Title: 20 Miles… (1/1)
Rating: T (for naughty words)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with the Supernatural franchise.. all dues go to Kripke.
Notes: Big thank you goes out to deanandjo_recs and Hannah! WOOT! You guys rock! Thank you for your help and letting me annoy you :D
The first time Dean saw Jo cry, she was storming out of the Roadhouse and she started making for the tree line. He had tried to make a joke, tried to soothe her after what he was sure was just another argument between mother and daughter, and had been told to get lost.
He had turned, ready to leave her be; he knew better than to stick around where he wasn't wanted. He saw Sam claiming the passenger seat in the Impala, when her voice had called out. Her eyes glittered and he knew by the way her jaw stuck out that she was holding back tears. He had mentally groaned; he was not equipped for handling crying females.
"It was your father, Dean."
The truth burned in his ears and she'd told him to leave. He had wanted to chase after her but was unsure if he was ready to hear anymore. He watched her storm away and could hear the sobs breaking free with each step. He turned and got into the Impala. Sam was looking at him with his mouth open burning for the answers to his questions but one glance at the storm brewing in Dean's eyes and Sam had shut his mouth.
They rode in silence for the next 20 miles and Dean didn't dare look back.
The second time he saw her cry it was to be expected.
Standing in front of Ash's grave, he hung his head in respect as Bobby read a passage from the bible. Dean couldn't make sense of the words, so he looked up instead and he spotted it.
A single tear broke free from her chocolate brown eyes and slid silently down her cheek. She didn't move to wipe it away, nor did she turn away in embarrassment. Instead she held her head high, her shoulders rigid and stiff and remained beside her mother. Ellen placed a comforting arm around her daughter's waist, but Jo stood firm like a statue.
Dean was frozen in place, unable to tear his gaze away from her until Sam jolted him in his ribs. He looked up and saw Bobby handing him a shovel. Dean took it and began to shovel mounds of dirt into the grave with his brother.
A shadow moved past him and he looked up. Jo stood at the side of the grave and extended her hand towards him. He looked at it confused until he caught her gaze. Dean was struck by the cold determination in her eyes and handed her the shovel warily. He stepped back and allowed her to resume his work.
Her eyes never strayed from the task. Dean thought she looked almost mechanical. Bobby took Ellen by the arm and guided her back towards the row of cars standing guard in front of the burnt down roadhouse.
When the grave was full, Sam started patting down the soil and adding rocks around the sides. Dean reached towards Jo to take her shovel. She seemed unaware of his presence, her eyes glued to the grave. Suddenly she turned on her heel and headed towards the tree line; the shovel dragging behind her nosily.
Dean called out for her, but her only response was to let go of the shovel and break out into a run. Dean looked to Ellen for permission to run after her, but the tired looking woman shook her head. Sam went to retrieve the shovel and they returned them to the Impala.
20 miles down the highway Dean prayed he'd never see those tears again.
He saw the tears for a third time; but they were tears of laughter.
She clutched her stomach as she howled with laughter and clung to the side of the bar. She begged Sam to stop, but he continued recounting Dean's reaction to Ghost Sickness. By the time he reached the part about the cat jumping out of the locker, Dean had to catch her, because she had slid off the barstool.
"It wasn't that funny," he lectured.
"I believe his exact reaction was this…" Sam threw his hands up in the air, and screamed in a high pitch. Dean punched his brother's shoulder one handed and guided Jo back to her chair.
"I can't breathe," Jo complained, trying to wipe the tears from her face with her sleeve. She hiccuped and Dean suspected that the six bottles of beers she had consumed had something to do with the hysterical laughing. He didn't voice his displeasure though, because the sight and sound of her laugher affected Dean more than he'd like to admit.
"Wait till I tell you what happened next."
"Do it Sam, and I'll rearrange your face with my fist," Dean warned. Jo started to giggle again and surprised him by placing her hand on his thigh.
"Be nice Dean."
"I'm always nice," he assured her and reached forward to wipe away a tear that had escaped down to her jaw. "You really need to stop that."
She looked at him perplexed, but Sam had dropped a quarter into the jukebox and 'Eye of the Tiger' filled the room. Jo started to laugh and Dean rolled his eyes. Halfway through the song, Sam disappeared into the men's room, and Dean turned towards her.
