2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose – Part 2 tag

Whiskey, Women and Song

"You going out?"

"Yeah, Sam. The job's done, I'm over twenty-one and I'm goin' out. You have a problem with that?"

Sam glared at his brother. "No. Why would I have a problem?" He shifted his eyes down to the mossy green, filthy carpet in this shit-hole motel as his brother slipped on his favorite leather jacket and turned to leave. He tried to keep his mouth shut, he really did, but the familiar pattern was hard to break. "You gonna to be out all night?"

"WHAT? I have a curfew or something?" Sammy, don't do this. I get you're upset, man, I do, but I don't need this crap. Not now. Dean grabbed the keys off the table by the door and cast a look at his brother that quickly mutated from pissed-off, to pained, to I-can't-deal-with-you-now. He jerked open the door, growling over his shoulder, "Grow up, Sam."

The door slammed closed and the room turned deathly still except for the sound of a single heart breaking, infinitely small and imperceptible except to the victim left behind. Sam sighed and laid back on the bed, staring at the damaged plaster on the ceiling. A small crack started next to the wall over the bed and ran the course of the expanse, weaving jagged across the dingy, yellowed white. He pondered how long it took. If it was a slow, steady split that took weeks, perhaps months to run its course, or if it was rapid and immediate, like a stone thrown up into a windshield that triggers a total breach only stopping when it runs out of glass.

Yes, dammit! I have a problem…, you're my problem. Goddamnit, Dean! You're gonna die in less than a year and you don't even seem to notice. Don't you care? Aren't you mad? Are you just going to fucking die and leave me here to clean up your mess?

xxx

Dean felt at ease as soon as he walked through the doors of the musty, old saloon. It felt like coming home. He could breathe again. It was familiar, comfortable, relaxing. His boots weren't the normal kind of boots that marred this sawdust covered floor, but Dean Winchester wasn't normal and he didn't need cowboy boots or ten-gallon hats or big-ass silver belt buckles that proclaimed him a rodeo champ to fit right in. He'd been frequenting beer joints since he was a kid, mainly in dives that didn't mind an underage kid hanging around, as long as he didn't cause any trouble. Hey, I never cause trouble. He smirked as he drew in the familiar scent of beer, women…freedom.

The old wooden bar at the far end of the room was long and battle-scarred and appeared to be well stocked with all the expected bottles littering the back counter. A well-endowed bartender looked up as she pulled the handle on a draft and smiled at him as he stood there soaking up the atmosphere. Her smile was warm and inviting, genuine. He could tell she hadn't been doing this job long, wasn't yet jaded or guarded, instead open and friendly.

She was tall with long brown hair that fell in loose waves just below her shoulders. Her face was pretty, but kind of quirky, just short of beautiful. Hardly your classic beauty, but she had an interesting face, strong, with high cheek bones and an angular jaw, and large expressive eyes that drew you in, threatening to drown you in the clear blue expanse. She had dark olive skin indicating an ethnicity he couldn't quite place, maybe Spanish, or South Pacific, hell, she might even be Gypsy. Just one of the factors that made her stand out, unique in a world of cookie-cutter beauty. She was maybe twenty-five, young, but old enough to know the score. Something about her held his gaze and piqued his interest. Immediately, he knew he liked her, liked her a lot. Then she turned back towards the far end of the bar and he smiled in appreciation at the rear view, her full, athletic body filling out her jeans to his satisfaction. He licked his lips and smirked, yeah, this was a desirable woman.

All eyes were on him as he sauntered across the floor and situated himself at the end of the bar where he had a clear view of the room. The reaction to his arrival was nothing new, he was used to the attention. Most small town bars had a regular clientele and a stranger just naturally warranted notice. If that stranger happened to look like Dean Winchester, well…it was only natural to be interested. A man like him, in a place like this, yeah…inquiring minds were…curious.

A quick scan of the area gave him all the intel he needed: where the exits were, who looked like they could handle themselves in a fight, which of those might be itching for that fight, and who among the lovely ladies would be standing in line to leave with him at the end of the evening. Several had already expressed interest by the subtle and not so subtle moves they made as their eyes took in his physique. His handsome face and confident stance something they might want to lay claim to. A few looked to be small town beauty queens, still competing for attention; their stage now a dusty bar in the middle of godknowswhere. It was the same old story in every bar in every town he ever entered since he was fifteen, his presence eliciting a response, sometimes desired, sometimes not. These days he needed the attention. Tonight he didn't want to be alone. He settled back to watch and wait. He had time, for now.

"What can I get you, Sugar?"

He detected just a hint of a Texas drawl in the low, sensuous voice, like she'd been taking those elocution lessons and trying to lose her roots…a misguided attempt to better herself. Probably made it half-way to Hollywood before finances left her stranded here in this hick town in Arizona three months ago. With her friendly smile and ample assets, tips should get her back on the road soon enough, unless she falls hard for one of these cowboys, but that didn't seem likely. If she were willing to settle for a normal life with 2.5 kids and a ranch-style house, she would have stayed in Texas. I'm sure she's had offers. No, this was a girl who was looking for more.

"Draft and a shot of Jack." He smiled as he fell into those eyes, crystal clear and bluer than the deepest, bluest lake he'd ever seen, eyes that were intense but sensitive, perceptive to a man's needs. "And leave the bottle." He was going to need a lot of whiskey tonight. He could still feel Sam's eyes boring a hole through him from the motel down the street. Good thing he left his girl behind and walked here. She'd been through enough. The last thing he wanted to do was wrap her around another semi. Neither of them might survive another wreck and he sure as hell didn't have the time or energy to fix her again. Besides, he had more pleasant plans for how he wanted to spend this year.

The bottle appeared next to his arm and a shot glass and a cold mug of beer were slid over and came to rest directly in front of his hand. Damn, she's good. Shame to waste that talent in Hollywierd. He wanted to warn her about La La Land, tell her to stay here and marry that cowboy, live regular and forget the lofty dreams of stardom. She was too sweet a girl to be corrupted by fame and fortune and the wild life of the Hollywood party girls. Too real to be turned into the next Lindsay Lohan. He wanted to, but didn't.

None of my business; live and let live. Sammy, you should listen to that sage bit of wisdom. Try listening to big brother for once without pushing and shoving and asking 'why' all the time. It's my life, Sam, and I'll live it the way I want…, in the time I've got left.

