Ch. 14 To Tell The Truth
Ack I know I haven’t updated this fic in a really, really long time but real life has slammed me lately. So thanks to those who have very patiently waited for an update! I hope you enjoy it!
This is based around episode “Simon Said”
As more muffled chortles rang through the gathering crowd, Dean hooked his sights on Buffy, noticing her sheepish expression had deepened when practically all the men in the bar stared at her with assessing gazes. She really knew how to play up the naïve, pretty girl angle.
“That’s a sucker’s bet,” Ted snorted.
Dean tore his eyes from Buffy and casually shrugged at Ted as the scrawny dude whipped a lock of curly hair over his shoulder. Ted flicked his bright yellow trucker hat as he leaned against the jukebox, boasting a smug smile. Dean fought a huge urge to laugh his ass off at the sight of Ted and his two friends all wearing matching trucker hats and denim sleeveless vests, looking like some lame hillbilly boy band. They stood tall, despite Dean having a good foot and a half over each of them. Dean simply shrugged as he leaned over a small table, placing the fifty dollar bill in front of him.
“Well, guess I’m a sucker for a hot babe in pink leather pants,” he quipped. “What does it matter to you anyhow, if it’s a sucker’s bet, you’ll be going home with a little extra something and so will I.”
Dean threw a mischievous smile and a wink at Buffy as the crowd began to grumble around them. Ted pushed off the jukebox and flicked his nose as he threw a pugnacious frown at Dean.
“What makes you think she’d go home with you huh? She came over to us,” Ted said.
Ted sauntered up to Dean as his two friends flanked him, trying to look imposing. Dean snorted in his throat as he looked over the trio.
“Well, if she wins, she can decide whether she wants a nice piece of prime rib or.....the scraps.”
Ted and his friends huddled briefly, pulling crumbled bills from the pockets of their faded jeans. As whispers erupted amongst the trio, Dean let out an impatient sigh.
“Come on Jethro, it’s show time.”
Ted hitched his head up and threw a defiant glare.
“Hold on, PRETTY BOY,” he sneered. “When we take your money, we’re taking this thing with us, cuz Buddy thinks she’s fine.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes on Buddy as he rubbed his hands together. A tuft of red hair peeked out from under his trucker hat, and beneath his sleeveless vest was a skull and bones tee shirt. He pumped his eyebrows and licked his lips at her. Buffy veiled her disgust, exaggerating an innocent look as she backed away.
“Woah, what kind of girl do you think I am boys? I just wanted to play some darts, have a drink or two and then go home, I didn’t want nor expect this to turn into.....whatever this is. I don’t want to cause any trouble, so.....never mind.”
Buffy started to weave out of the crowd when Ted and his friends blocked her path.
“Cool your heels sweet cakes,” Ted grunted. “We got this. We’ll show you how to play and we’ll buy you all the drinks you want cuz this dude is a sucker and it won’t take long to clean out his wallet. So stick around sweet cakes.”
“Yeah, stick around SWEET CAKES,” Dean tossed back with a smile.
Buffy swallowed her deep groan as she eyed all the men watching her.
Fifteen minutes later:
“Ah ah sweet cakes, you got to do the shots first and then you shoot,” Ted reminded.
Buffy bit down on her lower lip as a waitress lined several fresh shot glasses of tequila on the table. She sucked in a deep breath before forcing down one of the shots. Though she could handle more alcohol than most girls her size, she had already started to feel the effects of the rum and Coke from earlier. She was beginning to wonder if the bartender had even used Coke in that drink and now she was having to wash down straight tequila in triplicate.
Buffy gulped apprehensively as Ted and his friends waited expectantly for her to polish off the other two shots in front of her. She had to take these guys down before the tequila blew her con right out of the water. As she picked up the second shot, she spied a glance at Dean, watching her from his table.
“Your turn honey buns,” Ted said.
Buffy eyed Ted as he held out a handful of darts. As she took the darts from him and passed by the three, she nearly jumped after feeling a smack on her ass. She stamped back her fury when she turned around and noticed Buddy, chortling loudly with his friends. When his back was turned, Buffy narrowed a glare on him after hearing what he whispered.
“She’s got a nice little rump.”
Buffy threw her dart wide, watching it sail through the air and hit the edge of the board. She exaggerated a guilty mope as she sunk against the table.
“Oh gosh, I missed the target thingy again,” she moaned.
Ted and his friends snorted smugly at Dean as they collected the pile of cash on the table.
Dean pulled on his beer before he slapped another bill on the table.
“That’s alright sweetheart,” he said, cracking a wink at Buffy. “Why don’t you try again?”
Ted stared back at Dean in mass disbelief.
“Dude, you are throwing your money in the shit can tonight.”
Dean pushed the bills into a new pile and shrugged.
“Then I guess the next round is on you.”
Five more minutes and several shots later:
Buffy threw her next set of darts under the watchful eyes of Ted and his friends. She tossed the first deliberately wide, drawing another mope until Buddy curled his arm around her shoulder, flashing her an encouraging smile. Buffy swallowed her disgruntled frown, batting her eyes fervently instead as she threw the second, two inches from the bulls-eye.
Ted and his friends reeled with shock as Buffy exaggerated her own.
“Wow! I did it!” she roared.
“Practice makes perfect right sweet cakes?” Buddy chortled.
Buffy struggled to keep her innocent expression on her face as Buddy beamed a goofy grin, smacking her playfully on the butt again.
“Wonder what else she needs practice with,” Buddy muttered to Ted.
Buffy groaned softly in her throat as Buddy and Ted chuckled.
“What kind of panties do you think she’s got on?” Buddy whispered to Ted.
Five minutes later:
Buffy widened her amazed look as Ted and his friends stared at the bulls-eye, struck with three darts.
“Oh my gosh,” Buffy gasped. “I guess you guys are really good teachers or something.”
“Beginner’s luck,” Ted grumbled.
Dean collected the pile of cash on the table and threw a smile at Ted and his friends.
“Well, gentlemen, it’s been fun but it’s getting late and I’ve got an ‘award’ to present,” he said as he turned his sights to
Buffy. “What do you say sweetheart? Ready to receive your winnings?”
As Dean threw a wink and a smile, Ted poked him sharply in the shoulder.
“Not so fast,” Ted grunted. “You took our money but you ain’t riding off with her. She’s Buddy’s fine little rump.”
“Yeah, I taught her everything she knows about darts, so I should be getting’ a Teacher’s Award,” Buddy cut in.
Buddy sauntered over to Dean, clapping a hand on Buffy’s ass as he passed by. Caught up by the firmness of her butt, Buddy shamelessly rubbed it while grinning back at his friends.
Buffy instinctively curled her hands into fists and growled deep in her throat when that hairy paw groped her for the last time. She snapped her eyes up at Buddy as he guffawed with his friends.
“How about a nice apple to your face?!” she barked.
As Buddy turned his eyes, Buffy cracked her fist hard into his face, sending him stumbling back. Buddy tumbled over a bar stool and crashed to the ground. When he cupped his nose and groaned, his friends stared in shock at Buffy while Dean had to struggle to keep from laughing his ass off.
“That bitch broke my nose!” Buddy wailed.
Buffy glowered down at Buddy as blood streamed out of his nostrils.
“I will break more parts of you if you touch me again,” she snarled.
Ted, Buddy and his friend eyed each other before glaring suspiciously at Buffy.
“Why do I get the feeling you played us little lady?” Ted snorted harshly.
Two minutes later:
Buffy and Dean burst out the side door of the roadhouse clutching their wads of cash as boisterous noise echoed inside. Dean looked back to see the bar fight still going on amongst several drunk and surly men. While Buffy made a hasty exit through the parking lot, Dean found himself shuddering with laughter. He shook his head as he fell in step with Buffy.
“Well, you left quite the impression…..on Handsy Bear’s face.”
Dean snickered for a long moment as Buffy seethed with annoyance.
“He’s really lucky he’s a pathetic, boneheaded human because I swear I would have done a lot worse if he was a demon.”
Buffy growled as she blew out a deep breath to release the frustration in her system. After settling into the passenger seat, she felt the adrenaline in her veins tapering off a bit.
“Okay, so that was a bad impulse,” she muttered. “But a girl can only take so much unwanted ass rubbing.”
When she heard a faint but distinct moan of delight uttered from the driver seat, Buffy shifted her eyes to see Dean with a silly smile on his face.
“What was that about?” she asked.
“Oh, nothing, you just conjured up some nice imagery of unlimited, wanted ass rubbing in my mind,” Dean confessed. “So thanks.”
Buffy groaned very deeply in her throat and rolled her eyes as Dean sputtered with a heavy chuckle.
“Will you please shut up and take me to my room?” she demanded.
Dean sat up straight in the driver seat and sparked with excitement.
“Yes ma’am,” he said emphatically. “I like a girl who knows what she wants.”
Buffy shook her head as Dean snickered over the car engine.
“This was fun,” he cheered as he swung the car out of the lot.
Within a few minutes, Dean pulled into the parking lot of the Cozy Hotel and Suites, frowning at the room rates advertised on the marquis.
“Jesus, half your earnings blown on a one night stay.”
Buffy leaned on the passenger door, clutching a hand over the latch as Dean eased the car in front of the two story building.
“I’m upstairs,” she said as she read the number on her card key.
“I’ll walk you up.”
But Dean had already put the car in park and switched off the engine, stuffing his keys in his pocket as he got out. Buffy gulped as she slowly got out of the passenger side, meeting Dean at the foot of the stairs. As they walked up, the brief silence was broken by that familiar low chuckle. Buffy turned her eyes to see Dean shaking his head in amusement.
“What is it now?”
“I was just thinking, that’s the first bar fight I’ve ever been in with a chick.”
“Huh,” Buffy scoffed lightly. “You don’t hang out with me enough.”
Buffy snorted goofily as Dean raised an eyebrow in immense curiosity.
“Really,” he said. “So that’s a typical night out for you then huh? What happens after?”
“Mm, usually we just fall into bed. Me and Faith,” she blurted out.
Buffy widened her eyes when she realized how naughty that sounded. She cursed the effects of the tequila shots starting to take over her thoughts.
“Uh, I mean, not me and Faith in the same bed,” she stammered. “Well, there was one time we couldn’t get two beds and
we were forced to share but that wasn’t…..”
Buffy stopped herself from blabbering on anymore when that annoying smirk rained over her.
“I know what you’re thinking,” she groaned. “So stop it.”
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with having a little ‘bonding’ time with your soul sister. I won’t judge you.”
As that annoying smirk widened, Buffy rolled her eyes and slipped her card into the slot. When the green light flickered and the lock clicked, she gulped in surprise as Dean reached over her shoulder and pushed the door open. She shifted nervously under the doorway when she realized he was firmly planted behind her so if she tried to back away, she would have risked crashing right into him, melding her body against his. When her mind unintentionally flashed on steamy images of their bodies melding in an assortment of ways, she held back a faint squeak tumbling around her throat. She slowly blew out a heated breath and turned around to see Dean gazing at her with an intense spark in his eyes - the brightest spark she had seen in weeks. It was the same degree of spark that had glowed upon her when she confronted Dean in the alley back in Salvation.
“Um, I’ll um, see you tomorrow?”
Buffy gulped deeply when those eyes glowed intensely with his intentions.
“Oh yeah, you bet.”
Dean gently pushed passed her and stepped inside, his eyes anxiously surveying the room. Buffy stumbled through the doorway and watched him curiously as he switched the main light on for a second before snapping it off.
Dean strode over to one of the bedside lamps and plucked it on. He cocked his head, giving the room a long look. The light banking off the curtains washed the room in a soft, amber glow.
“Much better,” he said.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Dean steered his eyes upon hers as he unzipped his jacket and started to take it off.
“Oh, would you prefer to have the lights on? That’s cool with me. We’ll uncover all the ‘mysteries’ a lot quicker.”
Buffy bit back the heat rising in her cheeks as Dean draped his jacket over a chair.
“I meant why did you….invite yourself in?”
“Well, you won, so I’m fulfilling my end of the bet.”
Buffy forced out an awkward laugh.
