Title :: To Make Us Clean
Rating :: FR18
Pairing :: Buffy/Dean/Jo
Summary :: There is something inherently beautiful about all scars of whatever nature. A scar means that the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed. Done with—unless that scar runs deeper than the eye.
Challenge :: January 2008 Challenge @ buffyxdeanPrompt #2
Disclaimer :: I do not own these characters. Joss and Eric do, bless their small hearts and large imaginations. No profit was made from this story.
To Make Us Clean
“I was six or seven, and uh, he took me shooting for the first time. You know, cans on a fence, that kind of thing. I bulls-eyed everyone of’em. He gave me this smile, like…” Dean paused, his lips quirking as he shook his head and shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Jo leaned back, ran a hand over the Formica tabletop sitting between them. “He must have been proud.”
Dean cleared his throat. “Yeah. What about your dad?”
She absently toyed with knife she had been dancing around with for the last few days. The initials carved along the side flashed at Dean, mocking him for mocking her for carrying around a piece of her past. After a moment’s pause a small half smile lifted her lips. “I was still in pigtails when my dad died, but I remember him coming home from a hunt. He’d burst through that door like…like Steve McQueen or something. And he’d sweep me up in his arms and I’d smell that old leather jacket of his. And my mom, who was sour and pissed from the minute he left, she’s start smiling again. And we were…”
Her voice trailed off as she watched Buffy slip from the bedroom they shared and take up the narrow sofa that had been Dean’s bed for the night. She shook her head, refocused and turned back to Dean, “We were a family. You wanna know why I want to do this job? For him. It’s my way of being close to him. Now tell me what’s wrong with that?”
Dean’s lips pursed, “Nothing.” He shifted in his seat and turned, laying an arm along the back as he called over his shoulder, “What about you, Summers?”
She glanced over at them, arched a brow. “What about me?”
Jo nodded, “What do you remember about your dad?”
Buffy shrugged and turned back to the file she had snatched from Jo. “He was a dad.”
“Very informative. Thank you for sharing.”
She snorted at Jo’s waspish retort and pushed herself up from the couch, moving past them into the kitchen. “What do you want me to say?” She pulled open the fridge and bent at the waist to look around inside.
Jo’s gaze dropped to note the way Sam’s boxers hugged Buffy’s ass before she shook her head, glanced sideways and frown when she noticed Dean doing the same. She bit the inside of her lip to hold back her annoyed snort and Buffy snatched a beer from Dean’s pack and straightened. Turned toward them as she twisted off the cap, “What I remember most was the look of disappointment on his face after he had me committed for telling him what really goes on in the dark.”
Dean ignored her moment of sharing and focused instead on her thievery and his own inappropriate thoughts. “Its 10 in the freakin’ mornin’ and you’re eighteen.”
She smirked, ignored Jo’s sympathetic glance and took a long pull before dropping her arm and asking, “You really think I’m gonna live to see twenty-one?”
He sighed and shoved himself up, made his way back toward the couch she had just vacated. She tracked his movements but Jo pulled her attention from him and back to her. “You really don’t remember anything good?”
Buffy turned hard green eyes on her and waited for Jo to flinch, avert her wide, brown-eyed stare but she remained stubborn or deeply stupid—the jury was still out. The Slayer shrugged and moved toward the small dinette set. “Mr. Gordo.”
Jo cocked her head, lips quirking. “Mr. Who?”
“Mr. Gordo. A stuffed pig my dad got me for my fifth birthday.” She took another sip of beer and let the smile tugging at the corners of her mouth free reign. “I took that damn pig with me everywhere.”
Jo laughed and leaned back, “A stuffed pig? The mighty Slayer owned a stuffed pig?”
Buffy’s smile stretched, “The mighty Slayer use to be a cheerleader too.” Some of the amusement began to fade, “A cheerleader that never graduated or had that one perfect high school moment.”
The other blonde leaned forward, braced her elbows on the table. “Why didn’t you finish high school?”
“Not conductive to my life as a Slayer or so Pryce preached.” She shrugged, moved past the table and the curious Jo to take back the couch. Dean ignored her approach and continued to flip through the file she had left behind. “Scooch.”
