Title: Fairies are Worse than Witches
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG (for language)
Disclaimer: Not my boys!
Written for my own SPN comment meme.

Prompt: Dean is really really sick at the Roadhouse and Ellen makes him soup. Tomato rice soup because it's all she's got lying around. And Dean...he maybe...cries. A little. :)

Fairies are Worse than Witches

Dean has the guy at the bar pour a shot of whiskey and the guy fills the glass all the way up to the top. Dean’s fingers close around it and he lifts it to his lips. He breathes through his mouth because his nose is way too stuffed up, but he takes a deep breath and then knocks it back all at once. He’s heard that it’s supposed to be medicinal that way and with the way he feels, he needs all the help he can get.


It looks like he’s drinking it for courage, though. A “once more into the breach!” kind of drink, though he can’t remember where the hell he heard that quote. And except he’s not really fooling anyone at the Roadhouse. It might be kind of dark in there, but they’ve heard him sneeze and cough a half dozen times since he and Sam rolled into town on a lead a couple hours back.


Jo eyes him and then heads for the door, Sam behind her. Dean starts to follow until a hand clamps down on his shoulder. “You’re not going anywhere with my daughter, you sick bastard.”


Dean freezes in place, turns in horror to face Ellen.


But she’s got this smile plastered on her face and he goes from defensive innocence to just plain pissed. He pinches the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger, right where the pressure’s been bugging him all day. And he closes his eyes as he growls, “Sammy!” Sam was under strict orders to not breathe a word of this fucking cold of his to anyone.


Sam chuckles. “Sorry, Dean.” He reaches over and pries the book from Dean’s other hand. “But, let’s face it, you are sick.”


Dean has this sudden awful feeling that the only reason they’re actually here is because Sam made some deal with Ellen behind his back. Of all the hunters she could have called for this case, she chose them? He wonders what price will have to be paid for this. And he wonders what the terms of his captivity will be. What is she, a freakin’ crossroads demon?


“Make yourself at home ,” Jo says, smiling and cocking her head just a little so her hair falls differently around her shoulders. “We’ll be right back.”


And then they’re gone, just like that. Gone. Without him. And Ellen’s hand moves from his shoulder in order to pat it. “Ah, don’t worry. They’ll be fine. It’s just the library.”


Dean wonders if he should tell her there’s more than just research planned, that they already had a fix on where this vampire’s nest is. But as much as he doesn’t want to see Jo going out there to fight, he also doesn’t want his brother facing anything alone, even if it is just a sleeping vamp or two. So he lets them walk out and lets Ellen pull him to the back where there’s a room he can crash in.


It feels like all eyes are on him as he walks through the Roadhouse. As soon as he gets in the room, he lets loose with a sneeze into his wrist that half doubles him over. “hhhTCHHhhhshh!” Sniffling, he looks around. As far as rooms go, it’s not as bad as most motels he’s crashed in, but there isn’t even a bed. It’s right next to the place’s kitchen, and he can hear clattering and yelling.


“It’s not so bad. Put the TV on and you’ll fall right to sleep, I promise.” She pats his back.


She’s put some sheets on the couch, even though it’s not one of those pull-out kinds, but no one does that unless that person’s expecting someone to crash there. Dean is wary as he approaches it. All he really needs is to curl up in the Impala and sleep this off.  It’s a cold, yeah, but it’s not really that bad. He’s had worse.


heh… huh…. Hhhh’HERSchhh!” Okay, bad example. But it really is just a cold. He should have just gone. “Look, if I leave now sniff, sniff, I should be able to catch up with them at the… library.”


Then he notices his duffle bag sitting on the floor at the far corner of the couch and wonders how long it’s been there and who even put it there; only he and Sam have keys to the Impala, so he’s got his suspicions. But he gets the feeling that he’s wandered into a setup. And even a welcome setup is still a setup that makes him feel a little panicky. Trapped.


Dean takes a step back, turns, and comes face-to-face with Ellen blocking the doorway, hands on each side of the doorjamb. “Uh-uh. You’ve got two choices, Dean Winchester: lie down on the couch or change into your jammies and lie down on the couch. Either way, you’re not leaving here.”


“You’re evil.” Her eyes haven’t flashed black, but it’s possible she is actually a demon.


“Face facts, kid. Sometimes Hunters get sick. Suck it up and go lie down on the couch before you fall down.”


