I’d like to revisit a twitterfic I wrote back in May about Moderately Well Off Businessman Derek Hale, who walks by the same set of panhandlers every day because he always gets focused on the stresses of his job and forgets to try a different route.
He’s had a soft heart since he was a kid; he always rescued wounded baby animals in the forest and tried to patch them up, much to his mother’s dismay. So he can’t say NO when the lady on the corner tells him she can’t feed her twelve children and the man next to her hears the exchange, sees Derek pulling out cash, and counters with his fifteen children. It seems like a lot, but Derek came from a pretty big family - all the dozen plus kids constantly running around the Hale property might not have been his mom’s, but they were related to him and a part of his childhood that he misses.
That nostalgia - it’s lonely in the city, so far away from the Hale House in woodsy Beacon Hills - leads him to pull more bills out of his wallet, asking the kids’ names and listening politely to the man’s stories. It also leads to others in the area catching wind of his generosity and taking advantage of it. Some are much younger, so they don’t have kids of their own, but they inevitably have ailing parents or grandparents or aunts, or younger siblings back home who can’t even afford to eat cereal. The mere thought of that twists something up inside of Derek, and he passes over an extra few bills and tells them to buy something sugary and fun, too, like Lucky Charms.
Time passes, and all these devoted, destitute families are steadily draining his pocketbook. To be entirely honest, Derek’s starting to get a little antsy about it, but he can’t stop now…not when they all rely on him, and gosh, he doesn’t lead a terribly lavish life, so he doesn’t really need all this money. It’s what he keeps telling himself every time he hesitates while reaching into his battered old bag, which Laura had given him when he’d moved to the city. “For all your important papers,” she’d said, looking as teary-eyed as his mom, which had made him feel awkward and sad until she’d punched him on the shoulder and everything shifted back to normal.
He talks to her, still; he talks to all his family, and sometimes he wonders why he’s staying here, earning a paycheck he doesn’t care that much about. He doesn’t talk about that during the calls, though, or about the emptiness he has to tamp down each time he hangs up. He’s got a decent life, as things go, and he sees his family on holidays, and so what if he doesn’t really have time to date? He has other interests. There’s no reason for him to feel lonely.
Grif and Simmons are on their way back to the New Republic’s base from a supply run, and Grif is beginning to regret letting Simmons drive the Warthog. Simmons is driving so slow, Grif would almost—almost—rather get out and walk.
The garage was deadly silent as you stared at Dean, mouth
slightly agape. Did he just say …? Was he really …?
“Please,” he begged in a whisper. “Say something.”
You swallowed. “Dean, I … Well, that was not what I expected
to hear from you anytime soon.”
“I shouldn’t have said it,” Dean sighed, dropping his hands
away from you, running one through his hair. “Y/N, I’m sorry. I just – I couldn’t
hold it back any longer.”
“And I wouldn’t want you to,” you assured quickly. “Listen to
me. I’m so close. My heart is bursting with everything I feel for you. You’ve
done nothing the whole time we’ve been together but encourage me and support
me. I’m so afraid that if I don’t say it right now, you’ll leave. But I want you
to know I feel it, Dean, I do. Saying it though … that feels like a different
mountain to climb. Please, don’t walk away. I know I’ve been a step behind you
since the beginning, but just let me catch up, please.”
Dean frowned, and you feared the worst. “Did you not hear what
I said? I’m in love with you, pretty
girl.There is no walking away for
me. I’ll stand here for the rest of my life and wait for you to catch up, if I
have to. Everything you’ve done for me this weekend … the car, showing me the
garage … all of it. I can see how you feel in your actions. Obviously I want to
hear the words at some point, but I know you’ll get there. As long as you’re
not panicking about me saying it, I’m good.”
You couldn’t help but giggle as you went up on tiptoe to kiss
Dinner was, of course, delicious. Meals at Mary’s house never
disappointed. Dean raved on about the Trans Am and the garage. He squeezed your
hand tight when he finished telling about it.
“I think you’ve found a keeper,” Mary smiled, winking at you. “Mom
votes yes, anyway.”
You blushed. “Well, thanks. Here, I’ll help you clean up.”
“Me, too,” Jess offered.
