***Revised March 2013 – I’ve been sick lately and I suppose my muse has caught it too. I have really missed writing, however, so thought I’d revisit this first story and clean it up a bit. I’ve learned that I still have A LOT to learn as a writer, but feel I’ve improved since originally writing this and wanted to at least give it one more pass. I don’t plan to change any of the storyline/plot - just minimal spelling, grammar, punctuation type ‘o stuff. Since I have so many new things I hope to write, I am only making one pass at this. In other words, I very well may have missed something OR added a brand new error.
Timeline: Story takes place shortly after the SPN s6 episode "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning". Sam has his soul back and Dean is still grumpy about his encounter with Lisa and Ben… and life in general. They still don't know anything much about the 'Mother of All'.
In the Buffy verse, we are post-series. I know Buffy went off the air in 2003, but try to forgive me, because I'm gonna play with the time line a little, mainly because I wouldn't know how to imagine a grown up Dawn. In this story, the events of BtVS s7 are only 2 years in the past. So, I'm putting Buffy at about 24 and Dawn at 18. This is my first fanfic, so I hope it's not too terrible. Please give feedback, positive or negative. Definitely tell me if you think I'm off-character. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Own nothing. Buffy and characters belong to Joss Whedon and Supernatural is Eric Kripke's. I Don't expect to make anything. I'm just trying to entertain myself, and hopefully a few others.
Warnings: None really. At this point, I don't expect there to be anything that couldn't be shown on TV. Maybe a little language.
"This is just dumb, Sam."
Sam took his eyes off the road long enough to smirk at Dean, who was sitting in the passenger seat scowling at him, his casted right arm cradled carefully against his chest.
"Dean, you're the one who always talked about wanting to see the Grand Canyon. Besides, who knows when we'll be in Arizona again?"
"We don't exactly have time to be planning a Griswold family vacation here," Dean groused. "You do remember Big Mama, right? Queen bitch of all the bitches? I'm sure she wants to …"
Dean stopped when he noticed Sam sporting an idiotic smile, dimples on full display. It took years off his face, almost made him look like a teenager again. At any other time Dean supposed he'd have been happy to see it, but Jesus he felt like warmed-over shit right now.
"Dammit, Sam. What is up with you?" he snapped.
To Dean's disappointment, Sam's grin didn't falter. He just shook his head fondly and addressed his brother in his most patient voice. Apparently, hereally did want Dean to shoot him.
"Don't you think we need a little R&R? Plus, it's not like we can actually do anything right now. Bobby can't find any info on her and you're not exactly in hunting condition. Just relax, Dean, try to enjoy yourself. "
"Just relax Dean, and try to enjoy yourself," Dean mimed in a nasally falsetto. Geez, Sammy, you think maybe we can go to a spa later? Get a facial?"
Sam refused to take the bait. Instead he gave a nod toward the arm Dean was holding protectively against himself, noting his older brother's pained features and pale complexion.
"Have you taken your pain medicine today man?"
"No, Nurse Betty." The older Winchester groused, then averted his gaze to the floorboard before adding almost petulantly, "My stomach hurts."
"Of course your stomach hurts, Dean," Sam stated, a bit of exasperation seeping into his voice. "You're not supposed to chase Vicodin with cheap whiskey. You're gonna get an ulcer."
Sam knitted his brows and attempted to tamp down his irritation at his sibling's apparent utter lack of concern for his own wellbeing. He decided his brother might feel better and be able to hold down his meds if he put something on his stomach. So, even though he wasn't particularly hungry yet himself, he decided to lay off the lecture for now. Instead, he shrugged his shoulders and aimed for a casual tone.
"I'm starting to get hungry, how 'bout we stop at the next exit?"
Dean just stared out the passenger side window and mumbled, "Whatever, you're drivin'."
"Well," Sam teased "we could always trade-in the Impala on one of those new cars you can practically drive with one finger. That way, next time a pissed off spirit throws you into a brick wall and breaks your right arm, you won't have to ride shotgun. Plus, we could use something that gets better gas mileage."
