Alright, I'm done with the boys for now... I don't own them and I've finally finished this fic so Kripke and the CW can have Sam and Dean back...
Hope you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
I've left it rather open ended for two reasons... the first being that I had so much fun with Cal and Dean as characters that I wanted to leave the option of sequel wide open. The second being that...well I figured that whatever I wrote past what I did couldn't possibly come close to what your imaginations will come up with to fill in the blanks. You'll see what I mean... : D
Pleas... Let me know what you think of the end and thank you for reading!
A month had come and gone since she'd left Dean behind.
The first few days she'd hardly slept. Partly because she spent them on the road in her car, and partly because she'd half expected him to come after her when he realized she was gone. Of course, he hadn't.
The first place she'd gone was back to the farmhouse. No way she was going to miss Billie's funeral and Cal needed to close her parents place up again anyway.
It had taken a week. Packing up the clothes and things she wanted to take back with her, emptying the fridge and cupboards of anything perishable and giving the place one last good once over.
Funny… she'd thought that the hardest part of coming back would have been the memories of her parents. Instead it was Dean. Everywhere she went he and Sam followed. Oh, they weren't actually there. Not in person anyway. She couldn't count the amount of times she'd turned around expecting him to be sitting quietly at the kitchen table cleaning his guns with Sam across from him eyes glued to their laptop. Two days of looking over her shoulder was enough for her. As soon as she'd finished with the house she hightailed it over to the bar.
The place was empty when Franny watched her walk in just after lunch. "Well this is a nice surprise. Caitlin O'Sulivan blessing my bar with her presence twice in as many weeks. Don't suppose you've got a big ass mirror hiding somewhere behind that skinny little frame of yours, do you?" God, she had to start coming back more often. It felt good to laugh. It felt good to be around people who recognized her. Maybe roots weren't such a bad thing after all.
"Nah, just a big ass." Fran's throaty laugh warmed Cal's heart. Yeah, she definitely needed to do this more often.
"Speaking of big ass mirrors…I, uh, picked something up for you on my way back up here." Long, graceful fingers slid a picture across the bar. "Drove by this estate auction in upper New York state and… well it was just screaming out: Franny."
Fran's jaw dropped. The picture… it was of Cal taking a picture, or rather Cal's reflection in a very wide mirror with the words 'Chez Henri' arched gracefully across the middle. A smaller 'Fran's bar' was etched just below the ornate black and red letters. "You didn't!"
"Promise I won't break this one."
She'd known it would be a hit.
Cal spent the rest of the week in the room above the bar staying just long enough to go to Billie's funeral and to help Fran mount the mirror when it was delivered. She left the same as always, late one night after buying a round at the bar. Quietly and unnoticed while everyone was distracted. .
Once that particular business had been taken care of there was only one place left for her to go. Home. Her real home. A small two bedroom apartment in New York city owned by one Mary Jane Watson. Hey, she had a thing for Spiderman. Nothing wrong with that, right? It was probably a good thing she'd left the Winchesters behind… they would never have let her hear the end of it. Yeah, sure Cal. You just try and keep convincing yourself of that. Leaving may have been the right thing to do but that didn't stop it from hurting so badly it was almost a physical ache.
After spending the better part of the last year on the road she was more than a little sick of seeing those little yellow lines roll by. Her poor little car still had her little war wound from that big nasty green truck. Stupid Earl had smashed in half of her fender. "T'sokay baby. First stop after unloading'll be the shop. You'll be good as new in no time."
She'd walked the last three blocks to her apartment and hadn't left it since.
There was no way for Dean and Sam to track her down here. Yeah, they knew the alter-ego name she'd used from the hotel and she didn't doubt they had her plate numbers too so they could feasibly look for her using that…but they had no idea she had a state-side apartment or even that she had any ties to New York. There was no reason for them to look for her here, or even at all anymore so she could afford to take a little time. She was going to hibernate for the winter… recharge her batteries… put the hunt aside for a little while so she'd be fresh when she went ahead and gave it another go. Okay Cal, be honest with yourself. More like you need a good long chocolate and chic-flick binge to get over that man. Oh well, sometimes a girl can't help but…you know…be a girl.
