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The Wanting Comes In Waves

All Sam/Dean, All The Time

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Fic: Aurelia (G, Dean Winchester & Zoe Washburne, refers to Sam/Dean, Zoe/Wash)

Title: Aurelia
Author: smalltrolven
Pairing: Zoe Washburne & Dean Winchester, refers to Zoe/Wash and Sam/Dean
Rating: G
Warnings: Set post Swan Song and post The Message so refers to major canon major character deaths.
Author’s Note: Not my characters only my words. Written for intoabar 2013.
Summary: Zoe is taking some time off from Serenity to grieve, traveling via wormhole back in time to visit where Wash’s ancestors came from. Dean is mourning the loss of Sam, losing himself in the bottom of a whisky glass, trying to find the will to live as his brother made him promise to.

Also posted over on AO3.


He’s finally driving out of South Dakota towards where he promised he’d go. If he’s honest with himself, and hey it could happen at some point that would maybe be worth trying, he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Or even to be, like alive or anything. But he promised. And he can’t break that promise.

Sam’s words ring in his ears, he’s got to go live the apple-pie life.  The life they’d always joked about, as if it was ever attainable or desirable. He never wanted that. He’d had what he wanted, his brother by his side, on the road, taking care of the family business like they were supposed to. But now Sam’s dead and gone, no bringing him back this time. And Dean’s got to carry on somehow because he promised.

He’s tired though, tired of driving on this godforsaken road, tired of the endless cornfields and even tired of the sound of the wheels on the pavement. It’s too lonely, too much of a reminder of all the times they drove this road together, taking off from Bobby’s on their way to a new case. Sam would be all excited, reading and re-reading the information they’d gathered, presenting the case to him so they could talk over strategy on their way. The hours on the highway would fly by, and they’d only stop when nature called or he was too tired to keep driving.

Dean pulls off the road at an exit they’d never taken, it being too close mileage-wise and time-wise to Bobby’s back in Sioux Falls. It’s at a place well before where the Impala’s gas tank would be due to run out, there’d never been a point stopping here in Aurelia, Iowa. There’s only one thing he’s looking for at this point, a bar, so he can take the edge off of everything enough to function a little better. And he doesn’t want to drink in a motel room by himself. He can just hear Sam’s voice kidding him, “Dean, stop being a cliché, get out there at least, so you’re not holed up alone.”

Screw Sam anyways, even if he was mostly always right. Dot’s Tavern it is. Why not?  He locks up the Impala and strides across the graveled parking lot, suddenly eager to park his carcass on a bar stool for a while. Hopefully there’ll be something good on the jukebox at least.  He steps through the double doors and is surprised. How ‘bout that, Zeppelin for once, not a bad start.

“I’ll take a whiskey, make it a double, neat, thanks.” Dean says when the tall blonde bartender meets his eye. The dude looks like he could be a California surfer. Dean’s just about to ask him why he’s stuck here in Iowa when he hears a noise from the person on the bar stool next to him. It sounds like a sob that was stopped halfway out.

“Hey you alright?” Dean asks quietly, laying a hand on the woman’s bent elbow that’s propped next to her near-empty glass on the bar.

“No, I’m really not. But thanks for asking.” She answers, looking up at him with dark eyes that he can tell are usually fierce and intense, but for now, they’re just as sad as his are when he looks in the mirror.

Dean indicates his face, which shows the same signs as hers of a deep and unending grief. “I hear you. Looks like I’m in a similar place.”

“Who’d you lose?” She asks in a voice that tells him she knows what he meant by similar place.

“My brother.” He answers, and hopes this stranger can tell that there’s a whole lot of layers to that single noun.

“I’m sorry,” She says with a sincerity that sounds heartfelt and genuine.

“Thanks.” He takes a breath like he’s winded. “How about you?”

She take a similar breath before answering, “My husband.”

“I’m sorry. It really sucks doesn’t it?” He answers, knowing that for most people the loss of a brother does not come close to equaling the loss of a spouse. And there’s no one left now, besides him that knows how completely untrue that is for him.

She examines him closely like she’s trying to figure out the equation. “Thanks. Yeah, it’s worse than I’d ever imagined it could be. One day they’re there, full of life and plans, the next, it’s just all over and you’re burying them.”

“It’s a killer, no doubt. Half the time I’m still talking to him, out loud even, before I catch myself. Then it just hits me all over again,” he says, taking a drink to steady himself.

“What’s your name?” She asks.

“Dean, and yours?”

She sticks out her hand and shakes his firmly. “Zoe.”

Dean’s hand still feels warm from the brief contact, he turns it into a fist to hold onto it a bit longer. He takes a drink from the glass in front of him. “I know they say it gets easier over time. But a lot of the time, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it that long to find out.”

Zoe turns on her barstool and looks at him very seriously. “You’ve got to though, Dean.  Your brother, what was his name?”

“Sam,” Dean answers, voice breaking on the last part of his brother’s name.

Zoe obviously notices his voice breaking so she puts her hand on his forearm that’s resting on the bar. Dark brown skin of her elegant hand contrasting with his pale winter coloring. “Look, I know it’s something you’ve probably already heard, but it’s true. Sam would want you to keep going.”

Dean feels about a thousand times better with this small amount of human contact, especially with someone who seems to actually know a little about what he’s dealing with. “Yeah, I know. It’s just, saying that is one thing, actually livin’ it day to day, well it’s harder than just about anything I’ve ever done.”

“You seem like a strong person though,” Zoe says, squeezing his forearm before taking her hand away to run through her cloud of curly brown hair.

“I used to think I was,” Dean says, voice trailing off as he thinks about all the tragedy and horror he’s endured over the years. Losing Sam the first time being the biggest one that comes to mind.

“Same here. No one could ever break me, ‘til I met Wash. He took me apart, and put me back together so well that I thanked him for it eventually.”

“Are you from around here or just passin’ through like me?” Dean asks, because he’s never met someone so beautiful that’s as fierce as this woman. She reminds him of Sam, a whole lot actually.

“Meant to come to a different Aurelia, so I’m waiting on a ride,” Zoe answers, finishing her drink in one big swallow. “Should be coming for me real soon.”

“There’s another Aurelia out there somewhere huh?” Dean jokes, laughing a little at the idea.

“Yeah, it’s out there alright.” Zoe answers as if it’s a joke that ought to mean something to him. “It’s where my husband’s family was from originally.”

“Can I buy you another one to say thanks?” Dean asks, thinking in any other circumstance he’d be putting a pick-up vibe into that phrase, but not now, not tonight. Not with this woman who is as torn apart inside as he is.

Zoe’s answer is cut off as she slowly dematerializes in front of Dean’s startled eyes. He can see her kind of wave good bye before she disappears completely.  Dean is so used to strange things happening, angels and demons zapping in and out of sight that it doesn’t faze him one bit. He shrugs and turns back to the bar to signal the completely unaware bartender for another.  “Actually make it two. In honor of my friend Zoe.”