Disclaimer : The boys are not mine. Though I really wish they are.
Summary: The boys went on a hunt that went south when Dean's down with a fever. Wounded and broken, they were aided by someone Sam thought he'll never meet again.
Sam cursed for God knows how many times as he tripped over a boulder he never sees. If anyone bothered counting, they would agree his mouth should be rinsed with a liquid detergent. Though, anyone wouldn't blame him for using dirty sailor language if they were in his place right now.
Trudging the wet murky woods for almost two hours, at night somewhere in Ohio; where the temperature was at its coldest, didn't help with his mood either. Adding to the insult, their latest gig had gone south. Yep! They got the damn thing to the ground alright, but not without a cost.
Desperate for a job after staying low for a week in a motel somewhere in Des Moines, they had agreed for a showdown Bobby went into trouble looking for. Sam didn't mind with laying low at first, at least it would do some good for the cold Dean had had coming down for the last couple of days.
So they lived a normal life – normal defined by nothing supernatural involved – to let Dean recovers because John had drilled them from as long as they could remember to only work when they are at their best. Being sick during a job wouldn't do any good because there would be life at stakes. Sadly, that was the only drill Sam had practiced devotedly, and Dean on the other hand had piously practiced the rest but that one. Dean being Dean couldn't stand the normal more than a day and he showed his agitation by provoking the only person available in the room, Sam.
First, he started by calling Sam, Sammy, Samantha, Sasquatch, sissy – all the Ss nicknames he could think of. The reason, it was simply because Sam had been fussing around with him; Sam forcing food down his throat when he felt more like throwing up, or Sam compromising chick flick moments by checking his temperature every hour or so, or Sam acting like a mother hen and treating him like his chick, or Sam grabbing the remote and switching off the television when Godzilla was on air, and Sam tucking him to bed when his eyes didn't agree. But most of the times, it was simply because it was fun to call Sam names.
But Sam, being Dean's other significant half since forever, was immune to all the nicknames. He ignored them and attended to whatever his brother's needs without fail, though Dean never shows he really need the assistance.
Irate by Sam's submissive acceptance, Dean resorted to complaining on the motel's condition. The bed sheet was too damp, the motel was the worst and coldest they had ever been in, the light was too dull, the channel was boring – everything which Sam indifferently disregard by pretending to being busy surfing the net. Bored by his brother uncaring response, Dean marched around the room – from bed to the window, to the kitchenette, to the bathroom, to Sam, and back to bed again – busying himself doing absolutely nothing.
Everything Dean did, Sam could live with. He remained stern with the decision of staying in the motel for Dean's recovery and he was not going to change his mind on that. Then Dean started doing the unexpected. His dumbass big brother suddenly had thought of something Sam would regret if he disregards it.
Dean started by stripping off his sweatshirt, which Sam had taken as him being hot in layers of shirts Sam had generously pulled over him earlier. But when he started taking off every layer of shirts and then his sweat pants, Sam was dumbstruck.
When Dean gave Sam a goofy grin as he went into the bathroom half naked, closed the door to Sam's face, Sam was still contemplating. Then he heard the shower being turned on, and Sam started banging on the door furiously. Dean had taken a shower earlier - one which he reluctantly agreed; he didn't need a new one. Sam banged and hollered for Dean to come out; threatening to kick the door if he doesn't open it at instant.
Sam was just about to carry out the threat when Dean opened the door and came out trembling frantically. The goofy grin still plastered to his face.
"Deann..!" Sam cringed as he grabbed a towel and draped it over his idiot big brother. He looked over Dean's shoulder and realized there was no steam coming out from the bathroom, implying his brother had not used the hot water. 'Damn!'
Sam was petrified when Dean – still wet and muffled in the towel – went to the window and lifted up the sill, letting the cold winter air into the room with him standing in the middle. With three long strides, Sam reached the window and immediately closed it again.
"Dean!" he shouted resentfully. "What do you think you're doing?"
Dean shot Sam an empty gaze and Sam's breath caught in his chest. Seeing Sam coming in between him and the window, Dean turned to the door. With his lanky arms, Sam caught Dean and wrestled him back to bed. The heat had returned to Dean's skin, far from Sam's liking. The cold shower and the cold air had contributed to it, Sam had no doubt.
Sam pinned Dean to the bed, face down. Dean's attempt to bat him off failed miserably, and Sam thanked his bigger feature and Dean's feverish body.
"I wouldn't think twice to tie you down bro" Sam warned as he kept his leg on Dean's back. Dean's feeble condition wouldn't allow him to budge under the weight of his one leg and Sam thanked that too.
