|The Hard Way
Author: FallAway PM
A month of barely speaking and their first real conversation is about a girl. Good God. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Dean W. & Sam W. - Words: 3,700 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-16-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3491965
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: A month of barely speaking and their first real conversation is about a girl. Good God. Oneshot.
Disclaimer: If I owned them, things would be very different.
A/N: Because Dean and Jo would be amazing together, no matter what anyone else says. And because Sam and Dean are just too damn good at brooding not to do it because of each other. Feedback is, as always, like sex and coffee combined.
She sighs heavily and shakes her head, groaning shrilly as she opens the glove compartment and shoves the newspaper into the already-crammed space. Dean raises an eyebrow, but doesn't bother to look at her, and she glares harshly at him as she turns to face him in the passenger seat. "This is crap," she tells him seriously.
"Stop drinking it, then," he reaches for the cup of coffee that she has nestled carefully between her thighs and she swats his hand away, rolling her eyes. He chuckles and presses his foot down on the accelerator.
"The two of you need to kiss and make up, because I'm not going to infiltrate the dream team," Jo picks up her cup to keep it from spilling and spins around on the bench seat, staring seriously at Sam.
"Refer to us as the 'dream team' again and your ass will be walking back to the Roadhouse, so you won't have to worry about it," Dean says seriously, tightening his grip on the wheel. She shifts next to him, stuck as a barrier between him and his little brother, and he shakes his head slightly. "Be glad you're not stuck in the backseat with the less attractive one," he smiles charmingly at her and she stares at him blankly.
"Sam, explain to your brother that I'm not going to sleep with him," she requests sweetly. Sam smirks a little, but doesn't move his head from where it rests on his hand.
"Why don't you do it?"
"He doesn't ever listen to me," she gives Dean a pointed look and then turns to look out the window at the passing scenery. He rolls his eyes and reaches over to crank up the stereo, thankful that he never threw out his cassette tapes. Old or not, they filled awkward silences better than anything.
A smaller, smoother hand follows his and turns the stereo off just a second after he turns it up and he narrows his eyes, pointing a threatening finger at Jo. "Don't fuck with my stereo, Jo," he says seriously.
"What are you gonna do about it? Hit me?" She laughs and rolls down her window, throwing her cup of coffee out of it. "You won't even let me carry my own crossbow when we go on hunts," she reminds him.
"Hey. Ellen already threatened to cut off my balls if I let anything happen to you. Excuse me for wanting to hold onto my manhood," he retorts, retracting his finger and dropping his hand back onto the wheel.
"Right. Because it's so manly to be afraid of my mother," she says sarcastically. He sighs and jerks his foot off the gas, pressing down hard with the other on the break. The Impala screeches to a stop on the abandoned back road and Jo almost flies forward, held in her seat only by the seatbelt that Sam never bothers to wear. The latter hits the back of the front seat and Dean smiles slightly.
"Alright, here's your choice. Put up with the car rules and stop complaining or get out and walk the rest of the way to our next stop," he tells her.
"Dean, we're miles from any abnormal activity. Miles from civilization, for that matter," Sam pipes up from the back seat. He sounds irritated, and Dean turns around to face his little brother in equal annoyance.
"Then she can call a cab," he snaps. Turning back to Jo, he raises an eyebrow and feigns reaching over to open her door for her. "So?"
She folds her arms across her chest and stares at him seriously, refusing to move. He keeps his eyes locked on hers, refusing to blink or move even an inch, and finally she sighs and nods her head. "Fine."
"Thank you!" he crows, turning the key in the ignition and turning the stereo back on once the car is moving again. After a moment, Jo reaches over and ejects the AC/DC tape that's blasting from the speakers, filling the car with static. "What the—"
"At least stop listening to the same damn tape over and over again," she sighs and reaches for the box on the floor, pulling out another square plastic cassette and popping it into the stereo. "Which, by the way, cassette tapes, Dean?"
Sam chuckles behind him and Dean tightens his grip on the wheel, regaining his bearings quicker than the last time he had to defend his collection. "Old school, baby," he grins, winking at her. "Chicks dig that."
"Oh, here we go again," she groans and drops her head into her hands as they pass another city sign. Dean looks around for any signs of a population and smirks when he sees absolutely none.
