Here is the third and final chapter. I've got to admit, I enjoyed this little story, even with very little plot and more hurt/comfort than I usually write. I'm so hoping that they find a way to bring Ellen back for some of Season 8. Writing this made me realize how much I miss her.
I hope you enjoy it, and as always thank you so much for taking the time to read it. Please take just a moment and leave a quick review.
Despite how wonderful Ellen's pot roast had been and how much Dean had eaten at dinner, a few hours later he was rummaging through the refrigerator and putting together a sandwich and milk for a snack. Sam staggered into the kitchen a few minutes later, groaning in misery and holding his head. He stood next to the fridge and watched in disbelief as Dean finished making his sandwich.
"Dude, how can you even think about eating? I'm still stuffed from dinner."
Dean took a bite of his sandwich and shrugged his shoulders. "Dinner was, like, two and a half hours ago." He explained as he chewed. He then looked Sam up and down. "You should take some aspirin for your head. It's gotta be killing you, and I heard you coughing non-stop in the other room a few minutes ago, I'm sure that's not making your head feel any better."
"That's true." Sam answered. "My head wasn't too bad until I started coughing again. Now it's throbbing like a bitch and what's even worse is my throat is killing me."
Dean shook his head and gave a sad smile. "Man, you are just sucking tonight."
Sam winced at Dean as he turned and opened the fridge door. "Maybe there's something cold in here for my throat."
"Maybe. Hey, before we head to bed I'll need you to rewrap my hand for me. I did it myself before dinner but couldn't really do it good with just one hand."
Sam nodded in reply as he continued his search through the refrigerator. Dean brought his sandwich and milk to the kitchen table and sat down. "At least my knee is feeling a little better." He stated as he tipped his head back and took a huge gulp of milk from the container.
Much to Dean's surprise, he felt a slap on the back of his head. He finished his swallow quickly and whirled around to see Ellen standing behind him holding a glass. She raised her eyebrows up at him as she placed the glass down on the table.
"Do you have to be told?" She admonished.
Dean gave her a guilty looking smirk as he took the glass and poured some milk into it. Ellen then took the milk container and placed the cap on top. "Thank you, sweetie." She smiled as she picked up a few left over utensils, including a spatula, from the dinner table and carried them to the sink. As she passed Sam, still bent over searching the fridge, she swung the spatula and brought it down across Sam's backside.
Sam jerked upward. "Yeow!" he yelped in surprise. He frowned at Ellen. "What was that for?"
Ellen continued past him as she brought the utensils to the sink. She casually replied over her shoulder. "You're letting all the cold air out of my fridge. Just pick something already and shut the door."
Sam threw Dean an exasperated look as Dean chuckled at him. "Hey," Dean laughed, "It could've been worse, at least you didn't get smacked in the head."
Sam quickly decided on a pudding cup as Ellen once again walked past him and took the milk from the table. "Oh, I wouldn't hit Sam in the head when he's got such a bad headache. I'm not evil. But," She added, "last I checked there wasn't anything wrong with his ass." She smiled as she put the milk away and then took the pudding cup away from Sam. "And you shouldn't have any milk products when your chest is congested, Hon." She returned the pudding to the fridge and brought out another item. "Here, have a Jell-O cup instead, it's better for you." She ran her hand over the back of his head in a comforting gesture. Sam couldn't help but smile at her, in spite of her having just swatted him as if he were a little kid.
Just then Bobby entered the kitchen. He held a cardboard box under his arm. "I'm gonna take a couple trips out and get some wood for the fire tonight." He announced. "I'll only be a few minutes."
Dean rose from the table. "I'll give you a hand." He offered as he grabbed his jacket.
"That's okay, Dean, I've got it. It's just stacked on the other side of the porch." Bobby countered.
"No, really. If two of us go, we can get all we need for the night in one trip. It's no big deal."
Bobby shrugged. "Suit yourself."
While Dean and Bobby were collecting the firewood, Ellen sat with Sam at the table while he ate his Jell-O cup.
Sam started some small talk. "So, Bobby says that Jo's visiting some friends from school?"
Ellen's eyes held a saddened expression. "Yeah. She's been gone for about two weeks now and isn't due home again until the end of next month. I know she's all grown up now, but I still miss her and worry like Hell when she's off somewhere on her own." She gave a small smile to Sam. "It's a mother thing. A Mom will worry about her kids for all her life."
Sam shrugged and smiled slightly. "I guess so." He answered. "I'll have to take your word for it. I never had one, and I'll never be one." He tried to joke.
Ellen realized that she was hitting a potentially delicate subject and patted Sam's knee. "Oh sweetie, I'm sorry." She then changed the subject a little bit. "Listen, I asked Jo to clean out her room before she left, but she's still got a lot of junk in it, so I've fixed up the two couches in the study for you and Dean to sleep on tonight. I hope that's okay."