The joint was slow, the usuals probably didn't start meandering in until ten or so, or maybe it was just going to be a slow night. That he couldn't tell. He wasn't good with numbers and statistics and door receipts; that was Sammy's department. Dean knew people, could read them like a familiar book, worn around the edges from constant handling. One quick glance and he knew if they were trustworthy, knew if they'd freak out and run at the first sign of trouble or stand and fight. Knew if they'd be leaving with him at the close of the evening ready for the good times to begin. This one was definitely willing…, yeah, she'll do.

It's not that he was indiscriminate and took the first willing woman to come along. Rather, he knew not to waste time, not to hang around waiting for the perfect partner because he knew there was no perfect match for him. He'd learned long ago that close was good enough. Besides, he loved women, all women. Not just the perfect, cover-girl women, but the shy, hesitant girls waiting for him to bring out the tiger in them, to stir up their lives and unleash their inner beauty.

Over the course of his life, he'd loved a considerable number of women and they ran the gamut along an immense spectrum of incomparable women. Oh, he had a few regrets, like that waitress in Tampa. That one still made him shudder, but all in all, it had been an enlightening journey. He always claimed he liked his women hot and bothered, frisky and wild, and it was true. Oh, so very true…, it just wasn't the whole story. He loved all women and he meant to have as many as he could in the time he had left. That was his calling, his purpose, aside from hunting down evil. His one true gift was to love a woman, really love her, to make her sing like a seasoned violin.

Yeah, I know, pretty hokey, but hey, it's true. Don Juan DeMarco has nothin' on me.

Little brother thought it was all about sex and truth was, hell yeah, the sex was great… phenomenal most of the time. He'd learned long ago that he was a teacher and he was a pupil. Sam might have been good in school, but Dean had the education.

xxx

The TV was blaring some stupid infomercial; nothing decent was ever on the boob tube at one in the morning, nothing but bad movies and stuff to buy. Sam turned off the noise and picked up his laptop, scrolling through the news reports of the neighboring towns looking for the demons that had been let loose on the world. Demons that lowlife Jake had set free. I should have killed him straight away, then none of this would have happened. The Gates of Hell wouldn't have opened up releasing all that evil into the world. It was stupid, so freaking stupid.

He rubbed the back of his neck, his head splitting wide open from the same old song ringing through his brain. If I'd only killed Jake before he killed me… Dean wouldn't have made the deal…, Dean wouldn't have one year to live… I wouldn't be facing the ramifications from that one wayward moment for the rest of my life. The most-important-person-in-my-fucking-life wouldn't be dying… Oh, God! How am I supposed to live with this?

Pushing the laptop over to the side of the bed, Sam stood up, anguish again consuming his thoughts. I can't deal with this now, not now. He stumbled to the sink in the bathroom, staring at another small crack in the porcelain, discolored and ragged with a tiny chip out of it, before turning on the tap all the way to cold and running his hands under the cool water, gathering a handful and splashing it across his face. Again and again he lifted the cool water up to his strained features before finally shutting off the valve and rising up to face himself in the mirror. An image he dreaded glared back at him; a man unjustly breathing and alive when the cold mask of death should rightly stare back. His hand drew back and he slammed it into that taunting face, shattering the mirror into a thousand jagged pieces that fractured his image before falling in a heap across the sink.

Red soon mingled with the slivers of glass and he watched in silent wonder as the blood dripped down, hitting the remainder of the water in the basin and filtering out to a lusty pink. He heaved out a deep breath and felt the bile rising up in his throat before swallowing it down with his tears. A dead man doesn't bleed, has no right to bleed. The dead should stay dead.

Minutes passed with him bent over against the sink, shuddering through the tears that refused to be held back, now spilling out of him in retching gasps. The pain in his gut clenched tight with uncontrollable panic, the terror that he couldn't fix this, that all the best intentions in the world weren't going to be enough and in a year's time he would be left alone with only the memory of how his brother had offered up the ultimate sacrifice… had died… for me. Throughout their lives Dean had always been the one fearful he'd be left alone, the last man standing. He sure as hell saw to it that that'd never happen. Damn you, Dean. Damn you, you selfish bastard!

Immediately he shuddered through his regret. The conflict within pulling at the darkness he tried to deny, the anger he couldn't suppress. His family always able to turn him back into that sullen child, furious and condemning…and so friggin' scared.

I don't want to hate him, I don't. I sure as hell don't want to spend this last year mad at him. I love him. He's my brother. I love him so much, but I can't stand this. I can't stand watching him walk out of my life, just surrender himself over with this stupid notion he's always had that I mean more than him. How can he think that? Why can't he see how important he is? How valued and loved and Oh, God! … Why, Dean? Why?

Sam tightly gripped the edge of the sink, trying to steady his wobbly legs; trying to find that Winchester fortitude he felt slipping from his grasp. He kicked at the base of the cabinet, a solid hard kick and felt the wood give way. He looked down to see another crack along the base. One more piece of damage in this godforsaken hellhole. Can this whole situation be any more fucked up?

He raked his good hand down his face and wiped the remainder of his tears away with the back of his fist. His eyes still burned, but they were stalwart now, glassed over as all emotion left his face.

Snap out of it. Calm yourself down, you've got time. You have to believe, what else do you have? What else does Dean have? Reason seemed to return and he glanced at his bloody knuckles before turning on the water to wash away the fragments of glass and blood oozing from his damaged hand. Slowly he flexed his fingers, lucky… no major damage, just superficial cuts and scrapes. Yeah, right, Sammy. You're so very lucky.

At least this was something he could bandage, a wound that could be treated and would mend in time, not like the scars on his heart.

xxx

Dean smiled as he threw back another shot, nodding his head in rhythm to the outlaw song playing on the jukebox, something about Mamas and cowboys. Willie and Waylon… survivors, men who knew about pain and loss… and women…, well, maybe not…, maybe they just knew what a woman could do to a man. The liquor was warm and velvety in his throat, coating the lining with a fire he craved. Whiskey made him feel alive. His eyes sparkled as he watched Lani draw another draft, her hand caressing the frosted mug with long sensuous fingers. He loved watching her hands, how delicate yet strong they were, how they moved as she poured another shot, as she wiped down the condensation the coasters missed, as they wrapped seductively around a long neck before placing it in front of the next customer. No high class manicure with obscenely long nails painted ridiculous colors, just well maintained working hands, kind and soft; yet he pictured her nails raking down his back drawing up welts and making him come alive.

xx

She glanced over at him, fascinated by this mysterious stranger who seemed so strong and manly, but also surprisingly vulnerable, something in his eyes that spoke to her. Told her he had many secrets and if she were lucky, really fortunate, then maybe, just maybe, she might squeeze one or two out of him. This was a man she wanted to know, and not just for one night. She could tell one night with him would never be enough, would only whet her appetite, but she also knew it would probably have to do. He wasn't the type to stick around. He had a purpose, a calling, and it wasn't going to be satisfied in this one horse town. He was a man who was destined for grander things. She, too, could read people. Her grandma used to say she had the gift, the gift of sight. She likened it to being open and receptive. Everyone has a story to tell, most just don't spend the time to listen. It was her greatest skill as a bartender; she knew how to listen.

