Chapter Two - Never say never
Chapter 2 – Never say never
His eyes were open, he knew they were, and still he couldn’t see anything. He fumbled in his pocket to see if he was still wearing the lighter. He found it, struggling in the cramped box to get it lit. Once he did, only to see himself locked in a coffin.
Dean had never had a fear of small or cramped spaces. But this one time he felt like he might faint. He’d been dead?
When he was lying on the yellow grass he couldn’t quite remember how he had gotten there. He knew he had been in the coffin, as he looked at the wooden cross by his feet. There had to be a reason for him returning to this earth – if he in fact had been dead.
Time to go looking for some answers, he thought as he stumbled to his feet and got a good look around. He was in the middle of nowhere, not a house as far as he could see.
Willow sat in silence as Buffy paced the floor of the magic shop. When she finally stood still she looked up at Willow and for the first time Willow understood something none of them had known before. The one thing Buffy had refused to talk about in the months that she’d been home. By the lonely look in Buffy’s eyes, the very one that brought tears to Willow’s own eyes, she understood. Buffy and Dean had been way more serious than Buffy had let on.
“You remember the day I met him?” Her voice was quiet, but finally determined.
“What did mom say about me leaving?”
“You needed to take some time out of school and find yourself, travel around a bit.”
“Did she ever say I was with him?” There was a small tremble in her voice, in her hands that wrung themselves round, round.
Willow smiled. “She didn’t need to.”
“And Riley knew? He knew I left him without a word, for another guy?” At this, Willow simply nodded and saw the loneliness turn into horror in Buffy’s eyes. “I don’t understand how he could take me back,” she mumbled more to herself than to Willow. “I know you all worry, I can see it in your eyes – you look like you did right after I killed Angel. Like I might snap or break down or disappear again.”
“You can’t expect us not to worry about you, Buffy. You come back and fall into Riley’s arms, talking about how Dean had died and that all you wanted was to come home.”
“I was there, thank you. No need to tell me.”
“Apparently there is a need for us to tell you. For me to tell you that we worry. Coming home and just picking up right where you left off Buffy? You have to understand that seems kinda strange. Even for you.”
“I’ve faced worse than death-”
“You have yes. But after killing Angel, you never had to lose to someone. I know you loved Angel beyond just about everything and I know you think you can handle everything but seeing Dean die, and not being able to do anything? It’s gotta be eating you up. Your boyfriend died.”
“He wasn’t my boyfriend,” Buffy said, her head bent down like she was looking at her shoes. Her voice was soft and silent, almost like she was afraid to speak the words out loud.
“Then what was he?” Willow challenged, and expected the answer from Buffy to be something stupid and a complete lie. Like maybe they were just friends, instead when Buffy finally looked up Willow felt like there was a lump of ice deep down in her stomach.
Whatever Buffy was about to say, had been the thing eating away at her for months.
“Willow, when I ran off with Dean... I was head over heals in love, and for every month we spent together we got deeper and deeper involved. He was like the sun and the moon, the stars and every rainbow in the world. My whole world revolved around him and how much I loved him. We fought together, we cried and bled together, we made love and one day he proposed... It was right after a fight, he was down on his knees panting, struggling to catch his breath. He was grimy and dirty, and we were soaked from the mist, rain and the humidity. It was a killer summer, and we were in some suburb or other. I was bent over my knees, breathing heavy as well – the humidity was a bitch! – when he looked up at me. He smiled and I smiled back. We looked over at Sam, who was knocked out and laughed at the same time. Then, when our eyes met he seemed so sad. Until he just said ‘marry me’, and I all but jumped out of my shoes. I didn’t know if it was because of the fight, it had been pretty close, or if he really meant it.”
Willow’s heart was speeding, she got it. She finally got it.
“It was about a week later when we hit Vegas. We got married in this little church right outside Vegas, a traditional little wooden church that was the sweetest you’d ever seen.” Buffy looked down and picked up her bag, pulling out her wallet and opening the little plastic pocket. Willow looked at the photo and smiled.
