Saturday, April 9, 2011

When Luck Runs Out (11/11)

Chapter 11

San Francisco, California
(13 Weeks)

Dean groaned at the loud banging on the motel room door. He shifted on the bed and Jo moved closer to him as she grumbled into his chest.

“I’m going to shoot whoever’s at the door.”

Dean would have laughed if he wasn’t so damn tired. He grunted, got up, pulled on his boxers, and walked toward the door. He opened it slightly and saw Sam standing there with a frown on his face.

“Why’d you lock me out?”
Dean rubbed his eyes and left the door open as he walked back to the bed and plopped down on it above the covers. Jo rustled next to him and went to sit up, but he put his hand out to stop her. His voice was sleep addled.

“Sammy’s here.”

“I’m not deaf, I can hear him.”

“Feel like giving him a free show?”

She frowned at Dean and he raised an eyebrow and motioned to her state of undress. Jo rolled her eyes, grabbed the covers, and stood up with them wrapped around her. Sam chuckled lightly and she glared at him before walking to the bathroom and slamming the door shut. Sam turned to Dean and watched his brother grunt before rolling onto his side. Sam shook his head.

“Come on Dean. Wake up I gotta talk to you. It’s important.”

Dean rolled onto his back and pushed himself up so he was leaning against the headboard. He rubbed his eyes and sighed.

“I thought you were at Madison’s. Was it necessary to pound on the door and wake us up? It’s early in the morning and you know how she gets…”

Dean’s voice was low when he said the last part of the sentence so Jo wouldn’t hear him. Her voice rang out from the bathroom and Dean winced.
“I heard that!”

Dean made a face at Sam and he tried not to laugh. “Dean…it’s 3 in the afternoon…not morning. I spent the day with Maddie and I need to discuss something with you…I know things have been kinda crazy…I care about her Dean.” Dean rubbed a hand over his face and nodded.

“I know Sammy. I’m glad. You needed a nice piece of ass.”

Dean grinned and Sam frowned. Dean didn’t get it. Sam really cared about Madison. He wasn’t sure how it happened, but their connection was quick and strong. He wasn’t leaving town without her…and Dean was going to have to deal with it. “This wasn’t about getting a good lay Dean. I care about her…a lot.”

“You just met her Sammy…”

“I know…and I know this sounds weird…but I feel like…I don’t want to leave her. I won’t. After everything that’s happened…there isn’t anything left for her here.” Dean’s eyes widened and he shook his head furiously as he moved to the edge of t he bed.

“You’re out of your mind. She’s not coming with us Sam.” Sam glared at Dean. He could be such a hypocrite sometimes. Jo had been on the road with them for a little over a month, so who the hell was he to tell Sam that he couldn’t take Madison with them. “Fine, then I’m staying here.”

Dean did a double take. If he wasn’t awake before he was certainly awake now. He stood up and started pacing the small room. When he stopped the look on his face was furious.

“So what? That’s it? Either she comes with us or you stay here? Did you forget we have a job to do Sammy? Did you forget about the yellow eyed demon and Dad? Have you forgotten what Dad told me?” Sam shook his head.

“No I haven’t. I care about her Dean…she’s lost and confused and I’m not leaving her behind. Besides could you be more of a hypocrite? Jo’s been on the road with us for over a month. I really think Madison could be it Dean…”

Dean rubbed a hand over his face as he watched Sam’s face. Dean wanted him to be happy, but this wasn’t the way. He could see the pleading in Sam’s eyes, but he had to try to knock some sense into him. They didn’t have the luxury of dragging people along for the ride with them right now. He looked Sam in the eyes and his voice was calm when he spoke.
“If you care about her Sammy…you won’t pull her into this life. She still has a chance at a normal life. Let her have that. We have a job to do and I know it would kill you if something happened to her, while we’re trying to get that job done.”
Sam didn’t back down. He stood and crossed his arms over his chest. His voice was hard when he spoke.
“Oh, so it’s okay for you, but it’s not okay for me?”
Dean shook his head.
“That’s not what I said.”
“But it’s what you’re doing. Dean we’ve been dragging Jo to jobs with us and she doesn’t seem to mind. I can show Madison how to pull her weight…she can learn.”
Dean frowned and his jaw clenched.
“First off my situation is different than yours, so don’t compare them…and you think that’s what this is about? Her being able to pull her own weight? Sam I’m just trying to make you look at the bigger picture here. That’s all.”
“Have you looked at the bigger picture? Listen to everything you’re saying. Why do I have to leave Madison behind if you get to keep Jo around? Isn’t it the same situation?”
Dean met Sam eyes and his voice was a notch louder when he spoke.
“No Sam, it’s not. Jo was hunting before me and her got together. I didn’t bring her into this life…it was her life before me. So whether I’m here or not she’d be hunting. And this…it might seem like it’s working, but it’s not. I was wrong Sam…I should have never brought Jo on the road with us.”
Sam seemed startled by Dean’s revelation. The anger left his face as confusion settled there.
“What? But I thought…”
Dean cut him off.
“I thought I was doing the right thing. Taking her on the road with us. Being near her. She’s carrying my kid Sam…I thought…bringing her with us would be better than leaving her to fend for herself, but I was wrong. Having Jo on the road with us is a mistake…”
Sam opened his mouth, but before he could say anything Jo’s voice broke the silence in the room.
“Well, it’s nice to know how you really feel.”
Their heads whipped around to the open bathroom door and saw Jo standing there wrapped in the sheet she had taken from the bed. Her stance was rigid and her jaw was clenched. There were tears in her eyes, but she swallowed them. Jo Harvelle would not cry in front of Dean.
Not over his stupid ass…not again. He opened his mouth and moved toward her, but her voice stopped him cold in his tracks.
“Don’t touch me.”
Her stopped at the venom he heard in her tone and swallowed hard.
“Don’t Jo me. If you didn’t want me here all you had to do was say so.”