She wound her way back toward his end of the bar. "So… you gonna to tell me what you're doing in this fascinating town?"

"Nope." But he smiled when he said it, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "That story's not very interesting."

Intrigued, she smiled back, all her senses telling her to pay attention now, to hone in on the subtle signs he was offering. Instinctively knowing that however difficult it might be to gain his trust, this guy was worth the effort. "So, tell me something that is interesting about you."

He sat pondering that thought. She could tell he was really considering the question, no ready answer waiting to catch her off guard, no prepared line to smooth his way into her bed. No, he was thinking and he took his time. I can wait. I know whatever this guy comes up with might just mean something.

His voice was low and throaty, deeply solemn when he did speak. "If you could have one wish, one final grant of anything you ever wanted. What would you ask for?" Then he paused before adding a last thought, "And what would you be willing to give up to get it?"

The comment startled her, not just startled her, but knocked her once around the bar. A deep thinker. Whoa, who'da thought? She stared into his eyes, searching deeper for the hidden meaning. Just what was this guy looking for? Truth? Lies? Reality? Fantasy? What? What exactly was he searching out? And here, of all places? Or was he simply on a journey and his path happened to lead him through here on his way to a greater destination? Yes, I definitely need to know this guy better. "That's the big question, isn't it?" And she smiled. She, too, had no ready answers. That one would take some time, perhaps even a lifetime to answer. She studied him further, trying to decipher the man he hid so well, deep down where the rest of the world would never think to look. "So, what would you ask for?"

He looked up with the most revealing eyes. His soul laid bare, torn and battered, so tragically damaged but still not destroyed, still hanging on with a tight grip, waiting for her to reach out and touch deep within him, ready for her to fall headlong into those deep pools of green to offer comfort. His eyes faltered and then quickly turned away as he whispered, "Nothin'. I already got what I wanted."

She gasped, drawn to this man like a moth to a flickering flame, mesmerized by his depth and frailty, fearful he was on the path to destruction, perilously close to being engulfed as the flames flared out in an inferno. Whatever had fractured his world had to be deep… earth shattering, and she was ready to listen and offer support if only he would consent to gaze into her eyes and reveal his deepest secrets. "So…? What did you ask for?" Silence greeted her as he sat staring into his beer. When he didn't seem poised to answer, she continued on in the slightest whisper, "And what did you give up?"

He only hesitated for a second, taking one last, long look at his beer before he looked up with a tentative half-smile, his face surrendering to a melancholy contentment, a sad resignation, or at least that was the closest she could come to describing it. He then offered up a playful grin, his entire face shining with renewed youth and vigor, as he pushed his pain aside and relished the moment. His smirk was melting her into a puddle of goo as he scoped her out, seductively licking his lips as he perused her form, his eyebrows arching suggestively, dimples deep over those luscious full lips. "So, what time are you off?"

She felt the temperature rise and tiny goose bumps assaulted her body. She was hardly a school girl anxiously waiting for the local Romeo to ask her to prom. She'd been around the block a few times, been wooed by more than a few handsome hunks; but she found her heart starting to beat faster, and she knew her face was flushed, but she couldn't worry about that now, not now… as she gasped in relief that he had asked. She had to wonder how he could shift so quickly, dismiss his anguish and slip into another persona. She determined years of practice at shielding his heart and burying his pain must have perfected his skills, his ability to tolerate his losses while seeking out possible gains. She silently promised she would get him to reveal his secret, or at least one of his many secrets.

She had thought she was the one who needed him this night but now she saw the truth, he needed her more.

There was no need for games or shy mannerisms, he knew the minute he sat down that she would be leaving with him if he only asked and she knew the minute he entered the room that he was the one to take her away from her drab life for one night. Now she only worried she wouldn't want to let this one get away, but she also knew he rode the whirlwind and as tantalizing as one night would be, it would have to be enough… unless their paths crossed again one dusty night in the distant future. She knew that after tonight she would be clinging to that hope.

Her responsive smile told him everything he needed to know. "Last call is two o'clock. My place is just down the street."

xxx

Sam laid back on the bed and glanced at the clock, two o'clock.

Well, Dean, last call. Guess the fun will be starting soon. I know I shouldn't begrudge you a good time; it's just… you're having fun and I'm the only one worrying about this? In one year your bill comes due, how can you just roll over and die? Dad never… yeah, right… Dad would have understood, wouldn't he? Like father, like son. You always were the good little soldier. Protect your brother, Dean… protect Sammy…

Yes, sir!

Damn you, Dad. Dean doesn't deserve this; he deserves to live too. You knew that when you took his place. You saved him then…, only to have him die for me now? Since when does that make sense? Since when does any of this make sense?

Sam punched the pillow with his damaged hand and grimaced, the pain again reminding him to calm down. He took another look at his sloppily bandaged hand. Kinda hard to bandage up your own hand, one handed and all. Well, not exactly hard, just awkward… Bet Dean will give me heck for being so stupid, not like he's not stupid plenty of times. Dean always was the rash one. Rush in and think things through later. I bet he didn't even think about this, just jumped at the chance to throw his life away, like it didn't matter. Like it's never mattered. Like always… just like always.

Sam rolled over on his side and reached for the light on the nightstand between the beds. He glanced at the empty bed before him and an involuntary shudder went through him like a jolt of electricity. Yeah, right, dredge up another old wound. Another instance of Dean protecting the world and his kid brother. The memory fresh and painful, like always… 'Sammy, get 'em out of here'… and then he freaking electrocutes himself. Damn it, Dean! How many miracles can we expect in your lifetime? Huh? Twice now the reaper's been held at bay, what the hell am I supposed to do this time? Huh?

Get some sleep, Sam. You're going to drive yourself crazy if you don't get a handle on this. It's how he is… it's how he's always been, you're not going to change him now. The best you can hope for is to save his sorry ass.

