Disclaimer : One day i won't need one of the these

Firstly , Happy New Year to everyone, i hope you had a great Christmas xxx

Secondly, many peaple were asking for another story with Grace and Nicki from my story 'The Scent' . I love you for asking for more!! So here it is, with a big, huge, healthy dose of Sick!Dean for you. I realise there are many stories out there at the moment with sick Dean but this is the only one with Grace and Nicki! LOL! You don't need to have read The Scent to enjoy this but it might help in order to know who the characters are.

Really hope you enjoy xxx

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Chapter One

Grace stood by the side of the road, her breath leaving a slow trail from her mouth into the sky above. She hugged her arms across her body and willed the time to speed up.

She felt like she had when she was five years old expectantly waiting for Santa. Only this time it wasn't a sleigh bringing her Santa and his reindeer.

It was an Impala bringing her the boys back for another visit.

So much time had passed since the last time they had stayed. They usually stayed a week but last time they only managed a couple of days before their work took them away again, away from Grace. She'd fussed, fed and mothered them. Enjoying every second of their company. No kidnappings, no injuries to tend to and no worry and sleepless nights to lose. The makeshift family had enjoyed a few days together, relaxing and bathing in the love surrounding them. The boys had looked tired, had seemed disheartened yet each time Grace had approached the subject , either together or separately, they had smiled, looked down , and said they were fine. Honestly Grace. No need to worry.

But she did, oh how she did. She knew they lived a dangerous life. She may not know the details but from what she had seen that first time, from what little she had gleamed from snippets of conversation, she knew.

Grace leaned forward expectantly as a car sounded up the main street, only to pass with barely an acknowledgment of her.

Not them. Not yet.

Her eyes travelled along the street, following the trail of the car, past the garage, past the diner, on up through the town heading toward the interstate. So many people drove through town on their way to a better place, yet to Grace, this was the better place. The people here had pulled together and kept their town afloat. Each resident bailing water and keeping their heads high. They would survive, they wouldn't abandon this place. Run down and looked over by outsiders, yet to the people that lived here, this was home. This was a place to lay your hat and allow the love and respect everyone had for each other to soothe your troubles away.

She loved the people and she loved this place.

"Any sign of them yet Aunt Grace?"

Nicki came to stand next to the older woman, her hand around her waist as she hugged her warmth toward her.

"Not yet baby, those boys are never on time."

"Did Sam say a time Aunt?"

"Well, no."

Nicki smiled and planted a gentle kiss on her Aunt's cheek. She waved across the road as Jason pulled out of the garage in the tow truck, he pulled up beside the women.

"Ol' man Rosenbaum has broken down just off the highway again, I'll be late home sweetheart but I guess you and Grace will have your hands full anyway."

Nicki pulled herself up to the open window and kissed Jason tenderly and slowly on the lips.

"I'll be home once the boys are settled, maybe this time I'll cook dinner for you?"

"Yeah ok, although, really, it's no problem, I like cooking, and you'll be tired."

"You don't like my cooking?"

Grace chuckled behind Nicki but quickly hid her amusement as her niece turned to frown.

"It's not that I don't like your cooking sweetheart, it's just I like cooking. I really gotta go."

"Yes you really do."

Jason flashed Nicki his most charming smile, mentally high-fiving himself as she melted before him and leant in for another kiss.

"Maybe someday I'll teach you to cook."

Before Nicki could retort Jason gunned the engine, leaving behind a trail of dust and laughter as he drove off up the main street.

Nicki stood looking after him, unaware of the appraising look of Grace. She was so proud of her niece, she had blossomed here. Had found her feet and learnt how to use them, walking forward and finding her way. After almost a year with her aunt Nicki had moved out, into an apartment above the diner where she now worked. Together Nicki and Jason had worked on making their home as welcoming as Grace's. Together they had found a part of themselves they had lost. Together they were complete. And if Grace admitted it, not that she ever would, she was slightly jealous.

Turning toward Grace, Nicki hooked her thumb up the street and smiled broadly.

"They're here."

Walking forward both women waited patiently as the purr of the Impala grew closer. Nicki waved as Sam pulled into the motel's car park and killed the engine.

He leapt from the car and straight into Grace's open arms, almost losing himself in the embrace.

"Oh baby it's good to see you again."

"You too Grace. Nicki you're looking good."

"Not looking to bad yourself there Sam."

Sam pried himself from Grace and gave Nicki a bear hug, lifting her from the ground and playfully shaking her.

Grace made her way round to the passenger side of the Impala, followed by Sam and Nicki.

"How is he?"

"He fell asleep about two hours ago, he's been sick and his temperature was up to 103."

Dean slept on, slouched in the passenger seat, his head against the window. He was covered with a blanket and oblivious to the concerned eyes taking in his appearance. Small beads of sweat collected on his forehead, occasionally forming themselves into a coalition and making a lazy trail down his face.