“He laughed and laughed when we were finally married, the sun was shining and it was a summer to remember Willow, it was so beautiful.”
Buffy smiled and she looked into Willow’s eyes. Willow dried a tear from her cheek and nodded. “So he wasn’t you boyfriend.”
“No, Dean Winchester was my husband.”
Riley stopped in his own tracks, staring at the door. Husband?
Dean knocked on the door he knew as Bobby Singer’s. When Bobby finally opened the door, his eyes went from sheer surprise to shock in a split second.
“Good to see you too,” Dean said, stepping just inside the door. Bobby stared at him, the amount of disbelief and horror was something Dean had never seen before – though he probably should have considering his line of work. He smiled a little as Bobby reached and finally pulled a knife.
After a short struggle Dean finally proved to Bobby he wasn’t a demon, and they ended up in the kitchen face to face, slightly out of breath. Bobby took a bottle of water form the table, looking Dean over. “How’d you get out, boy?”
“Beats me,” Dean said, shaking his head. He turned to face Bobby again, the tall grass outside a little too familiar. “But I-”
He spit out the water that had hit his face a moment earlier, blinking away the water and looking at Bobby. “I’m not a demon!” he growled slightly.
“Okay, sorry, but I had to be sure.”
“Yeah yeah,” Dean grumbled and sat down. “So where’s Sammy?”
The knock on the door didn’t come as a surprise, they’d been expecting food, but when Sam saw Dean standing there- he didn’t know what to do anymore. Everything froze, his whole world stopped. Dean was alive, after all this time – he was back!
“Good to have you back,” Sam said, sitting down on the bed. Dean smiled, looking at the door.
“Who was the girl?” he smirked.
“What? Oh, just someone-”
“Yeah, someone. What are you doing, Sam? How’d you get me outta hell?”
Sam eyes widened. “What? I didn’t,” he exclaimed.
“You tried for months,” Bobby said, his eyes narrowing. “For all I know, you might have done it this time.”
“I didn’t. I wish I did, but I couldn’t. I tried and tried, and, failed.”
“So you didn’t get me out?”
“That’s what I said,” Sam said, defending himself with a hopelessly grim look on his face.
“Hey look, I’m glad I’m back, but Sammy, you should have seen the place I woke up at. It looked like a bomb had gone off.”
“Major mojo,” Bobby added. “I saw it m’self and it looked, cursed.”
“So, how do find out who got you out?” Sam asked.
“I dunno, but there’s someone I need to see first. Someone I miss more then I missed the lot of you. And since she isn’t here, I suppose she left...”
Dean nodded and smiled. “Then let’s find her.”
Sam tossed the keys to the Impala over to Dean, who smiled and laughed. “Hey baby,” he said, looking the car over. She looked perfect.
He got in the driver seat and felt at home, until he saw what had happened to his baby.”What the hell?” he said, looking at Sammy. “I asked you to take care of her, not pimp her!”
“It’s an iPod jack.”
“Yeah, whatever, I want it gone,” he grumbled.
“It’s an upgrade from those tapes of yours-”
“No insulting the tapes,” Dean said and started the car. “Unless you wanna walk to California.”
On a sunny day in the Summers house, Buffy woke up and felt relaxed. She’d told Willow her big secret and now, today maybe, just maybe, she could get something done again.
She hopped in the shower and felt all the tension wash away with the smell of her vanilla shampoo. While in the shower, not once did she think of Dean or Sam or even Bobby. Instead she kept her mind where it ought to be- with Riley. He’d been acting really strange the last couple of days, the days that had gone by since Buffy had told Will all about Dean. He’d stayed out late and been grumpy a lot more – Riley was never grumpy.
The smell of fresh laundry was amazing, and for a moment Buffy thought someone might had snuck Prozac in her morning coffee. But she just felt good, until she was gonna eat breakfast.
