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"Calm Before..."

"Dawn, I know that you like him, but there is absolutely no way we can take a cat on the road with us." Dean held onto the steering wheel, giving the girl behind him a stern look through the rear-view mirror.

Dean was trying very hard to hold onto his "resolve face", as he remembered Dawn calling it. Something she had told him she got from the red-headed witch, who he had never had the pleasure of meeting before. Trying to tell Dawn no, even in the gentlest of terms, was not an easy feet. She was stubborn and sometimes extremely frightening, but most of all Dean just didn't like disappointing her.

"Look, I get," she gave a subtle roll of her blue eyes. "We'll just see if Bobby can take him or something. I mean he deserves a home, he did help us with our case. Besides if he is with Bobby, I can still see him from time to time."

Dawn looked down at the small black cat, who was sitting on the car-seat next to her. She ran her hand along the top of his smooth fur and then gave his chin a gentle tickle. The kitty responded by purring uncontrollably and rubbing his head against her arm.

"Does it have a name?" Sam looked back at her from the passenger seat, with a grin.

"Mister Kitty Fantastico," she chuckled at the inside joke. Although the name was not the most original choice from her perspective, it seemed fitting.

"We'll head in that direction, and stop at a hotel on the way. That way you can keep him while were on our little mini-vacation." Dean offered, hopeful that it would make her feel better.

"You mean your little boink-fest?" Sam teased.

"Very subtle, Sammie," Dawn gave him a playful smack to the arm.

Sam had now been informed of their plan to take a short time off from hunting. The thought of some downtime- no matter how brief he suspected it would turn out to be- seemed like a good idea. More recently Sam had found himself wanting for something he couldn't quite put his finger on. It felt like something was absent from his life, although he had everything he needed. The two people he considered most important were alive and well and sitting with him in the Impala- which was in all reality their only semblance of a home. He wasn't unhappy by any means, just had a strange feeling like being homesick.

The plan was to stop at a hotel in Illinois, and take their mini-vacation on their way to Bobby's. They weren't stopping there because it was a wonderful vacation zone, the entire point was peace and quiet. They lived a life of constant excitement, if that was what they wanted they could just take another case from Bobby. Although whether they wanted to face it or not, the beasties seemed to find them without much guidance. Dawn was the very worst, since she joined the team they were like a magnet for the unsavory.

The hotel that they decided to stay at, was much nicer than they were accustomed to. Dawn was not usually high-maintenance but she demanded that they stay at a high quality place this time, saying 'if were vacationing in Illinois than I want to stay somewhere nice for once'. As usual, the Winchesters complied with her demands, sometimes they didn't even realize why they gave in so easily. In this case though, none of them really found fault with staying at a respectable hotel for once.

Dean pulled the Impala into the night filled parking lot of the hotel. It was appropriate timing, being that they needed to sneak in a cat and nighttime would be ideal for such an act. Dawn crawled out of the car, making sure the kitty didn't sneak by her, but he seemed perfectly happy curled up on the back seat.

"I'll take care of the room," she announced.

"I don't mind doing it," Dean assured her.

"I know," the brunette nodded. "But I think I might be able to do a better job at getting our rooms for cheap."

Dawn gave him a foxy smile and a wink, and spun around, making her way to the front desk of the hotel room. Dean watched her bouncing across the pavement, her long brown hair swaying from side to side as she walked. He tried to hide the beaming smile that spread across his lips as he watched her.

"Look at you," Sam said leaning on the top of the car. "Acting like a sappy little teenager." He couldn't help but take the opportunity to tease his brother, the tables were turned for once.

"Shut up, Samantha!" He hissed.

Dean shook his head, leaning against the top of the Impala as well. He was trying desperately to avoid admitting too much about how he felt towards Dawn. He was especially not hoping to talk about it right now, while his mind raced, wondering exactly how many rooms Dawn was dickering out of the desk clerk. Although her behavior should have alluded to his answer, Dean knew her all too well, she was not the predictable type. Something about her unpredictability scared him, but he was not about to admit that, not out-loud at least.

His heart fluttered slightly in his chest at the sight of the blue-eyed demon-hunter advancing towards them. She stopped in front of the car with an charming look on her face and held up one of the room keys.

"Look card keys! Innit fancy?" Her bright eyes glimmered with a comical smile as she pursed her full lips together.

They were used to staying at the cheapest motels they could find, so usually they had to fumble with old fashioned room keys.

