Title: Don’t Think
Rating: FRM // R
Characters: Dean Winchester/Bela Talbot, Adelle DeWitt, mentions of Sam Winchester
fic_variations Prompt: cajole (#1)
Content Warning: Dubious consent (kind of)
Summary: Dean’s found himself in a very complicated situation, and Bela is the only one who can get him out of it.
Author’s Note: I found this prompt, and I wasn’t going to do anything with it at first because it was for a kink meme, but it then started eating my brain. Not really as porny as the person probably would have liked, but still filling the prompt. This is set somewhere between “Fresh Blood” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” but I’m not sure where. This also—turned out way more masochistic than I thought it would.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or Dollhouse. They belong to Joss and Kripke. I’m just borrowing.
“Out of all my old friends from back home, Abby, I didn’t think that you would be the one to show up at my door. Especially for something like this.”
Bela straightened in her chair, trying not to cave under the press of the woman’s stare. Adelle DeWitt was a woman who was famous for reading people, and Bela knew that the woman knew her far too well to believe that she would willingly participate in her business without there being some other angle, but Bela couldn’t let her intimidate. She needed to get this done, not just because Sam asked her to, but because she couldn’t leave Dean to this, with no options and no way out. Especially when it was partially her fault. So she just raised an eyebrow as to indicate that she had no question that this was what she wanted to be doing.
“Well, it’s not as though I can’t afford it. And you only live once, after all.”
And wasn’t that statement the truth. Bela knew she was running out of time, and she wasn’t going to deny the fact that Sam’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The idea of buying the fantasies that she was never going to have was far more appealing than she would have liked, and the fact that it was Dean—well, that didn’t hurt. It would give her a base to work with.
“Yes, I suppose so.” Adelle looked over the file of her requests, and then looked up again. “Abby, I also believe that it’s rather abnormal for a client to request a specific active—not that Delta isn’t a fine active and more than capable of handling what you’re asking—but your last request—”
“Adelle, I’m afraid I don’t have a whole lot of time,” she cut her off quickly. “I’m paying you a great deal of money. I think that that alone sound afford me the right to request whoever and whatever I ask as well as the fact that you know me. Can’t you trust me a little?”
Adelle took a breath, studying her for a moment, before nodding. “Of course. I understand.” Then she was back to all businesswoman, a small amused smirk crossing her features. “The twelve days of Christmas. Quite the interesting play on things. He’ll be sent on the first engagement the day after Christmas.”
“Thank you.” Bela started to get to her feet, already feeling that familiar twist in the pit of her stomach that told her she was crossing a line, but she couldn’t think about it—just kept walking. It wasn’t as though she had her soul to worry about. She sold that a long time ago.
The first five engagements were jokes, more like her own personal revenge. Dressing him up like giant hot dogs, giving him ridiculous mediocre activities to achieve, degrading jobs around the penthouse suite she had rented for the occasion—it was all for her own amusement as oppose to actually getting her anywhere. The real romantic engagements didn’t come until later. And in the end, what she chose was cliché and arbitrary, but they were the things she wasn’t going to get to have. The chance meetings and clandestine getaways weren’t allowed in the small window of time that she was given in her life, and they weren’t even truly allowed now. She had six days to fit in everything, and she wasn’t sure if by the end she’d even be able to stomach it, but for right now—it was an acceptable fantasy. Maybe at some point she could even convince herself into thinking she was dreaming.
Day One was a brief encounter, flirty and fun, just to get her used to the idea of that face looking at her with anything but hatred and annoyance. He actually smiled, but not out of smug satisfaction, but because he was actually enjoying himself with her. It took her back a bit, and while she had to remind herself that while it was his face, his body, it wasn’t him. It was most likely why she didn’t take the first few engagements that far—she was still getting used to the idea. Day Two was a date, something quiet but romantic at the same time, and when he kissed her goodnight, she couldn’t help but melt into him a little, at the feeling of being wanted and as much as she wanted to turn herself off and remind herself that it was all a con, none of it was real, she couldn’t. She wanted that feeling.
She wanted for once to be normal.
Day Three jumped them ahead a few weeks, giving him the imprint with memories of dates that had gone well, and more kisses that she’d never lived through, but he had. And when he touched her, it was so real that she could believe it as well, just melting into the way he held her, the way he kissed her, and needing to suppress that small sigh of pleasure when his lips found that spot at the corner of her jaw, just below her ear.