He actually does feel a little lightheaded, and he doesn’t want a fight. So Dean goes without objection, kicking off his shoes, shrugging off his jacket, and sliding one of his knives under the pillow so he can lie on his right side more comfortably. Ellen drapes a sheet over him, up to his chin, and then covered him with some blankets. The first is an obviously hand-knitted red and yellow thing with holes in the pattern the size of his fist. He can’t imagine Ellen or Jo knitting; Ash, on the other hand… And then there is a fuzzy blue number that’s light and soft and tickles his chin a little. Last turns out to be this unbelievably thick comforter that is so heavy he suspects it was magically spelled to weight him down onto the couch so he’d never be able to get up again. Enchanted objects. Sure sign that she’s a witch.


“You gonna stay put, or do I have to call one of the fellas out there to stand guard with a gun?”


That doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, actually, to have someone stand guard. Keep the boogieman away. Now that he’s lying down, he’s starting to notice how worn out he actually is. And doesn’t want any old hunter watching him as he lies there like John Winchester’s sniffly eight-year-old back in the day. Plus he feels kind of safe here. Not as safe as he’d feel in the Impala or at Bobby’s, granted, but pretty damn close and a hell of a lot more warm and comfortable, that’s for sure.


Dean barely even notices his breath catch until it’s too late. “h’EPITSHHHHH!” He sprays his palm along with a bit of blanket with the sneeze. “Uh, Elled?” He tries to get up but so many layers keep him down, so he drags his nose from the back of his wrist to the knuckles of his fingers with a great sniff. It doesn’t do much good, so he tries it again.


“On the coffee table!” she calls through the open door from the kitchen where unseen things clink and rattle and hum.


Dean spots the box of tissues he’d just been imagining and suspects that she’s psychic.


She brings him something hot and steaming and bitter in a mug and holds the television remote hostage until he’s made it through at least half. Dean flips aimlessly through the tiers and falls asleep to the cooking channel with a big grin on his face.



Dean wakes feeling infinitely more miserable. He gasps and snorts and can barely breathe. He has this horrible image of little snot fairies coming in and setting up camp inside his head while he’s sleeping. His head’s been through enough already; he doesn’t need them there. He blows his nose, trying to affect some change, but the stuffiness just sits there, filling him, packed into his head. And he can tell there’s something wrong because his head is absolutely throbbing with ache and pressure. He runs hot with annoyance and cold with panic, wondering if he’ll ever be able to get rid of this thing. How do you fight what’s in your own head without killing yourself in the process?


h’shuhhh! Snrfff! HETShuhh! Huhhhhhhh-IHTCHooo!” Even the sneezes don’t help clear his head. If anything, they make it worse. He moans as pain grips the center of his face and he gasps, struggling to breathe.


And suddenly Ellen’s there, and he doesn’t know why. Maybe she brought the fairies there while he was sleeping, like some fairy ring leader.


But she plugs something in and puts it on the side table. It gurgles and kind of makes Dean think about getting up to find the bathroom. But after a few minutes, he blows his nose and feels the congestion loosen a little. A few minutes after that, his nose is running and the pressure in his sinuses has lessened.


He doesn’t know what the thing is called, and it drowns out the television, but if he could somehow get out from under the blankets, he’d hug it. He sends it mental hugs just to let it know he cares.


Ellen presses the back of her palm to his forehead and he closes his eyes so he doesn’t have to see her worried expression. And why’s she so worried all of a sudden anyway? It’s not like she has little snot fairies up her nose or anything.


“Dean, you need to open up for the pill.”


That doesn’t make much sense either. It sounds like he’s the opening act at a concert before a rock band. But open what? The door? Isn’t she already here? What pill? She’s not a doctor. They’re not at a hospital. Wait, are they at a hospital?


He opens his eyes and, no, they’re still where they were. Are. Have been. It’s this damn hot couch and these heavy blankets and that machine of wonderful and he really wishes Sammy were there to see it ‘cause he’d probably know what the hell it’s called.  And he’ll tell Sam about the fairies when the kid’s back from killing the vamps.


“Dean, I’m not kidding around here. I have ways, but it’s easier if you just cooperate. Swallow this pill for me.”


That sort of makes sense, the sentence, and he does it, but not for her. He does it because he wants to go back to sleep and she’s not going to leave him alone until he does it. The water she gives him to chase it down is so cold he starts shivering and her hand comes back, resting on his forehead. And it’s warm and cool all at once. And heavy. And good, actually. Really good. And he falls back to sleep while it’s still there.




