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Vulnerability

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Revelations". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Angel left Sunnydale and Buffy so that she could have a normal life. But Buffy’s not normal. Neither are the Winchesters. A crossover twist of BtVS 4.03 - The Harsh Light of Day. Complete!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Pairing: Dean WinchesterTikiPrincessFR183172,944177137,66118 Sep 1218 Sep 13Yes

Chapter Nineteen: Sam

A/N: This chapter was inspired by a reviewer on FF.net who loved the "Winchester moments". Thanks to all of you who have followed and favorited. Cookies to those who left a review; you fill my heart with warm fuzzies. And extra special thanks to my beta readers, Katrina and isugirl.

Warning: Smut occurs in later chapters.

Disclaimer: Buffyverse owned by Joss Whedon. Supernatural owned by Eric Kripke.



Chapter Nineteen: Sam

As glad as Sam was that Dad was going to be gone for a few days, it was almost worth the tension and fighting just so he didn’t have to be alone in the same room as Dean. But the hunt always came first with Dad. Not that he would have noticed how his sons felt, or would have done anything about it even if he did. So Sam shoved his duffel bag full of laundry into the backseat of the Impala and got in, slamming the door shut in a deliberate attempt to piss off his brother.

“Hey, watch it,” Dean said. He stroked the dashboard gently. “He didn’t hurt you, baby, did he?”

“You’re an ass.” Sam settled further into his seat as Dean started the car and headed for the laundromat. He knew he was sulking, but he didn’t care. He was tired from researching all night without any results to show for it. While Dean had spent the night with Buffy.

“Okay.” Aside from a small frown, his brother didn’t seem to be fazed by the insult.

“Why do you have to ruin everything?” It was Dean’s fault that Dad had grounded them, his fault for abiding by Dad’s rules, even though he never followed anyone else’s, his fault for sleeping with Buffy. How could he do that? He knew how Sam felt about her. And then he talked about her to Dad like she was nothing special. “Why do you have to be such a jerk?”

“I guess it’s a gift,” he said, shrugging this time.

“I hate you.” There, he’d done it. It was the worst insult he could fling at his brother, other than maybe talking about Mom, but he wasn’t suicidal.

“Wow. It’s only been a couple of months since the last time you said that.” And now Dean was smirking. “I must have done something really terrible to get on your shit list this time.”

“Why didn’t you let me tell Dad that they’re hunters?” said Sam, settling on something that he could justifiably blame Dean for ruining.

“Ah, we’re getting warmer,” Dean said, flashing a smile and giving a slight shake of his head. “If I told Dad that there were hunters here in Sunnydale, what’s the first thing he’d do?”

“Call Bobby to find out who they were.” Sam sighed; he could tell where this conversation was going, and it wasn’t anywhere good.

“If Bobby’s heard about any hunting out here, then it’ll probably lead back to Buffy and her being a Slayer, which she doesn’t want Dad to know.” Bobby had connections to almost every hunter in the States and even some beyond. He’d also read every book in his house, including the hunter’s journal. So it was a safe bet that he would put two and two together and get “Slayer”. But Dean wasn’t done with his lesson in hunter logic. “So what if Bobby hasn’t heard about anyone out here?”

“Dad would want to meet the hunters,” Sam said, grudgingly, “and he’d find out that they’re teenagers anyways.”

“Yahtzee.”

Dean pulled into a spot in a small strip mall and grabbed his bag from the back seat. Sam grabbed his own duffel and followed his brother through the door. The laundromat was mostly empty; there was a girl who looked like she’d just arrived and a couple folding clothes with another load in the dryer. Dean bought a couple boxes of detergent from the vending machines and set up their stuff on the far side of the room.

“Now that that’s outta the way,” Dean said, dumping his clothes haphazardly into the washer, “you wanna talk about the other bug that crawled up your ass?”

“No.” Sam was pretty sure he knew what his brother was implying and didn’t want to hear anything he had to say about Buffy.

He sorted his clothes, putting his jeans in one machine and everything else in another. He used to separate his whites, but it was pointless without bleach. Especially since Dean would throw his clothes into Sam’s machine when he couldn’t shove any more in his own. Like he was doing now.