"So did you get us a good deal?" Sam asked.

"Of course I did!" She answered with a self-assured grin. "Here's yours." She held out the key in her hand and Sam quickly retrieved it from her.

"Where's mine?" Dean pouted, instantly having doubts about what her choice of sleeping arrangements may be.

Dawn dropped her head, her hair falling around her shoulders and chuckled to herself. She walked around to the other side of the car, where Dean was standing. She reached into a small pocket on the front of her dress and pulled out two card keys.

"You get two," she explained. "This one goes to Sammie's room," she slid one of the keys into his shirt pocket. "And this one goes to my room," she placed the second key in his pocket as well. "I'll just be in there undressing. So it is totally up to you where you want to spend the night."

Dawn turned around, forcing back the sly smile that was playing at her lips. She quickly grabbed her duffel bag from the trunk and slid it around her shoulder. Sam had already suggested that he hide the cat inside his jacket while he walked inside, so she left Mister Kitty Fantastico in the car for Sam to retrieve him. She had requested rooms across the hall from one another, so Sam would be able to leave the cat with Dawn later on.

She got to the elevator and pressed the up button multiple times anxiously, causing her to feel instantly foolish. The elevator arrived with a loud "ding" and she climbed inside, clutching onto the strap on her bag. She pressed the appropriate button once inside and then leaned her back against the elevator wall. Letting out a deep and exaggerated breath, she clamped her eyes shut. Hoping beyond hope that this was not too good to be true, that an actual night without demon-hunting and obnoxious interruptions could be possible.

As the elevator rose to her floor, she felt a strange feeling in her gut, one that had nothing to do with the foreign rising motion. She had felt this feeling before, like someone was watching her, someone familiar. It made the hairs on her arms stand straight up, it sent an uncomfortable shiver down her spine. The elevator doors opened once again and she forced herself to shake off the strange feelings. It was probably not the wisest decision, since her intuition had never been wrong before, right now she didn't really care. She deserved one night, just one night was not too much to ask for. Maybe if she just pushed the fears aside, maybe if she ignored her intuition for once, nothing bad would happen. If she paid no attention to the uneasiness- self-fulfilling prophecy and all that garbage.

When she got inside her room she had to stop herself from latching the deadbolt. So maybe she was struggling a bit to ignore her strange little hunch. She tossed her duffel to the floor and looked around at the hotel room. It was certainly nicer than the usual dumps that they crashed at, and she couldn't help but enjoy the familiar hotel smell she remembered from when she was a kid. The room was painted in a creamy beige color and the curtains were a deep maroon, which matched the bedding. The television was much larger than the ones in mediocre hotel rooms, and it was a slim flat screen.

Dawn sat on the edge of the bed and started sliding off her shoes, tossing them across the room. She flopped her body backwards against the cushy comfort of the large hotel bed, with a responding chuckle. As she stared at the patterns on the ceiling above her, her mind began to race. Not wanting to allow her imagination to take her hostage- which would clearly prevent her from enjoying herself- she tried to control the direction of her thoughts. She remembered how Buffy would always ruin any chance of happiness even for a moment, just to save the always ending world. Her sister sacrificed so much because she was the slayer, but Dawn was just a hunter. She didn't have a destiny that was set in stone, she was the master of her own fate- at least that's what she thought. The dangerous truth that separated her from her sister, was that she would be completely incapable of killing the man she loved to save the world.

Before she could permit herself to start reminiscing over her sisters short comings, she heard someone fumbling with the hotel door. She sat up quickly, her heart leaping slightly in her chest. What if it wasn't the person she was hoping for? She quickly shoved those fears aside and convinced herself that no one was following her. She told herself that she was simply being self-sabotaging and she needed to cut the crap.

As the door swung open, she breathed a sigh of relief at the sight before her. Dean entered the room, tossing the door shut behind himself and dropping his bags onto the floor. He quickly looked at her, sitting on the edge of the bed, and shot her a curious glance.

"Weren't you supposed to be undressing or something?" He tilted his head to the side, his brow cocked as he looked at her with anticipation.

"Well I didn't expect you to get here so fast, being that there is only one elevator where we came in," she snickered.

"Oh, I ran up the stairs while you were in the elevator."

Dawn giggled and placed her face into the palms of her hands. When she stopped laughing and lifted her head to look at Dean, he was observing her with a compelling expression in his eyes. She could feel the weight of his stare, and it pulled her into a trance. Her eyelashes fluttered, but still her focus was drawn intently to his gaze. She had never once had a man look at her quite like that before, and it left her paralyzed. He stepped towards her, without uttering a word. Dawn- the chatterbox that she normally was- could not seem to break the silence.

