Though Hearts Reach Out and Memories Ache

This is a vignette set in the Gobsmacked' verse, written in response to The Art of Kissing challenge at the spn-het-love community on Livejournal. It is a coda to "Blackbird."

Disclaimer: The Winchester boys aren't mine but I'd make Dean wear his boots all the time if they were.

Rating: T

Pairings: Dean/OFC

Every room is full of memories, when she sees him bent over a bowl of pancake batter in the kitchen or hears the slow scrape of a zipper while water is running in the bathtub; all sharp pricks that bleed when she least expects them. But the last kiss is the first thing she remembers, the deliberate catalog of goodbye that she constructs every morning before tumbling out of bed and staggering towards the bathroom – the one thing she refuses to forget when days turn into a week and one week into two, her cell phone silent on the nightstand.

She wakes up believing his hands are still in her hair and the press of the car is hard against her hips, the sun fighting with the brisk breeze. Her eyes blink to hide the tears caught in the corners like a film in slow motion, each frame capturing the look on his face when she whispers that she loves him or the way he smiles when her hand presses against the keys bulging in his pocket. He holds her like she's some precious thing, tips of her toes barely touching the ground while she braces herself with her elbows behind his neck, and his taste leaves a mark.

She sees the turnoff to the Roadhouse on the back of her eyelids, can hear Sam's voice when she leans out the window and waves at them. She needs to leave because goodbyes only work when you do, but she can't stop waving until Dean swallows. His jaw clenches and she pulls her arm back inside, turns up the radio as loud as she can and stares straight ahead over the steering wheel. Her shoulders shake when the Bug swerves onto the county road leading back to Valentine and she hopes that neither of them sees well enough to notice.

She recites every promise before she opens her eyes, recalls every lesson he gives in a low voice that rumbles between them. Salt lines should be laid at every door and window, the locks between herself and anything that targets her. The weight of the rune around her neck is a constant reminder, as real as the t-shirt brushing against her thighs, and she smells him – the mattress dips like he's slipping between the sheets and she breaks the first promise, curled warm against his pillow.

"Hey. You're crying all over me, for Christ's sa – "

She doesn't let him finish, hands already running along the well-worn highways of his arms. He pulls off the t-shirt and leaves a trail of kisses along her right shoulder blade, breathing in the air off her neck like its smell is all that he has left of home, and the fingers suddenly in her hair wrench between the curls so tightly that it hurts. He stretches himself out on top of her, lips coming down on hers when her fingers stroke the curve of his hips, and she memorizes their last kiss one more time.


The title is a line from the poem "Before a Crucifix" by A.C. Swinburne, a Victorian poet.