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 It's Not Okay, Tag: Dean
Jo Harvelle
Posted: Apr 18 2012, 07:45 PM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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Date: August 27th, 2012
City: Creta
State: Oklahoma
Synopsis: Dean and Jo have an argument about what she needs to tell Ellen.


Jo kept waiting for the nightmare to really stop. She'd been pulled out out of that torture bunker three days ago and in that regard it was. But part of her didn't really believe it was ever going to really end. The first day, she'd been afraid to close her eyes, for fear that when she opened them again she'd be back there. It wouldn't be the first psychotropic dream Valko would have induced, nor the first time she tried to be somewhere, anywhere, else in her mind while on his table.

She was convinced it was real now, of course, and that they had been saved. But that didn't put an end to her fear. He was still out there, and that haunted her. She wouldn't feel safe until he was dead and she burned his bones herself.

Jo knew she was making Ellen worry, and that wasn't what she wanted. Not after the complete shit month they'd had as a family. But she couldn't just be alright again. So she had started faking it; trying to not look as traumatized as she was, adopting Dean's method of dealing, and generally only freaking out in private.

Not that she and Dean were ever left completely alone these days. Sam and Ellen were hovering. Jo knew that it was a mixture of being afraid to lose them and worrying about how they were handling what had happened to them, but it was a little unnerving. Or that could just be the raging paranoia and skittishness talking.

Everyone was sleeping now. Or, well, everyone except her and probably Dean. Though she didn't like sleeping still, it wasn't for the same reason as it was at first. Jo dreamed when she slept; dark, twisted dreams that made her feel worse when she woke. That was one reason she'd started sleeping outside. The first night, she'd woken up from one of those dreams to find herself in one of Eddie's bunks and had woken the others screaming because she'd thought she was still trapped in the dark. Out here she could see the sky and the stars and knew immediately when she woke up terrified that she had been dreaming.

She and Dean weren't talking, but she could tell from the sound of his breathing that he wasn't sleeping either. It was a little crazy, how she'd spending just a week shut up with him and could tell in the dark if he was sleeping and if he was dreaming. No wonder the Winchesters were as close as they were. Jo hadn't ever known anyone that well, what with being an only child. Guess high stress imprisonment and torture had it's interesting sides.

She thought Dean had nightmares too. The few times she'd actually seen him asleep, he hadn't really been resting peacefully. But Jo didn't ask him to talk about them. If they were anything like hers, it would be hard to find the words.

Tired of watching the sky, Jo sat up and shifted her position to sitting cross-legged on her sleeping bag, being careful to stay quiet in case Dean wanted to continue pretending to sleep. It was bright enough outside tonight that she didn't need the lantern or flashlights they'd brought out to reach out and snag the whiskey bottle they'd brought out with them. Dean's method of dealing wasn't her favorite - as fearful as she was, Jo wished she could stay sharp too. But blurring her senses blurred her fear and anxiety too, and it was easily becoming the best way to function like a moderately traumatized person instead of severely traumatized.

She unscrewed the cap and lifted the bottle to her lips, taking a respectable swallow. Jo grimaced at the burn as she let the bottle rest next to her, and went back to watching the quiet night pass.


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Dean Winchester
Posted: May 2 2012, 11:14 PM



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Dean didn't know when things will just be better. It's pretty difficult for him to get through the day, but what choice had he? At least here, he had untainted food, all the booze he could want, a safety net in the concerned gazes of his brother, of Bobby and Ellen. Here was a safe place for him to sink down to rock bottom, because when you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. He wasn't there yet.

He's not sure if he wanted things to be better, though. If he's better, then he would have to smile, to get out of bed every morning, to eat and not drink, to talk to people and seem normal, when all he wanted to do is scream. Right then, he was wounded, and everyone knew he was wounded and they just let him be. Outside of their worried looks and attempts to cut him off when he had drunk too much, but it was never enough, never enough alcohol to make it through his next breath without it cutting like glass.

So he slept. At least in the sometime oblivion of sleep, he didn't have to worry about breathing, about how much everything hurts even though he hasn't got a single scratch on his body. Not a scar. Not a blemish, whole and perfect as the day he was born, and he hated it. No one can see. He can't wear the scars on the outside, all his scars are inside, burning and itching inside his head and no one can really see how horribly damaged he is. His skin was too tight and he does not fit anymore.

