Author Topic: A Moment To Breathe (AU)  (Read 113 times)

Jo Winchester

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A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« on: September 23, 2012, 08:56:47 AM »
[size=9]((Contains adult situations.))[/size]
__________________________

With all the stresses of the past few days, it was a relief to be out of the house, even if it was just to take a short walk down the lane and back. Nim hadn't realised that she could go almost literally stir-crazy, shut up in a house with too many hunters and not enough jobs for them all to do to keep busy. Eventually, she'd just dropped a word to Ellen and slipped out the door, armed to the teeth as discreetly as possible, needing just a little head space away from B&E Salvage and their full house.

As for Dean, he was starting to get antsy, too much time on his hands with not enough to keep himself busy. He'd already field-stripped his weapons, cleaned the Impala inside out and from top to bottom, and was currently tickering with the engine, making sure she was in top running condition, which she always was in his care. The light blue t-shirt he was wearing was grease-stained and sweaty and there were grease-stains on his jeans and a smudge on his cheek. He had the stereo turned up and was singing along with the Allman Brothers' Ramblin' Man, as he tinkered happily away.

Returning from her brief but refreshing walk down the lane and back again, Nim was drawn like a magnet to the sound of the music, knowing that Dean was in his own little world. She envied him the ability to just switch the whole world off when he was working on his car, but she couldn't blame him for needing that time right now. The hours he'd spent sharing with their family and friends exactly what had been going on during that harrowing trip from Lawrence to Sioux Falls had been difficult for everyone, but most especially for him. She made her way through the salvage yard toward the Impala, taking up a lean on the dusty hood of a clapped-out Camero to watch Dean as he worked, not wanting to disturb him.

He wasn't aware she was there right away, the music too loud and his own singing just a little off key, but hey, he was enjoying himself, so it was all good. Leaning over the engine, beneath the raised hood of the car, he was using a wrench to adjust something or other, pausing a moment to belt out the chorus. "Lord, I was born a ramblin' man, tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can. When it's time for leavin', I hope you'll understand. I was born a ramblin' man."

Nim didn't mind that he wasn't immediately aware of her, smiling at the way he was so prepared to sing along with the radio and yet had folded in on himself when she so much as suggested he might want to sing along with the guitar when she played. And, of course, the view he presented bent over the engine like that was not to be sniffed at. Never let it be said that Nimue Morgan didn't enjoy what life presented her, especially when it was Dean's rear end in tight denim.

The wrench suddenly became a microphone as Dean continued to give the song his own twist, like a big kid, imagining himself on stage and singing to a live audience, unaware he already had one. "I'm on my way to New Orleans this mornin', leavin' out of Nashville, Tennessee. They're always having a good time down on the bayou, Lord, them Delta women..." He trailed off, Greg Allman taking over the lyrics as Dean turned to fetch a spark plug, dropping the wrench on the ground when he realized he wasn't alone. "Jesus Christ!" he exclaimed, clearly startled. "How long you been there?"

Tucking her thumbs into the pockets of her jeans as she leaned comfortably against the forgotten Camero, Nim's grin widened at her lover's startled reaction to seeing her there. "Hey, don't stop on my account," she teased him fondly. "You sing your heart out there, Barbara." Of course she wasn't going to tell him how long she'd been there; that would take the fun out of his embarrassment.

"Barbara?" he echoed. "Do I sound like a girl to you?" He assumed she meant Streisand, since he couldn't think of any other famous singer named Barbara. He bent over to snatch the fallen wrench off the ground, before circling around and leaning inside the car to turn the volume on the radio down. "You come out here to keep me company or make fun of my singing?" he asked, wondering if she wanted a few lessons in how to change the oil. He didn't mean to sound cranky; it was just his sunny personality.

She didn't take offence, expecting him to be on edge like the rest of them. "I've been out for about an hour," she told him, her voice quiet as she glanced up at the sunny sky. "There's nothing lurking on the lane, I can promise you that. And it wasn't for lack of looking, either." She was itching for some kind of action, eyeing up the rusting cars piled in the yard as a possible means to relieving some of that twitchy energy. "You want company, I'm here. If not, ignore me. But I'm not sitting through another one of Bill and Brian's pissing matches today."

He rolled his eyes. "Why do you think I'm out here?" It seemed they were all a little edgy since their little pow wow during which he'd recounted their latest adventure, including his trip to the future and his encounter with Future Nim, their future son, and Death. All things considered, he was in good spirits, just feeling a tad embarrassed to have been caught enjoying his music a little too much. He set the wrench aside and snagged a rag, wiping the grease from his hands as he came back around to the front of the car. "You wouldn't happen to have a beer, would you? I finished the last one an hour ago."

She laughed a little, spreading her hands to look down at herself. "Where would you like me to produce one from?" she asked, gesturing to the distinct lack of hiding places about her person. She didn't often venture out without at least a button-down shirt on over her tank or tee, but this place was a safe one. Hence, today, she had nowhere to hide anything.

"Good point," he admitted, a smile poking through despite himself, as he looked her over. Tossing the rag aside, he came up in front of her, one hand on each side, smirking mischievously. "Maybe I should search you."

Her hands came to rest against his chest as he found his place in front of her, blonde head tipped backward to let her eyes meet his with affectionate amusement. There was no protest at the grime that clung to him; she'd been dirtier herself, and in far less sanitary circumstances, in the past few years. "Maybe you should," she agreed with a teasing grin. "But do you really think you'd get very far with Ellen watching us from the porch?"

Whether Ellen was watching or not, Dean took the bait, cussing quietly and turning to look over his shoulder at the porch to see if Nimue was teasing him or telling the truth. "Damn it, is she? I swear to God, we get no privacy around here."

There was no one there, but Dean's instinctive turn to make sure resulted in Nim dissolving into giggles as she tossed her head back. "I knew it!" she crowed wickedly. "You're so whipped and you're not even sleeping with her!"

"Sleeping with her!" Dean exclaimed, as he turned back around. "That would be like sleeping with my-" He cut himself off before he finished the thought and uttered the word, which was obviously "mother". "Maybe we should lock ourselves in the basement again," he grumbled. As much as he complained, he was actually happy to be surrounded by those he considered family and wouldn't have it any other way.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 09:00:15 AM »
"We hardly locked ourselves in," Nim pointed out with a snort of laughter. Bobby had done that for them, and had extracted a promise from them both that they would not abuse his panic room in such a way in future before he let them back out again. "Besides, you'd be missing out on a perfect opportunity to be pampered silly in the shower. You're filthy, you know." This was offered with half a shrug. Dirt really wasn't a problem in their circles.

He smirked at the idea of taking a shower with her in broad daylight with the rest of the family awake and aware. "You think Bill and Brian will blush if we do? I wouldn't mind you washing my back." Pause. "And my front." He leaned closer, grease-smudged face grinning playfully.

"Promise you won't hog all the hot water this time?" Nim grinned back to him, tickling her fingertips impishly down his not-ticklish-at-all sides and around to slide them into the back pockets of his jeans, drawing herself playfully against him in the process.

"I make no promises," he admitted, flinching just enough for her to know that he was, in fact, ticklish, even if he wouldn't admit it. He smiled as he got pulled close, feeling her hands slide into the pockets of his jeans, his arms sliding around her waist. "So you want I should finish tweaking my baby, so I can tweak my other baby?"

She smirked at his flinch, slowly but surely learning all his little secrets even if he didn't want to share them aloud. "I guess that all depends if you can bear to leave your baby only half-tweaked," she teased back in a merry tone, vaguely aware from the corner of her eye of movement on the porch a ways away. Someone, probably Brian or Bill, had come out, taken one look at them, and gone straight back inside again. Those two men were caught in a house with two loving couples, and the strain was showing on them worse than it was on their hosts. "'Cos, you know, I'd hate to come between you and your baby, baby."

"Well..." Dean smirked, completely oblivious to the fact that they had been momentarily spied on, and not really caring all that much if Brian and Bill were miserable surrounded by the two happy couples. He deserved a little happiness for a change, damn it. "If I leave it only half-tweaked, I'll have to finish it later, and that means I'll need another shower again," he teased.

"You planning on having soap on a rope for a different reason now, princess?" she laughed affectionately, rippling her fingers inside his pockets with rather more possessiveness than she usually showed. But then, things had been crazy for a while - first with the hybrids, then with the emotional upheaval, and finally with the story-telling and planning that was still ongoing in the house. Nim needed to stake her claim, even if it was only Dean who saw and felt that possession; she needed to feel as though she had some anchor in the middle of all the weirder than usual weird. "Should I ask Bobby which bathroom we should use?" she added mischievously.