Sam flicked off the light and blanketed the room in darkness. He turned over on his side and closed his eyes to the bitterness surrounding him.

xxx

Lani locked up the bar while Dean patiently waited, sitting on a stool by the front door silently watching her. His eyes were filled with want and lust, but also raw need, a primal urge to connect on a deeper level, and tonight she was the lucky recipient of all his passion. When he looked at her she felt the warmth of his interest embracing her and she only wanted to give him everything he desired. He was a beautiful, sensual man, a man any woman would willingly surrender her body to, but she saw more hidden just beneath the surface; a fragile boy sheathed within the confident air trying to bury his pain, trying desperately to hold on to something. What, she wasn't quite sure, but she hoped she would catch another glimpse behind the façade before the night ended.

He had drunk a considerable amount of alcohol over the course of the evening and yet the effects seemed to be minimal. If anything, it only helped to loosen him up, making a few missteps funnier than they would normally be, but he was hardly impaired. He obviously was used to consuming large quantities of alcohol and had developed a high tolerance. He seemed to have a high tolerance for a good many things, drinking being just one. Possessing an inherent ability to withstand that which would drive most men to their knees.

They walked the few short blocks to her apartment, pausing at the front door for their first kiss, a passionate and yet playful convergence of lips and lust. Breaking contact he then chuckled, his tongue sweeping out to savor the taste lingering on his lips as he offered a sweet smile, satisfied and sated, before the devil in his eyes flashed and he leaned in for more. As he deepened the kiss, he reached out to take the key she had grasped in her hand, turning her so he could unlock the door without breaking contact further. With his right hand wrapped behind her back, he fumbled with the lock, while his left's fingers swept through her hair and gently held her to him, lush lips never leaving hers, moaning with pleasure as he sucked and explored, fierce and possessive demand peppered with light, fanciful pecks, teasing and pleasing. As the door abruptly opened she started to fall but his quick reflexes held her and pressed her tight to his chest, toned and strong, heaving with anticipation.

With an awkward and somewhat comical dance, they sidestepped into the room, never breaking apart, twisting and turning, entangled within each other. His hand reached out, knocking and skimming over the wall by the door, finally encountering the switch and turning on the lights before kicking the door closed, never once taking his eyes off of her, hooded bedroom eyes glimmering with something indefinable, smoldering in their intensity but never appearing anything short of respectful, reverent even. His gaze seemed to cut right through her, exposing all her secrets, her very soul trembling under those searching eyes. Seemingly amused, he chuckled again; just a faint, soft, sigh of relief and his smirk hardly seemed arrogant, instead appearing shy and needy, sweet and tender. Every look was designed to worship her, making her feel like the most important person in his universe.

As they maneuvered into the other room toward the bed his caresses became lighter and left her with the fluttery feeling of needing more, much more. When they at last stood beside the bed he looked longingly into her eyes, silently questioning one last time, Is this what you want? A wanton look of lust and a soft gasp was all the reply she could manage. She was lost in his embrace, his tender face and strong hands mesmerizing, drawing out yearnings long buried deep in her soul. He embodied everything she could ask for in a lover, ever present in the moment, lost in need and yet perfectly in tune with her. She knew then if he stopped she would die. She needed him, needed him like she had never before needed a man, and she needed him now.

She backed onto the bed and beckoned him on. He casually shrugged off his worn leather coat, his long-sleeved shirt coming with it, dropped carelessly to the floor. He then reached back to the neck of his t-shirt and pulled it over his head. She gasped as his taut, lean, muscular chest glistened with the sweat of his exertion and he smirked at the reaction. A sly smile confirmed he knew how appealing his body was and yet it didn't come off as cocky. His expression was more pleased, satisfied and confident he could please her. She started to remove her own clothing but he reached down and pulled her hands back towards him. Obediently her hands glided over the toned flesh of his chest, across his pecs and down to his tight abs, hanging on for dear life as he hovered over her. Her fingers wisped down the soft trail of hairs towards the button of his jeans and she flicked it open, anxious to discover more. He growled in response, his eyes never leaving hers, his body tense and ready above her. He captured her smaller hands in each of his larger ones before she could reach for the zipper and pushed them aside, entwining his fingers with hers.

"Slow down," he whispered as he eased down onto the bed and started slow, hot kisses trailing up her throat right to that sweet spot beneath her right ear. He nuzzled into her neck, devouring her, feeling her pulse quicken as he slowly ministered to her body's demands. He was an experienced lover and he knew how to make the evening last, savoring every touch, prolonging each sensation. His lips never left her body as his hands explored her form, stroking her arms in feather-light brushes before coming together over her breasts and gently releasing the buttons of her shirt, one by one. He slipped the satin material aside and continued mapping out her body, back down her neck to gently sweep across each shoulder, sending shivers down her spine as he slowly worked her top back to reveal her lacy black bra. He smiled as he caressed the round mounds, slowly working them, soft kisses across her chest and over each breast until his eyes locked with hers as his fingers deftly flicked open the clasp on the front of her bra to release them. A soft sigh left his lips as his eyes traveled down to admire her body. "God, you're beautiful."

His face was open and fresh, consumed by bliss, as he leaned down and captured her lips in another sensuous kiss, his full lips tasting her, probing deeper, soft whimpers signaling the pleasure coursing through their bodies as his skin pressed against hers. His mouth continued to work its magic as she cried out in pleasure, writhing beneath him, pressing upwards, begging for more contact. Despite all the distractions of what their bodies were feeling, he maintained eye contact, searching deep within hers for signs, signals as to what made her body sing out beneath him, where each hot spot lie that made her tingle from that burning fire. He continued his exploration, a treasure seeker finding new and exciting discoveries beyond every soft touch, every tender stroke.

He was a lover who gave, gave pleasure and satisfaction. While he appeared as a man many would think would only take, pleasure for himself, satisfaction in the conquest, that was hardly the truth. He was a man who delighted in pleasing his partner, in making it right for her. His touches were soft and gentle when desired, then firm and strong when needed. He knew how to make love, to satisfy, to elevate lovemaking to an art form. He was the master painter, creating a masterpiece with every bold stroke, the colors bright and vivid, capturing life with the sweeping flick of his tongue.

The night lasted a blessed eternity as he made love to every inch of her soul, revealing his tender side with every hesitant touch, every gentle caress. Her moans and his melding together into the blissful sounds of ecstasy. He spent the requisite time to know her body, to survey her soul and touch her deep within, every part of her spasming into his touch, craving more even though she was completely and utterly satisfied like no other lover before had managed. When both their bodies were sated, unable to withstand one more moment of pleasure, he settled down beside her, lost in the radiance of their passion.

