Banner By: Andrea
Title: I Close My Eyes and Pretend I’m Alright
Fictable Prompt: #033 Unforeseen for Iluvaqt
Word Count: 1,647
Summary: Dean held onto a lot of guilt, but this whole experience was unforeseen.
Dean heard the sound of the lighter fall to the ground right before the cold hand disappeared from his cheek. His eyes opened slowly and he glanced around the room his brows furrowing as his heart beat quickly in his chest. “Jo,” He called out not entirely sure where she went or why he was still alive. When she didn’t answer him he hesitated for a second before stepping out of the circle. “Jo?” He called out again quietly, “Please.” His tone was thicker than he intended it to be, but this whole experience had been unforeseen.
Sure he held onto a lot of guilt, there were way too many things in his life that he regretted, but Dean had never expected anyone to try and use that against him. Let alone bring Jo into it. He swallowed heavily as he searched the room, his eyes glassy. Sam must have found a way to kill Osiris, which released Jo from his thrall. He turned around in circles twice before standing completely still in the middle of the room.
The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, a slight chill ghosting over his skin. Dean had been around enough ghosts in his life to know that Jo was still there, but she obviously didn’t want him to know that. “I meant what I said, Jo you deserved better.” His voice echoed through the empty room as he stood there waiting. A minute went by and he sighed as he ran a hand through his hair and started walking to the small kitchen.
He grabbed a glass and then walked over to his bag that was lying on the small round table. Dean pulled out a bottle of scotch and sat down in the chair heavily. “So what, is this what you do when you think you’re alone? Wallow in self-pity and drink?” She asked.
Dean had been in the process of twisting the cap open when her voice broke the silence in the room startling him making his hand jerk. The cap fell to the floor and rolled over to her. He swallowed hard as he watched her bend down and pick. She stood there for a minute watching him before she held out the cap.
“I meant what I said too,” Her words were quiet as she studied his face trying to read his expression. “This isn’t your fault Dean, it never was. I don’t blame you for my death.” She said softly as she tilted her head to the side, her gaze never leaving his.
“Don’t you get it Jo, I blame me. I should have never called you and your Mom. I should have handed it with Sam and Cas and left you two out of it.” His heart clenched as he let his eyes roam over her body. She looked exactly the same as she had the last day he saw her except for the obvious paleness of her skin. His mind flashed back to the moment he placed the explosives in her hand, the way it held felt to feel her lips beneath his. The way he couldn’t breathe as if he had a pile of bricks on his chest.
“Don’t…Dean, stop going back there,” She whispered. Seeing the pain on his face was too much for her. She had known he was lost, that much was obvious, but the sheer amount of guilt he carried with him on a daily basis was just unhealthy and it was going to send him to an early grave. “You know, when you were on trial back there I never got a chance to tell you what I wanted to tell you,” She said quietly.
Jo waited for him to look at her before she continued. “I wanted to say that I don’t blame you Dean,” She held up a hand before he could interrupt, “You and me, well, we never really had a chance.” She told him with a soft smile. “But the feelings were always there Dean. I know they were and I know you beat yourself up about a lot of things, but I don’t ever want you to beat yourself up about us.” She said as she took a step closer to him.
She reached out caressing his face again as a small smile played on her lips. “I wasn’t lying when I told you that things, they get clearer after you’re gone. And while our paths were always meant to cross…This is just the way things needed to go so that you could save the world.” She told him softly.
Dean opened his eyes, tears pooling in them as he placed his hand over hers as he relished in the touch of the ghost of the woman he loved. “It’s not fair,” He said his voice hoarse as he brushed his thumb over her hand. “Why does it need to be one or the other? We never even got a chance Jo…What’s the point of loving someone if you never get to be with them?” He asked as he met her gaze.
“I wasted so much time,” He whispered berating himself for never calling her, for walking away even though he’d done it to protect her. If everything was meant to end up like this, with her gone, then he should have taken advantage of the time they’d had together.
Jo shook her head, her expression soft as she watched him. “Dean, my love for you…It transcends all that we are. It helped me make that sacrifice that day. It was why I went back for you when the hellhound got you…It was why I came up with the plan in the hardware store. My love for you helped save you…it helped keep you strong on nights you were weak. Night’s that you wanted to give up and you thought back on our sacrifice and didn’t.” She said as she kneeled down in front of him.
“Don’t you see that? Don’t you see how much good you really do, what you mean to the people around you? What you represent?” She asked him softly as she gripped both of his cheeks in her hands. “Do you ever wonder why the people around you are so willing to give up their life for you? No, you don’t because you’re too busy wallowing in the guilt you think you deserve.” She watched him for a few minutes, her heart going out to him.
Jo was at peace with her decisions and she needed Dean to be too. “Dean, you bring hope to people. They rally around you because of your loyalty and determination and they make sacrifices because they believe in you. It’s time that you start believing in you or the pain…the guilt it’s never going to go away.” She told him quietly.
Dean held her gaze as the pad of her cold thumb brushed away a stray tear. He swallowed heavily and let out a short breath. “I’ve done some terrible things Jo,” His voice was gruff and laced with pain. “Things you don’t know about, things that don’t show me in the greatest light.” He said quietly. He’d been ruthless in the past, but lately he’d just been downright cold. He wasn’t proud of the person he’d become.
Jo nodded. “We all have things Dean. We’ve all done stuff we regret, drinking yourself into a stupor so you can’t feel the built that’s weighing you don’t isn’t gonna help it, trust me.” She said before pausing. “Look I know I can’t make everything better, hell I ain’t even gonna try.” She said with a small smile on her face. “But I need you to promise me that you’ll at least stop punishing yourself about me.” She told him quietly.
“I don’t blame you Dean and the fact that you blame you, well it tears me apart.” She told him honestly, knowing she didn’t have much time left. “Please.” She whispered.
Dean watched her and nodded slowly. “I’ll try.” He said as he reached out brushing a piece of her behind her ear right before her body flickered slightly. He pursed his lips. “You’ve gotta go.” He said his voice holding a hint of question it in even though his words were a statement.
“I do,” She said softly before as she leaned into him slowly before pressing her lips to his. It wasn’t the same as last time, but it was something. She slowly coaxed his mouth open slipping her tongue inside and deepening the kiss.
Dean shifted forward his hand threading into the back of her hair as he put more force into the kiss, drawing it out even as his chest tightened and burned with a need for oxygen, but he didn’t let go…Not yet. A minute later he broke the kiss and sucked in a shaky breath before his eyes met hers as he caressed her cheek. “I love you, Jo…I do.” He told her quietly his eyes never leaving hers.
Jo grinned. “Of course you do Princess,” She teased before her expression softened. “I love you too, Dean…Always have, always will.” She said as she watching him silently for a minute before pushing herself up. “I’ll see you on the other side?”
Dean tried for a smile as he nodded. “I’ll see you on the other side, Jo.” His voice was soft and the minute the words were gone she flickered away and the room was empty again aside from him, the temperature back to normal, no hair standing on the back of his neck.
His heart clenched and he reached for the bottle again before pausing and looking at it. He took the cap and twisted it back onto the bottle. Tonight he’d give the bottle a rest, close his eyes and pretend he was alright at least for a little while.