Author's Note: I do not own the television show Supernatural or any of its characters.
I am now caught up with the series, and I have many ideas on what to write. This one came to me after watching last Tuesday's episode "The Purge." I feel for Sam; I honestly do. But I think Dean is doing the only thing he knows how to do: protecting his family. His dad told him to "watch out for your little brother," and that IS Dean's job. Saving people and hunting things isn't good enough when you're only family is dying. I get that Sam wanted a choice, a final say in his life, but I am leaning more toward Dean's side. Dean just wanted to make sure his baby brother was safe.
The first part of this is directly from "The Purge's" last scene before Sam goes to bed.
I haven't written a fanfiction in forever, so I apologize if I'm a little rusty.
Everything No One Else Was
"I'm hitting it."
Dean stops typing on their new laptop and looks up at Sam. The purple smudges beneath his older brother's eyes and the disheveled hair are telltale signs of exhaustion. He hasn't slept in days, hasn't even bothered to lie down, Sam knows, but he pushes past that. He doesn't want to stand around and talk anymore than he has to. Since Dean left, Sam's been finding it harder and harder to even glance over in his direction.
The shorter Winchester scrubs a hand down his stubbly face. "Yeah," he says, his voice hoarse from its lack of use. Sam turns around to leave, and Dean's leg starts to quiver under the table. "Hey." He wants to get everything on his chest before his brother goes to sleep. He can't stand the thought of Sam going to bed again without knowing.
"Yeah?" Sam sighs before slightly rolling his eyes. He just wants to go to bed.
He doesn't really know where to start, and the nervous shakes won't stop. Why is he scared anyway? He's a Winchester; he doesn't get freaked out. Maybe he's just afraid of what Sam is going to say. "About what you said the other day…" Not an easy or smooth transition, but, hey, it works. His fingers are now trembling too. Awesome.
Sam gets his classic "I knew it" face plastered on, a look Dean has grown way too familiar with. Up yours too, Sammy. "I thought it didn't bother you."
"You know, Sam, I saved your hide back there. And I saved your hide at the church…and the hospital. I may not think things all the way through. Okay? But what I do, I do because it's the right thing. I'd do it again." The way he said it was a tad bit unconvincing to his own ear, but he's nowhere in near the mood to run around in circles with his stubborn baby brother. He hasn't been feeling right since he ate all of that drugged pudding anyway. Dean folds his arms over the computer, waiting.
Sam has the urge to stand up and shake his brother's shoulders, make him look square in the eye. Is he happy? No. Dean shouldn't have saved him. Point blank. Period. "And that…is the problem. You think you're my savior, my brother, the hero. You swoop in, and even when you mess up, you think what you're doing is worth it because you've convinced yourself you're doing more good than bad…But you're not." He looks at the blank green eyes staring back at him, but beneath he knows Dean is feeling defeated. "I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind. We're not closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive?"
Dean wants to strangle his brother. God damn, he could throttle him right now. A twinge of pain rockets through his heart like electricity, like when he was dying of heart failure years ago. The old Sam wrapped him up in his hoodie because he couldn't keep his body temperature up, but this new Sam is suddenly stoic and wanting death more than to be with his own family. He looks down at the floor, twiddling his thumbs before glancing back. "You kidding me? You and me fighting the good fight together."
Sam exhales in frustration. He turns around to leave again, but then he decides something: it's time to stop running. Dean is going to have to hear this whether he wants to or not, no matter how much it hurts him. He enters the kitchen again and sits down across from Dean, who he can see is visibly quivering a bit. He slumps back in his chair, and Sam doubts Dean even knows he's drawing back again.
"Okay. Just once, be honest with me. You didn't save me for me. You did it for you."
"What are you talking about?"
He sighs again. "I was ready to die. I was ready. I should have died, but you…You didn't want to be alone, and that's what all this boils down to. You can't stand the thought of being alone."
Of course I don't want to be alone, you jackass. Who does? Dean doesn't say that thought. Instead, he just stands up, pacing. "Alright."
"I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one getting hurt."
