A small fic-let for my much admired friend PlatinumRoseLady. She requested the boys and Castiel giggling and this is what came to mind. It's silly fluff and I hope it does your request justice.
Thanks to Kripke for the loan of your magnificent boys and to Kirsty (Bird2k) and Jane (ImpalaDreams) for the creative input.
Enjoy, Kim xxxxxx
Itchy – scratchy!
Dean was miserable.
No, scrub that.
Dean was out of his head, driven mad by itching, irritated by everybody and everything... fucking miserable.
Yeah, that was about the measure of it and, as a result, Sam and Castiel were not exactly having the time of their life either. Yup! Collective misery was sorta the theme of the day.
It wasn't proving hugely bonding though.
Oh, they knew it wasn't the suffering hunter's fault. Hell, they empathised with his frenzied scratching and red raw, 'okay, I look like a broiled lobster' sorta look but neither was it exactly their fault.
Well, not exactly...Ummm...Okay, well maybe it depended on whose perspective you were considering?
Anyhow, they were at least doing all they could to help. Not that their efforts were particularly improving Dean's mood and demeanour.
No, despite their best efforts to cheer him up, the elder Winchester's face remained resolutely sulky. You know the look? Green eyes fiery with annoyance and full lips set in mega- pout mode. Like a princess-bitch of a cheerleader who'd lost her lucky pompoms. And what made it worse was Sam and Cas were beginning to understand that the situation seemed unlikely to improve much in the immediately foreseeable future.
Add to that the fact that Castiel was finding the situation more than a little fascinating and, all in all, things were not shaping up to create a red letter sort of a day.
Dean's predicament was providing the divine being with a prime opportunity to observe humanity at its 'not-quite finest' and he was revelling in that. He was doing the whole quirky, head-tilt, 'gonna look at ya like you're a whole other species- because you are' sorta thing. It was kinda weirding Dean out. And let's face it; the angel did weird without ever straining a wing feather!
Sam could see it was wearing thin though and he wondered whether he should tell Cas that, at some point, 'wearing thin' with Dean was likely to become a smack in the face of divinity and a lop-sided halo!
However, and despite appearances to the contrary, the angel was not a total schmuck and the realisation that his engrossed interest was pissing their reluctant patient off big style was forming in his otherworldly, angelic head.
Didn't stop him staring in his weird-y, feathered freaky sorta way though.
Dicks with wings more like!
If they were honest, the hunt had been a total bust from the minute they'd hit the forest. With hindsight Sam now recognised he should have listened to his older brother (yeah, like he was gonna start doing that now. Hahhah!) But he'd thought he'd done the required research and had been convinced that this was an easy gig. So, when Dean had expressed his reluctance to"drag his tired, but exceptionally good looking (Pur-lease!), ass into the god-damn woods just to satisfy their perverse desire to play with the fairies" Sam had been forced to recruit Cas to the cause. And the pair of them had then out-voted the pensive sibling.
He regretted it without reservation now but, hell, how was he supposed to have known that things would go from bad to worse? He was supposed to see that the mischievous spirit would decide that poison oak and Dean Winchester was a good combination, was he? Jeeze! It wasn't like he'd told the forest sprite to fling Dean ass over pec into the damned bush now was it!
So following Dean's impromptu flying lesson - and no, Dean had not appreciated Castiel's quip about hunter's wanting to sample divine aerial abilities! - they had spent an unhappy, seemingly endless number of wearying road miles with the itching, self-righteous hunter grumbling at increasing volume as they drove, in the oppressive August heat, to the nearest town.
Well, that's if you could call this depressing little shit-hole a town. Hell, Sam'd seen one-horse, rabid dog (shoot 'em up, Atticus!) communities that made this place look like Bel-Air! But anyways, here they were and after a fractious and not particularly productive trip to the local medical clinic, they found themselves holed up in a crappy little guest cabin in what was surely the budget version of the Bates Motel.
And it went rapidly downhill from that high point.
