Chapter 17- The Wanderer
Dean sat still on the edge of his bed, holding his head in his hands. He had been sick twice since he had woken up a half hour ago and was now feeling shaky. His body was starting to expel the poison from his system and was making him pay Hell for it.
'Good,' he thought, 'Hell is what I deserve.'
It had not been twenty-four hours since Sam and Bobby had tracked him down, but it had not taken that long for the guilt to set in. He was still missing many bits and pieces of what had happened over the past few days, but yet he remembered a few of the parts that he most wished he could forget. The way he had handled Jo sickened him more than the poison.
Sam had filled him in on much of what had happened on the trip back to the Roadhouse with Bobby helping from where he came in (they had left his truck at the motel for the time being). Jo had remained silent for the entire ride, nodding or shaking her head when asked a question. She sat on one side of the back seat, starring out the side window, while Dean sat on the other.
He could not blame her for keeping her distance; he had scared the living Hell out of her. She had every right to ask him to leave and never come back. This was something he planed to do.
Once they had reached the saloon, he had tried to pull her aside from the other two but she answered his attempts with a feeble smile and walked away. When Ellen came outside to meet them, her arm in a sling, she ran down the steps and grabbed Jo hugging and kissing her with relief and joy.
Dean could hardly bare to watch. Seeing the two women embrace made him feel all the more worst. No matter what had been wrong with him, there was no excuse for what he had done. The bandages on Ellen's arm hid the wound he had caused and he could feel it as though the bullet had been lodged in his own flesh.
From here he had slipped around to the back, came in through the kitchen and snuck into his room, locking the door behind him. After taking a shower in the adjoined bathroom and shaving the three-day scruff off of his chin he had taken a long look at himself in the mirror. The long term effects of the poison were prominently present in his shadowed, bloodshot eyes.
It had taken a long while to get to sleep, but he had not made a sound when the knocks came to the door. He just lay there, waiting for whoever was to leave. He did not feel ready to talk to anyone. Finally, sometime in the evening, sleep had washed over him.
He had slept until around seven, gotten up and dressed, but still did not leave his room. After taking sick and emptying the entire contents of his stomach, hunger ached at his insides. He longed to go out and make himself a sandwich but he knew how awkward it would become the minute he stepped into the kitchen.
Instead, he sat on his bed with his head in his hands, waiting to build up the strength to fake a smile and go out to tell everyone and Sam that they were leaving.
'Go away,' he willed them.
"Dean, open up. It's Sam."
Dean got up hesitantly and turned the lock on the door. Stepping back, he opened the door and let Sam in. Looking up at his little brother, Dean remembered the damage he had also done to Sam. He was lucky he had not broken his nose when he had hit him.
"Hey Dean," he remained in the doorway, unsure of whether he should come in, "How're you doing?"
"Super," Dean said sarcastically. He walked back over to the bed and sat down again. Sam walked in after him and stood up beside him, hands in his pockets and shifting his feet around. After a few moments of awkward silence, he spoke up.
"Hey, Dean, you know, none of us are mad at you. You weren't thinking straight. You weren't yourself, Dean. Why don't you quit hiding away on us and come out with everyone?"
"Dude, I'm not hiding," Dean looked up at his brother's accusing face, "Alright, so I'm hidin', but c'mon man. I feel like crap."
"You look like crap."
"Yeah well I feel like I just mixed the wrong combination of Captain Jack and the Royal family."
"So are you ever gonna come out of here?"
"Nah," Dean said, scratching the back of his neck, "I just wanna get outta here."
Sam huffed, "Alright, if you're sure."
The boys looked around towards the door to see Ellen standing there, leaning against the wall. She did not have the usual air of suspicion or threat around her, but seemed to be unnaturally content.
"Can I have a moment?" she had not directed the question at Dean, but at Sam.
"Yeah sure," he said, walking towards the door, "Dean, I'll meet you out by the car," he added before exiting and leaving them alone.
"You don't have to run," Ellen said, closing the door behind him and then taking a seat next to Dean, "You're welcome to stay."
"Yeah, I know. I just thought it'd be best to hit the road."
"Dean, sweety, I know I can be a stubborn woman," Dean drew back and looked at her, raised his eyebrows and faked an expression of surprise.
"And I like to think I know what's best," she continued, "but I'm hopin' you'll prove me wrong here."
Dean looked at her questioningly and she pushed on, "If you really care about my daughter, leaving right now is not the solution. Don't hurt her, she don't deserve that. Don't you walk out of here and keep her waiting for you to come back again."
"You know, sometimes I wonder why you Winchester boys always run away from their problems and sometimes I don't care. But hun, what happened years ago can stay there. I care what happens to Jo right now, and maybe, just maybe, you are what's good for her right now. And maybe she's what's good for you. She cares about you son, don't let that go."
"I...well... thanks, Ellen."
"Your welcome," she said and squeezed him in a short, one-armed hug before getting up off the bed. Clapping him on the shoulder, she added, "I got some sandwiches and pie packed up for you two for the road. I put it in Sam's room so you won't have to wander into the kitchen," she walked over to the door ans stopped, "You boys take it easy, you hear?"
Ellen left the room and he listened as her footsteps faded away. Dean stood up as well and started to gather together the last of his things that had gotten scattered over the room.
Tossing his pack over his shoulder, Dean walked out through the hallway and into the empty bar. At least he would be able to get away without having to confront Jo. Taking one last glance around, he strode over to the screen door.
He cursed and turned around to see Jo running up to him. She looked beautiful with her long, golden hair let down around her neck and shoulders. He could never remember seeing anyone else like that before.
She stopped in front of him and looked down at her feet, "So, um, I guess you're leaving," she said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Yeah, me and Sammy got some work to do."
"Well, come back soon, okay."
"Dean, I don't want to hear that you're sorry. I really don't," she had lost all shyness and was staring up at him with avid aggravation, "I don't want to hear that just maybe you'll get time to stop in in a few months. I don't wanna hear some excuse for what happened before you got sick. All I want is for you to tell me the truth for once."
"I...," Dean started, but he caught her eyes with his, "Jo, I don't know what this is, but... I care about you, that's why I have to leave."
"Well, I care about you too much to let you go," Jo said and grabbed the back of Dean's neck. She pulled herself up to him and kissed him as fiercely as she could. Dean attempted to resist her but his defences weakened at a feel of her body so close to his. Dropping his bag at his side, Dean wrapped his arms around her slender waist and lifted her up off the floor.
When he put her back down, she pulled away slightly, looking up into his eyes, her arms still around his neck.
"I'll miss you,"she cooed, her eyes shining like glass with tears.
"I'll be back in a couple of weeks. I promise," he added letting go of her and picking up his bag.
Dean looked down at her and grinned as he turned around and left, allowing the screen door to close slowly behind him.
TO BE CONTINUED...
That's it guys, I hope you really liked my story and thank you to all my faithful readers. I'd love to hear any thoughts suggestions and reviews. I'm in the process of writing the primary copy of Part 3 of the Wanderer Trilogy. The last one that is. I already have a million ideas of what to write about after this 3 part. I really like where the story is headed and I hope you guys are too. Don't forget to put me on your author alert list so's you know when the next part is up (about two weeks I think)(sorry but I'm going away for a bit to start off my summer). Thanks again everyone and peace out.