Ten hours turn into sixteen hours. That's how long he slept sometimes, if he didn't have a nightmare to disturb his rest. He felt it, lying in the sleeping bag, staring listlessly at a calm summer sky. He felt how close he was getting to that numbness without the assistance of alcohol. He was afraid he would fall over the edge and become an uncaring person who feels nothing. He longed for it, and feared it, and hated it, until it mixed up inside him and the only thing he can do to combat it is drink.

So he does.

It was nighttime now; he had lost some time. Probably in the oblivion of sleep, though he neither remembered falling asleep, nor waking up. He seemed to recall Sam coaxing him to some supper, plain bread and water. He refused to eat meat, refused to eat anything that even remotely looked like it held meat or bugs in it. He just couldn't. The thought gagged him. Gagged him more than it had never done so after coming back from hell, even though hell was a hundred times worse than what Valko could dish out, it still affected him deeply.

He stared at the sky, pitch black with so many stars, glittering like diamonds on black velvet. Calm. Nothing could touch him, even though he hadn't taken a drink since he woke up, and he had been awake for quite some time. Long enough to realize that Jo wasn't sleeping either. Probably hadn't been while he had been out. He was wide awake now, and something had been bothering him for a while. Whenever he wasn't freaking out about… that week, he was worrying at this other thing like a dog at a bone. Turning that thought over and over in his mind, he felt, anew, that old pain. Dad had made a deal so that Dean might live. Even though Dean had to live with that pain, he had done it to Sam. Damn, he thought that Jo would have learned from Dean's mistakes.

His sensitive ears heard the rustle of clothing as Jo sat up. She was being quiet, like she was giving Dean the choice to pretend to not notice. Slosh of liquid and a rasp of a cap sliding against glass.

"You should tell her," Dean gritted out through a disused voice. He hadn't talked in a while either. Funny how the mouth started to forget the shape of words when one doesn't talk, but by the same token, one never forgets how. Though he shouldn't say never, never is a long time in hell, he should know, he has cut plenty of tongues down there.

He tore his gaze from the sky, settling it on Jo. He elaborated, "tell your mother about the deal you made. She needs to know, Jo."


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Jo Harvelle
Posted: May 3 2012, 01:00 AM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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Dean's voice out of the darkness surprised her, but she managed not to flinch. Jo had known he was awake after all. They just hadn't spent a lot of time talking over the past couple days. Sam and Ellen wanted them to, but for her part, Jo just couldn't. There were words to describe the physical tortures inflicted upon them, but how did you casually talk about the various ways you've been abused for no real reason. As for what Valko had done to her psychologically and emotionally... you can't understand that kind of broken unless you'd lived it.

Maybe that's why she felt the most comfortable around Dean, even when they were not talking and just drinking. Maybe especially when they weren't talking. She didn't have to tell him any of this, because he knew already. He was fighting his own demons born of fear, and despair, baptized by anger and helplessness. Maybe they couldn't help each other fight those inner battles, but there was a small comfort in having someone by your side during the long vigil through that inner darkness.

Jo looked over at Dean with a blank expression, as though she didn't know what he was talking about with that first comment. There was no mistaking it though. Even if she wasn't thinking about that damn deal every day, there was no forgetting Dean's face when Valko told him that righteous little Jo Harvelle was no better than the rest of the rabble who couldn't deal with the hand dealt them and had selfishly given away the only precious part of themselves. Worse, actually, because she knew better.

It had been hard to look at him then, the man who had sold his soul in exchange for the life of another. She'd burned with shame, and the only reason they hadn't already had this argument was because they'd had bigger problems at the time and weren't even sure there'd be a later.

Evidently, Dean had decided it was time to have this argument. Jo didn't like to think about what that might mean about how much he'd been thinking about it. She didn't want him to think that poorly of her.

