Title: Intimate Knowledge, Part 12: Getting Help
Characters: Dean/Jo, Sam/ofc
Rating: R (NC-17 for story overall)
Prompt: 90 - card
Disclaimer: I own nothing Supernatural.
Warnings: Personal medical issue, past abuse
Summary: With Dean and Jo's help, Celeste moves on.
Dean returned by himself that morning. Sam jumped up from the couch where he'd been waiting for word since Dean left.
"So what?" Dean took his jacket off and set his keys in the dish by the door. "Celeste is with Jo. Figured she could calm her down better than I could."
"Where did you find her?" Sam choked out the words. The fact that she was safe now made him choke up.
"Gooseberry Park. I think she was lost. She'd just ran and not paid attention to where she was going."
"Is she okay?"
Carefully controlling his emotions, Dean looked at Sam and replied, "No, Sam. She's about as far as you can get from okay. She was a crying mess curled up in the dirt at the foot of a tree with hardly any clothes on. I sat with her until Jo came but she wouldn't say a word to me. I don't even think she knew I was there."
"Did Jo bring her home? Can I go see her?"
"Were you here at all tonight?" Dean yelled. "Hell, no, you can't go see her. Jo's at her house and she'll kick your ass on sight. So, I'd avoid Jo for awhile if I were you. If you want to keep your balls anyway."
"No one told me," Sam felt like he'd said the same words a dozen times. "I didn't know."
"That's not an excuse," Dean scoffed. "Were you paying attention to how she reacted to you or were you just barging ahead with your own pleasure in mind?"
Sam's temper flared. "You know me, Dean. I'd never pressure a girl to do anything."
"You probably wouldn't," Dean agreed. "But, you can be the most spoiled, self-centered brat sometimes. Maybe it's partially my fault for letting you get away with it for so long. Your ego probably hid whatever signals of distress that she was sending."
"Signs of distress? Dean! We went from everything going smoothly to her flipping out on me in the next instant."
"Flipping out?" Dean rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Grow up, Sam. I'm going to get a few hours of sleep before I go back over to see if the girls need anything. I hope Jo got her talking. If she bottles it all up again, she'll be right back where she was."
Dean left the room and Sam was once again left to his own devices.
He tried calling Celeste and kept getting her voicemail until he realized that she didn't have her phone, it was still in his room. He practically begged Dean to take him with when he went to check on Jo and Celeste. A cold glare made it perfectly clear that he was never to make that request again.
Monday came around, along with work and school. Sam went to school but his mind was on Celeste. Dean and Jo went to work, knowing that Celeste wasn't going into work that day, or probably even the rest of the week. Celeste was in a very bad place. What happened with Sam was just a trigger that brought back all the emotions of when she'd been assaulted. She'd ignored it instead of dealing with it in the past. Now, it devastated her even more the second time around.
Jo spent nights at Celeste's house. She had nightmares every time she fell asleep. Celeste seemed lost in her head. She ate food that was given to her when she was reminded to eat. She answered direct questions but had to think before she could form her answer. It was all moving in slow motion.
Work granted her a leave of absence when Jo and Dean saw that she wasn't going to be up to working anytime soon. They wanted her to have the time and resources to get better. So, they packed up her belongings when her rent came due. Some went to storage at Dean and Sam's. Some went to Jo's, where Celeste was going to live until she was back on her feet.
Sam didn't give up on contacting Celeste. He pumped Dean for information every time he came home from work. He got as desperate as to approach Jo at work and ask. She tossed her cup of coffee at him, cussed him out and threatened to call the cops if he even darkened her doorstep.
"Does she know I've been asking about her?" Sam asked Dean one night as they poked at their supper.
"I mention it and she clams up. Apparently she's said more to Jo about it. She feels bad for how it all worked out. She really liked you and wanted it to work out. She was too scared to tell you about her sexual issues for fear that you'd reject her. She'd planned to tell you more information and clue you in but the appropriate time never came. She feels awful that she screwed up your life. Said to tell you that she's sorry about that."
"I'm the one who's sorry! Does she say when I can see her or talk to her? Does she even want to hear from me?"
