Disclaimer: Supernatural isn't mine. It and everything in it belongs to lucky old WB.
A/N: A response to PL Wynter's dumb monster challenge. Hope it's okay. J.
Summary: Post Benders. Sam helps Dean deal with a particular demon.
Sam Winchester whipped his head up, biting back a yelp as he did so. He had fallen asleep at the table while researching into a haunting that had caught his eye earlier that day. Groaning and rubbing at his sore neck, he made a mental note never to do that again.
"Sam!" A voice hissed at him from somewhere across the dimly lit room.
Sam turned to see his brother sitting in the middle of the bed, staring wide-eyed. Sam followed Dean's stare; puzzled when he couldn't work out what he was looking at.
"Rock salt, Sam. Hurry!" the older boy whispered urgently. "It went into the closet."
Gripped by a sudden panic, Sam leapt to his feet and grabbed the newly cleaned shotgun Dean had left by the bed before he'd turned in for the night. He glanced back at his brother who was still sitting on the bed, apparently unable to move, before moving stealthily toward the offending closet. Sam stood for a moment trying to calm his thumping heart and to gather a little bravado. He then lifted the shotgun and nestled the butt snugly in his shoulder before unlocking the safety catch. His eyes flicked away from the closet door, settling briefly on Dean who had yet to make a move. A voice in the back of his still sleep fogged brain told him something wasn't right with this picture, but try as he might, he couldn't work out what it was.
Pushing the voice back, Sam gathered his wits and in one deft move, yanked the closet door open. Something flew towards his face, and he almost pulled the trigger before he recognised his would be attacker was a broken old coat hanger.
Cursing softly, he shoved the closet door wide open and took a closer look inside.
Lowering the gun, Sam swiped a shaky hand over his face and sighed.
The voice was low and the younger man was surprised to hear so much fear in one word. What surprised him more was when he turned to look, Sam saw that Dean was shaking so hard his head was bobbing.
What the hell?
Propping the gun against the wall, Sam crossed the room and sat down on the bed next to Dean. Turning on another lamp, Sam gaped at his brother's appearance.
Dean was shaking hard. His face was flushed and covered in thin sheen of sweat. His eyes were glassy and unfocused. Sam didn't have to touch him to know there was a fever present.
"Sammy, did you get it?" Dean's voice was small and panicked.
Oh, I get it alright.
"Better than that, Dude. There was nothing there. It was a dream, Dean. Just a bad dream. There's nothing in the closet."
"I saw it." Dean protested. "It went in there."
"I looked just now, believe me, there was nothing there. You were dreaming, bro."
Dean attempted to shake his head in denial, but that made his head bob even more.
If the situation hadn't been so serious, Sam would have thought it funny.
Sam lifted a hand to Dean's forehead, confirming the fever. He then dropped it cautiously onto his brother's shoulder. He noticed the grimace that came with his touch and knew immediately what the problem was.
"Dean, listen to me. Your shoulder got infected. You have a fever and you're not thinking straight. Trust me, Dude; the only things in the closet to be worried about are the termites."
Dean didn't seem to hear Sam; his wide eyes staring passed him, still fixed on the open closet. Sam dipped his head so he could place himself directly in Dean's line of vision.
"You with me, Dean?"
After what felt like an eternity to Sam, Dean's eyes found his. Sam smiled sympathetically.
"Hey, brother. Are you with me now?"
Finally, Sam saw some semblance of recognition in his brother eyes, and although Dean didn't answer, he saw the slightest of nods.
"Good." He said, gently pushing Dean back down onto the pillow. "Now, I just need to look at that shoulder, then you can go back to sleep."
Dean trembled slightly under Sam's ministrations, but he made no sound. Sam, however, cursed Pa Bender and his whacko family to hell when he saw how enflamed Dean's shoulder had become. He quickly cleaned and redressed the wound as best he could. Sam then shook a couple of antibiotic pills from the bottle noting it was almost empty and helped Dean take them. He'd have to find a drug store tomorrow. He then went to the bathroom and ran a face cloth under the cold tap and returned to his brother's side.
Dean flinched as the cool cloth touched his face, then leaned unconsciously into it; comforted by the touch.
Sam watched as Dean settled down again, and for long minutes everything was quiet.
"Sammy?" His voice was nothing more than a whisper.
"I'm right here, Dean. Go back to sleep."
Dean turned his head toward his brother's voice.
"Sam, did we get it?"
Sam laid his hand on Dean's forehead and smiled sadly.
"Yeah, man, we got it."
"Good." He mumbled as sleep over took him. "Big Bird freaks me out."