Dear anon, the thing is I'm really bad at writing off of detailed prompts. My brain just doesn't seem to work that way. So here's the bit that I managed to scrape together months ago, which refuses to go any further. Perhaps someday I'll manage more; perhaps not. But I figure something is better than nothing, right?
Dean's focused on picking out a perfectly-balanced order of doughnuts, so it takes him a moment to realize the question's aimed at him. The temptation to fake ignorance is pretty strong, but he doesn't want to risk a fuss at the best bakery within driving distance of the bunker, so he just shrugs apologetically at hello-my-name-is-Brooke (who's actually attempting customer service, unlike Doucie back home) and turns to see who it is. Takes a minute for him to recognize the bright-eyed, white-haired older lady smiling up at him. "Uh, yes ma'am." A brief mental scramble produces her name: "Mildred, wasn't it?"
She beams at him, so he must have gotten it right. "It's lovely to see you again. I don't suppose you have time for coffee?"
Sam's currently back at the bunker wading through the magical equivalent of astrophysics textbooks, and the only thing on Dean's schedule was coming to the bakery, so there's no reason to say no. "Let me just finish getting my doughnuts," he tells her, and turns back to Brooke. "Now, where were we?"
Like before, Mildred carries most of the conversation, so he's free to savor his powdered sugar and simply drift along on a gentle river of news about people he's never met--but it's kind of nice to think about them being happy and normal and alive. To contemplate Mildred, who's still animated and elegant, undamaged by her brief encounter with the things that go bump.
She waits until he's done eating to ask after Sam--"always has his nose in a book, or twenty", Dean says--and then, unexpectedly, Eileen. Though really, he should've expected it, since she's the only other person they have in common. Well, had.
He scrubs a thumb along the well-worn edge of the little wooden table and half wishes the corner of the bakery that they're in was more crowded, so he'd have an excuse to sugar-coat things. But it's just the two of them and the shop window, so he forces himself to tell Mildred the news, which stings a little still, even after almost a month and all the other losses since then.
Not that he'd been close to Eileen, but she'd made Sam laugh, and people like that were few.
"Oh," Mildred says in reponse, and looks down her cooling coffee for a little while. "It sounded like she didn't have anyone to leave behind, when I last talked with her, back before she left Oak Park." She slants a look over at Dean. "Unless that's changed since then?"
"No," Dean says, then hesitates a little at the memory of Sam's face when they'd gone to see Eileen's body. "Not really."
Mildred sits up like someone's called her to attention, hands clasped around her coffee cup. "Well, in that case we should do something in her honor. She deserves that much."
[a brief mention of shopping for turnips with Jack? Sam looks up on phone how to tell if it's a good one]
"It really ought to be something Irish," Mildred says almost apologetically as they slice vegetables together, elbow-to-elbow in her tiny kitchen. Sam's off in the other corner of her apartment, introducing Jack the concept of a 'tribute band' by going through Mildred's small archive of press-clippings and memorabilia. "But I already know how to make these, and I figured she wouldn't mind if we stuck to something tried-and-true. You want comfort food for this sort of thing, not an experiment." Not that Dean's one to argue against anything calling for what's essentially pie crust.
"Guess so," Dean says, wishing he'd thought to bring a sharpening stone with him. Her knives aren't exactly dull, but they could definitely use a bit of attention. They continue cutting in silence for a minute or before she asks, "Did you tell your brother why I invited you boys over tonight?"
"Um," Dean says, because he's a coward and doesn't like to spoil things when Sam's riding such a good mood. "Figured an evening with a lovely lady like yourself didn't need any further explanation."
"You're such a charmer," she tells him, dimpling like a girl the age of hello-my-name-is-Brooke.