Summary – Set sometime between 'Full Moon, Fast Cars' and 'Cracks In the Glass', Dean has a cold, Sam tries to help.

Disclaimer – Not my characters, I just use them improperly.

You like? You don't like? Review and tell me why! (Constructive criticism only please, if you don't like the subject, don't read the story.) If you haven't read Full Moon, Fast Cars, you'll probably want to read that first or this won't make much sense :)

Yet another really tiny ficlet from the FMFC series for your enjoyment :)

Bedside Manner

Winter, Dean decided, was a bitch.

Well, maybe not winter itself. But the accompanying cold that snuck up on him every damn year left him pitiful and sniffly in a way he just plain despised.

Sam, the annoying bastard, seemed to be taking a perverse pleasure in his suffering, running around pouring Nyquil and taking his temperature and feeding him orange juice with a big smile on his face, like taking care of Dean was the best thing he'd ever done. Dean didn't even have to ask and there was a fresh box of tissues by the side of his bed and a glass of water waiting for him. It'd be nice having a personal slave if Dean was in any state to appreciate it.

As it was, his eyes were running and his nose was blocked and stuffy, his throat felt like he'd swallowed a cheese grater and every time he coughed he was worried his chest might implode with the pressure.

"Hey, you want some chicken soup?" Dean jumped a little as Sam appeared from nowhere, pan already in hand and that ridiculous grin on his face. "I bought some with the orange juice earlier. Or I could make some toast, if you feel up to eating?"

Dean tried for a pissed-off frown that probably came out more pouty than threatening. "Sam, seriously man, I'm fine. I can take care of myself."

The kid raised an eyebrow. "Yeah Dean, you look fine, especially with that dried snot on your cheek."

He cuffed at his face and muttered darkly under his breath, knowing he was being petty and not really caring much. He was sick, goddamnit, he was allowed to be petty.

Sam was still standing at the foot of the motel bed with the pan in his hand. "You're gonna make your nose sore if you keep rubbing at it. I got you those aloe vera tissues for a reason, dude."

Dean eyed said tissues with mistrust. The box was pink with flowers on it, big swirly writing on the sides extolling the virtues of the soothing aloe vera extracts and the soft triple padding of each tissue. He was pretty sure Sam picked them up from the same aisle the feminine hygiene products were kept in.

Sam was rolling his eyes like he could read Dean's mind. "They're not gonna girlify you if you use them, Dean."

He huffed and threw the bedcovers back, stalking into the bathroom before Sam could see the blush darkening his cheeks. "I'm gonna take a shower. Don't worry, if I start feeling faint I'll call you so you can break out the smelling salts."

"Dean, you should be rest…" He slammed the door, effectively cutting Sam off in mid-sentence.

Five minutes later and Dean wasn't so sure a shower was the best idea. After three days of soup and orange juice, standing up long enough to take a piss left him light-headed and feeling pathetic. By the time the water was hot enough, he was slumped heavily on the toilet seat and wishing Sam wasn't right outside so that he could make a tactical retreat back to his bed with his dignity intact.

"Dean?" Sam's call was followed by a knock on the door. "You okay in there?"

"I'm fine! Can't you leave a guy in peace for two seconds? I'm a big boy, I'm not gonna drown without you here to watch me!"

Silence. Dean strained to hear over the patter of the water. The faint sound of a door slamming made him feel worse than the cold clogging his head did, if that was even possible. Damnit. If Sam had gone and left the room Dean must have really upset him.

On the plus side, no one around to see him crawl whimpering back into bed.

He turned the shower off and opened the bathroom door, only to be met with a victorious grin on the other side.

"Fine, huh?" Sam said, cocking his head. "You sure about that?"

Dean groaned. His head hurt and he just wanted to go to sleep. Instead he had to deal with annoying little kinda-boyfriends who were too smart for their own good. Sam must have seen his face because his gloating expression softened to concern.

"Here, c'mon, get back in bed. Take some more Nyquil and sleep for a while." Dean let himself be manhandled under the covers, closing his eyes. A spoon poked at his mouth and he opened it without looking, letting Sam pour medicine down his throat and swallowing when required. He heard the clunk of the glass bottle being set down on the table, and then the bed dipped on one side, a warm body pressing up against his. "I'm sorry. I just want to look after you." Sam's whisper came from beside him, breath brushing softly against his cheek. "I don't like it when you're sick."

Dean snorted. "Yeah, it's no fun for me either."

"But you always take care of me when I need you. I just...you make me feel safe. I wanted to…" Sam trailed off. Dean rolled onto his side, facing Sam. The kid wouldn't meet his eyes, a pink tinge tinting his cheeks.

Dean reached over and caught Sam's hand in his. "Sammy, I always feel safe when I'm with you. Always. We take care of each other. And I do appreciate all this." He tried a grin. "I'm just cranky when I'm sick."

Sam met his eyes tentatively, a grin of his own playing at the corners of his lips. "Yeah, I noticed."

"Just…just lie here with me. That's all I need." Dean said, his eyes already sliding closed. Sam's gentle fingers stroking his cheek lulled him to sleep.