A/N: On the happiest of nights, I have dreams about nice ladies who possess maternal warmth making me sandwiches and running their hands through my hair. Sandwiches are delicious.
A/N2: This is set sometime mid to late S2, while Ellen is still at the Roadhouse and Jo's off hunting by herself. I just wanted Ellen and Boys fic, to be honest.
"Here you go, sweetie," Ellen said.
The sandwich looked spectacular: two slices of whole wheat bread laden with fresh mozzarella, a variety of vegetables and a lip-smacking vinaigrette. Not to mention that it was served with a side of salad and a maternal brush of the lips against the top of Sam's mop of hair.
"Thank you, Ellen," Sam said with a boyishly pleased smile. "This looks fantastic."
"Yeah, thanks, Ellen," Dean said through a mouthful of his own meat-ridden concoction. "S'great."
Ellen grinned and clapped them on the shoulders. Dean, Sam noticed with some small approval, managed not to jerk away this time, unlike a few moments ago when Ellen gave him his sandwich with a side of greasy bar fries and a failed attempt at the same brand of affection she had shown Sam.
"Your welcome, boys. Enjoy." And she sauntered off to wipe the bar down and set out the nuts. Sam waited until she was out of hearing distance to kick Dean under the table.
"Fuck me," Dean swore, half-masticated meat still rolling around in his mouth. "What the hell did you do that for?"
"You should be nicer to Ellen," Sam sniffed. "She's all sad now that Jo's off hunting by herself."
Ellen was all sad. Sam could tell. She had that lonely look about her that parental figures tend to get when their young leave the nest. Even John had had that look about him a few times when he looked at Sam after...well, that night. Of course, he never had it quite like Dean had it, but that was another matter altogether.
The problem here was simple to someone as caring and perceptive as Sam Winchester: Jo was gone, but Sam and Dean were here. Ellen needed a substitute. Or two.
"M'being plenty nice to Ellen," Dean informed him, even though that wasn't true at all. Dean wasn't accepting any offerings of affection, and he was stubbornly refusing to partake in any form of discussion with this fine maternal specimen known as Ellen Harvelle. Sandwiches, however, sandwiches he would accept.
"You won't let her touch you," Sam pointed out. "She keeps trying, and you-"
"She doesn't need me for that. She has you," Dean cut him off.
"But-ow, Dean." Stupid older brothers and their retaliatory kicks.
"Just leave it," Dean told him, a note of warning edging his voice. Sam watched as his brother bit back into his sandwich, well aware that the conversation according to Dean was now over.
So Sam left it and they finished their lunch.
By the time they left the Roadhouse, dark was setting in outside. They stepped out into the cool night air with heads swimming with dead languages and dead things absorbed by books old enough to be dead, and Sam's brain was still trying to organize it all, to line up all of that ancient knowledge of the supernatural so as to perform better when it came time to kill the witch.
"Ganking witches and saving bunnies," Dean said cheerfully. "It's going to be a good night." Dean was obsessed with saving the bunnies.
Sam was just glad this particular case was close to the Roadhouse and that Ellen was letting them stay in the back room (despite the tiny size of the cots, that is.) Free food and free board were always nice things, even though they were going to have to shy away from the bar during its busy hours - Gordon Walker had been telling every hunter and his mother about Sam's "anti-christ" ways, and Ellen had warned them not to risk it. The Roadhouse was prone to being destroyed enough without the younger generation of Winchester adding to the possibility, and money was apparently very tight in the land of the Harvelles.
"You got everything?" Dean asked, and Sam knew he was referring to their witch-killing supplies.
"I have everything."
Sam was sure. He'd triple-checked everything before leaving and now they were here. They were at her den, or whatever the fuck witches called their residential abodes, and they were going to do their job, just like they'd been doing their job all their lives.
Dean slept weird that night, feeling his arm pulse with the ache of the open cut from the witch's blade. She'd gotten him good with that one quick slash, cackling with the flames rising up from the bottoms of her irises, licking her pupils, and Dean was reliving the memory. He was dreaming about it now, his subconscious cleverly leaving out the glorious end to the evening: her blood on his hands and the liberation of five snow white bunnies, their furry faces twitching happily as they scampered off into the night.
But his dreams weren't about this happy ending. They were about the knife and the way it had cut him, and the way it had cut Sam when Sam had attempted to intervene. Over and over again, his mind played this moment and he felt small and helpless as he twisted around on the tiny cot, sweating and aching and reaching for Dream Sam, longing to close up that wound in his little brother's arm.
"Sammy," he said in his dream, and mumbled in his sleep. "S'okay. I'm right here."
Dean was right here and Sam was right there and the witch wasn't gone yet and Dean couldn't make her gone and it had been months since Dad died, but Dean wanted Dad. Dean wanted Dad in his dream and in his sleep because Dean was bleeding and Sam was bleeding and someone had to take care of all of this blood. But Dad was dead. Dead like Mom.
And just like that, Dean wanted Mom. Dean wanted Mom in his dream and in his sleep, because he was small again. Dean was too small for all of this. Dean was too small for ganking witches and carrying dead men on his shoulders.
"Dean?" Sam asked, his arm bleeding.
"I'm right here," Dean told him. "I'm right here, Sam."
"Dean," Sam insisted, and the earthquake started. Dean's entire body shook and he looked around for a doorway or something to stand under, and that's when he realized that the witch was gone and Sam wasn't bleeding anymore.
"Where are the bunnies?" he asked, because they were gone, too. They were gone, but Dean hadn't freed them, yet.
"Dean, wake up," Sam ordered.
Dean woke up. The earthquake stopped.
A little boy stared at him. He had Sam's eyes and nose and girly hair. Dean poked the kid's nose with one wondering finger. "Sammy?" he asked.
"Yeah," Sam huffed. "It's me. Look what she did to us."
To us? Dean thought, with a throat full of dread. His finger was still on Sam's nose. His finger was a small finger.
"Yeah," Sam said unhappily, throwing his hands into the air and flailing them a little. "What the hell, man?"
Dean slid off the cot, which really wasn't so tiny anymore considering his size, and onto the floor. He and Sam were the same height, and he suspected, the same physical age. That was just...everything about all of this was just wrong.
"Our injuries are gone," Sam sighed. "That's one bright spot."
Dean raised two talented, fun-sized eyebrows and opened his mouth, ready to tell his brother that he'd rather be big and riddled with holes and scars than be stuck in this diminutive body, but that's when Ellen walked in.
"We're small," Sam informed her. "We're small and the witch is dead and now we'll never be big again."
Apparently rational thought shrunk with his limbs, because when Sam said this, Dean believed it. He believed it with all of his little heart, in fact, so when Sam started to wail, Dean had to wipe away the tears of hopelessness that were quick to spill from his green eyes.
"It's okay, Sammy," he said instead, and wrapped two child-sized arms around his sobbing brother. "I'll fix this, I promise."
He patted his brother's back until the crying subsided, purposefully ignoring Ellen and moving away when she attempted to crouch down and wrap her own adult-sized arms around the both of them.
Dean didn't need her. Dean would fix this. He promised.
To be continued...