Only because she walked through his field of vision, he focused on her for a moment, half-heartedly appraising her. She was hot; tight jean skirt ending at mid-thigh, light blue spaghetti strap tank top revealing thin white bra straps.
Dean was sitting at a corner of the bar, facing the front entrance. His mind had been elsewhere as he'd been physically stuck in the barstool. He had four days worth of beard; his hair was completely mussed and bed-headed. It was the end of May in the south, so the heat dictated he wore only jeans and a black tee. But he hadn't bothered to change this morning and the only reason he had brushed his teeth was to get out the taste of the previous nights liquor. Stupid stuff: though he had drank copious amounts, it hadn't served its purpose of blocking out the pain. It had only served to give him a headache on top of the endless mental torture.
They had succeeded in averting the apocalypse. They had saved everyone from the horrible event. The cost had been Sam. Because of Sam, they'd gotten Lucifer in the box, but now they couldn't find a way to get Sam back. Michael had shed Adam as his vessel, leaving the boy in his body and on earth. Castiel was completely human. Thanks to Crowley, Bobby had his legs back. But Sam was stuck sharing a body with Lucifer in Hell.
It had been two months on earth. To Sam it would feel like twenty years. Dean could only too easily picture the horrors…
Adam had gone to live with Bobby, who was teaching him to hunt. Cas had traveled with Dean, cleaning up the aftermath. Dean had no energy in him to try building a relationship with Adam while he was still mourning Sam. At first he'd had hope they would figure something out, but as days turned to weeks and weeks to months, the reality of it became so sharp Dean felt like he was bleeding out. The pain was excruciating and then it had become cold and numb before the feeling of being drained engulfed him.
Dean had snuck out two nights ago, leaving Cas in the motel room with all but one cell phone. The one he'd kept was shut off and stuffed into the glove box of the Impala. There was nothing to say to anyone, and there was nothing anyone could tell him to alleviate his anguish.
He had driven that whole night and next day until sunset when he checking into a dive and found the closest bar. Stumbling back to his room after the bar closed, he'd passed out and slept 3 hours. At least the alcohol had blocked any dreams that may have haunted him. When his head had quit pounding, he'd checked out and continued to drive aimlessly.
Around five that afternoon he started noticing where he was; South Georgia. He was in a rural area and the first place he happened upon was a tiny town. At the only intersection stood a gas station, a motel, a grocery store, and the bar. Dean had fleetingly thought it perfect, then pulled into the bar.
Now it was almost nine and he'd lost count of the number of drinks he'd had. They weren't getting him drunk, that was for sure. His mind, too painfully clear, was relentlessly replaying everything they had tried. Helplessness and guilt ate away at his already broken soul.
She had taken a seat at the opposite end of the bar. Dean hadn't realized he was still staring at her until her eyes flitted around the room. Their eyes met briefly but she didn't pause on him. She waved down the bartender, who now stood between them. He faintly heard her order their best vodka on the rocks and to keep them coming.
Again their eyes met as she looked straight at him. She flashed him a brief but very genuine seeming smile. Something about it stirred up a feeling he hadn't had in… too many months. It had much too long since he'd had a chance to think with his downstairs brain. But then, Dean's instincts were usually never off, and his dick operated purely on instinct. She hopped off her stool and Dean thought she would come over, but she turned and headed for the jukebox that currently stood silent against the wall. He admired her ass in the tight skirt as she strolled over and stood looking through the selections. Some guy whining to New Age rock came on as she finished punching in her choices. When she sat she downed another glass, and picked up the last.
Dean decided since he didn't seem to be getting drunk, tonight he would go after a different form of distraction. He had to stare down at the bar top for a moment, but when he looked up the familiar flirty smile was spread across his face. Leaving his spot, he sauntered over to her and registered that she was watching him in her periphery as he approached.
"Hi there," he said, internally wincing at the forced cheer. "You seem to being doing some serious drinking tonight. Mind if I join you?"
She looked him down and up before her face lifted with another smile. It even shown in her eyes and if he could ever have call anyone's twinkling, it would be hers at that moment. "If you think you can keep up. What ya drinkin?"
"Whiskey, but I think I've probably got a few on you already."
She downed hers and the bartender was there. Dean understood why when she left him a ten-dollar tip. "Diana," she said and held out her hand.
Dean gave her a classic smile, hoping she didn't notice it never touched his eyes, and shook it. Her grip was firm, no limp wristed girly shake. "Dean."
"Well Dean, are you drinking for any reason in particular tonight?"
