Chapter Twenty-Three: Buffy
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 Twenty-Three: Buffy
Buffy hitched her backpack higher on her shoulders as she made her way across campus, heading to the dorms. Usually, she would go to the library and try to study between classes since her nights were spent patrolling, but she wanted to check up on Dean. He'd called earlier this morning to tell her he was going to stay with Sam at Giles' apartment. It was a sign of how worried he was over his brother because he disliked research as much as she did.
She was passing through the quad when she heard a familiar voice saying some very familiar words.
"I mean, it hit me hard, you know, my dad," said Parker. "And since then I just don't put stuff off anymore. It's about living for now."
Buffy rolled her eyes, remembering how he'd used the exact same line on her – barely a week ago. She glanced at the girl he was talking to, wondering if she should warn her that Parker's idea of living for now meant trying to have sex with as many girls as he could. After running into one of his previous victims yesterday, she'd found out how many other girls he'd seduced – girls he quickly forgot after he'd slept with them.
It had all been a game to him. A game he was still playing on another unsuspecting young blond. Maybe it was time to remedy that. Tapping him on the shoulder, she said, "Parker?"
He turned around, his eyes widening in surprise when he saw her. She felt a little twinge of guilt seeing the bruise on his jaw where Dean had punched him. "Buffy! Buffy Summers, this is Katie Loomis."
Katie looked at her warily. Buffy remembered giving her former roommate Cathy the same glare when she caught her laughing with him. Had she really been so jealous? Over a guy like Parker? "I know things didn't work out with us, but I wanted to let you know that I can still be here for you as a friend."
"Umm... thanks, I guess," said Parker.
"Sara hasn't called you?" she asked, using the name of the girl she'd met. "You remember Sara, right? Short blond hair, you guys met at the bookstore last month? I ran into her at the Student Health Center yesterday. She saw us talking and told me I should get checked out too. Just in case."
"In case of what?" Katie said, her eyes darting to Parker, who had recognized the description and started to look worried.
"Well, Sara wouldn't say; she was a little shaken up." Oh, Buffy was loving this. "She wanted to call you, but she's had trouble getting you on the phone.""Did she say anything else?" he asked in a shaky voice. His face had lost all color, making his eyebrows stand out, even more bushy and black than usual.
"No, she was headed to the pharmacy to pick up some sort of prescription ointment." Buffy paused, letting her words take hold in his imagination. Katie was looking more and more uncomfortable. "Although when I told her that we were just friends and weren't dating, she said I probably didn't have anything to worry about."
"I-I've got to get to class, Parker," said Katie, hurriedly standing up. "I'll see you around, okay?"
"Yeah, later, Cassie," he said, absentmindedly. She started to correct him, but decided it wasn't worth the effort and turned away. "I should probably get going, too. Bye, Buffy."
Buffy allowed herself a little smile as she watched him walk towards the Health Center. Now that he knew what it felt like to be screwed over, maybe he'd think twice about playing with another girl's affections. She continued on her way to the dorms, glad to count herself and Katie safe from his tactics. It was a good thing that Sam and Dean had shown up when they did, preventing her from making a mistake with Parker.But was it really a good thing?
The thought slipped into her head, unbidden, and her steps faltered. Sure, the last few days with Dean had been great – wonderful, in fact. She'd never felt so free in a relationship. And that was what worried her. Good things didn't happen to her. Not to Buffy.
It wasn't just that he knew her secret identity. Ford and Angel had known she was the Slayer, although she could hardly call Ford a "relationship", considering he'd intended to have her killed on their first proper date. As for Angel... there had been far too many other things in the way, too many secrets, too much hurt, for her to fully enjoy being with him, even without
the gypsy curse hanging over their heads.
With Dean, she didn't have to worry whether or not he'd freak out when she beheaded a vamp. Or if he'd lose his soul and try to kill her friends. She was more worried whether he would notice that pimple under her chin or if her skirt made her hips look wide. With Dean, she almost felt normal.
But the thing that brought him here might also be the thing that kept them apart. He was a hunter, one who traveled across the country chasing demons. His father would be returning from L.A. soon, and he'd want results, to know the source of all the strange occurrences in Sunnydale. Once he learned of her and the Hellmouth, he'd want to leave. He probably had their next hunt already lined up.
Somehow, this didn't make the thought of Dean leaving any easier to bear. Buffy knew it was selfish of her, wanting him to stay. But didn't she
deserve a little happiness now and again? Didn't they both? She'd already given up so much as the Slayer. Hell, she'd even died for it. Was it so wrong to want this one thing for herself?
