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Toothbrush or The Little Things That Kill

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This story is No. 8 in the series "Road to Morning". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Getting to know each other without the threat of certain death looming over their heads takes more work than they thought it would. (Road to Morning ficlets)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Friendship(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR1367,48299216,14222 Apr 109 Feb 13No

Five Time Buffy Should Have...

Dislcaimer: Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon, the boys to Eric Kripke. I make no money off this. All I own are the monsters that keep showing up. What's that say about me?

A/N: So, side stories. I can never write a big story without side stories. But this time, I'll stick to a theme and that's our three intrepid heroes getting to know each other. Because daily grind is its own kind of monster. Expect semi-regular, totally pointless blurbs.

This one in particular is for Ava, for generally being awesome. I hope it makes you smile.

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Five Times Buffy Should Have Really Locked That Door

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The first time happened four days after they left Hollow Springs. It was early, Sam was tired and fumbling blindly toward the shower, glad as he rarely was, that all motel rooms had the same layout. The bathroom was always about three steps from his bed and to the left.

He groped for the doorknob, turned it, opened the door and stepped inside to the sound of the shower running and the feeling of hot steam hitting him in the face.

Dean was up early.

Only… Sam blinked. Dean was lying in bed, snoring like it was going out of style. Then who…

“Sam!!”

Why was there a screeching banshee in the shower?

He blinked again and watched with a sort of delayed curiosity as an arm shot out of the shower and grabbed a faded yellow towel. It disappeared into the shower stall and a moment later, a blonde head appeared instead, followed by a body wrapped in said towel.

Sam’s brain finally kicked in.

Buffy was taking a shower and he was standing in the doorway, gawking like a twelve-year-old that got his first eyeful. Jesus!

He jumped, fumbled for the door, dropped his toiletries, stammered something that was about two octaves too high for him, looked at Buffy apologetically, realized that he was looking at a naked Buffy, stammered again, decided to hell with his stuff, grabbed the doorknob, stumbled backwards, slammed the door shut and spun around, leaning against it, breathing like he’d just outrun a fugly, eyes squeezed shut.

Silence.

Dean had stopped snoring. That meant… Carefully, Sam cracked open one eye to look at his brother’s bed. Yep. He was awake. Awake and staring at his brother, fist almost stuffed into his mouth, eyes wide and wet with mirth. Then he took a deep breath, dropped his hand, and started laughing.

Sam slumped. He was never gonna live that down.

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The second time was more than a week later and this time it wasn’t Sam because Sam had taken to knocking even when he knew for a fact he was the only one in the room.

It was Dean, on his way to his morning shower, leaving a trail of clothes through the room. He kicked the not-quite-closed door open with his foot while pulling his t-shirt over his head and when he was done he stopped in the doorway and appreciated the view of the mostly naked blonde standing in front of the mirror, brushing her teeth.

All she was wearing was panties, which were kind of see-through in places because Buffy was still wet from her shower. He made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a snort and she rounded on him, toothbrush in her mouth, eyes narrowed in anger.

He was pretty sure she was about to scream bloody murder so he quickly asked, “Are those ducks on your underwear?”

Buffy blinked and looked down her front. Yellow cartoon duckies looked back at her from their blue, blue pond. Slowly, she took her toothbrush out of her mouth, licked it mostly clean and then threw it at a mesmerized Dean like she was trying to take out an eye.

Which, considering the situation, she probably was.

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The third time Sam simply yelled, “Sorry!” and slammed the door shut again, fingers in his ears, eyes squeezed shut tightly and humming loudly for a reason Dean never quite figured out.

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The fourth time was not nearly as accidental as Dean made it out to be afterwards. In fact, it was perfectly timed. He cracked open the door five minutes after the slayer went to take her post-hunting shower and carefully stuck his head inside, hoping to get an eyeful of the eh… duckies.

Yeah, it was a tiny bit lecherous. But he was a man and he had needs that Busty Asian Beauties couldn’t satisfy. That, and he really wanted to know if Buffy was a natural blonde.

There was bet riding on it, in fact, not that Sam would ever, even under threat of death, admit to having made such a bet. Coward. As proven by the fact that Dean was the one that had to go check. Sam would have just asked. Where the hell was the fun in that?

So, actually, he was all doing this in the name of capitalism because he had five bucks riding on it.

After scoping out the room, he carefully inched inside, careful not to make a sound that would carry over the white noise of the shower. The heavy steam hanging in the room was good cover, but he still crouched down a bit behind the sink. No need to take unnecessary risks. Especially not when the enemy hit as hard as the princess did.

He sneaked around the sink and toilet, soundlessly stepped over a pile of laundry, ninja style, and finally reached the edge of the shower, the curtain well within reach.

