Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I don’t own anything really. They belong to the minds of The Whedon and The Kripke.
Author’s Notes: BtVS/SPN crossover, Buffy/Dean ficlet. A one-shot based on Dana’s recent B/D video called Loneliness with the ending I so desperately craved... :P Click here to watch the amazing video and to get some visuals...
Author’s Notes 2: No real canon timeline followed in this.
Rating: PG for language.
Summary: Based on a Buffy/Dean video by Dana. A look at a relationship between Buffy and Dean – two people who have hurt each other far too much.
“I want us…”
Buffy Summers blinked at him, her face blank as she crossed her arms and looked away, biting her tongue. She could already feel the tears burning the back of her throat and she swallowed the sudden enveloping pain in her chest. She felt like someone had set a 100 pound weight on her chest, getting heavier and heavier each second. She didn’t pay attention to it though as his words penetrated her mind. She could feel her nails digging into her arms but she didn’t care. She didn’t care that she had come here to help with a job. She didn’t care that this shouldn’t be about them.
“I want us to be together again.”
Buffy just blinked. All that mattered was the man standing before her, trying to capture her eye but she refused to meet his for the moment. All that mattered was that this was the one thing she had longed to hear throughout all the years but it had never come. All that mattered was that he had turned his back on her when she needed him and walked away. All that mattered was he was now standing before her, his face open and willing and she wanted nothing more than to slap him, hurt him, make him feel what she felt. She let out a little hiss and glanced down at her arm and saw that she had drawn blood where her nail had been digging and she wiped it away, rubbing it on her pants.
“Buffy, I want us to be a family again.”
Buffy finally turned to look at him and she felt her jaw quivering before she clamped it down. She forced the tears to not come up, making her eyes burn with the effort, and instead, she glared at him. She didn’t even think, didn’t plan, her next words. They just came out.
“I have someone in my life now,” she whispered and she watched him pause, realization coming over his face before he looked away and she felt a mixture of glee and agony at the look.
“That I love.” She could see where he swallowed hard and she wanted to shove it all down his gullet, make him feel everything that he did to her, put her through. That he ran away from. She couldn’t explain the sudden, hot anger that rushed through her chest but she liked it. She relished in it and she wanted to spread it.
“It’s not what you and I had,” she said softly, cocking her head, her eyes studying him as she kept her voice even. She knew the minute she stopped, stopped concentrating and making sure she kept everything within down, that she would break and she pulled on the anger simmering inside her for strength. “It’s very new…”
He finally turned to look at her, his face stoic and concealed but how many times had she seen that very face? How many times had he tried to hide anything from her and failed? She could see everything written all over him like he was an open book and she felt something break inside her, a sob trying to force its way up her throat that it was her turn to cause pain but she clamped it all down. He stared at her and she took a step towards him, not breaking eye contact.
“You know what makes it new?” she asked him. He just stared at her and she said, “I trust him.” He looked away again. “I know him.”
When he turned to look at her again, he sneered slightly and she just watched him, waiting.
“That’s great,” he croaked out, nodding his head before glaring at her in turn. She could see the sheen of tears in his eyes and she bit the inside of her lip, breathing out deeply. Then he said nothing and Buffy waited. She waited for something, anything, and it was like the strongest sense of déjà vu slapping her upside the head as he just stood there, not fighting for her, for them. He told her he wanted her back and yet here he was, just standing on the sidelines, not doing anything all over again…
Buffy stared at him, waiting for it. But nothing happened. He stared at the wall over her shoulder and she finally turned away from him, heading towards the staircase of the police department where she had found him and started down the stairs. She stared straight ahead, not daring to look back at him. Her heels echoed in the empty station as she headed towards the pitch black of the night outside. She could feel his eyes watching her and she flinched when she heard him whip around and slam his palms into the wall, rattling the board that had been hanging there. She heard it fall with a loud crack but she still didn’t stop.