Jo lifted the bottle back to her lips as he looked over at her, mostly as a way to avoid his eyes. She gave a sharp, dry bark of laughter when he finished clarifying. "Like Sam needed to know, Dean?" she asked, not bothering to pull punches. If he was going to pick this fight with her, make her talk about things she hated, then he shouldn't expect not to have to do the same. "How long would you have kept it from him if you could have? Did it make it any easier, him knowing you had an expiration date? Or what about your father? Has that been easy to live with?"

Jo wasn't playing fair and she knew it. It wasn't the same thing at all, what the Winchesters did for each other and what she'd done for herself. But she was hurting and working on a pretty unhealthy case of self-loathing about it. And Dean poke at it made her feel backed into a corner.

"Look, this isn't your problem, okay? I'll handle it the way I think is best. Just leave it alone, Dean."


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Dean Winchester
Posted: May 4 2012, 12:19 AM



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At Jo's sharp retort, Dean sat up, ignoring the way his belly curled and writhed inside him, that strange reaction to fear telling him to run and hide. This was Jo. He had no reason to be afraid of her. He had every reason to try and save her. Seven years was a long time to read up on it. Standard seemed to be ten years, why was this particular asshole of a demon only giving Jo seven?

"No need for the low blows," Dean growled out, unzipping the sleeping bag and freeing himself from the safe, comforting confines. He grabbed his security blanket, but it was a warm night, he didn't need it's suffocating warmth. Instead, his hand smoothed it, over and over. Slowly. Deliberately, like he was trying to calm himself down, soothe himself before he did anything rash like yell at Jo.

Jo was making that a real tall order. Trying not to grit his teeth, since that only served to make him more angry, Dean shoved his feet into his shoes, then let out a startled cry. He yanked a shoe off and an annoyed mouse crawled out and scurried off into the night. Right then. Checking his shoes for unwelcome critters from now on. Dean muttered hotly under his breath, cursing his shaking hands as he tied the laces. Standing, he held the blanket folded over one arm while the other petted it like it was a thing alive.

"You almost died, Jo. You almost died and went to hell seven years earlier than--" Dean's voice failed him again. Stupid adolescent cracking. He had already been through this, he couldn't do this again. Wouldn't. He was determined to get Jo through this. He closed his eyes. "Wha- What am I supposed to do with that?

"So forgive me for pointing this out, but it's kinda my problem when my best friend, when one of the best persons I have ever known is shutting me out. Let me help you, Jo. Please, just. Hell isn't the place you want to go when you die, believe me, Jo. Please."


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Jo Harvelle
Posted: May 11 2012, 02:06 PM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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Jo sighed as Dean sat up and freed himself from his sleeping bag, then took another pull on the liquor bottle. She was going to need it to have this talk. It had been too much to hope that he'd actually respect her desire to leave it alone, but she'd kind of thought that by jumping straight to the low blows they'd maybe get straight to telling each other to fuck off.

"Then leave it alone," Jo fired back, drawing her knees up to her chest like some kind of armor. Valko had stripped her of a lot of her defenses, scrubbing her emotions raw and leaving them close to the surface. She hadn't had time to put those walls back yet, so her body was trying to compensate with physical barriers. If only Dean were her real problem, instead of all the shit she kept inside about this.

"You think I don't know that?" Jo demanded when he pointed out that she'd almost died. "You think I don't spend every second thinking about that? If I could stop, I would." Following Dean's example, Jo thrust her feet into her boots. "Who says you have to do anything with it?" she muttered as she stood and stamped her feet to settle her shoes correctly.

Jo didn't quite meet Dean's eyes the entire time they'd been talking, and flat out turned her face away when he started explaining to her why he thought it was his problem. Mostly because she couldn't stop the tears that sprung up when she heard how he thought of her. She certainly didn't see herself as a good kind of person anymore, and didn't have a clue why he would.

"What are you going to do, Dean? Save me? Because that worked out so well for you, right?" Jo demanded, shaking her head. "I don't want help," she said simply, "and I don't want anyone else to know about this. Especially my mom. I can't-can't have her hating me right now, Dean. So I'd appreciate it if you'd just back off."