She walked around both of them and started grabbing at her clothes that were discarded in a rush of passion last night, or more technically earlier this morning. She breezed past them with her clothes in hand and slammed the bathroom door hard.

Dean closed his eyes before opening them and looking at Sam. They were quiet for a minute before Dean spoke in a tired voice.
“I called Ellen yesterday. We’re going to the Roadhouse. Bring Madison, don’t bring Madison…it’s your choice. I’m not fighting about this anymore. Just think about the consequences Sammy…”

Dean’s eyes briefly glanced at the bathroom door before returning to Sam.
“Cause I never did. You and me…we bring trouble wherever we go. You’ve always know…how I…feel about Jo. What you don’t know is why I’ve always kept my distance…why I tried to stay away from her.”

Dean shrugged and his voice lowered even more if it was possible as he took a step towards Sam.
“All the women…all the different towns. All they were, was just a good time…they were never in any danger because they didn’t mean anything. Jo…I always knew she’d be more than a one night thing…and the women in our lives Sammy…they always seem to get the brunt of our baggage…I didn’t want that to happen to Jo…I wanted her to have a chance at something better…something more than me…”

Sam could hear the emotion in Dean’s voice. This was the most his brother opened up to him in a while. Especially when it concerned Jo. Dean shrugged as he continued talking.
“But I was weak…two days was all it took for me to fall…and now…if they find out…if that yellow eyed son of a bitch finds out about Jo…about the baby…it’s over…it could be taken away in a second. I ruined her life Sam…all because I was too selfish…and the worst part is…I’d probably do it again.”

He turned his head and Jo was leaning against the bathroom watching them talk. She was still pissed at Dean, but it lessoned at the words she had just heard. Dean is nothing if not complex, but she didn’t realize that this was how he felt.

She didn’t realize he had kept his distance to protect her and that he felt like he had failed in doing that. It explained why he said and did certain things, but it was something they were going to have to talk about whether he liked it or not.

His eyes softened as he watched her and he took a deep breath before looking back at Sam.
“If you care about her Sammy…just leave her alone…let her go. I wish I would have had the strength too…”

He walked away from Sam and didn’t make eye contact with Jo as she moved out of his way. He closed the bathroom door behind him as Jo walked over to the side of the bed and started packing up. Sam watched her and he wasn’t sure what to say.

Dean had basically just admitted that he wished he never started things with Jo, and yet here she was packing up her duffle bag and Dean’s too. He watched her move around and wince every so often. When she bent down to lift the bag of weapons she grunted and let go of it.
Sam was by her side in a second lifting the bag onto the table for her.

“You okay?”

She nodded. The bruises were fading from her face and the scratch marks on her neck and arms were healing.

“Yeah, still a little sore from the attack. No big deal.”

He nodded and stood there while she went over the weapons, checking and cleaning them. He cleared his throat and spoke in a soft voice.

“Jo…you know Dean didn’t mean what…”

She cut him off and waved a hand to dismiss his words.

“Yeah, he did Sam…you know he did. Just leave it alone.”
She turned her head to face him and though the expression there was blank her eyes were a different story. They were hard and spoke volumes.
“I said”
Sam swallowed hard and nodded. Jo went back to cleaning weapons and after a few minutes Sam spoke again.
“What do you think…about Madison coming with us?”
Jo sighed and looked at Sam. She knew things had been hard on him. With all the bad things surrounding the Winchester brothers she was surprised that they hadn’t given up all hope already. She saw Sam’s need for someone in his life and she felt for him. She truly did.