He drops the knife on the bed and picks up another, sharpening it with more force than necessary. Humming the tune of a Metallica song under his breath, he focuses on the scrape of the dagger and tries to resist glancing out the window for any signs of Sam.
"'Maybe certain people should stop acting so high and mighty.' Give me a break," he scoffs and knicks the edge of his thumb, hissing slightly as the digit immediately gravitates toward his mouth. He sucks at his skin gently, trying to get the bleeding to stop, and pushes the dagger and sharpener away from him.
"Aww," Jo smiles as she steps out of the bathroom, running a cheap white motel towel through her hair. "I never knew you sucked your thumb!" she teases, smile hardening into a smirk as she watches him. Dean narrows his eyes and pulls his thumb from his mouth, waving it around pointlessly.
"I cut myself, thanks," he explains.
"Oh," she stops drying her hair and straightens up, frowning slightly as she crosses the small space of the room to reach him. "Let me see?" she requests, reaching for his hand as she sits on the edge of the bed next to him.
"It's not that big of a deal," he rolls his eyes but allows her to take his hand in hers. She strokes her own thumb over the tip of his and shakes her head.
"Doesn't look like you need stitches. Might want a band-aid, though," she looks up at him and smiles without showing any teeth. He nods and pulls his hand out of hers, walking into the bathroom and jerking the cold tap on. Running his thumb under the water, he stares at his reflection in the mirror and takes a deep breath.
"Hey, you think Sammy's coming back tonight?" he shuts off the water and grabs a band-aid from the Ziploc bag that's sitting on the counter. Jo appears in the doorway of the bathroom before he can leave and he leans against the counter, working the bandage out of its packaging rather unsuccessfully with one hand.
"I don't know," she sighs and takes the band-aid from him, ripping it open and placing it over his cut. He watches her work and knits his brow. "But I know that this fight the two of you are having is absolutely ridiculous," she tells him for the fifth time in two days.
"So I've heard," he jerks away from her and sticks the other side of the bandage to his skin, ignoring her hurt expression with more effort than it really should take. "Guess that's not really your place though, is it?"
"When it's affecting our work, then yes it is," she argues. Dean's eyes fly up to meet Jo's and she folds her arms across her chest, eyebrow arching challengingly.
"Our work?" he repeats, confused.
"Yes, our work. I may not know as much as the two of you do about this business, but I did grow up with a hunter. It's in my blood," she defends her position rather haughtily and he's overcome with the urge to call Ellen and force her to come pick up her daughter. But then he would probably be interrogated about everything that Jo's been doing for the past three weeks. Scratch that idea.
"Right," he shakes his head and pushes past her out of the tiny, pathetic excuse for a bathroom. "Well, as long as we keep your ass safe, I guess it doesn't matter if we're talking or not."
She follows him out and opens her mouth to retort when his cell phone rings, the tinny polyphonic ringtone cutting off her attempts at arguing with him. Dean spots Sam's number on the caller ID and doesn't bother to start the conversation with the recommended preliminaries. "Find anything?"
"That old abandoned house we passed on the way into town?" Sam asks rhetorically. "Two little kids were just found murdered in the back yard."
"Follow any patterns?" Dean asks, grabbing his jacket off the back of a chair. Jo does the same and he sighs, pulling the receiver away from his mouth and blocking her from the door. "Where are you going?"
"I'm coming with you," she responds. He half expects her to add a 'Duh' to the end of the proclamation, but she never does. "Come on, let's go," she prods him in the chest with her finger and he purses his mouth, sighing through his nose.
"Dean? You still there?" Sam asks.
"Yeah," he rolls his eyes and leaves the motel room, letting her follow him just to save his vocal chords from yet another argument. "Are you there now?"
"On my way."
"Meet you there," he hangs up and tosses his phone into the pocket of his leather jacket, stopping at the side of the Impala and staring at Jo seriously. "This is the boring part. Research, talking to family…"
"I'm coming," she says firmly, jerking the passenger's door open and sliding into the car. Dean tilts his head back to look at the cloudy sky and groans.
"Yeah, well maybe if Dean stopped trying to fight fate, then communication would be a little easier," Sam snaps, leaning back against the wall of the burger joint. Jo sighs, frantic now as she whips her head around to look at the older Winchester brother, and Dean rolls his eyes as he throws a rock into the open sky.