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Dean Winchester
Posted: May 14 2012, 04:34 PM



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"Tough," Dean retorted. "Your mother would never hate you, Jo. You could be a baby killing psycho and Ellen would still love you, try to help you. Not sure about me, you being a baby killing psycho, but Ellen? She's your mother. It's in her contract." Dean just had faith in mothers. Real mothers. They lifted cars off their babies. It was hard to argue with that. From what he had seen of Ellen, Dean knew, deep in his soul, that there was nothing Ellen's baby could do to make her turn away. Dean wasn't sure where Jo got the idea that Ellen would hate her for being human.

"You don't want my help, that's fine. I'm still going to help you anyway. Who holds your contract, Jo? We'll summon them, trap them, torture them until they give up the contract. Then tear it up, rip it to shreds. Problem solved." It was an overly simplistic way of looking at things, but Dean wasn't going to make up a plan to get fucked up. Since that's what plans tended to do. They didn't survive first contact with the enemy.

"We'll find Cas, we'll beat up some demons, I'll do anything, but let you get dragged to hell. Don't make me watch that happen to you, Jo." Dean couldn't even entertain that thought. Not Jo burning in hell, suffering for eternity until she faded away, spent food for demons. Or worse, snapping and becoming a demon herself. Dean would never forgive himself if that happened to Jo.

Jo was so damn stubborn though. That damn trait Harvelle women seemed to have in spades. It made them resolute, determined, strong. It also made them blind to finding another way. Dean was just as stubborn though, and Jo was worth fighting for. Even if it meant being unpopular with Jo for a while. Dean thought he could take it, strong enough to endure any ostracism from Jo. So he gave her the ultimatum.

"Either you tell Ellen, or I do."


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Jo Harvelle
Posted: May 16 2012, 10:33 PM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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Jo gave a low, bitter laugh when Dean tried to argue with her. "No offense, Dean, but what makes you think you know anything about my mom and I?" she asked, shaking her head slightly. "You can't just open the book to random pages and assume you get the whole story. Yeah, I know my mom loves me, but she hates that I do this job. And you want me to+ tell her what I've done so I can keep doing it?" Dean hadn't been around for most of the fights, or for the entire time Jo and Ellen had barely spoken when she'd left to hunt. He had no idea just how much contention this had caused, and how much it would kill Ellen to hear that Jo would rather risk damning herself then to stop.

She crossed her arms, frowning at Dean as he declared that he was helping her whether she liked it or not. "I'm NOT telling you that," she said on top of him, scoffing when he kept on with his master plan. "You can't honestly believe that will work, Dean," Jo commented. If that were the way to get out of deals, everyone would. Hell, she was pretty sure Dean or Sam probably tried that when it was Dean's soul on the line.

"Dean, you gotta know this wasn't my first choice," Jo said sadly. "I tried Cas. I tried everyone. This was the only way I had. And I don't want to go to hell, I really don't." Absently, Jo wiped away a stray tear. "I'm going to try to not, but it's my problem to fix. Not yours; not anyone else's. If that's too hard for you then just... just don't watch."

It should have been harsh, a poignant way of telling him to fuck off. But Jo so obviously didn't mean it. She was trying to brazen her way through this and probably wouldn't ever admit to needing help. But she was scared and so tired of bearing the weight of this silently and alone.

But that didn't mean she wanted to tell her mom all about it.

Dean's ultimatum hit her like a physical blow, and for a moment all she could do was stare at him with hurt betrayal etched into her expression. Then it resolved into heated anger and before Jo could remember that they were being careful about the touch stuff since Valko, she slapped him clean across the face. "How dare you. What makes you... You have no...Uughh!" The sound was pure frustration, both at Dean and at the way words were slipping from her as she became more flustered. Jo hit Dean again, on the chest this time with both palms. She wasn't trying to hurt him, she just had no other way of expressing herself right now.

Jo took a step back and turned away, running her hand up through her hair. After a beat, she looked back at him and shook her head slightly. "You do that, Dean, and we're done," she told him, her voice hard.