My God, he could kill him. What about dying and going to hell? Getting his insides torn apart and tossed around the room. He went to hell so Sam could live! He does everything so Sam can be okay. Why doesn't his brother see that? He wants the best for him. He wants Sam to understand that they are brothers. Flesh and blood. "Alright, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed, and I was dying, you'd do the same thing."
Sam shakes his head, wanting to give up and put the white flag up in surrender. "No, Dean. I wouldn't," he says it softly. He's tired of getting angry with his older brother. He just wants all of this to go away. Why couldn't Dean just let him die? He was ready. Hell, he was even in the middle of talking to Death himself. "Same circumstances…I wouldn't…I'm gonna get to bed."
He doesn't want to look at the devastated expression on Dean's face. Sam leaves, leaving Dean's heart in the pit of his stomach, shaking and alone.
He hasn't been feeling great since he woke up. His head's hurting from Castiel's little probing exercise, which was utterly pointless. Should've just shoved the whole damn thing up there and ended his misery. At least that way he wouldn't have to face his brother again. His ears seem as though they are clogged with slime, and his nose is running a little bit. He can't even go a day without being ran down.
It's nearly four in the afternoon, and Sam has yet to hear a peep out of Dean. Sure, his room is obviously sound proof like the rest of this place and is on the opposite side of the bunker, but still. No pitter-patter of footsteps, no fingers tapping on keys, no catch phrases of his being dropped. Nothing. It's like he isn't even here, and it's weird. He's stayed clear of Dean's room until now. He would feel awkward trying to talk to him, especially because he isn't apologizing for what he said last night.
He just wants to check and see if his brother is okay. That's it. Sam doesn't want to stick around and chat. He knows Dean will rip him a new one and tell him all the ways he's wrong because he wants to hide from himself that he's the one who is wrong. Typical, heroic Dean has the hardest time admitting that kind of stuff. Still, though, Sam can't help but wonder why Dean hasn't even came out of his room all day.
Sam glances down at his watch again. 4:11. Dammit. Maybe he didn't go to bed until like five in the morning or something. That's what Sam's thinking, but that still doesn't account for why he's not up yet. Eleven hours of sleep is freaking paradise to a Winchester. Dean can usually survive on only four hours of sleep a day. That's it. Sam strolls down the hallway to the end and knocks on his brother's door. "Dean?"
No response. No footsteps. No grunting.
"Dean? It's Sam. What's going on in there, man?"
He draws his gun and slowly creaks the door open, the noise sending shivers down his spine. Sam enters carefully, but immediately puts his gun back in his pocket when he sees his brother sprawled out underneath his comforter. Snores fill the room, and all Sam can see are the spikey bits of Dean's hair; everything else is hidden beneath the blankets. The fan is blowing, and there's a bottle of Ibuprofen lying next to him.
Son of a bitch.
He moves the comforter down just a little bit, and his heart stops beating for a second at the sight. Dean's hair is destroyed, but glistening with sweat. The salty liquid is pouring down his face and pooling around the collar of his shirt. His cheeks are flushed, and there's a trail of snot steadily sliding down. The rest of his face appearance is pale, grey, and entirely too still. Sam places his hand on his brother's drenched forehead, pulls away, and winces. Shit. He's burning up.
"Dean? Dean, c'mon, man. You gotta wake up."
His brother starts to roll over. "Nnnhhh…"
Sam's heart is pounding in his chest. His brother hasn't been sick in…God, it's been years. Sure, a cold every now and then, but he would never know until he saw the tissues in the trashcan or heard the shower running in the middle of the night. Dean never tells him when he's feeling under the weather. Look at what it gets him. His fingers are clumsy, and his mind is racing as he tries to get Dean into a somewhat sitting position. His brother is so out of it that he doesn't even care that he's blowing snot bubbles all over the place. He has to get that fever down. Now.
"Dean, hey," he says, lightly tapping his scorching cheek.
