Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giving Thanks (3/3)

Chapter 3

South Dakota
November 22, 2007
Thursday 7 p.m.

Dean tossed the trash bag in the garbage outside as he shook his head. Bobby and Ellen…who woulda thought…he brushed his hands off as he made his way back into the house. Bobby and Sam were in his study looking over some books, but Dean wasn’t quite ready to have the relaxed atmosphere end yet.

He glanced at Ellen washing the last of the dishes and cleared his throat. She raised an eyebrow in his direction and he gave her half a smile.

“Need any help?”

“I got it Sweetie.”

He nodded, went into the fridge, and grabbed another beer. He popped it open and leaned against the counter near Ellen. Dean glanced across the room and a small grin tugged at his lips. He could see Jo sitting on Bobby’s couch, legs pulled underneath her, biting her lip while she read a book. The fireplace gave her a small glow and he took a deep breath.

She was beautiful. In all his 28 years Dean didn’t think he’d ever seen anything more beautiful. The last time he saw her was close to a year ago in Duluth. She’d definitely grown up since then.

He had said he’d call her that night…but he never did. He was pretty sure she wasn’t expecting him to call, and she didn’t seem mad about it now, but after tonight he sort of felt bad about it.

The minute he met Jo, Dean knew she was different. He knew she was the type of girl he could fall hard for and so he’d avoided taking things to the next level even though there was an obvious attraction on both sides.

He didn’t want her to be another one night stand. She was too good for that. She deserved better. Better than a guy who only had about 6 months left on this earth. Ellen turned off the water and wiped her hands off on the dishtowel before looking at Dean.

His body was relaxed as he stared into the living room at her daughter. There was a look of concentration on his face as he gazed at her, as if he was trying to memorize her or this moment…possibly both. Ellen could clearly see the pain in his eyes and she sighed to herself. Those two…

Ellen perched next to him and she didn’t even think he noticed.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

Her voice must have snapped him awake because he moved his eyes abruptly away from Jo and scratched the back of his head.

“Uh, I was just…tonight was nice.”

Ellen almost grinned. It’s true, tonight had been nice, but she was willing to wager that, that was not what he’d been thinking about.

“Yeah…Jo and I haven’t had a really family dinner like this in a while. I guess that’s what bein’ a hunter does.”

Dean frowned and turned toward.

“You and Jo are hunting together?”

She nodded.

“For a while now.”

“I didn’t realize…how’s that going?”

Ellen shrugged.

“Decent…I’d prefer for my baby to find a better hobby, but she’s a stubborn one…”

Dean smirked as he took a sip of his beer.

“I bet.”

There was a comfortable silence between them, which Ellen broke a couple of minutes later.

“It’s okay for you to care about her you know.”

Dean’s body tensed and then relaxed. He looked at Ellen then.


Ellen gave Dean a ‘give me some credit’ look and nodded before looking away.

“She cares about you too…I almost wish she didn’t…”

Dean gave Ellen a startled look and her face softened.

“You’re a good man Dean, but I never wanted my daughter to fall for a hunter…I know how hard that life is. I wanted something better for my baby…but she’s hell bent on hunting so I guess I can’t really blame her for wanting to be with someone who she can share that life with…”

“What life? I got six months left Ellen…it wouldn’t be fair to her…put her through something like that. I’d never be that selfish. I care about her…she’s…different. Not like the other women I’ve been with. She makes me feel something I’ve never felt before…being around her tonight…it makes me wanna have a future…”

Dean’s voice trailed off and Elle had to fight the tears at the honesty she heard in his statement. She nudged him lightly.

“We’re gonna find you a way outta this deal Dean. We ain’t lettin’ you go to hell. Go talk to her…no don’t argue…just do it.”

He stared at Ellen for a minute before giving her a genuine smile.

“Thanks Ellen…”

She nodded, Dean grabbed another beer, and made his way into the living room. When he was standing in front of Jo, Dean held the beer out to her, she looked up, and took it.


She closed the book as he sat down next to her. He could feel the warmth of the fire and he leaned back and let out a content sigh. Jo took a mouthful of beer when she caught Dean watching her. She laughed.


He leaned forward, elbows resting on his legs, and turned away from her.

“I’m sorry I didn’t call.”

She frowned.


He glanced back at her and cleared his throat.

“After you patched me up…and I left to find Sammy…I’m sorry I didn’t call.”

Jo shrugged.

“Didn’t think you would.”

He nodded and took a sip of beer. He wasn’t sure what to say and by the looks of it neither did she. Jo glanced at Dean out of the corner of her eye and felt something tug at her heart. When Sam came up with this little plan her mom readily agreed, but at the time Jo hadn’t been sure it was a good idea.

Now, it was different. Jo was glad they did this. She’d steeled herself to thoughts of Dean for so long that she had almost forgotten why she cared about him so much. She wasn’t gonna give him shit about not calling, and she wasn’t gonna give him shit about the deal he made.

He did it for family…out of love and loyalty. She respected that. Hell it was part of the reason she cared about him so much. Truth be told in between hunts she’d been frantically searching for some way to make the crossroad demon’s deal null and void.

No luck so far. It took her a minute to realize Dean was talking. She frowned and looked at him.

“Sorry what?”

“I said…I missed you.”

She swallowed hard.


