Title Fragile Little Things
Word count 7,000
Characters Dean/OFC - also appearances by Ellen, Bobby, Sammy and a little Jo
Timeline AU - very AU
Summary Deans saves her, and then keeps her for a while.
Authors Notes This stems from my obsession about Dean, Sam, Bobby and Ellen all living together like a makeshift family. There's violence, nastiness, bad language, sex, smut, and a lot of angst and anguish.This is not my best work…I think it feels disjointed and awkward in parts. I've been staring at it for a month and I've given up…here you go.
He finds her outside of Reno.
Dean, Ellen and Bobby are on their way to eradicate particularly nasty group of demons. None of them expect to find such vile horror - sometimes even Evil has a dark side.
The Brass motel stands in the middle of the desert like a ghost town. It had once been an oasis for travelers, the last gas or food hours in any direction. Ten years back it closed down, windows boarded up and left vacant without a second thought. Each of the rooms held a different putrid scene; the smell that rose to meet them was a sickening blend of piss, shit, vomit and human decay.
Bobby makes a comment about the former occupants being the cream of the crop - the best hell had to offer.
He's right; Dean had seen grisly scenes, but this takes the cake. Ellen makes it through the first two rooms before she ends up heaving over a pool of her own vomit in the parking lot.
The bodies were mostly young women…or what was left of them. Some of them skinned or disemboweled, their limbs arranged different patterns, or skin lain over the back of a chair like a blanket.
Bobby just shakes his head and refuses to move so Dean is the only one to make it to the last room.
As he gets closer the stench become stronger, permeating his nostrils until he has to cover his mouth with his hand, pinching his nose. He opens the door to the sight of three corpses impaled in on tall, makeshift stakes; the small room is nothing but rotting flesh and blood. Dean steps inside hoping one of the demonic culprits is still lingering - he needs someone to punish for this.
It's easier to sleep when he knows he's taken one of out of the world.
He turns to leave, bile rising into the back of his throat when he hears movement. He turns sharply, shotgun raised. Now he hears nothing…silence…then breath. He's still for a moment, then more rustling from behind the blood stained chair in the corner. He moves quickly, tossing the chair to the side and finger on the trigger.
Instead of the demon he wanted he finds her.
He comes a breath away from shooting her before he realizes she's not what he's hunting. She's curled into a ball, cowered and crouching like a child. She looks up at him shaking like a leaf, long matted hair in her face - long hair matted with what looks like shit and pieces of the other mutilated girls behind him.
She looks at him with her one visible eye, her whole face is swollen and tear stained. He steps toward her and she hisses at him, recoiling further into the corner, pulling her painfully thin, naked legs into her chest.
Dean kneels down instead of getting any closer to her, and cocks his head to the side watching her wordlessly. She wearing what's left of large t-shirt that now stained with a combination of dark smudges and whatever shit is stuck in her hair. His stomach turns at how bony and malnourished she looks; all elbows and knees tucked into herself. She twitches fiercely unable to decide if she should look away from him. She's blinking violently like a epileptic - more like a person who's been kept in dark room and is seeing the sun for the first time in years. Her eyes seem to be nearly convulsing at the sight of him.
"Hey" he starts softly holding out a hand "I'm not going to hurt you. I'm here to help you." Her eyes dart from face to his outstretched hand, and then she moves toward him. She can't even bridge the two feet between them before she collapses pitifully, sobs wrenching from her chest. Dean reaches out for her but she throwing herself at him now, one arm around his neck and the other clawing at his back. Her hair smells rotten and he almost gags as she presses her face into his shoulder but takes a deep breath and collects himself.
"Get me out!" She screams hoarsely, she pulls at his body violently now as if she's trying to claw her way inside him. "Get me out! Get me out!" she doesn't stop hollering until he picks her up and carries her out of the room.
By the time he rounds the corner back to the car, she's stopped yelling and just panting heavy into his neck like she can't catch her breath. She hanging limply around him now, Dean can hardly feel her weight with only one arm cupped under her backside for support. He feels like he's carrying a sleeping child with one arm still around his neck and her legs limp around his waist.
"She alive?" Bobby asks as Dean hands off the shot gun.
"Yeah, she's still here." It takes her nearly an hour to let him go, and in the end she does so whimpering and pleading with him not to put her down. Dean manages to get the two of them in the back of his car, and she's still wrapped around him--there's less fight in her now. This time when Ellen attempts to take her from him she lets the older women pull her away. As they pull back out onto the highway she lays her head in Ellen's lap clinging to her waist and crying softly.