Sam yawned and stretched as the thought of falling asleep tantalized him. "Yeah, that sounds great. Anywhere as long as it's not a musty motel room or the back of the Impala sounds really good right now."
Their conversation was interrupted when Bobby came crashing through the door, half carrying Dean by supporting Dean's weight across his shoulders.
Ellen and Sam stood from their seats at the table. "What the Hell happened?" Ellen cried.
Dean held his leg off the ground as he hobbled toward a chair, using Bobby as a crutch. "It's my damned knee!"
Bobby explained further. "He slipped on the wet porch and landed hard on his knee. I think I heard it pop."
Sam felt his stomach knot up. "Oh crap, Dean, you were just saying it was feeling better!"
"Yeah, I know. I should've known better than to say something like that. I jinxed it!"
Ellen took a small towel from the drawer and filled it with ice from the freezer. "Okay, let's just get you settled and we'll take a look at it."
Dean took a seat and pulled his sweatpants up past his knee. It looked red and swollen, but after Bobby put it through some uncomfortable bends and stretches it was discovered that nothing appeared to be broken. Bobby and Sam helped Dean to his designated bed in the study and propped his leg up with some pillows. Ellen placed the ice-filled towel on his knee.
"Well, looks like you're in bed for the evening." She sighed. "It's after nine o'clock anyways, and you two both look pretty wiped out. Why don't we just call it an early night?"
Sam then began a coughing fit that had him doubled over, holding his chest with one hand and trying to cover his mouth with the other.
Bobby looked over at Sam after his cough had finally quieted down. "I'd say Sam agrees to that." He stated. Sam looked up at Bobby and nodded weakly.
"Definitely." He concurred.
Bobby again grabbed his cardboard box and headed for the door. "Okay, let's try this one more time. I'm gonna go get some wood to keep the fire going through the night. I'll be right back."
"Be careful!" Ellen shouted behind him. "We don't need everyone out of commission tonight."
"Yeah, yeah." Bobby huffed as he closed the door behind him.
Ellen watched Bobby leave and then turned her attention to Sam and Dean.
"Okay," she announced as she clapped her hands together. "Let's get you two settled in…..but first things first. Dean, you need your hand wrapped up again." She turned on her heels and headed out of the study.
"I can get Dean's hand wrapped up, Ellen…." Sam started.
Ellen didn't turn around as she continued through the doorway. She raised her hand with her finger pointed upward. "Sam…..lay down!" She commanded.
Sam blew out a breath as he sat on his couch and leaned back against the pillows Ellen had placed on it. "Boy," he said to Dean. "She sure can be forceful when she wants to be."
"Forceful?" Dean repeated. "She can be a friggin pushy bitch when she wants to be." He chuckled a little bit. "But her heart's in the right place."
A moment later, Ellen was seated on an ottoman in front of Dean with plenty of antibiotic cream, gauze and medical tape. She gingerly worked on redressing Dean's cut hand. As Dean lay on the couch watching her, he again caught the scent of her perfume. Once again he was sent back in time to when he was a very young child. Thoughts of his mother flowed through his head as Ellen cared for him. Maybe it was the perfume; maybe his mom had worn the same kind. He wasn't sure if it was the perfume or simply the fact that he was being coddled by a mother figure that sent him to memory lane, and at the moment he really didn't care which it was. He just closed his eyes and let the warm memories silently flood over him.
Ellen finished up with Dean's hand, completely oblivious to the affect her presence was having on him, and then stood and turned her attention to Sam. "Alrighty, let's see how you're doing." She said as she walked over to Sam's couch.
"I'm fine." Sam began, "I just need a good night's rest."
Ellen sat on the edge of the couch. "I ain't arguing with that." She agreed, "But just humor me for a minute, okay? Here, lean forward a bit more." She piled a few more pillows behind Sam's head. "You need to sit up a little bit when you sleep tonight. If you sleep lying flat, your chest will close up on you again." Sam leaned back against the pillows Ellen had propped up for him. She then placed both her hands on either side of his throat and pressed around with her fingertips. "Your glands are pretty swollen. Your throat must be hurting." Sam nodded slightly as Ellen continued. "Poor thing. You boys really did a number on yourselves this time, didn't ya?" She then removed her hands from Sam's neck, placing them on either side of his face. She leaned forward and placed her lips to his forehead, holding them there for about five full seconds. Sam held still but seemed slightly uncomfortable. After what Sam thought was an eternity she pulled away from him and brushed her hand through his hair.
"I'm gonna go get you some Nyquil and some aspirin for both of you." She decided as she got up from the couch. "I'll be back in a minute."
After she left, Sam looked over to Dean in confusion. Dean smiled as he realized that Sam had no idea what Ellen had been doing.
