster tore at both of them, knocking Dean a few feet back. He sailed into a rocky wall and groaned from the harsh impact.
The monster caught Buffy in its clawed hand and tossed her to the ground. She hit the dirt and rolled along the ground until her legs dangled dangerously over the edge of the chasm. The monster pushed its heavy foot down on her head, trying to crack her skull.
Dean shook off the sting and instinctively rammed into the monster, sending it over the edge of the chasm. Buffy grappled a firm grip on the ledge with one hand as she reached out and caught a hold of Dean by the collar. He swung forward and slammed face first into the wall.
“Owwwww,” he moaned.
A wail echoed from the bottom of the chasm followed by a grotesque crunching noise. After the adrenaline of fighting subsided, Buffy and Dean pulled themselves up over the edge of the chasm. They straightened and took a moment to settle their staggered breathing. Dean gazed at Buffy in wonder.
“Wow, you’re an amazing fighter!”
He paused in his admiration as something tickled his brain. He scratched his head and looked bewildered.
“Wait, I already know that…..I think.”
The next day, Dean drove through town and eyed a billboard above the coffee shop that previously advertised Jonathan’s latest movie. The billboard actually promoted Tom Cruise’s latest action flick. Dean sipped from his coffee cup and let out a sigh of relief.
A little while later, Dean eased the Impala along the curb hugging campus. Xander and Anya were settling down on a blanket at the base of a tree near the front of campus. Willow and Tara strolled over and joined them. The four pulled out various picnic items from their sacks.
Dean climbed out of the car just as Buffy skipped along campus. She flashed a sweet smile when she saw him and reserved a space on the blanket for him. After munching on a few snacks, the gang conversed over the chaos of a Jonathan Idol world.
“Well, I’ll miss the way he smiles – you know – because when he smiles, he makes you feel so special….” Xander cooed. “Now I just feel….a cold, empty void.”
“Well, I think I got the worst of it,” Dean lamented. “I mean, that nerdy shrimp told me I could be just as great of a demon hunter as him! I stole – I mean I borrowed – a damn CD player to listen to his crappy ass music! He did things to my car….I LET HIM! I worshipped that little punk! He’s damn lucky he didn’t screw anything up or I swear….”
As the gang swapped more stories, Buffy noticed Jonathan standing on the walkway, trying to draw her attention. She snuck away and met up with him. He gave an apologetic smile as she approached him. After conversing with him for a time, she wrapped it up and pivoted toward the group. Jonathan hailed her back.
“Uh, Buffy, do you remember what I told you? About you and Dean? I don’t quite remember everything I told you except for one thing, one cool thing….it’s true….what you and Dean have, it’s rare and special and…it’ll work out. I really think it will.”
Buffy glanced behind her and looked at Dean who was still animatedly complaining to the group. She regarded Jonathan with a confident smile.
“I think it will too,” she said.
Buffy skipped back to the group as they were preparing to head off. Dean was sitting on the hood of the Impala, checking his phone messages. Buffy waved at Willow, Tara, Anya and Xander before she walked over to the car. Dean pocketed his phone as Buffy curled up against him.
“So, I was thinking about skipping the rest of my classes so we could…you know.”
Dean feigned a dumb look.
“No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She frowned as he chuckled.
“I’m not begging,” she said.
“So you say,” he said teasingly. “But give it time. I’ll break you down.”
She wrapped her arms around him and gave a sly smile.
“I won’t have to because you won’t be able to say no to me,” she said.
She pushed off her toes to meet his mouth and kissed him for a long minute. She pulled away confident she could weaken his composure.
“You think if you kiss me enough I’m going to what, throw you down right here and give you what you want?”
He gave a dismissive look.
“Amateur,” he shot with an amused smile.
Buffy attacked him with a kiss loaded with hunger. She raked her hands over him for awhile before breaking away. Dean glanced at a few students who had stopped to watch.
“Nice try,” he said.
Buffy frowned with annoyance as she sunk against the hood.
Xander tuned out as Anya, Willow and Tara fell into a boring female heavy conversation. He looked around campus when he abruptly gasped with astonishment at something going on at the curb. The girls stopped yammering when they heard Xander’s jaw drop and saw the complete shock on his face.
“Uh….when did Buffy and Dean start waving tongues goodbye?”
Willow followed Xander’s line of sight to see Buffy and Dean in a passionate lip lock. She gave a dismissive wave of her hand.
“Oh, that’s been going on for awhile.”
Xander did a double take. “Uh….since when? I don’t think I lost that memory when we were in that pseudo world.”
“Oh, no, I meant the chemistry – relationship thing brewing on the surface,” Willow clarified. “The smoochies thing is fairly new.”
Xander scratched his head. Willow gave a sympathetic expression.
“I’ll fill you in on the way home but basically you missed the Buffy new guy drama.”
Xander nodded with acknowledgement.
“Oh, well thank god I was spared that train wreck.”
Anya regarded the newfound couple with skepticism.
“I give it a week before they’re tearing each other’s hearts out and squashing them into a fine paste,” she replied flatly.
Xander scratched his head as he absorbed the news.
“Well, I guess we did call that awhile ago,” he said.
Willow nodded. “Yeah, it’s about time too. It was getting a little taxing always trying to make subtle hints to Buffy. Anyway…..”
The group skipped off and ventured upon a new topic of discussion.
After a couple more minutes of trying to tempt Dean with lustful kisses, he gently broke away.
“You need to cart that pretty little ass of yours to class,” he said. “And I’ve got some stuff to do before I head out.”
Buffy suddenly saddened that her blissful time was coming to an end.
“When do you have to leave?”
“Early tomorrow morning.”
“Well, can I come by after my last class so we can spend some more time together?”
Seeing the sadness thicken on her face, Dean tossed out a humorous answer.
“Oh, you just want to get me alone so you can try and seduce me, don’t you?”
He mocked a hurt look.
“I’m not just a gorgeous body you know! You can’t just take what you want from me and throw me away! I have feelings too!”
He feigned some sobs before bursting into laughter. Buffy rolled her eyes but shined a smile.
“Yeah come by later if you want,” he said. “But I’ve got to head out pretty early tomorrow so no slumber parties.”
Dean let out a breath as her eyes flared with disappointment.
“You know I can’t stay forever,” he said softly.
Buffy nodded slowly as agony knitted her face.
Dean wrapped his arms around her and gave her a long hug. When he broke from her, he cracked a smile.
“You’re only allowed to take comfort in the arms of a really hot chick when I’m gone,” he quipped. “Make sure you tape it for me and use lots of toys.”
Buffy felt her gloom fade away as she frowned and smacked him lightly in the shoulder.
“Ewwwww, you’re gross.”
Dean rumbled with a long fit of laughter.
“Oh lighten up Summers,” he said. “You’ve got a lot to learn about the pleasures of life.”
He winked at her as her eyes flared with intense interest.
“Oh, are you going to teach me?”
“Oh yeah,” he teased. “And for my first lesson, you’re going to learn about patience…..if you get my drift.”
Buffy groaned. “I’m not begging,”
Dean roared with laughter again as he glanced at his watch.
“Okay, you asked for it.”
Dean smirked as he slid off the hood and circled to the driver side.
“I’m not begging!” Buffy hollered as he drove away. “I’m not!”
TO BE CONTINUED. FEEDBACK PLEASE. UP NEXT – A STEAMY COMPETITION BETWEEN BUFFY AND DEAN – WHO WILL WIN AND WHO WILL SURRENDER? STAY TUNED!