I know nothing
about guns. Less than nothing, even. I pulled the rounds that Dean talks about out of my ass. No idea if they make those kinds of rounds for .45s.Acknowledgment(s):
who is just made of awesome and answers all of my inane questions. *throws confetti* You are brilliant.◊◊◊July 1984. Lawrence, Kansas.Buffy worried at her lip while shucking her sweats and slipping into the shower. A turn of the old knobs sent a fresh rush of hot water into the stall, pouring over her shoulders and relaxing tense muscles. Groaning, she threaded her fingers through her hair to help spread the water around before leaning against the tiled wall.She hadn't planned on staying this long. When leaving the crater of Sunnydale behind, she had hoped to travel the width and breadth of the United States while keeping her eye out for Potential-turned-Slayers. Giles had been pretty sure that they'd caught most of them with the spell, and that Slayers would naturally head towards the hellmouth in Cleveland, but no one knew how the spell really worked. With Willow out of commission, still a bit wary of magic after having channeled so much through the Scythe, they didn't have any resources to track the girls down with magic. Tara couldn't connect to the Scythe to find them like Willow had. That left good, old-fashioned footwork.Everybody had wanted some "me" time, as well. Xander had taken off towards Africa, Willow and Tara off to Brazil, Oz back to Tibet, Giles hopping between England and Ohio, and Faith up in Canada after a stop in LA. They were family, and loved each other dearly, but it had been clear everyone needed some alone time. And room to process that they'd just thumped the First Evil back into incorporeality, where it could only subtly influence people again. She was praying to gods she didn't believe in that the First didn't come back to haunt her in this lifetime.Brushing away the unwelcome thoughts, Buffy groped for the shampoo with her eyes still closed against the steady stream of water. She lathered up her hair with firm strokes, water sluicing over her hands to free them of suds before she picked up the bar of soap and started scrubbing against her skin.Lawrence was nice enough, but she really hadn't planned to stay here longer than a couple of days before heading further east. The corner of town that John apparently lived in was homey, a family type area with a mom n' pop styled diner and bar called Furguson's, John's car garage, a couple small businesses... It was a little slice of a simple but good life. And it was tempting.Tempting in the way that only a good man could be. John Winchester. He was clearly interested; he'd helped her find a decent motel and put in a good word for her that had lowered the price per night. But she wasn't a good woman, and he was much too clean for her. He was wholesome in a way that even Riley hadn't been, and she didn't want to damage that. She wasn't ashamed of who she was; wouldn't let herself regret the choices that led her to now. Life was too short for her to regret, especially since she was content with herself. Her choices, good and bad, had helped form the woman she was now, and she wouldn't change any of it. But she also knew that it wasn't fair of her to darken the doorstep of people who were
normal and living a good life.Rinsing her hair out and finishing with a quick round of conditioner, Buffy stepped from the shower and dried off, rubbing lotion into her skin before dressing. The heat was doing something awful to her skin, but she had high hopes that her Slayer constitution would adapt and compensate for it soon. Otherwise, she'd have to stock up on a better brand of lotion. ...If she was going to stay in Lawrence. Which she wasn't.A confident knock roused her from musing and she made her way to the door, wondering who would bother. Squinting through the tiny peephole revealed that the man invading her thoughts and dreams was standing outside. She unlocked the door to lean against the frame and gave John an easy smile."Something you needed?""Yeah," he said confidently, as if he already knew she would agree to whatever it was he came for. Comfortable in his own skin, and very much of a turn on. "Come with me to Furguson's tonight, Mary?"He was much too good of a man for her, she could already tell. Bright and wholesome, sweet and charming. She shouldn't even be considering this. She should pack her bag tonight and leave for the East Coast. But his smile was so warm and it was directed at
her. And she was weak. She wanted to snatch whatever happiness she could. The First had shown her that she wouldn't live forever."I'd love to."◊◊◊June 2012. Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
"So, what was that about a hospital in Whitewater?" Dean asked with a grin, propped up with the adjustable hospital bed. His face had been carefully padded with butterfly bandages, but the wounds that had looked so hideous the night before had been cleaned up and revealed to be not serious at all. It was likely that they'd heal without scars at all. Dean's pretty face had dodged the ugly bullet once again. Score one for the good guys.
His arm, however, was a different story. A clean break, yes, but a break nonetheless. It definitely wasn't the worst thing to ever happen, but it wasn't exactly welcome either. Especially since that meant that Sam was right about needing medical attention, even if the bitch hadn't realized it was because he had broken his arm
. Speaking of Samantha, he was feeling guilty that his little intimidation act last night had probably made the problem worse when he jostled Dean's arm. Dean was more than willing to have a repentantly guilty Sam so that he could milk his injury for all it was worth, but a broodingly guilty one? No way in hell. Between dad and Sam he'd go nuts, and it looked liked they were going to be hanging out here for a week at the very least. So he was doing his best to provoke Sam back into a semblance of normalcy.
