This week's challenge word inspired me to write this little story. It's a triple drabble, but the challenge word is in there three times, so that makes it legal, right? LOL Just to prove that I really can stick to the word limit, I also did a "real" drabble—the next chapter of "Not So Drunk as You Think I Am." Hope you'll check it out, too.

Challenge word: dry

Word count: 300

Big Brother to the Rescue

Anguished sounds snapped Dean's head up, leaving him dry-mouthed with fear. He relaxed when the problem proved nonlethal.

"Deeeean…" Sammy wailed, pointing. The vanilla ice cream cone Dean had just bought the two-year-old lay facedown in the dirt. A hitched breath, the toddler hiccupped, "Muh-muh-my 'cweam jus' fell." Another mournful wail rent the air; the older boy's gut clenched at his brother's obvious distress. Moisture-covered pudgy cheeks and liquid hazel eyes urged Dean to make it better, while sticky hands reached out, seeking comfort.

Dean hastened to soothe, clasping the small body in a one-armed hug. "Shhh, it's okay, Sammy. Don't cry. It's okay, buddy." Pulling back, Dean dried the little boy's tears with sticky fingers of his own. The tiny mouth trembled as Sammy waited for his big brother to fix things. Wide eyes, framed by water-clumped lashes, watched trustfully. Dean squared his shoulders at the look, handing over his barely-eaten ice cream with only a brief longing glance. "Here, buddy, you can have mine." It was worth the dimpled sunshine of his baby brother's smile.

Sammy took a lick, smiled sweetly up at Dean, brown residue drying on mouth and nose. "Chocklic'? Mmm, s'good!" He held out the cone, "Hewe. We shawe."

Dean smiled back, gut unclenching. He ruffled floppy brown hair and took the proffered treat, getting a lick or two of his own before handing it back. "Thanks, Sammy."

Sammy hugged Dean with a chubby arm that didn't quite reach around his larger brother. He leaned his head against Dean's side as he licked the cone, smearing chocolate all over his face, dripping it onto his hands and clothes.

Sticky and content, Sammy watched ants swarm the melting puddle at his feet, tears long forgotten, and he knew…there'd never be anything his big brother couldn't fix.