"Okay…okay" Dean panted.
Sam suddenly felt sorry for Dean - and couldn't help feeling sorry for himself for getting the biggest dumbass as a big brother. He loosened the hold but still keeping the leg on Dean's back.
Dean sneezed and Sam recoiled.
"You were getting better" he said regretfully.
"I was dying!" Dean retorted, much to Sam's shock.
"Staying in this crappy motel, doing nothing…that is where I'm heading!" Dean moved under Sam's leg, which he had liberally lessened the weight to give his brother air to breathe. Sam stared at Dean wide eyed and then realization hit like a roller coaster.
"Is that why you are torturing yourself with the cold shower and air?" Sam was fuming.
Dean grinned foolishly.
Dean was really a pain-in-the-ass. Sam worked really hard to reduce Dean's temperature for two days and to think of Dean's ravaging madness he had to endure to do that, Sam had the urge of choking his brother with his bare hands. He was thinking of bursting with anger when Dean coughed under him.
As rapidly as the anger resided, sympathy quickly surfaced. He should have known better. Anyone who couldn't stay put even in the face of death, it would be Dean. Give him one week of doing nothing but staring at each others' faces and it would have been too much for Dean to handle, much else being fussed over like a two years old for two days in a row. Dean must have freaked out to death to start acting like a super jerk. At least he was strong enough to last for a whole week; Sam should be giving him a standing ovation for that.
Sam sighed exhaustedly. He stood up from Dean's bed and his brother lazily turned onto his back. Saying nothing, Sam picked up the clothes Dean had tossed randomly all over the room earlier and mounted them on the laying man.
"You want to do it yourself or you want me to do it for you?"
Dean grunted in disapproval "I'm a grown up now, thanks" as he rose weakly, clutching the clothes in his trembling hands.
"Then you should be acting like one" Sam couldn't contain the anger in his tone, though he secretly tried so hard. He watched as his brother put the clothes on, anger and frustration walking on an eggshell.
As he watched Dean putting on the clothes with such a sickening labor, Sam tried acting tough and commanding by not lending a helping hand. He crossed his arms across his broad chest – more to brace himself from fussing over Dean than to show authority – and put on his best serious face. However, later he shook his head in defeat.
When they were kids, Sam had been sick more often than Dean and those times were not the times he could be proud of. He was not really a favorite patient material. Refusing to eat whatever Dean had painfully prepared, smacking away the meds Dean patiently guided into his mouth, kicking and punching when Dean gently tucked him to bed, and shouting and crying madly when Dean hugged him to soothe the pain, were historical –more of hysterical - evidences showing Sam was really not a good patient at all. Now, he was not really a good nurse either.
Dean had been a better patient considering he took in whatever microwave heated craps Sam shoved into his mouth though later he spewed his gut out when his stomach protested. He let Sam helped him to bed, albeit grudgingly but never shouted at him when Sam manhandled him too roughly. Whatever meds Sam handed to him, Dean would swallow without much protest and hesitation. Among other things he let Sam did, Dean wouldn't tolerate to only one thing; Sam soothing him when he was in pain. Dean would smack away Sam's curious hand reaching to test the heat on his forehead, let alone to let Sam hug him.
Sam decided, compared to what he'd been enduring all day, it wouldn't match what Dean had painstakingly endured with him when they were kids. So, he let the serious face down and his arms went lax to his side as he perched on Dean's bedside, assisting him to put on the clothes.
Dean was being an ass as he smacked away Sam's helping hands but later hunched his feature in defeat as his feeble limbs betrayed him so bad. The trembles snaking throughout his entire body made it hard for him to even pull his shirt on. Deep inside, he regretted carrying out his dumb selfish act. Not only he felt physically worse than before, his heart sank when he saw the frustration in Sam's hazel eyes.
Dean eyed Sam under his droopy lids; looking away when Sam's eyes accidentally met his. Either Sam didn't see it or simply ignored it, Dean was thankful his little brother didn't push. They worked on the clothes quietly Dean felt the back of his neck prickled.
"I'm sorry for being such a jerk" Dean whispered a little too inaudible.
Now the jerk was Sam. He heard it right but torturing Dean when he was letting his feeling out was really an invitation Sam couldn't resist and Dean knew.
"You heard it and I'm not going to repeat" Dean murmured, looking away with his face feeling so hot. Thank God for fever flush.