Dean reached down to cup the side of her porcelain smooth face with his hand. She finally closed her eyes, pressing her face against the warmth of his touch. She could feel an overwhelming rush of emotion to the feel of his hand stroking her cheek. It wasn't the same as when she wanted desperately to tear his clothes off- granted she wanted that too- but this was different, something else. When he touched her like that she felt loved. She felt home.

He slid his hand underneath her chin, gently guiding her to her feet. For a moment he just stared into her alluring blue orbs, studying the details inside of them. There was no denying it, the girl had bedroom eyes. Her gaze was unbelievably penetrating, even when she didn't intend for it to be. She was wearing a short black dress, with a zipper on the front of it that went from the very top to the bottom. He grasped the zipper and slid it down the length of her curvacious body until he reached the bottom, letting his hand graze her thigh. Dawn reached up and slid her straps over her shoulders, allowing the dress to fall to the floor. She slipped her arms around the thickness of his neck, her eyes becoming almost level with his.

Without hesitation they both leaned in to press their lips together. The kiss started as gentle and teasing- building slowly. Until Dawn could feel the heat rising, her lips were engulfed with a fire that lacked the burn. In reaction Dawn wrapped her arms tighter around him, pulling herself against him. The very fabric of her surroundings began to fall apart, the lights dimmed, all sounds were muted. The world around them was nonexistent. The only thing she could feel were his lips against hers, his hands exploring her body. They did not fear letting go, because there was no ending in sight.

Dawn began reaching for the buttons on Deans shirt, while their lips were still entangled. Her fingers sliding the fabric over the small plastic circles, until she had undone each button. She ran her hands across his firm chest, moving the flaps of his shirt open wider until she could see his bare skin. She leaned in, pressing her lips against the warmth of his body. She then continued placing feathery kisses against his chest, allowing the tip of her tongue to graze against him subtly. A gentle moan released from his lips, as she began placing kisses down the length of his stomach. When she slowly rose back to face him, she slid his shirt over his shoulders, her eyes instantly admiring the shape of his muscles.

Dawn reached up to grasped the back of his neck, sliding her other hand down the side of his face. The tips of her fingers brushed against his bottom lip, completely absorbed in the motion. She scraped her teeth against her own lip, trying to reign in her staggering intensity. Her eyes locked with his, emerald vortexes sharing everything, letting her in on the secret that he wasn't saying out loud.

Their lips met once again, as they continued to undress one another until all that was left between them was the thickness in the air. He lifted her body from the floor and onto the cold bed in one swift and concise movement, his form towering over her. Suddenly, even the fears that they had been pretending did not exist, disappeared inside the moment. Everything that had led them to here and now, in that instant made complete sense. For all the inexplicable reasons, crossing the threshold together their bodies entwined, had left everything in existence at a crashing stand still. The world they entered while he was inside her, was not the same world they existed in prior to this. This was not a world where they were hunters, where she was The Key and he an eternal big brother. In this world, they were not scarred, they were not wounded- they were rightfully whole. In that transcending moment, they grasped freedom. They touched hold of truly and only belonging to one another.

Dawn woke from her peaceful slumber, to the sound of an intruder at her door. She wasn't sure where she was, she just knew someone was entering the room. She was so used to sleeping somewhere different each and every night, that she often needed time to think about where she was. When she heard an intruder her initial reaction was to protect herself and her loved ones.

Dawn grasped the gun that was underneath her pillow at all times and swiftly aimed it towards the direction of the noise. She sat up in bed grasping the gun, as her eyes began to focus on who or what was there. She instantly lowered her weapon when she saw Dean standing in front of her with a tray full of food.

"I'm sorry," she said nervously. She slid the gun back where it belonged, underneath her silk pillow. "It's just a gut reaction."

"Which is exactly why I had them leave the food outside the door and then waited for them to leave before I went and got it. I expected you probably would have killed anyone you didn't recognize." Dean added coolly and began walking towards the bed. "And I most certainly don't want him getting an eye-full." He waggled his eyebrows, while staring at her chest.

Dawn quickly glanced down in the direction that he was staring and noticed that her chest was completely bare, the blanket had fallen when she sat up. Her face held a chagrined expression, as she touched her forehead with her fingertips.