So it had been a month now and yeah, Cal had done a lot of the devastated girl thing. Oh, it hadn't taken her long to become disgusted with herself and when she did… well she'd hauled her butt over to the nearest bar she knew of, sat herself down to drink herself stupid, pick up and forget. It didn't work of course, but she did come out of it with a part-time bartending job to distract her until she was ready to hit the road again.
It was the graveyard shift which suited her night-owl lifestyle just fine, and only three nights a week so it didn't interfere with the hibernation thing. The extra cash kept her in chocolate and got her a new cell phone. Funny how the new toy didn't make her feel much better…
Mostly she spent her days just as she was: in pajamas and having different variations of the same conversation with herself over and over again. She was not moping around the house…just…um…taking a well deserved rest. Yeah, that was it. Sure it was.
That's the perfect excuse for why you're sitting on your kitchen counter in Dean's AC/DC t-shirt and a pair of cartoon character cotton pajama pants porking your way through your second pint of Ben&Jerry's New York Super-Fudge Chunk of the night. Yeah Cal, you're a fine example of denial aren't you?
Maybe… maybe she ought to just suck it up and pack up her car again… maybe she'd been wrong about leaving like that…hell, maybe she just needed to dive into a good messy hunt again to get her mind off this whole broken-hearted deal.
The broken record was about to start again when she heard the phone ring from the building's front door. Good. A distraction. Pizza guy was here. Thank God for all-night restaurants or else she'd never have been able to feed her midnight cravings.
"Uh, hi. Pizza for MJ Watson?"
Hang on. That wasn't right. Cal had been using her own name since coming back. Hadn't seen any danger in it considering she'd put the hunting on hold. And there was something familiar about that voice….
Hanging up the phone she ran for the TV and flipped it to the channel to which security had programmed the front door camera. Sure enough a tall shaggy haired man stood in costume holding a pizza box, face turned away from the camera. No. It couldn't possibly have been Sam. Dean would have been with him… wouldn't he?
Great. Now you're seeing things. You are loosing it girl. And the name thing? He'd probably read the nameplate next to the buzzer number. Jeez, just let the poor kid up already.
When the phone rang a second time she didn't even bother listening to the voice, just apologized and rang him up. Tomorrow she'd give her notice at the bar and pack up. This was the last straw. Only way to beat the slump she was in was to jump right back into what she did best. Time to get your head back into the game Cal. You're getting pathetic.
The knock came a lot faster than she expected considering she was twenty floors up. There had been just enough time to hang up and flip the channel back to the action flic she'd been watching when the heavy bangbangbang-ing of fist-on-door broke the quiet. Good god, that idiot delivery guy was going to leave a dent in the freaking door. Temper flaring she marched over to the door ready to tear a strip out of the kid. She might be a wreck but anger she could do.
"Listen you little punk, as happy as I am that you managed to deliver my damned pizza in record breaking time for a change I do not appreciate you trying to break my door down in the process…" But… the guy wasn't holding a pizza. No, actually the guy wasn't holding anything at all. Well, unless you counted the door which he was now firmly pushing open the rest of the way as he stormed in.
A very determined, leather coated Dean Winchester slammed her door closed and bolted it shut behind him. "So Mary Jane, I've got to say: you are one tough chick to find. Oh, yeah just a quick question before we start the fighting stuff we're so good at: you planning to stick around for this or am I going to have to tie you down…? Because I will if I have to." Alright… the guy was angry. She could understand that. What she didn't get was how the hell he got to be standing in the middle of her living room.
"Um… Dean? What are you doing here?"
"I think that's pretty obvious."
"No, not really."
Was she for real? Did she really not know what he was doing there?
"Jesus Cal, I've just spent weeks hunting you down! And all you've got for me is 'what are you doing here?"