"Soap on a rope?" he chuckled. "The hell do I need that for? I don't have to worry about bending over." With her hands in his back pants pockets, he was about as close to her as he could get, smelling like a mixture of motor oil, man sweat, and beer. "Maybe someday we'll have a house of our own." Like we had in the future, he thought to himself. "You know..." he started as his lips found her neck. "This would be a perfect time to get married, with the family in one place and all."

Despite the unmistakeable shudder of desire that rippled down her spine as he teased his lips against that sensitive place on her neck, Nim chuckled softly against his ear. "You've been talking to Ellen, haven't you?" she accused him fondly, even as her smaller frame moulded to his near perfectly, her breath warming his throat. "You know she's adjusting her own wedding dress for me, right?"

"I know now," he admitted, lips leaving a trail of kisses against her neck. He wasn't surprised really. Ellen had seemed overjoyed with the idea. He couldn't help but wonder if the Ellen he'd known back home would be quite so happy to have him marry her daughter, but none of that seemed to matter. This Ellen already thought of him as a son and had welcomed Nim as a daughter.

Eyes drifting closed, Nim was already having trouble concentrating on the conversation, only too easy to tease past coherency at Dean's whim. Her own lips brushed tenderly to his temple as her head tipped slowly back with a soft drawn-out moan. "Think we should get it done soon, then?"

"The shower or the wedding?" he smirked, half-teasing, noticing with a swell of male pride how easily he could distract her with a simple trail of feather-light kisses. "I think you should let me finish changing the spark plugs," he teased, with a light nip of his teeth against her earlobe.

"Both," she groaned, pinching his rear end with a throaty chuckle. "You're such a tease, Dean Winchester." Leaning back, she let her nose bump his in that familiar gesture of affection as her hands began to slide free of his pockets. "Of course, if you'd rather go back to singing along with the Allman Brothers and getting dirty all by yourself, I guess I could be persuaded to let you go. If that's what you really want."

"If you can give me half an hour to get this done, I can give you what you really want," he countered with a sly grin, as he circled her nose with his in a gesture of equal affection. "You want a lesson in Classic Cars 101, Sparky?" he asked, tweaking her nose and and accidentally leaving a tiny smudge of grease there. He had a reason for suggesting to teach her how to take care of his baby, and it wasn't just about getting finished so that he could take her up on the offer of a shower. If they really were going to be married, she should know how to take care of his baby, especially if anything ever happened to him.

She contemplated this offer for a long moment, so tempted to just pat him on the head and go start a long involved conversation with Bill or Brian, just to serve him right for teasing her. But that smile, that particular way he had of looking at her? She just didn't have the strength of will to walk away. She sighed laughingly, rolling her eyes. "Fine, teach me how not to choke your baby."

For all the long-suffering sighs and exaggerated eye-rolling, Nim paid close attention as Dean talked her through what was one of the simplest of jobs toward maintaining the Impala, picking up the easy actions and more than prepared to get her hands dirty in the process. Dirty enough, in fact, that she even managed to draw a smiley face on his cheek while his hands were too busy elsewhere to stop her with just the oil that had collected on her fingers.

The serious task of changing spark plugs eventually devolved into silliness when Dean made it his goal to reduce Nim to giggles as he attacked her in a frenzy of tickling, payback for the smiley face she'd drawn on his cheek when he'd been trying to give her a serious lesson in auto mechanics. Serious business to him, it never occurred to him that she might find it as boring as watching paint peel. It wasn't long before he'd caught her around the waist and tackled her to the grass to torture her sides with engine grease-covered fingers, both of them laughing like they hadn't a care in the world.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 09:03:54 AM »
From the house, all that was visible of them for a long moment was flailing legs, their laughter plainly audible through the open windows, infectious enough to bring a smile to the faces of the hunters inside. In the kitchen, Ellen lingered by the window, impressed when Nim dragged herself away from Dean long enough to snatch up the hose and threaten him with it laughingly. "Bobby," she mused thoughtfully, her amusement shining through her voice, "turn the water on to that hose, would you?"

"Huh?" Bobby looked up from the book he had his nose buried in - as it happened, it was the future Dean's journal - to glance over at his wife at the window. Was that the sound of laughter outside? "Who the hell..." He stuck a slip of paper in the journal to mark his page and joined Ellen at the window, chuffing to himself when he saw Dean chasing Nim around the yard and Nim threatening him with the hose, like a couple of schoolkids. "Huh. Kinda nice to hear 'em laugh for a change, ain't it?" He wasn't just talking about Dean, but about Nimue, as well. The mood in the house had been too somber lately, ever since Dean had dropped the bomb on them all with the retelling of his adventures.

"Long as they let us sleep at night," Bill grumbled as he peered out the window behind the couple, a smirk forming on his face. "I'll get it," he volunteered, and he snuck away to turn on the water to the backyard hose.

"Takes you back a little, don't it?" Ellen murmured fondly, glancing at her husband briefly, remembering when two rowdy small boys had made it necessary to cultivate that grass in the first place, a long time ago. It had seemed such a small thing then, to give the Winchester boys a safe place in which to be boys, and yet now they knew how important it was to find something to enjoy in each day that passed. This Dean was a solemn young man for the most part, but she was glad he'd found a woman he could laugh with. That would stand them well in the years to come. Bill's comment about sleeping at night made her chuckle, though. "Long as no one tries to shoot 'em for enjoying themselves," she laughed, wiping her hands dry on a towel, one shoulder gently bumping to Bobby's.

It was just as well Bill had volunteered to go turn on the water; the sight outside the window was one Bobby didn't want to miss, and witnessing it with Ellen made it that much more special. Whether this Dean was the one they'd helped raise or not no longer seemed to matter. Dean was still Dean, whether he was from another time and place or not, just as he was still Bobby and Ellen was still Ellen. Nimue was the curious one in the equation, but it warmed the c*ckles of Bobby's old heart to see the two of them laughing and having fun the way young people should. Despite that, he harumphed, swaying slightly at Ellen's shoulder bump. "Were we ever that young?"

"Nah, you were born old," was his wife's predictable response, fond but gently acerbic. Endearments and loving words were something shared only in private between them, it often seemed, but only someone who knew them well would be able to see the love that passed back and forth even when they were arguing. "When's the last time you did something without thinkin' it through first?"

"Last time I let Bill and Brian co-exist under the same roof for more than one night," he replied, which he'd never done until now. "They're almost as bad as Sam and Dean were." He grumbled, slipping an affectionate arm around Ellen's shoulders as they watched the two lovebirds cavorting just outside the window. Sam was rarely mentioned these days; though the younger Winchester was sorely missed, Bobby was thankful to at least have half the equation back in their lives again. A small smirk crossed Bobby's whiskered lips, a teasing gleam in his eyes for the woman who he believed had saved his sorry soul. "Maybe it was when I asked you to marry me. Didn't really think that one through."

She flashed him a wry smile as his arm came to rest about her, one hand rising to link her fingers with those that lay on her shoulder. "Seem to recall that one wasn't really your idea," she teased him right back again in a warm, drawling tone. "Or was Rufus just there for moral support?" Her eyes turned back to the pair out on the little lawn she'd bullied Bobby into allowing to remain following the deaths of the boys they'd come to consider as their own. As always, the mention of Sam brought a pang that couldn't quite be pushed aside, but it was soothed by the sight of Dean quite suddenly absolutely drenched as the water exploded from the end of the hose. Ellen snickered at the look of laughingly horrified amusement on Nimue's face.

Bobby snorted at the mention of Rufus, who'd once been his partner and closest friend. Though their friendship had become strained these last few years, Bobby knew he could count on Rufus in a pinch, if he ever needed his help. "Least it wasn't a shotgun wedding. He spared me that." It had been Rufus who'd told Bobby he was a fool if he let Ellen get away, and for once, Bobby had listened and heeded that advice. Bobby couldn't help but chuckle when Nim had her revenge, soaking Dean to the skin. "Look at 'em. If that ain't love, I don't know what is."

"Well, you can figure out how to make him stop thinking everything's going to go wrong this time," Ellen informed her husband with a laughing warning in her voice, patting his hand fondly. "I swear, he might not be the Dean we watched grow up, but those neuroses of his are just what I remember."

"Me?" he exclaimed, arching both brows. "Why me? You're the voice of reason around here. I'm just a crusty old man with a lotta books." Bobby turned his gaze back out the window, watching while Dean took his revenge on Nim, snagging her around the waist to wrestle the hose from her hands, both of them getting further soaked in the process. "He's Dean, all right. Just as stubborn and pigheaded as ever."