"Although, he probably would have died happy," he grinned and plopped down on the bed next to her.

She felt slightly embarrassed at her own reaction, maybe she was a bit excessive, but Dean admired her more for it. He was far too used to women who could not protect themselves, and now he had found one who was capable of protecting him. Dawn was most certainly lethal, but lately she seemed distracted, hence the vacation.

"Sorry for pointing a gun at you," she wrinkled her nose. She hated the thought of being on the opposite end of any weapon that was pointed at the people she intended to protect.

"Don't worry about it," he gave her a casual shrug. Dean was not worried, because at the end of the day he knew she would never have shot him, it was a virtual impossibility. "Breakfast?" He smiled in her direction, his gruff voice picking up a higher octave than usual.

"Do I ever say no to breakfast?" She beamed and sat up straighter, allowing Dean more room on the bed. "I can't believe you brought me breakfast in bed."

"You say it like it hasn't happened before."

"True, but the context is slightly different," she chuckled and reached for a piece of bacon.

"Slightly?" Dean tried to hold back his smile.

"Yes, slightly," she playfully narrowed her eyes at him. "So what's the plan for today?" She took a large bite of bacon into her mouth and it made Dean chuckle.

"Not much to do in this town, but we could see a movie. I don't know how long it's been since I have actually seen a movie in theaters."

His face held a bizarre expression, one that she understood well. It was the look of family, he was going down that road called reminiscence. The way he loved his family was one of her favorite things about him, it reminded her of herself. The thought brought a twinge to her heart, the face of a certain beautiful blond slayer invaded her thoughts.

"A movie sounds good," she agreed, swallowing another piece of bacon. "Did you talk to Sam?"

"Yeah, he said he would find something else to do, since we probably want 'alone time'." He made quotations with his hands when he said 'alone time'.

"Uh- absolutely not," Dawn wrinkled her forehead. "Movie night would not be movie night without Sammie."

"I told him you would say that."

It pleased him that he knew exactly what she would say, knew her all too well. The fact that Dawn loved Sam so much made her even more appealing, because no woman would ever come between his brother and him. Dawn was different though, and he knew that, she put them both above herself almost to an unhealthy degree. She was a woman who would die for the ones she loved, but would not hesitate to pull the trigger on her enemies.

"We will just have to kidnap him," she twisted her lips sarcastically. "What time is it?" Her eyes began searching around for the nearest clock in sight.

"Noon," Dean said around a mouthful of food.

"Noon!?" She hollered. "Holy crap! Since when do I sleep until noon?" Her eyes grew wide at the thought racing through her mind. Since she became a hunter, sleeping until noon seemed inconceivable. Unless of course she had just been through a near death experience and was knocked unconscious, even then it seemed scarce. In the past few hours she had forgotten about the concept of time passing by.

Dean looked up at her and instantly a smile spread across his face. He tried to force his grin from turning into laughter, at the site of her hair crumpled out of place. Dawn cocked her head to the side noticing his amused expression.

"What?" She asked constricting her eyes skeptically. She reached up to feel her head and instantly realized what he was smiling about. "Alright, I am going to go remove the birds nest from my head and then we can finish breakfast. And after that we'll start getting ready for the movie."

Dawn crawled out of bed and started walking towards the direction of the bathroom. Before she could venture very far, Dean had snatched her wrist once again and pulled her in for a kiss. She could taste the sparks on his tongue, that she had begun to favor. Being the sister of the slayer, the only men she had really ever dated had been of the supernatural nature, but still none of them kissed like Dean Winchester.

After they had decided on the best movie theater in town, and had forced Sam out of his hotel room, they headed for the movie. They had made sure that their kitty had plenty of food and water and Dawn insisted on baby-proofing the room. The cat was content to rest on the edge of the bed, staring at the television as if he understood what he was watching, which quite amused the three hunters.

Most of their movie options seemed far too familiar and were definitely not what they felt like sitting down for two hours to watch. Possession and the new Resident Evil, were certainly something they had seen before, just in the real world. Lawless seemed like a perfect option for them, so they planned for the 5:30 showing. Of course Dawn and Dean did find some "alone time" in between breakfast and getting ready for the movie. Which ended up leaving them a bit too late for the 3 O'clock showing.

They drove up to the decent sized movie theater, although it was nothing too impressive. Dawn couldn't help but feel a bit of childish excitement at the thought of spending a night on the town with her boys. They rarely had the opportunity to relax lately, and the realization of them being able to see a movie left her feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. The life of a hunter caused for an appreciation of the little things in existence.

