A/N: Hey lovely readers :o) since my last oneshot got such a great response and so many people asked me for another…I've decided to go for it! Enjoy!
Dean: 17, Sam: 12, Haley: 8
Special thanks: To my beta Kelly, I love ya like a fangirl loves the Winchesters!! And also, a big thanks to all the readers following Because We're Winchesters and for reading Prickly Situation.
It was two in the morning when Haley was suddenly woken from her restless sleep. At first she wasn't sure what exactly had made her wake up, but quickly figured it out when her stomach clenched tightly before forcing its contents out violently, drenching her in her own vomit.
Haley panicked unable to catch her breath as her small body heaved once again; expelling what was left of her last few meals. She leaned forward trying to get on all fours but couldn't as another wave of nausea hit her.
Tears trailed down her face, both from the strain her body was going through and from wanting someone to come help her.
John sat in the living room of their small two bedroom house. He had rented it a few weeks back when he'd followed the trail of what looked to be a Doppelganger to the small town of Abbot , Texas . Turned out, the Doppelganger wasn't this town's only problem. While he and Dean had gone out to find the ganger, they'd run in to a nasty pack of werewolves, which led to their extended stay in this town at least for another week or two.
John quickly and efficiently disassembled his guns and laid the pieces out in order. It was important that their weapons were cleaned on a daily basis; they couldn't afford any of their guns jamming up on them during a hunt.
His concentration however, was interrupted by the distinct sound of vomiting. His brows drawn in, John stood from the couch and made his way towards the bedrooms, following the sound to Haley's bedroom down the hall. His legs moved faster as he approached the door and made quick work of it. As soon as he entered the room, he was immediately hit with strong smell of vomit. He grimaced; he had never been that good at this part of fatherhood.
He flipped the light on and found Haley perched up on her knees, tears scrolling down her pudgy eight year old cheeks and vomit covering the front of her pajamas and pooling around her sheets.
"Daddy," Haley whimpered softly, her big bright green eyes drowning in unshed tears.
John closed the distance between himself and his baby. "Shh, it's alright," he shushed, heading to the window and opening it up to air the room out.
Suddenly Dean and Sam appeared at the door, eyes alert even though they'd just been asleep.
"Dad?" Dean halted by the door, the smell hitting his nose quickly.
"Haley got sick," John offered softly, although there was no need for it. The smell was pretty strong.
Dean walked into the room, trying to ignore the potent smell and working hard to keep his gagging under control. As many times as he'd helped his siblings through being sick, it never got easy.
"Hay you know, what happened?" he asked, noticing the putrid sheets.
Haley sobbed silently, her throat aching and raw from the episode. "My tum—tummy hurts," she hiccupped, rubbing her tired eyes.
"Haley, you ok?" Sam asked, finally making his own way in.
Haley shook her head, her lips forming a little pout.
"Come on, how about we get ya cleaned up, huh kiddo?" John said, moving forward and pulling his sobbing daughter up out of the mess. "Dean, why don't you get her in the bath real quick and get her into some new clothes while I get the bed taken care of," he instructed calmly.
Dean nodded. "Yeah, got it covered dad," Dean said, taking Haley's hand in his and pulling her towards him. "Come on squirt, let's get ya cleaned up."
Haley looked over and spotted Sam standing a few steps behind her. She stuck her hand out expectantly and waited for Sam to take hold.
"Come on Sammy, we gotta unstinkify this one quick," Dean joked, seeing a small smile grace his sister's face.
Sam took hold of Haley's hand and followed them into the bathroom, leaving John the dirty job.
Dean walked back into Haley's room, Haley resting comfortably in her big brothers arms. John looked up from his task and gave his eldest a curt nod.
"The beds not gonna be useable today, we're gonna have to soap it down," he informed, motioning towards the large brown stain adorning the now otherwise pale blue mattress.
"Great," Dean muttered, he'd probably be the one scrubbing tomorrow. "Sammy!"
"Yeah, I had to wait for the dryer to finish," Sam sighed, handing Dean a clean pair of underwear and pajamas for Haley. "She ok?" he asked, eyeing his little sister's form.
"She's got a fever, but it ain't too bad." Dean shrugged, making his way towards his room; looks like he was sharing tonight.
"Dad, you need any help?" Sam asked.
John smiled. "Nah, go back to bed Sam. I'll finish up here," he said.
"I'm sure, son." John nodded.
Sam walked out the room and headed to his and Dean's room.
Dean had Haley sitting on the edge of his bed as he slipped on a pair of her socks then moved on to sliding a clean shirt over her head.
