Two Birds, One Stone
By Carol M.
Summary: Dean's about to drop from illness and burn out and desperately needs a rest. Unfortunately, Lucifer has other plans for him and Sam. Will they survive? Major Hurt/Sick/Angsty Dean, Hurt/Angsty Sam, Angsty Cas
Disclaimer: Don't own em, only love em
Spoilers: Up to Changing Channels
Apologies to Dean in advance. He's really going to be put through the ringer on this one. I'll make it up to him, I promise. Enjoy!
The dry heaves were really going to be the thing that killed Dean Winchester. Not some encounter with a demon. Not some pissed off angel. Not even Lucifer himself. Nope, in the end, it would be the dry heaves.
His stomach spasmed painfully as another heave tore through his body. He wished he was actually throwing up. Then at least he would feel like he was accomplishing something. But throwing up had ceased a few hours ago, when all the contents of his stomach had exploded out of him and splatted against the wall of the crummy motel room that he and Sam had been held up in for the past three days. That was the spew that had ended with his brother hauling him to the car and dragging him to the E.R.
They were currently in a curtained off triage room with Dean bent over a garbage can with only spittle and bile coming out of him. The acid of the bile burned his already tremendously sore throat, and the bent over position was making him even dizzier than he already was. And he was hot. And he was cold. And there was snot. And lot's of hacking. Yep, he was pretty much a mess from head to toe.
Dean felt a hand rubbing a pattern of soothing circles against the small of his back. Sam. He felt too miserable to even be embarrassed by the act of brotherly love, no matter how chick flicky and pathetic it seemed. He took a deep breath and coughed, his lungs gargling with phlegm. He could feel and taste its salty thick consistency pop into the back of his throat. He spit it out into the trash can. Green. Lovely.
He cautiously straightened back up, feeling Sam's hand move supportively from his back to his shoulder as his brother stepped around to face him. Sam looked freaked out of his freakin' mind. "Dude, you alright?"
Dean didn't have the energy to talk. All he could manage was a small nod.
"The doc'll be back any second now, man. He'll get you straightened out," said Sam.
"Awesome," managed Dean in a small, croaky voice.
He felt his cell phone vibrating in his pocket. Probably Cas calling for the hundredth time that day. He couldn't deal with whatever apocalyptic emergency the angel was going lay at his lap. He ignored the call and fell back against the exam table, the protective paper crinkling underneath him as he reclined into a sitting position.
God, he was tired. The truth was he had felt this coming on for weeks and had done his best to ignore it. He didn't think he could afford to be sick or to sleep or hell, even to stop. The world was coming a part at the seams after all. Eight cases in the last five weeks. A witch. Two demonic possessions. One near Lucifer encounter. There had even been a ghost pirate complete with a ghost parrot. He was still healing from the beak mauling. It seemed like everywhere they turned, someone needed their help. Not to mention the fact that he and Sam were still struggling to build their relationship back up and trust in each other again. It was all too much. He couldn't take it anymore. He felt physically, mentally and emotionally burnt out. As much as he hated to admit it, he needed a rest. And his body was forcing him into it.
One look over at his brother, who was sprawled out on a chair next to the examining table, and he could tell Sam was in the same vote. While he had been dutifully playing nurse maid the last few days, he could see the dark circles of stress and exhaustion under his little brother's eyes. His brother looked like he had aged about ten years in as many weeks. They were both strung out. They needed to chill, at least for awhile. If they didn't, someone was going to get hurt or worse yet, killed.
Dean was trying to muster the energy to share this thought with Sam when the curtain to the examining room opened and his McDreamy look a like doctor appeared. "Buddy, it's exactly what I thought."
Sam sat up attentively. "And what's that?"
"Swine flu. Lab results confirmed it. Pretty nasty case too for someone your age and in your physical condition."
Dean felt the bile rise in his throat. "Swine flu?" he muttered. "Seriously? I actually picked up swine flu? God, I really do need a vacation."
"We'll want to admit you for a few days," said the doctor.