“That’s good.” Dean raised an eyebrow as if he wasn’t convinced with his brother’s answer. And he probably wasn’t. “’Cause I don’t like to kiss-and-tell.”

“Dean,” said Sam, rolling his eyes, “I know that Maria Sandoval has an egg-shaped birthmark on her inner thigh, and I’ve never even met the girl. You do nothing but talk about the girls you’ve slept with.”

“Well, I’m not talking about this one.” He sat down on one of the chairs bolted to the floor, across from their bank of washers. Picking up a magazine that looked like it was several months old, he attempted to shut his younger brother out.

But Sam didn’t want to be dismissed. Dean had already said too much, he might as well finish. “You mean because she’s so insignificant, she’s not worth talking about? Is that why you wanted Dad to think she was a whore?”

The edges of the magazine crumpled in Dean’s fists. “It’s the only thing I could think of that Dad wouldn’t look at too closely,” he said. He peered at his brother over the pages. “You know how hard it is for me to lie to him? To his face?”

“So you don’t think about her that way?” He glared at his brother. Dean wasn’t so crude that he would rate the women that he slept with, but his post-coital recaps didn’t include much beyond her appearance and performance, with extra points awarded for innovation.

“Hell no!” said Dean, tossing the magazine aside.

Sam allowed a little flash of hope creep inside him. Maybe Dad had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Buffy and Dean were probably out late hunting for Spike or some other demons. “So you didn’t sleep together?”

“I didn’t say that.” The little spark in Sam’s chest died, and he felt that awful gnawing in his stomach start again. Dean rubbed his hand over his face and started again. “Sammy, I know you like her—“

“‘Like’ her?” he said. If that were all this was, he wouldn’t feel as though a ghoul was chewing on his innards while he was still alive. “I ‘liked’ Amy Pond and Katy Wells. The way I feel about Buffy is more than that.”

“Alright, bad choice of words.” Dean took a deep breath and stood up, struggling to find a better way of explaining things. Sam wondered why he even bothered. Nothing he said could make it better. “You – feel – something for her. I get that. But I feel something for her, too.”

Sam wasn’t sure he’d heard his brother correctly. Dean Winchester, the guy who refused to acknowledge that Ghost was a love story instead of a vengeance seeking ghost who sent his killer back to hell, was admitting to having feelings for a girl. “Are you saying you’re in love with her?”

“What? No.” His denial came quickly and loudly, loud enough for the blond girl on the other side of the room to look up. Dean smiled and waved at her before turning to Sam and angrily whispering, “Why would you say something like that?”

“She’s not just some girl, Dean. She’s the Slayer.” Maybe Dean didn’t understand because he didn’t know the Slayer lore. He hadn’t read and researched it the way Sam had. He didn’t know her the way Sam knew her. “You can’t use her and toss her aside the way you do every other girl.”

“I never said I would,” said Dean, defensively. He ran a hand through his hair. “Look, Sam, I know that Buffy’s way outta my league—”

“That’s for sure.”

“—and you’re right, she’s not like any other girl.” Dean paused, a smile starting to form on his face. When he looked into Sam’s eyes, though, there were traces of doubt and fear mixed in with his other emotions. “But I do like her, and I wanna keep seeing her.”

“Really?”

“Really.” His brother let out a shaky breath. “It’s kinda scaring the shit out of me, to be honest.”

Sam couldn’t help smiling. His brother had stared down werewolves, wendigos, poltergeists, and all manner of supernatural beings and never failed to have a snappy comeback. Faced with a moment straight out of a chick flick movie, he was practically shaking in his steel-toed boots. “You mean the fact that you actually want to have a second date with a girl? Or the fact that she’s Buffy?”

“Both, I guess,” Dean said, quietly. He stood there for a little while, lost in his thoughts.

Sam wasn’t sure how to feel about Buffy and his brother, or about them being together. It was painful to think about her. But he did know that his brother had never considered having a relationship with a girl before. Maybe doing so now was a good thing.

