Supernatural isn't mine.

So I've been trying to post this for days, and finally the site is cooperating. Nothing fancy, just a little piece of gratuitous Sam!whumpage and Dean!angst to feed the habit. Written for geminigrl11 and strangeandcharm. I expect this to run to three chapters.


When You Put Your Arms Around Me

"You do that, and you'll regret it," she says, staring at Dean's hand.

Dean grins, because he doesn't remember ever regretting setting fire to something, and lets the match drop.

And there it is, hunt over, easy as pie. The witch is cursing at him in her own language (because she's the real deal, Eastern European or whatever, none of this teenage girl Wicca crap they've been having so much trouble with lately) before the altar really catches fire, but she can't get free of the grip Sam has on her arms, and pretty soon there's nothing left but ash. She's human, which is a drag because it means they can't waste her, but it'll take her years to build up a decent amount of power again, and when she does, well, Dean figures they'll just come back and burn it all again. He likes burning shit, so that's OK.

She stares at him as they leave, eyes glittering even though the fire's pretty much out now. "You'll regret it," she says.

Dean grins and says he's looking forward to it. Sam complains that no-one ever takes him seriously enough to want to make him regret stuff, and Dean points out that if he didn't keep hawking mucus back into his system like a demented three year old, they might. Sam mutters something about how much he hates colds, but Dean's not listening, because he knows that, it's not like he could avoid knowing. Sam'll take broken bones and death visions and being choked to death every two seconds without (much) complaint, but give him a cold, and he could whine for his country. It's got to the point where Dean has a, what's it called, you know, the thing with that guy with the dog and the trifle. Pavlovian, right, a Pavlovian reaction, where if Sam sniffs more than once in ten minutes, Dean's ready to hightail it out of there until the dust has settled.

Anyway, hunt's over, and Dean's got energy to burn, but Sam's settled right in to the whining now (and seriously, the witch was really fixing to eviscerate them at one point, chanting and everything, and Dean figures getting your guts ripped out has to come higher on Sam's scale of priorities than a blocked-up nose, but apparently he's wrong), and by the time they get back to the motel, Dean wants nothing more than to go where Sam isn't. That's pretty simple, since no way is Sam going to a bar in his current condition, so Dean leaves him to it and spends the evening in the pleasant company of Candi, whose nose appears to be in perfect working order.

Next morning, Sam's running a fever, and man, that pisses Dean off, not because it interferes with their plans – they don't have anything lined up, and they're not in danger of being run out of town just yet – but because Dean's pretty sure Sam's smug about it, like for once he's got proof that his cold really is worse than everyone else's. Whatever, the fever's only slight, so Dean puts him to bed (or, actually, Sam pretty much never got out of bed, so Dean just instructs him to stay there) and tells him to sleep it off, then goes to find a diner to kill some time. A few hours and about a gallon of coffee later, he goes back to find that not only is Sam's fever gone, but his cold's history too, and he's actually acting like a human being again, thank Christ. So yeah, they hit the road, no reason to stay any more.

So it's all good, tooling around the backroads of Middle America like always, sunny afternoon and Dean's got noplace specific in mind, just driving where the mood takes him. Only after a few hours, he notices Sam's looking kind of flushed, and when he reaches over to feel his forehead (which earns him a swat and a confused yelp) the fever's definitely back. Well, shit.

They're two hours from the nearest town big enough to have a motel, but the fever's not so bad, and Dean figures he'll shove a couple of Tylenol down Sam's throat and everything'll be fine. Sam takes the pills without complaining (of course he's not complaining, his cold is still gone, and Dean's not above thanking Heaven for small mercies, even if he does think Heaven's a crock of shit), and falls asleep soon after, which suits Dean just fine, except how he feels kind of bad for blasting Black Sabbath. Not that that stops him doing it, though. Sam's slept through worse.

They get to a motel finally, and Dean reaches over to wake Sam (because yeah right he's carrying his heavy-ass economy-sized brother into the building, what, he's a Sherpa now?) and finds his skin's definitely hotter than before, Tylenol or no Tylenol, and slick with sweat now, too. Sam blinks awake, groggy and confused.

"Dean?" he says. "Where are we?"

Dean doesn't have an answer to that, because actually, he has no idea. He's pretty sure he checked the name on the welcome sign on the way in to this little burg, but he's damned if he can remember it now. "Motel," he says. "Time to get you to bed, sparky."

He hauls Sam out of the car (OK, so he doesn't mind a little hauling, better than letting Sam sleep in the Impala and sweat all over the upholstery, and that totally doesn't count as being a Sherpa) and shoves him in the direction of the room, watching him carefully to make sure he's not going to fall, but Sam seems steadier once he's actually on his feet, makes it there without incident. Dean grabs the duffles from the trunk, and by the time he gets inside, Sam is stretched out on top of the covers on one of the beds.

