Title: Ever So Humble

Rating: G Genre and/or Pairing: Gen. Sam, Dean.
Spoilers: TWT, (probably sometime in S2)
Word Count:~1100 Warnings: Schmoop. One extremely minor swear word.
Summary: Sam's sick after a hunt. Dean grudgingly makes him soup.

Notes: This was written for another SPN kink request, this time for "Sam/Dean: Sam loves Dean's cooking". I wrote the bit about Sam loving Dean's cooking, but not the Wincest - this is a gen piece in my mind, but readers are welcome to take it however they'd like.

My love of Dean's cooking was partially inspired by the epically wonderful Red Beans and Rice series by the amazingly talented Janissa11, a pair of stories that if you haven't read, I recommend dropping everything to read now. They're simply perfect.

It was probably a tribute to exactly how twisted their lives were, but there were few things Sam loved more than when Dean cooked for him. It made him remember the times in their childhood when the motels they'd stayed at had been equipped with mini-kitchenettes and his older brother had had the opportunity to indulge. Other people his age felt nostalgia for childhood pets, or favorite places to hang out, or television shows they had to watch every afternoon. For Sam, it was Dean's cooking.

He was actually pretty good at it. Dean specialized in quick foods: eggs and bacon and pancakes for breakfast, spaghetti and sloppy joes and random weird casseroles that were made up of everything left over in the mini-fridge for dinner. He d make the world s best mac and cheese, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes and when they could swing them, they'd be real, too, not the crap out of a box. He made things that would keep for a while and could be eaten the next day (and the day after that, and usually the day after that as well). It was pretty simple fare - no coq au vin or anything fancy - but it was all tasty.

Dean didn't really do a lot of cooking these days. It wasn't something they d ever talked about, but Sam wondered if something had gone down between him and dad while he had been at Stanford. Dean had still cooked before Sam had left but after they joined back up, he didn't do it at all. No explanations or even a twitch to show he didn't like the request, just a smooth side step and a "We don't have the time, Sammy, let's just grab something on the way" and a sea of Dean-chosen motel rooms that had two beds, a bathroom, and little else.

Eventually Sam stopped asking. Had just shrugged and gotten on with it. So Dean didn't like to cook anymore, no big. It didn't mean much. Just because Sam had always felt like a normal kid when eating a fresh cooked meal, just because it turned whatever stranger's room they were staying at into home, it didn't matter. Dean didn't want to cook and in the long run, there were other things that were more important.

Which was why Sam was sort of surprised to wake up to a rich, warm smell and the sounds of muffled curses after an unfortunately wet and cold hunt.

He felt hot, almost sticky, and when he swallowed, his throat was rough as sandpaper and just as dry. Sam's head pounded and he shifted against his pillows, struggling to free his legs from the blanket that had managed to tangle itself around them. It made his head hurt more to move, but he felt like he was about to burn up and the air on his face was so much cooler that he had to get free.

"Aw, Christ, Sam, Dean s voice said from across the room. "Hold on a minute, would you?"

Sam made a small noise of discontent but ignored the request. Sure, it was rude, but if Dean knew how close he was to losing his only brother to spontaneous combustion, he'd forgive him.

There was a sound of footsteps and then cool hands caught at his shoulders, eased him back down.

"Too hot," Sam told him and Dean's blurry face nodded at him before unwinding the sheets from Sam's body.

"That's a good thing." Dean said and grinned at him when Sam frowned. "It means your fever's breaking. You kept complaining about being cold for hours."

Sam might have responded but his head chose that minute to start up with the pounding again, in triple time, and instead he moaned and flinched back.

Dean curled one hand over Sam's hair, stroking it away from Sam's sweaty forehead. It felt good and Sam arched into the touch, letting it sooth away the headache. Without the blankets, it was cooler, easier to breathe. It was nice, almost, having Dean's bulk beside him on the bed, his hand gently petting Sam's hair. He had done this too, when they were kids.

After a moment, Dean scritched his fingers along Sam's scalp a couple of times and then stood up. "You think you could eat something?"

Sam groaned at the concept but the warm, salty smell was still lingering in the air and, for what felt like the first time in days, his stomach gave a gurgle of interest.

"I made you soup." Dean said and Sam peered up at him in vague interest. Dean had made soup. And not just a can of Campbell's by the smell of it, actual Dean soup. The good stuff.

As he struggled into something resembling an upright position, Dean went across the room again and returned a couple of minutes later with a steaming mug in hand. He put it down on the bedside table to help Sam up and shove some pillows behind his back. It wasn't until he'd leaned Sam up against them and seemed satisfied that he was going to stay there that he reached for the mug and passed it over.

Sam stared down at it, sniffling slightly thanks to a newly running nose. He could see bits of diced chicken, carrots, celery, and thick egg noodles. It smelled heavenly and when he carefully took a sip, it tasted even better.

Dean walked around to the other side of the bed and climbed in, feet bare, a warm presence at Sam's right side. The TV was on and Dean was looking at it, but Sam didn't think he was paying it much attention. He snuffled and poked his brother in the side.

"You'll get sick if you stay in my bed." He said. Not that he particularly wanted Dean to leave; like cooking, Dean simply being there, that close, was something warm and cherished from childhood and also something he hadn't much been able to experience much of recently. He had had Dean close before, but it was often like trying to hold a half tame cat - he might put up with it for a few minutes, but was soon struggling to get free. Dean Winchester, he would tell you, did not cuddle.

Dean shrugged in response, eyes still focused half-heartedly on the screen. "Like I could catch any of your lame-ass bacteria anyway. Not all of us have your weak constitution, princess."

Sam ignored the insult. The soup told the truth. It took him close to an hour to manage the one cup, but it was worth it.

Later, when Dean was slightly more than half asleep and pretending to ignore how heavily he was leaning on Sam's side, Sam tilted his mouth close to Dean's ear and whispered "Thanks." Dean didn't say anything in response, just made a grumbling sort of noise, but his ears pinked lightly and Sam was sure he'd heard.

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As a final author's note on this, in my mind this scenario is followed two days later by Dean getting sick with Sam's cold, Sam going "Hahahaha, I TOLD YOU SO" and Dean responding with a "I'm fine, shut up before I hurt you *coughhackweeze*" and being rather mulish about the whole thing. Thankfully, there are leftovers. And Sam is more than happy to return the favor. *g*