They bought their tickets and then decided that there was a definite need for movie snacks. When the three hunters walked up to the counter together, a young girl with jet black hair and uneven bangs rushed over to serve them. It was clearly not her side of the counter, and Dawn took notice to the way her eyes practically bugged out of her head. She didn't like any girl undressing Dean with their eyes, and in her opinion Sam was far too good for the likes of this girls affections. The only thing Dean was noticing was the way Dawn looked in her knee length white dress. The dress hugged her curves at the top and released into a flowing material at her hips, which made it perfect for hiding her dagger sheathed at her thigh.

"Hey, what can I get'cha guys?" She smiled her voice instantly peppy as she leaned across the counter.

"Many, many things," Dawn attempted kindness.

She had outgrown that desire to scrap with any potential girl, and she much preferred this night go smoothly. Clearly the obnoxious girl was not in the same pacifistic state of mind that Dawn was. Her eyes were intently focused on Dean, although she took the occasional glance towards Sam.

"I guess, three soda's and an extra large popcorn." Dean began running off requests, trying to seem oblivious to the awkward tension. He was hoping that this girl would back-off, mostly for her own sake. "Some Twizzlers and...some Peanut M&M's. What about you guys?"

Dawn giggled slightly, her lips keeping an adoring simper. The admiration she held for Dean was obvious, people miles away could sense it. While wrapped up in her own amusement, Dawn felt a buzzing at her hip. She reached down to lift her phone from her pocket and saw a text from Spike. While she was distracted, the dark haired counter-girl saw the opportunity and made her move.

"Hey," she whispered. "Maybe, when you guys are done with your movie, we can go get a drink?"

"Probably not," Dean pressed his lips together.

"Oh come on," she snaked her body further over the counter. "We can ditch the girl easy."

"Listen, for your own safety, just forget about it."

"What? It's not like she's that pretty," she hissed, clearly offended.

"Alright Sweetheart," Dawn snarled. "Why don't you do your job instead of hitting on the customers." She stood in front of the girl, trying to keep her calm. "Oh yeah, and throw in some skittles for me will yah?"

The girl spun around and started getting together their food. She was completely flustered, her cheeks a bright red color. After they paid for their food and drinks they headed in the direction of their movie. Sam and Dean finally releasing a relaxed breath when they realized Dawn hadn't painted the walls with the movie theater girl. Clearly she was in a much better mood than usual- recent developments might have had something to do with her very cheerful demeanor.

Whether the movie was good or not was not important. What held the most enjoyment for them was the opportunity to actually see a film in theaters. The most they got to see were rentals from the hotel room pay per view. They always enjoyed each others company, and the only time they ever fought was when it involved one anothers lives being in danger. The three of them understood each other in away that seemed completely innate.

When the movie was finished, Dean expressed that dinner was a must. Even though he had stuffed his face with popcorn and most of the concession's stand worth of candy, he was still plenty hungry. So the three of them sat down at an Applebee's that was next door to the theater. By the time they had finished eating and headed back to the hotel it was past nine o'clock. After saying goodnight Sam ducked into his hotel room in a very unsubtle manor.

The second Dawn could no longer hear the chatter between the brothers, she felt a sick feeling in her gut. That same uneasiness like someone was watching her, crept up once again. The difference this time was that every fiber of her being was preventing her from ignoring it. Someone was inside their room, and there was no doubt about it. She grabbed a hold of Dean's arm before he could open the hotel room door. He looked back at her and his heart sank once he noticed the expression on her face. He knew exactly what that look in her eyes meant, he had seen it there before.

"I'm going in first," he demanded.

Before she could protest he had already unlocked the door and was inside the room. Of course she was right behind him looking around, but finding nothing in sight. Suddenly, she could feel the presence behind her, a presence that she recognized. She spun around, her dagger sliding from its usual place at her thigh and she hastily pressed it against the throat of the intruder. Her eyes narrowed into dangerous slits as she looked at the face of the man standing before her.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't plaster these walls with your entrails," she hissed, her voice was dripping with a dreadful venom.

"Because we both know how much you missed me." His lips curved at the edges, rising into a sinister smile that reached the height of his frighteningly dark eyes.

Dean's jaw dropped as he realized what was going on. It was evident that this man standing before them, was not a stranger to Dawn, not nearly.