A/N: I wreaked a fair amount of havoc on this section after getting it back from my beta, so any mistakes arising from the wreckage are mine.
Thanks for all the lovely reviews!
Sam was grateful they'd managed to get a motel that wasn't, for the first time in a week, a crappy old dump on the edge of nowhere. The cluster of gas stations, truck stop diners, and fast food restaurants in the immediate area meant an easy access to supplies. Especially since Sam didn't plan on going anywhere for the next day or two, even if he had to sit on Dean to keep him in one place.
For the past couple of days, Sam had taken Dean's silences and listless single-word replies for surliness, and since they'd both been dragging with weariness anyway, Sam wasn't his usual observant and nagging self. Not to mention that they were so irritated with each other lately that they hardly talked beyond the needs of the case. And then there was the whole ticked-off, angry-grudge-holding-thing Sam had deliberately kept up for a few days after Dean had come back late from doing their laundry without a word of explanation.
He'd noticed Dean looking…not real great only just this morning. A few days ago, they'd visited a clinic to question a witness about a haunting. A clinic where – surprise – there had been lots of sick people. It had been on the tip of his tongue all day to say something to Dean, to point out how awful he looked, to ask if he wanted Sam to drive. Waiting fruitlessly for Dean to volunteer the information that he was coming down with a cold or whatever it was.
Sam snorted. Yeah, right. Dean hated being fussed over, hated it when Sam hovered, and so his stubborn brother went through the entire day ignoring Sam's sideways glances as easily as he ignored his obviously worsening health.
But, he admitted to himself, guilt rising, Dean had already been sick before Sam finally put the clues together and figured it out. Granted, Dean was a master at deception and deflection, and when he wanted to, he hid everything extremely well behind either a mask of stoic indifference or cheerful obnoxiousness.
Sam frowned as he pushed open the door into the SuperAmerica conveniently located across the service road from their motel. Now that he thought about it, Dean had been acting a little weird anyway in the last week, even before getting sick. Though he hadn't really been paying attention then, looking back, Sam could now see it. Dean's behavior had been…oddly furtive.
A knife twisted in Sam's gut at the thought of Dean hiding something, of more secrets between them. After Dean's anguished revelation of their dad's last words, and what had followed… Sam swallowed, his throat suddenly tight.
As much as he'd like to push, now was not the time. His anger faded, and he swiped tiredly at his eyes. They'd just wrapped up yet another hunt, and it was simply one too many in a long string in the past month. They were both worn to the bone, and now Dean was sick, probably with the flu, from what Sam could tell. Much to Sam's surprise, Dean had hoarsely admitted to feeling "kinda crappy, Sammy," after nearly coughing out a lung and moving as though every joint ached.
Time to stop and regroup. No more hunts for a while, no matter what Dean insisted.
Their depleted first aid kit still contained a pathetic supply of gauze and sutures, but absolutely nothing for something as mundane as the common cold. Which resulted in the fact that Sam found himself wandering the too-bright aisles of the SA's large convenience store a little after 9:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Luckily, it had a fairly well-stocked drug and first aid section – at inflated prices, naturally, but Sam hardly cared – and he loaded up a basket with various flu medicines, pain relievers and cough syrup. Next, he roamed the food aisles and picked up the familiar staples of orange juice, Gatorade, tea, and instant soup, remembering what Dean had always given him as a kid.
Sam even threw in a car magazine, but firmly drew the line at porn.
Mission accomplished in just over half an hour, he returned to their motel, plastic bags swinging from one hand as he opened the door as quietly as he could, hoping Dean was asleep. The TV was on, but what he could see of Dean was a curled lump under the covers, only one arm and the top of his head visible.
"Dean?" Sam called softly, shutting the door behind him. No answer.
Sam set the bags down on the table and slipped off his jacket, then moved across the room to check on his brother. The hand that hung out from beneath the blankets still held the remote in a lax grasp, and Sam gently pulled it from Dean's fingers.
No movement for the knife under the pillow. Not even a twitch. Dean was definitely out.
