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The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

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It's early. A couple of rooms over, Jo's bedded down on Bobby's couch. Ellen’s wiping down Bobby’s counters – no point in going off to kill the devil with the kitchen in a shambles. Beats sitting still, anyway.

Dean walks in, eyes bright, if a little bloodshot. He never went to bed, Ellen knows; he cleaned weapons until nearly dawn, and then he and the angel went and sat on the front steps, silent as often as they talked. Ellen caught the murmurs sometimes.

“Couldn't sleep?” Dean says.

They'll all feel awful stupid, Ellen thinks, if this turns out to be just another rabbit trail.

“Never tried,” she says.

Feels big this time. Feels like the end of something.

“Thought Cas put you under the table,” Dean says, smirking like the smart-ass whippersnapper he is.

Ellen snorts. “Only one thing more important in a bar than knowing how to drink, and that's knowing how to be sober.”

Dean considers that a minute. “Yeah, I got no idea what that means.”

She’s well acquainted with aspirin, is what it means, but she ain’t telling Dean that.

“Sam?” Dean asks.

“Living room floor,” Ellen says. He’s sprawled next to Jo like a faithful guard dog, though Ellen doubts the notion of protection ever crossed his mind. These boys have it down to instinct.

“Glad someone’s getting some sleep, anyway,” Dean sees.

Ellen thinks of Jo. She’s grateful for whatever rest her baby girl can get.

Barely a moment later, Bobby calls down the stairs, “Up and at ‘em.”

From the other room, Ellen can hear Jo muttering to Sam. “That’s it, then,” Ellen says.

“Looks like,” Dean says.

He looks tireder than one sleepless night can make a man. After this, Ellen’s going to see what she can do about that. Sit him down and feed him things that are more food than bourbon, and then put him to bed.

Come to that, Ellen wouldn’t mind a rest herself, once this is through.

[end]