Headin' To the Unexpected

Summary: Wounded and exposed, Dean heads to the unexpected, and gets it all wrong. Snapshots after the events of AHBL1, set 1-2 weeks later.

Characters: Dean, Jo, Caleb

A/N:WIP, Set after AHBL, part 1. AU – because there's no part 2. Get my drift? Borrowed 'Brotherhood's' Caleb by Ridley.

Disclaimer: SPN is not my show and no one belongs to me.

'When I lose control,

Inside my body crumbles,

It's like therapy,

For my broken soul,

Inside my body crumbles' Dry Cell, Body Crumbles

Headin' To the Unexpected

It was 2.32 precisely.

She was stood in the doorway, framed by the warm and inviting light. A sharp and almost pleasant contrast to the bitter darkness from behind. Anyone else would even have said 'halo' but they both knew better.

"What…" she drew out slowly, giving him the once over "- the hell are you doing here?"

She yawned and cracked her neck, one hand rubbing at her sleep filled-eyes, while her shoulder nestled lazily into the frame. Her body may have resembled a relaxed feline pose but her eyes held an altogether different response. Alert, scared, worried, concerned. Maybe a little pity too.

"Nice to see you too" he smiled tightly, "I thought I might have at least got a hug".

"Cut the bull" she said cutting to the chase. She straightened and eyed him pointedly, "Why are you here?"

He looked down at the ground and shrugged, kicking the dusty mound.

"Well, how did you find me?" she asked when she realised he didn't have an answer for her yet.

"Ellen". It was answered quickly, voice stronger.

"My mom gave you this address?" she asked bewildered. Suspicious even.

"Not exactly" he said, lifting his head so she could see a familiar grin form around his twitching lips, "I snagged it from her purse".

"Figures" she said with a nod, tongue moistening her lip and then suddenly, as though the mere act was absurd there was an unexpected burst of laughter.

They both smiled again and he looked at her there, standing in the middle of the night, and inwardly shook his head at the sight. He hadn't been expecting this. A sleepy girl in an oversized, fluffy white dressing gown. For the briefest of seconds he'd seen his mother standing there and it had left a painful stab right through his ribcage. And for those briefest of seconds he had just wanted to melt into the cloudy fluffiness of it all.

"Is she okay?" she asked quietly, nervously.

"Yeah" he answered quickly, realising he'd scared her with his impromptu arrival; "Her and Bobby are like two grizzlies in the same pod".

She laughed quietly at that and nodded her head even though she had never actually met Bobby.

"What about you?" she asked.

"Yeah" he said nodding, a quick smile pushing his cheeks up before altogether disappearing.

That answer probably held a thousand and one different meanings.

"What are you doing here?" she asked again only this time she moved away from the door and took a step closer.

He took a step back but didn't answer.

"Dean?"

One hand pushed down into his faded pocket of his jeans, twisting the material tightly, while the other moved quickly to his face. He shielded his eyes from her and only a lower trembling lip was visible.

She didn't say anything. He didn't expect anything. Couldn't let himself expect anything. But he felt a soft hand rest on his arm, felt the warmth through his shirt, and realised he didn't have it in him to push it away.

His shoulders were taught and hunched, a desperate if not pathetic excuse of a desperate man trying to control the little bit of him he had left. He felt that too slowly peel away from him and he wondered if it shared the same mourning bitterness he felt when it realised it was leaving him wounded and exposed.

The shoulders quivered and shook and he felt a hot messy tear make its way out, stinging his eyes and the bridge of his nose.

The warm hand suddenly left his arm exposed and was then hesitatingly replaced with the comforting feel of that white fluffy cloud he had craved for earlier. He felt himself being pulled into it and he burrowed his head into the soft waves and as blond hair brushed against skin, he breathed in deeply, tightening his own hold, convinced he could smell his mother…

'All I need's a moment,

Chance to get away,'

'…It's okay to be myself…

I don't know if I'll be alright'

Dry Cell, Body Crumbles

tbc

A/N2: Just to let anyone know whose actually reading this. I like Jo, but I am not a proJo/Dean shipper, so this took me a bit by surprise.