She pushed open the glass doors, stepping out onto the street. She inhaled quickly and it was like the dam inside her broke as everything came rushing in, everything she had fought to keep down and she let out a sob. It felt like a deep crack opened inside her chest and the night he left her, the night he ran away and abandoned her, felt so fresh and new that she felt like someone had stuck her heart into a grinder all over again.
Buffy moved quickly to the side of the building, leaning against it as the tears pushed forth and she let out a strangled sob, her throat feeling tight and hot. She blindly saw people walking by her, staring at her, but she didn’t care as she cried into the brick of the building where she had left him.
Dean Winchester looked over his shoulder at the sound of his name and saw his brother standing where Buffy had been just a moment before. Before she turned her back on him this time, before she told him that she had found someone else. That she was happy. Without him. He still leaned against the wall, his palms aching from where they had slammed into the corkboard which now lay in two pieces at his feet. The papers talking about charities, missing people and other random police office crap were scattered on the tile. He gave it a heated glare before turning around. He rubbed his face viciously before meeting Sam’s eyes.
“Don’t say it,” he ground out, grabbing his jacket where he had thrown it on a bench. He slipped it on, brushing past Sam as one of the glass doors from an inner office opened.
“Detectives?” a young woman asked, still in her uniform and Sam turned back to her before glancing at Dean again. If looks could kill, he was ninety percent sure the woman would be a pile of ash and Sam held up his hand.
“Dean, I got this,” he said gently before turning and following the young woman into the pit. Dean didn’t miss the look his brother shot him, the look of pity and sadness and he wanted nothing more than to tell him to take his look and to go screw himself. Dean didn’t bother with a thank you, didn’t bother to ask what was up. He didn’t care. The case that had brought them to Los Angeles as well as Buffy didn’t matter anymore. Let the stupid spirit eat the stupid man’s heart, he was dumb enough to summon her. Deep down, he knew he wasn’t thinking right but he just didn’t care.
He didn’t care about a damn thing as he took the same steps Buffy had just gone down quickly. He slapped the glass doors open, shoving his hands into his jacket pocket as he stalked towards the garage where they had stowed the Impala. He needed to find somewhere to calm down, to think, to be alone. He could hardly concentrate on the steps he took as he made his way across the street, ignoring the honk of a car that sped by him.
He needed to find a bar. He needed to find a liquor store. He needed to find a goddamn corporeal baddie and beat the living crap out of it and then collapse somewhere and not move. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t breath. He felt like he had just been dunked in acid and his entire body was far too alive, like it was on an abraded nerve, just waiting for that final squeeze before darkness took him.
He had screwed it up.
God, he had screwed everything up. He had had her, again, she had been there. So close, in his grasp and then she was gone. Just like that. Just like he had been five years ago. Just like when he had walked out on her because he didn’t agree with what she was doing. Because he thought she wasn’t fighting for him, she was putting him to the side. It had taken him three years to realize the stupidity of his actions, that he had been so angry and so hurt that he pushed her away even though none of it had been her fault and two more to finally realize what he had lost when he saw her for the first time a few hours ago... She had looked amazing, beautiful, glorious, fighting beside him again. And then she had come to find him, talk to him about the case and he had poured his heart out to her like a ridiculous schoolgirl but he was too late. He had lost her, lost everything all because he hadn’t been able to see…
He felt a hot tear swell in his eye before coursing down his cheek and he wiped it away angrily. Jerking open the door to the Impala, he got in, slamming the door behind him. He jammed the keys into the ignition, the radio blaring to life but he didn’t move. He felt his hand tightening around the keys, the metal pressing into his skin as more tears came and then he reeled back, punching the steering wheel with everything he had before he let out a sob.
He had lost her. Again. And it was his fault, his damn fault and he couldn’t hold back the tears as he jerked the car into gear and pulled out of the garage with an angry squeal of the tires.
* “I can’t believe you would do this, Buffy.”