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Dean Winchester
Posted: May 17 2012, 02:07 PM



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Narrowing his eyes at Jo, Dean said nothing in response to her derision. It didn't matter that it hadn't worked with his deal. Lilith had held the contract. Lilith was dead now, and he was not afraid of any demon out there. After Lilith and Alastair, everyone else were small potatoes. He could do it without Jo's help, of course. He was a hunter. A specialist in torture. All he had to do was dispatch a few demons to make them talk. Figure out which demon made the deal with Jo. Figure out who held the contract. If it even was the demon who had dealt with Jo. Maybe it was the new overlords of hell, now that Crowley was out of the picture. He actually hadn't heard much about the demons lately, seemed like they were all absorbed in the power vacuum Crowley had left behind, or gone rogue, every demon for himself, like Alastair.

Jo may doubt him, but he would make it work. He would, or die trying. He'd happily die so long as he knew Jo wasn't going to end up in hell. He listened to her make her justifications, and he knew she had been in a hard place; same as Bobby, but at least Bobby didn't make a deal with the devil. Except that he had, and now in hindsight, Dean should have always known. It made him uncomfortable to think maybe he had, and just hadn't acknowledged it.

He knew the ultimatum wouldn't go over well, but Dean was doing it out of love and respect for Jo and Ellen. Nothing against Jo, but Dean was pretty sure she deserved a hot bottom for lying to Ellen, if nothing else. He just couldn't track it that she even made the deal in the first place, how could she be that desperate? How could he have been so blind as to accept her explanation? He was locked in a jumble of conflicting and contrasting thoughts, except for the fact that Ellen had to know. He was determined about this as anything else, but also knew that Jo could match him move for move with her own brand of stubborn.

At first, his brain couldn't comprehend what had just happened. Then the stinging started and Dean raised his hand to his cheek, staring at Jo with a wounded look in his eyes. Every muscle in his body coiled and tensed, instinctively prepared for the fight or flight response, but so conflicted that he was frozen in place like a statue. Adrenaline made his breath quicker, the pulse pounded in his ears. He barely understood Jo's increasingly incoherent utterances, and flinched when she beat his chest with the flat of her hands. He couldn't understand her violence toward him, not now, not after everything.

The world started coming back as Jo stepped back and turned away. He was no longer trapped, pinioned beneath her baleful gaze. He rapidly began to calm. He had no idea what just happened, no idea why he had such an overemotional response to Jo's completely understandable reaction. He wanted a shower to wash away the stink of fear and adrenaline that coated his body, drenching his back and under his arms. He took a step back as well. He didn't need this, not from Jo, of all people.

Of course, Jo being Jo, she made an ultimatum of her own and it felt like a punch to the gut. Why did they have to hurt each other like this? He felt hollow. Like every breath he took just filled his whole body instead of just his lungs, because there was nothing left in him. He was a Dean shaped balloon and he wasn't even being filled with helium. He felt like a stiff wind would blow him away, dragging him along the ground until he crashed against the rocks, again and again. Until there was nothing left. Deflated.

"You don't mean that." Dean's voice had gone back to sounding dusty. Old. Dead. It was what broken sounded like. "Only, you do. Of course you do." He was looking down at the ground. When had he looked away? He pulled his gaze back up to meet the blond's face. He swallowed, trying not to seem shattered, like a thing untethered in a storm. "Oh, Jo. Please. Please, don't make me, Jo. You have to promise me you won't make me."


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Jo Harvelle
Posted: May 19 2012, 08:54 PM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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Looking at Dean's face as he flinched away from her after she struck him, Jo was hit with guilt on top of her anger. Neither of them was ready for violence, not after that week they'd had, and here she was thrusting it at Dean from the last place he expected it from. Which, paranoid as they were, just made it that much worse. Like she'd violated some kind of tentative trust.

The guilt and anger and confusion all jumbled around inside her until she didn't know what she was suppose to be feeling. Jo was yo-yoing; had been since Valko. It wasn't getting any easier to control her reactions since she'd lashed out when they'd been rescued. She thought it had been getting slightly easier, but the truth was she was just getting better at isolating herself.

His next comment automatically made her stubbornness rear back up. "Damn right I do," Jo said, though the soft, shaky, breathy way in which she said it betrayed her. The last thing she wanted was to cut Dean out of her life. Though she still couldn't find the right words, he was important to her. Being trapped and tortured with him had only made that clearer. There had been a time when they could walk in and out of each other's lives, but she needed him in her world now.