They stop at a gas station in the early morning. Deans helps Ellen get her into the outside bathroom and then leaves the two women, he needs to clean himself up. Ellen washes her hair four times in the small, difficult sink before it starts to come clean. She takes one of the extra shirts Dean gave her and sets it down as buffer as she guides the girl to sit on the toilet while she bathes the rest of her.
"What's your name sweetheart?" She asks gently as possible running the makeshift washcloth over her black and blue legs. She stares at Ellen like it's the most complex question she's ever heard and then sighs sharply.
"Francis…"she pauses "Frankie".
"Good to meet you Frankie," Ellen pulls away checking for spots she's missed. "You're being be ok now, we're getting get you all cleaned up and everything's gonna be----…" Ellen stops short, she feels hollow spilling words of comfort that were more for her than the girl. She knows that nothing will even be the same for her again and she can't bring herself to bull shit. "We need to take that shirt off now Frankie."
Ellen eases her into it, pulling the shirt over her head. Frankie's head hangs limply as she sits naked and tender. Ellen pulls her hair back behind her shoulders, and shudders at the yawning gashes across her chest and stomach. The cuts are deep, and deliberate, however only one looks as if it might be infected. The deepest of the wounds is a series of gashes mimicking the lines of her protruding rib cage. She does her best to disinfect her sores as painlessly as possible.
Displayed before Ellen is a emaciated, naked body, covered in bruises and cuts, hunched awkwardly, hands covering her breasts as best she can, waiting for Ellen do something. She tries to cover up her disgust and begins redressing her.
"Thank you" Frankie whispers, her voice cracking in a attempt to hold back tears as Ellen takes her hand leading her out the door. Ellen can feel her shaking now, so she squeezes her hand and pulls her to her side.
Dean watches at the women walk back toward the car, Bobby looks up from his map to offers a well meaning smile. She's walking limply beside Ellen who has an arm around her shoulder, her head hangs low, half wet hair in her face. She's dressed in a combination of clothes from all three of them, the fabric hanging off her like a walking skeleton. Ellen guides her to the car and sits her in back seat.
She makes a panicked whimper and Ellen runs a hand through her hair.
"I'll be right there honey." Ellen shuts the door, and look at the two men. "Her name's Frankie…I got her cleaned up, other than a couple pretty deep cuts on her stomach and a body full of bruises I think she's fine--as much as she can be anyway. She won't talk about anything else." She shakes her head and looks back at the car where Frankie is peering out behind dark hair, looking like a trapped animal.
"What do you think we should do with her?" Dean asks, biting the inside of his cheek.
"Hell if I know" Bobby adds softly, "That's some real shit she lived through though."
Ellen nods. Dean is stoic.
"All I know is she needs to eat," Ellen's voice is low and angry. "She looks like a goddamned baby bird."
They end up bringing her back to 'the house'. A couple months back they'd liberated a abandoned farm house in northern Nebraska and set up a makeshift command center. Hunters drift through from time to time, it isn't the most ideal situation for her, but she refused to talk and none of the them had the heart to drop her off…so she stays.
She's terrified of Sam, perhaps because he's so much larger than her but it takes her a solid month before she comfortable being the same room with him.
She is constantly in the bathroom, locking herself in for hours and taking shower after shower. Ellen says she'll calm down after a while…three months later nothing changes and Bobby removes the lock from the door so he could take piss if he really had to.
Sometimes they can hear her crying through the door, loud, wrenching sobs that are hard on the soul. After while she stops crying so often and they became accustomed to her presence.
For the first several weeks when she isn't in the shower, she disappears into the basement. She seems to like the dark and rarely ventures outside, when she does come up for air it's for food and to ask Ellen for something she needed…like tampons or soap. She walks around with her face hung low, hair never combed to shield inquiring views.
She sleeps faithfully on the floor of Dean's room, uncomfortably smashed in the space between his unused dresser and the wall. They had tried to give her own room, but she refused instead opting for cramped space of Dean's makeshift bedroom. He comes home late at night and she's there cramped up and breathing lightly, sometimes he wonders if she was watching him…because he watches her.