The problem was that their own little Hicksville, USA was so unimpeachably 'backwoods' that this really was the only choice of accommodation in town. Well, unless the three of them wanted to bunk in the car that was and Sam knew he'd end up killing his beloved bro if he hadda stay in such close proximity to him for the entire night. Thus they had been grudgingly forced to accept the only remaining room in the motel from hell, each of them pretending that they were not strangely perturbed by having only the one queen size water- bed between the three of them, or by the lack of air-con in the 100 degree plus desert heat.
Getting Dean outta the car had been a challenge. Not only did they have to take into account that he was sore and stiff from the myriad scrapes, bumps and bruises he had collected in their ill timed and reckless fracas with the forest sprite. But also his fading alertness (god bless the encroaching fuzziness of powerful anti-histamines!) and the crucial fact that if they touched him he itched worse...all made handling him really difficult.
However, between them, and amidst much colourful, non-angelic cussing, they managed. And soon Sam was gratefully lowering a slightly wobbly, childishly fretful Dean to sit on the side of the gently undulating bed as Castiel wearily dumped their bags in the corner of the room.
The blessed Benadryl was just about starting to kick in and Dean flapped his gauze-mittened hands distractedly at Sam, as he absently lifted the toe of one boot to scratch at the opposite calf. The room was spinning just a bit but the narcotic rush wasn't buff enough yet to quell the desire to scratch like a lice-ridden monkey at a flea convention.
"Take 'em off, Sam! Please. I promise I won't scratch."
Misery and discomfort dripped from Dean's words and Sam; despite the fact his brother was being a pain and laughably seemed to suddenly have reverted to acting like a freakishly well muscled toddler, found himself sympathetic to his plight.
Increasingly amusing as it was!
He knelt before the rash covered man so he could look into the oh-so-familiar, but advancingly sleepy, eyes.
"No can do, Dean. They gotta stay on. You heard the doc. Even with the antihistamines, you're gonna just itch so bad for a few hours that you'll scratch despite yourself. And you've got enough wounds already without causing anymore."
Dean had wriggled back towards the headboard as Sam lectured, fighting the current in the water filled mattress and was desperately rubbing his itchy back against the wood. The irritation was driving him crazy. Crazy to the point of downright unbearable and the instinct to punch anything that wasn't similarly cursed by poison oak was becoming difficult to resist.
"I won't, Sam. Honest. I won't scratch...I promise."
Dean smiled unconvincingly, trying his best 'Dean Winchester charming smile number twenty seven' on his baby bro. It was an adorable smile, guaranteed to please. Never been known to fail him even in the tightest of situations.
Thus it bummed him big-time when Sam simply grinned condescendingly.
"Nice try, bro, but they stay on."
Dean wheedled as Sam gently floated him away from the headboard, his back resuming def-con 5 itching as he abandoned his makeshift scratching post.
"No, really, Sam. I'll focus and I won't scratch. Take 'em off? Please..."
The blotchy hunter tried super hard to be convincing and Sam's hazel eyes were attentive and sympathetic. Sympathetic, but un-moved.
"But you're doing it now, Dean."
Sam gently lifted the squirming man's hands from his thighs where he was frantically, if unconsciously, rubbing at his inflamed skin through his jeans. Dean sighed; knowing defeat was staring him squarely in the face.
"But it's driving me mad, Sammy..."
'Listen to yourself Winchester! Want some cheese with that whine?'
"I know it is, Dean, but the doctor said you mustn't scratch."
Sam answered patiently, reinforcing his stoic intent not to acquiesce.
'Dammit...freakin' Immovable...the Sam-ster isn't gonna budge an inch...Change of tack called for. Try a snarl?'
"Look, I'm not asking, I'm telling, Sam. Take the damned gloves offa me. Right now!"
Pissed green eyes flared with blurred fury and Castiel canted his head in fascinated interest as Sam sighed in self-righteous authority.
"No, Dean. It's for your own good. You can't help yourself. You'll scratch and that'll just make it itch worse. It's for your own good. The gloves stay on."
'Jeeze! There was nothing he hated more than logical, calm, reasoned Sammy!" Genuine anger flared.
Dean's voice rose an octave as he squirmed back up the bed, pressing seductively close once more against the rough wood of the bed head, his broad shoulders snaking powerfully as he wriggled.