“Uh bbbut that....that was part of the scam,” she stuttered. “And I......it’s kind of late and you have to leave early tomorrow, I mean, I have to be somewhere and......”
She scowled and crossed her arms, trying to maintain her composure but the blurring effects of tequila and rum were making it difficult. She huffed deeply as she poured herself a glass of water and sucked it down. After another quick glass, she stamped it down on the table and frowned with dismay.
“You really think that after a couple of good moments between us that I was gonna just fall into bed with you now? Really?”
After staring back at her for a moment, Dean shrugged casually as he wandered around the room.
“No, not now,” he admitted. “I thought we could start off.....”
Dean leaned against a long dresser and tested its durability by giving it a few good shoves with his hands.
“Here on the dresser – it seems pretty sturdy,” he said with a pleased smile.
Buffy rolled her eyes as Dean strolled into the small living area, stopping at a cushy arm chair draped with a velvet blanket.
“Then we can take a turn or two in this nice comfy chair,” he added, giving the chair a pat.
As another image conjured in her mind, Buffy tugged desperately on the collar of her jacket, feeling suffocated by the tense heat boiling through her veins.
“Can’t leave out the good ‘ol couch - probably has a fold out too.....and then we’ll be on and OVER that desk - hell maybe even under it with that flexibility of yours....so you know what, we probably won’t even make it to the bed tonight. Good point,” he said with a smirk.
Buffy froze when her mind tumbled through a series of erotic pictures while her eyes drifted over all the pieces of furniture Dean had listed off. When her mouth uttered a faint squeak from the vivid imagery, she heard a distinctive snort, snapping her out of her daze.
“Oh, so you are game huh? Awesome. Let’s get started.”
Buffy swallowed a gasp when she saw Dean smirking with satisfaction as he slowly drifted toward her. She backed away and shook her head - not that she couldn’t flatten Dean if he made an unwanted advance; she was more concerned over her losing her own composure. She couldn’t kid herself into thinking she wasn’t attracted to him, she knew she was, for every time she was alone with him, her body started stirring with long absent sensations. If just one look from those gleaming green eyes rained upon her, just one sexy smile was thrown her way, if just one opportunity presented itself, she couldn’t be certain she could resist.
“Come on Summers, do you always have to be so straight laced? I mean, haven’t you ever just done something impulsive with a guy and not let it get complicated? Is it always work, work, work with you? Do you even know how to have fun?”
With that intense gaze intoxicating her senses, Buffy sucked in a breath as she took a small step back when he inched forward. Her mind recalled several ‘impulsive’ moments with two guys – vampires in particular – along with the succession of bad choices in her love life.
“I have fun from time to time,” she affirmed. “It’s just....any time I do ‘something’ impulsive with a guy....it never turns out well.”
As disappointment and glimmers of pain washed briefly over her face, Dean simply threw her a nonchalant look.
“Oh. Okay. If it makes you feel better, how about we agree to not have something – that way there’s nothing there to end badly.”
Buffy balked loudly with disbelief.
“Wow Dean, you really want this night to end....well there,” she said, eyeing the bed.
Dean circled back through the room, stopping just a stride from Buffy.
“Well, it CAN but like I said before, we might not even get there,” he said, eyeing the bed. “But if you prefer, we can start there.”
When her mind popped with possibilities and her lower half stung with excitement, Buffy cleared her throat and clung apprehensively to the wall adjacent to the bed.
“What happened to the whole ‘I respect you too much to try to seduce you SHAMELESSLY thing?” she pointed.
Buffy gulped when Dean cut the short stride between them, framing her against the wall with his arms. When the scent of soap and cologne hit her senses, her body began to quiver with an unnerving arousal. Taking her lack of verbal protest as a sign, Dean leaned in a little closer, drawing his index finger across her cheek, letting it travel down to the crook of her shoulder. Buffy squeaked very softly in her throat as Dean hooked her with an intense gaze. He leaned precariously close to her mouth, hovering near it, drawing his own mouth near hers but not making contact. For a long minute, Buffy stared at his mouth hovering a mere half inch from hers. When her body began throbbing and heating with anticipation, her eyes fixated on his mouth, picturing how it felt pressed against hers, what his arms felt like holding her, what those hands felt like caressing her all over…..
Buffy heaved a hot breath as her self restraint snapped under the weight of her imagination running rampant.
“I believe I only admitted to respecting you ‘a little’,” he clarified before ending the gap between their mouths.
Dulled by the stir of excitement raging in her body, Buffy barely absorbed the offensive statement as she sunk against Dean. Her hand fell against his chest and her body tightened with more attraction when she felt the firm ridges of muscle. A deep moan rumbled in her throat as she opened her mouth and accelerated the degree of their kiss, from a small, teasing brush across the lips to a deeper, heated exploration of each others mouths.
After probing the inside of his mouth for a time, Buffy grinned goofily when the tip of her tongue picked up the taste of beer and manliness. Her mind popped with a blissful sensation when his hands slipped over her waist, holding her tightly against him. She squeaked very softly in her throat when she felt the blast of heat radiating from the core of his body. It wasn’t until she felt his hands wandering beyond her waistline that her mind rudely interrupted with a disturbing realization.
Buffy broke from Dean’s mouth and pushed him back as her face knitted with a frown.
“Wait, what? You respect me but not enough to still make a pass at me when you’re feeling a little better, huh?”
Dean stared at her in disbelief.
“Seriously? You have a rebuttal for that now?”
Buffy deepened her frown as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“You distracted me with a….shameless tactic,” she accused.
“Tactic? You copped a feel before I did,” Dean said pointedly. “Not to mention you instigated that tongue probe.”
When Buffy flushed with a sheepish look, Dean lifted out of his mild annoyance.
“Not that I’m complaining,” he said lightly. “I mean, it was a nice distraction. You really don’t half ass anything, do you? Anyway, where were we?”
As Dean moved forward, Buffy blew out a deep breath and shuffled toward the window.
“Look Dean,” she started. “I know what you’ve been through lately so if all I am is just a ‘distraction’, then no offense but.....you need to go....”
Buffy hardened her expression as she glanced at the door.
“Are you serious?”
“Do I look like I’m kidding?” she snapped. “I thought we reached an understanding. That you wouldn’t treat me or see me like one of your sheets that you roll under and toss off when you’re done. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that you seem to be feeling more like….yourself but I don’t want to be part of….what you’re offering.”
After staring at her in silence for a long minute, Dean let out a short scoff and shook his head.
“Just when I thought I’d figured you out.......”
Buffy fidgeted nervously in her stance as Dean eased back against the headboard and gazed at her for a moment.
“You are an enigma wrapped in a fine little package,” he said in awe.
Buffy furrowed her brows in wonder as Dean slipped his hands behind his head and made himself comfortable on her bed.
“So what’s your deal huh? Bad break up or bad taste in men?”
As he narrowed his eyes on her, Buffy averted her sights and ignored the question.
“Oh, so it’s both huh? Interesting.”
Buffy snapped her sights back on Dean and frowned when she noticed his gratified smirk.
“I didn’t say anything,” she objected.
“No, but I’m pretty good at reading people and their reactions. You may have said nothing but your eyes – your eyes said a lot.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and raised her head in a defiant motion.
“The only thing my eyes are saying is that you’re....annoying! And I want you to go now.”
“Being evasive, check,” Dean snorted with a smirk.
“I will throw you out.”
“Threatening me, check,” he retorted.
Buffy growled deep in her throat and shook her head as Dean burst into laughter. When the air fell silent, Buffy kept her eyes on the front door. She heard Dean release a heavy sigh and then turned to see a shroud of bitterness cloaking over his face.
“What do you want? I mean, take a look at our lives, we hunt evil things, that’s not NORMAL. This is just how it is, I hunt, I eat, I sleep and every so often, I need a break. So yeah, you are a distraction, but is that really so bad? This whole time I’ve been with you I haven’t thought about all the crap going on in my life. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. I was actually having some fun and I thought we were having a little more.”
Buffy studied Dean curiously as he drew a far off look, the hard lines on his face fading very briefly. He stared past her for a long moment, apparently lost in his thoughts for a time.
“But it seems clear now, that I can’t give you what you’re looking for,” he said bluntly.
Despite his resentful tone, the sadness sprinkling his face betrayed his intention to insult her. While she didn’t know a great deal about Dean, she knew better than to believe anything his defensive side tossed at her. Beyond the crusty attitude was a guy in a deep pit of pain and her heart ached with compassion.
“I can’t have something normal,” he grumbled as he abruptly got up from the bed.
Buffy let out a deep breath when she absorbed the reappearance of the pessimistic, irascible “Ice Man” as he shrugged into his jacket. As he flipped the collar of his jacket up, he tossed her a rough look.
“You really know how to kill a party,” he spat as he headed toward the door. “Whatever. I’m outta here.”
Dean hooked a hand on the door handle and let out an agitated breath.
Dean huffed in annoyance as he kept his back turned on Buffy.
“What?” he barked.
“Just because you can’t have something normal, doesn’t mean it has to be worthless,” Buffy replied softly.
Dean turned on his heel and stared at the Slayer as the hard lines on her face had depleted. After a long look, Dean turned back to the door and swung it open.
“We’ll swing by before eight,” he said on his way out.
Early the next morning, Buffy packed up her bathroom items as she spoke with Faith on the phone.
“Well, I knew you’d do better at reaching out to him than I could,” Faith said. “And can I ask what happened after you pulled the con?”
“Oh um, not much, he dropped me off and um…..”
As the previous night’s events unintentionally tumbled out of her mouth, Buffy felt her cheeks flushing with color.
“What?! Woah,” Faith gasped. “So just to be clear, Dean invited himself into your room last night, told you about all the ways you two would have wild animal sex and you said NO?! Are you crazy or did you join a convent while I was away?”
Buffy let out a sigh as she zipped up her bag and set it by the door.
“What was I supposed to do?”
“HIM!” Faith declared.
As Faith snickered over the phone, Buffy shook her head and sighed again.
“You know my reasons for not wanting to get involved with Dean.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Faith acknowledged. “But come on B, in a way, he’s right. The way we live our lives, we don’t have time to get complicated with regular guys, to do all that shit of hiding who we are or explaining why we’re late for something. We are who we are and the world is what it is. You could be eating dust tomorrow so, why not just wrap your legs tight around big bro and go at it like mad monkeys?”
Faith ripped with laughter on the other line as Buffy rolled her eyes in jest.
“There’s a big bad out there Faith,” Buffy said. “And he’s already given me the slip a couple of times already. I need to stay focused.”
“Yeah, but you also need to relax. And what’s so bad about being a distraction?”
“Seriously Faith? I’m not a one night and walk on kind of girl,” Buffy groaned. “I’ve been on the other side of that you know and it’s not fun.”
“I know but give yourself a break,” Faith said. “I mean, you’re no fun when I’m not around, otherwise, your room would be totally trashed from all the wild ani….”
“Faith, do not make the reference again,” Buffy moaned. “Or I’m hanging up.”
“Okay, okay, just tell me one thing, how was the kiss?”
Buffy felt her throat tightening with heat as the memory of her kissing Dean flashed through her mind.
“Uh it was…..sufficient.”
“Jesus B, he’s not a training exercise!” Faith groaned. “Although - with that proposition he made to you last night you would have gotten quite the workout!”
Buffy groaned as Faith chuckled on the other line.
“I don’t know how you could have said no after he smacked one on you.”
“It’s….complicated,” Buffy sighed.
“Ohhhh, so boinking a vampire wasn’t?”
“Okay, okay. So I don’t really want to step onto the Heartbreak Train again,” Buffy confessed.
Buffy jumped in startle when she heard a short honk of a car horn outside. She peeked through the blinds to see Dean’s car running idle in the parking lot.
“Oh, I gotta go. My ride’s here,” she said.
“The car or the man?” Faith teased.
“Bye Faith,” Buffy said over Faith’s laughter.
As the car engine ran idle, Sam passed his brother a curious look when he didn’t continue to obnoxiously hammer the horn. Dean had simply cranked up the radio and rapped his fingers against the steering wheel.
“You’ve been awfully quiet,” Sam remarked.
Dean steered his eyes from the street to Sam.
“And? Is that wrong or something?”