He watches her in the mornings before she wakes up, she'll push the hair away from her face while she's sleeping and he'll get a peak of a full pair of lips. Sometimes it's a naked leg that's stretched out from under her blanket, and when she's turned just right it'll ride up giving him a full view of a bare thigh. He'll feel a familiar stirring in his stomach, occasionally hesitating for a guilty moment before trekking to the bathroom to jerk off while feeling like a asshole.
It makes Dean wonder what she does on the nights he doesn't came back. Sometimes he's gone for a week at a time and he pictures her staring frightened at a empty room until sleep takes her against her will.
In the daylight hours she's defiantly becoming more independent, no longer scampering around the house like a frightened mouse. She doesn't like to be alone and makes an effort to spend time with Sam, sitting and watching him across the room for hours at a time. He's patient with her bizarre shadowing of his activities and doesn't mind that she's quietly stalking him. Sam gets a kick out of her following him around, in a way she reminds of him of a shy puppy. She wants to play but she doesn't want to get hurt.
Sam is doing research, volumes strung about the kitchen. The table is littered with texts, many with bindings a hundred years older than he is. He's fully aware of Frankie sitting down across from him, it's a bold move on her part, their in closer physical proximity than she's even dared before. He doesn't want to spook her so instead he continues reading and making notes, never looking up. It panics her when he looks her in eye, so instead he goes about his business, studying with his head hung low as she supervises. He catches a glimpse of her out of the corner if his eye, she biting her bottom lip straining to see what he's reading while trying to not draw attention to the fact she's interested. Sam grins.
"Hand me that red book with the black binding will you Frankie?" He asks her nonchalantly looking at her briefly and gesturing to the book in question. Without hesitation she picks up the heavy volume with both hands and sets it in front of him.
"Thanks" He smiles at her, this time looking at her dead on. She meets his gaze for a few second before cocking her head to the side and looking away.
"What're you looking for?" She speaks in fast, jumbled words all strung together as she pokes at the book she's just handed him.
"Ummm" he sighs and pushes his notes to the side, "It's the case Bobby and Dean are working on. In one of the scrolls Bobby found, there's this reference to 'the son of Odin' being responsible for these murders…" Sam stops, the last thing he wants to is trigger a memory. "I'm just trying to find some kind of reference point so we know what we're dealing with."
"Oh" Frankie nods, her lips pressed tightly together. "Sam?"
"Yeah?" He looks up again and she fidgeting in her chair.
"It's Váli" Frankie pulls her knees up to her chest and looks at Sam with a dead stare.
"Excuse me?" He asks again raising and eyebrow.
"Váli. He was the son of Odin and Rindr. He umm…he was born explicitly for the purpose of taking revenge and killing Hoor who accidentally killed his half brother. On the same day he was born he grew into a man and took his revenge…" She stopped and looked at Sam who stared right back at her.
"How do you know that Frankie?" Sam's kept his tone soft, but he was defiantly curious.
"It's Norse mythology…it's what I studied…when I was in school I mean" She chokes out a forced chuckle, blushes hard and backs away from the table. "I'm really don't want to talk anymore." Sam watches her ascend the stairs, and sits there in her wake. He smiles and Frankie spends the rest of the day as far away from him as she can get.
Sam never looks at her the same way again.
One night Dean comes home with a broken rib and a black eye, Frankie's sitting in her usual spot waiting for him. He says hello to her as he sits on the edge of his bed to takes his boots off.
"Are you ok?" Frankie normally doesn't sound too sure of herself when she talks to him, but the way she questions him makes him cock an eyebrow. She's still timid when it comes to him although she's discernibly more comfortable around him than she is anyone else. She's much more self assured, and less like a frightened animal huddling in dark corner. It strange to hear her voice vibrant and unrepressed, Dean huffs and throws his bag on the ground.
"Yeah, I'll be fine," he turns to look at her and then winces, bringing a hand to his tender side. "I feel like I got run over a truck." He admits.
"What happened?" there's hint of fear in her voice and Dean hesitates because he knows what she afraid to hear.
"A nasty poltergeist in Omaha, a little more than we expected that's all…" he glances at her out of the corner of his eye. "Nothing like with you…don't worry"
"Good." she says without hesitation and Dean takes it as a good sign she's acknowledging what happened to her. She never talks about the specifics of what transpired in that motel, and he never asks--it's not his place to bring up assuredly painful, if not traumatic, memories for her. He figures she'll deal with it in her own way when she's good and ready. Deep down he really doesn't want to know what they did to her, he'll just be frustrated that he wasn't able to bring the guilty parties to justice, aggravated that they didn't check out the lead a couple weeks sooner, maybe they could have gotten to her before anything really nasty happened… NoHe doesn't ask he what happened in the motel.