“So, what are you going to do today, honey?” Joyce asked.
“I was-” the cereals that was left were just crumbs, she glared at Dawn. “Meet Riley and have a coffee before work.” And then the milk was out, and now she looked Dawn, sourly and obviously. Dawn looked innocent as she ate her cereal.
“But?” Joyce said, hearing the something in her daughter voice.
“He’s gonna come over and were gonna have a talk instead. He’s been acting weird lately.”
“Buffy, it’s okay, I just needed some time. I didn’t realize you and Dean had been so serious.” Riley looked up at her
“I was gonna tell you, honest, I just needed to blurt it out to someone else first. I care too much about you, to lie to you. Even though I did...”
“It’s okay, I promise,” he said, standing up. He reached out his hand and took her, as she stood. The he planted a soft kiss on her forehead and she smiled.
“Good, I don’t want you to think I don’t-”
“I don’t. See you after work?” He looked back at her over his shoulder. She nodded.
It was dark, and she felt cold. The house around her seemed strange and wobbly, and something was about to knock her off her feet when she sat down and stared in front of her.
“Dean,” she whispered and something inside her fell into place again.
A few hours later, after lot of silence and music, Dean looked over at Sam and felt the question bubble out before he had the time to think. “So, what happened, when I-”
Sam looked at him and he could feel the tension in the car. “Well, you remember falling to the ground and screaming?”
“And Buffy holding you?”
“Buffy sat there holding you, crying, and suddenly the light in your eyes just seemed to go out, like you just gave up what you had been fighting for, screaming and crying. You just went- limp. I dunno who was more surprised, her or me, but she left pretty fast after that.”
Dean stayed silent for a moment. “Huh.”
It was so dark not even an owl would have seen it coming. Xander was on his way home from Buffy’s, crossing the street as per usual when someone not so usual stepped out from behind a tree. Dean Winchester scared Xander half to death, as he jumped and squealed a little.
“Don’t to that man!” he exclaimed, before he realized that Dean was supposed to be dead. He took a step closer and stared at Dean.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” Dean said, looking Xander over. “I didn’t mean to scare ya.”
“Yeah, I was.”
“But now you’re-?”
“Yeah, I am.”
“Vampire?” Xander asked, his voice a little pitchy.
“No,” Dean smiled. “Just alive.”
“Does she know?”
“Not yet, I dunno if I want her to,” he said, turning his gaze away from Xander.
“I get it. She’s moved on you know, she’s back with Riley, shes got a job, she’s-”
“Happy? Yeah, somehow I doubt that.” Dean moved a hand over his chin and shook his head.
“Dean, look. Riley’s a good guy, he’s good for her. Maybe you should...” Xander made a small gesture, his shoulders sort of shrugging and eyebrows going up.
“I know. I just wanna see her, make sure she’s still kicking, you know? Where is she, anyway?”
“Cemetery, where else?” Xander smiled.
“You got a point,” Dean smiled. “Thanks Xander.”
“Sure,” Xander replied. He was left there, stunned into silence. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen a dead man, but it was the first time the dead man wasn’t a vampire.
It was still in the middle of the night, and Dean was feeling mighty strange just watching Buffy. She handed out blow after blow, the vampire spinning around and keeling over a few times, throwing punches back and sometimes he hit, most of the times she did.
She was taking his breath away, and he found himself rooting for his girl – like always. She got the better of the vampire and got him to the ground, one last time. She put the stake through his heart and the vamp went up in little dust bunnies. He nodded, smiling on the inside. That’s my girl, he thought and looked at her.
She was looking into the darkness where he stood and he pulled back.I love you, I always will – but you’re still you and you seem alright.
He looked at the car, hidden in the dark. So I’ll leave you alone, let you go on with your life. I love you too much to have you watch me die again, cos we both know it’s gonna happen. I don’t wanna see the look on your face. Or feel your tears on my cheek ever again...
Dean turned to the car and stalked into the dark.