"No," said Dean firmly. The utterance was followed by a trio of harsh sneezes that had Dean seeing stars in his eyes by the end of the third one.
"Dean, maybe you should consider it," said Sam.
Dean shook his head and abruptly stopped when it caused the whole world to spin. "No. No way. Give me some drugs and a shot in the ass, and I'll sleep this mother off."
"Mr. Skinner, with all due respect…"
Dean interrupted by hocking a huge loogie out of his mouth and aimed it to land perfectly in the center of the trash can. He ignored Sam's crinkled nosed look of disgust and laid his sickly eyes on the doctor. "Doc, fix me up however you want to, but I'm not staying."
His voice was firm, but his body was once again betraying him. He felt light headed and nauseous again. The pillow that was perched at the head of the exam table was looking pretty enticing at the moment.
Unfortunately, McDreamy wasn't giving up so easily. "Would you at least consider an I.V. of saline for a few hours? We can get your body rehydrated. Plus I can prescribe some Tamiflu which should ease some of the symptoms. What you really need is good, solid bed rest for the next five to seven days. That and plenty of liquids."
"Fine," said Dean, eyeing the pillow. "A half hour on the I.V."
"An hour," said Sam firmly. "And if he's still in bad shape tomorrow, I'll bring him back in and he can stay overnight."
Dean glared at Sam, but lacked the strength for a fight.
McDreamy nodded his approval. "That'll be fine. I'll send someone in shortly to start the I.V."
"Thanks doctor," said Sam.
The doctor stepped out of the room and redrew the curtain.
"Thanks doctor," mocked Dean in a snot filled voice.
Sam looked irritated. "Dean, you've got the swine flu. This isn't a joke."
"Sammy, if I get taken out by the swine flu, then I was a douche," said Dean lazily. He lost the battle with his tired, sickly body and lay down against the pillow, bringing his arm up to cover his eyes.
"Alright dude, you just voluntarily laid down in a hospital. Now I know your sick," he heard Sam say.
"Whatever," mumbled Dean.
He was falling into light twilight when he heard the curtain being drawn again. He took his arm away from his eyes and drooled as a petite red head dressed in Miss Piggy scrubs with a nametag that read Crystal on it walked into the room. She wheeled a small cart of supplies with her.
"Then again, there are the hot nurses," murmured Dean under his breath.
Sam rolled his eyes and slumped back against his chair, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Someone not feeling good?" said Nurse Crystal as she leaned over Dean.
She ran a soft caressing hand across his forehead. The touch felt surprisingly soothing and Dean felt himself leaning into it, taking a moment of comfort. "Terrible," he responded in his most sickly sounding voice.
Sam snorted. "Watch out for my brother. He can be a real dirty old man."
Nurse Crystal winked at Dean. "My favorite kind of patient."
Dean smiled smugly at Sam.
"Alright sweetness, we're just going to put this little needle in your arm and get you all watered up and fertilized again. Sound good?" said Nurse Crystal.
"Wonderful," responded Dean.
Nurse Crystal readied the needle. "Okay doll face, make a fist for me."
Dean complied and Nurse Crystal examined the veins in the crook of his right arm.
"Here we go," she whispered as he felt the coolness of an alcohol soaked cotton ball rub against the skin of his arm. "Now just a little stick and you'll be golden."
"Be gentle. I'm sensitive," said Dean.
He ignored the loud snort he heard coming from Sam's direction.
"Okay," said Nurse Crystal soothingly.
Dean felt the prick of a needle in the crook of his arm and then felt a slight jar as the needle was hooked up to the I.V. tubing. He didn't flinch. He watched Nurse Crystal hang the I.V. bag and then turn on the drip.
"All done," she said, caressing him under the jaw. "Now just try and relax. I'll be back in a little while to check on you. Is there anything I can get you?"
"Lollipop?" asked Dean, flashing her his best pitiful puppy dog look. "Cherry."
Nurse Crystal smiled flirtatiously as she collected her things.
Sam cleared his throat. "I like orange."