"You're the softest touch this side of Chicago and you know it, Bobby Singer," his wife told him merrily, reaching up to pat his cheek with mocking affection. "Besides, some things a man don't like to tell a woman, even if she knows him inside and out." Her eyes fell on Nim, struggling and giggling in Dean's grip, dripping wet and not caring at all, and her expression grew just a little more somber. "When were you gonna tell me?" she asked her husband quietly. "About who she really is?"

Ellen was about the only person on the face of the Earth whom Bobby Singer allowed to pat his cheek and call him a softie. If anyone else had tried it, he'd have punched them square in the jaw, but the truth was, Ellen was right. She'd known him for years; she knew him best. She'd cried with him when they'd given the boys a hunter's funeral, and she shared his joy to have a little laughter fill the old house once again. He shrugged his shoulders, unable to lie to her or keep anything from her for very long. "Figured you'd find out sooner or later. I didn't know how you'd take it. You tell Ayden yet?"

Ellen was quiet for a moment longer, her face turned toward the play outside but her gaze seeing the sweet face of the only Winchester from this reality left alive in her mind's eye. "No," she admitted softly. The reluctance in her to even say it hinted at how troubling she found the idea of Ayden right now. On the one hand, she wanted the girl to live her normal life and be well out of this one. But on the other hand ... did she really have the right to keep the news that Dean was back from the young woman? "I didn't think it was somethin' she should know at first. Dean doesn't want her to know." Her chocolate eyes turned to Bobby, seeking his advice here. "I don't know if it's the right decision."
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 09:07:51 AM »
"She's gonna find out sooner or later, Ellie," he told her, gravelly voice softening a little as he called her by his personal pet name and one he reserved for her ears alone. "I know he wants to keep her outta trouble. We all do. But she's got a right to know. Would you not wanna know?"

The shenanigans outside grew quiet as the pair of lovebirds fell to smooching again. Dean had his arms wrapped around Nim's waist and was holding her close and kissing her like it was their last day on Earth. Bobby turned away from the sight to give them some semblance of privacy.

"What happens if we tell her and that makes her a target?" Ellen fretted softly as they turned away, not even the sight of the pair in the yard enough to lighten her concerns. "Look what happened the last time word got out that the Winchesters had a little sister. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see her fixed with her brother again, even if he's not quite the Dean she remembers." She shook her head, leaning her hand against Bobby's shoulder as she turned to face her husband. "What do you think we should do?"

"What happens if we don't and she becomes one anyway?" Bobby countered, pointing out the damned if they did and damned if they didn't aspect of the situation. "It's only a matter of time." He reached for her hand, taking it between his own. "I don't think it's up to me." Bobby glanced back at the window again and the couple outside who seemed as if they hadn't a care in the world. "It's up to him."

"He already said no, Bobby," Ellen pointed out, enfolding her other hand around his so that they stood close together, hands entwined, wrapped up in their own slice of the world for a while longer. She drew his hands up to her lips, brushing a gentle kiss to his knuckles.  

"He might not be our Dean, but I know him like the back of my hand. He's scared, Ellen. He's seen the future, and it ain't pretty. I've been reading his journal. The journal he brought back from the future. Jesus, that sounds preposterous, don't it? She died in the future. I s'pect he's trying to make sure that don't happen again," he told her, trying to reason it out as best he could. Ayden was a Winchester and part of the family; she had a right to know her brother was alive and to rekindle her relationship with him, even if he was a Dean from an alternate world.

"You're right," Ellen sighed softly, hugging his hands to her chest for a moment before lowering them, slow to draw her gaze back to meet that of her husband. "She won't be happy, no matter what we do." Concern touched her frown. "You don't reckon she was mixed up in that Skinwalker hunt on Stanford campus last month, do you?" Surely the hunters who'd been in the area would have mentioned it if she had. But then, Ayden Milligan could be very persuasive when she set her mind to it.

Bobby shrugged again, having mixed feelings about the situation. On the one hand, he was proud of Ayden, proud of what she'd accomplished. He couldn't be prouder of her if she was his own daughter. He was proud to think she might have followed in her brothers' footsteps and kicked some Skinwalker a$$, but that pride was tempered with the hope that she'd be the one who'd manage to escape the life of a hunter and live a normal life. It was what Sam and Dean had wanted for her; it was what she'd wanted for herself. Unlike the rest of them, including Nim, who'd lived this life for so long it was all they knew anymore. "I wouldn't be surprised. Maybe you should give her a call. See how she's doing."

"Casually drop into conversation that she should get her butt up here and see her brother?" Ellen snorted, rolling her eyes at the thought of that conversation. "I can see that goin' down like a ton." There was no simple solution to the problem of Ayden, but it would be easier to make a decision if they knew a little more about what she'd been up to. "You think Bill would call Ash and get him to do a little diggin' on her if I asked real nice?"

"I think Ash would do anything for you, whether you asked nice or not," Bobby remarked with a smile, and he bent his head to kiss her forehead. The kiss lingered against her brow a moment before he broke away with a short sigh. "Ellie ..." he started, not really wanting to make things more complicated, but he had one more point to make before he was throught. "Don't you think Ayden should know her brother's getting married?"

There was another moment of quiet as Ellen weighed this in her mind, conceding the point with a comical roll of her eyes. "You think we can hold them off on gettin' it done long enough for her to get her a$$ up here in time?" she countered gently, no longer truly against involving the girl in her family's affairs. As certain as she had been in agreeing with Dean that his sister should be kept out of things, that had been when his arrival was still new, still shocking to her. After time to consider things, Ellen no longer agreed with herself on that matter.

Bobby couldn't help but smile, as she seemed to come around to his way of thinking, confident they could hold them off for a little while longer. Bobby was willing to take the heat if Dean got angry at anyone for inviting Ayden into his life. "I think we can stall them for a few more days. You're still working on that dress, ain't you? And I gotta find that boy something suitable to wear that don't involve flannel."

"You got his Feeb suit, don'tcha?" his wife reminded him with a low chuckle, glancing a little guiltily toward her sewing box. The dress was hung in the doorway beside it, untouched as yet. "We gotta get them a license, and pick where they're getting it done, too. I'll leave that to you, Mr Fix-It." She smiled, leaning up to kiss Bobby's whiskered cheek affectionately, following the kiss with a gentle wipe of her knuckles to remove lipstick. "Or would you rather go fix Marcy Ward's chipper?"

"Should at least get the boy a new tie," Bobby grumbled. Every time Dean needed a suit, it was always the same suit. Bobby knew it wasn't so much what they wore that was important, but he wanted the day to be as special and as memorable as possible. But then, he and Ellen had had a simple ceremony and he wouldn't have changed a thing. He snorted again, even as she kissed him and wiped the lipstick from his cheek. "Marcy Ward's chipper breaks down every other week. I reckon it can wait a bit longer. Tell you what..." he suggested with a smile peeking out behind that grizzled beard. "You call Ayden, and I'll fix Marcy Ward's chipper, then we'll talk about churches and getting a license."

"Or you could always send Brian or Bill over to Marcy's place," Ellen added as a third option. As much as she liked their neighbor, she knew damn well that the buxom divorcee had her eye on Bobby. "Or both of 'em," she added with an almost evil snicker. "Give her a choice, what do you say?"

"You playing matchmaker, Mrs. Singer?" he asked with a wry smirk. "How about I flip a coin and see who comes up the loser? Er, winner," he quickly corrected himself. Either way, getting rid of one or the other of them for a little while should help keep the peace in the house. He wasn't quite sure why it was so quiet at the moment. The quiet before the storm maybe. Maybe one of them was taking a nap. Or maybe they'd actually taken Bobby's suggestion to heart and focused their minds on a game of chess.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 09:11:19 AM »
It was to be expected, really. Get enough hunters in one place, and you either had an argument or an alliance. Thanks to Dean and Nim, they had both happening in the house simply because Bill and Brian had gotten themselves caught up on the issue of what made a father. Ellen chuckled. "Marcy's a sweetheart when she's not flashing her cleavage at you," she defended their neighbor. "Maybe a little too normal for more'n a bit of fun, though. Send Brian. He needs a little fun more'n Bill does." She grinned, enjoying the mental image of Brian Morgan running like the clappers with Marcy Ward hot on his heels.