She smirked at him and before he could think twice he leant forward and kissed her. She tasted like beer and salt and when he pulled away she giggled and threw a pretzel at his face.
Sam returned from the bathroom with new tales to tell and didn't seem to notice that Dean now had his arm slung comfortably around Jo's waist.
20 miles out of town, and Dean couldn't shake the feeling that he'd left something behind.
The fourth time he saw her cry had been the worst.
Dean had just slid into his jeans when he heard the bed creak. Looking over his shoulder he saw that she had awoken and was now clutching a sheet to her exposed body. "You're leaving?" she asked.
Dean sighed and pulled his t-shirt on. "I have too."
"Why?" she snapped and sat up. He could see the red bite marks scattered along her pale skin, and cursed himself for not being more gentle with her. She glared at him and had it been a different situation, Dean would of pointed out how much she looked like her mother when she was mad.
"The war is not over Jo. We can't just ignore that and hide."
"Who said anything about hiding?" she asked. "All I'm asking is that you wait for me to get dressed and I'll come with you. I can help fight."
"Look Jo, last night…" he paused and scratched the back of his head. He didn't know how to explain to her that last night had been a moment of weakness. He'd been tired, and her lips had been so soft. So Dean had decided to take a night off, and let himself pretend that the biggest care he had in the world, was deciding where he was going to make love to her.
"I'm not letting you go this time," she told him and got out of bed. He looked away as she tried to find her underwear.
"I'm not doing this right now, Jo. I have to go. I'll call you later, Ok?"
Her head shot up and he saw the raw pain in her eyes.
"Don't," she warned and her voice cracked.
"Jo," he pleaded. "Look - I can't do this ok?"
"Didn't you mean anything you said last night?" she asked blinking furiously.
"At the time I did," he started, and he had to look away when the tears tumbled down her red cheeks. "But-"
"But now you're done? You've gotten what you wanted, and I'm supposed to wait around until the next time you decide you need a screw, and then you'll take off again?"
"Don't put words in my mouth, Jo."
"Fine! Tell me the truth then, Dean."
"Sam is waiting."
"I fucking hate you," she snarled, and she didn't bother wiping away the tears this time. She glared at him and he felt his resolve start to crumble.
"Jo, please," Dean begged and stepped towards her. He raised a hand to her face and his heart began to race when she leaned into his hand. He let out a heavy sigh. "Jo," He moaned frustrated. He pulled his hand away, and saw that it was covered in her tears.
He frowned and turned his back on her.
When he reached the motel door, he stopped. He glanced at her over his shoulder. "Don't forget to grab your damn boots." He snapped and he snatched her duffle bag from floor. "Frickin tears will be the death of me," he muttered under his breath while he slammed the door behind him.
Dean ignored Sam's smug grin when he opened the Impala door. He threw her bag into the backseat and slammed the door harder than necessary. "Not a word, Sammy," he threatened pointing a finger at his brother.
20 miles into the trip Dean glanced in the rear view mirror. Jo slept soundly, curled up in the backseat, using his jacket for a pillow. He realised with a groan that he was done for, and that eventually, he would have to get the damn gold rings his father gave him, out of storage.
The next time he saw her cry, he promised it would be the last.
Dean shut the front door behind him quietly. He wondered if she was asleep; it had been hours since he'd stormed from the house during a particularly bad fight. He knew the argument was solely his fault this time. He had been tired and stressed, and she had started bitching to him about forgetting to pick up the milk, and he'd lost it at her.
He had expected her to fight back and scream at him, but she had simply reminded him in an icy tone, that she wouldn't tolerate his crap under any circumstances. So he'd taken off in a rage.
He'd driven 20 miles, before he realised that the desire to be with her, was stronger than his fear of losing her, and he'd received a speeding ticket driving home.
Dean dropped his keys on the kitchen counter, and headed up stairs, prepared to grovel.
When he reached the top of the old staircase, he knew something was wrong. He could hear her sobs emanating from behind a closed bathroom door. Creeping forward, he opened the door slowly.