Dean glanced over and caught his brother staring at him. His eyes narrowed, and he said, “But you can’t tell her. I swear to God, I will shove my foot so far up your ass you’ll be tasting my sock for a week if you breathe a word of this to anyone.”

“Oh yeah?” Sam said, arching his eyebrow. He waved to the girl across the room, the only other person left in the laundromat. “Hey.”

“H-h-hi,” said the girl. She looked as if she’d much rather disappear into the floor than have anyone pay attention to her, but she seemed nice enough with her lank blond hair and wide eyes.

“My brother’s falling in love with a girl named Buffy.”

“Th-th-that’s nice.” Her smile was shy, like the rest of her, but it was honest and bright. There was an earthiness about her that Sam found appealing. “I h-h-hope she loves him b-back.”

Sam grinned and turned back to his brother. Dean didn’t seem very amused by the exchange. His glare underscored his words as he said, “You’re a little bitch, you know that?”

“Wow,” Sam said, as unaffected by the threat as his brother had been earlier in the car, “that insult surprisingly doesn’t taste like your sock, so I guess that means you’re full of shit.”

“Oh, yeah?” The washer dinged, alerting them that the clothes were done. A sadistic smile spread on Dean’s lips as he lifted the lid and pulled out a white ball of cotton. “I got a sock right here with your name on it.”

Sam took off running. There was no doubt that Dean would catch him. The laundromat was small, and the aisles were short. But he did his best to bob and weave through the machines until his brother tackled him, both of them laughing as Sam tried to fend of the wet sock. Finally, Dean let up his torment and helped his brother off the floor. They murmured apologies to the girl, who simply shook her head and smiled, and went back to finish their laundry.

“You should call Buffy,” said Sam, stuffing his clothes in a dryer.

“Maybe after we’re done here.” It was probably the closest Dean was going to get in the way of commitment. But it was closer than he’d gotten before. “So, how’d it go last night? I’m guessing you didn’t find much?”

“Xander didn’t have any books at his place, although Willow brought her laptop. Couldn’t find much online. But she’s got some mad hacking skills.” Dean’s face twisted into a confused look. “It means that she can look up locked files, like police and vehicle records, stuff that isn’t available to the public.”

His confusion quickly morphed into opportunistic interest. “Think she can hook us up with some free porn?”

“If I had a laptop, she probably could. And we would have access to a computer on the weekends and times when the library’s closed.”

“Alright, alright, I get it,” said Dean, rolling his eyes at the unsubtle hints. “I’ll see if I can talk Dad into buying one, but you know the max limit on new credit cards is pretty low. And laptops are expensive.” He chewed on his lip for a bit, musing over an idea. Sam had a bad feeling he knew what that idea probably entailed. “How about this? You learn to hustle pool with me and everything you earn, we put towards that computer. Deal?”

“I hate stealing people’s money.” Hustling pool, playing poker, and running credit card scams was something drifters and cons did. Not that Sam thought they should charge for saving people, but there had to be a way to make money on the right side of the law. “Why can’t I work odd jobs around the neighborhood or something like that?”

“Sam, we live in a motel. Our ‘neighborhood’ is a diner and a couple of office buildings.” Dean flashed him a sad smile. Sam always wondered if growing up in a home those first few years made his brother miss it more. He’d actually lost it while Sam yearned for something he’d never had in the first place. But Dean had adapted to this life. More than adapted, he thrived. “Besides, you’re not stealing it; you’re earning it.”

“Fine,” said Sam with a sigh. “Oh, you missed it; Xander had a visitor last night.”

“What kind of visitor?” Dean asked, suspicious and alert.

“A girl named Anya.” At Sam’s words, the tension melted from his brother, and he went back to being merely interested. “I guess she didn’t realize that Willow and I were there, and she came over to, um...”

“No shit. Xander, you dog.” His lips curved in a sardonic grin, admiring his friend’s good fortune. “What’d she do?”

“She stripped. And then she realized that we were there, but she kept walking around naked.”

“Sammy had his first peep show? Way to go!” Dean clapped his brother on the back as if he’d done a good job instead of sit there with his mouth wide open.

