Title: Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Edited By: dh1031
Category: One-Shot Sequel to Possessed
The Impala pulled up the dirt road and came to a stop in front of the Roadhouse. Dean killed the engine and pulled out the keys. It took two days to get to Nebraska from Bobby’s. Not because it was particularly far, but because Dean wasn’t exactly crazy about seeing Ellen.
So, he stopped twice along the way. The night they left Bobby’s he stopped just before crossing the South Dakota-Nebraska boarder and the next night he stopped about two hours from the Roadhouse. Sam was pissed, but Jo seemed relieved at the time.
Dean glanced in the rearview mirror to see Sam sitting in the back of the Impala with a glower on his face. He turned towards Jo and there was anxiety written all over hers. Her teeth were biting into her bottom lip as she fidgeted with her hands. Dean sighed.
Well, it’s now or never, thought Dean. He cleared his throat and they looked at him.
“Why are we sitting out here?”
Sam shrugged. Dean could hear the irritation in Sam’s voice as he spoke.
“Cause you're idiots.”
Dean touched Jo’s arm lightly and she flinched. I really wish she’d tell me what happened between her and Sammy, thought Dean.
“Sorry, you ready?”
She let out a deep breath.
“I kinda have to be ready…it’s not like I’ve got a choice.”
Dean, turned his body in Jo’s direction, leaned back slightly, and smirked.
“Say the word sister and we’re outta here. We don’t have to tell her…”
Sam rolled his eyes.
“You two are ridiculous. Of course you have to tell her. What are you gonna do? Pretend the baby doesn’t exist?”
“Maybe we can just let the baby tell her…when he’s older…and can talk. I mean, I doubt Ellen would shoot a kid that’s half Jo’s…but she might just shoot me.”
Jo chuckled and that was enough to bring Dean’s smile back. Things have been tense since they left Bobby’s. Jo and Sam stayed as far away from each other as possible given the close quarters they were in and Dean was determined to find out why, which only made things worse.
“I dunno Deano…I don’t think she’d shoot to kill…maybe just to put you outta commission.”
Jo winked and Dean shifted and cringed.
“That’s a disturbing thought and how many times have I told you not to call me Deano? Don’t make me leave that sexy ass of yours on the side of the road when we leave here.”
Sam grunted from the back seat and Dean glared at him in response.
“Man up Dean…it’s getting uncomfortable in this back seat.”
“Hold your shorts Sammy…we’re pacing ourselves. No body said you had to sit in here with us.”
Before Sam could say anything else the door to the Roadhouse swung open and Ellen was standing in the doorway. She raised an eyebrow at the Impala and called out.
“You gonna sit out in that car all day, or you comin’ inside?”
Ellen walked back into the bar, Sam chuckled, Jo smirked at Dean and he swore. They piled out of the car and headed towards the door. Jo paused before taking a deep breath, pushing it open, and walking inside. Dean followed behind her and Sam brought up the rear.
Ellen glanced up from behind the bar and raised an eyebrow at them.
“Bobby called, said you three were heading this way.”
Her posture was tense and she looked down as she spoke. Jo paused a few feet away from the bar and Dean placed a hand on the small of her back. He leaned down towards her ear and spoke softly.
She nodded. Ellen didn’t say anything else as she got out a rag and started to wipe down the counter. Jo sighed; apparently she was going to have to make the first move. She hadn’t seen her mother since she left the Roadhouse six months ago.
Jo walked away from Dean and around the counter to her mother. Ellen looked up and Jo gave her a small smile.
Ellen stood there quietly for a minute before grabbing Jo and pulling her into a hug. Sam and Dean stood there awkwardly as Ellen fussed over Jo.
“Six months Joanna Beth…it’s been six months since I’ve seen you. What were you thinkin’, takin’ off like that?”
Jo shrugged and defended herself weakly.
“I sent post cards once a week…”
Ellen rolled her eyes and motioned for Jo to go sit down.
“Post cards ain’t the same. You look like you ain’t been eatin’ enough Jo. Sit your skinny ass down. I’ll make you kids some lunch.”
