For my new friend Mad Server. Cos she has a thing for Dean. Enjoy!
It starts as an unassuming little tickle in the back of the throat, irritated by dust, or the cool air, or some other random thing.
That's what Dean tells himself.
He keeps clearing his throat, trying hard not to cough, but trying harder to thwart suspicion from Sam.
Sam notices anyway, nonchalantly passing a bottle of water to Dean.
"You getting sick?"
"No, man, no. It's the dry air," Dean mumbles out before he is caught in a full on coughing fit, tears streaming from his eyes as he struggles to keep from driving off the road.
"Pull over Dean. I'm driving," Sam orders, with that tone in his voice that is unmistakably John Winchester all over again.
Dean wants to argue, but he knows he will lose, big brother or not, and deep down he is secretly grateful.
His body has all of a sudden alerted him to every joint and muscle he has, the dull aching slowly taking over any memory of comfort.
They switch places, Sammy eyeballing him the whole time, as Dean curls up against the passenger window. Funny, he doesn't remember feeling cold, pulling his jacket tighter around himself as he shivers lightly.
It's been 3 hours, and Dean hasn't stirred and Sam's not sure what's more disturbing, the fact that Dean has been asleep for 3 hours, or the fact that Dean had been asleep, dead asleep, in the Impala, with Sam driving, for three hours.
When Sam pulls into the motel an hour later, Dean is snoring like he has a head full of congestion, mouth wide open, and drool rolling out of the corner of his mouth.
Dean was coughing. Again. He was sneezing too. He had been for a day now, obviously starting to get sick, no matter how much he denied it.
Sam was starting to get sick too, sick of Dean pretending not to be sick.
As Dean sniffled back what seemed like a body full of mucus, Sam cringed.
"Dean, that's only gonna make you worse, dude. Blow it out, it's gone, sniff it in, it stays."
Dean started to answer but was caught off guard by a coughing fit. The wet, hacking sound of an infection in his lungs was evident as he coughed up globs of sticky sweetness, the disgusting taste of it coating his tongue.
He walked into the bathroom and spat into the toilet, kind of grossed out by it all.
Sam was about to say something, walking towards the bathroom, but was abruptly met by the slamming of the door in his face.
He decided it was not worth the fight, and climbed into the bed, and buried himself under the covers, eyes closing as soon as he hit the pillow.
Worrying about Dean and driving for hours was tiring work, Sam thought.
He smiled to himself, as he realized that must be what Dean feels every day, grateful to still have his big brother with him.
It was 6AM when Sam rolled over and glanced at the alarm clock.
He felt refreshed after a night of uninterrupted sleep.
He thought about that for a minute and instantly bolted upright from the bed.
He hadn't heard Dean, sick, sniffling, coughing Dean all night long.
That was so not good.
He looked over to the bed next to him, and saw a giant lump.
That instantly relieved tension number one.
Dean was under that lump.
Sam walked over to the lump of Dean and pulled back the covers, searching for any signs of life.
He felt the heat as soon as he lifted the comforter off the bed.
Dean was absolutely sweltering under there.
Sam turned him over and tried to feel for his temperature, even though it was pretty obvious Dean was burning up.
"Dean, c'mon dude, get up" Sam urged, a quiet panic slowly spreading through him as he realized Dean was really in bad shape.
Dean just groaned and tried to take a breath in, but was met by resistance, his lungs wet and filled with congestion, forcing a terrible deep hacking cough to be emitted from them.
His eyes flew open as he tried to sit upright, the pressure of forcing the gunk from his lungs making Dean's eyes water as he straightened himself out.
He finally sat upright, still coughing, and wiped his nose, that was now running like a faucet, on the sleeve of his brown henley.
"Oh God Dean, you…"
Sam couldn't even finish his sentence, for he was too appalled by Dean's appearance.
His eyes were red rimmed, and filled with tears, and he had a matching red nose, not to mention the light purple raccoon eyes he was sporting on his ghostly pale face.
"Ugh" Dean just groaned, as he finally was able to suck down some air.
Sam went into the bathroom and grabbed a roll of toilet paper for Dean's snot filled nose.
He would go out in a little bit and get some Puffs plus with lotion, the toilet paper would have to do for now.
"Think… I , caught…a, a cold" Dean sniffled to Sam as he came out of the bathroom.