Diana drifted slowly into consciousness and realized she had plenty of time before dawn. She untangled herself from Dean's limbs carefully, and went straight to the shower. She gingerly washed her backside last and towel dried it just as gently. From the back of a drawer she pulled a tube of cream and slathered over the area generously. Then, the first time in over a week, she greeted the day with her normal yoga routine. Skyclad, no less, which was not normal but had been known to happen.
When she came down, Dean was still asleep. He looked so relaxed and calm, his face smooth and stress free. Being as quiet as possible she put on her bra and a cotton sundress that hung around her ankles so she didn't have to put panties on. She gathered the clothes strewn across her bedroom floor into a hamper. With a wicked little grin she went into the guest room and took the rest of his clothes. Some of them may have been clean, but she had her reasons.
That's why Dean woke to an empty room and bed, a pile of clothes folded and placed on her pillow. He grabbed them then stumbled to the shower. He let the hot water work over his protesting muscles. You know the ones: the ones that make themselves known when it's been a while and you have a great one night stand, the ones that feel like jelly after a marathon in bed, the ones you'd never used before until you found a girl flexible enough to try all new types of positions on. The ache was actually an enjoyable burn all over his body.
After toweling off, Dean looked at the clothes and groaned.
Diana started the coffee maker then headed out the front to the yard. She loped barefoot thru the dewy grass to the eastern edge of the clearing. The sun was just breeching the horizon and the light filtered through the thin cotton of her dress outlining her silhouette. With her left hand trailing thru the air, she made a complete circuit around the house, stopping occasionally in mountain pose, humming to herself.
She felt his eyes on her as she finished. When she turned he stood at the foot of the porch steps. Dean had a coffee for himself in one hand and a bottle of her juice in the other. Her eyes lit huge as she took in the sight of him.
Thankfully, the first pair of his underwear she'd checked had been clean (yes, they passed the 'look and sniff' test, don't judge: she's had a houseful of kids for the past five years, most of them teens). She had placed them on top of the other clothes she'd laid on her pillow for him; a pair of loose and long basketball shorts, silver with white and black trim, and a grey wife beater. It fit him perfectly.
Diana had been right, Dean looked gorgeous in shorts. He had the perfect legs for a man: slightly bow legged, thighs and calves nicely muscled and hairy. The way the fabric hung off his ass and the elastic clung to his waist, accenting his hips; she had to fight off the urge to drop to her knees and worship him with her mouth.
Heart and mind stuttering, her body somehow made its way over to him. Taking the proffered juice bottle, they sat on the steps and watched the shadows of the trees shrink across the grass. Well, Dean sat and Diana lowered herself, giving a low hiss while settling. Once he'd finished his drink Dean set the cup aside and asked, "Would you mind explaining to me what you do?"
Diana stilled, face never moving but her eyes cut to the side to watch him. "You know anything about quantum physics?
She took a moment to finish her own drink before going on. "Everything can be broken down to these tiny pieces of atoms. It's all energy, patterns of energy, waves and particles. You know the term collective unconscious?"
"Yeah, like Bill Hicks, 'we are all one'."
Diana laughed at this and finally relaxed, "Well, I was thinking Carl Jung, but okay! So, all matter is energy and energy can be manipulated."
"But not destroyed?"
"Exactly, it just gets converted into a new pattern. Alright, supposedly humans only use like… ten percent of their brains? I mean, they don't understand scientifically how we use the rest, but I think we use it all the time. I think that's where the collective unconscious works. If you can train your mind to tap into it, you can use it for lots of things: information, healing, magic. I look at quantum physics as a scientific explanation of how magic works."
"So, how does magic work?"
"You've done rituals before. All the words, actions, ingredients are for show. They just unlock that part of your brain that can tap into the energy. The simple fact that you believed it would work was why it worked. The energy was molded into what you wanted to happen. Once someone becomes practiced enough, they could do a ritual right in front of a crowd of people and no one would notice."
"Were you doing that Saturday night?"
"When you were singing Kansas?"