“Do what? My job? Jeez, Dean, didn’t realize I had to come to you for permission!”
“Oh, don’t pull that crap over me,” Dean snarled, putting his finger her face. “You let him live. Even after everything that happened, you let him get away!”
“It wasn’t him!” Buffy snapped back, her voice echoing in the motel room and she fought the urge to punch him. “He didn’t have his soul then, why the hell can’t you see that!”
“Because he killed Bobby, Buffy!” Dean took a deep breath, his chest filling with white hot anger and he turned around, away from her, putting his head in his hands. “He killed Bobby and you just stood there…”
“Dean, I know,” Buffy replied softly, following him across the room. When she touched his shoulder, the soft flannel of his favorite worn red shirt, he jerked away from her like her touch physically burned him and she recoiled, stepping back. “I was there too.”
“Yeah,” Dean replied bitterly, turning to glare at her. “You were there. You saw what he did to him.” Dean paused, the memories washing over him and he clenched his fists, his hands shaking as he closed his eyes. “And then… today… you just let him walk away.”
“Dean…” Buffy said tiredly, touching her forehead. How many times had they had this stupid argument? How many times did she had to tell him? His soul was gone. He was a monster. But now that his soul was back… “It wasn’t Angel that killed Bobby.”
Dean didn’t reply, he only stared at her. He clenched his jaw rhythmically, tears shimmering in his eyes before he looked away. He shook his head, letting out a deep breath before moving towards the bed. Where his bag was packed. Buffy watched this, her breathing picking up and she took a step towards him before faltering. “Dean.”
“No,” he said softly, his back to her. “I can’t do this. I can’t… be around you and know that you chose him – that monster – over me. Over Bobby.” Dean grabbed the straps of his bag, picking it up. He let it slap against his leg and it felt heavier than he knew it was. “If I ever see him, Buffy… I will kill him.” He moved towards the door.
“Dean, please, don’t do this… don’t leave me. This is stupid, all of it,” she said loudly, her voice cracking as the moment came crashing down on her. Buffy wanted to chase him, stop him, make him understand but she felt like her feet were glued to the ground, unable to move. “Just don’t… don’t do this.”
“Don’t what?” Dean asked softly, looking over his shoulder at her, his hand on the doorknob. “What do you want me to do?” he asked her, his voice strained. “Ignore the fact that you’re the damn Slayer and you let a vamp walk? Ignore that Bobby is dead because of him and you just stood there, letting him go?” Dean shook his head and Buffy watched him as he turned it off, turned everything off, his face melting to stone and he glared at her. Buffy felt a tear trickle down her cheek and she shook her head at him, a sob falling from her lips.
“Dean, please…” she said, her face crinkling, “I love you.”
Dean stared at her for a moment, the words she had never said before slamming into him like a bag of bricks but he didn’t do anything. He couldn’t do this, he couldn’t be around much less look at her without seeing what she did. What she was too weak to do. Instead, he turned his back on her.
He opened the door, glancing at her one more time before shutting it behind him with too much force and then he was gone. Buffy took a shaky breath before she fell to the floor, sobs wracking her thin frame.
Buffy drove back to Sunnydale in a haze. She barely remembered getting on the highway, barely remembered the two hour drive slipping past her. She was pretty sure she had parked the car in the driveway and that she had locked the front door. But now, she just stood at the threshold of her bedroom, her eyes staring blankly at the floor. She was exhausted, mentally and physically. Her face felt strained, her eyes were dry and scratchy from the tears. A headache felt like it was beating a drum against her forehead and she touched it, pushing against it, willing it to go away.
Buffy stepped into the room, closing the door gently behind her. The empty room. The empty bed. All alone, Buffy made her way to it and laid down, closing her eyes. But all she saw was Dean. All she saw were her lies. Saw the hurt on his face when she told him that she was happy without him… with someone else when in reality, that was actually the complete opposite. She was alone, had been alone. All she thought about when she let herself was Dean. He populated her dreams, her wishes, her hopes and when she closed her eyes, all she saw was him. It had become second nature ignoring his face inside her mind until today… Until today when she turned it all around on him.
