Pain explodes in his gut, like he's being ripped open from the inside by some alien beast - and Sam's seen every cinematic version of this scene, including last night's repeat of The X-Files: Fight the Future, and he guesses bitterly that he might not have much of a future to contemplate at all.

He doesn't even have the consolation of alcohol dimming his brain, that sweet haze that would allow him to escape into a different, less painful world; the pain of his distended belly, though, is making his mind wander a little. Just enough to be noticeable to anyone who knows how his thought processes normally work, but probably not enough for a stranger to be able to tell. Sort of like a secret handshake, only not.

He wonders if he should be writing any of this down, leaving a record of his last thoughts as he's shuffling off this mortal coil for Dean to cherish and tuck into the journal. Of course, if Dean were here, none of this would even be happening, so he definitely won't be starting it with "Dear Dean" and signing it "Love, Sam." Dean let down his guard and let this happen and so Dean will just have to deal with whatever he gets.

He reaches for what looks like a pen and finds that he's holding a candy cigarette; he chucks it across the room and moans as the motion sets off another series of sharp pains. A curse, that's what this is. It has to be.

"Hey!" Dean calls as he opens the front door. "You ready to go?"

Sam had no idea that pain can actually travel from the stomach to the head. Not like he's a doctor, but he thinks it's unfair that things should work that way; the world would have been so much better if he'd been able to design it himself. His world would rule.

He groans weakly, then raises his hand so Dean can see it over the couch, but Dean must have gone blind because he just bellows again. "Yo, Sammy, let's get a move on!"

Sam can hear every thunderous step of Dean's boots, squeaking against the linoleum floor, and he's assaulted by Dean singing AC/DC to himself under his breath but with his hands slamming into every flat surface to mimic drumbeats. If only Dean liked classical music. Though he'd probably go straight for the 1812 Overture and rewind the firing of the cannon to the point of excruciation. It's too painful to contemplate for very long.

"Dean," Sam croaks, sighing in relief when a blessed silence descends.

The silence lasts too long, and he cracks open his eyes, nearly jumping out of his skin when he sees Dean standing right next to him, looking down at him with an expression caught between hilarity and indignation. What Dean has to be conflicted about, though, Sam can't figure out; all he needs to know is that he should be kicking the ass of whatever's put this curse on his little brother.

"Dean," Sam says again, letting Dean know he's happy to sit this one out, but will totally have his back on the next one.

Dean's expression slides more into amusement. "Oh, Sammy," he says, just a shade too loud and a shitload of glee coloring his voice. "Dude. You didn't."

That's totally not cool. Sam would never mock him if Dean got hit with a curse. Yet another reason why this world sucks.

"Your fault," Sam manages to gasp out around the honest-to-god contractions he's experiencing now. Well, Dean will be sorry when he's dead and his alien orphan baby needs to be fed and changed.

"Nuh-uh. How the hell could this be my fault?"

"Stupid isolated cabin," Sam spits. Does Dean not understand curb appeal? The value of having neighbors of the two-legged variety?

"Let me get this straight," Dean says, folding his arms across his chest. "You bought several fucktons of Halloween candy to distribute to trick-or-treaters even though you knew we'd be staying in a cabin that is the only dwelling in its zip code. And then when no little squirts hiked six miles out here to knock on the door, you thought it'd be a good idea to chow down on all of it like fuckin' Godzilla going to town on Tokyo. Taking the logic one step further, you decided that the fact that you look like you were knocked up eight months ago and feel like shit on toast is actually the result of some secret, evil plan of mine."

Dean leans down so that they're practically nose-to-nose. "Do I have that right?"

Sam can see he has to change tactics and fast. "Hurts," he whimpers.

Dean folds like a cheap suit. "I know," he says, stroking Sam's hair off his forehead. "Sit up, okay?" He sweeps aside candy wrappers in every color of the rainbow, sits on the couch, and lets Sam's head fall onto his shoulder.

"I don't even know what nougat is, but it made me keep eating it," Sam mumbles into his brother's shirt.

"Permanent nougat moratorium in this house," Dean promises.

"Yeah. And candy corn is evil. Pointy, stripy little tools of the devil."

"Don't be bad-mouthing my candy corn, Sam," Dean warns, but he's shifting to let Sam lie back down on his lap. "That stuff's delicious."

Sam would answer, with graphs and charts and four-out-of-five-hunters-agree proof, but he's getting kind of sleepy. His eyes feel as heavy as his belly and Dean's jeans are soft and warm under his cheek. He can save Dean from the pernicious sugar in the morning.

Not like there's any left in the house tonight.