He struggles for a moment with his flannel shirt, painfully lifting an arm, and before he knows it she's next to him. One leg bent and pressing into his hip, the other dangling off the edge of the bed. She's wearing a pair of his boxers and one of Ellen's t-shirts…he bites his bottom lip and shakes his head.
Frankie reaches behind him, helping him off with his shirt and then his shoes, and then gets up, giving him room to lay down. He grunts as he lays back into the pillows, scooting into a more comfortable position. She still standing beside him, looking down with a unreadable expression. Dean stares back and doesn't mean for her to see his eyes wander back down to her legs, then up again where her shirt is stretched across breasts he's never noticed before--she's never worn anything like that in front of him before. Now that he knows what she's wearing while she's sleeping under that damn blanket he'll never be able to sleep.
He realizes she's caught him looking at her. She had a life before he found her in that motel and she knows that look. She seen that look in more than few pairs of eyes before and she knows what he's thinking about. Dean wants to grab her and pull her hair back out of her face so he can get a good look at her, try and figure out what goes on in her head. Instead she moves back to her corner.
"I wish you would be careful." she quips sitting down. It's the most forceful thing he's heard her say and makes him take notice. She's mad. She's afraid she'll loose the only person she feels safe with.
"I know" Dean can't help but smile, "I will be."
He doesn't tell he's on a tight schedule. Doesn't mention anything about the deal with devil that he'll end up paying for. He think it's better she doesn't know, but mostly he's just chicken shit and doesn't want to be the one to tell her.
So no one tells her.
When he wakes up the next morning she's curled up on the bed next to him. Knotted up with her own blanket on top of the sheets. He watches her body rise and fall for a moment, then touches her back lightly before getting up.
Frankie never sleeps on the floor again and Dean never tells anyone about it.
She's been living with them for almost six months the day Jo shows up. Frankie watches and listens to the way Jo speaks to Ellen -- mother and daughter are a difficult beast and so she refrains from any conclusions.
She watches the way Jo looks at Sam… she looks at him with eyes from the past; a quiet hesitation in her stare, which causes Frankie to think maybe it's a good thing she's kept her distance from him.
She watches the way Jo looks at Dean with longing and sees the way he looks back at her - attraction and self-restraint.
Frankie doesn't make up her mind about Jo, it isn't a fair judgment. There was a time when she too was compelling and knew what she wanted. There was a time when she was very much like her, but Jo is too forceful and spiny, it sets Frankie on edge. She holds back her final verdict for a later date, but Jo leaves in the middle of the night and no one wants to talk about why. So she doesn't and goes about her business.
Frankie wakes up the middle of the night, Dean's been gone for three days and she's hasn't slept well at all. She lays still for a while watching the tree outside the window bob and bending in the heavy wind. It's going to storm soon…a real bad one. As if one queue lightening flashes in the sky and now she's really awake.
She's coming out of the bathroom when she runs into Dean head on. It's pitch black in the hallway, and he hits her with enough force to knock her back into the wall. She screams in surprise and he clamps a hand over her mouth, "It's me, it's ok…Jesus you'll wake up the whole house."
She nods, still worked up from fright. The initial rush wears off but Dean is still standing pressed into her with his hand covering his mouth. He can feel her breath on his skin and drops his hand away from her face. Neither of them move.
She's not sure exactly what happens next…fuck it, for that matter neither is he.
He lifts her up against the wall so fast she's spinning, he's groaning into her neck and she's reaching for his buckle. Her fingers aren't moving like she wants them to and she's fumbling frantically at the top bottom of his pants. He's hiking up her nightgown, thrilled to find it's the only thing she's wearing. Dean feels the warmth of her thighs under his hands, He wants to touch her everywhere. Theres a pang in excitement that shoots through his groin when she bucks her hips against his--she wants him too.
Neither of them say a word as she pulls down his zipper and he lifts her up, bending his own knees to find the right position under her. There a second of chaotic panic as he fumbles begrudgingly for a condom - then to rolls it on.
He grunts frustrated, for a split second he can hardly get inside her quick enough. Another buck of her hips and he's thrusting up into her, she whines softly under her breath attempting to keep the escapade as quiet as possible. He fucks her fast with rough deep strokes, and she's simply along for the ride. He reaches up, balancing her with one hand and hips ground into hers pinning up against the wall, shoved as far inside her as he can get. He tugs at the strap of her nightgown, pulls it down and off her shoulder so that her breast falls out and then he's back to fucking her-- watching her breast bounce as he does her.