Bobby chuckled at both the mental image Ellen stirred in his head and the imagined reaction Brian might have to their buxom neighbor. "You are evil," he decided, brushing a quick kiss against her lips, a rarity that was normally reserved for the privacy of their bedroom. At just that moment, the back door burst wide open and a dripping wet Dean and Nimue stumbled into the house, laughing loudly enough to wake the dead.

Ellen's smile for Bobby was wiped as she turned to the explosion of dripping couple into the house, turning the formidable force of her will onto the pair of them with raised brows. "You two better be plannin' on cleaning up the mess you're makin' on my floor," she warned the pair, squeezing Bobby's hand discreetly before releasing him.

Under Dean's arm, Nim somehow managed to sober herself just enough to quail a little under Ellen's seeming disapproval, sweeping her sodden hair back out of her face as she attempted to produce an expression that wasn't a sliver away from more giggles. "I swear, I didn't know the hose was connected!"

"It wasn't," Bobby muttered underneath his breath, trying hard to hide a smirk, secretly knowing that despite Ellen's scolding, she was the one who'd asked Bill to turn the water on. He took himself out of the equation as he headed for the study to find Brian and somehow talk him into helping their neighbor with her habitually failing piece of machinery.

Dean grinned in spite of Ellen's scolding, Nim tucked beneath his arm, both of them soaked like sewer rats, their clothes clinging like a second skin. "We can strip right here if you like," he teased back, not afraid to go ahead with the threat and strip right down to his boxers, if she pushed him to it. He was in good spirits for a change, and it showed.

"If you're going to do that, you can go right back out in the yard and get hosed down proper," Ellen tossed back at him, rolling her eyes. She didn't need to look to know that Bobby had skipped out on her suggestion, always aware of where he was in relation to herself. She shook her head in the direction of the loving pair in the doorway, her smile cracking the stern look on her face.

"Go on, you two, get goin' upstairs," she said, waving them away as she moved to extricate her mop from the utility room. "No more'n an hour under the shower, mind, or you'll finish up the hot water. I ain't heard Dean scream like a girl in years, and I ain't fixin' to hear it again today." This last was nodded to Nim, who dissolved into snickering giggles at the thought of Dean screaming in that much surprise.

Dean snickered in amusement, almost wishing she'd pushed him to having to strip down in the doorway, just to embarrass her. It never really occurred to him that Ellen had seen him plenty of times without clothing before, since the Dean of this world had been mostly raised under this very roof. "Yes, ma'am," he replied, shooting off a crisp salute her way before half dragging Nim toward the stairs, laughing like a schoolboy. "And I don't scream!" he called back to Ellen, for good measure.

"Of course, Your Highness, you just squeak like a little mouse when you get cold water down your back," followed them up the stairs as Ellen chuckled, turning to cleaning up the puddle left behind in the doorway.

Nim almost couldn't breathe for laughter by the time they reached the top, dragging in a couple of deep breaths as she looked up at Dean. "Dude, do you ask how high before you jump for her, or do you just go for it?" she teased impishly, untangling herself from under his arm to advance at speed toward the bathroom.

Dean smirked as he trudged up the stairs, dripping water. "Guilty as charged. I ask how high." He wasn't the Dean who'd grown up around Ellen, who'd been practically raised by her. He'd first met Ellen at the Roadhouse, and though he'd been immediately attracted to Jo, it was partly Ellen who'd scared him off. "To be honest, I think I'm a little scared of her." He reached the top of the stairs and turned the corner to head toward the guest bathroom.

Shivering as a particularly cold drop of water started its inexorable journey southward from her nape along the line of her spine, Nim followed after Dean, chuckling at this admission. "Seriously? Big bad Dean who faces down monsters, demons, and gods is scared of Ellen Singer?"

"Hell, yes. At least, I used to be, but she was Ellen Harvelle then." He frowned a little at the thought of that. Here, in this reality, the very thought of Ellen married to anyone but Bobby seemed ridiculous, but things had been very different back home. "I didn't think she liked me very much in the beginning, but I guess I grew on her." The truth was, she'd probably thought he was too much like his father, and she didn't want her daughter falling for a hunter, especially if that hunter was a Winchester. Ironic how different things were here.

Nim snorted at the thought of this Ellen married to Bill Harvelle. Bobby was enough under the thumb, but at least he managed to hold his own. Bill wouldn't stand a chance when set against Ellen. "Kinda makes you wonder how they managed to produce me back home, doesn't it?" she asked lightly, proving with that one sentence that she was slowly coming around to the understanding of who she was, deep at the core of her being, even if she didn't remember it. "Or maybe she was softer with him." She shrugged, trailing her fingertips along the top of the short bookcases as they passed them. A teasing thought occurred to her. "Aren't you scared I'm gonna turn into her in a few years' time?"

He was lost in thought a moment, just outside the bathroom as he considered her question, wondering if Ellen had been right all along, if he wasn't any better than his father. Bobby had once told him he was a better man than John Winchester, but despite all of John's shortcomings, Dean had always worshipped the man. "No, so long as you're not scared I'm gonna turn into my father." Dean knew if anything ever happened to Nim, it was very likely he just might turn into his father.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 09:12:54 AM »
Somehow, she knew that he wasn't talking so much about the past as the possibility of his future, and she had already promised them both that she would not be the first to go. "Yeah, that's not gonna happen," she insisted, stepping close with a faint squelch to hug her arms about his waist. "You're more likely to turn into Bobby with me around to keep you focused." She flickered him a wink impishly, not wanting to dwell on maybes and might bes.

He was starting to feel like a shriveled prune, waterlogged boots squishing beneath his feet. "You're probably right," he answered, knowing he was, in all truth, more like Bobby than John. He shook the worries from his mind, not wanting anything to spoil his mood or the moment. Not more than five minutes ago, they'd been laughing. There'd be plenty of times for serious talk later. A smile broke across his face, as he settled his hands against her hips and steered her toward the bathroom. "Enough talk. You promised to wash my back."

"I'm still waiting on that promise not to hog all the hot water," she countered laughingly, easily slipping back into playful teasing, away from the more somber mood that had threatened to fall for a moment or two, Steered backward toward the bathroom, she amused herself by squeezing the water from the back of his t-shirt before their progress was halted by the application of the wooden door against her back. Damp hair swaying out of her face, she leaned back against the door, looking up at him. "So ... how hard a scrub did you want, princess?"

"Not making any promises I can't keep." The smile turned into a smirk as he backed her against the bathroom door, planting a hand on either side of her so that he had her trapped between his arms. "I'll leave that up to you," he replied, not really caring about the backscrub at all. No more talk. He leaned forward to capture her lips and leave her breathless.

Just like that, he had her complete attention focused entirely on him, no room for anyone or anything else as she arched from the hard wood at her back to press close. Her hands crept high on his back, the sodden wetness of their clothing warming between them as she rose onto her toes with a soft sound. Whatever self-consciousness she'd felt in the first days here at the Singers' house was not in evidence now, any thought of being caught out here in the hallway wiped from her mind as she warmed to Dean all over again. Her lips were soft beneath his, gently drawing back just far enough to offer him the breathless grin he wanted before capturing his mouth once more.

He wasn't in a hurry really, but for some reason, he felt hurried, kisses turning frantic, longing, needful. He reached around her for the doorknob, even as his lips smoldered against hers, guiding her backwards into the bathroom and kicking the door closed behind him. He wasted no time stripping her of the wet clothing, kissing her as he did so again and again, a pile of wet things gathering on the floor at their feet.  

The rise to what seemed something close to a frenzy wasn't unwelcome, but some part of Nim could feel the frantic part of things beginning to take control. As boots and jeans and shirts slapped to the floor in a clumsy wet pile, her hands smoothed about Dean, one laying tenderly over his pounding heart as her lips parted from his. "Shhh," she whispered to him, slow to open her eyes and meet his gaze as she sought to calm him from this sudden impatience. "I'm not going anywhere, baby."

His heart thudded beneath her hand, strong and steady, betraying the rush of blood in his veins, the depth of desire. Yes, he was impatient. Life was too short, and he wanted to live it to the fullest before it was over. "I want you," he told her, eyes dark and voice deep with desire. "I've wanted you for so long," he continued, smothering her with another hungry kiss. He wasn't talking about his immediate desire, but more of a longing of the soul, of the need to feel connected to another human being, to be loved and to love in return. Almost having lost her once, he didn't intend on ever losing her again.

