Diclaimer: For the sick pleasure of myself and others. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: I know, I know I should be trying to graduate from college, or at least working on Heart to Heart. But I'm depressed that season 4 is over, and when I get depressed I spew out stupid OneShots. I can't help it.
A million thanks to PADavis for beta-ing this fic. She's fabulous :D
The Night of the Squish
By wave obscura
Dean awoke with the bitter, acidic taste of chest infection bubbling in his throat. He had to force a few painful coughs, just to loosen up the gunk and get some air into his lungs, but God, even shallow breaths hurt, and once he started hacking it seemed like he would never, ever stop.
At the same time he was dying for a soda or beer. There was a bottle of Jarritos in the minfridge—he could taste it already, icy and soothing as it flowed down his prickly, swollen throat.
"Sammy," he croaked, not bothering to move, or open his eyes, because he knew his little brother would come running.
Nothing but silence. Not even the rustle of bed sheets.
Dean hoisted himself up on four trembling limbs, looked over at his brother's bed and saw it was empty.
"Sammy?" Dean said, a little more pitifully this time. "Hey bro?"
But it was almost two in the morning and Sam was gone. On a tequila binge. Earlier they'd fought about, well, something Dean couldn't remember, and Sam had sat brooding on the porch all afternoon, downing tequila from a sizeable jug and tunelessly mumbling some Modest Mouse lyric over and over and over. Something about the good times killing him.
"DEEEN," he'd called through the single-paned motel window when the sun went down. "Um goin' t'tha bar. Um bored."
Now Dean was alone in a nest of snotty tissues. They were everywhere—he could no longer tell where the wads of Kleenex ended and his pillow began. Gross, yes, but yesterday he'd been too shaky to get out of bed for much else than the bathroom, and Sam…well. Obviously Sam hadn't been much help.
God, his throat was on fire. Moaning dramatically—because no one was around to hear him—he laboriously stood up, leaving a wave of snot rags in his wake.
He was limping toward the fridge when someone knocked at the door. He could hear his brother wailing from outside, unfamiliar voices shushing him.
"…he's sick 'n' I lef 'im! I lef 'im all 'lone!"
"…okay, sweetie… god damn, will you hold him up?"
"…dude, you sure this is the right—?"
"…he's gonna… shit…"
"—we just leave, please?"
Dean threw open the door. Sam was wedged between two college-aged kids, a girl and a boy. He had eight inches on both of them, easy, and they were struggling to keep him standing.
"He belong to you?" The girl said.
Dean was about to say something when Sam barreled into him, sobbing and laughing all at once.
"Deeeen! Yer 'live!"
"Hi Sammy," Dean gasped, stepping backward to keep from falling over. "What going on?"
"Gome t'ma sick brother," Sam mumbled into Dean's shoulder.
"We were playing quarters with him, down at Tiger's?" the boy said. "He disappeared, and we found him like, an hour later? Harfing in the bushes, dude. Crying like someone died. Kept saying he had to get home to his sick brother, over and over."
"You got cancer or something?" The girl said.
Sam lifted his head, twisting awkwardly to look at the couple.
"Thisiss muh big brother," he said proudly. Then his face crumpled, and tears oozed down his cheeks. "He gotta a cold 'n' I lef'm."
The boy looked annoyed; the girl smiled like her heart was melting.
"Well." Dean felt suddenly self conscious about standing at the door in his boxers. "Thanks for makin' sure he got home okay."
The boy sneered. "He jumped on the hood of my car. Me and six buddies couldn't move this giant fucker, and he wouldn't get off till I said I'd give him a ride. You should really teach your brother how to hold his—"
"—Great, thanks." Dean kicked the door shut with his foot.
"What a dick," said the boy's fading voice.
"Lissen, Deeen." Sam said. "Lissen. Yerma big broth—hiccup— er."
"I sure am." Dean tried to guide Sam to the bed. "Come on. Time for big brother to go back to sleep."
But Sam refused to move. "Yerma big brother, Deeeen," he said accusingly.
"I know that, Sam. Let's go to bed."
"NO!" Sam cried, flailing. "Um tryna tell you somethin'!"
Dean's throat tickled— another coughing fit was on its way. He was dizzy, too, and probably working on a fever. God, he just wanted to go to bed.
But his brother—jesus, his little brother standing there with his shoulders slumped, tears running down his face. Leaves and twigs in his hair.
"What, buddy? What you trying to tell me?"
Sam broke into a ridiculous, drunken grin, and hiccupped again.
"Ah luv you."
Dean couldn't help but crack a smile of his own. What fodder this would be for tomorrow, for next week, for ten years from now.
"I love you too, buddy."
"Yerma big brother. Ah luv you but I nev tell you." Sam fell against him, burying his wet, snotty face in the crook of Dean's neck. "Ah nev tell you."
"You don't gotta tell me, Sammy." Dean hugged his brother tight for a moment, then set to work trying to squirm out of his grasp. This was cute and all, but Dean's aching muscles were screaming at him to lie down. "I'm not feeling very good though, okay? I gotta go to sleep."