"I don't know," Dean admitted. "I know it's harsh but she's looking out for herself and you want her to do that, too. She has to be okay before she can be part of a couple."
"Could I write her a letter?"
"You could try."
"Would you make sure she gets it?"
"Can't promise she'll read it, but I'll give it to her. You have my word."
"Thanks, Dean. I'll just put it by your keys so you can take it in the morning."
Dean nodded. "For your sake, I hope you can make it right with her. Your guilt is going to smother you if you don't."
Sam left the table with heavy thoughts on his mind.
There was an envelope by Dean's keys in the morning and Sam was still asleep. He headed over for his early morning visit at Jo's.
"Long night?" Dean asked when an exhausted Jo opened the door. She leaned forward into his chest and he wrapped his arms around her. He shut the door and moved them to the couch.
"We were up and drinking cocoa at 3 am."
"Cocoa's good." Dean paused. "Do you think she needs outside help? More than we can give her?"
"Maybe, but I don't want her to feel abandoned."
"I could try to find a psychologist who has an opening today. The crisis center should be able to give her someone to talk to. Do you think you could get her there?"
"What about work?"
"You'd be no good a work, honey. I'll tell them you're taking a sick day. Get Celeste to the crisis center so she can be hooked up with whatever she needs. If you have problems, call me and I'll see if I can help. Oh! Sam wrote her a letter that I promised I'd deliver. Tell her that it's here, even if she's not up to opening it now. I don't know what he wrote but it might be a good thing."
"I'll let her know. Are you sure you can cover for me?"
"Positive. Just take care of our girl."
Jo shuffled away from the door in her fuzzy slippers. She figured she could sleep another hour or two before waking Celeste.
Sitting in the intake room of the crisis center, Jo helped Celeste fill in the forms. While they waited for the worker to come back, Celeste opened the seal on Sam's envelope.
"Are you sure you want to read this right now?" Jo worried.
Celeste nodded. "I should really hear him out."
She opened the envelope and unfolded the paper inside. It read:
I never meant to make you run from me. The last thing I wanted was to hurt you. But, I did. And I'm sorry.
I was drawn to your smile and personality, that's why I asked you out. Then, the more I learned about you, the more I wanted to know.
And I was happy, am happy with what we had. I regret pushing you further but I didn't know we had any problems until you ran out the door. I should have tried to stop you and I should have run after you. I'm sorry that I failed you.
If you can forgive me, I'd like for us to talk about what went wrong. I don't want to lose you. Whatever you need, I want to make sure you have.
Please give me another chance.
"What did he say?" Jo asked.
"He's confused. He wants to know what made me act how I did. He wants me to take him back."
"And what do you think about that?"
"I know he's a great guy. I just think that maybe I need a fresh start someplace else. Get my head on straight and reclaim my life."
"Does your life include Sam?"
"I don't know."
After Celeste was settled into a shelter and had access to all the services she would need to make herself whole again, Jo went to Sam and Dean's after work.
Sam went off on his own and read the note Celeste had written:
I'm sorry that night turned out the way did. It was so nice to be held in your arms.
I need to go away and create a new life for myself. Please try to understand.
Sam sat in his room with his head in his hands, too shocked to even move.
"What did Celeste put in her letter?" Dean asked.
"I'm not sure. I don't think she wanted him to hang around and see if she was okay. It's basically a Dear John letter."
"Ooh, that sucks. There's nothing we can do to soften the blow."
"I know." Jo dug into her pocket. "I've had some time to think over the last couple weeks. And I decided something."
Jo pressed something metal into Dean's hand and closed his fingers around it. When he opened his fingers, there was a key.
"I'm not ready to move in with you. But, I'm ready to let you in to my house as you please. I thought it would be a step in the right direction."
"Jo, this is, it's wonderful!" Dean gave her a kiss.
"I really do want to be able to live with you and Sam. Keeping my door open to you is a good start."
"Have I ever told you how amazing you are?"
"Yeah, but I could always hear it again."
Instead of talking, Dean showed her by making her melt with his kisses. Since he had a key, he could stay there at night and lock the door when he left. If Jo needed time to herself, he respected that. After years of floundering over how to make Jo feel secure, she found the courage she needed in another broken woman. They would always be indebted to Celeste for that.