She glanced at the bathroom door when she heard the shower shut off. She thought back to what Dean said to Sam a while ago as she sat back in her seat and turned her eyes back to Sam.
The walls were thin and as Dean was pulling his clothes on he could hear Jo and Sam talking. He stood by the door practically leaning against it as Jo spoke with certainty in her voice.

“I think this life is dangerous…I think that no matter what you do life is in constant upheaval. Nothing’s written in stone and things are always uncertain. I could go home tomorrow, never hunt again and get hit by a car or mugged and die. Or I could hunt for the rest of my life and be lucky…get hurt, but not killed.”
She paused and Sam sat down and motioned for her to continue.
“I think that we get one chance…yeah we’re hunters, but we’re also human’s and our emotions are what make us different than all those sons of bitches out there trying to kill people and destroy the world or whatever. No one can be alone forever. We take what we can get, when we can get it.”
Her face scrunched up and she let out a long sigh.

“If you care about Madison that much…give her the choice. Don’t make it for her. Let her know the real deal. Explain to her it’s not a picnic…and it’ll never be perfect…that you can only give her a day a time, but you want her by your side as a partner. Don’t presume you know what’s best for her…she’s an adult. Lay the facts out and let her make her own choice…cause like I said you only get one chance…”

Jo put down the gun she was cleaning and took one of Sam’s hands in hers as she spoke softly.

“We’re hunters…we all know our life expectancy isn’t long…I know I could go at anytime…but I’d rather have one semi-perfect day with the man I love then live thirty long years without having him…and I think that says somethin’. Just my opinion though…”

Jo stood and behind the bathroom door Dean closed his eyes and tried to calm him pounding heart. He heard every word and it only made him feel worse. Sam’s voice brought him out of his thoughts.

“Has anyone ever told you, you’re a pretty amazing woman?”

Dean heard Jo’s chuckle and it warmed his heart.
“I might’ve heard it once or twice.”
Sam moved towards Jo and gave her a quick hug.
“Thanks…I’m gonna go talk to Maddie…tell Dean I’ll be back soon and then we can head out.”
Jo nodded and when Dean heard the motel room door close behind Sam, he made his way out of the bathroom. Jo looked up when the door opened and they stood there awkwardly for a minute before Jo broke eye contact with him and went back to cleaning the weapons.
Dean sighed and sat at the table to help her. Neither of them spoke. They sat in silence, lost in their own thoughts as they cleaned out their weapons.

On The Road Again…

Dean and Jo had finished loading up the Impala about 10 minutes ago. They were sitting in the car waiting on Sam, when he suddenly appeared from around the corner with Madison in tow. Dean took a deep breath and Jo swallowed hard.

Sam came to a stop by the driver’s side window with Madison at his side. Dean and Sam shared a look before Dean glanced at Madison. He gave her a tight smile and she gave him half of one back. Sam cleared his throat.

“I just wanna toss Maddie's bag in the trunk.”

Dean nodded, took the keys out of the Impala and handed them to Sam. While he was opening the trunk Jo looked at Madison and gave her a small smile. Her voice was friendly when she spoke.

“How’s about you and I sit in the back and we let these two do a little driving?”
Madison opened her mouth to say something, but then glanced between Jo and Dean. She must have sensed something was off because she returned Jo’s smiled and nodded.
“Sure, I’d like that.”
Jo opened the passenger side door and walked around the car. Sam frowned for a second before she punched him lightly.
“You get shot gun Sammy…Madison and I are going to get to know each other a little better.”
Sam gave Jo a grateful smile and nodded.
“Sounds good.”
He pulled open the passenger side door and closed it behind him. He glanced at Dean who was looking in the rearview mirror watching the girls settle down in the back. Sam handed Dean the keys and he started the car. He put on a pair of sunglasses and spoke in a gruff voice.
“We ready?”
They all nodded and he turned on the radio before pulling out onto the open road. The sun shone through the windows of the Impala as “Enter Sandman” by Metallica belted through the speakers. Dean could hear Jo and Madison laughing about something in the back.

He could see the smile on Sam’s face out of the corner of his eye and something tugged at his heart. He heard Madison talking and he shook his head out of his thoughts when he realized she was talking to her.
“Where are we going?”
Dean looked into the rearview mirror and Jo was staring at him. His jaw clenched and he looked away as his hands tightened on the steering wheel.
“Nebraska…we’re going to Nebraska.”
As he drove he could feel the tension in the car, but he didn’t care. Maybe being on the road was important to Jo, but keeping her and their baby safe was more important to Dean. So, he was doing what needed to be done.
Even if it hurt like hell…

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