come on and lay it down

by lostlikealice/thinkatory

Here we go again

Ashamed of being broken in

We're getting off track

I wanna get you back again

I want you to trouble me

I wanted you to linger

And I want you to agree with me

I want so much, so bad

Come on and lay it down

I've always been with you

Here and now

Give all that's within you

Be my savior, and I'll be your downfall

- Matchbox Twenty, "Downfall"

It was the best year of my life.

Lisa can't believe she actually said that. Not really. The pathetic part is how true it is. She knows women who've always had a boyfriend, a husband, some kind of man lying around the place since middle school, but she's never been one of them. (Her brother-in-law sometimes says she's basically a dude who does yoga, tossing men away like used Kleenexes, but it's not like she's a skank or something.)

The point is, she's never been the type to expect a guy to stay, to want a guy to stay. The only guy she needs is Ben.

She's still at Bobby's - he's actually kind of cool, for an old guy, but Lisa feels like she's meeting an in-law or something - and Ben is sulking upstairs, which is just great. Teenage angst is bad enough without the only father figure you've ever really had scaring the hell out of you out of nowhere and then deciding to fuck off right when things get bad.

When Bobby offers her a beer, she takes it, and kicks back with an old Reader's Digest.

Her cell rings and buzzes against the nearby table, and she sends it a wary look before picking it up. Dean, the display says, and she honest to God hesitates before answering. "Hey," she says, non-committal as she can.

"Hey. We bagged 'em," Dean says; he's playing it cool, too. Well this is great. "I'm coming back for you."

She decides to stick with single-syllable sentiments. It's easier, and he'll get the point. "Great."

He pauses, and she knows Sam is in the car just by the way he's measuring his words. "Lise - "

Lisa wants to hate him, wants to want to be rid of him, but she can't. She won't. "Just get us home, Dean." She sounds angrier than she feels, angrier than she's allowing herself to recognize, maybe - whatever. "Okay?"

"Later," Dean says, simple, terse, and hangs up on her.

Ben probably heard. She gives it ten minutes before she has to start making excuses for Dean. It won't be the first time, but it might be the last.


On the way home, Ben just plugs into his iPod and eventually falls asleep with his jacket wedged between him and the car door. Dean does most of the driving, and after he bluntly tells her that Sid and Caroline are Lisa refuses to make small-talk, while Dean refuses to talk at all, leaving her wishing she could sleep through the awkwardness and get it over with.

Eventually she does, and wakes up to Ben shoving her shoulder to rouse her. "We're home," he tells her, and she blinks awake to haul herself out of the car. Dean's ahead of them, unlocking the door with Ben's backpack over his shoulder, and she follows wearily and tries to remember what excuse she hasn't used to get out of work yet.

It's a quiet day, too. Lisa calls Ben in to school, and he either naps through a good part of the morning or is really quietly playing his DS, but it doesn't really matter. She spends her day cleaning up the mess the Winchesters made of her house and watching soaps, until Dean finally shows his face.

"Heading out?" she asks, with only the slightest tinge of disapproval.

He looks down at her with this expression like he's got a thousand things to say but somehow talking is scarier than shooting monsters in the face. She's really over this whole strong but silent except for stupid jokes thing he has going on. "I'm not going."

She stares at him, her eyebrows raising as he balks. "And you were mentioning this when?"

"I meant that I don't want to go, you want to throw me out, fine. But I'm not going with Sam."

"Bullshit," she fires back.

Dean "Come on, Lise – "

"No!" Lisa sits up and drops her voice so she doesn't get Ben downstairs, for the love of God. "You're the one who got all dramatic about this, saying goodbye, now you take it back - we're - Ben and I are a family, we can't be yo-yoing like this because you have problems expressing your feelings."

"Uh, okay." Dean looks a little thrown by that. She's enjoying his expression. Does that make her a bad person?

"Think before you talk," she warns.

He actually seems to think, and joins her on the couch even though she's giving him her best stay the hell away from me look. "I, uh, I hear you. This last year was... great, okay?"

"DEAN." Dammit - oh, dammit, she wants to hit him. She shoves him, she gets in his face. "Just - " What is even going on with her, she wants to be sick, she wants to punch him and kiss him and throw him out the door. "Stop it with the lines, I'm not some cheap one night stand you can buy off with boyish charm."

Dean looks at her with skeptical amusement. "Boyish? Really?"

"Be honest," Lisa says, her face hot in anger and embarrassment at the scene she's making, and she swings a leg over his, straddles him, and seizes his collar. "Tell me the truth."

When he puts his hands on her back her impulse is to shove him away but then he starts talking. "I can't let you get hurt because of me."

"Too late," she says cynically, and shakes her head when he tries to affectionately touch her face, bring her back to him. "Stop it, just stop."

There's the guilt. She doesn't enjoy seeing it in his face as much as she thought she would. "You know what I meant."

"Yeah," she says. He's searching her face for clues, and she's afraid he'll find some, figure out what to say, and she'll lose. Or win. She's not sure what she's fighting for anymore. "Not like you'll let me forget."

Dean sighs at that and drops his hands to his sides. "You want honest? I can do honest."

Lisa cracks a smile. "Sure you can."

It apparently takes a Herculean effort, but he finally freaking talks, and it's enough to break her resolve clean in half.

"I need you."

Her breath tears out of her lungs, ragged, and she nods, nonsensically, and kisses him for the first time since the hunting life got its claws in him. Her fingers tighten in his shirt and his twine into her hair, keeping her fast and close to him until he withdraws, silently meeting her gaze while she tries to make sense of what just happened.

It's when she takes the third breath and rests a hand against his face that she realizes that the tightness in the pit of her stomach and the light-headedness of the moment isn't about anger or fear or the mother lion's instinct to protect her child from world-saving assholes who can't keep a promise if they're dared. It's relief, breaking like dawn all through her.

"We need you, too," she whispers.