A brief glance at the television showed something old in black and white, and he thought he recognized Humphrey Bogart before he turned it off and the screen went dark. Dean had probably fallen asleep in mid-channel-surfing, looking for a baseball game or re-runs of The Simpsons.
Sam tucked Dean's hand under the covers, reluctant to wake him up, but wanting to get something into him to help reduce the fever Sam had felt when he'd gotten a hand on his brother's forehead.
"Dean," Sam said again, sitting on the bed. He gave Dean's shoulder a slight shake. "Dean, wake up." Another shake, a little firmer, then Dean stirred, and blinked heavily, staring up at Sam in a drowsy daze.
"Wha'?" Dean slurred, frowning. "Sammy?" He struggled beneath the blankets, hand now reaching for the knife, his sleep-glazed eyes wide in a sudden panic. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Sam said hastily, as he got a calming grip on Dean's shoulders, then deftly slid the knife away to toss it on his own bed. "Everything's fine," he went on reassuringly. "Really. Got you some flu medicine, and I think you should take some tonight, okay?" Steadier, but still sleepily pliant, Dean allowed Sam to haul him upright just enough to lean back against the pillows.
"Don't have the flu," Dean said, his voice like sandpaper on concrete and about an octave lower than normal. He rubbed at his eyes.
"I beg to differ." Sam started ticking off symptoms on his fingers. "Fever. Flushed skin, watery eyes. Dry cough. Sore throat, I presume, and, yes," he stared intently at Dean's face, "stuffy nose. And though you probably won't mention it, I bet you've got some nice aches and pains in your joints and muscles. Oh, and a headache, too." He poked at Dean's knees under the blankets. "How am I doing? Does that cover all of it?"
"Smartass," Dean muttered. And sneezed.
"I rest my case."
"Smartass lawyer boy," Dean added after another sneeze.
Sam handed him a tissue, then got up and started unpacking the plastic bags, setting everything on the table.
"Sammy, what'd you do, buy out the entire drug aisle?"
"Stop talking. You sound terrible." Sam cracked open the Tylenol flu medicine and snagged the glass of water still sitting on the small table between the beds. "Here," he said, putting two pills into Dean's hand. "Take these and drink all the water."
Dean might be stubborn, but he wasn't stupid. Though he gave Sam the evil eye, he proceeded to swallow the medication, drained the water glass, and resignedly accepted the cough syrup that Sam held out next.
"Why aren't you sick?" Dean demanded with a scowl. "You should be enjoying this right along with me."
"Must be that incredibly healthy lifestyle I practice," Sam answered dryly.
"Oh, yeah," Dean returned, equally dry. "That would explain it."
"Thought I told you to stop talking." Sam grabbed his bag and rifled through it for his favorite sleep shirt and sweats.
Dean rolled his eyes. Then winced and put up a hand to rub at his forehead.
"Headache, huh? Pain around the eyes?"
"Yes, thank you, I feel absolutely peachy. Why is the TV off?"
"You were asleep," Sam said, prudently moving the remote to a spot out of Dean's immediate reach.
"No, I wasn't."
"You were too."
"Well, I'm awake now, give me back the remote."
"No. Get some sleep."
"Are we having this argument again?"
"Dean, you need rest – face it, you can hardly keep your eyes open. It's been a long couple of weeks, and, dude – " Sam sighed tiredly as he headed for the bathroom, clothes in hand. "I've still got bruises on top of bruises, and I really just want to go to bed."
A brief silence, then, "Okay, Sammy," he heard quietly as he shut the bathroom door behind him. A small twinge of guilt plucked at him. It was a tactic that never failed, and Dean always let him get away with it. Well, whatever works, Sam firmly told his reflection in the mirror as he started brushing his teeth.
But when Sam came out of the bathroom a little later, Dean was once again an unmoving lump under the covers. A quick glance was enough to convince Sam he wasn't faking it, and he turned out the light with a grateful sigh after sliding into his own bed. He drifted off to sleep, as he had for most every night of his life, in the familiar comfort of Dean's presence in the dark.
Even asleep, Dean sounded worse the next morning. Sam had woken a couple of times during the night to hear him coughing and shifting restlessly. Now, even though he appeared to be sleeping deeply, his breathing was thick and congested, and his skin – when Sam managed to unbury him from under the mound of blankets – felt hot and dry.