“Willow covered my eyes when she realized what was going on.”

Dean chuckled, no doubt amused at the idea of the little redhead protecting Sammy’s virgin eyes. “So was she hot?”

“She was pretty, I guess.” Nowhere near as pretty as Buffy, he wanted to add, but that wasn’t a topic he was ready to discuss. “Especially for someone who used to be a demon.”

“Used to be a what?” asked Dean, his face frozen.

“Apparently, Xander tends to attract female demons.” They were alone in the laundromat now, so Sam didn’t worry about anyone overhearing their topic of discussion. “Willow ran through the list last night, it was pretty fun—”

“Xander’s dating a demon?” Dean was surprisingly calm. Sam had expected him to blow up and start yelling about how demons are bad and he never should have trusted Buffy's friends.

“No, she used to be a demon,” he said, correcting his brother. “Of the vengeance variety. Something about granting wishes to scorned women. But not anymore.”

“And they haven’t ganked her yet?”

“She’s not doing anything evil, not hurting anyone, so why would they kill her?”

“Because she’s a demon,” said Dean, angrily throwing his hands in the air. Before Sam could correct him again, he quickly amended his words. “Or used to be a demon, whatever. Isn’t that part of the job description of a Slayer? Hunting demons?”

This was the reaction Sam had expected. But he was glad since it gave him the opportunity to talk about something that had been on his mind for a while. “Did you ever think that maybe not all demons are bad?”

“No.” The answer was quick and decisive. He didn't think; he followed orders, Dad’s orders, and never questioned them. “Have you?”

He had thought about it. A lot. Because a creature – no, a girl – had saved his life last year, and he’d repaid the favor by helping her escape his brother and father. But he couldn’t draw attention to her, so instead, he said, “What about werewolves, for instance?”

“You mean the things that can rip open a grown man’s rib cage and tear out his heart? The thing that we hunted a couple summers ago?”

It had been Sam’s first time tracking a werewolf with them. The creatures were skilled and dangerous, combining the ingenuity of a man with the instincts of a wolf. And if they weren’t caught during the full moon, then it would be another month of watching and waiting. Not that Sam minded staying in one town for more than a month.

“That thing we hunted was a person most of the time,” said Sam. “He might have had a family or friends. He might not even have known that he was a werewolf.”

“And that makes it okay that he was eating human hearts?” Dean raised an eyebrow. Maybe werewolves were a bad place to start.

“I didn’t say that.” Sam took a deep breath and tried to think of another way to approach the argument, another way to make his brother see reason. “I just meant that maybe if he knew, maybe if he had a choice, he would choose not to hurt people.”

“And how would he do that?” Dean never questioned Dad, but he certainly didn’t have a problem doing it to Sam.

“I dunno.” Sam shrugged. He didn’t have the answers. That was the whole point of talking it over. “Lock himself up?”

“What if he escapes?” said Dean, dismissing the suggestion off-hand. “Then someone dies. He may not want to hurt people, but, eventually, he will.”

Sam should have known better. When it came down to it, this would always be Dean’s answer to questions about the ethics and morality of hunting. Because saving other people’s lives was the only thing that kept him from admitting how absolutely shitty and fucked up their own lives were.

“What if I got bit?” Sam asked. It was dangerous territory, but he’d always wondered how far Dean would go to follow their dad’s obsession. “What if I turned into one of them? Would you hunt me?”

His brother stared at him, long and hard, ignoring the timer on the machine. “We never have to worry about that because it’s never going to happen.”

“I’m serious, Dean.”

“So am I,” he said, gruffly. He stalked over to the dryer and started hauling his clothes out, stuffing them into his duffel bag. “Now can we stop talking about it and get out of here?”

“Yeah, sure.” Sam started filling his own bag, deciding not to push his brother any more. He knew he couldn’t pull the trigger. Their lives were bleak enough, and all they had was each other. He couldn’t – wouldn’t – imagine a world without Dean in it.



Next up Chapter 20: Buffy Giles has some answers, but what Buffy really wants to know is whether Dean will call or not.
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