AUTHOR'S NOTES: While I was excited to see the return of Lisa and Ben, I was sad to see what looks like the final end of the relationship. Dean gets beat down so many times, it's really not fair. So this is my take on the last time Dean sees the woman he loves.
The title comes from the Rod Stewart song of the same name and the lyrics at the end are from Deirks Bently's song 'Settle For a Slowdown'.
SUPERNATURAL: My Heart Can't Tell You No
Sometimes Lisa Braedon felt like her son, Ben, was older and wiser than she would ever be. Sometimes she wondered if he really was Dean Winchester's son in that respect.
She got that Ben missed Dean, wanted him to come back. And Lisa missed Dean, too. He understood her and loved her in ways that she knew no other guy ever would.
When Dean went upstairs to talk to Ben, to try and explain things, Lisa called Matt to cancel their date. As she hung up the phone she thought about one of her favorite songs. It was a hit from Rod Stewart and she couldn't help but smile when she remembered Dean finding out about her music tastes.
She always let Dean in—into her home, her life, her bed… When Dean had stayed for a year, she went to work missing him, happy to see Dean when she came home.
While Dean was hunting with Sam, Lisa missed Dean even more because she always wondered if it would be the last time the two ever saw each other. And after the first time, Lisa wanted so badly to tell Dean not to come back. She wanted to say that she couldn't stand always saying good-bye, wondering if the next time she saw him would be at his funeral.
But like the song went, Lisa would let Dean in, knowing eventually she would wake up missing him. And no matter how hard she tried, when she saw Dean's beautiful, haunted eyes, she couldn't tell him 'no'.
Sitting down in the living room, Lisa sighed. She'd asked Dean what he wanted from her and Ben—not because she needed to know—but because she needed to hear Dean say it. They'd talked about it before. How Dean wanted some continuity in his life, how he wanted something permanent, something to hold on to. And she had the feeling that even with knowing Sam was back, Dean still didn't have what he wanted. In fact, Dean seemed more strung out tonight than she'd ever seen him before.
As much as Lisa couldn't believe that Dean was here again, what was really, honestly troubling her right now was Ben. The past few months, Ben had been acting more and more like Dean and 4 times he'd gotten into trouble for fighting at school. When Ben had gotten his wrist broken in one fight, Lisa had met Matt in the emergency room and wondered if maybe Ben just needed a new father-figure in his life.
Matt was a good guy and he liked Ben, but Lisa couldn't help comparing Matt and Dean.
Matt was safe, steady, and liked a quiet life with everything as controlled as possible.
Dean almost seemed to thrive in chaos and when something didn't go according to plan he seemed to almost instantly go to 'plan b'.
Hearing the steps creak, Lisa stood and when Dean saw her, he came over and they stood there for a while, neither one saying anything.
"Lisa…" Dean said, quietly, wanting desperately to stay. "Sam's my brother. But you and Ben… you're my family, too. And nothing… nothing will ever change that, ever." Seeing Lisa give him a 'what do you want me to do?' look, he went on. "And it's not about what I want from you and Ben. You guys gave me what I wanted without my ever asking. I wanted a family. I wanted a taste of normal life. I still want that, Lis. And believe it or not, lately I've wanted now more than ever. And I don't know what you—"
"No," Lisa said, surprising herself and Dean with the word. Cutting Dean off before he could say anything, she said, "Dean, I know you want to come back. And I know you also need to keep hunting… And one of us has to be the bad guy. If you do it, you'll feel like you're abandoning us." Taking a breath to steady herself, she added, "You can have Ben and me… or you can be a hunter. But you can't have it both ways, Dean. I'm sorry."
Dean took in Lisa's resolved expression and after a long silence, he cleared his throat. "Lisa, Ben wants to stay in touch with me. Okay? He wants me in his life."
Lisa wasn't sure how to respond to that, especially after she'd just given Dean an ultimatum. "Ben may want you in his life…" Lisa said, slowly. "But I don't want you in mine. I don't want you showing up unannounced, spending time here, then running off again. If you want to stay, then stay."
Another long silence stretched between Lisa and Dean and Lisa felt her heart break when Dean grabbed his jacket and put it on. After putting a hand on her upper arm and giving her a slight squeeze, Dean said, "If you need anything, call me. For anything."
Lisa nodded silently, feeling the tears building up in her eyes. She walked to the door with Dean and watched him get into the Impala, waiting until he turned the car on before letting tears fall down her cheeks.
As Dean pulled out of the driveway, Lisa walked outside, still barefoot despite the cold and watched her only true love drive out of her life once again.
'But your wheels just turn
Down the road ahead
If it hurts at all
You ain't showed it yet
'I keep looking for
The slightest sign
That you might miss
What you left behind'
The road was long and straight and Lisa offered up a million prayers that Dean would turn back but the car's taillights just faded into the distance.
'I know there's nothing stopping you now
But I'd settle for a slowdown'
As Dean drove on, he kept wanting to stop and turn around, go back to Lisa and feel her in his arms.
He wanted to re-build his relationship with Ben.
He wanted to tell Sam he was out for good.
But driving was easier. Dean hated what his life had done to him—how it was easier to drive away instead of staying and taking responsibility for his life.
Lisa and Ben could have a shot at a real life now.
But remembering all the times he'd spent with them, Dean couldn't help feeling like once again he was acting like Sam and turning his back on his family. He knew that there were about a hundred things he should be doing differently right now but he couldn't.
Driving away was easier.
That's what Dean told himself, heading down the dark road, alone.