Dean half-heartedly flipped his brother off with his left hand. "Why are you so cheerful, anyway? What exactly is the cause for the big celebration here, huh?"
"Dean" Sam started and then sighed, trying to think of a way to get through his brother's funk. "Dude, after everything that's happened over the last few years, I'm just tired of us beating ourselves up is all. I mean, come on. We survived! Like I said before, Satan has left the building. That's at least worth taking a day or two off to celebrate. Don't you think? "
"It's not over. Sam," Dean replied in an exhausted tone. "It's never over. I mean, maybe we don't have the devil on our heels, but it's always something. I'm sorry, but we can't afford to just pretend like everything's sunshine and puppy dogs… Cause just as sure as we do, somethin' nasty's gonna jump up and bite us right in the ass."
Sam took his eyes off the road long enough to take in his brother's slumped shoulders and hopeless expression.
"Dean, I know that," he said seriously. "I know. Believe me. I accepted a long time ago that this is the way our life is. But, that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun when we get the chance. I'm probably on borrowed time as it is."
Dean visibly flinched a little at that statement, but Sam plowed on: "Seriously. That wall, or whatever it is, that Death put in my head, it could come down at any time and you know what that means, man. Besides, you almost died. Well, technically you did die … just to get my soul back. After everything you've sacrificed, the risk you took… I don't think either of us should waste this second chance is all." Sam, tried to meet his brother's evasive gaze as he continued, "I know our lives are far from perfect Dean, but it is what we make it. You've just gotta try a little."
"Well thank you, Dr. Phil," Dean deadpanned sarcastically, but couldn't help cracking a small smile at the fact that Sam was so unlike his previously soulless self. "You know," he continued, "I'm gonna have to have a little talk with Death about that soul of yours."
"Why?" Sam asked, a little panicky at the idea of his brother having another encounter with the Horseman. His luck wasn't going to hold out forever.
"Because, I think he gave you the wrong one. I'm afraid he shoved Oprah up in you man." Dean gave an exaggerated shudder of disgust. "Geez, either you're way more of a girl than I remembered or something is seriously wrong with you, bro."
"Hilarious," Sam said with a genuine smile as he flipped on the turn signal and began to exit the highway. He had at least succeeded in substituting sullen Dean for crappy-comedian Dean. Sometimes you really did have to celebrate the little things.
"This is really stupid, Buffy." Dawn folded her arms and gave her sister her best pout. "The Grand Canyon? Seriously? What are we, the Brady's? Why can't we go somewhere cool? Hellllooo, almost college-student here. How about Cancun? I hear the drinking age is like 10."
"Relax, Dawn. You never know, it just might be the coolest place you've ever seen." Buffy chirped cheerily back at her sister.
Buffy was not going to let Dawn's complaining ruin the first vacation she'd had in …well, ever. At least since she'd been the Slayer anyway. She adjusted her new Ray Bans, and gave her sister a sunny smile, enjoying the feel of the breeze in her hair. She had a brand new, cherry-red, convertible Camaro (paid for by the Council, thank you very much) and two weeks off. This was also Dawn's last summer before starting college, and they were going to have a nice family road trip, even if she had to kill her only sister to do it.
Dawn seethed from the passenger seat. She hated chipper-Buffy. Well, no she didn't really. But, she did hate it when chipper-Buffy was standing in the way of what she wanted. She'd almost rather deal with pissed-off-Buffy or even depresso-Buffy right now. It was nearly impossible to argue with a cheery Buffy once she'd made up her mind. But she wasn't giving up too easily and decided to try another tactic.
"Buffy, it's just… Look, I know you never take any time for yourself, and you probably don't even know how to have a vacation." Buffy rolled her eyes at her sister, but Dawn hurried on undeterred. "The Grand Canyon? It's just for old people and kids. Plus, all this driving. What kind of a vacation is that? You deserve to go somewhere relaxing. You know, someplace that has cute cabana boys and umbrellas in the drinks, not old men in knee socks and bratty, whiney kids."