The older Winchester smiles goofily, a bit of drool falling on his shirt. "S'mmy? You're a beautiful giraffe…"
"Thanks, Dean." He hoists his brother up, but, at six foot one and nearly one hundred seventy pounds, he isn't exactly light. Sam trips over his own two feet multiple times on the journey of a lifetime to Dean's private bathroom, resting him on the toilet. Dean looks up at the ceiling and starts mumbling to himself about how tall Sam's gotten. He turns the shower on cold as it will go and is about ready to throw him in, but then something terrible happens.
A deep, low gurgling noise erupts from his brother's throat, leaving him coughing and doubling over. A sea of brown and orange erupts from his esophagus, spraying Sam and the entire floor. Sam puts his hand on Dean's overheated back. "Shh…Dean. You gotta calm down." He rubs circles until he finally lifts his head up, his fevered green eyes glassy. A mixture of tears, snot, and vomit streak his face and t-shirt, leaving him looking like a petulant toddler. Sam takes Dean's shirt off and then his own before removing both of their socks, jeans, and his own shoes. He gets Dean in and then enters the shower himself, the cold shocking his core.
The two of them sit in there for what feels like centuries nearly naked. His teeth start to chatter violently, and Dean's drifting off with his head being supported by the tile wall. Sam touches his brother's skin, still too hot for his liking, but definitely much improved. It's a struggle to get him out of the shower and placed on the toilet seat again, but he gets it done. He's shaking so badly that he can hardly open the door to get out of Dean's room and down to his own and back, his own nose dripping and head spinning.
He places towels over his older brother's puke and goes back to tending to Dean. He strips his boxers off and places another pair on. It isn't awkward at all. They've done this to each other multiple times throughout their lives, Dean way more than Sam anyway. He manages to get Dean in black sweatpants, one of his own thermal long sleeved shirts, and socks. He dries their hair quickly before dressing himself. Nyquil is shoved into Dean's system, followed shortly before his dose.
Sam makes the new trek down to his room with his half-conscious brother in his arms, making the choice to go there instead of back into Dean's sweat drenched bed. He'll clean all of that up later. Right now, he just wants to get Dean sleep. He places him into bed, covering him up before climbing into bed himself.
"Just making sure you're still alive in there, dude."
He isn't sure how he's supposed to handle this. Like he's mentioned, it's been years since Dean actually got sick enough for Sam to notice. What should he do? Dean isn't a touchy guy by any means and is too independent and stubborn and "manly" to even enjoy hugging or anything. Last night sinks into his mind, and he flashes back to see his brother's face completely defeated. He was probably sick then, too. Dammit, Sam.
The answer to his question comes promptly by Dean snuggling his overheated face into Sam's chest. Sam wraps his arms around his older brother, who looks like he's four years old, and immediately feels sorry. Sorry for letting him take care of things single handedly. Sorry for always screwing everything up. Sorry for never being there when it's obvious Dean needs him most. Sorry for last night. Sorry for not being a good brother.
It's the middle of the night when Sam's eyes flutter open. He reaches out to his nightstand and grabs a few tissues before blowing his nose harshly into them. He repeats this a few more times until he can finally breathe again. His head is still pounding, and, if anything, he feels worse this time around. He tries to stand up and head out to see if Dean's up, but he's trapped. "What the?"
Crap. He forgot.
Dean's face is now curled into his stomach, his breathing erratic and congested. Sam rubs his brother's back, frowning when he can tell that his fever is up again. He guesses that shower did him no justice. Out of overly blurry vision, Sam can see that it's just past midnight. Dean stirs beneath his touch, moaning and groaning as he tries to compose himself. Sam chuckles and smiles as he sits up, glaring at him dizzily.
"Thought I said n'more chick flick moments?"
Thank God he's at least able to put a cohesive sentence together.
"I'm guessing you don't remember us showering together then, huh?"
Dean's fever glazed eyes grow wide, and he buries himself into Sam's shoulder, shielding himself from the world. Dammit. Why, Dean, why? Now he's got enough blackmail to support the entire frickin' universe. He sniffles, wincing as the enormous amounts of snot trickle down his battered throat, shivering. Sam pulls the comforter up higher so it covers him, and he relishes his brother's unnatural body heat.
"You feelin' okay, S'mmy?"
