A/N: Psst. Enkidu07. This is all for you. Be warned that pretty much anything you request involving sniffly, sneezing Dean, I will write. :)
This is the same fic again, but from Sam's POV. I really didn't have any point to make by telling it again from Sam's side, but you know, now there's more of sniffly sneezing semi-delirious Dean in the world, and I figure that really can't be a bad thing. :shrugs:
It's a miserable salt and burn, but there's nothing for it, so Sam just doesn't think about it. Rain, no rain, whatever: they've got a job to do, and lives hang in the balance, and so they're damn well going to do it. The night is cold, but they've both been through worse.
Things get a lot brighter once they actually find the grave. Digging gets his blood pumping, plus there's the cozy knowledge that every shovel stroke takes him closer to the warm bed waiting for him back at the motel. Dean's shovel work is a bit sloppy, Sam can't help but notice, but then it's been a long day.
Finally the skeleton's exposed. Sam dumps salt onto it, Dean sloshes on the gasoline and then the bones are up in flames. The heat's welcome and they stand there a few minutes, soaking up the warmth but mostly making sure the remains are really, truly taken care of.
Beside him Sam hears a hitching, gasping breath, loud enough to carry over the rain, and then a fierce sneeze, immediately followed by another. Doesn't think much of it until about thirty seconds later, when the same thing happens again. He shines his flashlight at Dean, sees him rubbing his nose and his eyes. 'You OK?' he asks, and of course Dean says he is, but Sam's not so sure. He thinks that Dean looks pale, though in the flashlight beam it's hard to tell.
On the way back to the Impala, both men juggling awkward armloads of gear, Sam notices Dean keeps wiping his nose on his sleeve, but doesn't comment. In the car Dean blows his nose with a gurgling violence, and maybe this'll pass once he's warmed up but to Sam it looks like his big brother's in for a hell of a head cold. It's a good thing the hunt's wrapped up, he reflects. Dean never knows what's good for him when he's sick, or more accurately he never seems to care. Since there's nothing going on though, coercing him into taking a bit of down time shouldn't be completely impossible.
In the light of the motel room, there's no denying that Dean's a couple shades whiter than usual. He shudders as they're peeling off their jackets, and Sam sees that all the layers of clothing underneath Dean's are soaked through. Dean needs a better coat, he realizes.
Dean plunks down in one of the straight-backed chairs at the table by the door and starts picking at his muddy boot laces, sniffling thickly, stopping every once in awhile to gasp his way into another wet sneeze. Sam takes the other chair and works his own laces through, amazed at how long Dean's taking but wisely refraining from offering to help.
Finally Dean's boots are off, and he searches Sam's eyes out. Sam takes in the pale face, the reddish nose, the drenched hair and clothes. He sees another shiver pass through Dean, and blurts out, 'Shower's all yours.' Amazingly Dean just nods, and gets to it.
The hunt's done with and so they haven't set the alarm, but Sam still wakes up around 8 the next morning: sleeping in just isn't his strong suit. He rolls his stiff shoulders and stretches all the way down to his toes, relishing the warmth of his bed.
He hears a faint wheezing sound, glances over at the other bed and sees Dean's sleeping in an unusual position, curled up on his side. He's facing Sam, and so Sam can see he looks like crap: pale, with dark smudges under his eyes, like he's barely slept at all. The wheezing sound is Dean's breath, and that just can't be good.
Sam gets up and pads softly over to Dean's bed. Eases a hand onto Dean's forehead, slowly, not wanting to wake him but wanting to know what he's up against. Dean's way too warm, and Sam winces as he pulls away, unsettled both by the heat and by the fact Dean hasn't registered the touch.
Sam gets dressed, goes into town. Comes back with coffee for them both, and cold pills for Dean. Dean's still not awake, so Sam finishes off his own coffee and then drinks Dean's too. Cracks open his laptop, and tries to find them another case.
It's not until noon that Dean sneezes and splutters awake, his whole frame immediately racked with a hacking-and-sneezing fit so prolonged and intense that Sam decides he might actually choke, and goes and thumps him on the back. When Dean's finally managed to stop coughing, he blows his nose, looking a little rattled. Sam takes advantage of his distraction to feel his forehead again, and finds he's hotter than ever.
Sam sits down on the edge of Dean's bed, reaches for the meds. Teases him lightly, but it backfires: Dean defensively pushes himself upright in a series of sluggish, lurching movements, and then blanches, jaw tight, eyes going unfocused. He looks like he's about to either faint or vomit. Sam winces for him, and pushes him back down with a gentle, steady hand. 'Hey,' he says. 'Easy.'
'Shit,' Dean mutters, and lies still for a minute, sniffling and wheezing and presumably focusing on not throwing up. Then a dopey grin spreads slowly across his face, and his eyes glaze over.
'What?' Sam asks, but it's like Dean's just stopped hearing him, and the hairs on Sam's arms stand up. Glassy eyes slide over Sam's features, and the grin gives way to a weird, lazy laugh, which triggers another coughing fit, and this is so not good. Sam calls Dean's name, smoothes back his hair, tries again to get him to take the pills.
'I'm fine,' Dean chuckle-coughs a minute later, his eyes suddenly meeting Sam's again, bright but at least focused now.
'You're fine,' Sam repeats, incredulous, as all the ways in which Dean is at this particular moment not fine organize themselves into a list in his head.
'Yeah,' Dean says. 'Well, close enough.' He takes the pills though, and Sam breathes easier.
'Dude,' Dean sniffles once the meds are down. 'Where's my coffee?'
end... again. :)