"Bratty whiney kids, huh?" Buffy said with a sidelong glance at her sister.
Dawn deliberately ignored the insinuation. "Exactly! Who knows when you'll be able to take time off again? You don't wanna waste this opportunity, Buffy. Trust me," she said. shaking a finger in emphasis. "You'll regret it."
"I'm already regretting it."
"Ha, Ha. Just don't come crying to me when you're all sad that you wasted your vacation. Because I'm not too big of a person to say I told you so."
"I'm sure you're not," Buffy agreed. "But, you are missing the point here, Dawnie."
Chipper-Buffy would not be deterred. She plastered her saccharine smile back on and patted her little sister on the knee. "The point," she continued, "is that I'm free for two entire weeks and I'm going to do whatever pops into my little head. No plans, no reservations. We just take our time and enjoy ourselves. Might even stop to see that giant ball of yarn I've been hearing so much about."
The last earned a groan from her sister.
"Seriously, Dawn. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."
Dawn brightened for a moment. "So, if the destination's not important, then why can't we…?"
"Hush, Dawn. My car, my money. That makes me the boss of this little adventure," Buffy interrupted.
She glanced over to see her sister, arms-crossed, pout firmly back in place. Oh crap, she thought, this is going great. She better throw Dawn a bone or else she was going to make this trip completely unbearable.
"It's not like we're gonna camp out or anything," she quickly added in her most persuading tone. "I, for one, am not volunteering to sleep in the dirt. Not this California girl. Besides, my sister deserves only the nicest hotels. I bet we can find one with a good spa. Get a good facial, a cute-guy masseuse. Come on, Dawnie! It'll be fun. Trust me," she added with a wink.
"Okay," Dawn agreed doubtfully. "I'll give it a chance. But if this all sucks, I get to say 'I told you so' on a VERY public billboard, complete with the worst picture of you I can find… and you have to give me the money to go to Cancun over my first spring break."
"We'll see," Buffy agreed drily.
"Aaaand," Dawn smirked "you have to give me the blouse. You know, the green one? It looks better on me anyway."
"Don't push it."
"Yay!" Dawn bounced in her seat a little in excitement, clapping her hands together. "I hope this is the WORST vacation in the history of the world."
Buffy rolled her eyes and looked back at the road, a devious smile on her face. "Hey sis," she queried happily. "Do you remember that apocalypse last year?"
Here we go, Dawn thought. Her sister only talked about last year's stupid non-apocalypse every five minutes. Lucky her, it was once again time for the Slayer's one-thousandth rendition of the same story. Well almost the same ... Buffy always seemed to mix up the apocalyptic signs and all the technical hoopla. While Dawn did understand why Buffy was happy to feel that she wasn't the center of every world-ending scenario, it was starting to get annoying.
"No, Buffy," she answered in a flat tone. "Why don't you tell me all about it?"
"Well, I'm not surprised you don't remember. It was very un-apocalypty," her sister beamed, while Dawn prepared to tune out. "Don't get me wrong, there were signs and everything. Some really bad weather and stuff … and boiling fish. I think it was boiling fish … oh, and a baby goat with three heads. Poor baby goat. Anyway, some demons I beat up claimed it was the real devil that was causing all the trouble...pfft. Of course they all claim to be the baddest of the big bads. So, whatever. I was gonna help - I really was - but Will couldn't get me the lowdown. Said she couldn't see anything. It was like everything was hidden from her or something."
Then," Buffy paused dramatically, "it all magically just poof went away. World still here and everything. The very best part, was that I didn't even have to die this time. And that, Dawn, is why I think it's past time we enjoyed ourselves, have the family vacation we never got to have. Because, apparently an apocalypse can come and go and I don't even have to break a nail."
"That's great, Buffy."