Buffy couldn’t hold back the sob that escaped her again and she covered her mouth, digging her face into the pillow as the tears came again.
Dean stared at the road, the lines blurring together, the world falling away. He was on autopilot as his mind went over that moment, over and over again, what had led up to it, his anger and his frustration and his pain. He watched in his mind Angelus coming up behind Bobby, snapping his neck. He heard more than felt his own shout as he called to the older man, watching his body fall lifelessly to the ground. And then the light that came into the vampire’s eyes and Buffy raising her sword to finish him before he looked up at her, his soul back.
He had been so angry, so righteously damn angry, when that stupid vampire had suddenly turned up again, back from the bowels of hell, with his stupid soul and his stupid quest for redemption. Dean had only ever seen it one way: he was a vampire and he had killed people. That was the end of the story, no alternate endings, no other chances or choices. But then, of course, things weren’t so simple with Buffy. They never were and in the past, Dean had been willing to let some things slide, like Oz. But he had watched that vamp’s hands wrap around Bobby’s neck, snapping it so quickly, so cleanly, watched the man who more like a father to him than even his own flesh and blood, die right before him.
And Buffy had let him walk.
And Dean had been enraged. He had been hurt and pissed off and when Buffy continued to defend him, Dean couldn’t take it anymore…
So he left. Dean left her, left Sunnydale. Took Sam with him and hit the road again. It took him a long time to see past the idea of Angel being alive and even longer for him to see that he had blamed Buffy for Bobby’s death. And that maybe the stupidest thing he had ever done in his life was leaving her. And then suddenly she was back in his life, like a ray of sunlight when he had forgotten what a blue sky looked like, and Dean couldn’t help himself. He just… said it. Out loud. He wanted her back, wanted her back in his life, wanted to be in hers, wanted to be an us again. But she didn’t. She had found someone else. Someone new. And she loved him more. Trusted him more. Knew him better.
Dean sneered at the road, grinding his teeth together until the tears that threatened to fill his eyes dissipated. He took a deep breath before switching on the radio.
And he drove.
Buffy killed demons and slew vampires. Dean exorcised and killed demons.
They both found new people to love, to take comfort in.
Buffy went to heaven. Dean went to hell.
Dean sought comfort in alcohol. Buffy sought comfort in the arms of a vampire.
Buffy’s best friend turned evil. Dean found a new best friend in an angel.
Sam and Dean raised Lucifer from his cage. Buffy sank Sunnydale into a crater.
They both saved the world on more than one occasion.
And life continued around them. They both moved on and they both learned to let go...
Dean slowed the Impala down, pressing the brake lightly as he coasted into the gas station, feeling the tires slide slightly on the iced roads. The snow was coming down lightly, light fluffy flakes that left a thin layer on everything. Pulling to a stop, Dean slipped it into gear and sighed. Snow. He did not like snow. In fact, he hated snow. For a guy who spent most of his life driving around the country, he definitely preferred dry roads, sun and nothing wet falling from the sky.
Of course, it was the dead of winter in Cleveland, Ohio and he knew he should expect nothing else. Stepping out into the cold air, Dean let out a quick breath, watching it fog in front of his face, as he rubbed his hands together, popping up his collar and heading into the station. He was starving and he hadn’t eaten since lunch. Which was unacceptable, especially if he was going to drive through the night to meet Sam.
The little doorbell dinged over the doorway and he glanced around quickly, finding the hot sandwiches sitting in their case in the corner and he made a beeline for it. The clerk behind the counter was talking to a woman and he heard the clerk laugh.