It would be wrong, though, to ask him to stay. Not when there was evil in the world, things in the darkness that few people knew about and even less were willing to fight. Dean and his family were needed out there – to protect innocent people from the dangers they wouldn't, or couldn't, comprehend. And she couldn't follow him. Her place was here, guarding this town, and the world, from the Hellmouth. They were bound to lives that had been chosen for them – hers by destiny, his by tragedy.
Their lives didn't leave much room for romantic complications. She wasn't sure how she felt about Dean Winchester, but she knew that whatever was between them was special. It wasn't like anything she'd felt before, not even with Angel. With the future so uncertain, however, she was afraid of exploring her emotions, afraid that she already cared far too much about him.This is what Willow warned me about
, Buffy thought as she reached her dorm room. She was over-thinking again, trying to work out a problem before it had even begun. He probably would leave Sunnydale at some point, but maybe he wouldn't. Or maybe him leaving didn't have to mean the end of their relationship. Maybe... maybe she should spend less time thinking about
him and call him so that she could actually spend time with
Buffy hurried along the path, keeping a lookout in the darkness for any signs of vampire activity, like freshly turned graves or open mausoleum doors. She had one more cemetery to patrol before she could meet Sam and Dean at their motel room, where they would have a quiet evening of movies and take-out.
She was a little disappointed that she wouldn't get to spend any alone time with Dean, but she understood his reasons. Sam's safety was always his number one priority. Another reason why she was thankful that she was an only child. She had enough people to be responsible for, she couldn't imagine what life would be like if she had to take care of a little brother or sister.
But, in a way, she was looking forward to spending time with Dean without the sex. They hadn't really hung out and talked since the morning he cooked her breakfast. And everything had been so new between them that the conversation had been awkward at best. She was hoping that he'd be willing to open up to her more, now that she'd shared some of her past with him.
The buzz of her pager vibrating startled her out of her thoughts. She looked down at the screen, recognizing Dean's number. There had been a payphone near the cemetery entrance, so she turned around, heading back the way she'd come.
She reached the payphone and dialed his number. Instead of answering with a typical greeting, he asked, "Did you know that there are twelve cemeteries in Sunnydale?"
"Ummm, hi?" Buffy said. "I knew that, but how did you know that?"
"I drove through about three of them looking for you before I finally realized that I should just page you. Where are you?"
"Oakridge Memorial. But what do you mean—"
"Heading there now. See you in a few," he said. Then he hung up.
Buffy stared at the phone, wondering if she should be excited or worried. Then she remembered her resolution not to over-think everything between her and Dean. She would simply enjoy the present and worry about problems when they came up.
With newly strengthened resolve, she returned to the cemetery and sat on the least uncomfortable headstone she could find, waiting for Dean to show up. After a few minutes, she realized that sitting and waiting was far too conducive to thinking about things she wasn't supposed to be thinking about. She got up and resumed her patrol route, hoping to come across something to distract her busy mind.
Lucky for her, she spotted a newly turned vamp just past a fork in the road. Not so lucky for him.
He watched her approach, probably assuming that she would be an easy meal. She waited until she was a few yards from him before drawing out her stake, close enough to see the fear in his eyes as he realized whom he was facing.
"Slayer," he said. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"It's kinda in my job description." She smiled, giving him a little shrug. "You know, me – Vampire Slayer, and you – well, you're just dust."
His eyes narrowed, and he crouched into position, ready to attack. Her muscles tensed as she prepared to evade and counter. Then he turned and fled.
"Oh, I so don't have time for this," muttered Buffy as she took off after him.
He was fast, but she was faster and had learned a thing or two in the past few years about running through cemeteries. For example, she knew that he was running straight towards the chapel. She tackled him when he paused, deciding whether to go left or right to avoid the chapel walls.
They struggled on the ground until she managed to get on top. She lifted the stake, aiming for his heart.
"Wait," he cried. "What if I'm the next great love of your life? Do you really want to risk it? Angelus doesn't have to be the only vampire with a soul."
"Sorry to disappoint you, but Angel was hot, and you're... not." She shook her head, disapprovingly, at the frosted tips of his hair and black mesh shirt. "Besides, I'm into living, breathing men these days."
And with that, she plunged the wooden stake through his chest. The vampire disintegrated into a pile of dust beneath her.
"Have I told you how sexy you look when you're in Slayer mode?" said Dean.
Buffy looked up to see him walking towards her. Her heart skipped a beat, and not in a good way. She hadn't heard his car drive up and she wondered how much of the conversation he'd heard. What would he think about her and Angel?
He offered his hand, pulling her up and into his arms. "Dean, what—"
He silenced her with a kiss, his lips soft but urgent. "I missed you today."
