Chapter Eight: Dean
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 Eight: Dean
"Not letting you go until you say it." Dean wrapped his arm tighter around his brother's neck. He was proud that it was getting harder to maneuver Sammy into a headlock. Kid was getting bigger, but he was also getting smarter.
"Fine," Sam said through gritted teeth. "Dean is the best brother ever."
"And I l-lo — I'm lucky to have him."
"Close enough," Dean said, releasing his hold. He knew that it didn't really count, but it felt good to hear Sammy admit that he loved his older brother. Or as close to it as he could. If he'd actually said it, Dean probably would have called him out on a chick flick moment.
"I was going to say," said Sammy, like a teenage girl who got her feelings hurt, "that if it takes an hour to get to the dorms and an hour to get back, wouldn't it have been a lot faster if we just drove her home?"
"Shit! I left my baby at the club." Dean calculated how long it would take to retrace their steps. "We gotta go back."
"You left your baby at a club?"
"His car," said Sammy, lips curved into a smirk. "If it cooked, she would be Dean's perfect woman."Until Buffy came along.
Nope. That thought did not just cross his mind. He knew Sammy was crushing on her. Wasn't even sure he could call it a crush anymore, the kid had her so high up on a pedestal. Her being a hunter, or Slayer, or whatever, made it that much worse.
But Dean hadn't had a crush on anyone since second grade when Suzie McElroy bopped him over the head with a plastic shovel. They never stayed anywhere long enough for him to feel anything deeper than "she's pretty." Besides, he always had to look after Sammy. So getting involved with a woman at anything more than a superficial level wasn't for him.
"We gotta go back and get her," Dean said, refusing to think about why he'd forgotten about her for this long.
"I'm not walking all the way back to The Bronze for a car."
"A car? The Impala is not
just a car!" Maybe she wasn't so perfect after all.
"What if it gets towed?" said Sammy. The horror of his words filled Dean's head. "I'll go. I can come pick you guys up."
"No," said Dean and Buffy in unison. He knew his reasons for not wanting Sammy to go alone, much less drive, but he sent Buffy a questioning look.
"Big, bitey vampires."
"I can handle 'em." Sammy drew himself up to his full height and puffed out his chest a little. Dean smacked him on the back of the head.
"Not gonna happen," Dean said. He was torn. His baby might need protection from a tow truck, and Buffy definitely did not need protecting. But he didn't want to leave her. He was afraid that if he left, he wouldn't find her again. She'd be some other girl that looked the same, but she wouldn't be his
What the hell was he thinking? He needed to get as far away from her as possible, before he started acting like di Caprio drowning for Winslet. Not that he ever saw the movie.
"If it really means that much to you," said Buffy, "we can—"
"Nah, it's fine." He knew he should leave and not look back. But he couldn't stop himself. "Sammy, why don't you stay with Buffy. I'll come pick you up at her dorm."
"Dean," she said. He thought he saw disappointment in her eyes. Maybe she didn't want him to go either. Or maybe she didn't want to be left alone with his annoying little brother. But the moment passed and she flashed him a half-smile. "Stevenson Hall. It's on the south side. Room 214."
"I'll find it." She was so close, he could lean down and kiss her. But he pulled his head up, catching a glance of Sammy glaring at him. "Sammy has his pager, and I've got my cell phone."
"Dean, wait." She placed her hand on his shoulder, stopping him mid-turn. His skin burned where she'd touched him, and he felt hope rising up as he spun round to face her. She pulled the stake from her jacket and offered it to him. "Take Mr. Pointy with you. Just in case."
"What about you?"
"Got a knife, Sam?" asked Buffy. His little brother pulled out a pocketknife and, knowing how Dad had trained them, probably had another one sheathed at his ankle.
"But that's not going to do shit against a vampire."
She rolled her eyes and walked to a nearby tree, breaking off a thick branch with her bare hands. After she tore off the twigs and excess length, she tossed it to Sammy. "Whittle that into Pointy, Jr. for me. We'll see you in a few, Dean."
He frowned as he watched her and Sammy walk away. Trust was a very rare thing in Dean's world, and he could count, on one hand, the people that he'd trust to take care of his little brother without constantly worrying about it. And now he'd told Sammy to go with a girl they'd just met so that he had an excuse to see her again tonight. And he wasn't actually worried about Sammy's safety.
Realizing that this line of thinking would only lead to a headache, Dean turned and headed back to his baby.
He took it all back. This evening sucked.
The walk back to the car was long and boring. And he kept wondering what his brother was saying about him to Buffy. It was one thing to admit to having a "reputation" with women. It was another to have it described in detail.
He kept telling himself that it didn't matter what she thought of him. He'd stopped chasing girls who thought they were too good for him. Course, those girls usually ended up chasing him, but he was pretty sure Buffy wasn't gonna do that. Especially if Sammy was doing his best to derail Dean's chances. Which he probably was.