Quickly pulling on some clothes, Sam figured he could leave Dean alone long enough to grab some breakfast and tell someone at the front desk they weren't checking out today. He dashed off a short note, just in case Dean did wake up, and left it propped against the clock on the nightstand.
He jogged across the parking lot to the motel office, deciding the sooner he woke Dean up for another round of medication and fluids the better, and then, hopefully, some breakfast. After that, well, Sam had a small stack of novels he could happily settle down with for a few days while he watched Dean nap.
A quick trip down the service road in front of the motel took him to the truck stop where they'd eaten the previous night, and Sam ordered up coffee and a couple of breakfast specials to go, along with half a dozen donuts. Dean would've flirted with the cashier, but Sam just gave her a smile when she sincerely told him to have a nice day. Then he zigzagged his way past parked semis and pickup trucks, hoping Dean hadn't woken up in a state of groggy panic to find Sam gone.
He breathed a quiet sigh of relief minutes later when he got inside the room again and found Dean still dead to the world. Putting the Styrofoam breakfast containers down on the small table, he crossed over to his sleeping brother and gently shook his shoulder.
"Hey, Dean," he said, waiting for the flutter of eyelids. "Wake up, man, I brought breakfast."
It took longer than it had the night before, but he finally got a response after some more coaxing and peeling away a couple layers of blankets. Slitted eyes stared glassily up at him, and a sluggish fist came out swinging to land harmlessly on Sam's hip. Sam had to grin. For the first time in what felt like weeks.
"Go 'way," Dean muttered hoarsely. "Lemme alone." He tried to roll away and burrow deeper under the covers again.
"I will," Sam promised, still smiling. "Really. But you need to drink something first, and take another dose of medicine."
Dean made a face.
"Yeah, I get that you hate taking the stuff, but you want to get over this, right?"
"Stop talking –" Dean broke off to cough, eyes watering by the time he was done. "—like I'm a stupid kid," he rasped out.
Smile gone, Sam winced at the sound of Dean's cracked voice as he helped him sit up. He reached for the box of pills and opened one of the little packets. "C'mon, you took some last night. You know it'll help. You'll sleep better."
Dean just blinked wearily at him, pale and tousled, somehow looking about ten years old. "I was asleep," he pointed out with a cranky snap, crossing his arms over his chest. But then he rubbed his forehead as though trying to drive out an ache, sighed, and held out a grudging hand. "Okay," he said.
"Okay," Sam said, surprised, handing them over along with a bottle of water. Despite Dean's previous willingness to follow Sam's orders, he'd expected more of a fight this morning.
"God, this so sucks," Dean mumbled, slurping at the plastic cup of cough syrup Sam foisted on him next. "Not like –" he swallowed " – I've been hurt, you know? Not dyin' here. Don't really need this."
Sam felt his smile creep back at that and had to resist the urge to pat Dean on the top of his messy head. "I know, tough guy," he said, forced to hide the grin when Dean glared at him. "Insulting, isn't it?"
Only Dean. Succumbing to something as ordinary as the flu pissed him off more than getting tossed into a wall by an angry poltergeist.
Suddenly throwing aside the blankets, Dean swung his legs to the floor.
"Hey, wait a minute," Sam protested, practically lunging for Dean as he wavered to his feet. "What do you think you're doing?"
Dean raised an eyebrow. "What does it look like?" he said, panting slightly. "I'm getting out of bed to go take a shower and get dressed. So we can, you know, leave?"
"Oh, no. No, no, no." Sam shook his head, still gripping Dean's biceps and holding him in place. "We're staying here another night. Maybe two."
"Nope, I mean it. You're not going anywhere. Aside from food runs, I'm gonna sit and read and watch you sleep."
"I can sleep in the car!"
Sam shook his head again. "Only if you wanna sleep in the parking lot. We've got nowhere we gotta be, so we're not driving five hundred miles in any direction, we're not looking for a new job for at least a week, or hitting bars to hustle pool, or – or anything, and that's that."