“All right,” he said to himself, checking his options. The air was hot around the case and he held his hands up a bit to chase off the cold. Christ, he’d been out there for just a few seconds and he already felt like his digits were going to fall off. All the more reason to get the crap out of Cleveland, especially before this storm hit and he was stuck. Another very unacceptable thing.
Licking his lips, Dean grabbed two burritos before turning to snag something to drink. He grabbed a few water bottles and two energy drinks to help him through the night before taking his bounty to the counter. The woman was still there, talking to the older lady on the other side of the counter. The woman on his side was buried inside a huge, winter jacket and the faux fur on her hood completely hid her face. He smiled at the older lady who had the power to take his money in exchange for some damn goods and get him the hell out, nodding his head when she spotted him. Oh, a paying customer, gosh, guess she should pay attention…
“Did you find everything all right, young man?” the woman asked and Dean stepped up when the younger woman stepped to the side. He set his crap down, shooting out a, “Yeah,” and pulling out his wallet. He turned to give the fur jacket standing next to him a polite smile for moving her ass when everything stopped.
Dean felt the air leave his lungs and he paused, his hands in midair, his mouth gaped as Buffy freaking Summers stared right back at him, shock coloring her features. Dean just blinked for a moment, too caught off guard to acknowledge her presence when a huge, beautiful grin cracked her face.
“Dean,” she said, her voice something akin to awe and she reached up to touch his shoulder, to turn him towards her and Dean moved right along with her, his eyes never leaving her face. She smiled up at him. “I can’t believe it.”
“Buffy,” he breathed, shaking himself from his reverie before smiling back. And boy, did he smile. He smiled so hard he thought his cheeks were going to crack, especially when she let out a little giggle and moved right in and hugged him. Dean responded immediately, his arms wrapping around the huge puff that was her jacket, wanting to feel the warm, little body inside up against his. He breathed in deeply, turning his face into her neck, the crappy fur itching at his skin but he ignored it. She smelled amazing, she smelled just like he remembered…
“Oh my god,” Buffy said, pulling back and for a split second, Dean wondered if he should move out of the warm circle she created, out of her arms but she answered his silent question by not moving herself and he was glad. Very glad. Her hands rested on his shoulders and he felt one of her fingers stroke the side of his neck, melting the leftover snow there with the warmth of her skin. “What are you doing in Cleveland?”
Dean shook his head. He couldn’t stop staring at her. “Just passing through, actually. Do you, uh, live here?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do. God, this is so crazy,” Buffy continued and she glanced out towards the Impala. Dean followed her glance for a moment, absently noting the snow had picked up before turning his eyes back to her. She looked absolutely amazing and it was almost like the years that separated them hadn’t happened. He felt like he was back when they first met, first got to know each other. The wonder, the excitement, the amazement of this crazy, beautiful woman before him. It was surreal. “Where’s Sam?”
“I’m actually on my way to meet him,” he replied. He watched her frown slightly before she pulled away from him finally and Dean instantly hated the sensation. He had no idea what the hell he was supposed to do with his hands now and he felt ridiculous when he shoved them into his pockets. She nodded.
“That kinda sucks,” she said, shrugging, offering him a sad smile. “I would have loved to have just… caught up. You know, do the talk thing.”
Dean didn’t even think about what his response would be. His mouth just opened. “You know, I don’t,” he started, jerking his thumb towards the Impala, “I don’t have to be there for a few days still.”
He watched Buffy’s face light up like a Christmas tree and he felt something warm start growing in his chest. He remembered with painful vividness the last time they had met but it did absolutely nothing to damper this moment. She was here. He was here. It was like old times, like they hadn’t ripped each other’s innards out and strewn them about the country.
“Great,” she said, biting her bottom lip and Dean caught the movement, licking his own. “There’s a great diner up, uh… the road. If you want.”
Dean nodded. “I would like that… A lot.”
“Well,” mused the older lady behind the counter, collecting the items he had brought up. “S’pose you won’t be needing these anymore…”