“Looking back on it, I can pinpoint exactly when I started to feel that romance wasn’t worth the hassle. It began the day that she went away.” Dean glanced out at the sea of faces, crammed into the chapel. All of them had been touched by Catalina in different ways, and he could see the pain that people felt at the idea that they were never going to see her again. He recalled a similar pain, a pain that at the time was one of the toughest things he had ever dealt with. But now he knew that he would willingly go through that, for the rest of his life, if it just meant that she would still be in the world.
“Do you have to go?” Dean Winchester asked as he inhaled the soft citrus scent of Catalina Swan’s hair, the scent mingling with the smell of the trees surrounding them. Catalina tore her gaze away from the faint red streaks painting the sky as the sun rose, she shifted to meet Dean’s gaze.
“I’m afraid so.” She felt the same way as he did at the prospect of her going to England. “Anna’s threatened to drop out if I don’t.” She had wondered at her half sister’s sudden dislike of the Scottish boarding school, considering that she had been attending it for the last six years.
Dean sighed, frustrated “Why can’t she come back to Lawrence?” He didn’t want to lose his best friend. The Swans were the most normal family he knew and had provided a stable place for him and his brother to return to, in between hunts with their father.
“I don’t know. Dad says she needs to be at that school.” Catalina sighed, running one hand through her already mussed hair. Then she realised that she still had a gift for him, “I got you something,” she dug through the khaki bag sitting at her side to produce a mobile phone.
“What’s this?” Dean hadn’t been expecting her to get him anything.
“A cell phone,” she felt self conscious suddenly, as Dean just stared at her, not accepting the phone. “I thought it would help us stay in touch, while you, Sam and your dad are on the road. It’s on a contract,” She proffered it again.
Dean took it from her, examining it briefly. “So you got your number in this thing?” he raised his eyes to meet hers.
“Yeah, just hit one.” She laughed; “Cos I’m number one!” she raised one finger, a smile curving her lips.
He took her hand, squeezing lightly in thanks. The touch sent shivers through them both, and their gazes locked. “Thanks Roo,” Dean didn’t dare think that she felt the same way about him, his deep rooted insecurities kicking in as he studied her delicate features.
“You’re welcome Robin,” Catalina was aching to kiss him, but a small voice inside her stopped her. The two sat in silence, holding hands as the sun rose over the lake.
The golden pool of light coating their faces didn’t fill Catalina with the normal happiness, as she knew it meant she had to leave. A stab of pain struck her gut, and she shifted against the rough stone. “I’m gonna miss you,” she confessed, feeling ridiculously girly even as she spoke.
“I’m gonna miss you too,” Dean kept his gaze fixed on the placid waters of the lake, as he felt slightly stupid for confessing his feelings. Unconsciously he rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand, surprised by the increased shivers coursing through him.
She smiled, turning to face him; their faces were merely inches apart. He relaxed, when he saw the love glistening in her easy to read eyes, and leaned in to kiss her. Their lips had barely touched when her phone rang, he was startled by the tinny sound of Papa don’t preach spilling from inside her bag. “Damnit!” She recognised the ring tone instantly as being that of her father and knew that she would have to go. She was aware that ignoring it would just mean that her dad was likely to turn up.
She stood slowly, picking up her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. Dean stood in unison with her, and the two walked hand in hand to her car, parked a few feet away in a clearing.
He kissed her one last time, his hands cupping her cheeks as he endeavoured to savour the sensation of her soft lips against his chapped ones. She let out a gasp as she felt the cool bite of his belt buckle against her bare stomach, when her top rode up a little. “I’ll see you soon Robin, I promise.” She murmured against his lips when they broke apart. He nodded numbly, and watched as she climbed into her car. He didn’t leave the clearing until her car had vanished around the bend.