"I'm all right!"
"No, you're sick, and I'm tired, and we're taking some time off." He tightened his hold on Dean's arms, feeling the fever warmth of the skin beneath his hands even as Dean began to shiver. "Just a few days, dude," Sam went on quietly. "You know we need it."
Dean let out a long breath and sagged a little in Sam's grip. "Yeah, I guess," he said, not meeting Sam's gaze. "Now let go, okay? I still need to hit the head."
Sam dropped his hands and stepped aside to let Dean make his unsteady way over to the bathroom. "I got breakfast if you want it," he said to his brother's back, getting a grunt in return before the door closed. His own stomach rumbling, Sam sighed, helped himself to one of the Styrofoam boxes and sat down to eat his almost still warm scrambled eggs, pancakes, and sausage.
Dean continued to show little interest in food, but Sam managed to talk him into half of a donut at one point, and kept him plied with plenty of fluids throughout the day. Other than that, his coughing, feverish, flu-ridden brother stayed in bed, mostly sleeping, not even demanding possession of the TV remote when his eyes strayed open, or making a fuss when Sam checked his temperature.
Which only proved to Sam how truly and thoroughly wretched he felt.
Sam gratefully settled down with a dog-eared paperbackfrom his stash in the Impala, reveling in the luxury of time to simply read, then caught himself nodding off more than once during the day, book lying loosely on his lap. He read and napped, and read some more, sometimes out loud to Dean, whether he was really awake or not. Other than going out once to grab some lunch and pick up a few more groceries – they'd been blessed with both a coffeemaker and a microwave – he was content to remain in their room and loll.
He tried not to hover too much when he saw Dean stirring, or heard the incoherent, delirious ramblings of his half-waking dreams. But when Dean woke up in the early evening, yelling Sam's name in scratchy panic, Sam threw aside his book and was at Dean's side in an instant.
Wide, fevered eyes stared dazedly at him, and Dean's hands fisted weakly in Sam's shirt as he tried to sit up. "Sam, Sam, what day is it?" he asked, his voice rising. "Is it Thursday? Tell me, did I miss Thursday? 'Cause I missed Wednesday, Sam. I don't wanna miss Thursday."
A little wide-eyed himself, Sam wrapped his hands around Dean's shoulders. "Dean, it's okay, man," he said, as Dean fought to pull free. "Calm down, I'm right here. What's the matter?"
"What day is it?" Dean demanded again, gasping for breath as a cough threatened. "Did I miss it?" He looked beseechingly at Sam.
"It's Thursday, Dean, it's still Thursday." Sam kept his voice steady, doing his best to soothe away lingering fever-dreams or memories or…something. "Just like it was this morning, okay? You didn't miss anything. We're staying here another night, and you've been sleeping most of the day, remember?"
"Still Thursday? Oh," Dean panted, some of the alarm easing in his face. He slumped forward, his forehead falling into Sam's chest. "Thursday. That's good, I guess, unless it's late, I mean. Is it? What time is it?"
"Dude, are you all right?" Sam eased up his grip on Dean's shoulders and gave him a gentle nudge. "What's up with missing Thursday? Got a date? Expecting a phone call? What?"
Dean tensed briefly under Sam's hands, a fine tremor in his muscles and across his skin, and Sam tightened his hold again. "Dean?" he said, worry sharpening his tone.
"Uh…nothin'," Dean mumbled, not looking up. Then he sneezed. Into Sam's shirt.
Sam snorted in disgust and flicked the back of Dean's head. "Oh, thanks."
"Ouch," Dean said, still muffled in Sam's shirt.
"C'mon, what's wrong?"
"Nothin'," Dean said again. He pushed away from Sam, now shivering violently.
"Hey," Sam said, getting up. "Put something warmer on." He pulled a well-worn hoodie out of his bag and tossed it at Dean. "And get back under the blankets. Time for your medicine, I think."
"God," Dean muttered. "Bossy much?" His burst of panicked energy having apparently deserted him, he stared vaguely at the sweatshirt in his lap before picking it up. He fumbled half-heartedly with the sleeves, getting stuck. "Yeah, thanks, Nurse Sasquatch," he snapped, as Sam helped him get the sweatshirt on over his head and into place.