“Let me take you to bed.”
She could feel the press of the wall against her back, his body pressing into hers, and she would have melted into him right there, let him take whatever he wanted right there, but as she nodded her consent, he just pulled her away from the wall, making her way towards the bedroom. “We don’t have to,” she whispered, feeling the way his fingers teased along the zipper of her dress.
“I want to,” he murmured as he leaned in to kiss her again, and she just left it at that, trying to remind herself, even as he was settling above her and she could feel his skin on hers, that this wasn’t real. And as his hips pressed against her, she decided it would be best to stop thinking at all.
Day Four blended together with Day Three, just the two of them taking their time and exploring each other, getting to know each other better. Day Five was another small jump ahead, and a society date, which turned out being quite a step up from their first time out in formal attire, but here there wasn’t an objective, no job to be done. It was just them, getting dressed up and going out, and when they got home, she probably took far more pleasure in stripping him out of the tux than she did seeing him in it.
As his arm slid around her at the end of the night, she was prepared to just drift off to sleep, as per usual, but she didn’t count on what he whispered in her ear right after. “I love you, Abby.”
She couldn’t remember if she had written that into the engagement or if he had gotten there on his own, but she already parroted back the “I love you too” before she could question it at all. Active or not, he still believed he was a person, and her not responding as though it had been all the time he believed it was would have only resulted in trouble, and trouble she didn’t want.
After she said it back, however, he was pulling her in again, and when he touched her she nearly cried, because it was far more tender than she ever would deserve.
Day Six she had to say goodbye to the fantasy, even though she still had one more engagement left. It was an evening alone in her penthouse, her pressed into his side like she belonged there, and the disconnect was enough to make her sick. But instead she just sipped her wine, soaking in the feeling of him being so close.
“I was thinking tomorrow we could head down to the beach,” he said softly, his thumb coming down to brush against her cheekbone lightly. “I know January means it’s a little cold, but the view is still spectacular.”
She had a choice there. She could lie to him, promise him an outing they would never have because after tomorrow that imprint would never be used again, or she could break it off cleanly, give them both closure. Not that he needed it more than she did, but it only seemed fair after all.
“I’m afraid I can’t. I have to fly back to New York tomorrow.”
There it was. The disappointment. The hurt. All emotions for a connection that some advanced computer expert had created in his head, and she was suddenly even happier that this charade was ending.
“I see. I didn’t realize.”
“I should have said something sooner. I suppose I just—didn’t think it would be happening so soon.”
“No, it’s alright,” he nodded, reaching over to place his drink down on the table and pulling away from her. “I should probably go, then. I wouldn’t want to be in your way—I’m sure you have to pack.”
“Yes,” she nodded. “That would probably be best.”
She stood as he did, and he was turning to head towards the door for a moment, before coming back and pressing one last kiss to her lips, sweet and sensitive, cupping her face in one hand lightly. “It was nice having met you, Abby.”
“Nice to have met you, too.”
“You are aware that he’s dangerous, aren’t you? That placing him back into his body could result in your death, if not worse.”
“He wouldn’t hurt me,” she said with a bit of a bitter laugh. “He doesn’t have it in him.”
“Abby. The man was a wanted serial killer. An insane one at that—he believed that demons were real.”
“Things aren’t always what they seem to be, Adelle.” Bela moved slowly across the overlook, letting her elbows rest on the railing as the people passed by below. “You, of all people, should be more aware of that than most.”
There was a long pause, and Bela could feel Adelle watching her as she did. “You know him, don’t you?”
“Know who?” she responded absently to the question, watching the other actives as they moved through the open area of the house. She knew who the older woman was referring to, but she didn’t want to acknowledge it. They were prepping Dean—or ‘Delta’ as it were—for his final engagement, and she was there to oversee it, to make sure that she wasn’t screwed over, although she wouldn’t blame them if they did. They would just be protecting their merchandise, after all.
“Delta. Dean Winchester—who is he to you?”
“No one,” she replied, quickly and easily because in all honesty, she wasn’t anyone to Dean. He was supposed to be no one to her, but that line had now become unmistakably blurred. Now, her own feelings were so confused that she wasn’t even sure she could honestly say that the fantasy was still there. She had made him love her, and on some level she knew that it was possible she had fallen
“Then why so curious to see him for who he really is?”
