By: Karen B.
Summary: Dean age 15. Sam 11 Just a normal little brotherly moment in the boy's young lives. Well, as close to normal as they could get, anyway. Sick Sam. Protective Dean.
Disclaimer: Deep, and heavy sigh…the usual drill. Me, and my muse…. just splashing around, possibly drowning -- in an ocean someone else dug with their own two hands. Kripke…'Walt Disney' brilliant! 'James Dean' cool!
Thank you for your time and care in reading.
Sunny days, even in rain,
We walked along the dusty midway, following the path of a million other feet. Music, loud screams, bright colored lights, and the smell of fried dough mixed with cotton candy filling the air. It was a hot summer, Friday night. Dad was on a hunt for a few days, leaving Dean and I alone -- again. We'd been living out of another budget motel for two months, cooped up inside the small room for days. I'd really been getting on Dean's last nerve, and I knew it -- because I was getting on his last nerve on purpose. We'd both had just had enough of sitting around doing nothing. The television didn't work. The air conditioner didn't work. We could only eat so many cans of Spaghetti O's, and had long since run out of colors to spy, books to read, and card games to play.
Dean found out from the owner of the motel, Mr. Whittle, that tonight was the first night of the 39th Annual Ridge Peach Festival. The festival was only a short forty minute walk from our motel, and Dean was dying to take Jenny. A rosy-cheeked , slender, blonde haired, blue-eyed girl he'd met last week at a Seven Eleven he'd gone to buy supplies at. I wasn't so keen on carnivals, but going to the summer fest was better than the alternative -- arguing over things that were just so stupid, then not saying more than seven words between us for hours, only to end up punching each other in the face.
As usual, Dad didn't leave us much money, because there never was much. Luckily, Mr. Whittle was a kind, old guy offering Dean and I a few odd chores earning us the dollars we needed.
We'd been wandering the fest now for hours. I was feeling kinda tired and the Italian sausage I was eating wasn't sitting so well. I glanced over at Dean. He looked like he'd died and gone to his happy place -- wherever that was. Stuffing his face and polishing off his second piece of peach cobbler pie. Dean -- what a pie freak…he loves them all, every flavor, even mince meat. Some terrible smelling crap, Dean discovered at a truck stop in Davenport. A cold shiver ran through me, mince meat pie was just gross. I swallowed a few huge gulps of my fresh squeezed lemonade, wishing we could go.
"Hey!" Jenny wiggled, giggled, and pointed gripping tight to Dean's arm." The Rotar. I love The Rotar, Dean, let's ride."
I rolled my eyes glancing at my watch, eleven o'clock. I was tired of the rides, and feeling dizzy from watching Jenny bounce up and down -- all around. We'd already rode just about every ride there was. The Log Flume, after which Dean and Jenny sucked face. The Super Slide, after which Dean and Jenny sucked face. Got stranded at the top of The Giant Wheel for twenty minutes -- another face sucking opportunity for Dean and Jenny. The Bumper cars. The Wildcat. Laugh In The Dark. The Spider. And some crazy, fly upside down, spin around at eighty miles an hour daredevil ride, me screaming at the top of my lungs. Dean and Jenny, the 15-year-old daredevil lovebird's strapped next to me -- yet again-- sucking face.
"Hurry, Dean." Jenny ran ahead.
"Yeah, hurry, Dean," I grumbled, tossing my cup in a nearby trashcan. "I'll wait here." I had enough whirling, twisting, and turning upside down watching my brother suck face every which way but still.
"Come on, chicken little."
"No," I flatly refused. I wasn't afraid, was just starting to feel like a squashed bug, and would rather watch an episode of Sesame Street then Dean and Jenny sucking face.
"How bad can it be?" Dean shouted over the noise.
"Bad," I mumbled, forcing myself to swallow my last bite of Italian sausage.
"Man, stop being such a baby, Sam. You're finally tall enough to ride all these bitch rides, so let's ride."
"Don't say, bitch."
"What's with you?" Dean sighed. "You've been a brat the past two days, and now you're not only being a baby, you're Sister 'I don't swear' in a gray tee shirt and jeans?"
"Look, man." Dean bent down and I could feel his hot breath in my ear. "I've been your damn nanny all week."
"So, stop screwing with my action, geek boy."
I glanced over at Jenny standing impatiently near the ticket booth. I could see why Dean liked her so much…she was pretty -- for a girl.
"Jenny wants to ride, and I can't leave you alone."
"Yeah, so," I hissed.
