Banner By: Juliete
Title: When The Bell Chimes
Pairing: Jo/OOC (Dean/Jo implied Angst)
Word Count: 1,810
Song: “You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes I said 'please please understand I'm in love with another man and what he couldn't give me was the one little thing you can” All I Want to do is Make Love to You by Heart from deansmistress22
He pushed the door open, bell chiming as he walked through the door, body worn and tired. He glanced around and took in the familiar surroundings. He hadn’t been there in at least a year. The bell chimed a second time and he didn’t have to turn around to know his brother had followed him in.
Dean had been looking for her for four years. He knew there was something Ellen wasn’t telling him he could see it in her eyes, but she refused to get in the middle. Told him to stop looking if Jo wanted to be found she’d make her presence known.
But he couldn’t leave it alone and with each new dead end another piece inside of him broke. So the last thing he expected to see walking into the Roadhouse that afternoon was her long blonde waves glistening in the sunlight as she chased a little boy around the empty tables.
He froze when pure unadulterated laughter bubbled from her throat as the little boy squealed. And then the boy was quiet as he stood there staring up at the tall man in front of him. Dean studied him. He couldn’t be more than three years old.
He felt like he’d been sucker punched as Dean saw his eyes looking back at him. His gaze shifted to Jo as she lifted her head and their eyes met. Tension filled her body, the easy smile slipping from her face.
She straightened up and when her hand brushed a curl away from her face he caught the glint on her finger, eyes drawn to the jewelry adorning it. She swallowed hard at his accusatory gaze. It never wavered from her face. A small tug on her pants got her attention as the little boy pointed to Dean.
“Mommy, who that?”
Dean looked back at the boy and voices filled the bar. He glanced up and saw Ellen with a tall guy that looked to be just slightly younger than him. Ellen saw the Winchester brothers and froze as the little boy forgot his question and ran toward them.
Sam shifted knowing this couldn’t possibly end well. He placed a hand on Dean’s shoulder but his brother knocked it off. The man walked over, Jo’s son in his arms and smiled at Sam and Dean as he placed an arm around Jo’s waist.
“Hey hun, I don’t think the bars open yet guys, they friends of yours Joanna.”
She opened her mouth and then slammed it shut before nodding. Ellen blinked coming out of her stupor as she smiled in their direction and moved forward. She pulled Sam into a hug.
“It’s good to see you boys. It’s been a while. We missed you.”
Sam returned her smile and hugged her back.
“We missed you too Ellen. Sorry it took us so long to make our way back. We’ve been…busy.”
She pulled away and nodded before glancing at Dean. She hesitated before moving towards him and when he looked at her she saw his anger and the betrayal he clearly felt written on his face. His voice was low and hoarse with emotion.
“How could you not tell me?”
Ellen swallowed hard and turned toward Jo, fake smile in place.
“Hey Sean any chance you can grab a couple cases from the cellar for me?”
“Sure thing Ellen. Come on buddy you can help daddy.”
The little boy clapped his hands as Sean disappeared into the back and she faced Dean again.
“It wasn’t my place to tell you.”
Dean let out a humorless chuckle as he shook his head glare landing on Jo.
“I want to talk to her alone.”
Sam hesitated. He didn’t think that was a good idea.
“No Sammy…out. You and Ellen.”
They looked at each other before moving in the back and disappearing into the kitchen. Jo shouldn’t be surprised that he was standing in front of her, but she was. After that night three years ago she did her best to forget him, to walk away and never look back.
Jo had loved him so much, but in an effort to get over him she’d started dating and somehow ended up getting married. She told herself that this normal guy from a normal world would make her happy and on most days he did. It wasn’t the kind of passion she had with Dean.
There weren’t many fights, or near death experiences. He didn’t set her body on fire with every touch and he wasn’t complicated. Sean was safe. When she ran into Dean while on a hunt, she’d been tired and frustrated with her recent marriage.
She hated lying about who she really was and what she did. He hadn’t gotten word of her wedding and for that she was happy. After a few drinks they stumbled, wet and slightly tipsy into her motel room and as the storm raged outside Dean spent hours worshipping her body.