Ellen disappeared into the back as Jo walked around the counter and plopped down in a bar stool. Dean followed her lead and sat in the seat next to her. Sam took the stool on the other end of the bar. Ellen came back holding three open beers.
She placed one in front of Sam with a smile, slid one to Dean, who caught it, and put the other in front of Jo. She raised an eyebrow at her mother and a slight grin appeared on her face.
“You givin’ me beer?”
“Hunter’s get one free round on the house…”
Her sentence trailed off and Jo’s eyes watered. Her voice was soft when she spoke.
She smiled and glanced between the three of them. Ellen’s eyes moved to Dean as he took a swig from his beer.
“So what brings you kids here? Did you just come to bring my daughter home?”
Dean let out a nervous chuckle.
“Uh, not exactly.”
Ellen looked at Sam who had a smirk on his face as he took a swig of beer. Ellen raised an eyebrow and addressed Sam.
Sam’s eyes went to Dean who shook his head frantically giving him a ‘you tell her and I’ll kill you’ look. Sam shrugged. Ellen frowned and turned back towards Jo and Dean. Jo picked up her beer and was about to bring it to her lips when Dean’s voice broke the silence.
Everyone looked at him as he frowned at Jo and took the beer from her hand. He held it up to her, shook it lightly, and motioned to the label.
She shook her head and sighed.
“I forgot for a minute. It wasn’t intentional…”
Their conversation was interrupted by Ellen’s hard, but calm voice.
They seemed startled when she spoke and they both turned to face her. Ellen could see the guilt on Jo’s face and when her eyes turned to Dean, she could see the boy was clearly terrified. Dean opened and closed his mouth a few times before Jo spoke.
Jo looked at Dean and he rubbed the back of his neck as he swallowed hard. She turned back to her mom and spoke in a cautious voice.
“Okay…listen, I need you to not get mad when I tell you this…well…I…you see…”
The look on Jo’s face said she was trying to come up with a good way to tell her mother. Dean looked like he was in pain and Sam was just enjoying the show. He could see Ellen was getting impatient as Jo stuttered along so he rolled his eyes and spoke.
“Dean knocked Jo up.”
Three sets of eyes turned in his direction. One shocked, and two furious. Dean’s voice was filled with irritation.
“I’m gonna kill you Sammy.”
There was a click and time stopped. Dean forgot his anger at Sam as Jo’s hand clasped tightly around his arm. Dean craned his neck back towards Ellen. She was standing behind the bar with a shotgun trained on him. He turned his body slowly and ducked down right before a shot went off.
Jo was yelling at Ellen as she stood up and Sam had fallen off his stool. Dean’s voice filtered up from the ground as he stood and ran behind a pole as another shot was fired and barely missed his leg.
“Jesus Christ woman! Stop!”
“I’m gonna kill you Winchester!”
Dean danced out of Ellen’s reach before finally grabbing Jo and hiding behind her. He poked his head slightly over her shoulder and put a hand out before speaking in a calm voice.
“Listen Ellen…it…it was an accident…shit…I mean we didn’t plan for it to happen…okay, but…I care about your daughter…I swear. It’s not just…you know…it wasn’t about the…well you know…”
His voice trailed off and Jo let out a low chuckle before speaking.
“About the sex?”
Dean’s voice was close to Jo’s ear when he spoke even though everyone could hear him.
“Please don’t say sex in front of your mother…I feel like it will only incite her to shoot at me again…you want our kid to have a father right? Cause at this rate he’s gonna be hearing about me from his Uncle Sam…”
Sam laughed and Ellen glared in his direction, which cut his laughing off abruptly. She lowered the gun, but didn’t put it down.
“When did this thing between you and my daughter happen?”
Dean raised an eyebrow and spoke in a thoughtful voice.
“I’m not actually sure…I mean it couldn’t have been the first time I went to see her cause she’d be way further along than this…maybe it was the time we met up in Mississippi when Sam and I were working the Crossroads’ demon…or that time in Indiana…”
Dean was pondering and Ellen was getting more agitated by the second. Jo slapped Dean lightly and he frowned as she shook her head. Her voice held a mixture of worry and amusement when she spoke.