"Yeah, so you ride!" Dean said, in his best 'dad' tone.
"You can leave me alone, I'm not a baby, Dean."
"Could have fooled me. Besides, Dad's law, I don't ever let you out of my sight. You know that, Sam."
"Dean, I don't think it's a good idea. Remember what happened in Springdale?"
"Dad killed a poltergeist." Dean was quick to remember.
"No, well, yeah, that and we'd gone to a carnival and I rode the spinning teacup ride one too many times, remember?"
"Dude, you were eight, and besides it wasn't the gay ride that made you sick. You had the flu."
"Eight and a half, and it wasn't the flu, Dean, it was the gay ride."
"Dean!" Jenny called, her overused reddened lips turning into a pout.
"One more ride, Sam, then we can go to the arcade shooting gallery," Dean said sternly. "I'll win you a prize, little girl"
I sighed, guilt setting in. I had been giving Dean a hard time all week. Dad was always on him to buck up and be a man. Take care of Sam, buy the supplies, do the laundry, clean the weapons. Tonight, Dean was just being Dean, a kid having fun, and I was screwing with his action. I stared at the long line of kids waiting to ride The Rotar. Okay, so how bad could riding one more ride watching Dean and Jenny suck face be?
"Fine, let's go."
"Awesome!" Dean ruffled my hair, running to meet Jenny who'd already bought the tickets.
We climbed the shaky, metal stairs, handing the operator our tickets and stepped inside the large circular ride. Everything started off fine. Everyone inside the ride standing with their backs against the wall laughing, joking, Jenny and Dean, sucking face -- then the spinning started. Slow at first, then faster, a multitude of colors whirling before my eyes. I tried to turn my head to see if Dean and Jenny were still sucking face next to me -- bad idea. My head kicked back, felt like a gigantic foot smashing me against the wall, and a bubble crept into my throat. The rotating circle spun even faster and the floor slowly dropped out from under us, the centrifugal force sticking us to the wall. I once saw a witch pin dad to a wall, figuring this was how he must have felt -- sick and scared. The other kid's laughed, only a few screamed. I shut my eyes -- worse idea. After what felt like forever, the ride slowed and the floor rose back up to meet our feet and we were unpinned from the wall, sliding slowly down until our feet touched the floor. The ride came to a complete stop, and I opened my eyes but everything and everyone was still spinning.
Took all I had left in me to not trip down the stairs, and sprawl to the ground as we exited the ride. A train was speeding through my head, a cold wind chilling me inside and out, my Italian sausage sloshing around inside my stomach. I followed a few steps behind Dean and Jenny as we headed toward the mid-way, not wanting him to know it wasn't just the gay rides that made me sick, but the cool ones too. Dean would just laugh himself a new hairdo, calling me a baby and teasing me, either that or he'd be pissed at me for stopping all the lip action he was getting tonight.
"Okay, Sammy, watch close, the master is going to win you a stuffed clown." Dean winked at me and gave Jenny a quick peck, picking up the rifle and aiming the inferred beam at the moving targets.
While Dean hunted tin bears, bobcats, deer, cougar and clowns, I wished he'd shoot and kill whatever odd creature was swimming around in my stomach. My head was still spinning after that last ride, but I hung around watching, not wanting to be 'the baby' my big brother was always saying I was. I kicked at an empty fry boat, thinking mabye I was that baby.
Dean was a great shot no matter what entity he was shooting -- supernatural or not. I watched a few minutes while Dean dunked tin after tin with ease, Jenny giggling by his side with delight.
"Isn't he just the best?" Jenny smiled my way, pecking Dean on the cheek just as he knocked down a creepy clown riding a grizzly.
I rolled my eyes. That something in my stomach started digging and tearing. A red-hot fire-breathing worm writhing and burning inside, working its way upward. I was going to get sick. I tried to tame the freaky worm, but the bubbling heat inside my stomach roiled. I warned Dean this would happen. I didn't need to embarrass myself by barfing all over Jenny's pink shoes, and ruining Dean's date. I quickly walked away, not knowing where or even if I could get to a bathroom fast enough, turning the closest corner.
I ended up behind a trailer thinking I might pass out. Elbows stiff, I pressed both hands against the aluminum siding, head hung down. I was hot; sweating beneath my gray tee shirt, yet the chills sent goose bumps running up and down my legs and arms. Everything was so loud, bright, and flashing. Everyone laughing, clapping, having a good time. Everyone, except me. My lips began to tremble. I didn't want to be sick, hated being sick, especially alone. I inhaled, willing the worm and the baby inside me to sleep, at least until I could get back to the motel. The smell of fried dough and Italian sausage mixing with some old ladies heavy perfume did me in. I threw up. The thick liquid splattering all over my shoes and bottom of my jeans.