"That's the way moms do it." Dean explained.
Sam propped himself up on his elbows. "Do what?" he asked.
"That's how they feel your head to see if you're running a fever."
Sam squinted at Dean. "With their lips?" He asked, seeming bewildered. "That's weird. How did you know that?"
Dean's eyes got a faraway look. "I know because Mom used to do that to me."
An amazed look crossed Sam's face, replacing the look of confusion just a moment earlier. "How can you remember that far back?" He asked.
Dean shook his head. "I remember being sick when I was little, it couldn't have been very long before she died. I was pretty sick with the flu and she let me spend the day in her bed watching cartoons. I remember there was a big soft green blanket on the bed and she kept coming in to check on me, and when she did she would kiss my forehead to see if I was hot." Dean's voice became a little thick as he seemed on the verge of tears. He cleared his throat and shook his head to snap himself out of the thought. "It's weird. I've been having these strange flashbacks to when I was a kid all day."
Sam's eyes widened. "Is that what happened to you at dinner? You seemed pretty weirded out."
"Yeah," Dean answered. "Like I said, it's been happening all day."
"What's causing it?" Sam questioned. "Is it Ellen? It's got to be Ellen, right?"
Dean shrugged. "That would be my guess. But, we've been around Ellen a hundred times and it never happened before."
Sam shrugged back. "I dunno. She seemed a little different today, and like Bobby said, she's missing Jo, so maybe you got picked up on the 'mother radar' or something."
"I dunno. Maybe."
Ellen returned to the study, carrying a bottle of aspirin, two water bottles, a small plastic cup with red liquid in it, and something in a teaspoon. She handed Dean the aspirin and a water bottle, then brought the plastic cup to Sam. "Bottom's up." She said. "Make sure you drink it all."
Sam grimaced at the cup, but took it and shot it back, swallowing it in one big gulp. However, as the liquid went down, Sam's reaction was so strong to the horrid taste of it that his whole head shook involuntarily.
"What the Hell was that?" he gasped as he tried to recover. "That wasn't Nyquil."
Ellen smiled "Yes it was….at least….it had some Nyquil in it. That was a half shot of Nyquil, a half shot of whiskey, and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar." Seeing the looks on both Sam and Dean's faces, she explained further, "The whiskey will help you sleep, plus helps the Nyquil break up the congestion and the vinegar helps with the cough and also with the congestion. It's my own personal recipe, and I guarantee it'll make you feel better in the morning."
"That's if I can ever get this gross taste out of my mouth." Sam whined.
"Oh you big baby. Fine, here." She brought the teaspoon closer to Sam's face. "Take a mouthful of this. It's a half a teaspoon of honey. It'll taste good and help coat your throat."
Sam begrudgingly opened his mouth and allowed Ellen to feed him the honey. He seemed content after that and lay back down.
"Better?" Ellen quipped.
Sam nodded. "Better." He answered.
"Well good. I'll sleep better knowing you're not laying here all mad at me." Ellen huffed. She then turned to Dean. "Dean, sweetie, make sure your brother gets the aspirin bottle when you're through with it."
Dean took three pills from the bottle and tossed it to Sam. Sam plucked three out of the bottle as well and washed them down with some water.
Ellen smiled at them both as she looked them over. "Well," she proclaimed. "Looks like my work here is done. Just give me a holler if you boys need anything."
Sam looked up. "Ellen," he remarked. "I like your perfume. It's nice."
Dean raised his eyebrows. There was no way Sam could possibly remember that scent from Mom. He was only a baby when she died.
Ellen smiled. "Thanks, Sam. It's Burberry's. I've worn it for years. It's nothing fancy, but I like it." She laughed a little bit. "Jo teases me about it. Says I should wear something less 'motherly'. Who knows, maybe someday I'll splurge and get something more fancy."
"No," Dean added. "Don't change it. I like it too."
"Well okay, that settles it then, I'll stick with the Burberry." Ellen went to Dean's bedside and gave him a light kiss goodnight on the cheek. She then did the same for Sam and walked to the doorway. "Goodnight, boys." She said. "Sweet dreams and get some rest."
A half hour later, Ellen peeked in to check on them. Bobby had fixed a nightcap for him and for Ellen and brought her glass to her as she watched the boys sleep.
Bobby noticed the way Ellen was looking at them. "You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." She answered. "It's just funny, you know. I know they're grown men, and I know they're more than capable of taking care of themselves, but it felt good to help them out tonight."
Bobby gave a knowing smile. "Yeah, I know what you mean."
Ellen continued, "I mean, look at them? Do they look all grown up to you?"
Bobby looked at Dean, turned over onto his side, hugging his pillow….. then looked at Sam with his mountain of pillows, head thrown back with his hair covering his eyes. "Yeah," he answered,
…"About as grown up as ten year olds can look."