A/N: And this, ladies and gentlemen, is it. We're done. I'll post the real
epilogue, which became its own story, in a few days and hopefully have the next part ready to go some time in June. Any and all encouragements, ideas of requests are welcome. Thanks for your support.
Twelve hours later all three hunters were moderately well rested, fed and mostly healed up. They had talked about Sam’s amazing mind-feat over a very, very late lunch – the sun was already setting – and come to the conclusion that, as soon as they hit Bobby’s, they would have to try and figure out if it was another fluke, or if his control was actually getting better.
The youngest Winchester cheered at the thought of graduating from M&Ms to something larger, say, a knife, but didn’t get his hopes up. After all, like the very first time, Dean’s life had been in danger the night before and that tended to set all kinds of reserves loose in him.
After eating they’d obsessively watched the news for almost an hour and breathed careful sighs of relief when they had found no mention of themselves or any suspects. Andy’s face was plastered across every screen, but the police seemed to have only the vaguest of leads on a guy who went by the name of Jake and had tried to molest a blonde – as of yet unidentified woman – the night before. Andrea Warren had saved the woman and disappeared shortly after to be found dead in her burned down home. They knew no more than that and were asking for any new leads.
Good for them.
Now they were all back on the bed, lying like sardines in the can, flat on their backs, arms at their sides, shoulders bumping, staring straight at the ceiling and trying not to be the first to start the conversation they all knew they needed to have. Buffy’s arm was healed, the sling hanging on the door knob as a reminder to put it back on when they left.
“We need to talk about this,” Sam finally told the ceiling, after the silence had long since gotten awkward.
“Do we?” Dean asked in a last ditch effort to escape the conversation.
“We do,” Buffy agreed, sounding mightily reluctant.
“I don’t want to,” Dean whined.
“Dude, we almost got killed because we got sloppy because…,” Sam waved one and wildly to encompass all three of them and maybe their entire lives.
“We’re all making googly-eyes at each other,” Buffy finished.
“I don’t do ‘googly-eyes’, princess.”
“Yeah, you do and you know it,” Sam corrected without heat. “We all do. And we can’t keep doing that.”
“So what do we do?” the oldest demanded, obviously wanting to get this conversation over and done with as quickly as possible. He didn’t like talking about his emotions and sorting out who crushed on who with his brother and the object of said crushing as very high on his top ten list of ways not to spend the afternoon. Right after jumping off a cliff and poking himself in the eye, actually. Well, maybe before the eye. The eye would heal. He wasn’t so sure he’d ever get over the trauma of this talk.
“I can leave,” Buffy suggested, only to be immediately shot down by two almost identical grunts of disagreement.
“Don’t be stupid,” Sam told her. “You’re not leaving.”
“Erm…,” Sam started again, since Dean had obviously decided to weather this talk with as much stoic silence as he could. He sat up and looked at Buffy with a quizzical expression before opening his mouth, closing it again and lying back down.
The ceiling was fascinating.
“If you were gonna suggest I hook up with your brother because he’s going to hell and deserves some fun, I’m gonna bust your knee caps, mister.”
“You know,” the blonde suggested after another minute of silence, “We could just agree to ignore whatever this is and be friends.”
“Friends who sleep in each others’ beds?”
“Ain’t gonna work,” Dean refuted, still studying the ceiling.
“Of course,” Buffy added, “We could also just have very hot, incest-y threesome sex and be done with it.” She sighed dreamily as Sam made a noise like a strangled cat and Dean honest-to-God gagged.
“Exactly,” she concluded.
“God… can you… gah!” Dean hit his temple with the heel of his palm, trying to grind the images in his brain to powder and apparently not succeeding, if his grimace was anything to go by.
“Buffy!” Sam whined.
“Look,” the slayer sat up, looking at them both in turn. “I like this, okay? I like having you at my back, I like knowing there’s someone that’s gonna bail me out if I get into trouble. I like that there’s someone who gets what it’s all about, who mocks crappy diner food with me and talks weapons and patches me up. I like that there’s someone to talk to because this job can get pretty lonely and I know you’re about to have an aneurism from chick-flicky-ness, Dean, but I like having you two around. As friends. So I think you’re both hot and I know you think the same about me because, hello, predator here, I know when someone’s watching me and can we please, please not ruin this? Can we just be friends who sleep in each others’ beds and save each others’ lives and do this crazy monster killing road trip thing together? We agree to leave the whole attraction thing alone and stop being stupid around each other and make this work. Please?”
Behind her back, the brothers looked at each other, both well aware that you couldn’t just switch off attraction. But then Dean shrugged because what it came down to was this: They both did stupid things when the other was in trouble and while including a third in that equation maybe meant more stupid things, it also meant one more person to help get them out of trouble and that’s what they did. They looked after each other and so far, they were alive.
Dean had sent their father away once, because he thought they were weak when they were together. He’d learned, within a few months, how wrong he was. And yes, he knew that in this comparison he was lumping a woman he’d known for only a few weeks in with his own father, but who cared? He had less than a year to live so he could do as he damn well pleased and if there was someone he could trust to look after Sammy once he was gone, all the better.
So, yeah. End of story.
“On one condition,” he informed Buffy.
“You never ever, ever mention incest-y threesome sex again. Ever.”
Buffy’s smile could have probably lit up a small Midwestern town or two.
As soon as the conversation was declared over, all three of them put as much distance between them as they could. Sam fled into the bathroom, Buffy into the far corner with a cheap romance novel and Dean went to inspect his baby.
At full dark they packed their things and got ready to go. They were finally making it to Bobby’s place, come hell or high water or the damn apocalypse.
Buffy, who seemed mostly bemused by the boys’ insistence on getting there fast – she’d never had to face Bobby’s wrath head on because she was a week late for a check-in – quietly sung under her breath, “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.”
Dean immediately raised his hand and called dibs on the lion.
“The cowardly one, you mean?” Sam teased.
“He only thinks he’s a coward. In reality, he’s brave as can be,” Buffy pointed out.
“Suck-up,” Sam accused, flicking a pair of socks at his broadly grinning brother.
“Don’t worry, Sammy,” Dean said as he caught the missile out of mid-air. “You can be Toto.”
Sam harrumphed mightily. “First Scooby and now Toto?”
His brother nodded sagely.
“Why do I always have to be the dog?”
Dean barked, Buffy laughed. “It’s the eyes, Sam. Big, cute, adorable dog eyes."
Sam considered feeling insulted when his own socks hit him in the forehead, returned by his dear brother, and then decided against it and pouted instead.
One last time?