"You alright kiddo?" he asked concerned. Haley was looking pretty damn sick at the moment. Her pale color making her very flushed cheeks stand out.
Haley nodded looking and feeling unbelievably miserable. She just wanted to sleep and not feel like her insides were gonna spill out.
"M'tired," she mumbled sleepily.
"Hay, you want some water?" Sam asked, walking up beside them and taking a seat.
Haley shook her head and leaned to her right, resting her head on Sam's widening shoulder. "I wanna lie down." She yawned.
"Just give me a second ok. I need you to take some of this," Dean said, twisting the cap off of a bottle of kids Motrin and pouring some in the small measuring cup. "Here, it tastes like candy." He assured.
Sam took the little cup and put it up to Haley's lips. "Open up Hay," he urged.
Haley reluctantly parted her lips and swallowed the sweet, syrupy medicine; her eyelids already beginning to blink heavily.
"Alright kiddo, time for bed." Dean sighed, bending forward and picking her up in one smooth motion.
He placed her down in the middle of his bed and pulled the covers over her. "Sammy, I'll be right back. Gotta find a bucket or something just incase." Dean said, walking out of the room and leaving Sam in charge.
"How she doing?" John asked, walking into the kitchen with the pile of soiled covers in hand.
"Her temps 102.4, I just gave her a dose of kids Motrin," Dean said. "It's probably something she ate," he added, sifting through a few scattered pots and pans.
"What're you lookin' for?" John questioned, noticing Dean's rapid movements.
"Bucket or something; I don't want her barfin' on my bed too." He chuckled.
John walked into the small pantry they had in the kitchen and pulled out a small bucket full of old rags. "Here, use this," he said, pulling the rags out and setting them on the table.
John nodded. "Listen Dean—"
Oh no. He knew that tone of voice. "Yeah?"
"I think I might've found where this werewolf might be hidin'," John began. "I'm gonna head out first thing in the morning, go hunt this thing down once and for all," he finished off, his gaze somewhere other than on Dean.
Dean's jaw clenched. He should be used to this already. "Dad, you can't hunt a werewolf alone." Dean pointed out. Werewolves were a bitch to catch and even harder to kill.
"I'll be fine Dean, it's only one. I can handle it," John argued. "You stay here and take care of you brother and sister."
Dean glared. Hunting was important, he got that, but to him, his family came first. "Yeah whatever." He sighed. There was no use in arguing with the man. Besides, he did have everything under control.
John nodded his thanks, knowing that once again he was letting his kids down. He knew he was letting her down too. Mary would've probably knocked him on his ass if she were here to see what he'd done to their kids, but John couldn't stop himself. This vengeance he carried, God it ate at him every god damn day of his life! So he fought, he fought everything evil he came across in hopes that sooner rather than later, he'd reach the one who'd ripped his family and life apart. And maybe then, he could be the father his children deserved.
"Dean, Dad!" Sam's panicked voice rang down the hallway.
Dean took off towards his bedroom, John in tow.
Haley was heaving her little heart out again, Sam holding a bag under her mouth. "She just started throwing up all crazy," Sam stammered out quickly.
Dean moved to the bed and climbed up, kneeing his way closer to Haley and wrapping his left arm around her middle. "You're ok just relax; you'll feel better in a bit," he soothed, his other hand coming up to her forehead.
Dean hissed, the fever seemed to have risen rather than gone down. "Dad, her temps up," Dean said over his shoulder.
"Maybe we should take her to the hospital. She could get dehydrated and stuff," Sam said, concern clearly etched on his young face.
"No, it's probably just that burger she ate for dinner. She'll be fine in the morning once her body has gotten rid of it." John stated calmly.
Haley sobbed in between each heave, her little back arching up as the nausea intensified. "De—"
"Shhh, shhh, its ok, just let it out Haley, it's almost over," he cooed.
A few minutes passed before Haley's stomach settled again and she fell sideways, exhausted from the ordeal.
Sam tied the plastic bag and ran out of the room and into the kitchen. He opened the back door and set the bag of puke on the side before running back in and re-locking the door behind him.
"Feel better kiddo?" Dean asked, wiping the tears from her face.
Haley nodded lazily, her head feeling too heavy to hold up anymore.
"Come on, back in bed," he said, pushing her up gently and helping her settle in again. "I'm gonna grab you somethin' to drink ok. I'll be right back."
Sam walked into the room. "Here, brought her some Gatorade," he said, holding the red liquid up. "Her favorite flavor, cherry," he smiled.
"Nice, thanks Sammy." Dean smirked. They made a good team.