Smiling, Sam patted down the wayward spikes of Dean's hair, even messier now. "No TV privileges for you if you can't be nice," he said.
"I'm sick. You should be nicer to me," Dean pointed out, attempting to rearrange pillows and blankets to his satisfaction, his efforts only succeeding in entangling himself further before he simply gave up, breathing hard.
"So you're admitting you're sick? Finally?" Sam pushed him flat and shook out the blankets, tucking them neatly around Dean even as he curled up again, still shaking with chills.
Dean moaned listlessly. "How can I feel this friggin' awful and not be dead?"
"Could be worse. You could be puking your guts out. Be grateful for that."
That earned him a glassy glare. "Oh, yeah. Thanks for putting the whammy on me. Way to go, Sammy." Dean actually seemed to go paler than he already was, and he swallowed hard, his eyes slamming shut.
"Oh, you're not –"
"No," Dean said thinly. A cough rattled deep in his chest. "Just…just don't talk about it, okay?" he managed to wheeze out.
"Okay," Sam said, contrite. He put out a cautious hand, resting it on Dean's forehead. Still warm, maybe even warmer than before, he thought with a frown, drawing back. Dean reacted with nothing more than a slight twitch of his eyelids. "Hey," Sam said softly, "how about I get you something to drink, okay?"
The faint mumble could have meant anything, but Sam took it as agreement. He grabbed a bottle of Gatorade from the small fridge and shook out another round of Tylenol flu capsules.
"Dude, stay awake another minute. I need you to take these." He perched on the side of the bed and tapped Dean's cheek, getting a slow blink in response.
Dean sighed, but shoved upright enough to take the pills and wash them down with a swallow of Gatorade. "Sick of…taking this stuff," he said sleepily. "Messes with my head."
"I know. Sorry." Sam sat by his brother, watching him start to drift off, and with a flare of guilt that he ruthlessly squashed flat, said softly, "Dean, what's with it being Thursday or not? What are you so worried about?"
He was cheating; he knew that full well. Dean was falling asleep and just on the edge of loopy, and here was Sam, taking advantage of it.
"Mmmm…wha'?" Dean's eyes were mere slits, his voice a low slur.
"Thursday. What's up, man? You've…" Sam hesitated, then decided to switch gears, to get to the bottom of the entire past week, not just whatever the hell was up with Thursday. "You've been acting weird for a while, you know," he said quietly. "Hiding something. Ditching out on me a couple of nights, acting like you don't want me around. Don't think I haven't noticed. What's going on?"
It wasn't how he'd planned on confronting Dean about his behavior the last few days, certainly not now when Dean was sick and slightly addled from medication, but he had to know.
"Dean?" he coaxed.
"Sammy…" Dean blinked owlishly up at him, pale, as worn out as Sam had ever seen him, yet still managing to give Sam his patented look of older brother assurance. "'S okay, Sammy," he mumbled. "Don' worry."
"But, Dean –"
Dean shook his head and tried to roll away, clearly done.
Sam leaned over and trapped him easily with an arm across his body. "Dean, c'mon," he pleaded. "I thought…I thought, no more secrets, right? You're kinda scaring me here."
"Not 'bout you." Dean reached out and clumsily patted Sam on the arm. "Nothin'. Don' worry," he repeated, eyes sliding shut. "Let it go, 'kay?"
"Then what? Is it you?" Sam asked, hearing bewilderment and a thread of fear in his words. "What's wrong, Dean?"
Dean stilled, stubbornly silent, but to Sam's astonishment, a dull blush slowly crept over his wan features. "You'll laugh," Dean muttered after an agonizing pause that nearly had Sam squirming. This time when he turned away, Sam let him.
Sam straightened up, his gaze not leaving his brother's face. What he could see of it. "I won't laugh," he said, earnest, sensing that Dean was on the verge of spilling. "Dean, you know I won't. Whatever it is. Please."
With his back to Sam and his head nearly under a pillow, Sam barely caught Dean's voice when he finally spoke. "Just…wanted to watch…some movies on TV."