Nestled tight against the warmth of her body, his strong arms wrapped protectively around her, she sighed from the sheer joy that embraced them. She had never before felt this blissful, this serene, this at peace. The afterglow brilliant as they lay perfectly still on the bed, the moonlight streaming in through the open curtains, the night glorious, the only motion coming from their panting breaths as they came down from their high. It was then that she knew what she would wish for… this, only this. She wished this man would never leave, that she would be held in rapture like this every night for a thousand and one nights and more. That she would never have to face the morning and watch him leave. For that, she would give anything.

He purred as they lay there, his deep voice soothing. "Can I stay the night?"

She looked up into the most sensitive and intense green eyes, misted over with a luminous glow. She gently reached up and touched his cheek, running her slender fingers down the length of his jaw line. "Yes."

xxx

Sam stretched and kicked the covers off; his long frame trying to work out the kinks from another less than desirable night on a crappy mattress. He opened his eyes and gazed at the empty bed beside him, the covers still drawn up, undisturbed.

Whatcha expect? It's not like it's the first time Dean's stayed out all night. In fact, lately it's become the norm. For Dean, the abnormal was after Dad died, how he never seemed interested in going out, never staying out past ten o'clock. Always coming back whenever I was ready to call it a night. Why didn't you question that? Huh? You knew that wasn't your brother, you knew something was up, but it served your purpose, didn't it? Why do you always want to turn Dean into you? Why have you always thought he should find a steady girl and give up his carousing?

Why? Because he deserves more, that's why. One night stands are fine when you're young and sowing your oats, but Dean's twenty-eight now. If we weren't hunting, driving from town to town, living a hunter's life, he could be married by now, maybe even have kids. He'd be great with kids… he really would. I mean, he might not be married, but at least he'd have a steady girl, a real relationship.

And I think he wants that. I really do. After all, when that Djinn gave him his fantasy life he wasn't out hooking up with a different girl every night. No, he had Carmen and he liked it. He wanted it… and he deserves it. He deserves so much more than he's ever gonna have unless I stop this…

Sam gasped and sat up, his chest heaving as every emotion he dreaded hit him full force. He grabbed his aching head and rested it in the palms of his hands over his knees, bent over so he could gather in sufficient air to keep from passing out.

Man, you have got to get a grip. You're no good to Dean if you're falling apart. Dean's always taken care of you; it's your turn now, whether he likes it or not. Just push it down and figure a way out of this mess. Once you figure it all out and save his sorry ass, then you can kill him for being such a selfish jerk.

Crawling out of his bed, Sam walked over to his duffel and felt around in the side pocket for the bottle of pain pills. He shook out a couple and left the bottle on the dresser. Dean just might be needing a few of those depending on how good his night went. I should find out soon. He proceeded into the bathroom avoiding the few sections of glass that still hung in the framework of the mirror over the sink, denying the image they would capture. He turned on the faucet and cupped his hands for a mouthful of water to swallow down the pills. He then slipped out of his boxers and pulled his t-shirt over his head before stepping into the shower. He took his time, reveling in the hot water cascading over his body, letting the pounding action of the surprisingly effective showerhead pelt his body.

No need to worry about using up all the hot water. Dean rarely took a shower after returning from his nights out, particularly if the evening lasted until morning. Maybe a joint shower signaled the end of his frisky adventures?

Aside from a few embarrassing glimpses into his older brother's sex life while they were still living with Dad, Sam didn't really know the particulars on his brother's exploits; just that Dean liked sex and women liked Dean. What more could there possibly be to know?

xxx

"So…, you gonna tell me what your secret is? What your wish was and what you gave up to get it?"

"No, don't think so."

He contentedly smiled as he looked down into her caring eyes, her gentle hand softly circling across his chest, detailing the firm muscles and smooth skin as they cuddled in bed. Smooth until her fingers found a rough spot, a scar, raised and slightly discolored. More than a few, a considerable number in fact, distributed about his body, nothing too hideous or disturbing, just gentle imperfections in an otherwise godly body. The mere quantity of them, subtle and mostly imperceptible unless you were seeking them out, cause for minor alarm.

"Why all the scars? You a fighter or something… a soldier?"

"Somethin' like that."

"Are you going to tell me anything about yourself?"

"Haven't I already?"

She smiled. He had. She knew a lot about him, knew he was strong and brave, fearless, but also hesitant and shy on occasion, believe it or not; and sometimes he was actually scared, although he'd be struck dead before he would ever admit it. He was cocky and sure, but also tender and loving. He lived behind a mask of bold, snarky attitude, a protective wall separating his true self from the carefully constructed image he presented to the world. Most importantly, he cared… he truly cared.

He cared about the world around him, even if the world didn't notice him; even when he was cast out and left on his own. He loved deeply and if he ever loved you then it was forever, even if it only lasted one night. She knew if she ever needed help, this was a man she could call upon and no distance or convenient excuse would stop him from doing whatever he could to save her. Of that she was sure. Like her grandma said, she could read people. Still, she wanted to know more about this man. "Can't you tell me one secret? Just one little piece of the puzzle?"

"Puzzle?" His eyebrows arched and his adorable dimples deepened as he snickered, "So, I'm a kid's game?"

His response made her smile, another facet of his personality revealed. The glimpses caught through his love-crazed eyes last night had only made him more captivating, infinitely more intriguing and appealing. This was a man that a thousand answers would never begin to complete the picture. He was again hesitant, protective, and she already missed the fresh, open gaze their lovemaking had brought about. She had swore to herself she would get the answer to one, tiny, insignificant question, one infinitesimal secret revealed. She pondered which question he might consent to answer, what might bring about further enlightenment without being too intrusive. "Alright, this is a simple question… even you should be willing to answer this." And she laughed.

His smile was wary, but smugly confident, that same cocky attitude that another uninformed soul might think was too much; but knowing what she now knew, she only found it endearing. His strong voice sounded resigned, like arguing with her would get him nowhere. "Alright, hit me with it."

She licked her lips in anticipation, this was the moment she'd been waiting for, the chance to peel back another layer and gain a glimpse within. "If you were a Superhero, who would you be?"

In response, he laughed, loud and deep, a rumble roaring out of his chest and his face actually looked embarrassed, unsure what trap this might be. "You're kidding, right?"

"Absolutely not." She saw the amusement in his eyes, but she could also see his mind pondering the choices and somehow she felt this might be the most revealing secret he could offer. "Well, I'm waiting."

"I'm thinking!" he protested.