"Daddy," Haley's soft voice broke through.
John made his way steadily over to the bed and sat down on the edge. "I'm here kiddo," he assured softly.
Haley's small hand broke through the mountain of covers and sought out John's much larger one. He smiled, taking her hand in his. "You're gonna be just fine, kiddo."
"M'tummy hurts, make it go'way daddy," she pleaded softly. Her dad could fix anything, he killed monsters and stuff, so he could fix her too.
John leaned down some, his free hand coming up and caressing her soft cheek. "This'll pass baby, your tummy just needs to get rid of all the bad stuff," he tried to explain. He hated seeing his kids in pain, whether it was physical or emotional. "Just close your eyes ok, everything'll be better in the morning."
Haley's eyelids slid shut and her breathing evened out as she gave into her exhaustion.
John stayed put for a few more minutes, his calloused thumb running soothing circles across her cheek.
"Check her temp every—"
"Every hour, yeah I know dad." Dean cut him off. He'd been taken care of his sick siblings since he could remember.
Sam looked between his brother and his father. There was tension between them, which could only mean…
"Dad, you're not leaving again are you?" he asked, although he was already pretty sure of the answer.
"Sam," Dean warned. He wasn't up for another fight between these two; he had enough to worry about with Haley puking up her insides and all.
"But Haley's sick dad! You can't just leave her like this!" Sam argued, ignoring Dean's warning.
"You and your brother have it covered, Sam. It's just some bad food; nothing to worry about," John said sternly.
"That doesn't matter! You're the parent here, not Dean. You should be the one taking care of your sick kids, not Dean!" Sam yelled angrily. He was sick and tired of seeing his dad push his responsibilities on Dean. His brother deserved better, deserved to have his own life, deserved to be a freaking teenager.
"Sam, that's enough!" Dean interfered. "If dad doesn't find this thing, more people are gonna die."
Sam glared. "So what, those people are more important to you than your own kid?" he seethed. Sam was pissed.
"You mind your tongue with me, boy!" John warned, standing to his full height.
"Ok, enough," Dean broke in. "Dad, it's fine, I'll handle everything here alright, just, go find that thing," Dean said, shutting Sam up with a glare.
John glanced back at Haley's sleeping form and headed out to the living room without another word.
Dean sighed. "Dude, what the fuck is your problem?" Dean yelled.
"Dean I'm sick of it! I'm sick of him booking it every time we need him, man," Sam growled out. "It isn't fair to you, to me, or to Haley. You've gotta see that Dean. It just isn't—this isn't how mom would've wanted things to be like," he added somberly.
"He does what he can Sam," Dean muttered.
Sam sighed, "Whatever man, it doesn't matter. Nothing I ever say matters. I'm goin' to bed, wake me if Haley gets up," he mumbled, walking the few steps to his bed and burying himself under the blankets, leaving a weary Dean standing behind him.
John prepped his bag, packing everything he'd need for this hunt. He probably shouldn't have let things get so far with Sam but lord knew the kid was damn difficult. Sam was defiant, always trying to question him; he was one-hundred percent Mary's son. She was a fireball, always questioning people, always wanting to know why. God he missed her. He missed her so damn much it physically hurt.
"Dad," Dean interrupted his thoughts.
"It's alright Dean. He's just being a Winchester." John smirked.
Dean chuckled, and wasn't that the truth.
"You headin' out earlier than planned?" Dean asked, eyeing his father as he packed his weapons.
"Yeah, m'thinkin' it'd be best right now. I won't be far son." John assured.
"The full moons not until—"
"I know, but I gotta pick up a few supplies from a few towns over and—"
"And you don't want to risk that thing following your scent here so you're staying somewhere else," Dean finished for him. Yeah, he knew his father pretty damn well.
John stood still a moment then grinned. He didn't need to say anything else.
"Be careful dad, watch your back; those things are sneaky as hell."
"I will son. Watch out for Sammy and Haley, keep sharp and—"
"Shoot first, ask questions later, I got it, I'm 17, dude." Dean chuckled.
John nodded. "I left some money in the usual place; it should hold ya'll up for a couple of days. I've got my phone. I'll call you in a few days." John rattled off.
"Be sharp." John shouldered his bag and headed over the door; Dean trailing behind.
5 hours later
Haley curled up, her knees crushed tightly against her stomach. God she felt like crap! Her stomach kept doing all these little flip flop things and it made her want to throw up really bad.
She squeezed her eyes shut and tried breathing in through her nose and out through her mouth trying to rid herself of the nausea, but failed miserably. All the warning she got was her stomach spasming, and then the sudden and all too familiar burn invaded her esophagus.