“It’s just, I didn’t hear you come in last night,” Sam said. “So you must’ve been out late with Buffy. I figured you’d be bragging in your obnoxiously immature way.”
“Well, maybe I don’t want to kiss and tell.”
Sam rolled his eyes in skepticism.
“Right, if that were true, you wouldn’t be my brother,” he challenged. “So, maybe you don’t have a ‘kiss and tell’ story because it didn’t happen.”
“Dude, I don’t have to tell you every story.”
Sam crooked an eyebrow, drawing a deeper look of doubt.
“Yeah, you do Dean.”
Sam studied his brother for a long moment until Dean looked away.
“Ohhhh - wow, she shot you down!” Sam gasped.
Dean pulled his eyes back to Sam as his younger brother guffawed.
“What? No, she didn’t,” he said too quickly. “That’s not what happened.”
Sam rocked his head back when his brother’s frown of protest shifted slightly into a sulk.
“That’s EXACTLY what happened!”
“Look, I just wasn’t feelin’ it with her, okay?”
Sam tilted his head and raised an eyebrow.
“Seriously Dean? You expect me to buy that? All you’ve talked about since you met Buffy is how much you’ve wanted to….um, get to know her. So I’m thinking, you finally made your play but Buffy wasn’t the one feeling it because she wants a decent guy so she SHOT – YOU – DOWN!”
Sam chuckled deeply as Buffy exited her room and started descending the stairs.
“Dude, you got it all wrong,” Dean protested.
“No, I think I’m right,” Sam said with a smug smile.
“You are not.”
“Oh, I so am.”
“Shut up bitch.”
As Sam bellowed with laughter, he sucked in a breath in between bouts and said, “Jerk!”
Buffy blew out an uneasy breath as she approached the car. Fortunately, her destination was only a few miles away and
she planned on burying her awkward feelings in the latest People magazine she had snaked from the hotel lobby.
“Just stick to business,” she told herself as she swung the backseat door open.
After settling into the backseat, she glanced curiously between a grinning Sam and a sour faced Dean.
“Uh, did I interrupt something?”
Sam chuckled to himself while Dean shot him a dirty look before peeling out of the parking lot.
“Oh-kay,” Buffy said softly.
After a mile on the highway, Buffy looked up from her magazine when she felt a pair of eyes on her. As she caught Dean glancing at her in the rear view mirror, he quickly shifted his sights to the road.
Within a half hour, Dean jerked the car to a curbside apartment complex and then tapped on the speedometer.
“That’ll be….fifteen bucks ma’am,” he cracked. “Exact change is appreciated.”
Buffy hung on the backseat door and rolled her eyes.
“I said I could take a bus,” she groaned.
Sam waved a hand in dismiss.
“It was our pleasure,” he said.
“Yours maybe,” Dean grumbled.
“Bye Buffy, thanks for everything,” Sam said sincerely.
“Yeah, see ya Kiki.”
Buffy groaned softly as she got out of the car. She shouldered her bag and poked her head through Sam’s window.
“So um, how do I get a hold of you if I need to?”
“Dying to see me again huh sweetheart?” Dean snorted obnoxiously. “You should be.”
Buffy rolled her eyes as Dean shot her that annoying smirk.
“I meant, if I find out something on Yellow Eyes, how can I contact you guys?”
“Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” Dean cracked snidely.
Buffy released an exasperated breath until Sam reached into a pocket and pulled out a business card. He scribbled some numbers on it as Dean simply stared at the road ahead. Sam handed the card to Buffy.
“Cool, I’ll let you know if I get any leads,” she said. “Bye guys. Have a safe trip to….wherever you’re headed next.”
“You too,” Sam said.
Dean responded by letting off the brake and veering away from the curb.
One week later:
Buffy let out a soft groan as her face knotted with distress. She flipped onto her left side and then her right as her mind was gripped by a disturbing dream.
She heard the cries of an infant as she walked down a dark hallway. Seeing the light spilling out from under the doorway, Buffy pushed it open, vividly sensing an ominous presence on the other side. As the door swung open, she saw not one but several infants in their cribs, all sobbing softly. A year was painted out in pink and blue on the wall above the cribs.
Feeling the heavy darkness in the room, Buffy turned her eyes to see a figure standing above the last crib on the end. A mobile of baseballs and baseball bats turned slowly as the figure held a hand above the crib.
“Get away from him!” Buffy snarled.
The figure turned around and flared yellow eyes, smiling evilly at her. As she pounced toward the Demon, the environment around her shook rapidly. She was looking down at the same baby in their crib, the pungent smell of smoke and fire snapping at her nostrils. She tried to break loose of the invisible force pinning her to the ceiling but it was no use, her flesh and bone were rapidly burning away. As she tried to utter a scream through her charred vocal chords, she heard a male cry of agony echoing in the smoke filled room.
Her eyes stung from the flames engulfing her so she couldn’t identify who was screaming but she could hear two distinct names being called.
But then suddenly, the flames died out instantly and Buffy found herself strolling through an unfamiliar town. The sound of a shotgun firing drew her attention to a sporting goods store. Through the display window she saw a man blown across the store before his killer turned the shotgun on himself. As the same male cry of agony haunted her ears, Buffy looked around the street, trying to find the owner of that voice. Following the echoes of the male voice into a dilapidated motel room, Buffy walked in to see a familiar face in one of the two beds. Feeling another dark presence, Buffy steered her eyes to the window. She gasped when she saw a large swirl of black smoke swallowing up the horizon. Hearing a soft whisper behind her, Buffy swung around to see Yellow Eyes staring back at her from the black smoke filled room…….
Buffy roused abruptly from her sleep, her mind prickling with dread from the horrific images in her dream. After letting her ragged breathing settle, she hurriedly picked up her purse and rummaged through it, searching for the business card Sam had given her. She grabbed her cell phone and dialed the first number, briefly noticing the time displayed on the bedside clock.
It was a little after eleven and though she realized it was late, she knew Dean kept odd hours. Plus, he would have wanted to know anything about Yellow Eyes, especially if Sam was involved. As she started dialing the first two numbers, memories of her last encounter with Dean passed through her mind. Putting the awkward situation aside, Buffy exhaled a deep breath and finished punching in his number. After two rings, the line picked up.
Buffy cleared her throat as she heard the faint sound of a jukebox playing and muffled chatter in the background. She had figured Dean was at a dive bar or a roadhouse based on his night owl habits.
“Uh, hey Dean, it’s Buffy.”
There was a very brief pause on the line as boisterous laughter burst in the background.
“Who is this?”
Buffy crinkled her brows in wonder.
“It’s Buffy,” she said clearly. “How much did you have to drink tonight?”
“Ohhhhh, Kiki! Well, why didn’t you just say so?”
Buffy rolled her eyes when she heard Dean laughing on the other end.
“Can you cut it out for one second? This is important,” she snapped.
After a brief silence, Buffy heard Dean heaving a sigh before answering.
“Yeah, yeah, what’s up?”
“Is Sam with you? Is he okay?” Buffy asked urgently.
“Yeah, he crashed at the motel about an hour ago. Why?”
Buffy paced anxiously around her room as she related the details of her dream. After she was finished, she heard a long silence on the other end.
“Dean? Are you still there?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m here, I’m just….absorbing it all,” Dean replied. “So - you had a weird dream about Sam - having a weird dream? That’s really......weird.”
“Welcome to my life.”
“Yeah, no kidding, anyway, what does it mean?”
“I’m not really sure,” Buffy admitted. “I just know it gave me a really bad feeling. My dreams lately seem to always be connected to Yellow Eyes. Sam hasn’t had any bad headaches or nightmares yet?”
“Not so far,” Dean reported. “And if he did, what am I supposed to do? I can’t prevent him from getting headaches. The whole idea of him having freaky visions is just.......well, freaky.”
“Well, where are you guys headed? I’m gonna jump on a bus now and meet up with you.”
Buffy plucked one of her empty bags from the floor and started yanking clothes out from her dresser.
“You sound eager. You’ve missed me that much huh?”
Buffy rolled her eyes when she heard Dean chuckling and pictured that annoying smirk on his face.
“God, will you ever give me a break?”
“I could but honestly, I really don’t want to. Besides a girl calls me up after eleven, what am I supposed to expect?”
Buffy blew out an exasperated sigh as she rolled her eyes again.
“Look, in my experience, my dreams aren’t something to take lightly,” she insisted. “They may not be clear, but they always have some sort of meaning. And since Sam and Yellow Eyes were all featured, I’d think you’d take this a little more seriously.”
As she stormed into her bathroom and hastily gathered her shower items, she heard the background noise fading.
“Okay, okay,” Dean surrendered. “But, you don’t need to back us up at every corner, you’ve got your job, we’ve got ours.”
Buffy exhaled an anxious breath, sitting down on the edge of her bed for a second. She clapped a hand on the back of her neck and rubbed out the growing knot of tension.
“I’m not saying you and Sam aren’t capable,” she said genuinely. “I’m pissed that ‘Ol Yellow Eyes got away. I want to put him down just as much as you guys do. After what he did to Faith and your dad, not to mention he almost killed you. There’s nothing more important than this right now, nothing. So let me know where you guys are headed and I’ll meet up with you at some point.”
Noticing Faith leaning in the doorway, Buffy got up from her bed and continued packing.
“I gotta go, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Buffy hung up as Faith stepped inside and looked at the disarray of opened drawers and discarded clothes on the floor.
“What’s all the ruckus about?”
“Sorry, did I wake you?” Buffy asked sheepishly.
“Nah, I was roaming,” Faith said. “I thought you were in bed. What’s up?”
Buffy filled Faith in on the details of her dream while stuffing weapons in a small duffle bag.
“So Yellow Eyes is about to wreck some havoc again,” Faith said.
“He’s involved somehow,” Buffy affirmed.
Buffy chewed apprehensively on her lip, having omitted describing the part of her dream about the names she had heard. Her gut instinct compelled her to withhold that detail, feeling it wasn’t her place to discuss it.
“Damn, I wish I could go with but the newbies are here in the morning and I’ve got to whip them into shape.”
“Better you than me,” Buffy moaned. “The last bunch nearly destroyed Giles’ library, he’s still peeved about that.”
“Well, I’m sure you’d rather have one on one time with Dean anyway so you can, you know finish what you started.”
Buffy balked in denial as she stopped packing her things.
“That’s not what I want,” she said.
“Oh yeah? So how come you touched your mouth and grinned when I said his name?” Faith challenged.
“What? I did not,” Buffy protested.
Faith crossed her arms and cocked her head in doubt.
Buffy snorted loudly as she impulsively brushed a hand over her mouth and grinned goofily. Faith snickered deeply when Buffy sheepishly dropped her hand and threw it behind her back.
“Just make sure you take safety measures,” Faith advised. “And I’m not talking about the stake in your pocket.”
“Faith! I told you that’s not what I….”
Faith raised a hand and swatted it through the air as she passed back through the doorway.
“Uh huh, keep trying to convince yourself you don’t want to have hot, messy sex everywhere and anywhere with that boy….Dean.”
Faith shot her eyes behind her to see Buffy’s scowl cracking with another goofy grin and hand sweep across the mouth. Buffy pouted deeply as Faith’s chuckles echoed in the hall after her.
“Can I get you anything else? We’re closing up soon so it’s last call. Perhaps, another honey blonde to keep you company?”
Dean clutched his beer bottle as his waitress, Mandee, eyed the Honey Blonde label and then smiled enticingly at him. She had been throwing flirtatious looks at him all night and had checked on him continuously. Her advances hadn’t gone totally unnoticed. After all, Dean had stayed behind specifically to test the waters again.
The sexy little blonde clamped a hand on her hip and dipped forward, flaunting her ample breasts packed behind her low cut yellow top. Her green eyes sparked with intense interest as she slowly raked her sights over him. She threw a lock of her blonde hair over a tan shoulder and leaned over the chair across from him.
“They’re real,” she whispered. “In case you were wondering.”
Hearing the confidence in her tone, he had no doubt of her fully loaded blessings. And damn if he didn’t want to bury his face between those blessings and mutter ‘hallelujahs’.
“I didn’t have any doubts,” he said with a satisfied look.