The normal him would tell Dean he doesn't feel well either, but he doesn't want to burden him with that. He just wants to tell his brother that he's sorry. He thinks he finally understands why Dean saved him, but he isn't sure if he necessarily agrees with it yet. Sam wonders if Dean even remembers their conversation last night.
"S'mmy?" Dean's voice is groggy and wet with congestion.
"Uh, yeah. I'm fine, Dean."
It's too quiet for the next few minutes, just the fan blowing in the background along with the ticking clock. Sam feels Dean's body become more and more taut as exhaustion starts to claim him again. "Dean?" he questions, his voice way more hoarse than he wants it to be. He sniffles and coughs too, which causes Dean to lift his head up and look his brother in the eyes, alarmed by what he sees.
"Dammit, man. You're sick too."
"Look, Dean, it's nothing. Just this little head cold thing I've got going on. I'll be fine. You should be worrying about yourself."
"But nothing, dude. I'm not the one who threw up everywhere and sweated through two entire comforters."
"I'm just worried about you."
And there it is. Dean never admits to being worried or scared. He hates being vulnerable. He loathes being alone. He wants to be with his brother at all costs. It doesn't matter what it is, whether it's stealing, tricking, manipulating, or sacrificing. Sam's jaw could have hit the floor when he hears that sentence come out of his mouth. That's it. That's why he chose to save me.
He does everything for him.
From bathing him as a toddler, to going to his spelling bees, to being the ten year old that knew what kind of laundry detergent works best. He's the one who stayed up with him all night when he was sick, reading him stories, feeding him soup, sleeping with him because he felt too icky. Dean's the one who knows all of his favorite foods, hobbies, what makes him tick, what makes him happy, what makes him want to stick around. His brother is the key to his life. Without him, he wouldn't have been alive past his six-month mark. Dean is everything no one else ever was.
So what if he didn't want to be alone? So what if he saved Sam for himself? He deserves something good to happen in his life. He has no one besides Sam, never has and probably never will. He doesn't count Lisa or Ben or Dad or Bobby because they're all gone, just like everyone else in their lives. The only thing they have to count on is each other. Dean's doing his job. Saving people and hunting things only means so much. Family is what matters, and Dean just wants to keep his family close.
"Look out for your brother…"
Sam can't imagine how many times that's been drilled into Dean's head. Keep Sammy safe. Take Sammy to school. Help Sammy do his homework. Read Sammy a story. Keep Sammy occupied. Jesus. If the roles were reversed, Sam would have no idea how to do what his brother's done their entire lives. All Dean's ever really known is his job and Sam. Guilt rises from the pit of his stomach in the form of word vomit.
"Dean. I'm sorry. So so sorry. I'm sorry I screwed everything and got Mom killed and made you mad last night. Well, maybe I didn't make you mad, but I had to hurt your feelings. You were just doing what you've always had to do. I know you can still hear Dad's voice in your mind telling you to watch out for me, and that will never change. Without you, I wouldn't be here anymore, and it's stupid for me to rather be dead. I didn't mean that. Honest to God, I didn't. I wouldn't want to leave you here. You went to Hell for me, you died for me, and I know you would do it again and again just to make sure I was okay. You never had that for yourself. I'm sorry for being the worst little brother in history and for constantly letting you down. You deserve better."
By the time he finishes, there are tears leaking out of his bloodshot eyes and streaming down his cheeks like a leaky water hose. His sniffles and wipes his eyes with his hands furiously, rubbing them raw. His bottom lip is quivering as another crying jag is threatening to explode, but Dean sits up in order to stop this. Big brother to the rescue. Dean wraps his arms around Sam, completely engrossing him in a hug and running his hand through his hair, the other placed firmly on his back. Even in his ill state, he comforts his baby brother. Eventually, Sam calms down and collapses into his brother's arms, starting to fret and panic about his brother's too high of a fever.
"Shh…There is no one better than you, Sammy."
Author's Note: I have no idea whether this sucked out loud or not. It's been so long since I've done this, and I feel good now that it's over. I'm not sure whether I'll be posting again any time soon. So, what did you guys think? Honestly. Thank you so much for reading, and I really hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are always appreciated!