Note: This is my very first story that I've posted here. This chapter is short, but they'll get longer. And there isn't much dialogue.

There were not many things that could bring Dean Winchester to his knees. He hid very well and he was pretty damn strong. Not to mention the fact that sharing emotion openly wasn't really his style. However when Dean was twenty six years old, he was brought completely to his knees for the second time in his short life.

It was a girl that did it. When he'd first met her, she'd been fighting. He'd been amazed at her skill, her strength. At least she hadn't tried to kill him. He'd found out her name was Buffy the next day when he'd found her in a little store called The Magic Shop. It had taken him a while to convince her to go on a date with him. It was one of the reasons he liked her so much. It was on their third official date that he told her what he did for a living. It was at the two week interval that Dean realized that he was developing feelings for Buffy that he'd never felt for anyone before. His longest relationship before her had ended when he'd told the girl what he did. Cassie hadn't believed him. He realized, though, after two weeks that even though he had loved Cassie, it wasn't the same. He'd been willing to leave Missouri and Cassie behind when his dad had called about the next hunt. He didn't want to leave Buffy behind, though. His dad had been pissed when he hadn't shown up for their meeting. For the first time in his life, though, Dean stepped up and disobeyed his dad. He couldn't just leave. So, he and Buffy grew closer, and his dad actually seemed to forgive him especially when Dean had posed the question of if John would have left Mary like that. Plus, Dean actually hadn't quit hunting. Sunnydale was like the demonic Grande Central Station.

It was shortly after that Glory had shown up. Dean stood by Buffy while she fought off impossible odds. It was in the midst of turmoil, at their six month mark of their relationship that he'd popped the question. It was when those jackass council guys showed up to test his girlfriend. Dean had seen her strength, her unwillingness to back down when she'd told the bastards off finally. He remembered clearly how she'd named off all her friends, then her beautiful eyes had landed on him. Her eyes had shown with pride as she told the council members how much experience he had. He'd asked her after. Even he had been surprised. He hadn't even bought a ring or anything. She'd been worried about the whole god thing. Riotous indignation replaced by fear, and the question had just popped out of his mouth. He hadn't done it very well either. Shit, will you marry me? wasn't exactly the words he'd always pictured coming out of his mouth if he'd ever found a girl to settle down with. She'd been a little shocked and kept asking if he meant it. He'd said yes, and so had she.

They'd went through rough times, of course, but he was always there. He'd held her when her mother died, and calmed her and swore to help her protect Dawn when she'd found out her sister was the key. It was getting close to the finally when Buffy announced that she wanted to get married. She said that she wanted to be his wife before the final battle went down. Dean also suspected that it had something to do with Tara's attack. The ceremony was small, and at Buffy's urging, Dean called his brother to tell him about it. Of course, Sam didn't pick up. He never did, so instead of Sam standing with him, Xander did. Giles walked Buffy down the isle.

A few weeks later the final showdown happened and he'd fought with her. Buffy beat Glory, of course. He had found the young intern that shared Glory's body lying in his own blood. He'd talked briefly with the young man before racing up the tower after Buffy. He'd gotten there to late, though. Getting to the top just as she'd jumped. And Dean Winchester had been brought to his knees.

It was nearly a month later when he'd left Sunnydale behind. His dad was missing. The man hadn't answered any of Dean's calls and then he'd gotten a disturbing message laced with EMF. He also just couldn't stay. He couldn't stay in the room that he'd shared with her. He'd said his goodbyes and left.

That night he was parked in front of the Stanford dorm rooms debating with himself about going in. If he admitted it to himself, though, he really didn't want to be alone right now. He looked down at his left hand, at his wedding ring. He took it off and after looking at it for a moment made a decision. He put it back on, this time his right hand and told himself firmly that Sam would never find out about Buffy.