Title: Standing guard
Author: Starrylizard
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: Gen, PG
Word count: 430
Characters John and wee!Sam and Dean
Summary: John's feeling poorly and it's too quiet.
Notes: Someone pointed out eloisebright was trying to get us to Hug a Winchester and I thought I'd join in.

John almost never got sick. Mary used to get every cold, flu and stomach bug making the rounds, but John was always fine. While Mary would be flat out in bed with a runny nose, fever, aches and the whole deal, he'd feel a little run-down maybe, perhaps have a scratchy throat. He just never really got sick. But every now and then, some random bug would lay him out for weeks, far worse than anyone else around him.

Now, after he'd pushed himself for so long – moving from place to place looking for something he wasn't sure he'd ever find and dragging his two young boys around with him – he shouldn't have been so surprised to find himself waking up to the nasty realisation that he was anything but well.

Waking up later in the day, John could vaguely remember crawling out of bed long enough to make his boys PB&J sandwiches before rolling back into bed with a groan and the hopeful thought that his five-year-old might stay out of trouble for a little while. A thankfully sleepy Sammy was still tucked up against his chest, a warm lump where the rest of his body seemed to be wracked with chills that the motel's thin sheets did nothing to prevent.

But it was quiet. Too quiet.

"Dean?" John lifted his head, trying to shake off the wave of dizziness the small movement caused just long enough to find his boy.

Then he noticed the still lump at the end of the bed and, as he forced his eyes to focus, it formed into a small boy. Dean's serious green eyes were focussed on him, just watching without disturbing, like he was keeping a look-out while his daddy couldn't.

"'S okay Dad." Dean's small hand patted John's foot. "Cold, Daddy?" The little face crumpled to a worried frown.

John let his head drop back to the pillow. His head felt like a lead weight again now that he knew Dean was okay. He patted the bed next to him and Dean got the idea easily. Quick as a monkey, he crawled up the bed and cuddled up against his dad's side.

"You're a good boy, Dean." John pulled Dean closer with one arm, kissed him on the top of the head and found himself breathing in the strangely calming scent of shampoo and peanut butter. Dean's eyes stayed open, watching Sammy, watching his dad, and John let his eyes slip shut again.

His five-year-old was standing guard and somehow it made him feel a whole lot safer.