Jim wasn't expecting to see that number on his Caller ID, but then, it wouldn't be John if it wasn't unexpected. "Hello, John, how are you?"

"The boys have chickenpox," John said without preamble.

"Chickenpox?" Jim repeated. "Really?"


"Well, where'd they pick that up?"

"A job. There were some kids and I told Dean and Sam to stick to them like glue, and, well, now the boys got it." John paused. "What's the best treatment?"

"Rest," Jim said immediately. "There's nothing to do but let it run its course. You can get some Benadryl and calamine lotion to help with the itching, but that's it."

"Stop scratching," John said and Jim blinked before realizing John was talking to one of the boys. "The boys'll probably be out of commission for about two weeks," he said, this time to Jim.

"Bring them here," Jim offered. "I've had the chickenpox before so it wouldn't be a problem."

"You've never dealt with the boys when they're sick," John answered dryly. " 'No problem' is not the way to describe it. I think it gets worse as they get older."

Jim laughed, acknowledging the point. "But you're already on your way here, aren't you?"

"Well, I can't leave them--hold on. Dean, I don't care how old you think you are, I'm not leaving you and Sam alone while you're sick. You're staying with Pastor Jim." John's voice was slightly muffled, must have held the phone against his shirt. "Sam, I said to stop scratching."

"When will you get here?" Jim asked.

John's voice was clear again. "About two hours. Thanks."

Jim had time to get to the store and back before the Winchesters arrived and had the guest room all ready before he heard the Impala coming up the drive.

He and John got the boys settled--neither put up much of a fight, although Jim was surprised at how much Sam had grown--and sat down in the living room.

Jim shook his head. "Chickenpox. They have chickenpox."

John let out a laugh Jim was sure he'd been holding in for a while. "You should've seen them yesterday, Jim. I guess most of the time, chickenpox kinda sneaks up on you? They both woke up yesterday just covered in spots. Dean can't call Sammy a girl for a long time, not after the shriek he let out. I haven't heard his voice that high since it changed."

"I'm surprised they got it, though, and at the same time. After all, adults don't usually get it twice."

John shook his head and laughed again. "No, they've never had chickenpox before. First exposure."

Jim stared. "What?"

John shrugged. "I guess we always missed it, moving around."

"Are you sure?"

John nodded. "If you'd've asked me, I would've assumed they'd gotten in sometime in elementary school. But no, looking back, I'd remember two weeks of oatmeal baths."

"Well, they won't have any oatmeal baths here, but I'll take care of them until they're feeling better. I'll call you and let you know."

"Thanks, Jim. I owe you one." John shook his head. "Poor Sam, happy 17th birthday."