'God, that feels sooooo good!"
"Jesus, Sammy. It feels like freaky little fire ants are crawling all over me, using me as their drill yard. How do you figure I could possibly itch worse?"
Dean's face was an image of petulant determination and the younger Winchester could feel a full scale, Dean Winchester hurricane was about to be loosed. He glanced at the angel, looking to garner divine support should he need it.
Castiel raised his eyebrows, fascination written on his serious face and Sam could see he sensed the coming storm as well as he did. Unfortunately he could also see that the divine, all-knowing being knew fuck all what to do about it! Sam rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to his gently vibrating sibling.
So much for feathered freaking divinity.
The exchange between Sam and Castiel was not lost on the seething hunter as his hands snuck under the hem of his T-shirt, seeking to assuage the source of his discomfort. He snarled his displeasure at their increasing conspiracy as Sam meaningfully pulled his hands from his irritated, (and rock hard) abdomen.
"And you can quit it with your god-damn secret glances, Cas. I'm not some freaking bug for you to study you know!"
The hunter's chin rose in challenge. It would have been threatening if it weren't for the fact that he had one leg of his jeans rolled up to mid calf and was scratching for all he was worth as he spoke. The angel had the good grace to lower his eyes, chastened, or maybe just trying to hide his grin and Dean looked back to Sam as the younger man pulled the leg of his pants back into place.
"So, Sam. I don't give a crap what the doc said; I want the damned mittens off. It's undignified. Dammit! I'm a grown man."
He looked from one to the other, growling softly at their coordinated head shakes. His initially, barely-there good humour with the situation was quickly morphing to desperation.
"Sammy, please? Take 'em off. I wanna go in the shower. I think the the water'll help with the itching."
Angel-blue and hunter-hazel met in silent accord and Dean knew he was losing the battle.
'Yup, freaking immovable! Jeeze, talk about the goddamned Righteous Brothers,boyare they pissing me off.'
"I want a shower and I am having one."
Dean was aiming for steely determination but it ended up sounding like brattish whine and Sam couldn't stop the beginnings of a smirk flooding his handsome features. He bit it down knowing his ill-timed humour wouldn't improve Dean's current mood.
Sam placed his hand on his brother's shoulder as Dean made to rise from the bed, pinning him easily to the wave-form mattress.
"Why? Why can't I?"
The question was none too calmly directed and Sam felt the hunter's muscles bunching as he gently restrained his bobbing sibling. He pressed a little harder and was rewarded with more squirming as Dean swayed back and forth.
"Ouch, Sam. You're hurting me! "
Dean wriggled from under Sam's big hand, the giant paw stinging against his grazed skin and bruises. He looked up with widely dilated, desperate eyes.
Sam sat on the bed next to the grumpy hunter; trying to appear casual as he shifted the older man's vigorously scratching hand from his taut abs. He kept his voice deliberately calm as he spoke, trying to de-escalate the tension in the situation.
"You can't have a shower, Dean, 'cause the doc said it'd make your rash much worse."
Dean sighed loudly, rubbing his mittened hands against his bunched biceps.
He whined plaintively.
"I itch so bad. Really I do..."
The younger hunter swallowed an impending giggle at the childlike sincerity in his big brother's voice. He glanced up at the Angel and swallowed hard as Cas's uncharacteristic smile matched his own.
"But it feels like my skin's on fire and it's so god-damn hot in here. I just wanna cool down, Sam...I NEED to cool down and the air con in this stupid room don't work..."
The petulant 6ft 'toddler' aimed a wobbly kick in the general direction of the late but lamented unit, before resuming.
"and...and...I...I ITCH, Sammy..."
Self pity replaced snark.
"I just fucking itch..."
Dean slumped in resigned misery as he finished his impassioned diatribe.
It was real hard to hear the desperation in Dean's voice and Sam's guilt at leading his brother, against his better judgement, into this mess ramped up a few notches. He couldn't think what to say and settled for putting his arm around the older man's sagging shoulders in a gesture of empathetic solidarity.
Dean shrugged off the comforting arm, wriggling away up the bed. Sam's face fell and, even through his misery, Dean's need to comfort kicked in.