"Shut up," Sam retorted with a sullen lilt, arms crossed defensively. "Never said that I was sure there was an emergency hospital in Whitewater, I just said it was likely since there was a college there."
"Apparently not, bitch
," Dean replied, relishing the glint of smoldering irritation in Sam's eyes. Just a few more prods and Sam would forget about the whole guilty thing. Provoking Sam when he was feeling guilty was a delicate thing. In usual circumstances, Dean didn't care which lines he crossed, except for a few that he knew were too important. Mom. Dad. Jess. Just about everything else was fair game. But when Sam was feeling broodingly guilty, he had to be careful not to push too
hard, or he'd just end up with a pissy emo brother who brooded and
sulked in a corner.
"Jerk," Sam murmured, turning his head to look at the door.
Frowning at the sudden lack of heat, Dean let it go and shifted to get a better view of the other bed in the room. Sam had done some fancy talking with a nurse to procure a second bed for the room, allowing his dad to be placed in with him instead of a separate room. This was mostly so that Sam wouldn't have to shuffle back and forth to keep an eye on the two of them, but Dean quietly admitted to himself that he wanted to keep an eye on his father, too. Apparently John Winchester hadn't been taking good care of himself. Cracked ribs and an almost healed gun shot through his side had been the old news. With the Daevas' vicious stab wound through his shoulder and a few smaller ones centered around his gut, he wasn't doing so hot. The doc had also mentioned that it looked as if he was starting to come down with the flu, but it might be avoided if he kept himself in tip top shape. John had drifted out of unconsciousness into sleep, but that was pretty much the best news they had received about him.
Sam had gotten off the easiest, some superficial cuts, a couple lacerations, a black eye and a minor concussion. Which meant that when the Impala had rolled up to Fort Memorial Hospital, he was the one that sorted out all of the papers and insurance business. And of course, when given the chance, he used his actual ID. He had the sense of mind not to announce who Dean was, given the fact that Dean Winchester had been declared dead, and instead gave him the last name Moore. Pending the successful engagement, Sam and his father had taken the potential in-law up north, and the three of them had been out hunting black bear in Holcombe. God bless Sam's quick researching skills, even if he was stupid enough to use his real name. Though they had hit a small snag with the fact that legal
black bear season was early September to October, Sam managed to charm the nurse into glossing over that bit, and make sure the doc they saw wasn't an avid big game hunter. He played up on the fact that they were trying to avoid explaining their accident to Sam's fiancé, which was why they had driven so far from the Chippewa County to find a hospital. Sam was pretty good at pulling out the pixie dust and bullshit when he wanted to, glittering up their pathetic story so that the nurse bought it hook, line, and sinker. Or at least she bought into Sam's infamous puppy dog eyes and almost pout. And the bitch wondered why he called him a girl?
"I'm gonna head out for a bit," Sam finally sighed, raising himself up from one of those crappy plastic hospital chairs. He stretched his arms up towards the ceiling, his back and neck popping loudly in the quiet of the room. "You want me to grab anything?"
"A cheeseburger, fries, and coffee," Dean replied seriously, knowing very well the kind of shit hospitals served. If Sam was offering, he would take with both hands. "And none of that fancy girly shit, Francis."
A ghost of a smile flitted across Sam's face as he nodded his agreement, dipping his body to pick up one of the duffles he had dragged into the room. Sam had somehow gotten a hold of white paint pens and had marked some protections along the walls, ceiling, and windows, since they obviously couldn't throw up lines of salt in the hospital. Unless someone was looking at the walls closely, Dean doubted they would find the symbols. The duffel Sam was leaving behind held a can of salt for a 'just in case' scenario, a couple of .45s with rocksalt, magnesium, silver, and consecrated iron rounds, all concealed by the clean clothes that were carefully piled around the good stuff.
"I'll be back in an hour or two," Sam informed him, opening the door so they could hear the hustle and bustle down the halls. It was a surprisingly busy hospital. Enough people were talking that he couldn't get a clear dialogue on who was saying what, but he distinctly heard a Bronx accent mixed in with the rest before Sam exited, firmly shutting the door behind him.◊◊◊
Dawn whimpered in pain as she was dragged back into consciousness. An automatic check of her body's functions let her know that she didn't have any real injuries, just a very painful bump on her head and all around soreness. As she continued to sweep the cobwebs of unconsciousness from her brain, Dawn grimaced when she realized that the hospital had so kindly
inserted a catheter. Goddess, she hated those things.