I felt horrible, shaky, sick, tired and dizzy. I tried to focus my eyes. Dad and Dean never cried -- I wouldn't cry either. I sniffled, using my bare arm to wipe the tears out of my eyes freezing mid-wipe hearing footsteps creeping up behind me. I listened, the steps slowly growing nearer, drowning out every other noise of the carnival until they stopped silent. My heart skipped a beat, but I didn't turn around dragging shaky knuckles across my mouth.
"I'm okay, Dean," I said hoarsely, forcing myself to straighten a bit but still needing to lean against the trailer
"Are you crying?" He softly asked.
"No!" I shook my head, sending a few strands of hair down to hide my eyes . "Go back to Jenny."
"She said you looked pale and ran down here."
"Dude, you threw up?"
I shrugged again. The evidence was splashed all over my newest pair of 'Dollar Store' tennis shoes.
"Sam, what's the matter?"
Before I could answer my knees buckled -- clumsy and heavy -- I headed toward the ground.
"Whoa!" Dean hooked his hands under my armpits catching me. "Hey, there, pal." My stomach and throat burned like I'd been shot from the indside by a white-hot flare. "Sam?" Dean turned me about. "Tsk. " Dean eyed my shoes then me. "Bro, what happened?"
"Dean, I'm okay. Was just that last stupid ride." I hated to admit, staggering forward unable to keep my balance. "Just go back to Jenny."
"Sam." Dean held me steady with one hand, running the other through my hair pulling damp strands out of my eyes. "Jenny went home. Her mom came to pick her up."
"Dean, I'm sorry. I ruined your date."
Dean took a breath, bowed his head, looked me sternly in the eyes and said, "Curfew, Sam, not you. Not you," Dean repeated louder, dabbing at my eyes with the sleeve of his jacket. "Listen, let's get you back to the motel. Sound good?"
"Thanks." I shivered, teetering.
Dean reached an arm around my shoulder, pulled me toward him and we started back toward our motel. The moon shone down from above, lighting our way. My head buzzed, everything buzzed, even my teeth. The trees around us had mutated into gloomy shadows, a warm breeze blowing through the branches sending the limbs reaching out toward us like giant skeletal fingers.
I trembled hard.
"It's okay." Dean hugged me closer. "We're almost home," he said, scanning the area as if a hairy monster would jump out of the dark and eat us alive. I trembled again -- because it could. "How you feeling, man?"
I didn't feel good at all and certainly didn't want to talk about it anymore. Talking about being sick just made me feel sicker. I was pretty wobbly and too busy trying to remember which end was up to answer, anyway. Dean hates when I don't answer his questions. We slowed our pace, big brother's eyes finding mine -- even in the dark.
"Sam?" We stopped, Dean's tone full of conceren. "I asked you…"
"Is Jenny a good kisser?" I found my voice, trying to take my mind off feeling so sick and dizzy.
After laughing hard, Dean said, "She is now. I'm a good tutor."
"You know what?"
We started moving again, patchy fog rolling in, but the moon still shone bright. Dean still searched the area -- an attack dog on high alert, and I still felt sick, wanting to give in to sleep.
"See anything?" I stumbled over my own two feet -- the only part of me that ever seemed to do any growing.
"Our motel, just up ahead."
I looked ahead at the yellow, watery neon sign. Just up ahead? May as well have been the moon. I was beat, coughing and spitting bitter saliva to the ground. My stomach pitched and rolled, tossed about on the high waves created by the giant worm jumping around inside.
"I'm sick." I clutched at Dean's jacket.
"Hang on, Sam. Hang on," Dean called, his voice sounding far away.
I nodded, unable to answer, the action sending the ground spinning and I lost my footing again. Dean stopped short titling his head, sizing me up.
"Hop on," he said, moving to squat in front of me.
"You don't have to do that, Dean. I'm not a baby," I coughed.
"It's not for you. It's for me, whiz kid, gotta work on the biceps. His sneakers twisted in the dirt, inching back toward me. "Sam." Dean jerked his shoulders. "I said, hop on."
"Stupid," I muttered, but wrapped my arms around Dean's neck anyway.
Dean shrugged me up onto his back with ease. "Just don't puke on me, brat," he grunted, adjusting my weight then moving full speed ahead toward the Yellow Rose.