Well, now that he mentioned it…she did have another little something for him… and she surprised him with it by sliding her arms under his jacket, around his waist and doing exactly what she'd been dreaming of ever since she'd left him.
He'd expected a lot of things coming up here… and as usual what he'd expected hadn't even come close to what he got. Never one to turn a kiss down, especially not one like that, he gave her everything he had.
"Is that my shirt?" Funny the things you notice in the heat of a moment, isn't it? Cal just laughed against his mouth. God, he'd missed that sound.
Pulling away from the kiss he framed her face in his hands and considered her seriously before speaking. When he did they were the words that had been beating a steady tempo through his head the whole time he'd searched for her.
"Listen, if you really don't want me here. If you really don't want to be with me I'll go right now and you'll never have to set eyes on me again… It'll be like ripping my own arm off but I'll do it."
"No. Dean, don't go."
"Yeah, well if I stay… you've got to know that I'm not leaving… and I've got to know you're not going to either."
Damn it, he knew she was going to argue…"I'm serious Cal. No more taking off in the middle of the night, or in the middle of a hunt or anywhere else for that matter."
"Dean, I just said yes. I want you stay, I'm not going anywhere…except maybe hunting. With you… and Sam."
He'd been so ready to fight for it… to argue her until he was blue in the face just to convince her that this was the right. That they were the right. It didn't register that she was saying she wanted it too.
"I don't want to leave Cal…and when I do want you to come with us. God, do you have any idea what it felt like to wake up and find out you'd just left like that? No goodbye, no 'nice knowing ya'. Not even a 'thanks for helping me out and saving my ass'. Damn it, it felt worse than dying and trust me I know from experience. Don't… just… please don't tell me to go."
Oh, there was no chance of that happening. None whatsoever. Not now, and she didn't think ever again. Since he wasn't really listening though…well she couldn't resist playing with him just a tiny bit more.
"So, uh, how exactly did you manage to find me?"
Well, what? She was curious… and the answer would most definitely be good. He'd spent the last month tracking her down with next to nothing to go on. This was definitely a story she wanted to hear.
"How did I…?" Apparently he hadn't expected that one. "Well, let's see. First there was the international internet search for Caitlin Marie O'Sulivan. God we must have hit over two thousand public records sites in Canada and here. We got a whole lot of nothing. Then we went back up to your parent's place." She arched a surprised brow at him. Oh really? "Don't look at me like that. Yeah, we did. You think you invented fake ID? And that Fran chic? I've had an easier time getting information from angry dead people. She wouldn't give us even a clue as to where you'd gone."
"That's because she didn't know."
"Yeah well, she could have been a little friendlier about it. I don't exactly enjoy being escorted out of the place at gunpoint. Thought you Canadians were supposed to be friendly."
Hm, well that's an awfully dark look. It'd be worth going back again and asking Franny what had happened.
"Anyway… we started running the few names we knew of that you'd used so far and your license plates. Took freaking forever and we hit like a dozen different dead ends in seven different states… until this mechanic called me back about a little red Mustang that had the plates Sam had asked him about…that Caitlin O'Sulivan had picked up just that morning. It wasn't a far stretch from there."
Impressive. Dude definitely was getting brownie points for this. Not that he really needed them at the moment… but she was feeling generous so he was getting some anyway.
"So… where's Sam then?"
"Took the car back to the motel."
"Good, give him a call and tell him not to wait up. You're not going anywhere for a good long while."
Hm… really? That sure sounds promising…"Meaning?"
"Meaning… shut up and kiss me Winchester. We've got lost time to make up for… and I plan on doing it in as many of the best ways possible."
Well, that was his answer right there wasn't it? Dean Winchester is not a guy who needs to be told twice.
"Sounds like a challenge…" he growled out, pulling her in as close as he could get her.
"That's because it is."
With those words all thoughts of phone calls, brothers and even hunting were forgotten. Only the challenge remained.
"In that case…" he said as he slid big warm hands up her back under his t-shirt. "…let's see if I can find a little more of that French of yours…shall we?"