Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Supernatural. They belong to the people who wrote, produced, and owned them as they air/aired. Just borrowing them for a bit, as all fanfic writers seem to do.
This is a response to TTH Challenge 4373 “Daddy’s Coming Home”
Summary: He almost choked on the irony. The last place he needed to go before he was taken to Hell in exchange for Sam’s life was the most active gateway to Hell on the planet.
Dawn Summers couldn’t help but stare, yet she was the only one in or out of the house not staring at Buffy. She stared at Dean Winchester, almost appraisingly.
The combination of fake memories and new knowledge combined to make him a ridiculously crazy puzzle.
She had just found out and now this…and did he just say wife? Buffy married him? When? You’d think that would be an important memory for those monks to place in there, being her older sister’s wedding and all. Then again, looking around at the rest of the Scoobs, she knew it wasn’t just her that didn’t know about this wedding.
What was that all old adage? When it rains, it pours. What’s one more lie to add to the cacophony of lies that they kept piling on her and expected her to just deal with.
Dawn wanted to be like Xander here. She wanted to no longer be the butt-monkey. The question was how to get that message to the Powers and those annoying monks that enjoyed making Dawnie’s life not-so-fun.
She was pulled out of her mental rant by the question from the only one in the room…or doorway…who seemed to have a voice, “Who’s the kid?”
Blatant. To the point. Exactly how she remembered Dean during the few months he’d lived in Sunnydale, back when they were dealing with Riley, the commandos, psycho-psychology professor, and most importantly Adam.
“I’m not a kid,” Dawn nearly yelled, dashing up the stairs to the security of her room, getting away from the reminders of everything that was going on in their personal corner of Hellmouth, USA.
Forget about pouring. That cartoon cloud was sitting over her and her sisters’ heads and it wasn’t pouring. It was a flood. Dawn was afraid she was going to drown.
Not twenty four hours ago, she was obsessing about how much she hated the Buffy-bot and marveling over how much the teachers liked it. Not to mention, listening to Spike’s rant about schools and mindless automatons, before turning around and trying to convince her to stay in school because Buffy would want her to stay in school and going into Angel brood-mode.
Now, she knew the whole story and was trying not to have the same meltdown she’d had when she found out that she was the Key.
Dean tried to not think much of the teenager running up the stairs, looking much like she’d seen a ghost. He tried not to concentrate on the group of people glaring holes at him and his wife. He tried to ignore the fact that she just answered “Died. Again,” before going to sit on the couch.
Most of all, Dean tried to forget that this was going to be his last pit-stop before his soul got sent off to hell.
Buffy looked absolutely exhausted, and the gravity of what she just said was accentuated by his brother’s incredulous, “Wife? Died? Again,” forced Sam's brain to go into overload.
In that moment, he turned to Buffy, her hair looked as if it hadn’t been brushed in a week, which was enough to tell him something major had just happened and he had missed it.
Willow grabbed his brother’s hand, and led the Scooby gang away, the only one beside Buffy who could have that much sway in the group.
His attention quickly turned back to the woman who had fascinated him, saving him from the trickster he had been hunting when he came to Sunnydale. He had been skeptical at first of her little group and even less understanding of the way they gave some demons asylum. It had thrown him to think that anyone could allow those things to exist knowing they could hurt others.
Then, he met Oz and saw that he controlled the werewolf inside of him, and it had shown him a side of the supernatural he’d never seen. Then Willow and Tara rocked his idea of what a witch was to his core. Not all of them were evil sons of bitches. The revelation that Anya was an ex-demon just before the marriage and before he had to go back to dealing with Sam was simply the icing.
He looked back at the woman, no longer the little girl he’d left two years ago with a promise to be back. He wasn’t one for chick-flick moments, in fact, Buffy and he had agreed that was to be left for ‘Buffy and Willow time’ as she had deemed it. Buffy needed someone now, though, that much was obvious.
He led her to the couch, trying to ignore her eyes traveling to the stairs and the door as though searching for an exit.
Buffy Anne Summers did not have any idea how she was supposed to act or feel. She was having trouble feeling anything. She wanted to stay there, wherever there was. She didn’t want to be pulled down into Hell, and there was no doubt in her mind that’s exactly where she was.
She let her husband, the one who had been MIA for nearly two whole years before she had died which excluded the four months of her being in heaven, lead her to the couch.
Which Hell dimension did he finally decide to crawl out of anyway? One day, they eloped with her Mom as the sole witness. The next, he was going to tell Sam and then come back.
Yet, he didn’t. In those two years, he had answered his phone for her exactly four times and had never once called her.
She filed him under jerk-face when she called about her mom’s death, and he’d cut her off before she could say anything saying he was on a hunt and hung up on her.
Now, though, she couldn’t just file him as her next break up (or first ex-husband) if only because of Dawn.
She glanced up the stairs, before taking a desperate look out the door, where she knew Spike was lurking somewhere in the trees.
She ignored her husband pulling her down to the couch, and tried to ignore the pain still pounding from her knuckles that she was specifically hiding under the coat.
Buffy ignored the indifference to the world around her that she was feeling. The only connection she could feel to this place, to her own personal torment, was the teenager who’d run up the stairs second ago.
She was little over a year old, and yet a teenager and older than most of humanity. Right now though, she was the only true connection she could feel.
Stupid monks with too much time on their hands.
They just had to continue to complicate things, giving her the connection to her husband that she had been pissed off at before she died, and yet couldn’t seem to pull the anger to the surface at that moment.
She remembered exactly why she had been so angry at him. He had left her alone, and pregnant.
She had been pregnant with the now-hormonal-teenager probably burning her room down upstairs, like she had about a year ago.
Her little sister was actually her daughter with her absentee husband, and yet she still couldn’t get angry.
She should be angry with Willow, Tara, Xander, and Anya. She should be pissed that Giles wasn’t here helping her through this, or at least to help Dawn through this.
She couldn’t feel anything though, except for the pain that she could feel from her daughter who was probably trashing her room upstairs and the pain still throbbing from clawing her way out of her own grave.
Suddenly, she just wanted someone to understand. The only one who really could, who’d ever been through this was Spike.
“I’m tired,” she said suddenly, and without a word and with as much charm as ever, her husband swept her up into his arms and took her to her room upstairs.
He dropped her in surprise as he walked in the door. She turned her head to see Dawn thrashing the Buffy-bot with enough force to make Buffy wonder if she had inherited some small part of the Slayer gene.
“Dawn, what,” said teenager leapt into Buffy’s arms, not even noticing the confused look on her father’s (even if he didn’t know it) face.
“I hate that thing. Four months, and we had to pretend it was you and it wasn’t and I’ve missed you. Please don’t go away again.”
Buffy stroked her sister’s…daughter’s hair and let her cry, knowing she should be feeling more, care more that Dawn was in pain, but she couldn’t.
“I’m tired, Dawnie. We’ll talk tomorrow, yeah?”
“Yeah, you should sleep. Sleep is good, unless you slept too much,” the teenager babbled, before a downward glance, “you’re still bleeding. I’ll go get the first aid kit.”
Buffy put on the best big-sister smile she could muster, “I’m fine Dawn.”
After watching the teenager leaving to look for bandages, Buffy felt more eyes on her and tirned to Dean.
“What the hell happened to your hand,” he asked.
Buffy just sighed. Well, guess I’m going to have to explain sooner or later.