“I get off in a half hour,” she added, brushing a pink polished finger across the top of his hand. “And I guarantee, you will be too.”
He should have been jumping out of his seat for the half hour to pass, he should have felt his libido heating up and storming through him, he should have felt a lot of damn things, but as he sat there, gawking a little longer at the twins Ample and Abundant, all he felt was numb. And that’s when he realized that despite his initial interest, his attraction was fleeting.
“I’ll see you later?” Mandee asked anxiously.
Dean tried his best to hang on to what little desire he had, raking his eyes repeatedly over every curve in Mandee’s body but his mind kept betraying him. After his conversation with another little blonde, thoughts of Sam, the Yellow Eyed Demon and his Dad’s last instructions cloaked his sights. Mandee and her one hundred percent all natural breasts would have only served as a temporary distraction and he wasn’t even that interested.What the hell was he saying? Let’s give her another look.
Dean gazed at the easy Opportunity dropping herself in his lap, trying to lure his libido out of its self imposed retirement. But after a long minute, nothing stirred. He picked up his beer and issued a sigh of surrender.
“I’m gonna have to pass,” he said flatly.
Mandee furrowed her dark blonde brows and scoffed at him.
“Whatever, it’s your loss,” she said as she shimmied away.
Dean sighed and picked up his beer.
“You don’t know the half of it,” he moaned bitterly.
As her back length hair swayed across her hips, Dean felt his eyes wandering to his cell phone on the table. He picked it up and stared at the last phone number on the incoming calls log as his other hand still clung to the empty Honey Blonde bottle.
He swallowed a dry lump in his throat and winced, feeling absolutely parched. He could have used another honey blonde to quench his thirst, but she didn’t come in a bottle – nope, she was wrapped in a fine little package that tasted like tequila and cinnamon. If he closed his eyes for just a moment, he swore he could vividly taste her in his mouth, her sweet flavor intoxicating his senses. As visions of Kiki danced in his head, he heard a loud smack against the table. His eyes rolled open to see Mandee glaring icily at him as she pushed his tab toward him and then sashayed away.
Watching that taut ass waggling off, Dean shook his head, amazed at the opportunity he had just tossed away.
“Dammit Kiki, what have you done to me?” he muttered.
“Where are you going?” Dawn asked as she caught Buffy at the foot of the stairs.
“I’m not sure where I’m headed yet. Dean is supposed to call and let me know. I’ll call you when I get there,” Buffy said hurriedly as she trekked down the stairs.
Dawn let out a yawn as she followed Buffy through the corridor.
“So you’re hopping on a bus, traveling to god knows where just for some booty call?”
Buffy halted in the hallway and widened her eyes. She spun on her heels and scoffed.
“I’m going to help him out,” she said.
Dawn leaned against the wall and crossed her arms, frowning with disbelief.
“Help him out with his dormant libido,” she muttered.
“What? What do you know?”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “The walls are thin in this place and Faith is a loud talker.”
Buffy heaved a breath through her teeth as she took inventory of the items in her travel bag.
“Just stay out of trouble, no more conjuring pixies or hexing your teachers,” she scolded.
Dean tensed with alarm when he strolled into the motel room and found Sam’s bed empty. He let out a breath when he caught the light spilling out from under the bathroom doorway.
“Sam, I’m back!”
Hearing a faint moaning behind the bathroom door, Dean frowned as he peeled off his jacket.
“Dude, if you wanted more time alone with ‘yourself’ you should have called me.”
Dean hopped onto his bed and stretched out as the faint moans died away. When a crash and then a groan echoed behind the door, Dean rolled off his bed and ambled to the bathroom.
Dean leaned an ear against the door as Sam shrieked his name very weakly. Tightening with panic, Dean yanked on the knob and burst inside to see Sam hunched against the sink cabinet bellowing with breaths. Dean knelt down beside Sam as he struggled to breathe.
“Sammy? What’s going on?”
Sam inhaled and exhaled several more times before he slowly pushed himself up. Dean grabbed the crook of his arm to help steady his balance.
Sam gulped as he slowly walked to his bed and sat on the edge. He massaged the sides of his head.
“I had a….”
“A headache and a weird dream?”
Surprised, Sam nodded and then winced when the motion sent waves of pain through his head.
“How did you….”
“A little blonde told me,” Dean mumbled.
“Never mind, what happened in your dream?”
A short time later, after hastily packing, Dean and Sam were on the road, heading down a dark, lonely highway.
“Dude, it’s not too late to get off this road, I can turn around first chance I get,” Dean said apprehensively. “I mean, come on, maybe we need to take a breath and rethink this plan.”
Sam frowned with wonder as he turned off the blasting radio.
“Why? What do you really need to rethink?”
“Well, for one thing, why do we need to hit the Roadhouse?”
“Because Ash is there,” Sam pointed out. “And this ‘bad dream’ was more than that Dean, it was a vision. What I saw, it’s gonna play out. I just don’t know where. But Ash can find out.”
“And more importantly, my dreams seem to always….”
“Be connected to the demon,” Dean finished abruptly.
Sam blinked rapidly with shock when Dean practically read his mind.
“Okay, so the Roadhouse is the last place we want to go. It’s crawling with hunters and if we walked in there and let it be known that you’re a psychic freak that has a demonic link….I just don’t think that’s a smart idea.”
Sam scowled with resentment.
“Oh, so now you think I’m a freak?”
Dean smacked Sam on the shoulder and smirked.
“You’ve never stopped being one.”
Sam rolled his eyes as Dean chuckled briefly and then took out his cell phone. After typing a text message and hitting the send button, Dean snickered in his throat and pocketed his phone.
“What was that about?”
“Oh nothing, just a little note to a honey blonde I can’t get out of my mind since I left the bar.”
Sam shook his head and sighed.
“You do realize the odds of us passing through this town again anytime soon are slim to….never. So, why bother?”
Dean shrugged as he felt his anxious mood lifting away.
“I don’t know, I guess I like to leave a lasting impression.”
Thinking about his text message, Dean burst into a short bout of laughter as Sam shot him a strange look.
At the bus depot, Buffy stopped at the café to purchase a few snacks and a cup of coffee for her road trip. As the cashier rang her up, she heard her cell phone chime. She glanced at the screen to see a text message alert. She paid her bill and dug into a warm jelly doughnut while fumbling with the button to open her message. As her teeth sunk into the doughnut, she nearly choked on her bite as she read the racy message.
“Oh - my - god,” Buffy gasped.
As her face tightened, she shook her head as she stormed off toward the ticket booth.
“I’m so going to kill him,” she growled.
Several hours later as the sun broke over the horizon, Dean and Sam ambled into the Roadhouse, eyeing a table occupied by two hunters fervently cleaning their weapons. Dean turned his eyes forward and stopped a second before crashing into Jo. She passed him a friendly smile as an oblivious Sam kept walking through the bar.
“Well, guess you couldn’t stay away too long,” Jo cooed.
“Guess so,” Dean said politely. “Uh, hey Jo, how’ve you been?
Sam returned to Dean’s side and glanced at Jo.
“We need to find Ash,” he said hurriedly. “Where is he?”
“He’s got a room in the back.”
Sam roughly brushed passed Jo.
“Thanks,” he grunted. “Come on Dean.”
Jo huffed softly as Sam pulled Dean away.
“It’s good to see you too,” Jo snorted flatly.
Dean looked at Jo sheepishly as he walked backwards a few steps.
“Uh, don’t mind him, it’s just we’re….pressed for time, sorry.”
Sam rushed toward the back hall, traveling down it until he saw a door with a sign written in Black Sharpee that read:Dr. Badass Is In
Sam rapped on the door several times.
“Hello? Ash, are you in there?”
When there was no answer, Dean rapped louder on the door.
“Oh Dr. Badass, wake up!”
After a brief silence, Dean and Sam heard the latch on the other side jiggling before the door cracked open. A weary Ash looked out, his naked profile peeking through the opening of the door. Dean whipped his sights away as Sam kept his eyes on Ash’s face.
“Dean. Sam,” Ash said groggily. “What’s the what?”
“Ash, hey, sorry to bother you but we really need your help with something,” Sam said urgently.
“Oh alright,” Ash said. “Should I put my pants on?”
Ash glanced between Sam and Dean as the brothers nodded in unison.
“Please,” they both said.
Buffy shook in startle when the sound of incessant chip chomping broke her from her short nap. She turned her eyes behind her to see a pimply teenage kid scooping handfuls of chips from a family size bag. Since she had boarded the bus, she had faded in and out of a sleep state, disrupted by the constant noise of chip chomping or the echoes of music blasting from someone’s ear buds or the older man several rows ahead snoring like an angry bull. She was too tense to catch up on sleep anyhow so she pulled out one of her magazines and skimmed through it, hoping the bus would move more than three miles before stopping.
An hour later, as she grew restless from the constant stop and go of bus travel, Buffy sighed impatiently when her cell phone hummed softly in her purse. Grateful for a distraction, Buffy picked out her phone and glanced at the screen.
“Hey Will, how’s Hong Kong?”
“I’ll let you know when I actually get time to see it,” Willow moaned. “As soon as I got here, I’ve been flooded with work.
Anyway, Faith filled me in on your latest Slayer dream. I went back into my research and cross referenced the year 1983.”
“Oh, great, did you find anything?”
“Yep, it turns out dates are really important,” Willow revealed. “These infants you saw in your dream, they were all exactly six months old, in the year 1983 when their family homes burnt down.”
Buffy let the information stew in her mind as the bus pulled to another stop.
Buffy dropped the volume of her voice to a whisper when several groups of people moved within the aisle of the bus.
“He wants them for something,” she said. “He taunted about having a plan, we just have to figure out what that is. Okay, at least we have a little more information than before. I just wish this bus wouldn’t keep stopping every five miles.”
“You want me to whisk you off in the trans-portal?” Willow offered eagerly.
Buffy winced when the memory of her first trans-portal experience flashed through her mind.
“Uh, no, no, that’s okay; I prefer more….accurate means of transportation.”
“I’ve made adjustments to the spell Buffy,” Willow said. “I promise you won’t land knee deep in a muddy pasture.”
“Um, well…..” Buffy mumbled apprehensively.
“Or you could just stay on a bus that keeps stopping,” Willow pointed.
“Have you tested it out since you made adjustments?”
“Yep, how do you think I got to Hong Kong so quick?”
“Oh,” Buffy said. “Well, okay. Let me see what bus stop we’re at.”
“Don’t need it. I’ve got your GPS coordinates from your phone. You just need to get somewhere private.”
As a few more passengers unloaded from the bus, Buffy shot to her feet and grabbed her bags from the overhead compartment.
“I’m in front of Lou’s Diner, so there must be a restroom inside.”
“Okay, I’ll get you to the Roadhouse in a quick blink and then you can get on to business.”
“Thanks Will,” Buffy said as she yanked the door of the small diner open.
“No problem. Oh, and have fun with your ‘other business’ with Dean, um you know,” Willow said.
Buffy furrowed her brows in annoyance as she casually slipped into the women’s restroom.
“What, did Faith send out a memo?”
A few breaths later, Buffy found herself outside Harvelle’s Roadhouse. She impulsively looked down at her shoes and let out a sigh of relief when she saw she was standing on solid ground and not within a muddy swamp.
After a quick check of her hair and makeup, Buffy strolled toward the Roadhouse entrance and walked inside. Her eyes scanned the room, passing over a few rough looking men sitting at tables in the center, until she spotted Dean at the bar. Her face impulsively shrouded with a frown as she watched Jo leaning a little too close to Dean, smiling a little too long at him. As she walked over, Jo caught her eyes and showed her surprise. Dean swung around on his stool as the two blondes stared at each other.
“Buffy,” Jo said tensely.
Buffy pried a civil smile over her face and nodded.
“Jo,” Buffy said stiffly.
Ellen, cleaning a glass, nodded at Buffy.
“Buffy, good to see you again.”
Buffy smiled genuinely at Ellen.
“Hi Ellen. It’s good to see you too.”
Jo shot a look at Dean.
“Family business huh?” Jo snorted at him.
“Uh yeah,” Dean muttered as he fidgeted in his seat.
Jo passed him a wan look before strutting away.