Slowly – and if anyone ever asked, his hand was not shaking, not even the tiniest bit – he reached for it, intending to pull it back with a flourish, get the intel he needed to win his bet and then run like he had a horny hellhound on his ass.

His fingers closed around the plastic of the curtain with the tiniest squeaking noise and he tensed, getting ready to make an entrance like Batman and –

The shower shut off with a clank of angry pipes. Dean froze in place, heart beating in his throat.

“If you are still there in three seconds, I will beat you to death with a shampoo bottle,” Buffy calmly informed him, not moving on the other side of the curtain.

Wisely, Dean made like a tree and left as fast as his feet could carry him. Which was fast.

Screw the five bucks.

He wanted to live.

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The fifth time was late, or rather early, because it was after midnight, and it wasn’t an accident. Not even a mock accident. Buffy had dumped the First Aid kit on the bed as soon as they got home, given Dean a wan smile and told him to sew his brother back up while she went to take a shower and wash off demon guts.

Which was completely okay.

Except, Dean had given Sammy seventeen tiny stitches on his forearm, cleaned the wound and wrapped it up in a way that would have made nurses all over the country green with envy and Buffy still hadn’t reappeared.

He’d helped Sam change into clean clothes and told the kid to forget a shower for the night, poured some more cheap whiskey down his gullet and loaded him into bed, happily doped out of painkillers and booze.

Still no Buffy.

He got rid of his outer shirt, which had taken the brunt of demon guts and went in search of the slayer. He found her sitting on the closed toilet lid, naked from the waist up and trying to reach an angry, red slash on her left shoulder blade with her right hand and a wet washcloth.

He closed the door quietly, so Sam wouldn’t wake and stood quietly in front of her. She looked up after a moment, biting, “Perv’ on someone else, Dean.”

Her voice was sharp but the anger behind it was all pain and frustration. “Sorry, princess,” he gave back, making his voice intentionally light, “No-one else around and Sam really ain’t that hot.”

Then he plucked the washcloth from her hand and whirled a finger in the air, motioning for her to turn around. She growled and obeyed and he bit back a hiss of sympathy.

The gash – probably made by one of the fugly’s butt-ugly and definitely not sterile claws – was shallow but brutal, edges puckering, crusted with blood dried almost black. “Jesus,” he said as he went to the sink to run warm water and find a towel he could use to soak the entirety of the wound with. Otherwise they’d never get all the crusted shit off. “Tell a guy when you get cut to ribbons, why don’t you?”

“It’ll be gone in a couple of days,” she returned, carefully leaning one forearm on the back of the toilet and resting her forehead on top of it. “Sam needed help more.”

“Yeah,” he agreed as he deemed the water warm enough and held a towel under it. “And I woulda sewed him up first, cuz he was bleedin’ out. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’da done yours afterwards.”

“I’ll be fine”, she protested again and because she was being a stubborn idiot – almost like someone you know, Dean, isn’t she – he slapped the hot towel over the wound with a bit more force than strictly necessary. She flinched and growled and didn’t move.

“Sure you will,” he snapped curtly. “But if we’re gonna be huntin’ together I need to know you’re okay. I don’t know you’re okay if you’re hiding shit like this.” It was the closest any Winchester who wasn’t Sam was ever going to get to saying ‘I worry’, and they both knew it. Just like they knew that she simply wasn’t used to having someone at her back after so long on the road alone. Asking for help simply hadn’t occurred to her and Dean didn’t have the words to tell her he worried.

Buffy wasn’t much different, except she had that quiet-and-quick hugging down to an art. They were still getting used to her random hug-attacks after life threatening situations.

Only she wouldn’t be hugging anyone for a day or two, with her back this messed up. With more care than before – more care than most of the world believed him capable of – he peeled the towel away and used it to dab at the wound carefully until all the dried and clumped blood and dirt were gone.

Under his ministrations, Buffy grew smaller and smaller as she almost fell asleep where she sat. He considered dressing the wound, but it had stopped bleeding long ago and was already closing up. A loose t-shirt and a night spent on her stomach should do the trick.

He maneuvered her back into the main room and helped her get her jeans and boots off and then pull on one of Sam’s shirts. Then he gave her the same medicine he’d given his brother, drugs and booze, and parked her next to Sam on the bed.

The giant roused long enough to grunt, get a mouth full of blonde hair and realize what was going on. He used his good arm to wrap around the slayer’s waist and pull her away from the edge of the bed and the danger of falling out. Buffy winced, sighed and then settled.

Dean watched the sleeping wounded for a moment, darkly amused by how those two crazy kids curled into each other, smelling like something a vulture wouldn’t get near, faint traces of blood on their skin and whiskey on their breath. Then went to clean up the bathroom.

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