This is roughly November 1998, after "The Dark Age" (season 2) on Buffy, and after the flashback bits of "After School Special", say a year later than that. Anyway roll with it! There's a small window of time where Jenny Calendar, tramatized by demon possession, takes a break from the budding romance with Giles and from involvement with Buffy and friends. So what happened? What -- or who -- gave her the courage to get involved again? And how did Dean did end up with a GED and a can-do attitude?
Disclaimer: I do not own "Buffy" or "Supernatural" characters, all characters belong to their proper owners! Sleepless in Sunnydale
They left for Sunnydale, California, something about a demon, but had to side trip and drop Sam off at Bobby's to do some school, because Sam pitched a fit. "I'm not dropping out," said Sam, sullen and grumpy. "I'm going to college after high school."
"Get a scholarship," said their father.
"I will," said Sam. "And I'm going to computer camp next summer, I have the brochures and stuff."
"Sammy," said Dean, "we don't need a college degree to fight the demons."
"Or computers," added John.
Sam mumbled something and they didn't press him. Boys of fourteen often mumbled shitty things; it was best to ignore it.
"Dean couldn't even get a GED," came clearly from the backseat.
"Could if I wanted to."
"Boys, we've barely begun this trip, knock it off."
"Hate being in the car, hate demons."
"We're all with you there, Sammy," said John. "You'll be at Bobby's in a few hours."
"Well, Dean, couldn't get a GED. He's not smart enough. It's not on a curve or about a smile at the teacher or nothing. It's getting enough of the answers right."
"Dumbass," said Dean, "I know enough."
"Bet you don't."
"Bet I do."
"I bet you a month of laundry, you don't pass."
"Be a fool to pass that up, son," said John.
Dean glanced over at his father. He hadn't shaved in a few days, the circles from the lack of sleep combined with the late afternoon sun made his whole face look gray.
"Fine," said Dean. "I'll take the test, I ever have a chance."
"It's in a few days, right at Sunnydale High School. I found that on the web when I was at the library."
Dean was sure his father was smiling now, though there was not so much as a crinkle around his eyes or a curve to his lips. It was so often like this, watching for the smallest of signs, the smallest hint of what he approved.
"What were you doing looking up Sunnydale High School? Thought you wanted to be with Bobby?"
"No shit," said Sam, "I looked up the mortality rate at good old SHS and it sucks. No way I'm going close to there."
"Be nice if you was done with school," said John to Dean in what for him was a soft voice. "You could read stuff to brush up on the drive."
"Yes sir." Dean knew an order when he heard one. Sam threw a book at him and he caught it before it poked his eye out.
So Sammy had sort of tricked him into the whole GED thing, which led him to the Sunnydale High School Cafeteria on a Saturday morning at the ass crack of dawn pretty much. And the damn thing was, Dean didn't know if he was smart enough. But the test proctor, a Ms. Calendar, was a damn hot babe with quite a lot of ear rings for a teacher. He started in on the test, trying to concentrate, trying to pass. And not thinking about how if he did pass, that was it, he was a hunter for life. There was no other life for him anyway. A GED, a driver's license. All done with the childhood he had never had, and fine by that. Maybe have a chance to go out on some hunts alone, kill some monsters, spend some time with a damsel in distress.
The day passed in concentration.
At the end of the day, he happened to be in the parking lot waiting for Ms. Calendar, but looking like he was stretching and enjoying the late afternoon sun.
"Fun test, huh?" said a dark-haired guy getting into the car next to his. Dean couldn't place his accent.
"Oh yeah," said Dean.
"I think I passed." A smile just suddenly lit up the stranger's face. "A GED and a can-do attitude -- I love America!"
"Right man!" said Dean, cracking up.
The stranger zoomed off and damn if he hadn't almost missed the sexy teacher.
"Hey," he said, giving his smile to her and keeping his focus on her eyes.
"Hey, yourself," she said. And the look she gave back over him was cold, man. "Going to ask me out, huh?"
Dean kept his smile bright and shiny, and on the fly revised his plan of a bar and liquor. "Well, I'm a stranger in town, thought maybe you might take pity on me, show me where the beach is, go for a walk."
"Said the spider to the fly," she said tartly but at that exact moment Dean's cell went off.
"What?" he said into it, noting it was from Sam.
"How'd the test go?"
"The test went fine. You staying out of trouble?"
"Yes. Well Bobby had to hunt down a vampire, but we're fine."
"Christ, look Sam, stay the hell away from vamps, you hear me, what's Bobby thinking of --" uh oh. Dean looked up at Ms. Calendar. She was not staring at him as if he had two heads. Quite the contrary. She looked surprised. "I gotta go."
"Uh, look, that's my kid brother, he's just got this, uh, game with his friend Bobby."
"You know about vampires," said Ms. Calendar in a flat tone of voice. "And... the other stuff?"
"Yeah," said Dean.
"Welcome to Sunnydale," she said. "You'll fit right in. You can follow me to the beach and call me Jenny."
She led him to a parking lot and they walked down a path full of children and mothers to the beach. He could already smell the salt in the air. Jenny had on a short skirt, flip flops and a button-down shirt that she'd unbuttoned from the bottom and tied the ends together, so her middle was bare. The path ended on the beach, and Jenny led them to a snack bar and then to a picnic table with their loot.