“I wasn’t expecting you for another couple of hours,” Dean replied.
“I bailed on the snail’s pace bus and hitched a magic carpet ride,” Buffy revealed.
“Oh, you were that anxious to see me again?”
Buffy sputtered with a sigh as she started to shake her head. Sam rushed over, brushing passed Jo and marked his
surprise when he saw Buffy.
“Buffy? What….what are you doing here?”
“I came to help with a yellow eyed fugitive,” Buffy replied with a smile.
Sam eyed Dean curiously.
“I’ll fill you in later,” Dean said. “You got something?”
“Yeah, we should get going,” Sam urged.
Dean slipped off his stool and nodded at Jo, hovering at the end of the bar.
“Bye Jo, we’ll see ya,” he said casually.
Sam took off the door without much of a word, while Buffy threw her eyes over her shoulder to see Jo staring daggers into her back.
Dean and Sam quickly climbed into the front of the car while Buffy scooted into the back, tossing her bags on the floor. As Dean warmed up the engine, Sam turned around and gazed in wonder at Buffy.
“So Buffy, how did you know we’re chasing the Demon?” he asked.
“I had a….”
When Dean started singing the next verse of REO Speedwagon’s ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’, Buffy and Sam turned their
eyes to him. Buffy gawked at him in shock while Sam simply frowned with disapproval.
“Are you serious?” Sam groaned.
Dean glanced at Sam and then Buffy as they stared at him with odd looks on their faces.
“Stupid song got stuck in my brain,” he explained, forcing out a laugh. “I don’t know where the hell I heard it. Anyway, you were saying? Kiki?”
Buffy stiffened with annoyance, not at the ridiculous name Dean refused to stop calling her, but for the fact that she knew exactly where he had heard the song. She recognized the melody that had been playing when she walked into the Roadhouse and remembered the all too friendly smile from Jo as she hovered near Dean. As her hands curled into fists and the blood in her veins boiled, her mouth sucked in a gasp when she acknowledged….the jealousy running through her system.
Her throat squeaked with awkwardness when she noticed Dean and Sam staring at her through the rear view mirror. Sam turned around in his seat.
“Are you okay?”
Buffy forced her head to nod.
“Yeah…..where was I?”
“You were about to initiate Sam into the Super Freaks Club,” Dean said with a smirk. “Let’s see…the first rule is, don’t talk about the Super Freaks Club.”
Sam brushed off the comment as Buffy described the images in her dream. After several minutes, Sam clapped his hands on his thighs and reeled with shock.
“Wow,” he gasped. “So you saw everything I did.”
“Yeah. Have you made any sense of it?”
Sam nodded as he rifled through a stack of papers.
“Actually, yeah. Thanks to Ash we found…”
Buffy leaned toward Sam and peered at the papers in his hand. Her brows furrowed in curiosity as she impulsively snatched the papers from Sam’s hand. Sam stared back at Buffy in surprise as she looked the research over.
“So this Andrew Gallagher guy fits the pattern. He was born in nineteen eighty three and on his sixth month birthday, a nursery fire killed his mother.”
Buffy tapped the edge of the papers as she settled back in her seat and mulled over the information. Dean shot his eyes
nervously at Buffy in the rear view mirror.
“That’s your theory huh?”
“Well, it’s what I keep seeing - these women in my dreams are the moms – I either see them or I AM them. And I catch him – Yellow Eyes in the nursery. He kills the moms to keep them from interfering in his Grand plan for these kids. I just don’t know what that plan is.”
Buffy shot forward, leaning over the front seat to look at Sam.
“Have you found any of the other children?”
“Yeah, I’ve um, I’ve had dreams, visions about them recently,” Sam admitted softly. “One, Max Miller…..I couldn’t save him….”
Sam looked down in remorse as Dean let out a huff.
“Don't Sam. You shouldn’t feel bad about that crazy, pasty faced loser,” Dean said lightly.
“What happened with this Max guy if you don’t mind me asking?” Buffy asked gently.
Sam let out a breath before he imparted the details of his encounter with Max.
“This kid went off the rails, used his powers for evil instead of for good,” Buffy said with a sorrowful look.
Catching the anxiety flaring up in Dean’s eyes as he glanced at her in the rear view mirror, Buffy cupped a hand on Sam’s shoulder focusing on him.
“So you’ve had dreams, psychic visions about the demon and the kids he visited when they were six months old. But you’re not just seeing them…you’re…one of them…Yellow Eyes said he had plans for you….and your mom…..”
As a pained look knitted over Sam’s face, Buffy shaded with an empathetic look, letting the rest of her statement fade away. She gave Sam’s shoulder a comforting squeeze.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly. “You’ve lost so much but don’t think that any of this is your fault or that you’re going to end up following Max’s path. I see the good in you Sam and you can use your ability to fight evil. You’re not a pawn in Big Dick’s master plan nor or you a freak.”
Dean mocked a sniffle and a sad look.
“Someone get me a tissue. That was so damn touching,” he jeered.
Buffy rolled her eyes as her face tightened with irritation. Sensing a growing tension, Sam batted it off by drawing back to a pressing subject.
“Max killed people and I had visions about it,” he recalled. “This Andrew guy is probably going to do the same thing if we don’t stop him.”
“Okay,” Dean sighed. “But do you have any idea where he is?”
“Not really,” Sam replied. “According to the paperwork…”
Sam reached back to get the papers Buffy had taken from him but she held onto them, sifting through a page.
“There’s nothing current from what I see,” Buffy stated. “No residence, no job info.”
“And he’s swimming in debt,” Sam added. “Credit cards, cell phone…..”
“What about the collection agencies? There has to be some flags in the system,” Dean theorized.
Sam shook his head.
“So – what? They turned a blind eye? How’s that even possible?”
“There’s definitely something going on with him,” Buffy said.
Sam gently reached for the stack of papers in Buffy’s hand.
“Um, may I?”
Buffy handed back the papers to Sam. Sam sorted through the pages until he got to the one he was looking for.
“His last record on file with the IRS lists a place of employment from last year. It’s not much of a lead but it’s all we’ve got.”
“Okay, let’s make some miles,” Dean said as he stamped down on the gas pedal, sending the car lurching forward.
Hearing the lull of the engine as it soared down the highway; Buffy felt her eyelids growing heavy and soon fell asleep.
When she awoke sometime later, Buffy found herself alone in the car, parked outside a dingy motel. Sitting up, she felt something flutter down her leg and looked to see a note. Taking a long stretch after grabbing it, her eyes read over the words scrawled across it. For the best wink wink of your life go to room 4A. Clothing optional.
The note was signed with a simple smiley face but Buffy already knew which of the brothers had written it. She groaned deeply as she picked up her bag and got out of the car, scanning the room numbers on the first floor. With a quick rap and a quick wait, Buffy held her breath as the door creaked open. Seeing Sam, she let out her breath and stepped inside when he widened the door. Sam fussed with his tie as he looked sheepishly at Buffy.
“Sorry about leaving you in the car but…you looked like you needed the sleep and we didn’t want to disturb you.”
“It’s okay,” Buffy said with an understanding nod. “I really did need the sleep so thanks.”
As Sam turned to a mirror above the dresser, the door to the bathroom swung open and Dean strolled out in a suit, straightening his tie. Buffy sucked in a breath as she gawked at Sam and Dean in their suits.
“Wow, you guys clean up pretty well.”
Spying her own appearance in the mirror, she stifled a gasp seeing a bird’s nest on her head from her car nap. She frantically snatched up her bag and darted into the bathroom to clean herself up. Though she longed for a hot shower, she anticipated Sam and Dean heading out soon. Quickly, she brushed her hair and her teeth while mentally reviewing the type of outfits she had thrown in her bag. Setting her hair in a neat, high ponytail, she rummaged through her bag and yanked out a pair of black jeans and a silky sleeveless dark blue shell top. It wasn’t quite ‘business’ looking attire but it was the best she had. She put on some silver hoop earrings, a matching chunky bracelet and favorite pair of black boots, finishing it off with a black leather jacket. Sam and Dean paused in their conversation when Buffy strolled out of the bathroom.
“You clean up pretty fast,” Dean replied in awe.
“I’ve learned over the years to ‘move it or lose it’,” Buffy stated with a smile. “Anyway, where are we off too?”
After a short ride to a coffee shop, Sam, Dean and Buffy settled into a table as a waitress came by to take their orders. While the guys casually questioned the waitress, Tracy, Buffy surveyed the coffee shop, scrutinizing the patrons and employees for any eerie vibes.
Tracy scoffed at Sam and Dean as she finished pouring coffee into their mugs.
“I’m sorry to have to tell ya, you guys wasted a trip,” she said. “Andy never talks to them so I seriously doubt he’ll say anything to you.”
“I’m sorry, who’s ‘them’?”
“You guys are with some collection agency aren’t you? Every couple of months you guys roll into town looking for him but every time, they end up leaving Andy alone.”
“We’re not debt collectors ma’am,” Dean said. “We’re with a law firm, representing the estate of his late great, great aunt
Laurel. You see, she bequeathed a generous chunk of her financial assets to Andy, so we just need to speak with him.”
Tracy studied Dean and Sam and then Buffy.
“So what, they sent the whole law firm?”
“My associate and I primarily,” Dean clarified. “She’s just an intern. She’s here to watch and learn from our expertise.”
Buffy discreetly rolled her eyes as Sam nodded in affirmation. Feeling her cell phone buzzing in her pocket, Buffy yanked it out and eyed the screen. She swallowed a deep groan when she saw the number flashing on screen. Pushing her chair from the table, Buffy swiftly exited the shop to deal with her phone call.
“You’ve known Andy for awhile then?” Sam asked.
“Sure have but he doesn’t really come around that much,” Tracy said.
“Aw Andy’s the bomb!”
Sam and Dean shifted their sights to a young guy in an apron, leaning on a counter, grinning.
“Oh, is he?” Dean pressed.
“Sure is dude. He’s very persuasive. He can make things happen you know? Whatever you want, it’s like he’s got a magic touch man.”
“Magic touch huh?”
As Sam and Dean strode out of the coffee shop, Buffy was perched under the awning, her brows furrowed deeply in exasperation. Her eyes turned through the diner window as her muscles tensed with frustration. The bus boy met her eyes and grinned and winked flirtatiously at her.
Buffy frowned and looked away as Dawn continued her rant on the other line.
“…I don’t care, that doesn’t qualify as an emergency,” she growled. “….I told you I’m working…..I heard that and I am NOT!”
Feeling two pairs of eyes on her, Buffy turned her back on the guys and wrapped up her phone call.
“Just do as he says,” she grunted into the phone. “I’ll deal with it when I get back….I didn’t say that!”
Buffy hung up, stuffed her phone in her pocket and growled through her teeth.
“Little sister?” Dean guessed.
Buffy blew out a heavy breath of aggravation and nodded.
“What’d she do this time? Unleash a population of mutant Smurfs?”
Sam gave Dean an odd look as Buffy shook her head.
“It’s not important right now. Did you find anything out?”
“Yeah, we’re off to find a Barbarian Queen,” Dean said as he pushed off toward the car.
“Huh? A what?”
“I thought you were kidding,” Buffy moaned after seeing the van with the gaudy painting of a Barbarian queen atop of a polar bear. “Not too inconspicuous for a guy constantly hounded by debt collectors.”
“Maybe not but…I gotta admit, the dude doesn’t seem too bad, I mean, I’m liking the wheels. Not everyone appreciates…art,” Dean said with an admirable look.
Buffy scrutinized the Barbarian Queen’s busty interpretation and was about to unleash an eye roll when she noticed Sam wincing.
“Are you okay Sam?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Dean steered his eyes away from the van and glanced at Sam.
“You’re fine? Then why do you look like you’ve got a bad taste in your mouth huh?” Dean challenged.
“It’s just…this guy, Andrew Gallagher, the Demon visited him and he’s gonna start killing people. Just like Max did.”
“We’ve already been through this, Max was a messed up punk,” Dean grunted. “And as for Andrew….we haven’t seen him kill anyone. So maybe he won’t.”
“Everything I’ve seen in my visions has always come to pass Dean,” Sam said emphatically.
“What are you getting at?”