They laid there on the bed a considerable amount of time, her studying his face as the wheels turned and him pondering what she expected from him and whether he was willing to give it. Finally his face seemed to relax and his eyes appeared open again, a humorous glint to them, a sly smile once more bringing out his dimples.

She grinned expectantly. "So?"

"Batman."

"Huh… Batman," she repeated in wonder. "So, why Batman?" she gently teased.

xx

Dean considered his options. He could get into the tragically parallel family histories: a child thrust into darkness when he witnessed a parent viciously murdered, the dark forces of evil running rampant in a world where few knew the dangers and fewer still would take up arms to fight it, an average man training and honing his skills to battle that evil, attempting to save a world on the brink. Then how Bruce Wayne conquered his fears by donning a mask and becoming who he wanted to be: brave, bold and true. But that was a tale he didn't feel like telling, not now, maybe not ever. If he ever did consent to tell that story, somewhere in that far away fairytale land where he'd feel comfortable being totally open and honest, then Lani would be just the girl he'd want to share it with. Maybe someday.

"So?" she continued on. This girl is relentless. "Why Batman? I mean, I think you'd look great in black, but… "

He laughed. "You do, huh?" He reached out and stroked her hair, soft and silky in his hand and he pulled a handful to his face and breathed in her essence, her fruity shampoo capturing a place in his memories, strawberries.

Playfully slapping his hand away she gave him a stern look. "Pay attention. Why Batman?"

He raised his eyebrows and his smirk turned maddening. When he had pushed her as far as he could without her dumping him out of her bed, he quietly chuckled under his breath as if the answer were obvious. "Because… Batman's got the coolest car." And Sammy, of course, would be Robin, the Boy Wonder, which would make us the Dynamic Duo. Dean was taking immense pleasure in the mutated picture he had formed in his mind. I mean, black is manly, but that red and green pixie outfit… Oh, Sammy!

xx

She too laughed, wondering if the choice stopped there; thinking this man beside her would make the perfect action hero and he could roar into her life and rescue her any day of the week. I only wish you'd stay here to rescue me from my ordinary life.

He settled back into the bedding, content to just lay there, his arm wrapped around her gently brushing up and down her arm, blissfully at peace.

She gazed up into his eyes and wondered when the last time was he'd been this relaxed? Felt so at peace? He'd seemed on edge from the moment he stepped into the bar, on alert, waiting for something to happen. Her mind traveled back to that earlier conversation and the question. "I've been thinking about what you asked me back at the bar."

He seemed surprised; his voice restrained and yet interested, holding back, reined in. "Really? What was that?"

Perhaps he was being coy, or maybe he didn't want to address an issue in the harsh light of day that was best left to the night. Or more likely he was scared of what her answer might be, now that they had connected in this special way. He could read people, but they still surprised him every so often, usually when he least expected it.

"You know…, you asked me what I would give anything for. What I would want more than anything."

"And you came up with something, between then and now?" He was becoming increasingly wary, almost like he suspected what she might wish for. Knowing one wish, no matter how much either of them might want it, was never going to happen. Not with his work and especially not now. Not with an expiration date stamped on his backside.

She observed the caution in his eyes, lamenting the loss of the open, loving desire that had consumed him last night, exposing his very essence to her. That glimpse into his soul had let her deep within his secret world exposing hidden hopes and dreams. Not even he was aware of just how much she had seen in those brief shining moments. How much he revealed if you just knew how to pay attention.

I wish I could see you open again, so full of life and lust and happiness as your soul shines bright like a shooting star. I wish I could banish the pain that lingers within you when you are forced to face the cruel world beyond your protective walls. I wish you were able to accept happiness and stay here with me for all eternity. That's what I wish for.

His eyes were still trained upon her, his eyebrows quirking in a concerned manner. His beautiful, lush lips pursed and she only wanted to devour them in one long, never-ending kiss. She leaned into those welcoming lips and claimed them, reliving the glorious night in one long, tender, emotional moment, savoring his love and lost innocence before gently releasing him and lying back down beside him.

He grinned. "That was nice."

She reached up and stroked the side of his face and he leaned into the touch and closed his eyes in bliss, almost like he was savoring this final moment, this tentative connection due to fracture apart when reality intruded into their sanctuary.

She nuzzled against his face softly whispering in his ear, "Thank you."

He gazed down upon her and his eyes again displayed all the emotions his heart had raced through over the course of their lovemaking: lust, ecstasy, and bliss, which had then deepened into joy, hope and finally love. He pushed her hair back from her face and leaned down to kiss her forehead before traveling further south and connecting with her sweet lips. He savored her, giving his all one last time, holding on, hoping this moment would tide him over when despair again threatened. Wishing he could stay, that he could lose himself in her arms and never have to face the outside world again. Wishing it could all be different, but never wishing he could take back his actions. He had received what he needed then and now. No regrets. He whispered into her ear, "Thank you."

She felt him slipping away, resigned to leaving her behind like she knew he would once the morning intruded into their haven. Her heart panicked, desire pushing her to voice her objections, wanting her to say, 'I love you' and 'I'll be your rock to hold you steady and I'll never let you go'. She wanted to say, 'Any problems or concerns you might have are out there, in that outside world, and we can stay right here and never let them touch us'. She wanted to say, 'Please, stay,' …instead she gave him one more quick peck on the lips and smiled. "I've decided what I'd wish for…"

The delay was excruciating for him, her eyes looked mischievous and he didn't have a clue what was going through her mind. This was a girl who could keep him on his toes, keep him interested for a very long time. A girl he might have liked to have in his life for the long term, if that were only possible.

As he waited with bated breath, she teased him with a slight smile before she finally exclaimed, "I'd like to have ice cream for breakfast." She snuggled into his side, laughing. "You buying?"

He laughed and it was a hearty, good laugh, a much needed laugh. "How about a shower first?" He waggled his eyebrows and she felt the heat rising up again.

"Only if you scrub my back."

xxx

Dean returned to the motel a few minutes past ten o'clock. He breezed in with a huge grin on his face and his eyes, well… his eyes looked happy, content, at peace. His entire face looked radiant, as if ten years of worry had slipped from his mind. For the first time in a very long time Dean looked like a kid again, a happy-go-lucky freaking kid without a care in the world.

