Summary: Just a salt-and-burn-job. Simple. Of course, if Dean's head would stop spinning that is. Set somewhere in S1.
Warnings: Not much.
Disclaimers: I don't own Supernatural.
Salt and burn. Nice and simple job. No problems, just dig up the grave, salt and then burn the corpse. Easy. Or so he thought.
It would have been easy yesterday, but yesterday Dean had not had this headache. He blinked, trying to clear his mind. The pounding in his head made the whole place spin around and he wanted off the ride. He hated spinning.
"Hey Dean, you awake?"
Dean turned his head to watch Sam who looked right back at him, worry in his eyes and a hand out to steady his big brother. Dean squinted, and then replied:
"Yeah, 'm awake. Why wouldn't I be?"
"You're swaying on the spot," Sam pointed out, fingers curling around Dean's elbow as he took the salt container from the older man's hand. "I can do that; you sit down for a little bit."
He honestly expected his brother to protest. Dean never failed on that one; he hated when someone fussed over him. But to Sam's surprise Dean just looked around from a place to sit down on and made it to a nearby gravestone. Sam got more worried as he followed Dean's journey there, as his big brother's legs wobbled and he did not manage a full straight line there. Dean almost fell down and then did thumbs-up to his little brother.
"'m okay," he said with a grin.
"Head hurts a lil' bit."
"Alright, sit tight for me," Sam said. "Just a little longer."
Dean grinned again, having starting to nod but then regretting it, and Sam covered the body with salt and then lighter fluid before throwing a couple of lit matches down. Flames erupted and he watched the body burn, eyes shifting after a little while to his brother. Dean was blinking slowly, holding a hand to his forehead and looked generally drugged, the first signs of a bad headache incoming on Dean Winchester. Sam walked over to him, took his brother's head in his hands and said:
"Mm, think so," Dean mumbled. "I'm fine, just need to rest a bit…"
"Why don't you go ahead t the car while I fill the grave?"
"Humour me." Dean looked up at Sam who looked at the Impala and then back, and the older man tried to make the two Sams merge back into one. He did not dare to nod, so he just mumbled out 'Okay' and staggered to his feet. He heard Sam begin to shovel back the earth onto the grave and the sound was too loud. He managed not to walk into any gravestone, victory, and soon felt the hood of the car underneath his hand, using it as a support to sink down on the ground. He rested his aching head on the side of the car, closing his eyes and breathed deeply. His stomach rebelled against him suddenly and Dean moaned as he clutched a hand to his stomach. He was not going to throw up. He had not even eaten anything!
Maybe that was the reason… or perhaps those six sodas… he slowly bent forward, letting his head hang and dry-heaved. He felt it coming and supported himself on two shaking arms as he choked up bile and liquid, coughing harshly between each contraction of his stomach and the cough making his head throb more.
"Dean!" The voice cut through his head like a knife through butter, too loud, and Dean groaned. The footsteps were like a horde of elephants, making the ground shake underneath him and then Sam was by his side, holding him up and that was good because his arms just decided to give up on him.
When there was nothing more for the moment to puke up Sam pulled him up and Dean's head lolled back at Sam's shoulder, pain exploding at the contact. Not so good.
"Sam," he moaned. "Don't feel so hot…"
"You don't look too good either," the younger man said. "How much pain, one to ten? And don't lie to me."
"Um, maybe like a nine… or perhaps nine and a half." Trade this for fighting a Wendigo bare-handed any day. Hell, anything was better than this. A couple of nasty witches, a Black dog or two, some pissed-off sprits, come on. Don't hold back. He moaned as a new throb made its way through his head and pulled at his eyes.
"Nine and a half, okay. Time for motel, bed and lots of painkillers, Dean."
"Just gimme some bears…"
"No, painkillers. You're just gonna puke the beers up." Sam was lifting him now, opening the passenger door and helped him inside, being gentle with the head. Dean moved to rest his head against the window, mumbling something underneath his breath as his little brother walked around to get to the driver seat after dumping their gear into the trunk. He slid into the car and looked over at Dean, swallowing. Last time Dean had had this kind of headache, Sam had been seventeen but he remembered it to be some of the worst days of his life. Having to watch Dean lie in bed, delirious and in pain was hard. Hearing his whimpers during the night, only silencing when the pain made him go unconscious.
All Sam could do now was give him painkillers, keep him in bed and just agree with whatever he was saying, no matter how strange it sounded. And of course, never bring it up once Dean feels better.
Dean now turned and slowly laid his aching head on Sam's shoulder. Another thing; Dean did not mind touch with these kinds of headaches, as long as you never mentioned it afterward. Sam was not planning to, and let his big brother' head rest there as he got the car going and out from the cemetery. Doing his best to avoid potholes on the ground, Sam held Dean's head as steady as he could while driving and the older man did not complain.
As they reached the motel after a ten-minute drive Dean had managed to doze off and Sam carefully lowered Dean's head down from his shoulder, and the man woke up.
"S'mmy? Where're we?"
"We're back at the motel," Sam said quietly. "Hang tight."
He got out and walked around to the passenger side, opening the door and let Dean climb out. He managed to get out alright, but then his legs failed and he grabbed onto the car to not fall flat on his face. Sam closed the door and let Dean rest against the car as he locked it. He came back and slowly helped Dean to wobble back to their room, digging up the key as they closed in.