It crashes down in the parking lot a few seconds later and he shrugs as he smiles at Jo. "Maybe Sammy should stop acting like he can predict the future," he tells her quietly.
"You know what?!" Sam explodes, pushing off the wall with such force that Dean is momentarily convinced he's just going to keep on falling until he's flat on his face. The visual makes him smirk, but he hides the expression when Jo glares at him and clears his throat. "Fine," Sam continues.
He storms off in the opposite direction of where the Impala sits and Dean clears his throat again, raising a pointed eyebrow at Jo as he shoves his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket and shrugs. "So," he smiles once Sam is out of earshot and nods toward his car. "Shall we?"
She stands there looking torn for a solid minute before she nods and follows him to the Impala. Dean runs his hand through his hair and pulls open the driver's side door, sighing heavily as he drops into the vehicle.
She jumps when the wind splashes through the broken glass of the window and onto her skin, and he snorts from behind her. Turning sharply, Jo shines her flashlight in his face and narrows her eyes. "Do you want me to tell Sam that you're doing this without him?"
"Do you think he'd care?" Dean retorts, and his tone is bitterer than he's used to it being. He rolls his eyes and waves the EMF meter over the walls in the hallway, perturbed by how little activity the monitor shows. Jo lowers her flashlight and turns around again, continuing to explore the old abandoned house.
"He's just trying to look out for you," she explains her friend's actions idly as she runs her hand over a half-hinged window sash. He doesn't bother to respond and he can practically hear her eyes roll. Smirking softly as she runs her hand along the rest of the wall, she tilts her head toward him and sadly enough, that's all it takes to draw his attention to her. "But of course you're not okay with that; you're the badass of the family, right? Dean Winchester," she lowers her voice dramatically. "How special."
"You don't know a thing about it, Jo," he snaps, and she turns to look at him in the dark. "So why don't you shut up and do your job?"
"Did I hit a sore spot?" she asks sarcastically, and he presses her up against the wall, aiming the flashlight into the space between their bodies so that all he can see are the shadows of her face. From what he can see of her expression, he can tell that she didn't know how close they were until she was jammed in between him and the wall. He resists the urge to smile.
"What Sam's pitching a fit about isn't your concern, you got me?"
"We've been over this," she hisses, planting her hand dangerously low on his stomach. He doesn't move other than to swallow thickly at the unexpected contact, and he watches her eyes as they avert to the his adam's apple. "You want me to back off? Act like the brother you claim you are and fix this," she whispers before ducking under his arm and away from him.
He runs a hand through his hair and turns around, dropping the meter when he hears her scream behind him. Dean whips back to face her once again and widens his eyes at the site of the demon that's pulling on her arm and snapping vicious teeth at her terrified face. "Dammit," he curses and pulls a shotgun from his jacket, pissed at his little brother for distracting him with this stupid ass fight.
"Would you stop pacing? I'm fine," she says seriously. He does stop, but only long enough to give her an incredulous look.
"There's a cast on your arm," he retorts angrily. "You're not fine."
"Yes I am! The doctor said it's just a sprain, it'll heal in a few weeks and then I'll be fully capable of helping you guys out again," Jo promises. Dean laughs and shakes his head, dropping his chin to his chest.
"Maybe so, but you won't be," he responds simply. She sits up straighter on the edge of the hospital bed and arches an eyebrow.
"Is that so?"
"You could've been killed back there," he nearly shouts, feeling too hysterical about this situation. He and Sam have nearly died countless times, but this is different. "I promised Ellen I would keep you safe, and I intend to keep that promise. You're going back to the Roadhouse tonight."
"But then how will you ever get into my pants?" she wonders sweetly, a touch of sarcasm coloring the question. He steps closer to her and leans into her, smirking at how wide her eyes get when the inches between them keep lessening.
"I'm sure I can think of something," he murmurs with a wink. The doctor walks into the room at that moment and Dean backs up quickly, smiling brilliantly at the old man. "She free to go?"
"Yes," the doctor replies absently, flipping through Jo's chart. After a moment he looks up and smiles at the pair. "Just make sure your girlfriend doesn't put too much strain on her arm and that she takes Ibuprofen to keep the swelling down."
