Fandom/Genre: Supernatural, Het (implied), Futurefic, Character Study
Characters: Lisa Braeden with mentions of Dean Winchester and Ben Braeden
Word Count: 616
Warnings: none to speak of aside from major spoilers for 5.22
Spoilers: Up through 5.22
Disclaimer: Written for fun, not profit; anything you recognize belongs to Kripke, Warner Bros., et al.
A/N 1: This is the fourth in a series of seven fics my post-5.22 ‘verse. Can be read as a stand-alone.
A/N 2: Many thanks to Carlos, calamitycrow, and sleepwalker1015 for the beta and feedback!
A/N 3: In case it wasn't clear, the title refers to the Penelope of Greek Mythology, the wife of Odysseus who waited twenty years for her husband to return from the Trojan war (20 years in which she fought off and refused countless suitors while her husband um... shagged anything that moved).
Summary: Lisa was always a complete person. She didn't need anyone else to make her whole. That doesn't mean she doesn't take what—who—she wants when the opportunity presents itself.
Also available on: AO3
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Not a Penelope
She was never a Penelope, an incomplete woman—person—waiting, always waiting, for her man to come home. Oh no, hell no; Lisa never saw herself as the sort of person who was a half looking for a whole, missing the other part of her soul, or anything like that. She was content, happy, to go through life on her own, as her own person. She and Ben were fine together—great.
But that also didn’t mean she was opposed to sharing her home, her life, with someone… though the list of people she would’ve considered was never very long…
There was always something special about Dean. She never could have pinpointed it back when she first met him. Back then, he was just a very talented lay, barely grown, more boy than man. Later on, he was danger wrapped inside an enigma, with an air of fatalism about him. But no one had ever bonded with Ben the way Dean did, and Dean was the only person she ever met who seemed to take to both of them as they were, without trying (or wanting) to change them.
Lisa never expected to see him again. Hell, she was pretty sure he was preparing to die—she was right of course, she just didn’t know that back then. When he showed up on his second good-bye tour two years later, she knew enough to realize the entire world was probably screwed. After all, earthquakes and tornadoes and plagues and fires don’t just crop out of nowhere in clusters, not in a world where monsters exist. But the world didn’t end, and then he was back, and it was over. He wasn’t the same Dean, but there was still that—spark…
Lisa’s pretty sure he wonders if there was some sort of angelic intervention that got them together. At first she wondered the same about him. Well, not in those terms, ‘cause Lisa only found out about angels later, much later. But she used to wonder if there was something holding him in check, keeping him from imploding and falling apart and violently losing himself in a bottle. He’d been through so much, and yet he seemed so… functional. Lisa was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
She was more relieved than shocked when she found out Dean’s family—his cursed, long gone family—sort of had a tradition for this—losing everything, leaving heir old lives behind, starting over. His mom did it; his brother did it—a few times, apparently—and even his dad did it—with less success than the other two because he knew less, she finds out, but John Winchester had done it just the same. And Dean, well he knew, understood, more than anyone else in his family. He’d already lost himself in bottles and sex and pain before. He’s been there, done that. Lisa realizes this Dean is all burned out. He knows there’s no relief in those hollow vices. So she watches as he waits and struggles to learn, hoping to find the missing pieces of himself without losing any more along the way.
Lisa’s always been complete. So has Ben. Dean is half a soul, torn and drifting. But he drifts to them. To her. And she doesn’t have to, but she can. She doesn’t need to, but she wants. To share her abundance of completeness, wholeness, with him. It’s not out of a sense of debt, but bounty. It costs surprisingly little, but the reward is great. She gets to watch this boy-ghost grow, become whole. Lisa learns about herself by teaching him.
Lisa never needed anyone, but she is very happy with who she found.