Even asleep, Dean was able to register any changes in his siblings breathing, so when Haley's breath hitched, Dean was up and alert in seconds immediately recognizing his sister's distress.
Dean reached down by his bed and pulled the small bucket up, placing it under her mouth just as the first round of heaving commenced.
Haley's pained sobs hit Dean to the core. "Shhh, its ok, just relax baby," he soothed.
Dean felt Sam stir in the other bed. "I got it Sam," he muttered quietly.
Sam seemed to ignore Dean's words and rolled out of bed. "She's m'sister too Dean," he simply said his voice still groggy with sleep.
Dean smiled and didn't say anything else.
Sam stumbled into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and pulled out a cold bottle of Gatorade, then stumbled back to the room. The one he'd gotten earlier was probably warm by now.
By the time he'd reached the room, all he could hear were Haley's sobs and Dean's comforting words.
"Shhh, baby, I got ya."
"My tummy hates me," she sobbed into his shirt.
Dean smiled at that.
"Your tummy doesn't hate you Hay, it just didn't like something you ate, is all," Dean explained, running his hand across her forehead and through her hair.
"Hay, I got you some Gatorade, its cherry flavored," Sam whispered, taking a seat beside Dean.
Haley turned her head into Dean's chest and shook it. "I don' want nothin'," she mumbled.
"Haley, it'll help make you feel better, if you don't drink something, you're gonna get dehydrated," Sam explained.
Haley wasn't sure what dehydrated meant, but it sounded pretty unpleasant so she decided to comply.
"Atta girl," Dean encouraged.
Sam twisted the cap off and handed the bottle to Dean. "Here, I don't wanna spill any on her," he said, keeping the cap in one hand.
Dean put the bottle up to Haley's lips and tipped it up, the cool liquid flowing down her throat. She took a few gulps before pushing it away.
"Alright, we'll save some for later ok," Dean said, handing it back to Sam. "Thanks Sammy."
Sam nodded. "No problem. I'll go clean out the bucket," he said, scooting off the bed. "Want me to close the blinds?" he asked. It was seven in the morning, the sun was up and shinning its bright rays into their room.
Sam closed the blinds then picked up the bucket and headed out to the bathroom, pulling the door closed behind him.
"Dude, I was totally watching that!" Dean growled, pulling the control back from Sam's grasp.
"Dean, you've seen this movie like a hundred times already," Sam argued.
"Sam it's The Godfather!" Dean exclaimed.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Whatever. I'm gonna check on Haley." He scooted off the couch and headed for their bedroom.
Haley was lying in the fetal position, her arms tucked into her stomach. Sam tip-toed in and grabbed the thermometer from the small table and carefully inserted it in her mouth. Haley stirred, shifting her body a little but didn't wake up.
The thermometer beeped and Sam pulled it out, sighing as he read the numbers, 102.3, still not good enough.
"What's the verdict?" Dean whispered, walking into the room.
"102.3," Sam offered, handing the instrument over to Dean.
"I'm thinking this might not just be a case of bad food, Sammy," Dean sighed, reaching for the Motrin.
"Yeah, could be the stomach flu or something," Sam suggested.
"Haley." Sam patted her arm gently. "Wake up sleepy head."
Haley inhaled deeply, turned her head to the side and exhaled.
"Hay, come on kiddo, up and at'em." Dean tried this time.
Haley's long eyelashes fluttered lazily, murky cracks of green appearing and disappearing beneath them.
"Come on Hay, I just need you to drink this, than you can go back to sleep, alright," Dean tried coaxing her.
"Just swallow this down for me; it'll make you feel better," he added, gently pulling her into a sitting position.
Haley whimpered, falling limply to her side, her body curling into Sam.
Dean poured the recommended dose into the small cup and put it to Haley's lips. "Drink this for me."
Haley swallowed the medicine exhaling as she relaxed into her brother's arm. The relief however, only lasted a few minutes as she felt the familiar lurch of her stomach. Her body reacted, pushing her forward.
"Shit!" Dean cursed, reaching for the bucket again.
Sam pulled Haley towards the edge of the bed over his knees, as Dean placed the bucket underneath her.
"I got ya, I got ya," Sam muttered, one hand wrapped tightly around her waist and the other holding her forehead up.
Haley's body arched up as heave after heave racked her small body. Each one drawing a few more broken sobs from her abused throat.
"Shhh, its ok baby, it'll be over soon," Dean cooed softly.
A few seconds more and the heaving stopped, leaving Haley to sag against Sam again.