"It makes it itch more...the heat from your body on mine...makes the itching worse."
The older man offered by way of explanation and Sam nodded in marginally appeased understanding as a tense silence, broken only by the rustle of gauze covered fingers on itchy skin and the burble of the water filled mattress, ensued.
"Why don't you try the calamine?"
Sam looked up from rubbing absentmindedly at the sympathetic itch on his own forearm as Castiel's soft voice broke the silence. The angel rose and moved to the discarded bags. He rooted in the duffel looking for the bag of potions and pills they had picked up in the medical centre's meagrely-stocked pharmacy, eventually pulling out a paper sack. Rummaging about he extracted the large bottle of pink gloop he was seeking.
"You have gotta be kidding me? I look bad enough all ready, all blotchy and gross, without finger painting myself pink as well!"
Dean eyed the old fashioned remedy with significant suspicion but Sam's determinedly amused face told him he was not gonna get away without at least giving the potion a try. Castiel approached the bed as Dean squirmed his itchy shoulders. The angel's usually passive face was surprisingly animated.
"No, Dean. You should try it. I know it's an old remedy but I've seen it work lots of times in the past."
The angel smiled and nodded, giving the bottle to Sam who shook it vigorously, purposefully.
"Work on what?"
The enthusiasm on the usually placid being's face was making Dean a little nervous. He put his filmy white, mittened hands on the bed and causing little breakers, scooted back toward the head board, away from the grinning angel.
"Oh you know...itchy stuff!"
Castiel supplied helpfully as Sam read the instructions on the baby-pink lotion bottle.
"Like plague and stuff?"
Dean's medication fuddled face sought the angel's and the green eyed suspicion displayed made Castiel laugh.
"Well, perhaps not the plague, but itchy stuff in general."
"Give it a try, Dean. It can't hurt."
Sam's hand rested on Dean's leg and the older hunter looked down the bed at his brother, his face a vision of babyish peeve.
"Don't wanna, Sam..."
Sam tried to kill his smile as he watched 5 year old Dean emerge before him.
"Why? It might help with the itching, Dean."
The elder Winchester leaned in conspiratorially toward his giant of a brother. His face suspiciously directed towards the angel.
"I'll look ridiculous, Sam..."
Dean's words were slurring and Sam watched as his fearless big bro fought the somnambulistic drag of the max strength antihistamines.
Sam grinned, glancing at Castiel and acknowledging the similar sympathetic, but wryly amused, smile on the angel's face.
"But whose to see? There's only us here, Dean..."
Sam rose as he spoke and gestured for Dean to put his arms up as he grabbed at the reluctant hunter's T-shirt hem.
"Come on, let's get ya undressed and then we can get this on ya and see if it soothes your skin."
Sam shook the bottle as Castiel retrieved a roll of cotton wool from the pharmacy bag and approached the bed.
Dean sighed, scratching absently at his shoulder. He recognised defeat when it was staring him in the face. He swatted Sam's hands away, aiming for a look of dignity as he swayed gently on the undulating bed.
"I can undress myself, dude..."
The sleepy hunter went to pull his shirt off and the movement made the room spin on its axis. It was only the collective lunge of Sam and Cas that stopped him pitching forward onto his (beautiful!) sleepy face.
"Just sit still, Dean."
Sam's voice brooked no nonsense and Dean raised his arms in resignation as the tall hunter and powerful angel stripped him to his boxer shorts.
Castiel started, the sickly pink goop dripping from the wad of cotton wool in his elegant hand as he paused at Dean's sudden intake of breath.
"I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?"
He spoke to the hunter's red-raw back as Dean lay sprawled in careless abandon on his belly on the unstable bed. Cas kneeled to his right, while Sam, hands equally pink with anti-pruritic lotion, similarly hovered on the prostrate hunter's left side. The ebb and flow of the water bed gently buffeting them to and fro as they worked.
They were carefully painting the semi-conscious man's battered but buff torso with the glutinous slop. Dabbing and stroking, they worked it into place on the numerous angry looking wheals and lesions that dotted his taut, tawny skin.