Barely five minutes earlier, Sam would have been furious about that. I mean, that's exactly what I've been talking about. I'm worried out of my mind about this crappy deal and Dean's acting like nothing's wrong. It's just so damn frustrating except… Damn, it's good to see him relaxed. It's so good to see him carefree and happy. Even if… Sam shoved all other thoughts back into the depths and took in the specter of his brother. He almost wanted to break out the rock salt and softly mutter 'Cristo' to insure this actually was his brother. He seemed so totally foreign and out of character… but that's good, isn't it? Dean deserves some happiness, doesn't he? I just never thought, I mean… whatever happened last night, aside from the great sex…, it's changed Dean. And that's a good thing, it has to be.

"Sammy, you're thinking too much."

Sam looked up and Dean was grinning at him, the familiar tease back in his droll voice. Yes, this is definitely my brother, just a new and improved version. The happy version. "You must have had a good night," Sam spoke in wonder.

"Better than watching infomercials with you," Dean snickered. Sam's staring seemed to irritate him, a slight exasperation in his voice like he was dealing with a sixth grader who just learned what the birds and the bees were actually doing out in the meadow. "Geez, Sammy, am I glowing?" he joked, "It was just a little sex, you should try it sometime. You ready for some breakfast?"

This was the same old Dean, downplaying the events in his life. Just a little sex, like it was no big deal. Guess it's not for him, I mean, that's what Dean does. He rides into town, finds a willing woman, has some mind-blowing sex, and moves on. Simple and uncomplicated… The King of the One Night Stand! Resigned to getting back on track, Sam responded, "Yeah, breakfast sounds good."

"Great diner down the street, highly recommended. C'mon."

Sam wondered who Dean got the recommendation from since they'd only been here two days and had barely talked to anyone. He shrugged off his concerns and followed his brother down the street.

xxx

The diner was your standard, quaint, traditional diner. Red and white booths lined the outer walls with an old-fashioned soda fountain in the middle of the room surrounded by round bar stools. Either they were slow all the time or they had missed the breakfast rush because the place was empty when they entered. Dean led the way and as he walked past the soda fountain island, the middle-aged waitress, who looked like everyone's favorite fun-loving aunt, looked up from behind the counter and smiled a broad, welcoming smile.

"Back so soon?"

Sam looked in shock at his brother, but Dean simply sloughed off the comment as if it meant nothing, casually responding back, "My brother here needs some of your famous pancakes before we hit the road."

"Well, at least he's more sensible than some," she replied as she hustled over to the booth Dean had sat down in and handed over the plastic menus. "You know what you want or you wanna take a look?"

"Coffee to start and then just give us a few, wouldya?" Dean replied, taking the menu and opening it up to peruse the offerings.

"So, pancakes really that good?" Sam questioned.

"Hell if I know, but the ice cream sundaes are to die for."

Sam snickered. "Yeah, it'd be just like you to have ice cream for breakfast."

Dean continued smiling that Cheshire cat grin, shaking out his shoulders in a demonstration of what he was preaching. "Need to loosen up there, Sammy. You're an adult now; you're allowed to break the rules."

"Yeah, right!"

Dean finished glancing over his menu and set it down on the counter. His eyes again traveled to his brother's bandaged hand. "So, what's the story on the hand?"

"I told you, it's nothing." Sam shirked off the concern, just as he had back at the motel when Dean insisted on inspecting the wounds and re-bandaging his hand properly.

"Right, nothing." Dean acted nonchalant, before his smartass mouth spouted off again. "Cheap ass motel, mirror just comes crashing down with no warning. Maybe we should sue?"

Sam huffed in exasperation. "Alright, I was pissed and I punched it? Satisfied?"

Dean appeared relieved his brother had come clean with the truth, but troubled by the confirmation of what he'd suspected all along. He leaned in, all earnest and big-brother-concern in his body language. "That's not like you, Sammy. Remember…I'm the belligerent one."

Sam glared at his brother. "Yeah? Well I guess it's a bit of a role reversal. Get used to it."

Dean considered another insightful comment before deciding to let the matter drop. Hell, I know you're upset, Sammy. Kinda obvious. Maybe you just needed to vent, get it out of your system. At least you didn't do any permanent damage. Can't go damaging the goods now; I paid too much for you to go hurting yourself. Dean swallowed and shook off his thoughts, not now. Just let it go, you've got a year to figure this all out, to get Sammy on the right track. To make sure he's safe. To make sure he'll be all right without you. "Order me the green chile omelet with extra salsa. I gotta take a leak." Dean slid out of the booth and headed toward the back of the diner.

Soon after, the bell on the diner door chimed and a young lady in tight jeans and a Jack Daniels t-shirt came through the door in a rush, going over to the old-fashioned soda counter and glancing about, picking up the morning paper and shaking it out before pushing it aside. For some reason, she held Sam's fascination, which was funny because Dean was the one who usually scoped out the lovelies. There was just something about this girl that drew Sam's attention and he couldn't put his finger on it. Maybe an urgency, a frantic need, desperate and… Hell if I know, but there's definitely something special about her.

The waitress rounded the corner, back from the kitchen and immediately addressed the young woman. "Hon, you lose something?"

"Yeah… I know it's silly, but did you see that toy we had earlier, the figure of Batman?"

"That somethin' special?"

"Yeah." And the young woman nervously smiled, a definite edge to her low voice, almost desperate in her intensity. "Did you see it?"

The waitress smiled a huge grin as she reached beneath the counter and presented the small, black action toy, the chance to save the day starting her morning off in a pleasant manner. She then noticed Sam watching them and nodded in his direction. Embarrassed, he turned his attention back to the menu, not wanting to intrude further. The waitress focused again on the young woman. "Here you go, Hon. You sure found yourself a mighty special young man there. I'd keep him if I were you."

Sam couldn't help overhearing and wondering, I mean, a toy Batman figure hardly seems like the gift of some great catch. His eyes again wandered over to take in the scene unfolding, unable to resist the urge to watch.

The young woman grasped hold of the plastic toy and a sad expression spread across her face. His heart went out to her and he didn't even know her, somehow he just felt her pain, evident in her sorrowful eyes.

"Honey, what's wrong?" The waitress reached out her hand to comfort the young woman. Her pain was so heartbreaking, the lost treasure found, yet somehow a sense of loss still consumed her.

The girl looked up with tears in her eyes, valiantly trying to remain brave as her strong jaw seemed set, but her lips quivered. She took a deep breath and wiped at her tears. She stood shaking for a moment and then her eyes drifted over to the jukebox in the corner and a hesitant smile turned up the corners of her mouth. She looked back to the waitress and asked if she could change a dollar bill into quarters.

"Sure thing." The register bell sounded as she opened the cash drawer and exchanged the bill for four quarters.