"Oh, she's not my—"
"Okay, sweetie?" she grins and hops off the bed, leaning up and kissing Dean softly on the cheek. "I told you they wouldn't keep me overnight," she smacks him playfully with her good hand and turns to face the doctor. "Such a worrywart," she laughs and the old man laughs with her.
Dean resists the urge to strangle her on the spot.
When they return to the motel, Sam is pacing holes into the already threadbare carpet. Dean sheds his jacket and grudgingly helps Jo out of hers, watching as his little brother engulfs the blonde in a bear hug that's probably going to destroy her new cast. He rolls his eyes and flops back on his bed, idly tugging at his watch to remove it from his wrist.
"No, Sam," Jo sighs and Sam shakes his head, shushing her as he grabs his jacket and heads for the door. He doesn't grab a key from the table and Dean rolls his eyes at his brother's over-eagerness to please.
"Cookie dough, right? I'll be back in ten minutes," he swears, and then he's out the door. She sighs heavily and turns to Dean, looking at him with the softest expression he's ever seen on her.
He smirks a little, "See? You even get ice cream for the trip back home."
"I'm not going back to the Roadhouse," she tells him seriously. Opening his mouth to protest, he stops abruptly at the determined look on her face and knits his brow. "If Sam had been with you instead of me, you'd give him a .45 and tell him to pay closer attention next time. I don't want special treatment, Dean."
"Yeah, but you're…"
"What?" Jo laughs and drops down on the bed next to him. "A girl? Don't tell me you're actually going to try and pull that card on me."
Shifting his position so that he's facing away from her, he shakes his head and sighs. "Sam wouldn't have gotten into that situation tonight," he tells her honestly. Harsh, but mostly true. She scoffs and he stands, crossing the room to glance out the window. "So how long we givin' Sammy until he returns with six cartons of ice cream?"
"Stop trying to change the subject! Why does it bother you so much that I got hurt on a hunt?" she asks. He turns to face her and finds her standing on the bed, looking ready to pounce if he gives her the wrong answer.
"I promised Ellen—"
"Oh, bullshit," she rolls her eyes and steps off the mattress shakily, coming to a stop about six inches from him. "You like me, don't you?"
"Don't flatter yourself," he rolls his eyes, looking at a point past her shoulder. A chip in the cheap wallpaper draws his attention and he focuses on that so that he doesn't have to look at i her /i .
"It really bothers you that we haven't made any progress in this relationship, doesn't it?" she continues as though she hadn't heard him and he smirks, locking eyes with her briefly.
"Yeah," he deadpans. "My heart just keeps on breaking every time you smile."
"If your heart was broken you'd be dead, Winchester," she smiles brightly, reaching out and poking him gently in the chest. "And with all the stuff you've been through, I don't think you could possibly be brought down by something as simple as that."
Dean glares at her for a moment. "Fuck you," he sighs heavily and grabs his jacket, turning and heading for the door. Once he's outside, he realizes that he did the same damn thing Sammy did and neglected to grab a key to the room. Rolling his eyes, he kicks one of the posts that holds up the overhang.
"Did you grab a key?" a familiar voice asks from behind him. Turning sharply, he looks up at his little brother and rolls his eyes as he shakes his head.
"No. I'd knock, but Jo probably won't let me in," he says bitterly. Sam raises an eyebrow and bumps the plastic bag in his hand against his leg, filling the air with an annoying crackling sound. "God, that woman is infuriating!"
Going on to explain the past month to the youngest remaining Winchester, Dean paces the sidewalk in front of their motel room and rants and raves until he can't think of anything else to complain about. Then he stops and faces Sam, slightly out-of-breath. After a moment of silence he furrows his brow and then groans. A month of barely speaking and their first real conversation is about a girl. Good God.
Sam laughs, then, and shakes his head back and forth in amusement. "Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?"
"Just tell her how you feel, Dean. It's really not as hard as you're making it," he pats Dean on the shoulder and then brushes past him, knocking gently on the door to their room. "Jo? It's Sam," he calls.
The door opens a moment later and she doesn't give Dean even a glance before retreating back into the room. Sam follows her inside and leaves the door propped on its frame so that Dean can get back in when he wants to.
Silently thanking and hating his little brother, he sits on the hood of the Impala and sighs heavily. Sam won't ever understand anything.