"Yeah, you would," said Dean.
"I'll see what I can do, boys." She opened the curtain and wheeled the cart back out, winking at Dean again before shutting the curtain behind her.
"She wants me," whispered Dean.
"Dude, you have dried puke on your shirt," said Sam.
"So? Maybe she's into that. I like kinky chicks," said Dean as he began to hack guts out. By the time the coughing attack subsided, he was near coma. He tried to fight it and save it for the motel, but he was just too weak.
"Try and sleep for awhile man. Just relax. I'm here," said Sam as he reached over and gave Dean a light tap on the shoulder.
"Thanks Sammy," he murmured.
No sooner had Dean closed his eyes did he feel the vibration of his phone in his pocket. "Aw damn it, Cas!" He pulled the cell out of his pocket, confirming that Castiel was the caller and practically threw the phone at Sam. "Will you tell him I'm indisposed…for eternity!"
Dean shut his eyes again and willed himself to relax, fighting the sinking feeling that was building in his gut. He listened as Sam answered the phone.
"Cas, it's Sam. Now's not a good time. Dean's really sick." Sam paused a moment and then said, "Uh Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida in a curtained off room to the right of the E.R."
Dean opened his eyes and gave Sam the evil eye. "Don't tell him where we are!"
"Cas, he's laid out with an I.V. in his arm, I…"
The curtain opened and Castiel walked through. He immediately went for the I.V. in Dean's arm and quickly pulled it out, causing Dean to yelp in both pain and surprise. "We have to go right now!" said Castiel.
"Aw dude, come on!" whined Dean. "I'm practically knocking on heaven's door here, man. Oh and thanks for the protection against the swine flu! After all of I've done, you would think you guys could've given me a little angel flu shot or something."
"Dean, I'm sorry, but we don't have time for this." Castiel forcefully tried to drag Dean off the table, which caused the nausea to swirl in his stomach again. The room started to spin and he blinked hard for a moment, trying to steady himself.
Sam stepped protectively between him and Castiel. "Whoa, Cas, easy, he's really sick man. What's going on anyway?"
"Lucifer was able to track your position, and he's sent his most powerful demon minion to capture both of you. He'll be here any second," said Castiel, urgency underlying his words.
On cue, the curtains around the examining room forcefully ripped open, as if a hurricane force wind had invaded the E.R. A male demon dressed in green scrubs walked calmly towards them, his eyes violet and gleaming with absolute menace.
Dean felt a shiver of pure fear shudder through his entire body. "That's so not good," he said as he shared a look of panic with Sam.
He instinctively reached for the knife he kept tucked in his back pocket but before he could grasp it, the knife was ripped out of his pocket by an invisible force and landed into the hands of violet eyes. "I'll take that Mr. Winchester."
"Run!" said Castiel as he grabbed for the demon's knife.
Dean felt Sam grab his hand and forcefully pull him out of the examining room, his dizziness temporarily shut down as adrenaline flowed through his body. They made it about five steps before Dean felt the connection of Sam's hand violently rip away and suddenly they were both flying through the air, Sam towards a wall and Dean towards a glass door that led to another wing of the hospital. He put his arms out protectively over his head as his body smashed right through it, the impact knocking the wind out of him as he fell to the ground in a heap, the glass cutting sharply into the skin of his arms and chest.
The E.R. erupted in chaos around him as Dean struggled to catch his breath. Doctors, nurses and patients alike screamed and went running about aimlessly. He saw Sam lying unconscious on the floor next to the wall he had been thrown into, his head bleeding. Dean tried to call out to him, but he didn't have the breath or the strength. He turned to face Castiel just in time to see the demon fling him against another wall and leave him suspended in mid air against it. The demon then effortlessly picked up Sam with one hand and carried him towards Dean.
"Leave my brother alone," gasped Dean, trying once again to sit up as the demon headed for him, but his body wouldn't let him. Moments later, he felt the hand of the demon snatch him off the floor as well, his world going black as pain and weakness over took him