There was a jingle at the front door as Quinn slipped inside Teas 'N' Tomes. She was sporting a fitted black strapless dress, tall black heels, and an array of silver bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces. The entire ensemble was topped off by her black leather jacket. Sure, it wasn't a sip coffee and relax sort of outfit, but she didn't plan on coming here. She was going to go to the Inn, but it was one of those nights where she just couldn't bring herself to smile at people and pretend to give a damn. And without a doubt, she didn't want to go home.
So instead she stopped by the front counter to order a coffee laced with more cream and sugar than anyone would ever need before she was moving over to one of the comfy overstuffed couches in the main room. The coffee was set down and the jacket shrugged off before she plopped down into her seat, one leg automatically crossing over the other at the knee. It was an evening for peace. Or so she thought.
One minute, Dean was minding his own business in some hole-in-the-wall bar somewhere in the Midwest, and the next he was standing in the middle of Teas and Tomes. There was only one explanation as to how he got there and that was an angel named Castiel.
"What the hell," Dean muttered to himself, recognizing his surroundings. "Cas!? he shouted for the angel.
Quinn leaned forward, scooping up her coffee and cradling it in her palms as it was brought toward her. Red lips were pursed to blow lightly on the coffee and cool it. Then there was another body in the room with her. She gave a light blink but didn't bother to lift her attention from her drink. It was just another day in RhyDin, right? Not so much. She continued blowing lightly on the coffee until the voice rang out loudly. She was frozen in her seat, lips now parted and eyes wide.
Dean spun around, looking for some sign of the angel, before realizing he wasn't alone. Oh, crap. It was her. Gulp. ?Uh?? Someone was seriously going to have some ?splaining to do and his name wasn't Lucy.
"Holy sh..." She couldn't even get out the rest of the phrase. Probably for the best, really. She was still frozen in place, as if waiting for the figment of her imagination to vanish. Why wasn't it going anywhere? "... Dean?"
"Quinn?" There, he said her name. He hadn't dared say her name in a very long time ? it was too painful ? though he'd thought of her often. What the hell were you supposed to say to someone you had been in love with, someone you were supposed to have married, someone you had promised you?d be with forever? "Am I dreaming?" he asked, frozen in place, wondering if it was really her.
She seemed to be at the same loss for words. Her mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out. Finally, something spilled out. "What... the hell?"
What the hell about summed up his feelings, too. "Look, I..." He took a hesitant step toward her. He remembered when they'd first met, how she'd warned him not to screw things up, but he had. Something had. It was par for the course. Nothing ever went according to plan when it came to Dean?s life.
She shook her head. "I don't think so." She paused, brows furrowed. Then she decided to go the scientific route. She set down her coffee and set two fingers to the thigh of her crossed leg. One sharp pinch and a yelp later she was rubbing the spot. "Not dreaming. At least I'm not. Feel free to join the pinch party if you want." Her expression still hard and thoughtful despite her stale joke.
"You look..." He trailed off, his gaze wandering over her. She looked amazing, just like he remembered her. She was a sight for sore eyes, but he knew deep down why Cas had sent him there. He'd been sent there to say goodbye.
She shook her head. "Don't do that." She rose to her feet. Where was she going to go? No where, but she couldn't just sit there. "Why are you here?" It was so much easier to ask than "why did you leave?" and hopefully the answer wouldn't hurt as badly.
He frowned, hurting just as much as she was. They'd had something special together, at least for a little while. He'd fooled himself into thinking it would last, but he should have known better. Nothing ever lasted.
"Quinn, I..." he stammered, nervously. "I'm sorry."
She stuck out her chin, arms folding over her chest. How could seeing someone you care about so much hurt so badly? Because he had left. Without a word. Again. She was told he wouldn't be coming back. She had already tried to start healing and this tore open all of those wounds she so carefully hid everyday. "I was all alone again." She wasn't trying to guilt him. It wasn't her intentions. But it was honest. He had shown her how good it could be with someone and then it was gone without a trace.
He wanted to go to her, put his arms around her, hold her close and recapture a little of what they'd had together, but he couldn't. "I didn't leave. I was..." How was he supposed to explain to her that an angel had whisked him back to his own world without giving him a chance to say goodbye? He sighed. So much had happened. He didn't even know where to start. "I never meant to leave you."
Her stance faltered, arms dropping to her sides. She knew things happened outside of their control. Hell, it was the story of her life. But it was the not knowing that got her. She gnawed lightly on her bottom lip before the question came out softly. "Do you promise?" She just needed the assurance that it wasn't her fault. That she didn't do something that made him want to leave.
He knew her well enough to understand her body language and knew she was probably thinking it had been because of her. God, it wasn't because of her. Not even close. She had been the best thing that had ever happened to him. He'd been happy with her, but it hadn?t lasted. Not being good with words, the only thing that came out of his mouth was, "I promise." He took a step closer, afraid to get too close, knowing he couldn't stay, afraid it would only make things harder.
All this time the only thing worse than him not being with her, was not knowing why or what had happened to him. She sank back down into the couch behind her, her face dropping into her hands as the words came out in a choked rush. "I didn't know why you were gone or where you were at. Emily said she didn't know, but she said you wouldn't come back. And I was alone again. Alone in the loft and I didn't know what to do." She looked up at him over her hands, eyes welling with tears.