When he comes he jerks hard inside her and she squirms against him as he struggles to keep both of them from falling over. They're both still for what seems like a lifetime and he eases out of her and lowers her down to stand on her own. He presses his cheek into the side of her forehead and kisses her hair casually as he tucks himself back into his jeans. "I'm going to bed" he whispers and backs away from her.
Frankie cleans herself up and by the time she joins him in bed he's already fast asleep. She lets her legs touch his as she drifts off…there's something in the physical contact, if she can feel him she knows he's right there, she knows he won't let anything happen to her. He slings an arm around her sometime in the night and wakes up half on top her, his face pressed into her back.
Neither of them ever talk about it, Frankie is alright with the absence of labeling and re-hashing something that's already done.
Somewhere inside him, Dean wishes she'll say something. She doesn't.
In the spring Dean leaves with Sam on a hunt and is gone for nearly a month. She is suddenly no longer adverse to the sun, no longer spends her time in the house and instead chooses to start a garden. It's strange for them to see her outside and by the third week of her project she's no longer constantly looking over her shoulder.
Ellen gets her to talk about the weather and the vegetables she's mothering. Ellen shows her how to make simple things like pancakes and casseroles. Frankie shows Ellen how to grow things in the earth, they plant corn, tomatoes and cabbage. She has green thumb and wishes she could plant flowers but there's no where to get them and Bobby only goes into town once every couple weeks. She hates to bother him with trivial requests so she settles for what she has.
She is visibly nervous for the first few days the boys are gone, and then takes a liking to Bobby, she follows him around in the evenings and helping him with menial chores. Bobby's shy with her at first, they look like two awkward kids on their first date, neither sure what to say…so he teaches her how to clean a gun.
He teaches her how to disassemble a pistol into in four main parts: the frame, the slide, the barrel, and the magazine. She learns things she never would have otherwise known--most semiautomatics will also have a slide guide rod and a spring.
She decides she likes Bobby.
Frankie finds a copy of the Grapes of Wrath in the old bureau in Dean's bedroom and carries it with her everywhere she goes. She doesn't tell anyone, but it's been her favorite story sense childhood.
Ellen, Bobby and Frankie have dinner together every night for three weeks and it's wonderful. It feels as much like family as it can when you're not blood…after they eat the three of the them sit in the musty living room; Ellen drinks coffee, Bobby eats pie and Frankie reads aloud. Ellen and Bobby listen nearly spellbound, she speaks soft and hushed during the day but when she reads from that book she comes alive, like a natural storyteller. Her voice changing into that of world-hardened man effortlessly and they feel like children being read a bedtime story...and for a while everything seems normal.
Dean and Sam return home on a warm July night, Dean's fussy and just wants to sleep…he hopes there's something to eat and Frankie isn't holed up in the bathroom—he wants a shower. Dean and Sam find the three of them in the living room and he can hear her voice before he sees her. There she is, legs pulled up to her chest, ball cap pulled down over her face…Ellen and Bobby both leaning forward in their respective chairs listening intently. Dean hears something in her voice he hasn't before…passion. He can hear a kind of love in her voice and can't place it's source.
It's a delight that only comes from someone whose love affair with one story has spanned a lifetime…but that's something he'll never know and she'll never share.
"We ain't foreign." She's fervent in what she's reciting, as if she's done it a thousand times. " Seven generations back Americans, and beyond that Irish, Scotch, English German. One of our folk in the Revolution an' they was lots of our folks in the Civil War--both sides. Americans. They were hungry, and they were fierce. And they had hoped to find a home, and they found only hatred." She pauses, looks up to see the two boys standing the doorway. She closes the book and offers a smile.
Dean knows that things have changed while he's been gone.
When he goes to bed she crawls in next to him, and they both sleep better than they have in a month. Dean wakes up in the middle of the night confused, worked up and half wrapped around her. It takes him a moment to realize he's grinding his hard-on into her side. She's just laying there, dear Frankie, shirt rucked up so that he see a slice of her stomach in the moonlight. Breasts moving slowing with the rise and fall of her chest--fuck
He can't help but reach out place a hand on the exposed skin…she's soft and warm and the feel of her makes his dick twitch. Dean gets a strange sense of excitement when he touches her, she whines softly in her sleep and his erection is instantly at full mast.