Sam released Dean from his stranglehold and held him tightly by the sides of his head, more tears slopping down his face. "Yer sick, Deeen. 'N' I lef!"
"It's okay, Sammy."
"NO! Snot okay. Yerma big brother, 'n' yer sick 'n' I lef!"
"Sam," Dean said sternly, knocking Sam's groping hands away. "It's fine. Now stop this. We need to go to bed. Now."
Sam nodded, lower lip protruding. "Kay. Less goda bed."
"Alright. Let's get your jacket off."
"Ah luv you."
"I love you too, Sam. Now take your jacket off."
Sam hiccupped again, rather violently, and pressed his fingers to his lips. "Uh oh, Deeen. Umunna puke."
"Bathroom, Sammy. Come on."
But Sam bolted in that direction without Dean's help, quickly lost his balance and sense of direction and ran headlong into the television, which flew into the wall and basically exploded, the screen shattering into a million pieces.
It was the least of Dean's worries, though, because damned if he wasgoing to spend all night cleaning puke out of the carpet. He ran, his lungs rebelling, tightening, and he threw Sam's arm around his neck, practically dragged him to the bathroom.
They barely made it. The first torrent of sick dribbled down the toilet bowl and onto the floor.
"Um sorry, Deeeen," Sam sobbed, "Um sorry."
"I know, buddy." Dean kept one hand on Sam's back while he coughed into the other. He coughed so hard he was almost sick himself.
"Um sorry," Sam cried, bile still spilling from his mouth, "Yer soooo sick."
"I'll be fine, Sammy."
"Ah luv you."
"Love you too, buddy."
"Yerma big brother 'n' I luv you."
"I know. Me too."
Sam, still dangling over the toilet, looked hurt. "You don'. You thin' I suck. You tell me alla time."
"Yeah huh." Sam nodded resolutely, his hair hanging like a curtain over his squinting eyes. "Buh I don' care what you thin', cause yerma big brother 'n' I luv you." And then he fell back over the toilet and spit up what looked like a fucking half-chewed lime peel.
"Oh. Jesus." Dean gagged, nauseated now on top of everything else. "Alright kid, let's find you a bucket or something. Time for bed."
"Less goda bed," Sam agreed.
Dean was just stepping into the main room when Sam yanked on the collar of his shirt—the fabric closed around his neck, sending him into a round of spastic coughing that tunneled his vision. Sam stood behind him, clutching him loosely around the chest and somehow holding him up. Dean dangled there, hunched over in Sam's big giant arms, until the fit was over.
"Deeeen. You gotta wash out!
Sam lifted him off his feet, handling him like he weighed but an ounce, and put him back in the bathroom.
When Dean could see and breathe again, he remembered the glass from the television screen, scattered all over the floor.
"Don' worry, Dean. Ah got it."
"Sammy, it's fine—"
But Sam was already stripping. He pulled his jacket, shirt and undershirt over his head in one swoop—Dean didn't know where he found the coordination to perform such a feat—and spread it over the glass.
"Don' wanta hurt yer feet," Sam said, clearly very pleased with himself. Then he began to remove his pants.
"Sam…" Dean began, but it was useless. His little brother, now completely naked, knelt down on the floor and painstakingly smoothed his jeans and boxers over the remaining pieces of glass.
"There," Sam said, beaming.
"Good job, Sammy."
Sam stood, wobbled a moment, then turned inhuman shade of green.
Forty-five minutes later Sam was still crying at the toilet. Dean tried to cover him up with a towel, tried to get him to put some clothes back on but Sam refused, quoting over and over some professor he'd had at Stanford, something about prisons being the clothing of the civilized, or maybe it was the other way around.
Sam was painfully dry heaving now, shaking badly from the effort, and Dean didn't know how much longer he'd be able to deal. He wasn't exactly angry at Sam—his unbecoming habit of crying while he vomited was like having his little six-year-old brother back again—but Dean's body was starting to seriously protest that it was being kept awake. Everything was fuzzy around the edges, his teeth were chattering, his back was aching fiercely from sitting on the bathroom floor and his head was pounding, the pain spiking every time Sam screeched "Ah luv you."
"Come 'ere," Sam said, turning from the toilet and stretching out his arms. "Deeen. Yer a fever."
"That's right, Sammy," Dean said wearily. "I'm a fever."
"Wass wrong, Deeen?"
"I'm sick, Sammy."
"Um sick, too, Deeen. Ah puked everywhere." Sam pulled him close. "But um sorry. Um sorry I lef', cause yerma brother 'n' I luv you."
Dean raked the leaves from Sam's hair, sighing. He couldn't breathe. He was exhausted. He was trapped in the vice-like hug of his drunken, naked brother.
But it was alright. There was a bottle of Jarritos in the mini-fridge, a bed full of snotty, squishy tissues in the next room, and he had the whole night to plot his revenge.
"I love you too, bro," Dean answered. "Even tomorrow morning, I love you too."