So much for slowing things down. Nim melted into him with a soft, tender moan as he took her lips once again, the damp chill of her body fitting to his in the tinny silence of the bathroom as she embraced the urgency with him. She didn't have the words that could match his soul's longing verbally, hoping that he could feel how much a part of her he was, how much a part of her he had always been. Even when she had been alone, she'd known someone was missing from her heart; now she had him, she had no intention of ever letting him go. Her arms looped tight about his neck, dragging herself close as she joined in the ravishing of mouths, feeling her heartbeat battle his through her chest.

He reached behind him to lock the door, though anyone in their right mind wouldn't dare go in there if they took a moment to listen to what was going on on the other side of the door. He groaned against her lips, his body betraying him. Even if he wanted to go slow, his body had other ideas. The big question was whether they were even going to make it to the shower.  

As he took a hand from her to grope for the lock, his groan reverberating through her from lips and chest, she tore her mouth from his with a shuddering gasp, unable to deny her own sense of urgency, her own deep, undeniable wanting. But at the same time ... Ellen had pretty much given them an hour before she was going to declare this bathroom open for use again, and Nim didn't particularly want to meet Brian or Bill on the landing out there waiting to use the facilities when they finally emerged.

"Baby ..." she murmured, exercising an incredible effort of will not to just resume the kiss she'd broken off, "... shower." Gasping for breath, she managed to turn enough to reach for the faucet, the fingers of her other hand trailing over his stomach, reluctant to break contact even for this moment.

He drew a deep breath as she broke away from his kisses, reaching for her, not wanting her to leave him even for the few seconds it would take to turn on the faucet and get the shower going. Hour, shmour. Bill and Brian could wait. "Shower, right,"  he repeated as he pried his eyes open and took another breath to try and still the hammering of his heart. He stepped over the pile of soaking wet clothes and boots, the trail of her fingertips against his stomach making him shudder with renewed desire. He watched while she turned away from him, just enough to reach for the faucet, eyes traveling over her admiringly. "God, you're beautiful," he murmured, as if seeing her for the very first time.

As the staccato rhythm of water falling onto good old-fashioned ceramic made itself known, Nim turned back to Dean, dragging her gaze from feet to face with the same level of admiring appreciation he showed her. Despite the need to touch and be touched pounding through her, she felt her lips quirk into a teasing smirk as the water warmed, beginning to billow steam about them.

"Are you charming me out of my clothes?" she asked him with a playful glint of invitation in her eyes, drawing her hands up along the line of his arms. "Or is this a seduction?" She deliberately didn't mention his compliment, or feel the need to return it straightaway as newer lovers might. Her fingers reached up to trace the smiley she'd drawn on his cheek with a low chuckle. "You really are filthy."

He noted the way her eyes took him in, just as greedy for him as he was for her, and he couldn't help but smile. There wasn't a shy bone in his body really, just a little bit vain about his appearance, knowing from young age that women generally liked what they saw or what he let them see. "In more ways than one," he bantered back, waggling his brows at her. "Come on. We've only got an hour before Ellen cuts us off, and I don't want to waste a second." He reached for her hand to lead her toward the promise of a hot shower that was awaiting them both.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 09:14:33 AM »
"Yes, master." Her hand slid into his, smaller but no less strong for that fact, as ready to protect him as to be protected by him no matter the circumstance. Her other hand smoothed up his arm as she let him take the lead, for once not pushing for control or to be in charge, not seeking to teach anything in this intimate time shared. Stepping up into the ceramic bath with him, she pulled the sliding glass door closed, shutting them into a warm, wet world that was as private as they were going to get in this house.

He'd asked for a backscrub, even made her promise to give him one, but it was only an excuse really to get her in here. Now that they were submerged in the warm, steamy environment, all the chill was chased away, not only by the heat of the water but the heat generated between them, he turned toward her, his back to the shower, cupping her face between his hands. Pushing the wet tendrils of hair away from her face, he looked into her eyes, so warm and tender, and leaned close to kiss her again, slowly this time, languidly, as if they had all the time in the world.

Her mouth opened to protest that he was hogging the hot water, only to be silenced just by the way he was looking at her. There was just something about the way, in moments like this, he seemed to see past all the imperfections, all the flaws, all the parts of herself she knew had to irritate the hell out of him, to the soul he coveted as his own. It made her feel more wanted, more loved, more secure in her place and time than anything else, wiping everything from her mind, even her own name. Leaning into his kiss, she breathed him in, relishing the mixture of oil, sweat, grass, and his own musky scent that tickled her olfactory senses as her arms wound about him in the enveloping mist of steam.

And just as she thought he was hogging the water, he turned her so that the hot water was hers now. Though he'd been with countless women, none of them mattered any longer. She was the only one he really saw, the only one he really loved, and when he looked on her, he looked on her with adoring eyes, his love for her bubbling up from deep inside and shining like a light in his face. It was only her that he saw, and when he kissed her, he forgot every other woman who he'd ever known. There was only her, here, now, forever.

She gasped at the unexpected sensation of hot water beating down on her head and back, having truly not even noticed that they were moving once again. The slow, luxurious kiss came to a tender, natural end, but she did not go far, leaning still into him with her eyes closed, sharing her breath with him as her hands crept over his skin, following the lines and contours she had learned by heart but knew she would never grow tired of. "I love you," was whispered against his lips, knowing how much those three insignificant words meant to him, knowing he needed to hear them as often as she could tell him so. One hand slipped from his back to reach for the liquid soap blindly, fully intending to follow through on her promise to scrub his back unless he had other ideas in mind.

Those three little words touched his heart and soul like nothing else could - three little words he'd waited for, longed to hear all his life. It was only one aspect of this Dean's past that differed from the Dean who'd been raised in a home where he knew he was loved and cared for. Though some part of him knew there'd been people in his life who'd cared for him, actually hearing it meant the world to him. Three little words most people took for granted. Three little words that only a few weeks ago had been so hard to say. "I love you," he whispered back, fully intending on making good on his promise to make her his lifelong partner in every sense of the word, to build a life together, against all the odds.

She nuzzled to him with deep affection, tasting his lips briefly just once more before reluctantly slipping her arm from around him to squeeze soap into her palm. Rubbing her hands together to lather the soap, Nim offered her oil-smeared soulmate a warm smile. "Where'd you want it, princess?"

"I can think of a place, but I don't think there's much grease there," he teased with a smirk, reaching to take the soap from her to exchange the favor. The sooner they got cleaned up, the sooner they could move on to better things, but now that they were under the water, he wanted to take his time. He lathered his hands to match hers, tossing the soap back into the holder, hands gliding gently over the peaks and valleys of her body, memorizing every soft, lush curve with eyes and hands.

Laughing in her delicate way at his teasing answer, she turned her soapy hands to his skin, following the planes of his body with attentive adoration. She couldn't help trembling in the wake of his hands, each pass of his palms and fingers over her skin leaving her more sensitive, aching for more, clouding her senses with the knowledge that he knew her better than she could possibly know herself in every way. There was something deeply intoxicating about having no secrets at all from the one person whose grasp on your heart was as steady as the grasp on their own. But despite these distractions, she insisted on being thorough, slithering from his grasp with a teasing smirk of her own to kneel in the bath and give him the same attention south of the waistline she'd given him north.

He had every inch of her memorized, but rather than grow bored with the knowing, the knowledge only gave him a deeper sense of belonging. She belonged to him, not just in body, but in heart and soul, just as he belonged to her. He savored her touch, stirring his desire deeper, an aching need that would not be satiated except by her. He trembled beneath her touch, just as he made her tremble. Each touch was answered by another, each caress, each sigh echoed as they explored the other for the umpteenth time, each time even better than the time before.

Risen back onto her feet, she cradled his cheeks in her soapy hands, washing away the oily evidence of their playful wrestling in the yard with her fingertips even as she brushed a kiss to his lips. It was her turn to steer him about, turning until he was back under the hot water, the steady beat of droplets rinsing the soap from his skin.

He was touched by her gentleness, by her caring. No one, it seemed, had ever cared for him quite so much as she did. Maybe he just hadn't let anyone care, hadn't let anyone get close, but things were different now, and despite all the people he'd lost in his life, he wouldn't change a thing. He returned her kiss, softly, slowly, the water cascading over them both like a lover's caress. No words needed to be said. Everything he was feeling for her was there to see in his eyes, to taste in his kiss, to feel in his embrace.