The hunter's response was muffled by the thin pillow and confused by Benadryl and the angel looked to Sam for clarity.
"What did he say?"
Sam sat back on his heels; the bed flowing beneath his not insubstantial weight, as he rested his hand in the small of his brother's naked back for stability.
Sam nodded down at Dean.
"'It doesn't hurt' I think. Carry on, Cas. It seems to be helping."
Castiel rode the wave as he reloaded his cotton wool and re-commenced his task.
They worked on for a minute or two, the silence only broken by the soft sighs of the drowsy patient on the bed.
"Feeling any better, Dean?"
Sam's words filtered through the pleasant medicinal haze that buffered Dean from the worst of the embarrassment of being dabbed and petted by two grown men. Make that two grown beings.
"Yeah...feels better, Sammy..."
The hunter's words were distant, sleepy and Sam laughed.
"Turn over then, bro and we'll 'pink' up your other side."
Dean managed the manoeuvre with a little help, though the bow wave it caused in the water bed threatened to pitch them all onto the floor.
Castiel mumbled and sharp hazel and fuzzy green Winchester eyes focussed on the slightly nauseous looking angel.
"You okay, Cas?"
The divine one shook his head, his lotion covered hand fleeing to cover his mouth as he spoke.
Dean giggled as the angel abandoned ship and scurried for the bathroom.
The childish laughter emanating from his brother infected the younger man and he struggled to stifle his own giggles as sounds of divine gastric rebellion filled the air.
"You okay, Cas?"
Sounds of unhappy retching filtered through the flimsy bathroom door and Sam smiled in coercive mirth with his blotchy brother.
"Could be worse, Cas..."
Dean called out, scratching gently as Sam continued to dab the soothing pink goo on his wheals and Sam's brow furrowed in curiosity as the bathroom door opened.
The angel was pale with perhaps a tinge of green as he leaned against the door frame.
"How could it be worse?"
Castiel's voice had lost its usual command and Sam felt a little sorry for him. Not sorry enough not to take the smile off his face.
"Well, you could be air-sick...that'd be real inconvenient...Cramp you style, big-time!"
Dean giggled uncontrollably as he made flappy-wing gestures with his arms and Sam collapsed on to the bed beside his brother. Peals of laughter emanated from the amused hunters as the hapless angel dabbed at his mouth with the shabby towel. Castiel's bemused face was a joy to behold and the more they watched his dignified reserve, the giddier they got.
"That would indeed be unfortunate. I would not want something like that besmirching my reputation."
The faintest hint of a smile creased the angel's blanched lips as he folded the towel and placed it on the rail. The hunters continued to bobble in their humour on the calamine smeared water bed, tears streaming from their eyes.
Cas folded his arms loosely as he leaned on the door frame.
"I suppose there are some who would say that this situation..."
He gestured regally to the bed.
"Could be compromising for your Winchester bad-ass reputation."
The boy's giggles ceased and it was the angel's turn to grin as equally horrified hazel and green gazes took in the semi-clad, lotion smeared proximity that the undulating water-bed afforded.
"Hell, Sammy! Get offa me..."
Dean dug a none too gentle elbow into Sam's ribs and Sam laughed, puckering up playfully to his red and blotchy sibling.
"Leave off, Sam!"
The elder brother turned a little redder but this time it had nothing to do with his poison oak.
"What's the matter, Dean?"
Castiel laughed and, at the angel's side, Sam's grin was wide enough to light up the highway.
"You're awfully red. Is it the rash making you hot or could you possibly be blushing?"
Dean wriggled under the teasing angel and his traitorous brother's stare.
"Well, now you mention it, Cas, it is hellishly hot in here."
The assembled trio stared at each other and the silence was broken by the soft susurration of unfurling wings. To be followed by the gentle waft of a divinely cooling breeze.
On the bed, Dean sighed as the combination of calamine, antihistamines and angelic air con finally made his poison oak tolerable.
He curled contentedly onto his side, sleep finally claiming him as he looked into his brother and his friend's laughing faces as he drawled in sleepy snark.
"Laugh it up, boys. I won't tell anyone you just got for free what many would trade their soul for!"
Silly, I know, but did it make ya smile?