Saturday, April 9, 2011

What Love Really Is

Banner By: Nani1986 aka Mara
Title: What Love Really Is
Rating: PG-13
Author: Reportergirl13
Fandom: Supernatural
Pairing: Sam/Jo
Word Count: 3,033
Prompt: from feigned_ living laptop

Jo’s stomach dropped as she glanced at the bathroom counter. She tightened her grip on the edge of the sink, closed her eyes, and willed her current situation to be a dream. She begged and pleaded with everything in her. Her breaths came in heavy gasps as she slid to cold tiled floor, pulled her knees up to her chest, and wrapped her arms around them.

A wave of nausea hit her and she propelled her body toward the toilet and wretched until her insides hurt. When her body felt completely empty, void of everything inside and out, she leaned back against the wall as silent tears slid down her cheeks.

She’d eventually have to leave the bathroom. They’d get worried. But Jo just couldn’t bring herself to do it yet, because the minute she walked out that door, she’d have to tell the only man she’d ever been in love with that she was pregnant with his brother’s child.

Things weren’t supposed to turn out this way. After Dean sold his soul to save Sam’s life they’d spent endless night’s trying to find a way to get him out of his deal, but in the end nothing had worked and Dean went to hell.

Two days before his year was up he took Jo out, just the two of them and they spent the day being completely normal. They were working a job in a small town in Nebraska not far from where the Roadhouse was and Dean had taken her to a carnival of all places.

They played games, ate cotton candy, pizza, churros, and went on practically every ride they could including the Ferris wheel, which Jo had to drag Dean on. After they left the carnival they’d driven down the open road, parked in a grassy field, and watched the sunset.

The whole day had been perfect and at the end of the night Dean manned up and told her that if he was ‘gonna be makin his way to the pit in two days he didn’t wanna go there with any regrets.’ He’d kissed her, told her he was a stupid bastard for waiting so long and Jo had agreed.

It was the first and last time they’d made love. It was long and drawn out and she had felt like Dean was trying to memorize every detail of her body. He lavished every kind of attention he could on her…he worshipped her, left no part without a caress or gentle touch.

Afterward he’d told her that she was it for him and not just cause he was ‘kickin’ the bucket’ in two days, but because he didn’t think any other female understood him the way she did and Jo knew that was the closest to an I love you that she’d ever get.

Two days later he was gone and Jo’s heart had been torn out of her chest and ripped to shreds along with Dean’s body. She had cried herself to sleep for two months straight. If Sam heard her he never said anything. Jo even thought she might have heard his soft sobs a few times too, but she couldn’t be sure.

It was three months before Jo and Sam took solace in each other’s bodies. It was an accident. They had gotten back from a hunt and Sam hadn’t been focusing and almost got himself killed. Afterwards he’d shrugged and said ‘whatever.’

Jo had reamed him out. Pointed, yelled, and screamed. When she was finished Sam could see the tears that had pooled in her eyes. The anger deflated and she stood there looking at him, lost, pain etched on her features and the words just slipped from her mouth.

“You’re all I have left…”

He’d understood then. He had understood the pain, the anger, the defeat, the loss, and most of all the unbearable hole that Dean had left in both their hearts. Sam had grabbed her roughly, shoved her against the wall, and didn’t even wait to ask if it was what she wanted.

He’d been fierce, violent, and Jo hadn’t cared. It was the first time she’d felt anything in months. That was the first time they used each other, but it was far from the last. For five months they went at it like rabid animals. For Sam it was a power play. He needed to be in control, because everything else in his life had fallen apart the day his brother died.

So she let him dominate her because Sam fucking her, was better than the emptiness she felt when she was alone. Pleasure and pain, that’s all they had been, but then something changed and with time the desperate clawing, had turned into passionate caresses.

The hard teeth-shattering kisses had turned into the slow melding of mouths. The quick, frantic fucking into drawn out hours of satisfying each other, making the pleasure outweigh the pain. Jo hadn’t realized it at the time, but they no longer slept separately.

They held hands on outings, soft kisses before departures, and the last time they’d visited Bobby’s Sam hadn’t been shy about touching her. Before Jo was even able to process it, they were in a relationship and with each moving day the pain lessoned.

They talked more. Sam shared stories of some of the trips he and Dean had been on. The hunts, the bad times and good and Jo could feel herself warming to the idea that if Dean wasn’t here at least she had Sam. He knew that she was in love with his brother.

She’d made that clear and in the beginning he’d said it didn’t matter, he didn’t care. He didn’t want her love just her warmth, but things had changed. It had been a year almost to the day since Dean had died when Jo found out she was pregnant.

She’d come out of the bathroom, terrified. Sam had been sitting at the small motel room table surfing the web on his laptop. She cleared her throat and he’d turned, eyebrow raised with an amused look on his face until he’d seen Jo’s face. He’d paled slightly and stood quickly.