It would have been so easy to just laze away the minutes and, yes, the hours, wrapped up in his kisses under that steady stream of water from the showerhead, long after the soap had washed away and the chill was gone from their limbs. But Ellen's warning about the hot water kept creeping into Nim's mind, and though the prospect of hearing Dean scream like a girl was tempting, she would rather have him relaxed and happy than tense and grumpy. The arms wrapped about his waist reached out for the faucet behind him, lips never breaking the shared kiss as slippery bodies slid together in the steam-filled space.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2012, 09:17:49 AM »
Distracted as he was, he couldn't help but notice the water was no longer beating on his back. As much as he didn't want to ruin the moment, now that they were both clean and relaxed, he wanted nothing more but to get her into bed where they could take their time and spend the entire afternoon in each other's arms, if they wanted. There was nothing pressing, and he had a feeling neither Bobby or Ellen would make any demands of them today. "Nim," he whispered against her lips, as his arms wound about her waist. "I want you," he told her for the second time, stating the obvious. Whether it was here or in the bedroom didn't much matter, but he wasn't going to be able to wait much longer.

"I'm all yours, baby," she promised in a fervent whisper against his lips, trading the kiss for words as a new tremble took her body in the encircling band of his arms about her. She could sense the urgency rising in him once more, and indeed, it was making itself known in her, too. Her hands dragged down his back, a shift of her feet betraying how very little grip she had against the warm ceramic beneath them. The heart-stopping moment of free-fall sliding this betrayal offered up, however, was enough to make her laugh, clutching at him tightly. "Maybe we should get out of the shower first, though."

He laughed with her - a warm, rich, happy sound that was heard all too infrequently, but had been heard more often as the days went by - catching her before her feet could slide out from under her. "You really think I'd let you fall?" he asked, with the teasing hint of a smirk. With one armed wrapped around her waist to hold her steady, he pulled open the shower door, steam escaping into the small space outside the tub. He reached around her to grab the only towel from where it hung on the towel rack and turned to wrap her in it. He was just going to have to make a run for it.

"If you thought you could get away with it, yeah," she snickered back to him, shivering in the rush of cooler air that pebbled her skin with gooseflesh as the steam fled from around them. She didn't object when he made use of the only towel to cover her, figuring that if they got caught skipping next door to the room they were sharing, it was better for him to be butt naked than her. "Mmm, what a gentleman," she teased him as he tucked the short towel around her. It wasn't exactly a decent cover even for her, but at least she was covered in theory, stepping back carefully out of the shower-bath and bending to gather up their wet clothing.

He smiled, pressing a finger against her lips after tucking the bath towel around her. "Don't let it get around. You'll ruin my reputation." He watched as she stepped past him to gather up their clothing, admiring the view of her backside as much as he admired her front. He was a self-admitted a$$-man, after all, and had always had a soft spot for a woman in a tight fitting pair of jeans.

Of course, in that position, he had a rather glorious view of everything the towel didn't cover, but what the hell, right? Straightening up with her arms full of the soggy material, Nim offered Dean a grin of her own. "Are you going first, or don't I get to objectify your a$$ at speed?"

"Oh, you can objectify my a$$ all you want and the rest of me, too." He mirrored her grin, stepping out of the tub before he fell on said a$$. "Is there anyone out there?" he asked, looking around for something he could use to hide the one appendage he'd rather reserve for her eyes alone. Haha! A washcloth. It was just the right size. Almost. He grabbed hold of that and used it in place of a towel, looking a little like Michaelangelo's David with a makeshift fig leaf.

It didn't help that the washcloth had definitely seen better days, the faded remnants of bright pink hearts still visible between his fingers as he covered himself. Nim couldn't resist; she looked him up and down and burst out laughing, pulling the door open to reveal Ellen just about to knock. The older woman smiled indulgently down at the giggling blonde, before her gaze slid across to Dean. She held the silence for a long moment, a slow smile crossing her lips as she drawled. "You want I should find you a ribbon to tie that up in a bow with, sweetie?"

Dean hadn't noticed the faded pink hearts on the front of the washcloth, which was now about the only thing covering a part of his anatomy that Ellen had rarely, if ever, seen, and then, only by accident, even as a boy. Shyness wasn't a trait that suited Dean well, and though Ellen was the last person he wanted to catch him in birthday suit, he just couldn't help but respond to her question with his usual aplomb. "Not unless you want to hold it while I tie the knot."

"Wouldn't be the first time," the older woman countered in amusement, reaching out to take the armful of wet clothing and footwear from Nim's arms. She looked Dean up and down with a grin. "Or would you rather I shut my eyes while you streak next door?" Leaning against the door, one hand tucked securely to hold the towel in place around herself, Nim watched the banter skip back and forth between Dean and Ellen, each interaction she was privy to relaxing her more in the older woman's presence. She turned a curious smile onto Dean, waiting for his answer to Ellen's query.

"I'd rather you got me a towel, but if you insist on staring, I may have to charge for the show," he countered with a smirk, not moving from the spot and once more dripping on the floor, this time from the shower, rather than the hose. If he stood there naked in the hallway much longer, he was going to start shivering.

"The hell's going on up there?" a raspy voice called from the bottom of the stairs. "Hot water's gone again."

Dean winced at the accusation in Bobby's voice, really not wanting him to catch him in his altogether. He'd never live it down. "Sh*t," he muttered. "Gotta go!" And off he dashed toward the bedroom, clutching that pink scrap of cloth over his unmentionables.

Ellen's laughter rang in his ears as he made a dash for it, the older woman stepping back just in time to avoid being knocked over by the streaking hunter. Both Ellen and Nim watched his backside as he skidded into the bedroom, exchanging a laughing look. "I'd get in there with him before Bobby gets up here, if I were you," the older woman suggested, turning to lean over the edge of the bannister to call down to her husband. "What're you needing hot water for this time of day?"

Nim gave her a grateful look, clutching the brief towel tighter about herself as she made her way with considerably more dignity to the bedroom. She didn't really want Bobby to catch her barely covered, either, after all.

"You want me to wash my hands after I take a leak or not?" Bobby called back, grumbling to himself something about idjits before stomping off back to the study. Dean made a pretty quick dash to the bedroom, not wanting Bobby to catch sight of his naked backside and making a mental note to remind Ellen to try knocking next time.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 09:21:23 AM »
"What, is cold water gonna kill ya?" Ellen was audible saying as Nim slipped into the bedroom, giggling at the back and forth between husband and wife. She closed the door behind herself firmly, wondering if she should wedge a chair under the handle as well, dark eyes lifting to Dean in all his glory. "God, I hope we end up like them."

"Old and crotchety?" Dean asked, eyes searching the room for a towel and not finding one. Okay, Ellen wasn't crotchety, but Bobby was definitely a grumpy old man. "You should have seen him back home. He..." Dean broke off, realizing back home, Bobby was dead. As was Jo and Ellen and Rufus and Bill and however many others he hadn't taken count of yet. "She's good for him," he continued. "They're good for each other." He turned around, feeling a mix of embarrassment at his predicament and affection for those who had taken him in and accepted him like he was the same old Dean they'd always known and loved.

"They're good for you, too," Nim pointed out fondly, finally choosing to go with the evidence of the household thus far and wedge that chair securely under the door handle. It wasn't a lock, but it would do. "You did look awesome running away, though," she added with a laugh, loosing the small towel from about herself to squeeze the water from her hair with it, beautifully immodest when his were the only eyes that would see her.

"Yeah, well, I hope you got a good look because I'm usually running toward danger, not away from it," he remarked, half serious, half joking. He wondered if he should start toweling off with the wash cloth, but figured it wouldn't get him very far. Instead, his eyes wandered over the lovely sight that had just been uncovered in front of him, and suddenly that washcloth was inadequate in size to cover his obvious interest. "Oh, hell..." He threw the pink heart-covered cloth aside and scooped her up in his arm to toss her back onto the bed with a low growl.

His sudden lunge toward her was punctuated by a loud shriek of a laugh as the towel went flying, her body sprawling over the freshly changed covers in a lewd display for his eyes only as she grinned up at him. "Coming over all caveman on me now, Deano?" she asked him playfully, though the husk in her voice matched the rippling tingle of flushing arousal that bled through her body under his gaze, sweeping delicate pink over her skin as she arched up onto her elbow, reaching a hand toward him.

No doubt Bobby and company heard the shriek all the way downstairs, but thankfully, no one came running to find out if anything was wrong, assuming the young couple was just feeling frisky. "Not coming yet, but I foresee it in my near future," he teased with a naughty smirk. He covered her body with his, his mouth greedily plundering hers.