Sam smiled for the first time in a week. He had dealt a lot with sick Dean to know the tinge of red on his face was not fever flush. Sam silently wished for the female species of every living thing could see Dean right now. Then they would torment him with all the oohs and the aahs and the awws, saying he was cute and adorable and all – which Sam knew Dean wouldn't have survived listening to. Handsome he would be proud of, but not cute. Dean always said cute was for kittens and puppies, not for men.
The youngest Winchester shook his head, this time in glee.
"Yeah! I'm sorry too" Sam said and shook his index finger to Dean's face, telling him not to go further than where he had already been. If he let Dean get the liberties of continuing, he would rattled for hours on how bad a nurse Sam was, or how Sam was a boring companion, or how Sam disturbed his sleep at nights with his snoring and et cetera.
They exchanged looks for a second or two before Dean submitted to his weariness. He rubbed his tired and scorching eyes with the heel of his palm, hoping quietly the pain behind his lids would go away.
"Still I think I'm going to die soon" he grumbled somewhat incoherently. His voice sounded gruff and croaky, like it was being rubbed by sandpaper.
Sam's shoulders slumped as he sighed deeply. "Okay, I promise you this" he was willing to compromise at last. Why not throw the dog a bone?
"What Sammy?" Dean began to slur as he burrowed deeper into the bedcover.
"We stay in for one more day" Sam tried negotiating. "After one day, healthy or not I'll ring Bobby and have him look us a job" Sam offered as he smoothed Dean's bedcover.
"What do you get from this?" knowing Sam, Dean smelled something fishy up his sleeve.
"Nothing" Sam looked at him innocently. "Well, maybe you could behave for one day" he was feeling guilty as he would ever be. A day of attending Dean with a cold, he had already asked him to compromise.
"Aww…Sammy, you know I'd been" Dean smiled a little. Feverish lids dropping weakly as consciousness started drifting off.
"Yeah…like a jerk you'd always been" Sam rolled his eyes, and then winced seeing the pain-induced scrunch under Dean's eyes and forehead. "You won't lose anything, at the end of the day you still win"
"Make it tomorrow Sam" Dean huffed.
Sam grunted tiredly. This is not going anywhere. If negotiating wouldn't work, maybe he could try reasoning. "No Dean, you have to get well to be able to cover my back and one night is not enough"
"But Sammy…I always managed to cover your back, sick or not" Dean pushed on.
"Come on dude, take it or leave it" Sam's words were final. "After all, I'm at advantage here" if negotiation and reasoning didn't work, he always has threats.
"Nice Sam, kick a man when he's down" Dean looked at Sam under half closed lids. Sam was right though, if Sam opts for the worst like tying him down on the bed or knocking him unconscious, Dean wouldn't be able to fight back; not in his recent state.
"Dean…" Sam switched on the last weapon in his arsenal, the drenched puppy look which always worked on melting his big brother's heart. "Work with me here"
Dean gulped. "Damn it Sam" he bit his lips shamefully. He would die because of that puppy look someday, but he couldn't live without it either. "One day! No more!" Dean surrendered with a harsh humph.
Sam almost jumped with joy. He knew the look would always win against his brother's stoic personality. He grinned stupidly, just like a kid who had just gotten a candy won over a fight with his sibling.
"Now…will you please let me die in peace?" Dean pulled the bedcover over his shoulder as he rolled to his side, his back at Sam. He was too tired to hold on any longer. The longer the negotiation went on, the more his consciousness started giving away. It was his ego which was keeping him up. Closing his eyes, he felt a slight crease on his bed and he heard Sam's sneakered feet shuffled on the carpeted floor; signs that Sam had left his bedside and went to his own.
"I'm not going to let you die period!" Sam smiled as he switched off the bedside lamp. Sam gave a last look at Dean and realized his big brother had fallen asleep even before Sam reached his bed. Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head in amusement.
"Good night Dean" Sam listed on his side, facing Dean so he'd be alerted if Dean ever needed anything. Then, he closed his eyes and fell asleep without even trying.
That was then. Dean had agreed to stay in for one more day. He had been submissive, letting Sam played nurse and messed with his being every now and then. So, his jerk brother had kept his words and Sam had kept his. That was how they ended like they were now, trudging in the wet woods somewhere in Ohio, in the middle of its coldest weather.
"Crap!" Sam cursed again.
a/n : I am really a new writer in Supernatural fandom and I'm not an English language first speaker either. I don't have a beta reader (yet) so the errors are all mine. Because I'm not from the States, please forgive me if there's any mistakes on the places and details. Please tell me if I should continue. Thanks for reading.