Bela pushed herself up from the railing, before glancing back towards the room where Topher was getting Dean ready, and straightened a bit, pulling at her spine so that she was standing straighter. “Who says I’m the one that needs to see?”
Adelle’s eyes narrowed. “Whatever you’re doing—whatever you’re trying to say here—it’s not going to change anything.”
“Maybe,” Bela replied, meeting Dean’s eyes—his real eyes—for the first time since this whole charade began. “Maybe not.”
Dean was quiet the entire ride back to the penthouse she was staying in, and when they arrived, she went direction for the mini-bar as oppose to offering him some kind of explanation. She wasn’t in the mood to deal with whatever hell he wanted to give her. Call her desperate, call her depraved, she didn’t care because on some level they all were true, but she didn’t want to hear it tonight.
Tonight, she was doing him a favor.
“Why did you do this?”
An easy enough question deserves an easy enough answer. “Sam. He found my connection to Adelle DeWitt, along with the fact that I was the only one he knew with the bankroll, and considering it was partially my fault that you wound up getting caught by Hendrickson in the first place—”
She swallowed back the retort and continued. “—he insisted that I do what I could to get you out of there.”
“So what—you decided to ‘buy’ me?” He strode into the room, glancing around almost as though he was looking for signs of something. “You know, I gotta say this is pretty twisted, even for you, Bela. You must have either spent a shit load of money or been a pretty loyal customer in order for them to allow you to take me out of the house without being programmed.” He turned back to her with a cold smirk. “What? Having that kind of control get you all hot and bothered or you just that desperate—”
“Don’t.” The word came out of her mouth faster than she had anticipated, all venom, and it startled him enough that he just dropped what he was saying and looked back at her with wide eyes. “Don’t you dare talk down your nose to me when I am about to do you a favor.”
“A favor? What favor?” He pointed to his body with a look of disbelief. “GPS tracker, remember? I don’t even know where it is, so it’s not like I can run anywhere. Plus all the call and response commands are still programmed in, so it’s not like I’m ever really going to be free of this shit.”
Bela swallowed, before moving over to the kitchenette area, and picking up one of the knives. “Turn around.”
“What, so you can stab me in the back?”
“Because I know where the bloody tracker is, so now will you please just turn around so that I can get it off you and you can go away.”
Dean was quiet for a moment, just looking at her again and at that moment his entire demeanor changed. Taking a breath, he did as he was told and turned around, and she moved closer, pushing down the collar of his jacket so that she could find the bump in the back of his neck and started to press the blade against his skin.
“Don’t move. I don’t need you bleeding out all over.”
He did as he was told waiting for her to cut it out and place some kind of dressing over the cut, and when he turned around again, he wasn’t looking at her as an accusation or anger, just concern. “Do I want to know how you knew where that was?”
Her eyes looked away from him, as she moved over to the sink to clean the blood off her. “Let’s just say I had hands-on experience.”
He was quiet for a long time, and she just focused on what she was doing, watching the red blood disappear into the sink. She didn’t want to admit the extent to which she’d made a fool of herself, at least not to him of all people. When she looked up again, he was right there next to her, looking at her as though he was trying to read her mind, but he didn’t have the ability.
“Who was I to you?”
“It doesn’t matter,” she replied, placing the knife back in the strainer. “Your handler is sitting out front, so you’re better off going out through the back. Sam should be there. Try to keep yourself out of trouble—with an escape like this they’ll have people combing the city for you in minutes.”
She could tell that Dean didn’t want to let his question go, but he didn’t push, just took a deep breath and looked back at her. “And what about you? Helping me escape can’t be good for you.”
“Not if they don’t realize I was an accomplice,” she sighed. “Figure you’ve been wanting to hit me for a while, yeah? Might as well get it over with.” He nodded and she moved out into the living room looking up at him with a sigh. “Tell Sam we’re even.” That statement was far more bitter than she would have liked, but it needed to be said.
Dean nodded, squaring his shoulders as he placed one hand on hers to hold her in place. “Hey, Bela? Thanks.”
“Please, Dean. Don’t mention it.”
He gave an odd sort of half-laugh, before she felt his fist connect with her face, and everything went black.