Jo sat in the bathtub, tears streaming down her face, sobbing violently into a washcloth. "Jo?" he whispered, dropping to his knees and kneeling in a large puddle of water surrounding the bathtub. He touched her arm gently and discovered the water around her was ice cold. "Jesus Jo, what are you doing?" he asked franticly pulling her hands away from her face. "You know you're supposed to wait for me to help you when you have a bath."
"I wanted to prove that I didn't need you," she sobbed trying to catch her breath. "But I couldn't get out. I'm stuck." Her hands rubbed over her engorged belly in explanation and she dropped the washcloth back into the water. "I'm just pregnant, I'm not an idiot. I'm not completely defenceless."
"I know that," He tried to assure her.
"I don't want us to be another burden for you, Dean."
Dean felt his heart tighten in his chest and cursed himself for being such an idiot. He touched her face gently, and reached forward to kiss her on the head. Wrapping one of her cold arms around his neck, he wound a supportive arm around her back and hoisted her slowly out of the water. He eased her out of the bathtub, wrapped a large towel around her, and started rubbing his hands up and down her body.
When he was sure she was dry, he dragged her into their bedroom. He grabbed a large bathrobe from the closet, and draped it around her. "Babe," he whispered and felt the baby kick him when he wrapped his arms around her. "You know I didn't mean what I said."
"I know," she whispered. "But it doesn't mean it's not true."
"I was being a dick," he confessed and placed a kiss to her forehead. "You and the baby will never be a burden to me. We're a family." He kissed the tears away from her eyes. "Please don't cry," he begged. "I'm sorry."
"I'm scared, Dean."
He hugged her tighter and began to stroke her hair. "I know babe, I know. Me too," he admitted and kissed her. "More than you'll ever know."
Dean had kept his promise.
The next time tears entered Dean's life; Jo wasn't the one shedding them.
Dean yawned, as he adjusted his grip on the steering wheel. It was late, and Dean was starting to regret not stopping at the last motel. He glanced at Sam, who lay asleep in the seat beside him, drooling onto the upholstery. Dean rolled his eyes and turned the radio down.
He heard his phone buzz nosily in the glove box, and he reached forward and pulled his phone out. "Hello?"
"What are you doing still awake? Is everything ok?"
"I can't sleep."
"Where's your mom?"
"In the shower," she whispered. "I was pretending to be sleeping when mommy tucked me in." Dean shook his head and smiled. "When are you comings home?" she asked hopefully.
"Soon Baby, soon," he assured her. "I tell you what… If you go to sleep now, I'll be there in the morning when you wake up, and then we'll go to the lake for a swim. How does that sound?"
"Really Daddy? Promise?"
"I promise." He couldn't stop the full-fledged grin that swept over his tired features when he heard the pattering of feet as they ran down the hallway. Dean suspected that she was climbing back into her bed when he heard lots of muffled sounds. "You back in bed now?"
"Yup," she answered. "Daddy, guess what?" her angelic voice asked him excitedly.
"I love you bigger much."
Dean felt the sting of tears in his eyes, and his smile grew wider. His heart soared; it was exactly what his battered and bruised body needed to hear. "I love you too, baby." He heard her sigh happily, and he blinked away the tears desperately. The windscreen blurred and he sniffed and rubbed at his eyes. "Sweet dreams, princess." She kissed the phones speaker and he heard Jo enter the room.
"Hey little miss! What are you doing awake?"
"I'm asleep. See? My eyes is closed." He heard her giggle and the phone disconnected.
Dean shook his head and put his phone away. He glanced to his right and noticed Sam was smiling smugly at him. "What?"
"Are you crying, Dean?"
"No," he snapped and reached up to rub away the evidence of tears with his sleeve.
"I always knew you were a big softy," Sam teased. "Dude, she's got you twisted around her little fingers and she hasn't even turned five yet."
"If she's anything like her mother, I'm gonna be in big trouble," Dean admitted with a grin. "At least our hunting skills are going to come in handy."
"Why's that?" Sam asked.
"Well, God help the teenage boys who try to lay a hand on my daughter."
Sam chuckled. "Now you know what Ellen had to put up with."
Dean grinned and pushed his foot down on his accelerator. Suddenly 20 miles until home seemed like 2000 miles........
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