There's a mix of emotion, half him sees her as the helpless little thing he rescued, he shouldn't take advantage of her. Again. But the other half of him can smell her hair and her skin, the other half likes the fact what he's her savoir, that she clings to him like a life raft.
The other half remembers how she reacted before--he could have had her begging for it. In the end he pushes all hesitant thoughts to the back of mind--he doesn't care if he'll regret tomorrow because he's not thinking with his brain.
When she whispers his name he thinks at first she dreaming about him, but then she turns her head in his direction he knows she's awake and he wonders how long she's been laying there waiting to see what he'll do next. He hesitates, starting to pull his hand away and she stops him, whispering his name. Dean pushes her hair back, and she's staring at him in the dark, her eyes shinning through the night.
He kisses her hard, open-mouthed and sloppy.
He slips a hand down the shorts she wearing, fingers grazing over the heat resonating from between her legs. His fingers find the right spot and start making slow circles over her clit and before long she's panting.
He feels her hand slip inside the his waist band and playing down further until she holding him in hand and gripping him in a distracted rhythm, pausing her hand job when he touches her just right. Then she's laying naked before him, his hand is still between her legs two finger shoved inside her, his thumb still rubbing her where it counts. She's writhing about, all sweating tits, parted lips and twitching pussy. She nothing but woman now. All hesitation is gone, he wants to fuck; his mind drowning in all the wicked things he'd love to do to her.
He rolls on top of her, between her legs and pushes inside of her bare-dicked and grunting. He fucks her hard and she begs formore--harder--just like that---right there she whimpers when he fucks her a little to deep but then pushes back into him and he doesn't stop. When he comes inside her he thinks it's the best feeling he's ever experienced, and then when she's panting under him nothing but trembling muscles -- shot nerves -- she look up at him without reluctance and when she murmurs his name one more time he's already thinking about fucking her again.
Their face to face, laying naked under the sheet in a tangled embrace. She has one leg between his, as she runs a finger along his jaw line, they're so close she can feel his breath on her lips. Dean has one arm causally swung over her side letting his fingers play at the small of her back, the other crooked under his head to mirror her position. There's still a flush in her cheeks and he's incredibly satisfied knowing he put it there.
She tells him about her mom when she was little, how she played in the creek behind her house, about how she caught crawfish, brought them home, put them in her bathtub and her mom found them at two in the morning walking around in shallow water, clicking their tiny claws against the porcelain. She woke me up in the middle of the night asking me what I thought I was doing putting them in bathroom. She wasn't even upset, I think she was trying not to laugh, but I was so scared she'd yell…she grabbed a flashlight, a bucket and my hand. We walked down to the river and we put them back in the water one by one. She said 'we just won't tell your dad about this' He smiles and tilts his head forward kissing her at the corner of her mouth. He's close enough so that he can only look into one eye at a time, it's sufficient to see the despondency she hiding from him. He asks about her father and she winces and bites her lip. He wasn't a very nice man…you wouldn't have liked him. She never says anything more on the subject.
Dean tells her about his dad and a boy, Ricky, he met in Texas when he was ten, his dad was on a job and it was the first friend he remembers making. He tells her about how they watched movies, shot his dad's rifle in back of Ricky's house in woods, and stole a playboy from the gas station and were sure they'd get caught but they didn't. So one day I went over to his house, his mom made us these killer sandwiches and we wandered around in the woods for who knows how long. Then this stray dog comes running up out of nowhere…I always wanted a dog when I was a kid he pauses, and she just waits anyway this dog comes up to us, I go to pet it and Ricky stops me tells me to 'watch this', and I'm just a kid so I play along. Fuck. He shoots it…shoots the damn thing right in the gut but doesn't kill it so it's on the ground yelping and squirming. I ran back straight back to the motel--didn't stop until I made it back, Jesus I just…The kid came by the room the next day and I didn't answer the door—I never talked to him again. Frankie runs a hand up his arm and then back down letting her fingers trail to his hand slipping her fingers between his.
Neither of them say anything for a long time, and then she sighs lightly, "I guess we're both broken huh?"
Dean breaths out deeply and she knows it's delving a little too deep for him. "Someday I'm gonna make everything right - for Sammy and Ellen and Bobby…and you." He means it and she knows.