The young woman's hand seemed to subtly shake as she reached out to take the coins. She murmured a soft thank you before she walked over to the old jukebox and stood studying the listings, her fingers drumming absently on the display. She slid the quarters into the slot and punched in her selection. It took a few seconds for the old jukebox to stir back to life, the neon lights warming up as the gears queued up the selected song.

Music softly drifted through the diner and she stood there gently swaying to the tune, lost in the memory of her great love.

To really love a woman, to understand her,

You've got to know her deep inside…

Hear every thought, See every dream,

And give her wings when she wants to fly.

And when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms…

You know you really love a woman.

When you love a woman, You tell her that she's really wanted.

When you love a woman, You tell her that she's the one.

Sam was now totally captivated by this woman, so intensely melancholy and he wondered what her story was. Where was her lover now? Had he deserted her, leaving her with only her memories? Or did tragedy somehow separate them? Would they ever be reunited? He wondered what kind of love could leave such a strong, seemingly confident woman so devastated, so wrapped up in her grief, and what the hell was the significance of that Batman figure?

As he pondered her fate his eyes caught a glimpse of his brother returning from the mens room and he was shocked to witness Dean's reaction to this woman. Dean had stepped from the hallway leading to the restrooms and froze, his gaze also on the woman standing before the jukebox, but his look was one of recognition, of familiarity. The concern on his face was startling, filled with a mixture of pleasure and pain. The waitress walked over to him and gently touched his forearm, leaning in close to whisper in his ear. He looked at her, his eyes wide in shock, before he gently smiled and crossed the distance until he was standing directly behind the young woman still lost in the memories the song brought.

Dean reached out, placing his hands at the sides below her waist, just gently grazing the top of her hips and she froze. Ever so slowly she turned to face him, trembling, just inches from him. He leaned in, his eyes soaking up the vision before him, before he offered a tender kiss barely brushing against her lips until she returned the attention, pressing forward to deepen the contact. Nuzzling into her neck, he then whispered something low in her ear and she drew back and they stared into each others eyes for what seemed like an eternity before he tenderly took her delicate hands in his and draped them over his shoulders as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her tight against him and they started to sway to the music, her head resting gentle against his shoulder.

Sam sat there with his mouth agape, shocked his brother was dancing. DANCING in a diner with this alluring, melancholy girl who only moments before was lamenting the loss of her lover. Sam gasped… this was her… HER! The display on the floor of that diner was mesmerizing, a side of Dean that Sam had never before witnessed, soft and sweet and tender and loving and damn it, he was dancing. Sam had never before seen Dean dance. EVER!

Sam's heart soared, this was a beautiful sight to behold, it truly was. Everything he had ever hoped and wished for his brother displayed here before him: a woman who trembled in his gentle embrace, who looked at him with love instead of simply lust. An image of what might have been, but was destined to never be; and suddenly Sam's heart broke yet again at the harsh reality of their lives. How could Dean stand it? How could she? Whatever they felt for each other was so fragile, teetering on edge just waiting to disintegrate under the pain of his life.

The music ended and they stood there lost in their embrace, still swaying to their own music. Finally they stopped and he placed one finger under her chin and gently raised her eyes to gaze into his before taking her lips in one last, sweet, tender kiss. Sam didn't want to gawk. He felt like a voyeur, but it was all so unexpected and so beautiful and pure and then so tragically destined to end in pain. The kiss ended and Dean gently wiped the tears from her cheekbones with his thumbs and then they simply stood there, bodies pressed tight against each other, his cheek resting against hers as he whispered final words in her ear.

The silence in the diner was infinite; the only sound a gentle whoosh coming from the old jukebox as it sat awaiting its next selection. Neither seemed willing to part and it was unclear who finally broke the embrace, but even as they separated it was as if they still ached to come together and it took all their willpower to maintain the distance necessary to say goodbye. A goodbye that must have been hard enough the first time, but now with this chance second encounter was becoming almost impossible.

Finally she shuddered one last time, took a deep breath and turned to walk out the door and out of his life, the Batman toy still clenched tight in her fist as she hesitated in the doorway, giving him one last look of longing before letting the door swing closed behind her.

Dean stood watching her leave, the large window at the front of the building keeping her in view as she crossed the parking lot until she finally disappeared down the street. A quick glance to the booth his brother was sitting in confirmed Sam had been watching and Dean quickly looked away, blinking back the moisture in his eyes before walking to the jukebox and depositing some coins. He stared at the display with his hands clenched to the front of the jukebox, almost like he needed the support, before he finally punched in his selection and turned to silently return to the booth where Sam sat waiting.

He slid in as his choice from the jukebox started to play. It was the original classic... no overwrought, longhaired, white-boy rendition would do at a time like this. When a man like Dean Winchester wants to get lost in his emotions, he heads to the heart of soul.

When a man loves a woman
Can't keep his mind on nothin' else
He'd trade the world
For a good thing he's found
If she is bad, he can't see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he puts her down

His eyes met Sam's and no words were spoken, just a quiet understanding that now was not the time. Dean closed his eyes and seemed lost in the memories, another time, another place… where the pain of his life could be cast aside for one night, just.. one.. night..

Sam studied his brother and wondered why Dean always cracked jokes that it was just sex, because this was obviously so much more. Dean had one night to make a connection. One night to become someone in this girl's eyes and he did, and she clearly meant something to him. He'd forged a place for himself in her heart and she in his. They would always have the bittersweet memories of their love found and then surrendered. From the look in her eyes before she walked out that door, she would never forget him and that made Sam so very happy. If nothing else, Dean had that.

The End

bjxmas August 2007

All standard disclaimers apply.

Updated May 2012 - Okay, I don't normally revisit stories, instead moving on to new ones, but this one's been bugging me ever since I discovered that all the scene breaks vanished when it was posted. I couldn't just put them back in; I had to touch it up a bit… Anyway, I hope I improved it. This story has always held a special place in my heart. It incorporates my first 'sex' scene and my view of who Dean is, that sensitive caring man that comes from Jensen's portrayal. This is why I find Dean so intriguing and likeable!

Thank goodness they cast Jensen as Dean, because most actors would have played up the cocky, bold guy and never taken the time to uncover the other side of Dean Winchester. He is so very complex and intriguing. And I love when we see a woman who understands that about Dean. I hope my Lani is reminiscent of Jamie from Monster Movie. I really like that I wrote Lani before the real writers wrote Jamie. It shows we're on the same wavelength as far as how Dean relates to women…and how a truly intuitive woman reacts to him. He is so much more than a hot bod and a handsome face…so, so much more!

Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care, B.J.