Will have language and violence.

Summary: When Dean fails to reveal how sick he feels, he gives the black dog the upper hand. SickDean, WorriedSam/John. Dean is 17, Sam is 13.

Disclaimer: I do not own Sam, Dean, John, or anything Supernatural related, but the story is mine. Enjoy!!

Dean Winchester spent all night tossing and turning, attempting to hold back his coughs so his brother and father didn't hear them.

If he were honest with himself, he felt like total crap. But there was a hunt scheduled for tomorrow so he wasn't going to say anything that would make his father leave him behind.

He had never hunted a black dog before and to say he was excited would have been an understatement. It seemed as though Sammy could care less, but he was never as interested in hunting as Dean was.

Sam lay curled up on the bed next to Dean's. Thankfully, he was still fast asleep. Dean had been worried when a rather violent bout of coughing overwhelmed his system. He hid his head underneath his pillow to stifle his misery. Why now?

Dean watched the clock as the hours ticked by and the sunlight began to flood their room. Just as the clock read six thirty, there was pounding on their door. Sam groaned and tried to roll over and block it out. Dean jumped, having been startled out of his own thoughts, not to mention the fog that seemed to have invaded his head.

"Dude, get up." Dean threw a pillow at his brother and made his way to the bathroom before Sammy could get a good look at him. He hoped a nice cool shower would wake him up effectively and that he wouldn't look like death when he stepped back out of the door.

As Dean passed by the mirror he was horrified at his reflection. He was as pale as a sheet of paper, sweat gleaned all over his body, and he had large panda-like black bands around his eyes. Shit…

He hastily jumped into the shower and felt his tense muscles slowly start to ease. When he got back out, he was relieved to find his reflection at least fifty percent better than before. He looked more refreshed than diminished. Now he just had to convince his dad and Sammy, not to mention survive his dad's morning training session. They would wait until dark to go after the beast, but John would make damn sure his boys were ready for the hunt first.

While Dean made his way downstairs for a quick breakfast, he could hear his brother and dad going at it like they usually did. Oh, what now?

Judging from the parts of the conversation he heard, Sam had fallen back asleep while Dean was in the shower to be rudely awakened by a very frustrated father. John's word was law, so when he said "get up" you moved or suffered the consequences.

"With your attitude today I have half a mind to drop you off at Pastor Jim's while Dean and I take the hunt," John threatened.

"That's what I want you to do! I don't care about the damn dog! I have homework to finish and a quiz tomorrow to study for!!" Sam's half a bowl of Lucky Charms was quickly getting mushy as it sat forgotten in front of him.

"Fine! If you're going to act like you're five, then you'll be no use to us anyway. I'll call Jim while you boys are running laps."

"Why do I have to train if I'm not going?" Sam was clearly agitated. No one had yet noticed Dean standing by the bottom of the stairs.

"Because I said so! Now eat your damn breakfast and get ready to start."

Dean was debating on slinking quietly back upstairs to avoid the argument, knowing that his family members would both use him against the other and not wanting to be dragged into it. Unfortunately, his lungs decided differently. A few coughs escaped his mouth before he was able to suppress them. All eyes were now on him.

"There you are. Hurry up and grab some chow. You'll need the fuel," his father informed, clearly not picking up on Dean's coughs for which he was grateful.

Sam, however, didn't miss it and shot him a calculating look. Dean knew Sam was going to ask if he was okay so he quickly shook his head to stop him while their dad's back was turned. Sam frowned but stayed quiet. The middle Winchester held back his sigh of relief. So far, so good.

He wolfed down a bowl of cereal and quickly regretted it. It didn't seem to want to stay down. Dean fought against the urge to run to the bathroom and instead drank the rest of his milk.

"I want the two of you outside in ten, got that?"

"Yes sir," they replied in unison, though Sam's had a hint of sarcasm to it. Thankfully, John ignored it.

As the boys stepped out into the sun, Dean felt his spirits lift. The fresh air seemed to be doing a lot of good. His stomach didn't seem to be revolting as much now.

"Fifty laps around the house. Go." John hit the button on his stop watch as the boys took off around the corner, Sam already complaining.

"Fifty?! We usually only do forty!"

"I'm aware of that, Sam," Dean bit out, trying to concentrate on his pace.

"I swear he's trying to kill us."

"He's trying to prepare us. Come on, man… we can do fifty laps in our sleep. Race ya!"

Dean always had a way of turning their work into play. Sam didn't know how he'd survive without his big brother. He hoped he'd never have to find out. They quickened their paces and tried to overtake each other.

On the twentieth lap, Sam overtook Dean yet again but slowed his pace as he heard his brother coughing harshly. He turned back to find that Dean had stopped a few feet behind and was bent double as his chest constricted and the coughs wracked his body.