"Thanks." I rested my chin on big brother's shoulder, hoping I wouldn't puke -- he'd kill me.
I peeked open one eye, the darkness doing a slow spin around me. The bed I was curled up on was soft, but everything hurt -- especially my neck. I tired to lift my head up, but my stomach clenched and unclenched. That worm was still there, the giant night crawler slithering up into my throat. I swallowed the sick maggot, slowly wilting back into the pillows. The room was quiet, the last thing I remembered was Dean easing me off his back, setting me down on the bed, taking my shoes and jeans off, and tucking me in under a thin sheet.
It must have been hours since I rode The Rotar, but my heart was still beating fast and every muscle was cold and stiff. I bit into my lower lip, trying to keep from groaning as I rolled over onto my back. My plan was simple -- don't throw up. So far my plan was working the worm gliding down to settle in some deep, dark hole it had dug into my stomach.
"Guawww," I groaned.
"How you feel?" A quiet voice drew both eyes open.
I rolled my head to one side, knowing where to look even though the lights were off and the room pitch dark. "Sammy?" The bed squeaked, a cool hand touching my cheek.
"Good," I whispered, closing my eyes against the burning pain in my throat.
"Ready for another spin?" A wet rag pressed to my forehead.
"Ughhhh." I wrapped my arms around myself to stop from shivering.
"You done panning for gold, dude?" Dean asked.
"Think so," I said, the worm still lying at the bottom of my churning stomach.
"Good." Dean shifted, and I heard the click of the bedside light being turned on. "Open your big mouth." Dean pushed the familiar glass tip against my lips, and my mouth automatically opened. "Lift your tongue."
The old-fashion thermometer was gently put in place. I hated the glass tube in my mouth, always thought I'd bite the tip off -- poison myself with that red crap inside. The school nurses always used the plastic thermometer's that they poked in your ear. Dad was a firm believer that newer wasn't always better.
I opened my eyes, looking straight at Dean who was looking straight at me. His eyes were bloodshot from exhaustion, the ache for sleep heavy as he sagged on the edge of the bed.
"Tol' y' ride s' gona make m' si'k, D-eee-an," I mumbled around the stick in my mouth.
"Shut up, or I'll put that thing someplace other than your mouth." Dean glared at me saying, "You don't get a fever from riding The Rotar, Sam. Little brothers, plus gay carnival rides seem to equal the flu. Sorry," Dean whispered, retrieving the thermometer he stared at the stick for a long time. "102.4 degrees." His brow furrowed, setting the thermometer down in exchange for two white pills and a bottle of water. "Here." He handed me the pills and I popped them into my mouth. I tried to raise up to take a sip of the water, but only made it halfway -- Dean helping the rest. I took a few swallows, the liquid-cool going down like a waterfall, hopefully drowning that worm. "Come here." Dean hiked his arm higher around my shoulder the other on my chest, inching me against his side. "Gona puke on me?"
"Naw." I leaned groggily into him.
The room was quiet again, and I waited for Dean to call me a baby -- but he never did.
"How you feel, now?" Dean asked after several minutes.
"Stupid. Jenny probably thinks I'm a real baby." I cringed at the last word.
"She was worried," Dean said, sounding for-real.
I pulled the sheet down feeling like I was on fire.
"Come on, keep that on." Dean pulled the sheet back up.
"She was worried?"
"Yeah, she likes you. Go figure," Dean laughed lightly.
"I ruined your date."
"I told you -- you didn't." Dean shrugged. "Besides, revenge is a bitch."
"Don't say bitch."
Dean stretched back leaning against the headboard, taking me with him. "Go back to sleep now, Sam." He reached over and turned the tableside lamp off.
"I'm not tired." I complained to the face in the dark.
"I've heard that a million times."
"Million and one," I corrected.
"Right." Dean agreed for once.
"I think watching you and Jenny suck face is what made me sick," I laughed, my head falling sideways to rest on Dean's shoulder. "Who tutored you anyway?" I closed my eyes.
"When you have all the right tools for the job, little brother -- you don't need tutoring."
"Whatever, bitch," I said the word, my arms unfolding from around my stomach and flopping to my sides.
"Don't say bitch," Dean scolded gently.
"Okay, jerk." I smiled.
" Go to sleep, coochi-goo," Dean said, using baby-talk, and tickling me under my chin.
"I'm not a baby!" I snapped, jerking slightly away.
"I know, bitch."
We laughed -- the spinning stopped, and I drifted back to sleep, not caring that I was nestled like a baby -- in my brother's arms.