Dean wakes up sniffling and sneezing and can’t seem to stop. “hehShoo! Hertchuhhh! Snfffff!” The only thing that’s real for about five minutes straight is the tissue box and the constant dripping and tickling going on in his nose.


heptchhh! hehKtchh! Hershhhhh! EXKETchhhh!” He bows his head and goes straight through tissue after tissue like it’s some purification ritual he’s got to get to the end of or he’ll die. “heptChhhh!” His whole body shakes each time he sneezes and the comforter falls off him onto the floor, but that’s okay ‘cause he’s not all that cold any more anyway.


Finally the sneezes slow. “ItChuhhh!” They don’t stop, and he decides to keep a tissue crunched up against his nostrils anyway. But being able to breathe and relax and take stock of the moment is invaluable. He sits up and winces as his head gets dizzy for a few intense seconds before it rights itself.


He notices that it’s getting dark outside the window. He notices an unopened box of tissues sits on the coffee table as a backup. He notices the television is still on the food network and his stomach is rumbling with hunger. He notices Ellen sitting in the chair on the far side of the room, cleaning pieces of a disassembled gun.


She’s been watching him sleep. Well, that’s pretty creepy. Maybe she’s actually a Djinn.


Except, then he wouldn’t be feeling so shitty.


“Howdy,” she says, nodding to him. “Your fever broke about an hour ago. You feelin’ up to having a bite to eat?”


He nods and sneezes suddenly, “IPTShhhhh!” throwing him back against the cushions, not because it’s strong but because he isn’t.


 “You’re just getting over a fever, so we’ll need to keep it pretty light. No buffalo wings and beer nuts for you. I’ll see what I can come up with.”


Dean wants to ask if Sam and Jo are back. They’d probably be here if they were, though. They weren’t supposed to take this long. Vampires come out at night. They’ll be in danger.


Dean throws off the covers and shivers. He’s damp with sweat. He gets up and reaches for his shoes and they’re not there. They have to be somewhere. Unless Ellen’s actually a poltergeist and stashed them somewhere just to fuck with him.


“Hey now,” Ellen guides him back to the couch.

“Sabby? Jo?”  


“They got back just a little bit ago. Didn’t want to wake you. They’re fine.


Dean wants to see them. He sneezes again, managing to catch his one in the crook of his arm. “hhh-Eptshhhhh!” But he doesn’t really want them to see him. Sam, maybe, if it came to that, but definitely not Jo. Hell, he doesn’t even want to see himself like this.


Ellen brings soup out to him on a little metal tray with legs that straddle his lap. He stares down at it, spoon in hand.


“Best I could do on short notice. Tomato rice soup.”


He continues to stare at it.


“Did you forget how to eat or…”


She trails off as he looks up, his eyes brimming with tears. They’re about to spill out and race down his face and he wishes he still had a fever so he can have something to blame. Because Ellen’s a mom.


“Fuck,” he whispers under his breath and goes straight for his new best friends, the tissues. He blows his nose and wipes his eyes and even sneezes and coughs a couple times. And he’s a mess but it’s tomato with fucking rice soup and there’s a tiny ice cube in the very center, melting so it’ll be cool enough for him to eat right away without burning his tongue. And he can’t turn away and hide his face in the pillow because the tray’s on his lap, so he cups a whole wad of tissues and buries his face in them as his breath hitches. He rocks on the couch, trying to squeeze a thank you out between quiet sniffles and sobs.


She rubs a hand over his head, stroking his hair, and puts the blue blanket around his shoulders, tucking it around securely. “You need me to get Sam?”


He shakes his head, snuffles, wipes, tries to stop crying ‘cause the soup’s getting cold.


“Good.” She pets his head again. “You take your time and get cleaned up. I can zap that in the microwave if it gets cold. Just let me know.”


He’s still sniffling and crying a little, and he doesn’t want her to go but doesn’t know how to ask her to stay. But he doesn’t have to say anything. Somehow she knows just to stay there. She moves onto the couch and sits beside him.


After a few spoonfuls of super warm, delicious soup in his belly, the tears back off and he feels calmer. Ellen starts talking about the vampire blood that somehow got on Jo’s clothes even though she supposedly stayed in the car while Sam went in and took care of the nest. Dean can’t help but smile.