"I was never one to pick up broken pieces and put them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken. I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken seams as long as I lived." She kisses him and smiles tightly against his lips, "Some people aren't made to be fixed"
Dean watches her study him, she has a amazing knack for reading people, it's something he's not entirely comfortable with yet. The way she sees him puts him on edge, it's like being put under a microscope, there's no where to hide and he feels naked and raw. There's a sadness in her now, the same look she always gets from time to time. He can tell by her eyes, she holds her soul in her eyes and no longer makes an attempt to shield him from her emotion.
Frankie looks at him, thinking that maybe this is what was meant to be. She's in love, but feels that perhaps she's tricked herself into it, it's such a cliché falling for him; the man who saved her life.
Maybe she's convinced herself that this is her path, this is where she should stay. She thinks he doesn't love her back…not in way she loves him anyway. Every time she looks at him she thinks of the place where he found her. Every time he touches her she thinks about the first time he held her when her pulled her from the rotten nest she thought she would die in. The good in him is tainted with memories of the bad, but it seems a fitting finale, people such as they are not meant to live in bliss. Life is always a little darker once you know where the shadows are hiding.
It's early morning, the sun has only started it rise over the horizon and the room is crisp with fall air. Dean wonders in half-sleep if a window has been left open. He paws at the other side of the bed reached for her…nothing. He lift his head, brow furrowed and instincts flaring.
As soon as he sees it he knows she's gone. The Grapes of Wrath. It's sitting on her pillow, placed there with care and it tells him what he needs to know.
He and Sam still try to find her, they go into town, attempt to piece together where she might have gone. Bobby and Ellen wait for her, Ellen said she thought Frankie would come back…she won't be gone for long. In truth none of them have faith in her eminent return…
There's a half-baked attempt to track her but it comes to screeching halt when they realize how little any of them know about her. Bobby points out that maybe she needed to be that way after what happened to her.
Maybe she needed this life with us and all that demon shit…to be separate from the life she came from…maybe it's easier for her to go back.
Dean thinks about what Bobby says and it makes him feel slightly better. From time to time he thinks of her sitting on a front porch with her mother, he wonders if she thinks of him.
She does. Everyday.
In the first days of August Frankie gives birth to a son…she names him Thomas and is amazed at how much she loves him. She has feelings for the little man like she's never felt before and she's never again apologetic and regretful for anything pertaining to her son…except for one thing.
She lives in her childhood home with her mother and her baby and she pretends she's happy.
She almost is.
Once they saw the scars and swelling stomach no one asked what happened, she never offered an explanation, instead forcing herself to act as if nothing happened at all. When she starts having nightmares again she tries not to worry. After a month she can hardly sleep, everyone assumes its the new child, people sigh and say things like the first year is the hardest. She stops leaving the house, and her mother begins to worry and calls Frankie's sister, Margaret, who she has always disliked. Margaret moves in to help 'manage the situation.'
She regrets not telling Dean about him, she regrets leaving without him knowing about something he's her equal in. On Tom's first birthday her mother finds her crying in kitchen, she heaving over his birthday cake while a house full of guests waits and wonders. She sobs into her mother's lap on the cold tile floor and babbles about fear, pain, nightmares and monsters. She cries harder and says she needs Ellen or Dean…she needs Dean, and her mother doesn't know what to do or how to help her.
Two weeks later she calls the number she wrote down with no intention of ever calling. When she hears his voice on the recording she wants to cry. The message is strange and awkward and she's shaking so badly she almost drops the phone. It's Frankie…I…I umm just needed to talk to you about hi-… I can't do this…she suddenly blurts our her address, forgoing a phone number in her haze and hangs up the phone.
Three months go by.
When she hears the impala her heart skips a beat. She knows the sound anywhere. She's sitting on the front porch with her mother, her sister and her son. When the black car pulls up to the curb she can hardly breath and just stands there, the voice of her sister sinking into the background as Sam is the only one to get out of the car.
She meets him halfway down the sidewalk, baby on her hip.
Sam doesn't have to ask, he knows about the child as soon as he sees the little boy in her arms. She doesn't explain anything about regret and how hard the child is on her, even though he's her life now.
Frankie doesn't half to ask, she knows Dean's gone by strangled look in his brothers eyes. Sam doesn't tell her story about pacts with demons and selling your soul and straight to hell..she already knows the basic plot.
They stand and stare and then hug and cry. A small child awkwardly held between them.
She invites him in and well…it's all different from there.