With the strength of the summer sun came the strength of all emotions: love, passion, and even fury, most particularly between a certain boy and girl, or perhaps at that time, man and woman. There was no use in kidding that Dean and Emma were children any longer. Time had changed them. Time, and the island.
Dean usually waited in the same spot, hands in his pockets, watching the school doors flap open and slam closed again as mobs of eager teenagers gushed from their contents. It never took him long to spot Emma in the crowd, her curls flapping against her back and a book indefinitely tucked under her arm.
So on that humid day, when summer has just begun to creep its way into everyone's lives, Dean could not help the smile that crept onto his face when he saw her bouncing down the steps. It might look odd to anyone who happened to walk by, seeing him there, watching her, considering that he should be in class as well. But he had opted to take a study period the last hour of the day rather than the advanced chemistry class Emma had chosen and so easily completed daily. Leaving school early certainly had its perks, but watching her walk toward him everyday was most definitely the best of them.
He rolled down his window as she neared, raising one eyebrow and forming a crooked smile.
"Can I help you?" he asked as she rested her chin on her folded arms that laid on the edge of the window.
"Give me a ride?" She asked sly, and Dean rolled his eyes, sighing dramatically.
"I guess just this once," He said as he laughed, but Emma was already jumping into the empty passenger seat. She threw her bag into the back, and didn't hesitate to reach across the seat for his collar and pull him in for a kiss. They're lips joined effortlessly, creating a warmth that only young love could kindle. It was short but passionate, and certainly left Dean aching for more when she drew away.
He groaned and threw is head back, but she just smiled and shook her head. "Later," she promised, and handed him the keys from the dashboard.
"And how was your day?" she asked as he pulled away, shifting the gears of the clunky truck.
"Mundane," he nodded, and she smiled slightly. There was a pause in their conversation as they both thought for a moment.
"You?" asked Dean finally, and she sighed.
"Kylie broke up with Josh," she said dryly. "Again."
"I'm sure you heard about that to no limit," Dean said, turning quickly down an empty road toward his house.
"Endlessly," she verified. She didn't like to get tangled up in other's affairs, especially those which were so trivial. Maybe it was being away from it for so long that changed her, but listening to her friends whine about boys and teachers and parents just didn't occupy her like it used to. She felt more mature now, almost like she had realized what was really important to her.
Dean braked into a slow stop as he reached his house, the long, green yard stretched out next to the truck like a football field, or it could be with as well as it was kept. He didn't understand why his father went to such extents to keep the yard so tidy. What did it matter if the grass grew a little shabby, or faded into that brown color that most yards maintained during those dryer days? Was it his mother's passion for the garden that made his father work to keep the yard in top condition? Or, more precisely, the workers that his father hired. He sighed.
"Are you okay?" Emma asked, and he nodded. He flashed her a strained smile, hoping that she might buy it, but she saw through him.
"Dean," she said, a concerned tone in her voice. She rested her hand around the curve of his chin, her fingers wrapping up the side if his cheek.
"It's nothing, really." He promised, placing his hand over hers. She watched him for a moment, and then looked away.
"I should call my mom," she said, reaching into her bag for her phone. "Or at least text her. Just so she knows where I am." She added.
"Em, as if she doesn't know your with me."He said with a chuckle, but the worried expression didn't leave her face.
"Still," She said , looking down at her phone, "It'll just be a sec," She started to dial her mom's number into the phone, but was already distracted by the third number as Dean leaned over and pressed his lips against her neck. A shiver ran down her back and through her legs; his breath was this strange and pleasurable sensation. She tried to pull away, but his hand on her thigh made her head foggy and the phone slipped from her fingers. She gave in, running her fingers through his dark, shaggy hair and meeting his lips half way.
"This is your fault," she whispered, and he laughed. He pulled her seatbelt free and curled his arms underneath her thighs, pulling her on to his lap in a quick motion. She laughed in delight, watching how his arms could manipulate her so easily. And she loved it.
They eventually made their way out of the truck, Dean patting his matted hair down into something presentable. His father could be inside, he knew, and he would put the pieces together fairly easily. He squeezed Emma's hand, and lead her up the driveway to the side door. He sloppily reached for the lock, tugging the keys from his pocket. He jammed the key against the lock several times, but it wouldn't seem to do its job. He heard Emma laugh, and she gently eased the key from his hand. She waited for the distinctive click as she turned the knob around twice, and then pushed the heavy door open. She handed the key back, her eyebrows raised.
"Shut it," he said, and she smiled smugly. He went in first, and she followed, tugging her bag through the door. She had packed it with books during school hoping to get some studying in, but something told her they wouldn't even touch them that evening.
"Dad!" Dean called, poking his head around the hallway corner. "I'm home!"
They both waited for a response, and when none came, he called again. Silence.
"Perfect," Dean whispered, tucking a stray hair behind Emma's ear. She could feel her pulse raising, and took in several deep breaths. She could only make out a few simple features on Dean's face in the dark hallway; his curved jaw, the outline of his eyes, and of course, his lips. She reached for them, pressing her own against his, and smiled.
"God, I missed you," Dean mumbled, and Emma laughed.
"I saw you right before my last class. It was only an hour." she said, but he shook his head.
"Being stuck on an island with someone makes for hard habits to break," he whispered, and she felt her heart drop. Maybe it was the mention of the island, or just the way he said it, but it left her with a strange feeling and a pounding in her head. She hated to bring it up again, but the words spilled over before she could stop them.
"Do you ever...miss it?" She asked. Of course, they'd discussed this a thousand times, over late night calls or whispers through the window. Sometimes Emma would have this moment, where the reality of it all would just crash, and Dean was the only one who could calm her. He'd whisper things to her, about everything being okay, and her pulse would eventually slow as well as her racing thoughts. But nothing could ever calm the raging memories that tore at her subconscious.
She pressed her back again the wall and slid down to the floor, sitting facing the opposite wall. Dean mimicked this, sliding next to her.
"All the time," He said, reaching for her hand. She didn't resist, letting his him massage the circulation back into her cold fingers. "Well, parts of it." he added.
"Which parts?" Emma asked, looking up at him. He stared at her, her brilliant blue eyes and the curve of her nose. And he thought.
"How carefree we were, I think." He said finally, nodding his head almost as if to be sure of himself. "Remember? Remember how we used to swim for hours and just sit in the sand?" he asked, "And we fought. We fought all the time," he added with a bark of laughter, "But it was okay. Because, we were together. And it worked. I guess."
His words were left to echo through Emma's mind as they sat there, the silence almost deafening.
"And, you know, the sex was great," He added with a goofy grin, and she smiled, resting her head against his arm.
"We'll be okay, you know?" he asked her, the tone of his voice shifting to a more serious level. He lifted her chin up to meet her eyes with his. "We'll be okay."
And it didn't really matter if the words were true, because they were okay then, and that was all that really mattered.