Sam felt as though his own confusion had begun to rival Dean's of a few moments before. "Huh?" he managed. "What?" Movies? Was his brother more delirious than he thought? "Dean," he said, wryly teasing after he finally gathered his wits, "you wanting to watch porn is hardly a big secret."
A huff of indignation floated out from under the pillow. "Not porn. Movies," Dean repeated with careful precision. "Uh, with…um…"
"Nothin'." Clamming up again. "Never mind."
"Dean, it's okay. You can tell me."
Sam could be patient; really, he could. He sat and waited, hardly breathing, and clenched his hands into fists to keep from poking his brother. And was rewarded after a few interminable moments when Dean mumbled two words, a mere four syllables, into his pillow.
Sam's mouth sagged open. Then he had to clap a hand over it to keep a relieved, hysterical giggle from escaping when the pieces fell neatly into place.
"That's your deep, dark secret? Watching Audrey Hepburn movies?" A snicker slipped out. "You sly dog, you."
Dean rolled over and gave him a deadly stare, or what would've been one except for the exhausted half-mast eyes and the utter, pathetic misery etched on his face. "Knew you'd laugh," he croaked, reaching out to smack Sam feebly on the chest.
"I'm not," Sam said in a strangled whimper. His mouth twitched. "Well, maybe. Not exactly what I was expecting to hear," he added defensively, not quite stifling another snort of laughter. Then, remembering all the grim and sinister thoughts that had wormed their way through his mind in the last couple days as he'd wondered what was going on with his brother, he quickly sobered. "Thought it would be…something different," he said in all honesty, when Dean remained silent, his face averted. "Something, you know, scary. Horrific. Life-threatening. Not…" He grinned fondly. "Sweet and sappy."
"Oh, shut up," Dean grumbled. After a sneeze, he added hoarsely, "Do I need to bring up Molly Ringwald?"
"I was eleven!" Sam protested. "You can't hold that over me forever!"
Dean let out a decidedly evil cackle, which lost its impact when he started coughing, then panting for breath.
Sam got Dean upright, reaching for the Gatorade on the nightstand, and handed it to him. "That's what you get for laughing at me, jerk."
"You…laughed first," Dean pointed out after a couple of swallows. "After promising…not to."
"Oh, yeah. Um. Sorry?"
"You should be," Dean said sulkily. "Dragging a confession…out of a man on his…deathbed." He put out a slightly unsteady hand. "You so owe me. Gimme the remote." But then he yawned, his eyelids fluttering heavily, and he gave Sam a sleepy scowl. "Or…wake me up…at nine," he added, his already scratchy voice failing on the last words.
"Go to sleep," Sam said. "I'll wake you up. Wouldn't want you to miss your girlfriend." Then he remembered what he'd walked in on the night before, and the scene took on a whole new light. "So," he said, another smile spreading across his face. "When I came back last night, and there was an old black and white movie on…"
"Uh… Fell asleep." Dean pulled the blanket over his head. "Sleeping now."
Sam gave him a nudge. "And when you were supposedly off doing laundry for three hours, not answering your phone? Wanna fill me in on that?"
"Had a…date with a sexy-voiced lady named Lola. She made me popcorn," came the barely audible but satisfied reply. "She was way more fun than you."
"What? Now you're picking up women at a laundromat?"
But Dean didn't answer. He was already out.
Sam waited a moment just to make sure, then went into the bathroom, shut the door firmly behind him, and let the laughter out. Great whooping gasps, until he was breathless and teary-eyed and had to sit down on the toilet lid. Wiping his eyes, he said, "Audrey Hepburn." And started up all over again.
But true to his word, by nine he roused an only somewhat out of it Dean, and even managed to persuade him to eat most of the soup he'd heated in the microwave.
Then, his snack of chips and Coke within easy reach, and, remote in hand, Sam climbed onto Dean's bed with the pillows from his own, and made himself comfortable against the headboard.
"Hey." Dean coughed. "What're you doin'?" He gave Sam's leg a feeble push. "Go back over there and read your book."
"Nope. Gonna sit right here and watch the movie with you."