"Quinn, don't..." He went to her then, his heart going out to her, her tears tearing him apart inside. He crouched down in front of her, pulling her hands away from her face, searching those beautiful green eyes of hers that had become so familiar. He brushed the tears from her face, his voice quiet as he tried to explain as gently as he could. "I don't belong here, Quinn. I never did. But I never lied to you. I loved you and... I wish things could be different, but I can't stay." He hoped Cas would give him enough time to say what needed to be said, to make her understand, before whisking him back to his own world again.
"I'm sorry. I can't help it." She sniffled, her gaze following him. It was like a dream, painful pinch aside. She thought she would never see him again and there he was. Thankfully, before any sort of hope could form inside her it was already doused by his words. It hurt, but at least they were being honest this time. Maybe things would have been better before if they had admitted to each other that a white picket fence wasn't in their future, no matter how badly they wanted it. She nodded lightly. "Some people just don't get normal, Dean. We could pretend all we wanted... and it was nice while we did." She forced a light smile, lips trembling with the force used to keep it in place.
His own eyes were gleaming with unshed tears. It was the one thing he didn't want her to see. She'd seen enough of them and he didn't want her to remember him that way. He wanted her to remember what they'd had, even if it had just been for a little while. He hoped she'd never forget him. He knew he'd never forget her. The truth of the matter was some part of him loved her still and always would, just like he'd loved Cassie and Jo and Lisa, though he'd never admit it to anyone but himself. But again, all of that went unsaid.
"Normal was never in the cards for me, Quinn. I'm sorry." He'd pretended with Quinn, pretended with Lisa. Normal was never part of the deal. He brushed a few more tears from her face with a surprisingly gentle touch.
She reached out to brush a thumb under his eye to catch one stray tear for him just as he did for her. They had wiped each others tears so many times, but that wasn't how it should end. "Don't be sorry." She would wail about it later. She would sob and scream at a God she didn't believe in, but for now she was in search of peace. That had to be why they were given one last shot. "Just be happy it happened. I know I am. I wouldn't have had it any other way." She tried to look strong, but it didn't quite work. Instead she just looked frail, yet determined.
He smiled a little through a cloudy haze of tears and then he touched her cheek, his fingers sliding back through her hair, and he leaned close to brush a kiss against her lips - a final kiss, a farewell kiss. She was better off without him. Safer. He had to believe that. And his place was with Sam. It always had been. He didn't know if he'd ever see her again, and he wanted to keep that kiss and that memory of her forever safe in his heart.
Her head tilted lightly into his hand. There were so many questions that kept her up for countless nights while he was gone. There would be more in the coming days that would more than likely go unanswered in his absence. But in this moment she pushed them away. She leaned into the kiss, red lips pressed against his. She had kissed him goodbye so many times before leaving for work or when he was leaving the house. But this was the finale. This is what she would remember when she thought of him.
He could almost feel something tugging at him, and he knew he didn't have much time left. There was so much he wanted to say. He hoped she understood, he hoped she knew him well enough to know what he was feeling and how much this was tearing him up inside, how much he had missed her, even if he couldn't say the words. He lingered in her kiss, knowing he'd revisit this moment in his dreams during the cold and lonely nights ahead.
She was another memory, another hope of something that might have been but could never be. He pulled slowly, reluctantly back. "Be happy, Quinn. I'll always remember you."
She didn't want the kiss to end. She wanted just a little bit longer, but she knew it would only make it harder. Her hand rested lightly against his cheek as she slowly pulled back from the kiss. A change of her mind and she pressed her lips against his one last time. She worked to memorize him. How his lips felt against hers. How he tasted. And then he pulled back and spoke. She slowly nodded and let her hand drop into her lap, wringing with its partner. "I won't forget you, Dean. Please take care of yourself."
That was all he really wanted - for someone somewhere to remember him. It seemed fitting that it was her. He pulled reluctantly away and moved to his feet, looking down at her, his heart aching with loss and regret. The room began to shimmer and he knew his time was up.
"I'll always love you, Quinn,? he told her, his voice breaking. It wasn't a lie. He'd never lied to her. There was a part of him that would always love her, no matter what happened. He knew someday she'd meet someone who could give her everything he couldn't, someone who loved her, someone who deserved her. He wished it could be him, but it couldn?t.
She forced a smile, though her lips quivered. She just wanted to keep it together until he was gone. So he could remember her as being somewhat strong, even if she wasn't always. "I'll always love you, too, Dean." She nodded and it was true. There would always be a spot in her heart saved just for him where she would cherish him and their time together. No one would ever take that away from them, even if forever was never meant to be.
He smiled a little through his tears, even as his form was fading from view, and played one last lick on the air guitar for her. ?Smoke on the Water.? He hadn't forgotten. He would never forget. And then he was gone.
She gave a laugh at the random air guitar. That was her Dean, through and through until the very end. And then just as suddenly as he had arrived... he was gone. And her laugh slowly gave way into a quiet sob and more tears. She pressed her face into her hands, her shoulders shaking. She had closure now. She knew he was okay and they got to say goodbye. A last kiss. In the end it would make her stronger and help her move on though never forget.
But for now... she simply cried.
((The above post is based on live role-play that took place between the players of Quinn Benoit and Dean Winchester. I would like to thank Quinn's player for the scene and for so much more. It was a great ride, and I sincerely thank you for it.))