Pinned back beneath him, hair and skin dampening the sheets that were already beginning to crumple under them, Nim laughed into the kiss, the sound swift to fade away into a tender moan as her arms rose to loop about him for a moment. But for all her seeming submission, she was still in a playful mood, enjoying the back and forth teasing and wrestling they had shared in the yard too much to let it go entirely just yet. She arched up beneath him, gasping softly at the sure, snug fit of her body to his even as she pushed, seeking to roll him onto his back. Her lips curved in a teasing smirk even as he ravished her mouth with kisses, as much caressing him with those roaming hands as attempting to turn him beneath her.

As much as he wanted her - had wanted her ever since they'd been teasing each other in the yard - he gave way to her nudging, rolling to his back, his arms going around her to pull her along with him. Once he was on his back, his hands moved over her, caressing her, stroking her, teasing her to arousal, memorizing every gentle hill and valley that made up the lush curves that could only belong to his Nimue.

Drawn over to straddle him in a laughing, loving tangle of limbs, she shivered under the possessive caress of his hands, distracted almost entirely from her own intentions by the sheer purpose in his touch, each passing caress rousing her to higher breathless desire. Her hands caught his, drawing them from her skin to pin him down in token gesture, his hands against the sheets above his head, leaning down to share her shuddering, longing breath with him in a kiss that teased her as much as him. Her body rocked over his, inciting them both to passion no matter how playful.

Not one known for submissiveness, he surrendered himself to her, putting complete trust in her, allowing her to take the lead and do with him what she would. He groaned against her lips, his fingers tangling with hers, devouring her kisses. Each rock of her body against his only made him want her more, shuddering with desire as she teased him with agonized pleasure. This was a different kind of torment, a torment he equally could barely stand but wanted to go on forever.

The kind of torment she wanted him to embrace without fear of himself or her. Slowly but surely, she was teaching him the difference between the torture of passion that would always find its reward, and the torture he had suffered in other ways, the torture she hoped he never experienced again. This was something he needed to know, and something she was glad to be able to teach, despite her own lack of experience when compared with him. Though every nerve in her body screamed at her to make an end of this torment passing between them, she steeled her will, still trading kisses, still shuddering as her skin brushed his, as they traded the intimate heat of one another, always pushing until one or the other of them broke through to demand what would never be denied to them.

There was a strange sort of freedom, of abandon, in being allowed, encouraged, forced even, to relinquish control, to allow her to do whatever she wished without worry or hesitation. It was strangely seductive to know that she loved him so much that she wanted to help him overcome the fears that had been plaguing him for so long, that she wanted him so much that she was willing to make this effort and take this chance, knowing he might not be ready. But he was ready, more than ready to make this leap of faith. Perhaps he'd never be able to go farther than this, but in that moment he put complete faith and trust in her, knowing she would never willingly hurt him, only love and care for him.

Breathless and eager, it was Nim who found she couldn't endure much more of her own teasing, something inside weakening as she felt him soften beneath her, handing her his weakness in a way that she could only see as a strength. Her lips broke from his with a staggered gasp, hands slowly untangling from his grasp, one to fall against the sheets above his head, bracing herself against the shuddering promise of more as the other hand trailed her fingers down over his skin to align their flesh, never once ceasing in that intoxicating rock and slide of her body over his own. "Oh god, baby ..." Her forehead fell to his shoulder as she took him slowly into her, prolonging the torture just that little bit further with her utter lack of urgency.

Countless times he'd heard those very words from some woman he was bedding, whether he had feelings for her or not, but this time, it was as if he was hearing them for the very first time, all the other women forgotten, paling in comparison to her. In the past, he might have used those words to tease and make an awkward joke, but not here, not now, not with her. For once in his life, he understood what those words meant, how they weren't just words spoken in the mindless heat of passion, but they were a lover's entreaty, pleading for more, even as they both craved release. But it was his turn now, and his arms found their way around her and rolled her easily onto her back, their bodies still locked together in a lover's embrace.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 09:23:11 AM »
His lips found that vulnerable place on her neck that always made her swoon and shudder, his hands trailing soft caresses over her body, as his body covered hers once again. He slowly filled her emptiness with his own aching need, hips rocking excruciatingly slowly against hers as he drove himself deeper, slowly, gently, with the utmost restraint that was a kind of torture in itself. He groaned again as he buried himself in her exquisite warmth, his mouth taking hers in a searing kiss that promised more to come.

It was her turn to lie still and easy as he took back the control he'd given her with only the barest of protest, and yet that was the one thing she could not do any longer. Even caught as she was between the easy give of the mattress at her back and the firm hardness of his body over hers, she still sought to move with him, finally giving in to that urge to moan and cry out, however softly, sharing her pleasure with the heavy intimacy of the silence they had cultivated all around them. Even when her lips were caught, her moans swallowed in his kisses, she still moaned for him, feeling the slow, inexorable pulsation of her body begin its rise toward completition far too soon.

Perhaps he wasn't quite ready to give up control just yet, or perhaps he was merely too far gone in his wanting to endure the torment any longer. He wanted her, and he wanted her now, but he also wanted to take her to the pinnacle of pleasure, to claim her completely so that she would only ever want him and no one else. "Nim..." he whispered, having a hard time holding himself back, wanting to lose himself in careless abandon. He took his cues from her, her moans encouraging him forward, his lips lingering against hers, smothering her kisses, breath mingled as their bodies moved as one toward the same goal.

Slow and steady wins the race, perhaps, but there was no sense of competition between them as their own slow and steady became ragged and without rhythm. Each breath that escaped her throat grew more and more staggered, louder, sounding more vulnerable in the imminent throes of passionate release with each moment that passed. This wasn't about a release of tension anymore, it wasn't a playful test of his stamina or her endurance. She couldn't have said what it was, only that some part of her never wanted it to end. Her name on his lips was heaven to her ears, and finally she let go, crying out with heedless abandon of her own as her release flooded through her, reverberating to him as she shuddered and writhed beneath him, lost to the exquisite agony of knowing herself to be entirely his, come hell or high water.

He felt her surrender beneath him, knowing without asking that she had finally lost herself to the inevitable release that was their final goal, and he, too, gave in, letting himself go, letting the heat of the moment overcome him, as well. He shuddered against her, unable to hold himself back any longer, their bodies crashing together as one as his own release overtook him. Lost in her embrace, lost in her kisses, his heart belonged to her and her alone. He had offered himself to her, even as he had claimed her for his own. This wasn't just about appeasing the hunger of the flesh; it was about two lost souls finding the other as their hearts opened to the love that flowed between them, and their bodies joined as one.

Time seemed to stand still for them as that glorious reward for their patience with one another washed over them, sealing the unspoken promises they had made all over again in the thunderous beat of two hearts in joy and intimate affection. Who cared if they'd made enough noise to bring the house down? There was freedom in belonging and Nim was only too happy to sink into that sense of being a part of something more than herself, regardless of who else might hear her in the grip of the pleasure that came with it. But slowly, the sensation began to fade, and she finally sank back against the bed, her limbs heavy with lazy satisfaction as she smiled up at Dean.

There was a lazy sleepiness that accompanied the sensation of physical satisfaction, and he rolled to his side, taking her with him as he collapsed against the bed, either heedless or unaware that they'd made enough noise that the entire household would know what they'd been up to. The physical pleasure slowly faded, leaving him feeling relaxed and content and utterly satisfied, at least, for now. He smiled warmly as he slid his fingers through her hair, pushing it away from her face, sighing contently. "You're amazing," he told her quietly, green eyes warm with undisguised adoration.

Tangled up in him, Nim nestled close on her side, gently touching the tip of her nose to his as she sighed in absolute contentment. There really was nothing better than simply being with Dean, in her opinion. She didn't even wince when his fingers pushed through the knotted dampness of her hair, too comfortable to be bothered to acknowledge the slight pain in the motion. "I don't think so," she admitted through her luxuriant smile, her own fingertips tracing the outline of the tattoo on his chest once again. "But it's not my opinion that matters, is it?"

He mirrored her smile with a gentle one of his own, obvious adoration burning in his eyes, setting them alight with life, where they had once been dead and desolate. "Don't argue," he told her as she affectionately touched her nose to his. "I'm willing to bet everyone downstairs would agree with me." After all, she'd given him a new lease on life and a reason to live. All he had to do was not make the same mistakes his future self had made.

She snorted with derisive laughter, rolling her eyes with gently sardonic cynicism. Her sense of play had returned, making itself known in the impish turn of her smile even as she refuted his insistence. "I doubt it," she giggled softly. "You're the amazing one in this bed. You put me back together again when no one else could. That's pretty amazing."

"Put you back together again?" he echoed, looking somewhat amazed at her reply. "You really have no idea, do you?" he asked, wondering if she had any idea how close he'd come to giving up, how full of despair he'd been when he'd first arrived here, how he'd almost wished death would just come claim him and let him be at peace, until she'd saved him and given him a reason to live again.

