It had been months since the last time Dean saw Willow in that junkyard. Sam and Dawn had spent the better part of a month searching for his baby, but there had been no progress. The closest they’d gotten was re-locating the steering wheel Dawn had already found. It all just seemed so hopeless and depressing that Dean had just given up. Truth be told, he had secretly finished his mourning period weeks ago.
He’d known his whole life that sooner or later she’d go – it was inevitable in his line of work and he said his goodbyes to her before the start of every mission.
As a result, he’d graciously accepted the use of a council company car and he’d driven away with only one duffel bag at his side. He’d left Sam sitting in the library in nerd heaven and he’d just driven off into the sunset alone.
He’d forgiven Sam for the most part, he just wanted to get away. He knew he’d left Sam in good hands. And besides, every so often he’d see blonde locks ducking away from him or glimpse a man with an eye patch suspiciously following him and he knew that he was in pretty good hands too.
He’d actually been on his way back when it happened. He’d just checked out of the Sunrise Motel and was still half asleep when he reached the car. He grunted a hello to Buffy Summers, who was perched on the hood. If it had been his baby, he would have thrown her off in an instant, but this wasn’t his car and he already knew that when she rode in the front seat the seatbelt light didn’t blink on so he didn’t really think her weight could do any damage.
Dean grunted again and gestured to the doors. In one fluid motion, Buffy was off the hood and in the passenger seat. “Your clock ticked.”
At Dean’s quirked eyebrow she shrugged and continued on. “Willow keeps track. Don’t ask me how it works. All I know is that you’re a year older as of yesterday. Turn here.”
Dean followed her directions until he exited on the interstate. “So where to?”
“Dawn’s house. Her and Faith found you a present I really think you’ll like. Well actually Faith bought off a demon. Well actually we killed the demon and Faith just kind of took it. But all the same, it’s for you.”
Sam greeted them when Dean pulled up to the house. He was smiling broadly and he hugged both Dean and Buffy when they stepped out. He grabbed Dean’s arm and all but manhandled him towards the back of the house.
The fifth time Dean Winchester saw Willow Rosenberg, she was speeding towards him and speaking a mile a minute. “I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out until now. I mean, Sam told me you warded your car but I didn’t even think that you’d warded it from being tracked. And you! You didn’t even tell me what you did. I mean if you had from the beginning I probably could have found it way faster but it’s okay because Sam remembered most of what you did and then I used your steering wheel to pull off the wards – nice job on those by the way. Some of those are really old and you layered them really well. I had to take them off one at a time and believe me it took forever.”
Buffy coughed here and Willow flushed a bright red and squeaked out an apology. “Anyways, voila! Buffy found it and then Faith killed the demon and then we had to clean off all the demon guts because Faith isn’t exactly the most delicate-”
But Dean had stopped listening after he’d heard the word ‘tracked.’ He pushed past her and ran his hands over his baby the way he’d been trained from birth to do. He was aware that Dawn was talking now – explaining how his car had been traded among chop shops and then finally to a clan of demons that ate metal. He knew that everyone was looking at him and he was trying not to embarrass himself too badly but all he wanted to do was take his car apart and put her back together with his own two hands.
So he turned his vision on Dawn first, grabbing her up with a squeak of protest. Faith backed away slowly and Buffy let herself be hugged with a carefully hidden grimace and Sam smiled broadly and Willow looked on silently. Willow! Dean had to admit he’d been wary of her when he’d first met her. Then as he’d gotten to know her, he’d become slightly afraid of her. Now, his heart was filled with joy and love for the witch.
He threw his arms around her uncharacteristically, grabbed her face in his hands, and kissed her on the lips.
Would you look at that! The car's fine, everybody's happy, and a nice fluffy ending all around!