But if there were ever a girl who'd cut her nose off to spite her face, it was Jo Harvelle.

When Dean looked back at her, she begged him with her eyes. Please understand. Please know that I can't. Please don't make me hurt us all. When he voiced similar pleas, Jo shook her head slowly. "I can't, Dean," she said, her voice trembling as fresh tears wet her face.

"Please, just..." Jo looked away, casting about for something one of them might be able to give on. "Give me some time?" she settled on, looking back up at Dean pleadingly. "I can't deal with both this and with what happened to us right now, Dean, and it's not fair to make me. Just...just give me some time to figure this out first, okay? Then we can see what happens."


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Dean Winchester
Posted: May 29 2012, 01:12 PM



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He was so damn relieved when Jo finally indicated similar inner turmoil about losing him; it meant he could still reach her. She had been so damn stubborn and unreadable for a brief moment that Dean's heart had suffered a keen pain he hadn't realized he was soliciting by forcing this confrontation. He had thought he knew pain, but on the precipice of actually enduring the loss of Jo's friendship and trust, Dean was suddenly cogent of all that entailed and he did not want that. Maybe it was that he was getting older, maybe it was that he had already lost Jo before, had lost so many friends to death, all of the above, but Dean just didn't want to lose any more.

So when she entreated from him more time, Dean gladly reached for it with both hands. He hated himself for giving in, but he would hate himself even more if he lost Jo before he had to. He knew that Jo was dealing with something so big, too big, the enormity of the prospect of being dragged to hell at the end of the contract was overwhelming. He had been through the same, and regretted too late, not truly asking for help. He had his head in the sand for nearly a whole year, and when it was down to the wire, when he couldn't hide anymore…. He didn't want that for Jo.

"Okay." Dean nodded, reluctantly, wishing he could do more, offer more. "Okay. …I'll give you time." He wrapped his arms around himself in a self hug, and told himself this was the right thing to do. This was Jo Harvelle. He couldn't lose her before he lost her. It was untenable. Inconceivable to be cast away in Jo's hour of great need. They had time to figure this out. They had all the time in the world.

If that were true, why did he have a sinking feeling in his gut, as though he was doing the wrong thing?


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Jo Harvelle
Posted: May 29 2012, 03:55 PM


Going Out in a Blaze of Glory Isn't All its Cracked Up to Be
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When Dean agreed to her terms, Jo felt like she could breath just a little easier. She still had a great deal weighing on her heart - so much more than she ever expected to have - but this at least wasn't adding to it anymore. It was a temporary reprieve, she knew. Dean had granted her time, not let her out of it entirely. And he could change his mind any time he wanted, now that he knew. But it was enough to keep everything that threatened to overwhelm her just below a manageable level.

"Thank you," Jo breathed, wishing she had better words for just how grateful she was feeling. She was still angry at him, naturally, but if he could take a step back, then so could she. Besides, by doing it he was not only delaying the pressure to tell Ellen, but the pressure of being at odds with him. One would swamp her, but two? Jo was just so unsteady after Valko, in a way she'd never expected to be, because she'd thought she was ready for anything. She needed them both now more than before.

Turning her face, Jo wiped her cheeks with her fingers quickly, like he wouldn't notice. "We should... we should get some sleep," she suggested uncertainly. A child-like part of her wanted to seek out some kind of physical reassurance - a hug, maybe, or clap on the back, or even just a brush of contact that signified that things weren't different between them now. That they were still friends who had each other's backs, if nothing else. But it was different; they were at odds about something important now. Even if they had agreed to disagree about it for a while, it'd eventually come back around. Besides, fighting with Dean had taken it out of her and Jo thought it wasn't a good idea for her, fight or not.

So she just gave him an empty smile and turned back to her own bedroll. Jo didn't kick her shoes back off, but rather left them as she laid back down and pulled her blanket over her shoulders. Even drained from the argument, however, sleep still wasn't going to come easy, so she turned her back to Dean's bedroll and stared out at the darkness. She could fake it until she actually did find unconsciousness. Besides, Sam and Ellen got those pinched expressions when they found out they didn't TRY to get more sleep than they did.

Still, Jo knew it was going to be a long, bad night.


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