"I missed you, too," she said, letting out a small sigh of relief at his words. "But who's watching Sammy?"
"Dad." He led her back to his car, opening the door for her.
"Really?" She took a deep breath as she got in, reminding herself to focus on the moment. Still, she felt a knot tightening in her stomach.
He slid into the driver's seat, but didn't start the car. Instead, he turned to her, saying, "Yeah, he got back from L.A. a couple hours ago. Didn't ask for a report or anything, just told me to go out and have some fun."
Dean had that confused look on his face again, like when his dad had let him and Sammy come to movie night. She had a feeling Mr. Winchester was quite the hard-ass who kept a tight grip on his boys, but right now, she didn't care. "Remind me to thank your dad when I meet him." She hadn't actually said that, had she? "Not that I need to meet him. I mean, I'm not one of those pushy girlfriends, who – I think I'll just shut up now."
He chuckled softly, then placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "It's okay. I want my dad to meet my girlfriend."
She looked up into his eyes, not sure if she believed what she'd heard. "Really?"
"Really," he said. With that simple affirmation, she felt the knot in her stomach loosen and disappear. In fact, she felt so light and free that she would float into the air if she weren't attached to Dean. "Buffy, I've been thinking."<
p>A giggle bubbled to the surface before she could stop it. "Sorry," she said. "I've kinda been trying hard not
He raised an eyebrow, but shook off his questioning look before continuing, "Well, Sammy's been complaining about having to go to so many schools. He's got about two years before he graduates." His words tumbled out slowly, and she wasn't quite sure why he wanted to discuss Sam's education with her. "And Sunnydale seems as good as any to finish them out. I mean, now that the high school isn't smack dab on top of the Hellmouth, it'll probably be safe for him to be there, right?"
Buffy nodded. Her brain, which had been so active before, was suddenly quiet.
"I could get a job as a mechanic," he said, eyes shifting nervously away from her face. "We've got an old family friend, Bobby, who owns a salvage yard in South Dakota. He'd probably put in a good word for me."
She stared at him, still refusing to believe that this was happening. Good things didn't happen to her. Not to Buffy Summers.
"It was just a thought," said Dean, trying to fill the silence. "I understand if you don't want us to stick around—"
She pressed her lips against his as the words finally started sinking in. It took a second for him to respond, a second that seemed to last forever, and then he was kissing her back and wrapping her in his arms. "I want. I very much want," she said, pulling back to give him her answer. Though now that her brain had started working again, it didn't want to shut off. "But, what about your dad?"
"He mostly hunts alone while Sammy's in school." He shrugged, a wry smile on his face. "I mean, I might go out of town to help him out sometimes. Only for a couple of days. Maybe a week or two at the most."
"Does he know about me? I mean about me being the Slayer, not about me being your girlfriend." She couldn't help smiling as she said the words. His girlfriend
"I didn't get a chance to tell him. In too big of a rush to come see you, I guess." He winked at her, and she knew he was teasing, but she didn't care. He had a smile to match her own, although his included a dimple. She placed a kiss at the corner of his lips, and the dimple disappeared as he kissed her back. "I'm still not sure I want him to know that this place is a Hellmouth. Not sure how he'd react to that. But you're still okay with me introducing my new girlfriend to him as the Slayer?"
"I think I'm okay with that." Apparently, she'd been wrong thinking that she couldn't smile any wider or feel any happier.
"So, um, I haven't..." he said, quietly, the smile falling from his lips. "I mean, us being together, it's not something -not something I've done before. Are you – are you sure this is something you want to try?"
"I've never been more sure." She looked into his eyes, watching his worry fade. But some of it remained. As experienced as he was with women, she realized that this relationship was something very new to him. In this situation, she was the experienced one. And she knew just how to instill a little confidence in him. "In fact, there are a couple of things I wanted to try with you."
He shot her a puzzled look, so she licked her lips and give him a coy smile. Understanding dawned on him, and that smug grin appeared on his face. "Oh really?"
"Really," she said, glancing up at him through her lashes. "Just some things I wouldn't feel comfortable doing with someone who wasn't my boyfriend
"Well, as your boyfriend," he said, "it is my duty to do whatever it takes to help you feel more comfortable."
"And as your girlfriend," she replied, her fingertips grazing the fabric of his jeans, "it would be my pleasure
to make you feel more comfortable."
Dean drew in a sharp breath as fingers slid higher up his leg. "I really think I'm going to enjoy this whole 'being your boyfriend' thing."
Next up Chapter 24: Dean
Breaking the news to Dad wasn't going to be easy. And John Winchester always has a few surprises up his sleeve.