Buffy gulped at the awkward tension between the brothers as she went back to watching the van.
“You know that the Demon visited me,” Sam said bluntly.
“Can we talk about this later?”
Sam shook his head as he noticed his brother’s eyes nervously staring at Buffy.
“You know don’t you Buffy? You said you knew what happened to me, to our mother.”
While Sam honed his attention on Buffy, Dean kept his eyes on the street.
“Yes,” she affirmed. “In my dream, I – I was pinned to the ceiling and I heard someone call out for you and Dean….it….it was your dad…..the nursery was on fire and I….I felt myself burning away……and then I saw Yellow Eyes standing over a crib in that nursery full of kids…I put it all together…..”
Dean shifted around in his seat and stared at Buffy in immense surprise.
“What? You didn’t tell me that part of your dream.”
“I didn’t want to mention it over the phone, knowing how personal it was. I thought I’d wait for the appropriate time to try and bring it up. But I wasn’t going to push either of you for information.”
“Does Faith or anyone else know about this?”
“No, I didn’t tell anyone that Sam was part of the pattern of six month olds. And I don’t plan on telling anyone unless you guys are okay with it. I wouldn’t blatantly disrespect you after everything you’ve been through.”
After locking eyes, Dean heaved a breath and glanced back at the van.
“Do you think this is the plan the Demon was talking about?” Sam asked quietly. “That all these kids he visited were going to grow up and be…..”
Dean snapped his eyes on Sam and glared at him.
“Psychic freaks murdering people with their minds?”
“Oh come on,” Dean groaned. “That’s ridiculous Sam. Even if you are a freak, you still know the difference between right and wrong and you could never kill anyone. It’s not in you.”
“I kill plenty of things Dean,” Sam scoffed.
“Evil things Sam,” Dean clarified sharply.
Buffy leaned over the edge of the front seat and locked eyes with Sam.
“Listen to me Sam Winchester, just because Yellow Eyes wants you for his plan, whatever that may be, doesn’t mean you’re going to be a part of it. You have a choice. And you can choose to bow down and surrender to what destiny says is in store for you, or you can kick destiny in the ass! I’m the living definition of fighting fate. So I don’t believe one bit that you’re going to walk the same path as that Max Miller. So don’t you believe it,” Buffy said explicitly.
Sam let out a breath, absorbing the sheer confidence on the Slayer’s face, while Dean masked his utter marvel at her uplifting, inspiring speech.
Buffy turned her eyes through the window when she felt a very vague tingling in her gut. She spotted a young guy exiting an apartment building wearing a satin robe and pajama bottoms.
“Is that our guy?” she asked.
Dean and Sam took a long study of the young guy as he craned his neck to the second story window where a woman was waving at him.
“Yeah,” Sam affirmed.
The three fervently watched Andy as he strolled down the street, scrutinizing his every move. A man waved at him and handed him a cup of coffee. When he reached the curb, he stopped to shake the hand of an older man.
“Wait, that guy, he’s the one I saw in my dream, he’s the gunman,” Sam sputtered.
Buffy narrowed her eyes on the older man as she reached for the door handle.
“Okay, I’ve got trigger happy man,” she said as she pushed the door open.
“I’m going with you,” Sam said quickly.
As Buffy headed across the street, Sam on her heels, Dean scoffed lightly.
“No, no, you guys go, I’ll stay on Andy,” he muttered.
Buffy and Sam strolled casually but stealthily down the street, watching the older man talking on a cell phone. Sam nodded at the sporting goods store across the street just as a bus pulled to a stop. Buffy pulled ahead of Sam as they rushed through the door of the gun shop. The two looked around at the patrons browsing through aisles.
“We should get these people out of here,” Buffy whispered as she spotted the gunman approaching the door. “Quickly.”
Sam glanced at the clerk before looking around for a diversion as Buffy geared up to take down the gunman. As a fire alarm wailed in the store and patrons clapped their hands over their ears, Buffy noticed the older man steering himself away from the door.
A minute later, Sam and Buffy trotted out of the store, both releasing deep breaths.
“Oh-kay, that was WAY too easy,” Buffy said warily.
As she observed the older man cautiously, her brows tensed when a familiar black car whirred passed her and Sam.
Sam widened his eyes in shock as Andy hung an arm out the driver side window and whistled while cruising down the street. Blinking out of his astonished daze, Sam fumbled for his cell phone and hit speed dial.
“Uh Dean, Andy’s driving your car!”
Buffy surveyed the sidewalks, checking up on the thwarted gunman. He was standing on the curb, his cell phone clutched to his ear. As he stepped haphazardly off the curb, Buffy widened her eyes when she saw the bus veering right in his path.
“Hey! You! Watch out!” she called out.
Sam shifted his eyes as Buffy bolted down the sidewalk frantically trying to get the man’s attention. As she reached the curb her throat rumbled with a gasp when the bus slammed into him, his body folding across the windshield, making a sickening thump. The bus kept going, mowing over the dead man’s body.
Later, as police rerouted traffic and people gathered behind the barricades to watch, Sam sat on a curb, woefully watching the paramedics load the body into a bag. As Dean met up with Sam, he surveyed the crime scene, noticing Buffy casually weaving in and out of the gathering crowd. Sam hung his eyes to the ground and shook his head as Dean clapped a hand on his shoulder.
“I thought I saved him,” he moaned. “He stayed away…..”
Sam winced with remorse as Buffy wandered over.
“I heard some of the witness statements. The vic’s name was Jennings, a doctor, local resident, stable as they come,” she said.
Taking in Sam’s heavy anxiety, Buffy caught his eyes.
“It’s not your fault Sam,” she consoled. “You saved the people in the store.”
“Yeah, you couldn’t have known the good doc was going to be road kill,” Dean added.
“I was supposed to save him,” Sam lamented. “I just let him walk away. I just…..”
A half hour later after patrolling the neighborhood, Sam and Dean bounded around a corner and spotted the car parked on the side of a dead end street. Dean lit up with relief as he dashed across the street, arms opening.
“Hallelujah!” he gasped as he threw his arms over the hood and pressed his cheek against it. “Baby, I was such an idiot to let you go!”
“Does he do that a lot?” Buffy said with an odd look as she watched Dean stroking the hood with his hand.
“Yeah,” Sam admitted.
Dean gave the car a quick inspection and nodded in satisfaction.
“At least I don’t have to hotwire her again. The keys are still there.”
“Well, that was decent of him,” Sam said wryly.
“So he took your car just by asking you?” Buffy asked.
“Yeah, it was kind of like being under Dracula’s thrall, remember how fun that was for you?”
Sam choked with disbelief at the ridiculous notion until Buffy rolled her eyes and frowned.
“Don’t remind me,” she groaned bitterly. “If I ever run into him again…..”
“Dracula…..are you serious?” Sam moaned.
“No time for that engrossing little story,” Dean said hurriedly. “We know now that Andy isn’t some nose twitching Sabrina.
It’s all about verbal compulsion.”
“That would explain why Jennings kept talking on his cell phone,” Buffy assessed.
“Yeah, right before he walked into the gun shop and just before he stepped in front of that bus, he was on the phone,”
Sam said. “He was on the phone with Andy.”
Dean shook his head doubtfully.
“Maybe but maybe not.”
“What do you mean ‘maybe’?” Sam pressed.
“It just doesn’t seem like Andy did it.”
“Are you kidding? You said O.J. was guilty as soon as he surrendered on the freeway,” Sam bemoaned. “But you think Andy’s innocent?”
“I’m just saying that Andy doesn’t really give off the psychotic murderer vibes.”
“Well, he definitely set off my vibes,” Buffy replied. “And that’s enough to keep my attention.”
Dean patted the dashboard as Sam and Buffy got into the car.
“He abandoned your car so where did he go?” Sam asked.
“I’ve got an idea,” Dean said as he pulled onto the street. “And for the record, O.J. did do it.”
In a few minutes, Dean pulled the car into a minimart adjacent to where Andy’s van was parked. Keeping an eye out for patrol cars and passerby, Dean, Sam and Buffy approached the back of the van.
“Ride like this, not hard to miss,” Dean said. “Who’s up for a peek?”
As Sam watched the exterior of the van, Dean extracted a small crowbar out of his jacket. Buffy blew out an impatient breath, backed up against the van, tucked her hand inside her jacket sleeve and discreetly snapped the door latch clean off the hinge.
“Whoops,” she said.
Dean shook his head and stuffed the crowbar back in his jacket as Buffy swung the van doors open. She stared at the contents inside, a small disco ball spun from the ceiling, fur rugs adorned the floor of the van and a bright orange tiger was painted on one side while heavy techno music played softly from hidden speakers.
“Oh – my – god,” she groaned.
“Wow,” Dean gasped. “Look at all of this….it’s….it’s fantastic!”
As Dean absorbed Sam and Buffy’s ‘you got to be kidding’ looks, he made his case.
“I mean come on, this isn’t a serial killer’s pad….there’s no weird art on the wall or a shrine of victims’ photos with their eyes gauged out…..and that tiger….that tiger is kind of awesome!”
“And you think Sam’s a freak?”
Sam picked through a stack of thick texts and then displayed his bewilderment.
“These books aren’t exactly light reading,” he said.
Finding something odd sticking out from under a plush purple blanket, Buffy gripped the object and yanked it out.
“Is this…what I think it is?”
Dean and Sam shared a look of shock at the gigantic bong.
“King Kong lost his bong,” Dean said lightly.
Buffy grimaced with disgust, quickly tossing the bong back in the van.
“Well, there’s nothing in here that gives a clue to where Andy could be,” Sam sighed.
“He seems to paint the town a lot, so, we’ll just have to camp out and catch him,” Dean said, pivoting toward the car.
Fifteen minutes later, Dean and Sam sat in the car, still parked in the mini-mart. Dean took a bite out of a grease loaded wrapper while Sam perused a stack of papers. Immediately feeling the effects of his microwave meal, Dean grimaced and tossed the rest aside.
“Now I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth.”
Hearing the door to the backseat swinging open, Dean glanced over his shoulder as Buffy climbed inside. In one hand she had a Styrofoam cup and in the other hand she clutched a takeout container. Catching a whiff of the delectable aroma wafting from the backseat, Dean stared at the container as Buffy flipped it open and dug out one half of a huge sauce laden sandwich.
“Where’d you get that?”
“Little Italian cafe, a block east of us,” Buffy said. “I told you I was going to look for some non microwavable fare.”
As his belly churned with hunger and his mouth watered, Dean looked longingly at that delicious sandwich, watching it dwindle away at the hands of the Slayer.
“You’re probably going to viciously eat it all,” he mumbled.
Catching his pouty mope and disappointed eyes in the rear view mirror, Buffy swallowed her bite of a waffle fry and fidgeted in her seat, unsettled by how adorable his expression was to her. She sucked down some of her drink and met his eyes in the mirror.
“You know um, if you want to eat this, you can,” she said, eyeing her lap.
Dean turned around in his seat and stared at her lap as Sam looked up from his papers.
“Yeah of course I want to eat it,” he said.
“It’s gonna be a bit messy though, I’ve already used like fifty napkins to wipe my mouth.”
“The messier the better - that just means it’s super tasty.”
Sam widened his eyes as the naughty undertones of the conversation seemed completely lost on his brother.
Buffy passed the container to Dean before she noticed Sam’s odd look.
“You’re actually letting me eat your wedge, what has the world come to?”
Sam groaned deeply, prompting Dean and Buffy to stare at him.
“What’s with you?” Dean asked through his first bite.
Dean widened his eyes gleefully as he took another bite.
“Oh my god….all the juice is rolling around in my mouth….mmmmm, mmmmm…….”
As Sam uttered another groan of disgust, Dean swallowed his bite when it finally hit him. He smirked, nudged Sam in the forearm and chuckled.
“Ohhh. Dude. And you thought I have a sick mind.”
Catching Buffy’s glaring eyes in the rear view mirror, Sam gulped in awkwardness and quickly shifted subjects.
“I’m um, I’m still trying to figure out the ‘why’,” he replied. “Dr. Jennings was an upstanding citizen of the community so why did Andy have it out for him?”