Getting into the room Sam got on the lights, making Dean moan and close his eyes.
"Sorry, Dean, but I'm not stumbling over every thing in this room," Sam said. "I'm gonna shut it off soon, don't worry. Just let's get you to bed."
Dean, once he was on the bed, curled up in a ball and it had Sam smiling for a moment. After he flicked the light on by the nightstand he shut off all the others, pulling down the blinds too so the room was semi-dark. He unlaced his brother's boots and tugged them off, managing to make him uncurl to get off the leather jacket while holding the head still. Dean sluggishly looked back at him and Sam lowered him down on the bed again so he could go and get the painkillers.
Getting out a bottle of water from the mini-fridge he came back to the bed and offered the bottle of water along with some painkillers. Dean sat up, slowly, and winced when he jarred his head too much. He let Sam help him get the pills down and drank a couple of extra sips of water before gliding down on the bed again, barely aware that his little brother was tugging his jeans off.
Managing to get Dean into a pair of sweat-pants and the T-shirt he usually slept in was easier than Sam imagined and he was happy enough to tuck his brother in, Dean already out cold. Sam sat still for a few minutes on his brother's bed, rubbing Dean's back soothingly through the layers of covers. The man moved a bit, and Sam ran his hand up to Dean's head and felt the spiky hair underneath his palm. He cradled his big brother's skull in his hand, thumb rubbing softly against the side of Dean's head. Then he got up, knowing it would be a while before Dean woke up.
Head's throbbing. Moving hurt… ah, that was nice. Cool touch to his temple. Mm… more of it, please. Dean leaned into the coolness, moaning softly. It held back some of the pain but far from all of it.
"Dean, come on man, wake up."
He tried to roll away but the moment he moved his head glowing pain made him whimper and fall back.
"Just open your eyes for a little bit."
He pried one open and saw a shadowy figure lean over him. Before he had time to get nervous the shadow stroke the side of his face, feverish skin meeting cool. Large hands. Sammy's hands.
"Yeah, it's me, Dean," Sam encouraged. "Come on, let me help you sit up."
"Noo… lemme sleep."
"You've slept the whole day; you need to get some food in you."
The word 'food' made his stomach clench and he gagged.
"Alright, not food," Sam hurriedly continued. "Just some water, maybe a sip or two of soup, okay? No food."
"No food," Dean mumbled. "'Kay…"
Sam got down on the bed, glad he had put everything out on the nightstand before attempting to get Dean up. That meant he didn't have to move away once he had his brother sitting. Slowly he lifted his big brother so that he could slide in behind him, then gently hauled him up so that Dean was resting against his back. One of his hands held Dean's head steady and pretty much unmoving.
"First some of those wonderful painkillers," he whispered and the older man swallowed the pills without question, trying to gulp the water down but Sam held the bottle away. Dean made a move to get it. "Dean, no. Gulp it down and you'll have a date with the toilet. Slow sips, I know you're thirsty but slow sips."
Dean complied, his muddled brain somehow understanding the logic. He still was disappointed when the water was taken from him. A different cup was placed before his lips and the smell of chicken soup invaded his nostrils. Actually it didn't make him ill, but made his stomach growl instead.
"Look who's hungry," Sam murmured against the side of Dean's head as Dean took a cautious sip of the lukewarm soup. It was a bit unnerving seeing his big brother like this, but also a bit nice. It meant he got to take care of Dean for once. And the man wasn't delirious, just tired. That was good. Sam hated delirious Dean. It was scary and he closed his eyes as he remembered.
Sam was standing by the doorway, watching as John fought to keep his eldest son in bed, Dean fighting against the restraints. He was screaming for mom. Sam bit his lip to not start crying, and clenched his fists. John had forbidden him to help, saying Dean was too far gone to recognize them. But seeing his brother fight against his father in that desperate way… it was breaking him.
"Dean, please listen to me!"
John rarely said please. In fact, Sam could count on his hand the times John had said please to him. For him to say please now… he was frightened.
Dean didn't hear it, he just tried to get away from his father's grip, pain etched onto his face and voice raw but still screaming out for Mary.
Finally, Sam couldn't bear it. He rushed into the room and onto the bed. He grabbed Dean's waving arms, ignored his father's shout at him and hauled Dean up into his own arms. He grabbed his big brother's head, held it steady and whispered:
"I'm here now."
Dean stopped dead in his tracks.
"It's okay now," Sam continued, stroking the short hair. "It's okay."
John looked at him in amazement as Dean's trembling arms came around Sam.
"Yeah, it's me, Dean, it's Sammy," the younger one said. "Come on, lie back down."
He gently lowered Dean down to the bed but did not leave. Instead he laid down on Dean's side and put his own head down on Dean's shoulder. He closed his eyes and listened to his big brother breathing heavily. John's hands on them both, and Sam looked up at the man.
"Good work," he said to his youngest, and smiled.
He woke up from his memories and looked at Dean. The man had tilted his head back and was watching Sam now.
"Hi, Dean," he said and put away the half-empty cup. "How're you holding up?"
"'m good," Dean mumbled. "Bit fuzzy, that's all…"
"It's gonna be okay soon," Sam said. "I promise. You just have to rest."
"Mmm…" Dean shifted slightly before relaxing, slowly becoming limp in his baby brother's grasp. Sam put the cup away and smiled as he watched his big brother sleep.
Until another time,