Dean ate the first hotdog way too fast, and he knew that, but he was starving.
"Sun doesn't go down for a while," said Jenny.
"You got a family to get back to?" asked Dean.
"See," said Jenny, "What you want to know is am I single or not. What you sound like is a serial killer finding out if my body will be missed."
Dean flushed. "I'm a hunter," he said. "It's the family business. We kill, you know, things and save people."
"I'm just a teacher."
"Did you lose someone?"
She turned her face away and the breeze blew her dark hair around. "Well, Sunnydale High School has a surprisingly high mortality rate."
"Not what I meant."
"I don't know," she turned back to him. "My family. It's complicated. But I have to be here and watch this one situation and ... keep it under control. It's my job. But I've been away so long. I had to go to school to fit in here. I have ... changed. And I thought I had a new ... friend... but it got complicated... for a while because of him, I was possessed by a demon. I don't mean addition either. I don't know why I'm telling you this. I don't have choices."
"You got choices right now," said Dean. "Your friend isn't around now right. The situation isn't taking place today. And you are not responsible for what a demon did with your meat suit."
"It doesn't feel like that. And I guess I have to go back, I know my duty. But I might die."
"Once you know about the stuff that's out there, even if you try, it's there. Better to help."
And she smiled at him, one of those smiles that lit up a face. "I can't believe I'm talking like this to you, we don't know each other."
Dean push his tray aside, slide around, and put his arm around her shoulder. "We know each other." She smelled like lavender and roses and yet not even remotely like an old lady. He kissed the back of her neck.
"Sometimes I just want to escape," she said. "And I can't."
Dean's phone rang. He glanced at the caller id and it was Sam again. He let it go to voice mail. "Yeah, I know what you mean." Jenny turned her face and they kissed, soft, tender, a whisper of a kiss.
He called John and he'd met some people and he'd catch up with him later. To his surprise, his father sounded relieved. "Stay out of trouble, it's dangerous in Sunnydale."
When the sun set, they parked Jenny's car by her apartment and Dean drove and they ended up in the Bronze, this bar with live music that was actually pretty good even if it wasn't Dean's classic rock. It was good and loud and the drinks were cheap and Jenny was a good dancer. But when a very small red-haired girl bumped into Jenny, and looked stricken, and "Oh Miss Calendar", Jenny said it was time to go. Dean had gotten three texts from Sam and ignored them all.
The night air was blowing leaves around, and it was cool. The sky was bright with stars. Then the ground shifted under Dean's feet. He yelped and they fell down together as the little quake rumbled for just a minute. A crack in the pavement had formed just in front of the Impala. And little skittery red things were crawling out, tapping with their little feet.
"Shit," said Dean, yanking open the trunk.
Behind him Jenny chanted something in Latin.
He grabbed some knives and quickly moved and saw they the creatures were frozen.
"Go on and stab them already," said Jenny. "Nothing good comes up after an earthquake."
He gave her a sharp look. "Witch stuff?"
"Fine." He stabbed the six little beasts, and Jenny released the spell and they kicked them to the gutter.
"Sunnydale is used to stuff like that," she said.
Dean wiped his knife clean and put it away while Jenny got in the car.
"You're family stuff is witches?"
"Not like that," said Jenny. "We're white magic and old old magic. My family is gypsy. I'm... undercover. It's my .... it's what I was chosen to do."
"You are not happy about it."
"I'm happy right now," said Jenny and ignored the seat belt and snuggled up to Dean who had to concentrate mightily to make the six blocks home. And then up the stairs and then into the bed, clothes flying, both of them having so much to escape from. Dean felt the heat of her hands and she held his shoulders. "But stay the night, Dean. Because I can't sleep alone, I haven't slept in a while .... stay please."
He felt her hair with his hand, soft and black, and kissed her ear and she gasped. And then time moved into stillness and motion.
Sometime in the night, Dean woke to Jenny crying out in fear, and he woke her. "Honey, you're having a nightmare. It's a nightmare."
And she was frozen a moment at his touch, at his voice. "Dean? Oh Dean, it wasn't a nightmare." And he held her while she trembled and then she slept. He watched over her in the night, and in the icy dawn, he moved around in the bathroom and wasn't surprised that she had woken up.
"Dean, thanks," she said.
"Honey," he said. "If you got to stay here and finish your mission -- and I get it, I get doing what you got to do -- you can't let it get to you in nightmares. You've been having them every night, haven't you?"
"Here," said Dean pulling a little cloth pouch out his jean pocket. "I can get another one. This is a amulet to keep the monsters away when you sleep. It's not magic really. It's stuff they don't like to smell. It's made by friends of hunters. Because we got to sleep sometimes. You keep this."
His voice was deep and scratchy with morning, and the light from the edge of the curtain hit his face and he looked older than eighteen. Then he smiled. "I gotta go now."
"Dean, thank you. I already feel the protection in this."
"Good." And as he left his phone rang again. He answered it as he climbed down the apartment stairs to the street. "Sammy. Course I'm up, kid, I'm always up." He got into the Impala and drove off to meet his Dad and hoped to get the hell out of Sunnydale and away from older women with chocolate brown eyes.