"Dean? Hey man, you okay?" Sam trotted back to Dean's side and placed a comforting hand on his back. The heat and moisture he felt coming from his brother's body sending warning signals to his brain.

Dean curled his arms around his torso trying to ease the pain in his muscles. God, it hurt.

"Sit down." Sam guided Dean to the ground who didn't have the strength or energy to push him away. Once he was down, Sam grabbed his wrists and held them above his head to help clear his passageways. Dean put up a valiant fight because he thought his arms would be doing a hell of a lot more good cradling his ribs. "Stop fighting me, Dean. Trust me, this'll help. Try to relax and breathe through it."

Dean could only glare at his brother, easily conveying that that was exactly what he had been trying to do this whole time. When he could finally draw breath again, Sam patted him on the back, loosening up the fluid that had taken up residence in his lungs. Dean cleared his throat and spit onto the grass, very thankful his breakfast hadn't reemerged yet.

"Help me up, Sammy. Dad's gonna be wondering what's taking us so long to get back around."

"He can be a heartless bastard sometimes, Dean, but if you told him you weren't feeling good, he'd understand and let you off the hook."

"I don't want to be off the hook. I want to hunt tonight."

"But Dean…"

"Come on, Sam. We don't have all day." Dean forced himself up off the ground and began trotting towards the front of the house. He tried to ignore the pain in his chest which was screaming for him to stop.

Sam came trotting up to his side and kept pace with him, ready to intervene if the situation called for it.

"Damn, boys! My grandmother could run faster than you two, and she's been dead for fifteen years! Pick it up! We don't have all day here."

The youngest Winchester loved his dad, but right now, he could throttle him. Couldn't he see that Dean was sick? Didn't he care about his sons?

Dean sped up, his whole body screaming in protest. Sam easily matched his increased speed, biting his lip to see how much his brother was struggling. On any other day, Dean would have been three laps ahead of him.

Finally, the fifty laps were finished. They stood in front of their father, Sam scowling, Dean trying to remain upright, waiting for their next task.

John had set up two stations of glass bottles in the woods behind their hotel room. He handed them each their own gun, paced them a few yards back, and informed them they had six bullets and six bottles, so they better not miss any.

It took a lot more concentration than usual for Dean to grip his sweaty hands around the gun and aim while his vision was swimming, but being such an excellent marksman, he compensated for these setbacks and nailed every bottle. Sam almost missed the last one but managed to clip the side, sending the shattered pieces to the ground.

"Good job, boys. Twenty push ups each and then go get cleaned up."

The boys dropped to the ground wordlessly and set to work. Dean was gasping for breath by his tenth push up. He rested on the ground while his dad went inside to get them water. Sam glanced over mid push up.

"Just relax, Dean. I won't tell dad if you don't get through all twenty."

"I've got it, Sammy. No worries." With that, Dean pulled his arms back underneath him and stubbornly finished the last ten. When he tried to push himself to his feet, his body protested angrily, making him gasp out loud.

"You okay?" Sam looked really worried. Dean, being a big brother, quickly went to console him.

"I'm always okay. You?"

"I'm fine. Dean, I don't think you should go on this hunt tonight. You should be resting."

"I can rest when I'm dead, Sammy."

"Yeah, well no need to rush that along. There'll be other black dogs I'm sure."

"Someone's gotta have dad's back."

"I could go, or he could call Bobby or Pastor Jim, or Caleb…"

"Nuh huh. You've got homework to do, Jim's on babysitting duty cause you got dad pissed off, Bobby's too far away, and Caleb is on a hunt already. That leaves me, and I ain't gonna miss this. So drop it."

"Why are you always so freakin' stubborn?"

"Cause I'm a Winchester, and watch your mouth." Dean smirked at Sam's stunned face. Just then, John returned with two full water bottles.

"Drink up. We can't have you guys getting dehydrated on us, can we?"

"No, sir," again said in unison. Dean greedily gulped down the cool water which eased his aching throat, but regretted it almost instantly the second it reached his stomach.

"I call bathroom first," he stated and headed into the house quickly. John assumed he was merely pulling rank on his little brother. Sam had a feeling this was something else though.

Once the bathroom door was shut behind him, Dean dove for the toilet. All the nice cold water came rushing back up, accompanied by his meager breakfast. He swore he felt his ribs crack as he wretched violently, his entire body seizing. His throat felt as though he had swallowed glass.

To make matters worse, there was a knock at the door. "I'm fine, Sam! Jeez! Give a guy a break! I'll be out in a few minutes."

"Dean?" John's voice cut through his tirade. Shit… busted. "What are you doing in there?"

"Just washing up, dad. I'll be out soon."

"Alright, bud. I'm gonna bring your brother to Jim's. Eat some lunch and be ready to head out when I get back."

"Will do." Dean heard his father's footsteps trail away. Thank god he didn't hear anything…

This was going to be a very long night for Dean Winchester.


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