"Who am I kidding?" Dean asked his reflection in the rearview mirror. Buffy didn't have to think she better than him. She was
better than him. She'd taken down two vampires with efficiency and ease. And she'd probably dusted another just before he got there, which would explain why her clothes had been messed up and dirty.
Plus, she was a college girl who obviously hadn't let demon hunting get in the way of her life. She'd want someone who could hold his own in an intellectual conversation, not a high school dropout with a GED. And she deserved a real relationship, not a fling with some guy who'd be chasing a demon halfway across the country next week.
"She'd want a guy who can figure out how to get to her dorm room," Dean muttered as he pulled into a spot. He'd found the campus easily, but had spent the last half-hour looking for Buffy's dorm. The signs for Stevenson all seemed to point in different directions. He was hoping, from the number of cars in the parking lot and the basketball courts nearby, that he was in the right place.
The doors were locked. Of course. He could pick them, but Buffy would ask how he got in which might lead to a discussion of his other questionable skills and criminal abilities. Taking out his phone, he dialed Sammy's pager and punched in the three-digit code that meant "Call Dean."
"What took you so long?" his brother asked.
"I'm here now." He wasn't going to admit that he'd gotten lost. "But the door's locked."
"Hang on." Dean could hear giggling in the background and realized that Buffy had a roommate. His first thought was to wonder if she was hot, his second was if she knew about Buffy's secret life. "Buffy's coming down to get you."
He hung up. A few minutes later, he saw Buffy's bare feet on the stairs, followed by the rest of her. She smiled at him through the glass doors, then put her finger to her lips, telling him to keep quiet. There was probably some dorm rule about letting in strangers after two a.m., but the halls were deserted when she opened the door and led him to the stairs.
Dean took back his earlier assessment. From where he was standing, behind and below Buffy, this was definitely a good evening. He was just sad that she only lived on the second floor and not the fourteenth.
"Dean," said Buffy as he entered her room. She nodded her head to a redheaded girl sitting cross-legged on one of the beds. "That's my best friend Willow. Don't even try hitting on her because her boyfriend will tear your throat out."
He glared at his brother, who had obviously told a few stories on the way here, but Sammy was sitting on the other bed – Buffy's bed – chatting with Willow. She was cute in a librarian sort of way, and must have one of those big, beefy linebacker boyfriends. But she couldn't hold a candle to Buffy, who was now sitting beside her.
"— mostly theoretical, but the main library has a huge wing dedicated to it," said Willow. Dean noticed a bright green bandage on her neck and wondered if she was covering up evidence of her throat-tearing boyfriend. "There's some practical stuff if you know what to look for."
Trust his geeky brother to talk about libraries when there were two pretty girls in the room. Dean grabbed a chair from one of the desks, swung it around, and sat down so that his chest was against the chair's back.
"That's my Will. There's not a website she can't hack or a book she won't crack to fight the bad."
"Yup. Just call me Miss Information." Willow's eyes widened. "Or, you know, something else that's research-y and not misleading."
Dean had to admit that there was something very sweet and endearing about her. He was willing to bet that she could give Sammy a run for his money in the sad, puppy face category.
"Can we see it tomorrow?" Sammy was nearly jumping off the bed in excitement.
"Tomorrow?" Dean asked. He'd finally found the place and now he was feeling lost again. He had to get out of this college and back in the real world.
"Will and I offered to take Sam on a campus tour tomorrow."
"I dunno, Sammy. I think Dad probably has plans for us." Dean's response brought on another bitchface from Sammy. But Dad probably did have something else planned. And as much as Dean wanted to see Buffy again, he knew it was a bad idea. It'd be better for both of them if he just disappeared after tonight.
"Oh, I know!" Buffy jumped up and ran to a desk, scribbled something on a piece of paper, and handed it to Sammy. "Ask your Dad. If he says 'yes', you can call us and let us know. If not, maybe we can meet up later instead."
Dean had to remind himself not to be jealous as he watched his brother tuck the slip of paper into his wallet. But his voice was a little gruff when he said, "We should get going."
Sammy looked like he was going to protest, so Dean stood up and returned the chair to its spot in the same move. After a moment, Sammy sighed and got up from the bed.
"Thanks for everything, Buffy. I'm sure we can convince Dad to let me come tomorrow." Sammy must be more tired than he seemed because Dean thought his little brother had included him in the plot to convince Dad. If Dad didn't want them to go, they weren't going. Period.
"Wait," Buffy said as Dean started to usher Sammy out the door. "Thank you guys, too. Tonight's been... interesting." She hesitated, her voice was small and worried. "My identity. As a Slayer. It's kind of a secret, so... please don't tell anyone. Not even your father."
Dean wasn't surprised when Sammy agreed almost immediately. He was
surprised when he looked straight into her eyes and gave a quick nod despite the horrible twisting feeling in his stomach.
Next up Chapter 9: John
Is it too late to try to be a father to his sons instead of a drill sergeant?