"All of them," he commented, it slipped out before he could think, or maybe it was instincts again. Maybe his upstairs brain was finally winning over his downstairs. Or maybe the liquor was only working on his mouth. What he thought the mask covered, she saw plain on his face.
"It's been rough for you lately, huh?" She tapped her glass to his and again downed it. He merely sipped his before setting it down.
"My whole life," he muttered.
She turned her stool to face him and said quietly, "You tell me your story, I'll tell you mine."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you the truth," suddenly he regretted giving into this urge. It couldn't possibly make the hole inside of him go away, but Dean couldn't think of a way to gracefully exit, so something kept him in place.
"Well then, you'd better lie to me, so at least I'll be justified in disbelieving you."
The idea threw him for a moment, and then he found himself explaining what he could with analogies like murder, law enforcement, private detectives, mobsters and drug addiction. Word vomit, Dean Winchester was having a chick flick moment. When he got done, he suddenly hear himself and he realized though he'd kept as much supernatural out of the equation, he still sounded crazy.
"Now I have no idea where Sam is. I know he had to do what he did. I just don't know if he's safe or… in hell." During the telling they had both finished off their drinks, so Dean waved down the bartender for refills. They were both silent until he left and Dean found himself wanting to know her thoughts.
"I think you were more honest with me than you meant to be, so I'll try to do the same." There was no pity or sympathy in her voice or expression. Dean relaxed back against the stool.
"I grew up in the Florida Keys, me and my parents. We lived on a house boat," Diana stared down into her drink with a smile on her face remembering it. She looked up at him when she continued, "I was eight when some dick robbed the bar they were working at; killed them both. I don't know if the guy was ever caught. I didn't know of any family, so I was put into an orphanage. Later I learned all the paper work on my parents and me were fakes. They just pushed me into the system rather than having to deal with figuring it out."
So, either she was an expert liar, or Dean had found the one person in the world who could believe the edited version of his insane life.
Again she looked down into her drink, "I never could decide who was worse off, kids like me who'd known and lost their parents or the ones who'd just been given up. Anyway, from eight to twelve I was in a group home in Miami. When I turned thirteen I was moved to a juvi facility. I thought I was a tough girl and snuck out one night. Some boys on the street followed me and jumped me. They hauled me down an alley and were about to rape me when this other guy runs up waving a pistol. Brian; he saved my life."
The smile she had now was fond and gentle when she met his eyes, "Not just from those guys, either. He's like…my brother. He was sixteen then, been living on the streets for a year. At first he sold himself to get by, but eventually he got to know some of the dealers in the neighborhood. He was a mule, moving weight from the big guy to the middlemen, ya know? Just weed, though, he didn't like handling anything else. He kept five johns, older guys, like sugar daddies. He had his own one bedroom apartment that was all decked out. I moved in with him the next day."
Okay, she had to be an expert liar because all Dean could read from her was honesty/
"He tried his hardest to keep me on the straight and narrow. He wouldn't let me hook, but I was perfect as a mule. Who's gonna suspect a girl my age? I had a local private school uniform and everything, with a backpack and a bike, I was the picture of innocence. Anyway, we saved all our extra money and moved rented a house when he turned eighteen. It had a huge backyard and, on a lark, I started growing 'plants'." He could hear the quotation in her tone. "Turned out I have an exceptional green thumb. By the time he turned 21 we had enough saved to buy this nursery for sale near the Ocala forest. So, now we have a legit legal business."
He read a lie there, maybe not so legal.
"About seven years ago we built a house, huge place, and now we kinda… take in strays, you could say; runaways, homeless kids. Brian's even adopted a couple of them legally. It's been hard work but I feel like I've built my own little family."
Alright, that rang true, but Dean felt a twinge. It seemed perfect, an ideal life she had created, and he wondered if this was a trick. But, he hadn't even known he'd be here, so how could someone have ambushed him?
"If you live in Florida, what are you doing here tonight?"
"Business in Atlanta yesterday, decided to take the scenic route home. I do some of my best thinking when I go for a ride. And you? How'd you end up in the backwoods of southern Georgia?"
Dean shook his head and shrugged. He couldn't tell, either she'd been lying about everything or the only lie she told was about the legality of her business. "I was just driving."
"Well, to coincidence, I supposed," she said and tapped her glass to his. They both finished their drinks. "I say we take advantage of the situation and move this party across the street to my hotel room for an evening full of stress relieving sex. You game?"
"I don't think I could turn down an offer like that," he replied, a genuine smile actually spreading across his face, because he really couldn't, downstairs won out. But, Dean's instincts are usually spot on.