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The Price We Pay

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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. Response to Challenge.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: Dean Winchester
Supernatural > Dawn-Centered > Theme: Real Family
DenaeFR1533,7220134,79628 Jun 0930 Jul 09No

Prologue

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.

---

Dean Winchester once again checked the seat across from him in the diner as he lifted the piece of pie to his mouth, to find his brother, Sam, typing furiously on his laptop. He groaned in reply.

Since Sam had found out about the deal, Dean wondered if he had even slept. He knew his brother felt guilty, but it was his decision and he’d do it again in a heartbeat.

What he wouldn’t tell Sam was that life without him, even while he’d been at college, had been close to unbearable, at least when he wasn’t with…

In that moment, it hit him. She didn’t know. She’d kill him for being such an ignorant, arrogant ass too, and then she’d be just as crazy about finding a loophole as Sam was now.

He swore to himself before looking up, knowing what he had to do. He hadn’t heard from her in so long that he really wondered what was going on in her ‘Little World of Horrors’ also known as the Mouth of Hell.

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.

“Come on, Sammy, time to hit the road,” Dean said, hoping his brother would do what he never did and not ask many questions.

“You haven't researched anything, Dean. There’s no job we need to work on and I need…” Dean simply walked out and got into his Impala.

“I’m going to Sunnydale, so unless you want to stay here indefinitely, get in the car,” he snapped at Sammy, who'd finally made his way to the car from the diner, probably having waited to pay the waiter.

“Sunnydale? Where’s that,” his brother asked, and Dean groaned.

“California. I have to tell her.”

Sam looked at his brother in half-amusement, and half-wonder. Who is he talking about?

Instead of answering the barrage of questions that his annoyingly inquisitive brother was sure to send his way, he turned up his “mullet rock” as loud as he could.

‘You mean the ‘I’m going to go hide and listen to bad music’ thing. I thought I broke you of that particular habit, and let me tell you it’s so mature… You don’t get to go all macho guy on me and storm out when I call you on it. It doesn’t work that way, Dean,’ she had told him, as he stormed out on yet another argument.

Dean turned it up more to drown out the anger in her voice, all the while sticking his hand into his pocket and feeling for the ring, just to make sure it was still there.

A sidelong glance at a pouting Sammy told him that he hadn’t noticed anything, as he was once again scrolling through newspapers and such. One thing was sure; Sammy was going to get along perfectly with Giles and Willow.

He fingered the ring again; as he often did when he was sure no one was looking.

He loved her, and he missed her. He didn’t seem to realize mentally that this seemed like one of the classic ‘chick flick’ moments that he always insisted to his brother that he hated.

‘Methinks he doth protest too much.’ her voice sing-songed in his ear, from when he told her he didn’t do ‘chick-flick’ moments after their third “date.” She was probably one of a very small minority of girls that called making out in a cemetery a “date.”

Dean was glad that they hadn’t been all that far from California anyway, as they passed the ‘Welcome to California’ sign that was on every main road, at the entrance to every state in the country.

He would drive through the night, and be in Sunnydale around midday.

---

Dawn Summers stared at the Buffy-bot, dumbfounded at its stupidity. No matter how much Xander and Willow said, “It was the only way for us to keep custody of you,” Dawn hated the thing.

It was a constant reminder that she was gone, more importantly that she wasn’t coming back. She walked over to the couch with Spike, after watching it head out to do more slaying, as if it could take the place of the real Slayer, of her Buffy.

'The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Live. For me,' she had the entire speech playing in her head, every single day, while she sat in the living room, while the rest tried to pretend they were moving on with their lives.

The Scooby Gang kept leaving her at home with Spike lately, and she felt like she was flashing back to days of ‘Yeah, Dawn can’t hear anything. Dawn’s too young, and Dawn’s too fragile.”

‘Yea, a young, fragile pain in my ass,’ she smiled at the memory, even if she hadn’t acted like it then, that had made her feel so much better.

She knew they were planning something, and she wasn’t the only one left out the loop. Giles had to be, given that he had just left. She tried to not dwell on the fact that she felt like he had just abandoned her and Buffy.

Spike didn’t know either. It seemed to be exclusive-Scooby only, and she wanted to know why. Anya, Xander, Tara, and Willow were going to try something crazy. The rational part of her knew that if it was too insane, Tara would stop it, but Willow was hiding something, something big.

She had been avoiding Dawn like the Plague trying to keep from spilling her guts.

She faked a laugh at the cartoons, just so Spike wouldn’t try to see what was wrong with his ‘Niblet’.

Her senses were kicking into high gear, something that seemed to happen more often since Doc tried to bleed her and Buffy…

She shook her head to shake out the negative thoughts. Something was coming, or someone, but whatever/whoever it was, felt familiar.

Somehow, she couldn’t deny the next few weeks were going to be crazy. ‘How crazy,’ she thought to herself, only to step back as the room filled with green smoke.

Spike was no longer there, and she wondered if it was a dream, but she looked out of the green fog to see Spike freaking out.

She wondered how many people in the world would take something like this in stride, but she was never normal.

Hell, she wasn’t even real.

Dawn stared through the smoke until a figure seemed to step toward her and out of the smoke, carrying what looked to be a bag of potions she had once found Willow and Tara working on downstairs in the kitchen.

The closer he got, the more he looked like the monk that Buffy had once described to her, the one who told Buffy that she was the ‘Key’.

All she could do was roll her eyes, What now?
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