He was standing next to her in three steps and she could remember how concern had flittered across his face.

“What’s wrong? Jo talk to me…”

His voice had trailed off as she looked at him, tears in her eyes.

“I’m pregnant.”

She had expected him to be angry. Give her a speech about how a baby didn’t fit in with their lives, they were hunters and they couldn’t hunt with a baby on board. But he’d done the exact opposite. His face had broken out into a huge grin and he pulled her into his arms, kissed her, and laughed.

That’s when she realized who she was talking to and even though her body relaxed in Sam’s arms her heart ached. Of course he wouldn’t be upset, she had been expecting a Dean reaction, but Sam wasn’t Dean and some days, that was the problem.

The night she’d told Sam, he held her in his arms and promised her that their kid wouldn’t have this life. That they’d go to Bobby and her mom for help. They’d start over, be normal. Jo had smiled and told him that sounded amazing.

After Sam had fallen asleep, she’d gotten up, wrapped a blanket around herself, went outside, and sat on the ground as she stared at the moon. She was a hunter, it was in her blood, but she guessed if Sam could give it up she could too.

Sam had seemed happy for the first time in a long time since Dean. He wasn’t coming back, they’d tried everything, and nothing had worked. They’d just past the year mark and there was no going back. So that night as she stared out at the stars she made a decision. She would let Dean go, move on.

Jo’s not in love with Sam, but she does love him a lot. He makes her as happy as she can be without his brother and maybe the love she held for him would grow over time. That night she’d pushed Dean into a box in the back of her head and buried him as deep as he could go.

A few days later they found themselves on Bobby’s porch. Sam had a grin on his face the whole time as he told Bobby and her mom about the baby. They’d been happy for them, but Jo was pretty sure her mom could see something was off with her, but she hadn’t said anything.

Things had moved quickly from there and they were staying at Bobby’s while Sam worked on getting a job and that’s when it happened. Jo took a deep breath as she squeezed her eyes shut, stood up, and tried to calm her breathing. She just needed a couple of more minutes to compose herself before going back out there.

She’d had the strangest feeling when she woke up this morning and when the doorbell rang at noon her heart jumped into her throat. Sam and Bobby had been out back and her mom had been in the kitchen. So Jo calmly walked to the door and when she pulled it open, standing not even five feet in front of her was Dean Winchester.

She’d fainted. There was a flurry of activity afterwards. Holy water, salt, knife wounds and fighting, but finally Dean proved himself human and was allowed entrance into the house, which is how Jo wound up hiding out in the bathroom.

A knock on the door jerked her out of her thoughts. She cleared her throat.


“You okay Jo?”

Sam’s worried voice flowed through the wooden door and she felt horrible. She took a deep breath, walked over to the door, pushed it open, and plastered a smile on her face.

“Of course I am.”

It didn’t look like he believed her but he nodded anyway. They made their way back into Bobby’s living room where Ellen and Bobby were laughing while dean took a swig of his beer. Dean’s eyes drifted toward Jo when she came into view.

She watched as his face softened and her heart clenched.

“You know…I would have killed to have you falling at my feet in the past…hell if I knew all it took was dying I mighta done it sooner.”

He grinned and Jo chuckled lightly, but it was strained. He stood, shrugged, and opened his arms. She tried not to fly into them as she moved slowly across the room. Sam watched as Dean wrapped his arms around Jo.

She fit in his arms just like he remembered. Her grip was tight on his back and his body filled with heat. This is what he’d been waiting for since he realized he was alive. The warmth that filled Dean was fleeting though. While Jo was in the bathroom Sam had filled him in on the past year.

Apparently Sam and Jo had bonded over his death and now they were…together. Jo pulled back after a couple of minutes and Dean cleared his throat before taking a step away from her. He felt colder already. He stood there awkwardly and motioned to Sam with his beer while looking at Jo.

“Sammy mentioned the two of you stopped hunting, that you’re thinking about settling down somewhere nearby.”

Jo found it hard to speak so she nodded.

“Said you guys have some exciting news…so what’s the surprise, aside from my rise from the grave I mean.”

Dean gave a grin, but Jo could see that it didn’t reach his eyes. She opened her mouth, but Sam cut her off and spoke with genuine excitement as he came up next to her, and slid an arm around her waist.

“Jo’s pregnant. We just found out earlier in the week. This couldn’t be more perfect Dean. You’re finally back. We can be a family again.”

Dean felt like he’d been sucker punched. He sat on the arm of the couch and tuned out Sam’s words. Jo’s pregnant…with Sam’s kid. He thought it hurt being ripped to shreds by hellhounds, looks like there was something that could hurt worse.

