b Chapter Four /b

Buffy stood under the spray of water trying to shed her pain with her tears.

She was officially done with John Winchester. There was no place in his life for her and he didn't deserve what she had to offer. She didn't deserve to be used and tossed aside whenever he saw fit.

Unfortunately, she had no one to blame but herself. She knew John was still in love with Mary and nothing was ever going to change that. She could only fool herself for so long but tonight had been the final straw.

She shut off the shower and stepped out quickly drying off and wrapping the towel around her before stepping out into the room.

It was dark and she could see that Dean was already in bed so she left the light on in the bathroom as she changed into shorts and a tank top then climbed into bed.

John being gone when she got out hadn't surprised her. That was what he did. She was going to lay down and forget about him.

She'd been in bed for twenty minutes before she realized she was crying and that was only because Dean's movements brought her out of her daze.

"You alright?" he asked, his voice somewhere between a whisper and talking but rough with sleep.

She sniffled and wiped her eyes with her hands before nodding into the dark. "I'm fine. Just stupid."

"You're not stupid Buffy."

A weak smile tugged at her lips and she shook her head. "Oh yes I am. I tried to believe I could change things. It's never worked for me before I don't know why I thought it would now."

"Buf…"

"No, Dean. I'm fine. Just go back to sleep."

She rolled onto her side, her back facing him as she did everything she could to get her mind off of John Winchester. She'd even welcome dreams of the Master at a time like this.

Again her body began to shake with the sobs that started to course through her but she kept quiet. Tears flooded her vision making the already darkened room an endless abyss.

It wasn't until the bed dipped and an arm slipped around her waist and pulled her against a firm chest that she knew she hadn't succeeded in keeping her tears to herself.

"Shh…" Dean said softly against her cheek before pressing a chaste kiss to her temple. "He's not worth it."

Buffy turned towards him and buried her face in his neck doing her best to sink into the warmth and comfort he provided. Her arms slid around his waist and she let the tears flow as he tried his best to comfort her.

hr

Buffy woke the following morning to find Dean lying on his back, her leg tucked between his, her head resting comfortably on his chest and a strong arm wrapped around her waist holding her tightly against him.

She refused to take stock of how good it felt to wake up like that and pulled back to really get a good look at Dean Winchester.

He had the faintest scattering of freckles across his nose. Even with his face completely relaxed he had a few laugh lines around his mouth and eyes. And then her eyes settled on his full, pouty lips. She was in trouble.

He was beautiful though not the kind of beautiful that John was when he smiled. There was just something about Dean that until that moment she hadn't seen before and she found him breathtaking.

"Is there drool?"

Buffy's brow furrowed and she pulled away from him, using her left arm to hold herself up as she looked down at him. "What?"

"Do I have drool running down my face?"

"No…"

"Then why are you staring at me?"

Buffy's face turned a vibrant shade of red and she quickly turned away from him. "I wasn't."

"Yes, you were. It's ok. No need to be embarrassed I know I'm hot."

She snorted in response to his comment and stood, stretching her arms high over her head and bending from side to side to work out the kinks.

Dean watched mesmerized. Her shirt had drifted up to reveal her firm tan stomach and her shorts had managed to expose just enough so that when she bent from side to side the curve of her bottom peeked out at him.

"There may be drool now…" she tossed over her shoulder having seen him watch her intently.

"Shut up."

She smiled down at him not realizing her face had settled until he asked what was wrong. "Nothing. Thank you… for last night."

"I meant what I said Buffy. I don't care if he's my dad or not, I'm not letting him treat you this way any longer. If he can't appreciate you for who you are then the man's blind and stupid."

"You've said it yourself, Dean. He's still in love with your mother. He always will be."

Dean sighed. He didn't understand how his dad couldn't see the beautiful caring woman that he had right in front of him. But then again, he hadn't been there. If he were in that situation he wasn't sure he could move on either. "Yeah…"

"Look, I know I've been an enormous pain in your ass for the last six months but seeing that things are officially over with John, I think it'll be best if I go."

"Go where?"

"Home."

Dean sputtered for something to say. He really didn't want her to leave. "Bu.. yo… You haven't been a pain in my ass. It's been… Well it's been nice having you around. It gets lonely. It's not exactly a job that…"

"Dean?"

"Huh?"

"If you want me to stay, just say so."

"I want you to stay."