"I'm sorry to burden you Grace but we were so close and I'm worried he's really.."

"Hush Sam, you did the right thing. I would have beaten you senseless had you not called."

"Oh really?"

"Really." Grace smiled and winked at the younger man, her eyes danced with a happiness and light. Any excuse to have these two in her lives and she was a happy woman. Just a shame that this visit centred around a sick Dean. Usually the visits were full of fun and laughter.

"Ok, well, I have your room ready."

Sam looked toward the room marked 4, it was then that he realised he'd parked directly in front of it. Grace gave them the same room each visit. Said it was their room whenever they wanted. Funny how that room had ingrained itself on Sam. He smiled again at Grace as he realised she had the front door open and ready for them.

"You gonna carry him in Sam?"

"I think he'd shoot me if I tried Nicki."

"Yeah I bet he would, I'm gonna wake him up."

Sam smiled and stepped back as Nicki walked round to the drivers side, settling herself behind the wheel. She paused, hands gripping the wheel and imagined driving the car on a long dirt road. No one for miles, thoughts lost in the scenery as the car sped along carrying her to a destination unknown.

Grace cleared her throat loudly and Sam tried to hide his smirk.

Before her cheeks could redden further Nicki pulled herself from her daydream and leaned over to Dean. Still fast asleep. She laid the back of her hand against his brow and frowned.

"Dean?"

No response.

"Dean?" This time she shook his shoulder slightly and he stirred, tried to bat away her hand but gave up when he couldn't free his from the blanket.

"J'st little lon'r Sammy."

"Dean it's Nicki, come on man, wake up."

"Nicki?"

"Yeah, hey there gorgeous. You gotta wake up so we can get you in bed."

"Oh I bet you'd love that."

Dean's smirk was wiped from his face as Nicki clipped him about the head.

"Hey! What'd I do?"

"Hound."

"You know you'd jump me if it weren't for Jason."

"You don't seem so appealing all wrapped up and sweating in that blanket you know."

"Blanket?"

Nicki motioned to the cloth as Dean looked down at himself.

"What the? SAM!"

Sam opened the passenger side door trying to appear innocent.

"I only draped it over you, you're the one that pulled it round you Linus."

"Shut up."

"Come on man, we need to get you inside and into bed."

"Everyone wants me in bed." Dean was about to bat away Sam's hand when he saw Grace standing in front of the Impala, arms folded, a no-nonsense look set into her features.

"Hey Grace." He waved lazily, almost smacking Sam in the face as he tried to pull him from the vehicle. Dean attempted to slap away Sam's helping hand but the second he stood the world tilted and his legs gave way. Grace stepped forward as Sam caught him under his arms, lifting him forward. With one arm draped over Sam's shoulders and another draped over Grace's, the trio made their way toward room number four. Dean attempted to keep his legs moving in unison with Grace and Sam but ended up being practically carried to the bed. Nicki had pulled the covers down, making it easier for Dean to get comfortable. Sam pulled his boots from his feet while Grace filled a small bowl with luke warm water from the bathroom.

"I'm ok, really." Had he not looked so sorry for himself Grace would have almost believed him. She sat down next to his hip while Sam and Nicki grabbed the bags from the car.

"Sure you are honey, but maybe you got yourself a little bug there hey?"

She gently mopped the sweat from his brow. Dean turned into the touch, relishing the cool liquid as it eased his headache. He licked his lips and looked up at Grace with hope.

"Water baby?"

"Mmm please."

She returned and waited patiently as he pulled himself further up the headboard, leaning back and closing his eyes as his headache returned with a vengeance. All in all he felt totally, completely, positively, no doubt about it: shit.

He released the breath he'd been holding and shakily took the glass from Grace. He sipped slowly, fully expecting to be seeing the cool water again pretty soon.

"Ok, that's all of it. Thanks Nicki."

Nicki stood at the head of Dean's bed, Sam sat himself the other side of his brother.

Dean looked sheepishly from the three faces turned toward him.

"I'm ok, really. Just a little sick is all. No need to fuss."

"Dean babe, good luck with keeping Grace away."

Grace fired a look at her niece but the glint in her eyes betrayed her.

"Ok, let's not crowd the boy. Nicki can you start that soup I have ready on the stove."

"Sure."

Nicki smiled and patted Dean's knee before leaving the small room and making her way back to the kitchen in the main house.

"Grace I'm not hungry, really I'm not."

"You're also lacking in strength Dean so I want you to try a little bit for me ok? And anyway, it's more for Sam than for you. You must be starving my boy."

Sam smiled thoughtfully, his stomach growled expectantly. "Actually Grace I am, thanks. It's been a tiring couple of days."

"I bet it has honey, did you manage to get any sleep?"

"Some, but only an hour here and there."

"Ok well why don't you eat then have yourself a shower and get some much needed shuteye."

"Er hello!"