“No dumb ass…she meant when did this thing between us happen. Not when you got me pregnant. Please just shut up…look, you’re making it worse.”
Dean looked at Ellen and she looked about ready to shoot him again. I can fight demons, vampires, and spirits, but Jo’s mother scares the shit outta me, thought Dean. Ellen took a few deep breaths to calm herself down before speaking.
“I thought I taught you better than this Joanna Beth…you’re 23 years old. A baby…and with him…”
She motions to Dean.
“Hey, what’s wrong with me?”
Ellen glared at him.
“You don’t have a job…no…don’t say anything. Huntin’ don’t count. You’re wanted by the FBI, you live out of motels, and you don’t have a very long life expectancy…”
Ellen sighed and her anger deflated. She moved back and sat heavily on a bar stool. Dean swallowed hard and slowly moved out from behind Jo. Everything Ellen had said was true…and he’d been thinking about all of that since they confirmed Jo was pregnant.
What did he really have to offer a baby…or Jo for that matter? Not much and that killed Dean. He didn’t want to raise his kid the way his dad raised him and Sammy, but he couldn’t just give up the job…it meant too much to him.
The bar was quiet and he cleared his throat before speaking.
“Ellen…I care about Jo…really care about her. You’ve got an amazing girl here…there aren’t many people that I let in…I’m not that kinda guy, but somehow…she managed to get in. I know I don’t have anything to offer her…I know she deserves better than me…I’ve told her that on several occasions, but she’s stubborn as all hell…something I imagine she gets from you.”
Ellen glanced up at him and there was a slight smile on her face; so he continued.
“If you think the best thing for Jo and the baby is for me not to be around…then I mean…I’d do that. If Jo told me to leave…if she said that’s what she wanted…I’d give her that. But, I think I deserve a chance to be around don’t you? I’m not a bad guy…”
His voice trailed off and they could see the emotion on Dean’s face. He usually only opened up to Sam, but the stakes were high and Dean didn’t want to lose Jo…or his kid. Ellen watched him and she gave him a sad look.
“Sweetie, no one said you’re a bad guy…I never thought that. Guarded yeah…stubborn yeah…pain in the ass yeah…but bad…no. You have a good heart Dean…I just know your life…I’ve lived it and I don’t want Jo to make the same mistakes I did. You remind me a lot of her father…and that scares me.”
Dean nodded and Ellen sighed. She glanced around the bar looking at the mess.
“I just cleaned this place up.”
“You probably shouldn’t have tried to shoot me if you were worried about getting the bar dirty.”
Jo elbowed him in the gut and Dean grunted. He just doesn’t know when to shut up, thought Jo. Ellen stood up and smirked.
“If I was trying to shoot you…you wouldn’t be standing right now. I’m gonna go check on the food. Why don’t you come with me Dean…?”
Dean let out a nervous laugh.
“I’d rather not,” she gave him a look, “but I guess so…”
“Will it make you feel better if I leave the gun with Jo?”
She nodded and placed the shotgun next to the stool as she headed in the back with Dean trailing after her. Jo sighed and started cleaning up the mess her mother had made. Sam sat there spinning his beer in his hand. He cleared his throat and spoke.
“That went pretty well considering…”
His voice trailed off and she nodded, but didn’t look at him.
“Yeah, better than I expected.”
It was quiet again and the silence was deafening. Sam let out a heavy sigh. Jo and I really need to talk about what happened…we need to find a way to get rid of this awkward tension, thought Sam. So, he decided it was time to try.
“I think we should talk…about…what happened.”
Her body tensed and he watched as she tried to force herself to calm down.
“There’s nothing to talk about Sam. It wasn’t you.”
“Can you at least look at me when you say that?”
Jo turned so she was facing Sam and her shoulders sagged slightly. Her voice was tired when she spoke.
“What do you want from me Sam? I know it wasn’t you…and I know you’re sorry, but how do you expect me to handle this? It might not have been you in spirit, but it was your hands…your body…your face…it’s not like I can just snap my fingers and make the memory go away…I wish I could…”
He nodded and then hesitated before speaking.
“Why didn’t you tell Dean what happened?”
