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Fic: Second Best

Summary: Matthew is a real person, but he can’t compare to the vibrant flame of Dean Winchester.

Matthew smiled to himself as he pulled onto Lisa’s street.  Date number three tonight, and this would be the time he would win her son over a little.  The two of them had met when he’d picked Lisa up for their first date, but Ben had been giving him the cold shoulder every single time.  Matthew knew enough about things to know that if you’re going to pursue a single mom, you need to win her child over first.  Despite the kid’s reluctance and downright surly attitude, he could tell that Ben would be worth knowing. The two of them were both so interesting, and from Lisa’s stories Ben was a good kid who wanted to help people.

Besides all that, Lisa Braeden was amazing and Matthew would jump through as many hoops as she needed if it meant a relationship with her.

There was an unfamiliar car in the driveway when he pulled up, some classic piece of American machinery that was a little impractical for modern living.  Matthew parked on the street, unsure whether he should block that person’s car.  He grabbed the roses on the passenger seat and headed towards the front door.

Lisa answered the door with a smile, but it seemed a little subdued and possibly preoccupied.  She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and let him into the living room.

“So what’s with the muscle car?” he asked, handing her the flowers and shrugging off his jacket.  “I don’t think I’ve seen it before.”

She hesitated, which Matthew only recognized because he had never seen her do such a thing.  Lisa was a person full of confidence.  “It’s Dean’s car.”

Matthew had always prided himself on thinking before he spoke.  “Dean, your ex?”

Lisa nodded.  “Ben called him, told him there was an emergency.”  She shook her head, clearly not pleased with the results.  “I can’t believe I was parent-trapped.”

He was insanely curious about Lisa’s ex-boyfriend.  Lisa didn’t talk about him, and his go-to source for information (the nurses at the hospital) didn’t even know the guy’s name, just that they’d all moved to Battle Creek about eight months ago and that the boyfriend had left almost immediately after.  Matthew only knew the name Dean from an overheard argument between Lisa and Ben, during which Ben had said something about Dean that Lisa had quickly rebuffed.  “Do you want to cancel?”

“No, we’re going out tonight.  I just need to grab my shoes.”  She smiled, bright and welcoming, and hurried up the stairs.

Matthew took the time to look around.  There was an unfamiliar jacket tossed onto the back of the couch and a half-empty bottle of beer sitting on the counter.  No real clues about the personality of the ex, although obviously the guy was an idiot for letting Lisa get away.  He turned back to the stairs when he heard footsteps, but it wasn’t Lisa or Ben.

The man, obviously Dean the ex-boyfriend, paused when he saw Matthew.  Then he shook his head, gave a bitter-sounding, unamused chuckle, and grabbed his jacket.  “Tell Lisa I had to get back to Jersey before my brother gets himself killed,” he said, dropping something onto the coffee table and picking up a stack of papers and photographs.  “You two have fun.”

He was out the door before Matthew could introduce himself or say anything.  A moment later there was the rumble of a car engine and the sound of a car pulling away.  Lisa came down the steps just as the light from the headlights washed through the living room window.  “He said he had to get back to New Jersey,” Matthew told her, doing his best to ignore the flicker of disappointment in her eyes.  “Something about his brother.”

“Sam,” she murmured.  “Of course.”  She shook her head.  “Ready to go?”

“Just a minute,” he said.  “He came all the way out here from New Jersey on an emergency call only to turn right around and go back?”

“Dean will always come if Ben calls,” Lisa said.  “That kind of thing was never in question.  Can we not talk about this?”

“I think we have to, Lisa.”  Matthew was willing to overlook any number of personality quirks.  Lisa was smart and funny and vibrant and it didn’t really matter that she was religious in odd ways or that her son didn’t like him that much just yet.  But this was something else altogether.  He had no intention of getting involved with someone who was clearly still hung up on someone else.  “Do you still have feelings for him?”

Lisa looked up at him.  “I’m getting over him, Matthew.”

“That wasn’t what I asked.”

She sighed and sat down on the couch, the hem of her dress inching up and revealing absolutely fabulous legs that Matthew was suddenly in no mood to appreciate.  “Dean isn’t part of my future.”  There was the sound of a door slamming upstairs and they both winced.  “Ben’s not terribly happy about it.”

“Did he really drive all the way here from New Jersey?”

“Sounds like it.”  She didn’t seem to know where to look while she discussed Dean with Matthew, which was making this entire situation suspicious to him.  “Dean’s that kind of guy.  I could call him ten years from now and say it was an emergency and he would come, no matter whether or not we’d talked at all in that time.  It’s the way he is.  And the way he is will get him killed some day.”  There was a weak smile.  “It’s one of the cardinal rules of dating.  ‘Take him the way he is, ‘cause there’s no changing him.’”

Matthew wanted to sit down next to her.  All of his instincts told him to comfort her.  He wasn’t in love with her, not yet, but he liked her quite a bit and he hated seeing her in such obvious pain.  “He took something off the coffee table.”

Lisa nodded.  “He had some papers here and he asked for some of the pictures.”  She glanced down at the table and the weak smile faded away completely.  There were a set of keys, one belonging to a house and one that was made for some kind of vehicle.

It was like looking at a completed blood workup and seeing exactly what was wrong with a patient.  “You’re still in love with him.”  It was a statement, not a question, and he didn’t give her a chance to deny it.  He wasn’t sure if she even would.  “Does he know?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, stressing it again.  “He’s always going to choose his brother and his job over us.  I can’t live like that.”

“And I can’t be in a relationship with someone who’s in love with someone else,” Matthew said.  “Sorry, Lisa, I can’t.  I like you.  I really, really like you.  But that’s the deal-breaker for me.”


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
This is awesome. Sorry for not being able to be more eloquent, but yeah. I liked it a lot. Especially that it's from Matt's point of view.
May. 11th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
Aww, I don't know who I feel more sorry for here! There's just so many feels!
May. 12th, 2013 02:25 pm (UTC)
wow, I liked this very much, especially the POV from Matthew and how present Ben was even if he didn't have a single line.

very lovely especially since you can feel how much Lisa and Dean still care.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


vi, no words

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