“You can talk with us, but you rest. That baby’s going to wear
you out before it’s even here, so you keep up your energy while you can,” Mary
The three of you shuffled back and forth between the dining
room and the kitchen, cleaning up supper while Dean and Sam made small talk in
front of the TV. When the leftovers were put away and dishes loaded into the
washer, Mary put a few candles in a pecan pie, and brought it out to the coffee
table while singing ‘Happy Birthday’. You followed with a few mugs of coffee,
and Jess brought the dessert plates and forks.
Dean grinned around a large bite of pie after he was served
the first piece. “Mom, this is amazing. My two favorite ladies, spoiling me
like none other tonight.”
You kissed his cheek before helping yourself to a piece of pie
and a mug of coffee. Once all of that was cleaned up, you and Dean excused
yourselves for the evening. Once loaded into his truck, you scooted over to the
middle of the bench seat and nuzzled against his neck.
“Stay with me tonight,” you pleaded. “We’re both off tomorrow.”
Dean chuckled. “Haven’t you had enough of me?”
That was all it took to convince him. He put an arm around
you, holding you close during the drive first to his house, then yours. Once in
your driveway, he toted his bag up to the porch while you unlocked the door and
turned the lights on.
“It’s freezing in here!” Dean declared, rushing for the
bedroom. “What the hell?”
You winced. “I turned the heater off before I left … Maybe I should
have just turned it down.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Dean chuckled.
“At least I’ll have you here to keep me warm until the heater
Dean smiled as he changed into sweats and a t-shirt. You opted
for boyshorts and one of Dean’s t-shirts you had managed to keep at your place.
It wasn’t too late, but the two of you were beat from the weekend. You turned
on the television in your room, set the timer for it to shut off, and snuggled
up next to your boyfriend. Dean kissed your forehead and thanked you again for
a really great weekend.
“I hope you thanked Jess and Sam as much as you’re thanking
me,” you answered. “They rented the cabin, you know.”
“I know, and I’m definitely grateful to them, too,” Dean
assured. “But you’re here now. So I can tell you now.”
“Fair enough.” You took a deep breath. “I like this. Beginning
and ending my day with you. It’s perfect.”
Dean gave you a half-smile. “When you say things like that –
that’s why I don’t need you to say the other thing back, Y/N. But it’s also why
I couldn’t wait to tell you. Even if you’re not next to me, every day for me
begins and ends with you. You’re pretty frequently in that middle part, too.
You’re everything, and you have been for going on seven weeks.”
You took a deep breath. “How did I get so lucky?”
Dean shook his head. “No, that’s not it. Pretty sure I’m
quoting a movie when I say this, but we’re both blessed. We got each other. And
no matter what happens in the future, I know we’re always going to have each
other. Let me tell you one more thing about what I said earlier, then I’ll let
you go to sleep.”
“When we were at the cabin and things got heated, we said that
we wanted to be in love before sex came into play. I want to be very clear that
me telling you I love you has nothing to do with that. The timing is coincidence,
is all. If we want another ten years, so be it.” You made a face, and Dean
chuckled. “Okay, maybe not ten years. But you know what I mean. I just want you
next to me. That’s all.”
You leaned up a little more to kiss him. “Like I said earlier,
Sparky. I’ll never get enough of you. I’m here, next to you, for as long as you’ll
have me. You’re the only one I want.”
Dean smiled and kissed you again. “Then I guess I should
cancel the plans I had with Caitlin next week.”
“Jess’s sister-in-law?” you frowned.
“The girl from the shop,” Dean laughed. “I didn’t even think
about them having the same name.”
You pinched him in the side for that one; he responded by
tickling you until you begged for mercy. When he finally gave it up, you were
on your back and he was smiling down at you, hovering over your body.
“Would you really consider dating her again?”
“First of all, I never dated her. We went on one date, and I
took her to mom’s once. That’s it,” Dean reminded you. “And, to answer your
question, absolutely not. I wouldn’t dream of breaking your heart in anyway,
pretty girl. I’ll say it this once more because it’s still my birthday so I’m
allowed, then I’ll drop it until you’re ready to hear it again: you’re it for
me. I love you. That’s all I need to know.”
As Dean’s lips met yours for what was probably the
five-hundredth time but still felt like the first time, you knew that somehow,
that was all you needed to know, too.
Every time she see’s her kids happy, being cute and just having a good time… it just makes her remember that she can’t make sure they’re going to be happy forever; and that she can’t stop them from fighting the war that they’re a part of….