"Dean, she needs fluids man," Sam sighed. Haley's skin was clammy to the touch and her eyes were sunken in, black circles making them look bruised.
Dean walked out of the room and returned a few minutes later carrying a wet wash cloth. "Here, wipe her face down," he instructed.
Sam nodded, took the cloth and ran it soothingly across her forehead. Haley whimpered, leaning into the cool touch. It was going to be a long few days.
Two days later
Sam sat on the couch, shotgun on one side and Haley on the other. Dean had gone out about twenty minutes ago to buy some much needed food.
Haley's head lay gently on his lap, her eyes glued to The Nightmare Before Christmas playing on the TV. Her fever had gone down a few notches and the puking had all but stopped.
The door knob jiggled, brining Sam's attention up. He grabbed the shot gun and pointed it at the door. If anyone or anything got in, they wouldn't be getting out.
Dean unlocked the door, swung it open and stepped inside. "Whoa, Sammy; easy there, it's just me." He smirked, his hands up in the air, two plastic bags hanging from his wrist.
Sam sighed. "Whatever. Took you long enough man; where the hell did you go, the next town over?" he asked, putting the shotgun down against the couch.
"Hey, you try finding a fast food place that has decent soup," Dean said matter of factly. This town, if you could even call it that, what with only 200 hundred residents living in it, had a pretty limited amount of fast food choices.
Haley looked up, pulling her attention from the movie "Dean, did you get me ice cream?" she asked, her voice on its way to normal.
Dean smirked. "Yeah, peanut, I got you some ice cream. But, you gotta eat some soup first ok?" he said, setting the bags on the kitchen table.
Haley rolled off the couch and trailed Dean to the kitchen. "What if my tummy doesn't like the soup?" she asked innocently.
Dean frowned. "You still feeling sick?"
Haley shrugged. "I'm just saying."
Dean's brows arched up high on his forehead; he knew this game and he could play it just as well.
"Hmm, well, if you're feeling sick enough not to eat soup, than I don't think you'll be able to eat ice cream either," he said thoughtfully.
Haley whipped her head up. "I didn't say I was sick, I said—"
"I know what you said squirt and it isn't gonna work. You need to eat alright, you've spent the last two days empting your gut, now it's time you fill it again," he said, pulling out the medium sized Styrofoam bowl.
Haley sighed but agreed anyway.
"Atta girl, here, take this to Sammy. I'll bring your soup over," he said, handing her a brown bag and a bottle of Pepsi.
He pulled out a few more items from the first bag and set it out on the table. Then pulled the second bag up to him and pulled out a quart of rocky road ice cream and walked it over to the freezer.
"Dean, you comin' or what?" Sam called from the living room.
Dean chuckled. "Yeah, be right there," he yelled back.
Sighing, he pulled his cell phone out from his pocket and looked for any missed calls. His dad was supposed have called yesterday but hadn't.
"Dean…." Haley whined, stumbling back into the kitchen.
"What's up kiddo?" Dean asked, shoving the phone back into his pocket.
Haley lifted her arms up in the pick-me-up motion and pouted her lips.
Dean chuckled. "Aren't you getting a little too old to be held like this?"
Haley wrapped her arms around his neck and wrapped her legs around his waist. "No, I'm still the baby." She nuzzled her nose in his neck, scrunching it as it hit the stubble.
"Yeah, you are aren't ya." He sighed. "Come, on, let's eat." He walked to the table and picked up his bag, handing it over to Haley. "Here, hold this so I can carry your soup."
Haley let go of his neck and took the bag in her hand with one of hers and wrapped the other one around him again.
Dean walked into the living room and chuckled. Sam was perched up on the couch watching as Jack Skellington saved Santa.
"How many times is this? Dean questioned in amusement.
Sam rolled his eyes. "I lost count."
Dean plopped down on the couch sighing as he watched both his sisblings silently. Haley was seated on his lap looking a lot better than she had in the last few days, sporting a huge bright smile on her little face, and Sam was chuckling beside him like the geek he was. Dean couldn't help but wonder if their father ever regreted all the times he'd choosen to walk away. I mean, he totally understood his father's reasons for the hunt and everything. Hell, sometimes he got a bit carried away with it too; the only differeance being that sometimes the hunt seemed to take priority in his fathers life, whilst family always came first in Dean's.
"Dean, Dean look, look!" Haley pulled on his shirt, pointing at the TV. Jack Skellington's sleigh had just been shot down.
Dean smiled, bringing his arm a little tighter around his little sister. It was at times like these, that Dean pitied the man their father had become.
Feedback is certainly welcome :o) thanks for reading this far!!