“It isn’t something I like to talk about…and I just…I don’t want him to look at me differently…”
“Jo…if he’d look at anyone differently it would be me…not you. For what it’s worth…I really am sorry.”
“I know…it’s gonna take time Sam, but I’ll get over it…I’m strong.”
She rang her hands together as she spoke and he nodded. His voice was soft when he spoke.
Jo gave him a tight smile before going back to picking things up. Sam lifted his beer and took a long swig as he glanced at the door leading to the back room. I wonder what Ellen’s grilling Dean about, thought Sam.
Dean held a tray as Ellen doled out some burgers and fries. He was quiet and he wasn’t really sure what to say. I mean really what do you say after all that…gee Ellen by the way sorry I knocked up your daughter…it was worth it though, thought Dean.
“Does Bobby know?”
Dean scrunched his nose as his brows furrowed.
“Bobby…does he know about you and Jo?”
“I think so…but I’m not sure.”
“You should tell him. He seemed worried about you guys when he called.”
Once everything was on the tray Ellen turned around and faced Dean. He gulped and tried to give her a smile. Her voice was even when she spoke.
“Are you in love with my daughter Dean?”
He opened his mouth and then immediately slammed it shut. She stood there watching him and waiting for an answer. Dean was struggling. The thing was, he wasn’t sure if he was in love with Jo right now. He cares about her a lot and he knows that she’s the kind of woman he can fall in love with…he just wasn’t ready to accept being in love yet.
“Ellen…I’m not sure what I believe about love. You know I’ve never been around a family and my dad didn’t exactly show his love in a normal way. It was never ‘I’m proud of you son, I love you’…it was ‘good job…next time shoot for the heart. Here’s a better weapon’…that’s how I knew he was happy with me…”
Dean shrugged before continuing.
“Had my mother not been killed…things probably would have been different, but they weren’t. The people that Sam and I love…they get hurt…they die…and that can’t happen to Jo…I don’t think I’d survive it Ellen.”
Ellen’s eyes welled up with tears, but before she could speak Dean stopped her.
“I know you didn’t want this for Jo. I’m sorry…I didn’t want it for her either. That’s why I stayed away at first. It is what it is though. So…the best I can do for you is tell you that the only person I care about as much as her is Sam…and he’s blood.”
Ellen nodded, reached up and patted Dean’s cheek.
“That’s more than I can ask for son. You’re a loyal man…and I’m pretty sure you make my little girl happy, but Dean…you realize that things are going to have to change. We’re gonna have to find a way to clear your name…you need a place to call home…I know you’re used to the road, but a baby can’t be raised on the road.”
“I know. We’ll work things out…I…need to figure some stuff out, but I’ll make sure my family is taken care of.”
She nodded and shook off the seriousness of the conversation.
“Okay then…I’m sure you guys are starving let’s get this food out there. We can always finish this conversation up later. You guys staying the night?”
Dean gave her a sheepish smile.
“I wasn’t sure you’d let us.”
She laughed as they walked back into the bar. Sam had moved and he and Jo were sitting about four seats apart. Dean gave Jo a plate, then Sam before taking his own, and sitting next to Jo. She frowned down at her plate and lifted the burger bun. She motioned to her burger before looking at Dean.
“Pickles are making me sick.”
Dean pealed the pickles off her sandwich and tossed them into his mouth.
“I love pickles.”
Sam took that moment to chime in.
“Dude, you love anything that’s edible.”
Dean made a face at Sam.
“Aww come on, that’s not true Sammy. I don’t eat anything that’s edible…you know I hate beets.”
Jo and Ellen chuckled while Dean grinned and Sam rolled his eyes. Jo watched as Ellen talked to Dean and Sam and she smiled. She knew they still had a whole lot of details to work out, and things wouldn’t be easy, but she was confident that they’d get through it.
Dean doesn’t love his life…it might seem like he enjoys running around from town to town, state to state with no responsibilities, but believe it or not…a part of him has always wanted a family. I know he’s scared…and he doesn’t think he can do it…be a father, but I know he can, thought Jo.
Life isn’t about getting to a certain destination. It’s about the journey and Jo was about to be on the journey of a lifetime.