"Uh ..." Nim wavered on the edge of laughter once again, willing herself not to snicker in the face of his stunned expression. She had a feeling he wasn't quite ready for her to be making jokes about her lack of memory, though in truth it mattered very little to her these days. In the weeks and months since Dean had slipped into this reality, she'd come to accept that not knowing about her past meant nothing in the face of having a future so very secure in the company of the man who made her feel whole. "There's a lot of things I have no idea about, baby, you're gonna have to get specific."

"It doesn't matter," he replied, not wanting to fill her head with the tragedy of the past, of things that couldn't be changed and that, in a way, no longer mattered. His past would always be a part of him, and it was something he didn't want to forget, but it no longer held any bearing on his life. He had a new life now, and in a way, he almost envied the Dean whose place he'd taken. That Dean had had a family and a place to call home, but that Dean was gone now, and this Dean was making a new life for himself in his place. "None of it matters, Nim. You've given me a reason to live again. That's all that matters." That said it all; there was no other explanation necessary. He brushed a tender kiss against her lips, as if to prove his words.
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]

Jo Winchester

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Re: A Moment To Breathe (AU)
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 09:27:27 AM »
Her quiet objection that it did matter, because it mattered to him, was overwhelmed by his tenderness, her fingers curling to his cheek in a sweetly fond caress as she answered his kiss with her own. And yet she hesitated to tell him the significant step she had taken in the past days, the step he had assumed had already been taken without discussion when they had first become lovers. Did he really need to know that there was no more impediment to her conceiving his child, or would it be kinder to leave that news for when it truly happened? She didn't know; it wasn't a secret, but simply a piece of information, after all, and there was something else pressing on her mind, something she needed to be certain of.

"Dean," she murmured softly, stroking her fingers against his cheek. "Are you sure, absolutely sure deep down, that you don't want to know your sister?"

His frown betrayed his feelings on the matter. Of course, he wanted to know his sister - the only person left who shared his bloodline, who was connected to him through flesh and blood and not just some quirk of fate, who shared a father and a brother, and who had once known a version of himself who'd sacrificed his own life to save the world from destruction. But was it selfish to want to know her, to put her in harm's way just so that he could add her to the growing list of people he considered family? He didn't pull away from Nim's touch when she asked him the question, unable to lie to her any more than he could lie to Ellen.

"It's not that," he started, feeling the old familiar weight of responsibility settle upon his shoulders again. If he made just one wrong decision, one wrong choice, it could prove disastrous for those he loved, just as it had for the Dean of the future. "I don't think I could live with myself if anything happened to her because of me."

Nim nodded slowly. She understood his reservations, of course she did. But at the same time, she didn't like the idea that there was someone out there who had such a strong claim to being a part of their family and yet was completely unaware that they even existed. "Don't you think she deserves to have a say in that decision?" she asked softly, totally unaware that only an hour before Ellen had been speaking to the girl in question, following a very similar discussion with Bobby. "She doesn't have anyone anymore. No one but you."

"She thinks I'm dead, Nim. What's she going to say when she learns I'm not? I'm not her brother. Not really. He was." It was almost the same reasoning he'd used with regard to Bobby and Ellen, but mostly to Ellen. He'd been too overjoyed to have Bobby back to think much about whether he was the Dean this Bobby had known or not, but Ellen had taken him entirely by surprise. "What the hell am I supposed to say to her?"

She smiled gently, lifting her head to prop up on her hand as she looked down at him. "Who says you have to say anything?" she asked him quietly. "She deserves to know, Dean. You really think she's gonna care that you're not the Dean from around here? No one else does. And ..." Nim sighed softly, uncertain if he was going to take what she said next in the spirit in which it was intended. "It's not really about you," she told him. "Ayden, wherever she is ... she thinks she's all alone in the world, and that's a lie. I know you; you'd go running to her if there was even a chance she was in danger, for no other reason but that she's family. She has a right to know that."

He was just starting to adjust to the thought of being part of the extended, ragtag family that was made up of Bobby and Ellen and Nimue and Brian and Bill when they wanted to throw Ayden at him, too. She was only one more, but deep down, he was more terrified of her than all the others. What if he disappointed her? What if he couldn't be who she expected or wanted him to be? And yet, he'd brought back his own journal from the future and read it and knew his fears were unwarranted. She'd accept him, all right, and ended up dying because of him. A minute ago, he'd felt calm and content, and now, with the mere mention of his sister, he felt the old restless worries nagging at him again. His frown deepened, and he rolled away from her to his feet, snatching up a pair of discarded jeans off the floor. Two steps forward, five steps back.

"Dammit, I knew I should have kept my mouth shut." Nim rolled over onto her back with a thump as Dean rose from the bed, passing a hand over her brow with a faint grimace. "I'm sorry," she apologised softly, pushing herself to sit up with a shake of her head. So much for the easy afternoon.

"It's not you," he assured her as he pulled his jeans on. It wasn't her at all, and he didn't want her to think it was. She meant more to him than he could say, more than life itself. He wasn't angry with her, but he needed time to sort it out in his head. He grabbed a t-shirt from the same pile of clothes and pulled it on over his head. "I'm just gonna get some air, okay? I just need some time to think."

Dark eyes looked up at him with weary apology, guilt flaring in the fond depths for introducing a subject that clearly ate at him painfully into their lazy contentment. But she knew when he really needed that quiet time to make sense of what was running through his head, and this was one of those times. "Okay," she agreed softly. "Just ... don't stay alone too long, all right? You can't change the world thinkin' about it."

He sank down on the bed long enough to pull on socks and boots, his eyes focused on the task, not daring to look over at her, knowing he was hurting her by walking away, if only temporarily. But he wasn't going anywhere, not really. He was just feeling restless and needed to be alone for a while. Or so he thought. "I gotta change something, Nim, or it's all gonna go to hell." He chanced a glance over at her when he said that, his expression softening. He was doing this for her, for their child, for his sister, for everyone.

She hadn't looked away as he spoke, wrapped up in a sheet, her expression gentle despite the hurt in her eyes that he couldn't yet share everything that plagued him. "We'll change things," she promised him in a quiet voice, daring to touch her hand to his back. "I swear, Dean, we won't let the world go to hell. We know what we need to change, and we'll do it. But you can't hold everyone at arms' length until it happens. It'll kill you."

Her touch seemed to calm him a little, ease the heartache and the worries enough so that he could carry the burden. He wasn't holding her at arms' length, at least, but the jovial mood of earlier and the calm contentedness he'd felt a few moments ago were gone in the light of the reality and what lay ahead. He still remembered something the Nim of the future had told him and wasn't sure if it really was wise to share his troubles with her. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't; either way would cause her pain. But she needed to understand, that despite everything, she made life worth living. "I love you," he told her quietly, as he reached to take her hand and leave her with a kiss.

"I know," she murmured quietly, soft acceptance of the words he'd found so hard to say only a few weeks before. Her cheek touched his shoulder briefly, tenderly affectionate without asking for anything in return. Some things he had to work through on his own, one way or another. But for everything else, she was right here, and she would be thrice damned if anything was going to stop her from staying right here until the end of days.

He pressed a kiss to the back of her hand before moving to his feet and starting toward the door. He wasn't going anywhere. Not really. There was nowhere to go, after all. "I won't be long," he promised, turning to move the chair away from the door and step out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him. He took a deep breath, once he was alone in the hallway and shoved a hand through his hair, torn between the desire to stay and the need to go. If he was lucky, he'd be able to get outside before anyone noticed and be alone with his thoughts for a while.

He was lucky. A hunter learned early on when not to intrude on another hunter's thoughts, and even this tight-knit household could tell when their opinions and advice were not warranted. Curious eyes watched him pass into the yard, but no further, minds and bodies returning to the tasks already appointed to themselves. If he wanted or needed to talk to anyone, he would seek them out. Until then, the best they could give him was time and space and ready ears to listen when he was prepared. Like family.

[size=9]((I bet you thought we'd forgotten about the present day, didn't you? How could we forget these guys? They're awesome, just like Dean's player is!))[/size]
[img:e7ee19851d]http://i.imgur.com/tqFhSGE.gif[/img:e7ee19851d]
[size=9:e7ee19851d][color=darkblue:e7ee19851d][i:e7ee19851d][b:e7ee19851d]Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.[/b:e7ee19851d][/i:e7ee19851d][/color:e7ee19851d][/size:e7ee19851d]