How long had she been out? The last thing she remembered was investigating at a bar... She'd caught an echoing pulse of something that hadn't been quite normal, and went to take a look. What was it called again? Velvet Hips? No, Velvet Lips. A bar and grill place, if she was remembering correctly. Cute design, too; it had some really neat chairs lining the bar and comfortable couches. She hadn't found anything supernatural within the place, so what she had picked up on was probably a spell cast on a target that had already left. She had left the bar and started back down the street and... apparently been hit in the head.
Levering herself up in the bed she tested her reflexes to make sure she was capable of higher motor functions and then carefully removed the catheter herself. After all the time she'd spent fighting the general scum of the underworld, she was used to waking up and missing days, even if she didn't like it. Catheters were a necessary evil, and she'd figured out how to remove them herself after the second time she had woken up with one in. It was in these quiet, reflective, lets-get-better-now
times that she wished she was a Slayer like her mother. The ability to sense baddies without having to renew a spell on herself every couple of hours, and the kick ass regenerative and healing qualities that never allowed a Slayer to be knocked unconscious for more than a day would be great right about now. Well, that wasn't quite true. Aunt Faith had been in a coma when she was a kid, hadn't she? But the Slayers she had worked with rarely experienced the utter joy of catheters
A quick check of the file hanging on the edge of the bed told Dawn that she was correct in her initial assessment, nothing wrong with her except for a conk on the head. Rifling through the cabinet next to the bed she found her clothes, purse and cellphone. She sniffed gingerly at her clothes, satisfied when they didn't seem to stink. A better look around the room provided a door that looked like it might lead to a shower and bathroom, which would be a plus, but she could deal with leaving in non-stinky clothes.
Flipping her phone open and thanking her lucky stars that it still had a small charge, she realized that she had been out for three and a half days. A few more buttons revealed that her mom had called almost thirty times in the last day. Frowning, she hit the dial button and waited. When her mother didn't pick up, the chirpy voicemail announcing that she was probably taking care of world endage and would call back as soon as possible, Dawn's frown deepened. If her mother had been trying to get a hold of her, then her phone would definitely be on her person. Maybe she was in a fight?
"Hey mom, it's me. Looks like I got knocked out for three or so days, but hey, not dead yet, so everything's good. Give me a call when you get this, because I totally want to know why you called me practically three dozen times. Love you!"
Unfortunately, right after she ended the call, her phone died. Understandable, of course, since it hadn't been charged for the past three days, but still irritating. The phones Willow magic-ed up were great with the whole letting them work while in restricted areas and different dimensions, but they still only had the capabilities the original phone had, which included a sucky battery life. Pulling her things into her arms she checked out the extra door in the room and lucked out. It was a utilitarian, tiny shower stall, but it was a shower, and beggars couldn't be choosers. There was even a tiny bar of unwrapped soap sitting on the sink that she could use on her hair and skin. It certainly wasn't the worst conditions she had ever been in.
A quick and cold shower later, Dawn finger combed through her hair, satisfied when she stopped looking like a drowned rat and just a clean ragamuffin. Then she slipped on a puddle of water and caught herself against the mirror, opening up a cabinet she hadn't known was there. And hey look, combs! She could upgrade clean ragamuffin into almost normal, though she was definitely going without underwear. That she wrapped up in a paper towel and shoved into the bottom of her purse. Like hell she was going to throw it away; lingerie was expensive.
She was just sitting on the edge of the hospital bed, lacing her feet back into the strappy three inch heels when the door opened with a bit more force than Dawn expected to see in a hospital.
"I have your results!" the nurse blurted excitedly, waving the small sheaf of papers she held in the air like a prize.
"My results?" Dawn asked warily. "Results for what? Oh, Goddess, I'm not pregnant am I?" came the suddenly panicked question. She quickly swore to the Goddess she'd never have unprotected sex again, just please
don't let her be pregnant. She'd never survive the chaos that would stir up in all of the Scoobies if she was pregnant. Her mom would be so disappointed, and Uncle Spike and Uncle Angel would track down the guy and probably kill him, it would take longer if Uncle Oz didn't help, but knowing him he probably would, not to mention that Aunt Willow and Aunt Tara would be using the mojo to catch up–
"No, honey," the nurse giggled, shielding her mouth with the corner of the file. Dawn's panic relaxed into a tense wariness just for a second before the nurse continued. "Your blood results. You know, the paternity test? Congratulations! John Winchester is indeed your father!"