"No. I was checking auras. Music is very influential over people's energy because it affects their emotions. I was watching for anyone who was under undue stress, be it physical, mental or emotional. All those people, they're friends, family, employees, I have a vested interest in their overall health."
"Did… did you read me?"
Diana turned, tucking her leg under her to face him completely, "No. For the first time in my life it felt like… like I would have been intruding. Besides, I've only known you a few days and you've been under stress anyway, I wouldn't have had a baseline to judge you against."
Dean nodded then motioned for her to continue.
"There are different planes of reality. This is the physical, above it is the elemental, and above that is the astral. You know how solids are just particles vibrating at a higher speed?" She continued without him answering. "Then this place vibrates the fastest, right? When you do a ritual, you raise the energy here on the physical plane, mold it to your desire, and then release it upward into the astral. There it is easier to rearrange it into what you want, and then it sinks down to the elemental, then manifests here in the physical."
"How do you raise the energy?"
Diana blew out a breath and considered, "Personally; I can just feel it around me and draw it in. Other people; they can sing, dance, twirl, run… use sexual energy."
"Have you done much of that? Using sexual energy?" Dean wondered why he was asking. He didn't want or need to know about any other guys, besides he'd had more than his fair share of other girls. And where was this 'other' idea coming from?
Diana blushed, "Well, not with any other person involved."
"What? Oh! So you—"
The conversation lulled as Dean tried to ignore the image.
"So," Diana continued, "the rest, with the plants and the weather, it's just knowing what energy it needs and pushing the atoms into the correct patterns. All very simply boringly scientific."
"No, there's got to be something else. If it was just a matter of training, more people would be able to do what you do."
Dean watched a wall surround her. It was like she closed her warmth away and was now just a mass taking up space beside him. There was no connection or affection.
"I don't know," even her voice was cooler, a little brittle around the edge.
"I'm sorry," Dean heard the words tumble from his lips. "I don't mean you're lying to me, I mean there's something about you that makes you special."
"Special? Or a freak."
That word, that fucking word that had been tossed around so goddamn many times had never meant as much to Dean as it apparently did to her, and had to Sam. He flinched when she threw it out now.
"Fuck that," he said fiercely and pulled her into his lap. Diana gave a yelp at the bloom of pain on her bottom that somehow heated her deep inside.
Dean kissed the shocked expression from her face. She allowed him to tease her lips apart and his tongue delved in. He crushed his lips against hers and took her mouth in fiery seeking swirls. He continued hotly, hands moving restlessly over her body, trying to coax the wall down. When it fell, so did her tears.
"Hey, come on, I'm sorry, please don't cry, I'm an ass."
She buried her face into the crook of his neck and settled herself down. He just wrapped his arms around her and waited.
"I remember-" her voice cracked. Diana tried again, "I remember being in my mom's womb. It's just this short little sensation of being wrapped up tight in this warm place. There was this song, I think she was singing, and we were floating, she was probably dancing. She was a hippy in the '60's, and then she got into the pagan feminist stuff. She and my dad were both real spiritual, and they thought of me as their gift to the world. I mean, I was an only child, it was like they worshipped me, in a way. But, they tried to teach me all these things, Dean, about meditation and rituals and the seasons and the earth, life and death… I remember my mom saying whenever I was involved, things always worked best; she thought the goddess favoured me, or something. But, Dean, it was just me. I… I saw the energy. I still see it. I mean, when I was with them, I thought everyone could.
"Then I started school and I hated it. I came home crying. My mom taught me the shield thing I do, to keep the bad out and attract the good. I was okay for a while. As I got a bit older, I lost some of the… I don't know what to term it, I saw more normality, and I started having to concentrate to see the energy. But, we moved around a lot, I didn't get to know other kids very well, and I didn't realize I was different. I mean, my mom probably thought I just had a great imagination when I explained to her how things looked to me.
"After they died and I got put in with all those other kids; the stress and strain their auras put on me would have been enough, but I figured it out then; I was a freak. I wasn't anywhere near normal."
Diana paused here and Dean wanted to say something comforting, but he had a feeling the best thing was to be silent.