Dean shrugged as he used the back of his hand to wipe the sauce from the corners of his mouth.
“Maybe he didn’t have it out for him,” he said dismissively. “You know, it could be someone or something else we’re dealing with.”
“Dean, come on,” Sam snapped. “That poor doctor was commanded to step into the path of that bus! And Andy’s special ability is getting people to do things by his verbal commands. Who else could it be?”
“I don’t know, I’m just not making him for this.”
Sam released an exasperated breath as annoyance flared in his eyes.
“What’s wrong with you? Why do you believe in Andy’s innocence so much? This isn’t like you.”
“Maybe Andy brainwashed you,” Buffy interjected. “Maybe he commanded you to worship him.”
Buffy cocked her head and studied Dean for a long moment, honing in on her instincts.
“He didn’t brainwash me.”
“How would you know? He could have told you to forget that he brainwashed you.”
“But how would you really know?”
Sam rocked his head back and shared Buffy’s assessing look. Dean frowned with resentment.
“He didn’t brainwash me! I just don’t think he’s the guy.”
“Who are you people?!” someone screamed.
Andy poked his head through the passenger side window and glared at the three.
“I know you’ve been following me around town and watching me. What do you want?” he demanded. “Who are you people?”
Sam drew a calm smile as he folded his hands in his lap.
“We work for a law firm,” he said. “One of your distant relatives….”
“Don’t lie to me!” Andy growled.
“I’m not,” Sam said.
“We’re demon hunters!” Dean blurted out.
Dean nodded as Sam and Buffy both wacked him in the shoulder.
“Ghosts, demons, evil things, things you could never imagine,” he sputtered. “Sam’s my brother and we’ve been hunting our whole lives.”
“Shut up Dean,” Sam and Buffy grunted in unison.
“I can’t,” Dean cried helplessly. “You see, Sam, he gets psychic visions and he’s convinced you’re a cold blooded killer and that he’s going to end up like you and all of you are going to help a demon do something really awful. I’m trying to believe that’s not gonna happen but lately I’ve been freaking out that it just might……”
Sam bowed his head and bellowed with a sigh. Andy threw his eyes to the back before honing in on Dean.
“So what, that’s your sister and she’s a psychic too?”
Dean clenched the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white, trying to fight the answer from spilling out of his mouth. But the longer Andy stared at him, the more his brain tingled and then he heard himself unwillingly confessing again.
“No, not related. She’s a Slayer, a girl with freaky abilities, like abnormal strength. She could break me in half and you know, that’s scary but it’s also really hot cause she can kick ass. And she’s got a rockin’ ass too, I’ve looked at it often and dreamed about it – I almost got my hands on it the last time we were together but she gave me a big speech about how she didn’t want it to be meaningless, so now I’m just waiting…..”
Dean stamped his eyes shut trying to will himself to shut up as Buffy shrieked with a gasp. Andy leaned deeper into the car and focused on Buffy.
“Are you even attracted to this guy?” he asked in annoyance.
Buffy sputtered with a scoff and shook her head.
“Oh god yes! Sometimes I dream about him kissing me everywhere! Hee hee,” she squealed.
Completely mortified by her true confession, Buffy clapped her hands over her mouth and glowered at Andy.
“Whatever,” Andy moaned as he set his sights back on Dean. “You start the car, get out of town and don’t come back.”
“You got it,” Dean answered automatically.
Andy switched his sights back to Buffy, looking her over again.
“You could do a lot better so get out of the car and come with me,” Andy instructed.
“Okay!” Buffy cheered as she stumbled out of the backseat.
As Dean winced and gripped his head, Sam bolted out of the car and took off after Andy. After a few steps, Buffy halted to a stop and looked dazed. Sam bounded past her and caught up to Andy.
“Hey! Get back in the car and go away,” Andy ordered.
Sam grinned complacently as his feet remained planted.
“Guess you can’t control me,” he said.
“That’s not what I’m doing. I just want you to stop following me!”
“Sorry but I can’t do that,” Sam said firmly. “You have the ability to make people do whatever you want, right? They’re just your little puppets.”
Buffy blinked rapidly for a minute as the fuzzy feeling in her brain dissipated. Dean got out of the car and made his way toward Andy until Sam signaled him to stay back.
Buffy glared at Andy in annoyance as Dean stopped beside her.
“Hey! He tricked me into going home with him! Ugh!” she groaned.
“Yeah, that wasn’t cool. He totally cock blocked me,” Dean muttered.
“You’re just as bad,” Buffy retorted, rolling her eyes.
When Sam wailed in agony, Dean threw his attention to his brother to see him crumbling toward the ground.
Dean ran over to Sam and caught him just before he hit the ground. Sam clutched his head and moaned as Dean gently set him down.
“What’s happening Sam?” Dean asked anxiously.
Andy threw up his arms and backed away as Buffy watched him cautiously.
“That wasn’t me!”
“I saw a woman,” Sam stuttered through his lingering headache. “She was….she was engulfed in flames.”
“Did you see anything else? A location?” Dean asked.
“She’s at some fuel up….she douses herself with it and….she burns herself alive!” Sam gasped.
Andy frowned with confusion.
“Huh? What’s he talking about?”
“No one asked you!” Dean snarled. “So just shut up.”
“Did you see this woman on a cell phone before it happens?” Buffy asked as Sam slowly levered to his feet.
Sam released a slow breath, still clutching one side of his head.
“Yeah, it’s gonna happen soon.”
“How soon?” Dean pressed.
“I’m not sure,” Sam said.
Sam grabbed Andy firmly by the collar of his shirt and glared at him.
“We’re not letting you out of our sight,” he grunted. “You won’t get the chance to hurt anyone else.”
“I’m not going too!” Andy claimed. “I don’t know what you’re talking…”
Buffy whipped her eyes to the street when she heard a siren wailing nearby. When a fire engine raced down the street, her instincts blared and she launched off her feet, running after it.
Feeling his own fire lighting up under his feet, Dean glanced briefly at Sam.
“I’ve got this,” Sam said. “You go.”
Dean nodded as he hopped into his car and took off down the street.
In less than a minute, Dean parked the car and walked over to the chaotic crime scene as police officers cordoned off the perimeter of the gas station. Peeking through a thick line of spectators, he spotted the burnt skeletal remains of a woman.
As the pungent odor of seared flesh hit his nostrils, Dean covered his nose with the sleeve of his coat and scanned the crowds for the Slayer. Nowhere in sight, Dean took out his cell phone and dialed Sam.
After hanging up with Sam, Dean cruised around the perimeter of the gas station, watching police officers taking witness statements. As he picked out his I.D. badge to start investigating, he caught sight of a familiar blonde strolling out of an apartment complex adjacent to the gas station.
Dean turned on his heel and met up with Buffy as she stepped onto the curb. She had a giddy little smile as she chewed on a chocolate chunk cookie.
“What the hell? You were supposed to be saving a woman from her fiery death not eating cookies,” Dean grunted as she wiped a spot of chocolate from her mouth.
Buffy swallowed her bite and let out a remorseful sigh.
“She was already dead when I got here,” she said . “Then the place was swarming with cops so I just tried to lay low and see what I could find out.”
Dean stared at the remaining half of her cookie and frowned in dismay.
“Oh yeah? And did you find anything out at the bakery?”
Buffy scowled resentfully as she stuffed the cookie in her pocket.
“For your information, I’ve been with a nice old lady, Mrs. Petrovsky. She took a tumble on the curb when she saw the flames, almost had a heart attack. I was going to call the paramedics but she insisted on going home to take her medication. So I walked her back and got her settled and to thank me, she offered me tea and a cookie. She said I reminded her of her granddaughter.”
Dean huffed as he turned around toward the crime scene.
“Well, I guess I better go find out who the victim was since you were too busy having a tea party with Gramma,” he groused under his breath.
Buffy rolled her eyes as she latched a hand on her hip.
“I heard that! And give me a little credit Dean. The woman’s name was Holly Beckett, forty one years old, never married, workaholic. She was a successful businesswoman with no history of mental illness. Every time she fuels up, she buys a cup of coffee, one sugar, no cream. She has a tabby cat named Artemis and runs six miles every weekend.”
Dean swung around as his face shrouded with surprise. Buffy shot him an aggravating glare as she charged closer to him and hitched her nose up at him.
“I can tell you her hobbies too.”
“Uh…..that’s….that’s okay….I….how….you found that much out from witnesses?”
Buffy bit back the smug smile tugging at her mouth when Dean looked amazed.
“Mrs. Petrovsky has lived in this town her entire life. She knows everything about everyone. Once I came to her ‘rescue’, she was very grateful and offered to pay me back in any way she could. So I…”
“You squeezed her for information and cookies, nice. Well, did the Queen of Gossip tell you if Holly and Dr. Jennings had a connection?”
“No, she fell asleep before I could get to that,” Buffy said.
“Well, we got to two dead bodies. We need to find out more about them, dig deeper to see why they were targets.”
On the way back to the car, Dean and Buffy simultaneously took out their cell phones and made calls. As their conversations overlapped each other, they walked off in different directions for a minute. Turning back to the car at the
same time, Dean and Buffy met eyes.
“Well, my source is out cracking heads at the moment,” Buffy stated with a sincere look.
“You mean that literally?”
“Yep, but they’re demonic heads so I had to leave a message. Did you get a hold of Ash?”
“Yeah and he stumbled on something. Holly Beckett wasn’t as squeaky clean as she appeared. Even a hard working woman has skeletons in her closet.”
“And what might that be?”
Dean drew a sly smile as he opened the driver side door.
“I’m not gonna share just yet.”
“Damn, well that was a bust,” Dean moaned as slipped into the driver seat.
“Gee, couldn’t you have charmed that clerk just a little more Dean? I mean, you had her giggling and cooing incessantly and yet, you couldn’t close that deal when you tried to worm your way into the file room.”
As he was about to scoff, Dean stopped himself when he recognized a certain flare in the Slayer’s eyes.
“You know, your sarcasm comes off a lot like jealousy,” he said as his mouth curled into a smirk.
“Jealousy? You - you think I’m jealous of Giggly Girl?” Buffy snorted.
Buffy pushed out a nervous laugh as she shook her head.
Feeling the heavy weight of a stare, Buffy kept her sights trained through her window.
After practically holding her breath the entire drive back to Sam, Buffy released a very long one when the car pulled to a stop and Dean quickly got out. Buffy got out of the car and walked over to Sam and Andy as Dean updated them on the latest developments in the case.
“Do you know her?” Sam asked Andy.
Andy shook his head.
“No, I don’t. Why is she so important?”
“Well, it might have to do with the fact that she had a child at the age of eighteen – in the year 1983 – on your birthday. The EXACT day as your birthday,” Dean pointed out.
Sam’s face crinkled with a revelation as he stared at Andy.
“So that means - you were adopted?”
“Yeah, so?” Andy said innocently.
“You never thought to tell us this?” Dean asked with an annoyed look.
“Why would I have?” Andy said. “I’ve never really had parents. Are you saying this woman is….that she’s my….”
“I can’t tell you for sure,” Dean replied. “I thought I could get a look at the birth records but unfortunately, they’re sealed.”
“And not even the most ‘winning smile in the world’ could unseal them,” Buffy said with a teasing smile.
“We’ll see about that,” Andy snorted.
As Dean, Sam and Andy walked back to the car, Buffy heard the chime of her phone and dug it out of her pocket. Glancing at the phone number, she hit the talk button instead of ignore.
“Hi Buffy, I’m not interrupting you in the middle of um…something?” Willow gulped.
Buffy stifled an eye roll as the guys piled into the car.
“I’m working,” she said. “What’s up?”
“I’ve been thinking about that last message you left me about the victims. I had a hunch about something so I did a little research into the town and cross checked for mystical activity going back several months.”
“And? Did you find anything?”
“It’s a bit complicated to summarize, do you have some time?”
When the car engine rumbled and sat idle, Buffy strolled briskly up to the driver side.
“You go on ahead, I’ve got to take this so I’ll walk over.”
As the car peeled away, Buffy ambled down the street, clutching her cell phone tighter to her ear.
“Go on Will.”