Jo’s soft voice brought him out of his thoughts and he glanced around the room noticing the tension in Bobby’s shoulders and the sympathy on Ellen’s face. He cleared his throat and gave Jo a weak smile.

“Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

“I said are you alright?”

Dean shrugged. Of course he wasn’t alright. Sam knew how he felt about Jo, and granted yeah he died, but his death wasn’t an invitation for Sam to pursue her.

“Just tired. Clawing your way out of your own grave will do that to you.”

Jo nodded and looked away from him. Sam was oblivious to Dean’s swirling emotions and finally Bobby cut in and spoke.

“Sam, why don’t you and I go fire up the grill. I’m sure Dean’s hungry.”

“Sure thing Bobby.

Sam smiled, walked over to Dean, gave him a tight hug, and dropped a kiss on Jo’s forehead before following Bobby out of the room. Ellen stood quietly in the corner as Dean took another swig of his beer. Jo swallowed hard.

“I’m so sorry. Please look at me Dean.”

He did and she almost wished he hadn’t. There was no anger in his voice when he spoke.

“How long?”

“A while.”

His jaw clenched.

“Are you in love with him?”

Jo hesitated and Dean raised an eyebrow. She looked away from him as she spoke in a soft, broken voice.

“No. I, I love your brother Dean, but…”

Her voice trailed off and he waited for her to continue. When she didn’t he grunted.

“But what?”

Her voice was barely a whisper.

“But he’s not you.”

He watched as tears sprung in her eyes and he couldn’t help the glistening in his.

“Why Sam, Jo?”

A few stray tears leaked down her cheeks.

“Because he was the only one who understood how bad it hurt to lose you. God Dean I tried everything to bring you back I swear. I even summoned a crossroads demon and tried to bargain my soul for yours, but they wouldn’t do it.”

His eyes widened slightly as he shook his head.

“You’re lucky it didn’t work. I woulda been pissed.”

She let out a teary laugh before her face sobered.

“Do you hate me?”

Dean watched Jo studying him and thought about all the things he was feeling at that particular moment and hate wasn’t among them. Anger sure, but could he really fault her for moving on? No one knew he was coming back.

“No, I don’t hate you.”

He looked away from her and Jo watched his shoulders droop. Her insides were gnawing at her as she reached forward. Dean shook his head.


She pulled her hand back as if she’d been burned and nodded quickly. Dean didn’t want Sam to be unhappy, but he couldn’t help thinking that Jo was his and Sam had known that all along. He knew how much Dean struggled with his feelings for her, how much she meant to him.

Before he died, when he made Sam promise to take care of Jo, he hadn’t meant like this. Dean looked back at Jo and he saw tears silently coursing down her cheeks as her eyes begged him to understand, to not leave, and to see that she needed him.

He took a deep breath and gave her a sad smile.

“Wrong place…wrong time.”

The words were simple, but Dean spoke volumes with his eyes. Just one look and Jo could see how much he loved her, how much he wished things were different. She spoke through her tears.

“That always seems to be our problem.

He rubbed the back of his neck as he glanced at Ellen in the corner he reigned in his emotions and cleared his throat. Sam poked his head in the living room with a smile on his face.

“Hey burgers are almost ready.”

“You know what it’s been a long morning, coming back to life and all. I think I’m gonna crash. I’ll have a burger later okay Sammy?”

Sam frowned.

“You okay Dean?”

Sam watched his brother’s weary movements and for the first time since Dean showed up on Bobby’s doorstep he felt the awkwardness of their situation. He knew how Dean felt about Jo, but he also didn’t expect his brother to come back from the dead. Dean’s voice brought him out of his thoughts.

“I’m fine Sam.”

Sam nodded at the slight tinge of irritation in Dean’s voice. Dean’s eyes fell on Jo one last time before he walked towards the staircase. As he passed by Ellen he saw the respect in her eyes as she pulled him into a hug.

“I’m glad your back son.”

Dean eyes watered slightly and Ellen could see the depth of his pain as he held onto his shaky smile, his voice not holding the happiness it should.

“Yeah, it’s great to be back.”

Jo watched Dean walk up the stairs as she stood next to Sam and her soul ached. Jo had never believed in soul mates or true love or any of that nonsense, she did however believe in what was real. Pain, anger, loss, and in the rarest moments of happiness.

He laid on the spare bed upstairs, closed his eyes, and several tears rolled down his cheeks in silence. He finally understood what love really meant, what his dad had gone on about, why losing his mom had broken him so much. Love meant that you cared for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you faced might be.

Dean wouldn’t leave. He’d stay and endure the gut wrenching pain of watching Sam have the family he should have had. Jo wasn’t his any longer, they never got their chance. It passed them by, but maybe with Sam she’d still have a shot at the normal life that at one point he’d wanted to give her.

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