"I told you I got put in juvi at thirteen? Well, the years in-between are kind of a blur. I sunk into myself, away from reality and I tried to be as normal as possible. One day I snapped, the energy had been just rattling around in me. All my fears and emotions plus the other kids… I beat the shit out of this boy for throwing spit-balls at me. I put him in the hospital, he almost died. Once I got out of lock down for that, I snuck out and met Brian. I never told anyone and I ignored that part of myself for years, but then you know, I tried it on the plants so Brian and I could maybe get the fuck out of Miami. Because he just took it in stride, Brian gave me the strength to really see what I could do. I'd like to think that old Diana was left behind in Miami, but really, Dean, she's here deep inside. She's the foundation I had to build on, and sometimes I remember just how shaky she is."
They sat like this until the noise of children coming down the stairs drew Dean from his contemplation. Diana hadn't been thinking a thing, had been trying to just live in the moment there being held by him.
Diana's body rushed into the house to start breakfast, then made lunches, packed backpacks, cleaned up Kasey and put up her hair, helped everyone pile into the suburban and get their seatbelts on, wishing them each individually a great first day… Her mind was kind of freaking out. She hadn't told anyone but Brian some of the things she'd just told Dean. Problem was, why? He was going to be gone after all this was done, she had no illusions. Bad enough she was allowing him into her bedroom desires… Losing that would be grief enough, no need to get entangled anymore emotionally.
Brian grabbed her from behind as she stood staring down the driveway, the suburban long gone. Gray was there at her side, also, and he gave her a peck on the cheek before kissing Brian over her shoulder. The two friends watched Gray climb into the truck and pull away.
"You okay?" Brian asked, giving her another squeeze before releasing her. Diana only nodded.
He grabbed her hand and puller her toward the caddy, "Bullshit, girl. Tell me what's going on in there." When she finally met his eyes it was obvious and all Brian could do was give his best friend a hug before leaving for work.
Dean found her in the laundry off the kitchen, switching loads. If her smile was a bit strained, it didn't seem too much so, and he figured it was from their conversation before breakfast. He leaned against the door frame watching her. The smile she beamed at him once she'd finished wiped away his feeling of unease.
"So, I never thought I'd say this, but the house is getting kinda full!" she said, leaning a hip against the dryer and crossing her arms, Dean was aware of the distance and the closed off posture. "Tamara can stay in Kasey's room and she and Lyla can share a bed, but unless you don't mind just moving into my room, we're gonna be one short…" she trailed off and the shadow of self-consciousness fell across her face.
Shaking his head, Dean crossed the space and crowded her back against the dryer before giving her that heated smile and watching her skin flush. "Why would I mind that? I've been sleeping with you every night."
Dean was analyzing that last sentence, amazed that it was true when she replied, "I just don't want to assume anything, Dean." The way she said his name made him want to wrap her up and carry her back to bed b/c there was longing and a sense of loss lurking in it. She continued, "The only thing I want when this is all said and done is that you will call me friend, okay? Not as The Girl who Helped you Save Sam, or The Chick that was Kinkiest in Bed."
Past tense, all of it in past tense Dean noted, stuck on that word 'done' b/c eventually it would be. That was life, right? The good things never lasted, so Victor's words echoed in his mind, 'Enjoy it while it lasts'. "Okay," he answered that voice and her statement. "I'm pretty sure I'd never want to run into anyone who can trump you for 'kinkiest', and even if this thing with Sam doesn't… if 'friend' is what you want…" now he was the one trailing off b/c he'd never had a friend he felt this comfortable with. Family seemed a much more apt term, but then look at what happens to his family, "Of course."
Diana gave him a lopsided grin and a gentle kiss, just a quick press and slide of lips. "Well, I've got to clean. Tam and Emma are in the office."
Dean spent the rest of the morning in there researching. They were going to need demons to practice on. Diana brought them lunch, but she and Dean went up to their bedroom to eat followed by some frantic, passionate and thoroughly satisfying afternoon delight for dessert.