"Dude, get undressed first," Dean says, plunking down the bags and thinking about taking a shower.

"'M not asleep," Sam says, and Dean rolls his eyes.

By the time he gets out of the shower, Sam most definitely is asleep (but not snoring, which is a relief after the past few nights of mucus-induced nose-opera), and still dressed. Typical. Not only is Dean a Sherpa, he's, like, a handmaiden or something. Or a manservant. Yeah, because that sounds so much better.

"Goddamn," he mutters, and takes off Sam's shoes and socks, noting that the skin of his ankles feels slightly cooler than his forehead did earlier. Sam can't make up his mind whether to be hot or not, clearly, and that's so unSam that Dean decides he really must be sick.

By the time Dean's got most of Sam's outer clothing off, Sam's shivering, curling up on his side in a way that really isn't making Dean's job any easier, and his skin's burning up again, worse than before if anything. Dean sits on the edge of the bed and rests a hand on Sam's arm (because he figures maybe it'll calm Sam down a little, obviously, Sam's a girl like that) and reads the instructions on the Tylenol. Sam's got to wait another hour before he can have more, and Dean sighs and stretches out on the bed beside his brother (in case Sam wakes up and needs him, OK?) and tries not to feel the heat coming off him.

An hour later, and Sam's started muttering and moaning in his sleep, and Dean wakes him up enough to get him to swallow the pills, but Sam's pretty much out of it even then, eyes flat and glassy like a cat's, blinking at Dean like he can't quite focus.

"Hey, kiddo," Dean says, cupping a hand on each side of Sam's face because he thinks vaguely that maybe it's a good idea to try and keep him grounded. "You doing OK in there? You're gonna save us a bundle on heating this place, I tell ya."

Sam stares. "Dean?" he says, stuttering a little over the word. "That you?"

Dean chews his lip. Fuck, he hates dealing with fevers this bad. It's not like it's the first time – though it's been Dad more often than Sam, always too bull-headed to recognise the signs of infection – but it never gets any easier, and Dean almost prefers more serious injuries because whenever Dad or Sam looks at him and doesn't really see him – it's like the worst thing he can imagine.

"Yeah, it's me," he says.

Sam struggles a little, pushes back the blankets. "What's going on?"

"You're sick," says Dean. "Go back to sleep."

And Sam, who's always gone his own way, does exactly as he's told.


Dean wakes up with a start in the middle of the night and can't figure out where he is and why he's lying with his side against a radiator. Then he gets it, and fuck, that's Sam, and there's no way his skin should be that hot. Dean needs to figure this out, there's something more going on here than a virus, but first he needs to get Sam's temperature down.

Sam's not really awake as Dean drags him to the bathroom, and he's certainly not moving under his own steam, but he's pawing at Dean anyway, clutching at his t-shirt and whimpering. Dean dumps him in the tub, gently pulls his hands away and starts running the cold water. Sam moans as the stream hits his skin, then starts to make more frantic noises as the water level begins to rise.

"Cold," he says. "Cold, God. Dean, it hurts."

His eyes aren't even open, and Dean rubs his hand over his mouth, because he knows that this has gotta suck for Sam, even out of it like he is, but the temperature's gotta come down, there's no two ways about it. He puts his hand in the tub, stirs the water a little (God, it's like sticking his hand in a freakin freezer, what, they get their water straight from Alaska or whatever?), splashes some onto the parts of Sam that are still dry. Sam's eyes snap open, and he lurches forward, trying to get away, but Dean steels himself and pushes him down, ignoring Sam's pained pleas (or, well, not acting on them anyway, because he can't ignore them, can't stop them from eating away at him), trying to get as much of him under the water as possible. Even now Sam's skin feels dangerously hot under his hands, his face is flushed and his eyes are rolling wildly.

"Hurts," he says. "Dad, please, don't."

Dean's pretty much ready to panic now. Jesus, this morning Sam had a cold, and now he's burning up like there's something actually on fire under his skin, and it's not getting better. Dean's dealt with Sam sick, with Sam in pain, hell, Dean nursed Sam through pretty much every childhood disease known to man (because Sam always insisted on being goddamn normal, even when that meant throwing up all over his big brother), but he's never seen this before, and suddenly he remembers how easy it is to lose a person, you think everything's fine and then, bam, they're gone. Dean knows you can lose someone in minutes, lose your entire life in less time than it takes to boil an egg.

And then Sam's eyes roll back in his head, and his arms and legs start jerking rapidly, sending sharp staccato ripples across the bathtub, and Dean figures right about now is a good time to call an ambulance.