Light caresses, brandishing touches, wet clothes strew everywhere as he finally opened his heart to her. She hadn’t felt that alive in forever. She promised herself she could pretend that she didn’t have a life to go home to.
All she wanted was that one night, just one night of loving Dean and then she’d go back to her normal life. Husband, job, plans for a family…that night was magic. Jo still dreamt about it. The silence was heavy around them and she expected him to yell, throw a fit, but he didn’t.
Red-rimmed eyes met her and the hurt in his voice brought tears to her eyes.
“How could you do that to me? Did I hurt you so bad that this was the only way to get back at me?”
She shook her head and moved toward him reaching out, but he jerked away from her arms and she stopped.
“No, god Dean no. I…it’s complicated. When we ran into each other that night…I was so lost. Sean and I were fighting and…I figured it would just be one night. I never expected you to come looking for me. To want more than that. You never did before and so I just assumed-“
“That was your first problem. You assumed you knew what I wanted. It took everything for me to open myself up to you that night. This is a perfect example of why I don’t. Why I guard myself the way I do. Because every time I put myself out there…look how it turns out.”
A tear slipped down her cheek and he shook his head as he pointed at her.
“You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to be upset. You left me with a god damned note Jo. You had your mother someone Sam and I have come to trust and rely on, someone who’s like a mother to us lying for years to keep your secret while I’ve been scouring the damn country for you between hunts.”
She looked at the ground as the weight of her decisions hit her. She knew he was right. What she did was wrong, but it was done. There was no going back. She couldn’t change the past. She had a life now, a normal family, a safe life that didn’t involve hunting.
“He’s my son isn’t he?”
Jo lifted her head and when he saw the look in her eyes she didn’t need to answer the question. In that moment he was furious. He was angry with her for keeping his son from him. For disappearing and lying and having a family without him.
But he was more angry at himself for not being able to hate her like he wanted to. He wanted to yell and scream and tell her she was a cheating whore, but he couldn’t. It was Jo. And he could see this was hurting her too and as much as he wanted to rip her stupid substitute life out from under her he wouldn’t.
“Don’t. You know…it took me a long time to realize how I felt about you. I kick myself everyday for not realizing it. You moved on…I get that. So how’s this new life working out for you Jo? You happy with the lies? The pretending?”
The tears fell again as she pursed her lips together. He nodded and moved closer to her brushing a hand against her skin. Her body reacted instantly eyes shutting as a chill ran up her spine. His words were whispered, but strong.
“Does he know…does he know you’re in love with another man? That the little boy who runs around calling him daddy isn’t his? Does he know he’ll never be able to get inside of you like I do? That he’ll always be second best?”
Her eyes opened, anger in them.
He raised an eyebrow and took a step back.
“Fine. You want to pretend have fun with that, but know this Jo. Had you given me a chance after that night-“
He motioned around the Roadhouse.
“This could have been our life. We could have had a family and sure it would have been rough and things wouldn’t be perfect and we’d still be hunting but it would be real. You, me and our son. So you live this life, pretend to be normal because I’m done. When I walk out this door I’m never coming back.”
She opened her mouth, but he shook his head.
“I’d demand rights to known him…to watch him grow up, but you’ve made it impossible. Telling him who I am would probably only do more harm at this point. And I’m not gonna be known as the guy who tore the kids world apart. I’m not that heartless.”
“I’m so sorry Dean. Please you have to believe me when I say I never meant to hurt you.”
“Whether you meant it or not doesn’t really make the outcome any different.”
As he turned walking toward the door something inside of her broke. His voice called over his shoulder before the bell chimed.
The door swung shut behind him and her hands went to her stomach as a whirlwind of emotions overwhelmed her, the tears finally pouring out as she sobbed in the middle of the empty Roadhouse. This was all her fault.
She’d made these decisions, chose to force him out of her life and now she was going to have to live with the consequences. She took a deep breath, composing herself and gathering her strength.
When her face was dry, mask firmly back in place she walked toward the back and went to go find her husband. And maybe if she kept telling herself that she made the right choices and she loved her life one day she might just believe it.