He snorted and glanced up, lips lifting into a smirk. “Scooch?”
She narrowed her eyes. “Fucking move.” Her brow arched as his smile widened and she asked, “Better?”
He shifted, dropping his bare feet to the carpet and moved over, letting her settle in beside him. Her body remained tense, a sting pulled taunt and ready to snap. Knowing she didn’t appreciate casual contact and ignoring that little quirk in her personality, Dean leaned over, grasped her ankles and pulled her bare legs across his lap. Her body went ridged and her wrist twisted, readying to slam the beer bottle into the side of his head.
He ignored the threat, ignored the catch to her breath and picked up the file, bracing it against her knees and continued to flip through it. Her voice came out strained. “Is there a reason you’re touching me?”
His deadpanned answer set her jaw and she took another pull of beer. Felt the glass press into the scar bisecting her upper and lower lip and her eyes hardened. “Wrong blonde.”
Dean glanced over at her, his brows drawing down. “What?”
She tugged her legs from his lap and kept herself facing forward, gaze drawn to Jo against her will as she snapped. “You said irresistible and I said wrong blonde, pay attention.”
He shifted, propped an elbow up on the back of the couch and glared at the side of her head as Jo moved toward them. “I heard you just fine smartass. What I meant was what the hell are you taking about?”
She turned at the acid in his tone, matched his glare with one of her own. “Irresistible? Are you trying to make me feel inferior here or is it just coming naturally to you?”
“Inferior?” Jo settled herself on the coffee table across from Buffy and arched a brow. “You to me?” Her gaze shifted to Dean. “Am I hearing her right?”
“Shut up.” Buffy leaned back, shifted into the corner of the sofa getting as far from the pair as she could without actually retreating. “Don’t mock me. Normal people don’t want damaged goods.”
“Who the hell ever called us normal?” Jo watched Buffy dip her chin, roll her lips inward and leaned forward, grabbed her and forced her to make eye contact. “You think a few scars make you a freak?”
Buffy grabbed her wrist, drew her hand slowly away from her face and met Jo’s stare head on. “No. I don’t think a few scars make me a freak. The fact that I’m a freak makes me a freak.”
Jo might have been worried, might have been frightened of the small blonde that could break her wrist in two but the look on her face. The wounded, almost animal like fear of rejection in the depths of her gaze and the fact that Dean was sitting next to her just incase it didn’t work gave Jo the courage to state simply. “Buffy you’re beautiful.”
She threw Jo’s arm back at her and made a bitter sound. “Shut the fu—”
The blonde leaned forward grasped her face and pulled her forward, pressed her lips against Buffy’s hard enough that she had to make the decision to open or cause them both more than a little pain. She opened and Jo’s tongue slipped in, pushed against her own with enough finesse that she hesitantly began to respond.
Dean made a startled noise in the back of his throat. He had expected, also known as dreaded, some touchy feely talk. He had not expected Jo to skip the talk part and go straight for the touchy feely—not that he wasn’t enjoying the show but some things, like this, could get him cut from pubic bone to sternum by Ellen. Probably to protect both of them since she had taken such a liking to Buffy and since Dean enjoyed his insides staying on the inside he braced himself and began to rise.
Buffy’s hand shot out, caught his knee as Jo pulled back, traced the scar bisecting pink lips with a sweep of her tongue and turned to Dean. She had seen the looks he sent the Slayer when she wouldn’t notice, the way he snapped to attention but pretended to discount her when she entered a room. Jo knew that if she wanted one then she needed the other to accomplish it and at that moment she wasn’t sure who she wanted, just that she wanted.
She followed Buffy’s example and laid a hand on Dean’s thigh. His eyes flicked down, widened a little and he sent them an uneasy smile. “Uh, ladies.” He shifted back, “Not that I wouldn’t enjoy it but—”
“Dean.” His gaze shifted up with Jo’s interruption and he met her gaze, swallowed at the hunger slipping forward to darken brown to black as her pupils dilated and he offered her an uneasy smile as she stated. “Shut up.”
So he did.