Both Grace and Sam jumped at the sound of the petulant sick man in the bed between them. Tiredly Dean pointed to himself.

"Me. Fuss over me. Not him. Me."

"So I can fuss?" Grace raised her eyebrows as an amused smile played at her lips.

"You can. He can't."

"Why can't I fuss?" Sam looked like a five year old who'd been told he could never eat chocolate again in his life.

"Because."

"Because why?"

"Just cos."

"Great argument Dean."

"Boys please!"

"Because Sammy you're tired, and you've driven the whole way and you haven't eaten in hours."

At that Grace turned her full attention back onto the younger Winchester.

"Sam you get yourself to that kitchen and let Nicki feed you up, then you're to sleep. You hear? Don't want you getting sick too."

Sam was about to argue but the look on Grace's stern face broke all arguments and demanded obedience. As he walked to the door he pointed to Dean, who was sat smiling smugly, and mouthed the words 'get you back'.

"Ok Dean, come on, Sam's gone so tell me how you're really feeling."

Dean raised his tired green eyes to look into Grace's full brown ones. She patted his knee and silently urged him to spill.

"Feel crap."

"That I gathered. Symptoms?"

"I just need sleep Grace."

"Dean?"

"Headache."

Grace reached for a small medicine box that had been left on the nightstand. Dean looked at her amused.

"I like to be prepared."

"That you do. Thanks." He took the two smalls pills and swallowed carefully.

"Sore throat?"

He nodded.

"And?"

Sighing dramatically Dean realised he had no escape, seeing as his legs refused to co-operate when he tried to walk and the actual room itself was spinning slowly.

"Feel hot one minute, cold the next. I'm tired and I ache all over."

His shoulders sagged as his strength began to leave him again. Grace took the glass from his hand and lifted the covers so that he could scoot down . She tucked him in and wiped his brow again with the cloth.

"Ok honey, you get some sleep and I'll be back soon with some soup."

"Not hungry."

"I wasn't giving you an option."

Grace waited until she was certain Dean was out for the count, then she quietly slipped from the room and made her way toward the main house. The sound of laughter warmed her heart and quickened her step. She found the two in fits of laughter, Sam apparently having sprayed Nicki with soup during a rather violent bout of the giggles.

"What did I miss?"

"Nicki was just telling me about your little incident Grace." Sam had to put his spoon down before he covered himself in more soup. Nicki handed him a towel, desperately attempting to avoid Grace's embarrassed look of shock.

"You didn't?"

"Oh Grace, oh yes she did. The thought of you trapped outside with nothing but a towel."

"Oh you think that's funny do you?"

"Come on!"

"I was out there for half an hour and no one would get help, instead they all insisted on laughing and Jason didn't even try to stop his uncle from taking pictures."

"Yeah, you know Doug still has them up in the garage."

"Nicki! You get those pictures from him and you burn them."

"How'd it happen Grace?"

"I went to get the milk for my coffee and the wind took the door. It's that simple. Stop laughing, both of you. It's not funny."

Grace turned away as the infectious laughter made it's way into her blood and threatened to knock her authoritative look from her face. She had to admit. It had been funny. Well, funny once she had gotten herself dressed again.

"Aunt Grace it's almost time for my shift so I'll be back later to help you."

"You still at the diner Nicki?"

"Yeah Sam, you're now in the presence of the assistant manager."

"Really? Good for you."

Nicki hugged her aunt goodbye and threw Sam a wink as she grabbed her coat.

"Call me if you need anything."

"Will do honey, see you later."

Sam started eating what was left of his soup, soaking his bread in it's warmth and relishing the taste.

"She seems to be doing really well. She's looking great too."

"That she is, she still has the piercing's , but I'm glad the purple hair has gone. She looks amazing as a blonde."

"Sure does."

"Coffee?"

"God yes please Grace."

Grace poured them both a generous amount and sat opposite Sam. She watched him for a few minutes as he devoured the rest of the soup. She filled his bowl again when he sheepishly asked for more. It felt so right having him here, having him so close. His very being called out to be mothered and Grace had answered to the call whole heartedly and with open arms.

"So come on Sam, how is he really?"

"What'd he tell you?"

"Hot and cold chills, aches all over, sore throat."

"Well what he failed to mention then is that he passed out this morning when his temperature soared to 103. It seemed to come back down again about an hour later but by that time I'd already called you and we were on the road."

"You said he'd vomited?"

"Yeah puked up his breakfast."

"Vomited Sam."

"Threw chunks Grace."

"Fair enough." Laughed Grace. "I'll call Doc Jones if his temperature climbs again, at the moment it seems under control. Guess you'll be stuck here for a week or two though."

"Poor us."

Grace matched Sam's smile fully and gripped his hand.

"Glad to have you boys home."

Home. Sam felt the warmth in his heart from the word.

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TBC (if i can tear my eyes away from repeatedly watching Hunted that is!)

Review: ya know you want to and you know i need it!!