He looked at her carefully for a few minutes before lifting his arm slightly. She hesitated for a second before moving against his chest. When his arm fell over her side, Jo placed a hand over his chest, closed her eyes and sighed.

“I was stupid…”

Jo grinned against his chest.

“You say was like you still aren’t.”

Dean gave her a playful glare.

“Real nice…just go ahead and ruin the moment like that.”

She chuckled and he gave her a warm smile.

“I’m glad you stayed.”

He smirked.

“Well I couldn’t let that pie go to waste.”

The atmosphere in the room changed and they were very aware that a line was about to be crossed. Jo didn’t care though. She’d been waiting years for Dean Winchester to look at her the way he was looking at her right now. Dean on the other hand was struggling with what he wanted to do and what was right.

He didn’t want to hurt Jo…he’s pretty sure he already had numerous times and he didn’t want this to be one of those times.


“Don’t…I don’t care.”

He gave her a startled look and she sat up slightly so she was facing him.

“You got six months Dean…we might find a way out, we might not…but either way…do you really wanna waste those six months?”

He swallowed hard.

“I don’t wanna make promises I can’t keep.”

She shrugged.

“So don’t make me any promises. I’m a big girl Dean…”

“I know.”

They watched each other and as Jo opened her mouth to say something, Dean swooped down and captured her lips with his. Jo was surprised for a minute before she responded to his warm mouth. He groaned when she deepened this kiss and wrapped his arms around her.

When they pulled apart Jo grinned at him.

“You taste like…pie.”

Dean chuckled, leaned down, and placed a chaste kiss on Jo’s neck. Less than a minute later Sam walked in the room grinning. Jo turned in the direction of the noise and smiled.

“What are you too up to?”

Dean raised an eyebrow and gave Sam a wicked look.

“None of your business Sammy…go play with your computer and give the grownups some privacy.”

Jo slapped his chest lightly and rolled her eyes. Sam made a face.

“Jo and I are the same age Dean…”


“Shut it Dean…leave Sam alone.”

Dean gave Jo a mock hurt look as Sam laughed. She perked up and looked between the brothers, excitement on her face.

“More poker?”

Sam snorted.

“No way…”

Dean smirked at his brother.

“Oh come on Sammy…we’ll play for candy instead of clothes. Like we used to when I taught you how to play when we were kids…”

Sam rolled his eyes


Jo pouted.

“Why no clothes?”

Dean leered in her direction.

“I wouldn’t want Sammy to see the goods before I do…that just wouldn’t be right.”

She arched an eyebrow.

“What makes you think you’re gonna see the goods?”

He waved her off as he grabbed the cards they discarded earlier.

“I just know these things…”

Sam made a face.

“The two of you flirting is gross…please keep it minimal or I won’t make it through the game.”

“Suck it up.”

Dean dealt and he tried to steal a peek at Jo’s cards as they played. During the second round she caught Dean watching her and she smiled. She mouthed ‘Happy Turkey Day’ and he felt himself grin. He nodded and mouthed ‘you too.’

He watched as she focused back on the game and he couldn’t help the feeling that burst in his chest. Earlier tonight Ellen had made them all find one thing they were thankful for…Dean couldn’t come up with much…until now.

He was thankful for this…this moment. He was thankful for Jo…Sammy and even Bobby and Ellen…he was thankful for this night. It was probably the best Thanksgiving he’d ever had…that he wasn’t too young to remember.

And that meant something…From the kitchen Ellen and Bobby stood watching as Dean, Jo, and Sam laughed and tossed around the cards with each other. The mood was light and Ellen could see the happiness on her daughters face.

She was practically glowing. She turned to look at Bobby and there was a bittersweet smile on his face. He caught her eye and wrapped an arm around her.

“You ever wonder what if would have been like if you and John had kept in touch? If those three would be closer?”

Ellen nodded, humor tinting her voice.

“All the time…but then I think teenage Dean was probably worse than 28-year-old Dean. Put him together with a teenage Jo and I woulda had my hands full with those two…and that’s when I thank god John didn’t keep in touch.”

Bobby chuckled.

“You’re probably right…they seem happy now though…”

“I think right now they are. It’s a nice thing you did for him Bobby.”

He looked back at Ellen.

“I nice thing we all did. He’s happy you’re here too Ellen. He’d never say it, but the look of relief on that boys face when we found you after the roadhouse burnt down…well…he’d been scared. He’s lost a lota people…we’re the only four left he’ll let in…”

“I know.”

Jo’s laughter brought their attention back to the living room. Sam was shaking his head with a good natured smile on his face and Dean smirked before placing a light kiss on top of Jo’s head. A look of warmth passed between them and Ellen’s eyes teared up.

“It’s gonna break her heart if we can’t save him Bobby…”

“I know…so we better fine a way…”

Ellen nodded. There was a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but the thing Ellen was most thankful for were the people she cared about being alive and well. She nudged Bobby.

“Why don’t we go in there…I bet we can take ‘em at poker…”

Bobby grinned and they made their way inside. Dean, Jo, and Sam looked up when Bobby and Ellen walked in. A few minutes later they were re-dealing cards, laughing, and drinking. To any outsider walking by Bobby Singers house that night, they’d look like a normal family. Sam was right earlier…things aren’t always what they seem…sometimes they’re better…

1 comment:

  1. awww's I loved this! My heart is all happy and warm now!