"Like hell. Give me the damn remote and go sit somewhere else. Go do some geekboy computer stuff or something. Better yet, go find a bar for a couple of hours and make us some cash."
"Oh, come on. Don't be shy. It'll be like having a slumber party." Sam turned on the TV and flipped through the channels. "Okay," he said, a smile stealing across his face. "Here we go."
Dean appeared to give up arguing in favor of watching the opening credits.
Sam felt his mouth drop open for the second time that night. "Dean, this is a musical. It's got…you know, singing. Dancing."
"I know that, you jackass." Dean whacked him on the arm. "Shut up and watch."
Sam subsided into stunned silence, shooting concerned glances at his brother. Who, hitherto, had only ever shown interest in a) classic (or not) B-monster movies, b) sci-fi or action thrillers where the good guys blew stuff up, and c) mindless comedies.
He studiously ignored Sam, but Sam could've sworn he heard the smallest of reverent sighs when Audrey showed up.
Huh. You thought you knew somebody… Sam grinned and munched chips. And watched the movie.
Dean had started off watching mostly sitting up, leaning back in a mound of pillows against the headboard like Sam. By the time Audrey was singing her heart out in front of the Eiffel Tower, Sam discovered Dean listing sideways and sliding down so far, his head was nearly on Sam's leg, his breathing loud and congested.
"Dude," Sam said quietly. "Straighten up, or you're gonna drown in snot. Come on, up you go." He maneuvered Dean, on the brink of a coughing jag, gently upright so he was resting against Sam's shoulder.
"Aw, man," Dean croaked. "I feel like crap. Ev'rything…hurts."
"I know. Here, have a Kleenex. Use it and not my shirt."
"Very funny." Dean wiped his nose, and with more luck than skill, pitched the tissue into the wastebasket Sam had set by the bed.
"You gonna make it?" Sam asked, tipping his head to check on his brother.
Drooping eyes met his. "Wake me up when…it gets to the part where she's dancing in the café. In those…little black pants." A slow, dreamy smile lit his face. "They used it in that commercial, remember? With AC/DC, dude, and 'Back in Black.' You'll know it when you see it," he rambled. "If you don't wake me up, and I miss it, I'll…kick your ass when I'm better."
"Okay," Sam said gravely. Trying not to smile.
"Thanks," Dean said, drifting off, his head heavy on Sam's shoulder.
Sam polished off the chips by the time he figured he had to wake Dean again. Seemed like that was all he'd done that day, now that he thought about it.
"Dean, I think it's coming up." He bounced his shoulder, jostling Dean's head. "Look alive."
Dean stirred after another bump or two. "Oh, yeah," he sighed, rousing. "Here we go. Check this out, Sam." Another appreciative sigh. "Look at that. The way she moves, and wears those skinny black pants. Hot. I mean, really, really hot. She'd look great riding in the Impala, wouldn't she? Damn…"
Sam had to admit it; he could definitely see the appeal. And, when he thought about it, he could see a certain trend in the type of women Dean tended to gravitate to when he was looking for company. Slim brunettes were undeniably in the majority.
"So, how long have you been secretly crushing on Audrey, anyway?"
"Not goin' there. Shut up and watch."
Sam grinned, and with his brother nearly asleep on his shoulder, watched Audrey Hepburn sing and dance her way through the rest of the movie to a gloriously happily-ever-after ending in the arms of Fred Astaire.
"So," Sam said quietly, turning off the TV, not even sure Dean was still awake. "You gonna let me watch Charade with you tomorrow night? I'll make us popcorn."
"Mmmm," Dean mumbled drowsily, much to Sam's surprise. "Popcorn and Audrey… I'm callin' Lola."
And that's all, folks!
A/N: Dean's list of Audrey Hepburn movie viewing references are as follows: at the laundromat, he and Lola saw Roman Holiday; Sam caught him asleep in front of Sabrina; and together they watched Funny Face. The commercial he mentions in regard to Funny Face was a Gap ad from a few years ago with the slogan "Back in Black." Soundtrack provided by, yes, AC/DC. Doesn't get any better than that.