“Okay, the deaths of Holly Beckett and Dr. Jennings obviously generated the most paranormal occurrences BUT, looking back over the past six to eight months, I noticed smaller, similar spurts of activity,” Willow reported.
“Well, Andrew’s been using his power for awhile,” Buffy noted.
“Yeah which makes sense except that these smaller spurts weren’t originating from his aura,” Willow revealed. “When I ran a trace through my mystical signatures program, I came up with two and they’re nearly identical.”
“But mystical signatures are like fingerprints, right? They’re unique to the individual,” Buffy remarked as she paused on the curb, waiting for traffic to clear up.
“Yep so unless Andrew also has the ability to teleport himself – someone else has been using psychic powers at the same points in time as he was,” Willow added.
“So we’ve got two psychics in the same town, that can’t be a coincidence,” Buffy posed. “This other one has got to be behind the murders and for some reason they want to blame Andrew. I just need to find out the who and why.”
“I think I have an idea,” Willow replied. “I hacked into the county records for Holly Beckett, she was Andrew’s birth mother and Dr. Jennings – he was there during the delivery.”
“Okay, there’s the connection to Andrew.”
“As for the why, it may be about sibling rivalry,” Willow said. “Holly Beckett gave birth….to TWINS!”
Buffy snapped eyes widened in disbelief.
“Get out! Andrew has an evil twin?!” she gasped.
“I know! It’s straight out of daytime drama!” Willow squealed.
Buffy hurriedly crossed the street and scanned the store fronts and apartment complexes lining the block.
“Okay, I’ll need to make a pass through town, see if I vibe on someone Andrew’s age. Can you tell me if I’m at least looking for a twin sister or brother?”
“Brother. According to the adoption records, his name is Ansem Weems. I’m sending you his DMV photo to your phone right now. That should make things easier for you. I’ve got to run into another set of meetings, but I’ll have my phone on me, so if you need anything, just call.”
“Okay, thanks Will, you are the best,” Buffy exalted.
After hanging up, Buffy tapped her foot as she stared at her cell phone screen, waiting for the photo file to load. When the picture pulled up on the screen, Buffy took a long look at it.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Dean and Sam eyed Andy with concern as he staggered out of the County Office, his face ashen from shock. When the three reached the car, Andy got in the back while Dean leaned on the hood. Sam noticed Dean searching the perimeter for a long minute before getting in.
“You think Kiki took a detour?”
“Who’s Kiki?” Andy asked from the back seat.
“If you’re that worried about Buffy, just give her a call her Dean,” Sam suggested.
“I’m not worried,” Dean denied. “I was just….wondering if I should wait or leave her ass behind. She did say she would meet us back here.”
“Well, we really need to track down Ansem,” Sam said urgently. “So just find out where we can pick her up.”
“Right, I’ll just send her a little note with a rendezvous point,” Dean replied with a mischievous smile.
As the sun began to sink into the horizon, Buffy covertly hung behind a magazine stand across from the diner. Lingering in the coverage of a tall newspaper rack, Buffy watched Ansem as he spoke with Tracy. When his body language shifted from casual to threatening, Buffy felt a pang in her gut. As she stalked toward the diner, she saw Ansem pulling Tracy into the back.
Buffy bounded around the diner to the employee parking lot just as Ansem’s car sailed down the street. She quickly fished out her phone and hit redial on her last outgoing call.
“Where are you? Come and get me, NOW!” she commanded.
A few minutes later, the Impala screeched to a stop in front of Buffy. She jumped into the backseat and was about to unleash a frustrated rant when Sam uttered a very soft groan. Her brows furrowed with concern as she noticed him gently massaging his temples, his eyes shut.
Buffy turned her sights toward Dean as he flew through the outskirts of town.
“What’s going on?”
After a brief update of Sam’s vision, Buffy heaved with exasperation as she pillaged her pockets, gathering her weapons.
“Okay, this bad twin needs a serious time out,” she spat.
When the car pulled to a dirt road adjacent to a bridge, Buffy was the first to jump out. As Sam and Dean gathered weapons from the trunk, Buffy scoped out the path toward the bridge.
“You might want to hang back this time Dean,” Sam said.
Dean receptively nodded as he snatched a sniper rifle.
“I’ve got no problem with that man,” he complied. “I’m done being a puppet.”
Sam noticed Buffy steering toward the bridge.
“Buffy, maybe you should um stay…..”
But the Slayer had already disappeared through the woods.
“I’m going too,” Andy said.
Sam shook his head. “That’s not a good idea.”
“We’re talking about Tracy, I’m going,” Andy said adamantly.
Buffy spotted Ansem’s car parked on the other side of the bridge. After racing across, she stayed low and approached the driver side of the car. Through the open window, she heard Ansem instructing Tracy to take her dress off. Buffy shot a hand through the window, snatched Ansem by the collar of his shirt and wacked his head into the side of the door. Keeping a firm grip on Ansem, Buffy glanced at a frightened Tracy.
“It’s okay, you can get out now!”
Tracy froze in the passenger seat as her eyes widened with horror.
“I...I…I can’t!” she cried.
Buffy used her free hand to grab Ansem’s left shoulder and then she hefted him clear through the window, throwing him against the hood.
Buffy glared fiercely down at Ansem as he stared at her in awe.
“You’re that hot babe who came in with those two suits,” he said.
Buffy deepened her glare, ignoring Ansem’s goofy smile.
“You’re not going to hurt any more people,” she barked. “Whatever your motives are, it stops now!”
“You sonofabitch!” Andy howled.
Andy rushed over to the car, Sam right at his side.
“Hey man, what are you so pissed about?” Ansem snorted.
Andy maneuvered around the car to the passenger side while Sam pistol whipped Ansem across the face. Buffy released her grip on Ansem, throwing him down to the ground. Sam stood over Ansem, aiming a pistol at his head.
Andy ran over to Ansem and kicked him hard in the side. He smacked a strip of duct tape on Ansem’s mouth and then kicked him in the side again. Sam used his free hand to hold Andy back.
“Andy, hey, just let me do this, okay?”
“You’re a dead man!” Andy snarled.
“Will you please just let me do this?”
“You’re dead!” Andy roared.
“Just calm down Andy,” Sam urged. “Just calm…”
Buffy suddenly sprung forward and hurled her fist into Sam’s face. Sam wilted to the ground and blacked out as Buffy snapped her hand out and shoved Andy as he turned toward her. Andy stumbled far back, hitting the ground as Buffy took off running down the bridge. Ansem got up, removed the strip of duct tape from his mouth and grinned with satisfaction.
A few minutes later, Buffy halted in her tracks just a second before she stepped onto a dark highway. A semi truck whirred passed her as her face caved with a frown. She growled in her throat as she pivoted around and trekked back to the bridge. As she raced through the forest, Buffy heard the echo of a gun firing in the distance. Tensing with apprehension and adrenaline, Buffy practically flew down the bridge. She saw Andy gripping a gun, cautiously standing over Ansem’s dead body. When she reached Andy, she unleashed a long breath, watching his gun hand shaking.
Hearing a groan behind her, Buffy turned around to see Sam slowly folding up, gripping his head. Buffy cracked with remorse as she ran over to him and helped him up.
“Are you okay Sam?”
Sam swiped at a spot of blood from the corner of his nose and frowned.
“Well, my head hurts and my nose is bleeding,” he moaned.
“I am so, so sorry Sam,” Buffy cried ruefully.
“Where’s Dean?” Sam asked.
Dean emerged from a wooded cliff side, his rifle slung over his shoulder. He joined Sam and the two brothers watched Andy as he tried to comfort Tracy. When she stormed away, Andy walked back to the guys and sighed.
“Give her some time,” Dean said.
Sometime later, after police and medical crews arrived at the scene, Dean waited beside Sam as he received treatment. Buffy glanced at Andy as he spoke with some police officers before continuing her phone conversation with Faith.
“So Puppet Master has been trunked,” Faith said. “How you feelin’?”
Buffy rubbed the side of her head, still feeling a faint tingling inside.
“Like I’m having a very bad hangover,” she griped. “Andy’s verbal compulsion was nothing compared to Ansem’s mental commands. I mean, it was like he was pressing a button in my brain. I tried to fight him off but it was completely exhausting, like a war was being battled out in my head.”
“A battle you won though,” Faith said pointedly. “So now you should celebrate with a nice - you know trophy man.”
Buffy let out a sigh as Faith chuckled.
“Right now, I just want to sleep it off.”
“Good point, you want to rest up for later,” Faith said in a teasing tone.
“Is that all you think about?”
“Nah, I think about all the dough I’m gonna be rolling in when I win the bet.”
“Huh? What bet?”
“Ah, just a fun little bet between some of us girls.”
Buffy stamped her eyes wide in horror when it hit her what Faith was talking about.
“You made a bet with the girls on when I’m gonna….with Dean?” she gasped.
“Yeah, so rest up and then sack that quarterback within the next forty eight hours, okay? I got my eye on a wicked new blade!” Faith cheered.
“And don’t be afraid to make the first move, I mean you already played a little tongue tag, right?”
“But that was…that was an accident!” Buffy stammered as her cheeks shot a beet red.
“Gotta go B, talk to you later!” Faith chimed before hanging up.
Buffy gulped with disbelief as she stuffed her phone in her pocket and then frantically fanned the color from her cheeks. She pushed a few staggered breaths out of her lungs before she met up with Sam and Dean.
After spotting the swelling on Sam’s cheek, Buffy drew a sorrowful mope.
“Sorry again about hitting you Sam,” she said. “Ansem gave me this look and then it was like I went on auto pilot for a second.”
“It’s okay,” Sam said forgivingly. “At least you were able to break free before you walked in front of that truck.”
“Well, it wasn’t easy,” Buffy said. “I went back and forth with him. I swear at one point I could hear him laughing in my head.”
“Sick bastard,” Dean grunted. “It’s all over now.”
“No, Yellow Eyes is still out there and whatever his agenda is, I’m going to put a kink in it, a BIG kink in it,” Buffy said resolutely. “So where are you guys headed now?”
“Roadhouse, Ellen has something important she needs to talk to us about,” Dean replied.
“About the Big Bad Daddy?”
“Don’t know, she just said get your ass here. If you got something going on though, we can drop you off on our way.”
“Nope, this is my priority. Whatever evil that Grand Dick is sending your way, I’ll be here to kick it in the ass and to watch your backs.”
Feeling invigorated by her visions of victory, Buffy skipped off toward the car. As Dean honed in on the Slayer’s taut bottom waggling away, a deep groan rumbled in his throat.
“I know I’m watching yours,” he said. “Mmm….”
Sam winced when he heard his brother’s comment.
“Dude,” he groaned.
“Hey, she said the word ass and then walked away - what was I supposed to do?”
Sam opened his mouth to answer but after watching his brother ogle the Slayer a little more, he smirked instead.
“No wonder Buffy shot you down.”
Dean stopped in his tracks and frowned defiantly at Sam.
“I told you. She did NOT shoot me down!”
“Uh huh, you keep telling yourself that Dean,” Sam snorted, patting his brother on the back. “Call me when you come back from the planet DE-NIAL.”
Sam threw his head back and guffawed as Dean punched him in the forearm.
“She did not shoot me down,” he grumbled.
Buffy glanced at Dean and Sam curiously when they reached the car.
“What’s going on?”
Sam chuckled deeply as Dean shook his head and sulked. Buffy frowned with wonder as the guys got into the car. When the engine started and the radio blasted through the speakers, Sam turned the volume down, garnering a glare from Dean.
“I just thought – Buffy – you’re probably exhausted so we’ll keep the radio down in case you want to catch up on sleep,” Sam said.
Buffy smiled with appreciation as fatigue started to grip her bones.
“Yeah, actually, I would,” she acceded. “Thanks Sam.”
As Buffy shed her jacket and crumbled it into a pillow, Sam gave a smile.
“No problem, I’m just doing what any decent guy would do,” he said.
Sam smirked tauntingly at Dean. Dean gave Sam a dirty look. Sam burst into a laugh, Dean looked away and shook his head, his jaw tense with annoyance.
After staring at the brothers for a moment, Buffy shook off her curiosity and let her exhaustion take over.
“Boys,” she muttered.
Thanks to all who waited so long for this!