I do not own Supernatural, Castiel, Sam, Dean or any other characters I may mention in this Fanfiction. I am merely still obsessing over the show and needed to write about it…
This is another One-shot in The Human Experience series (Yes, I've decided to do a few). I know a few of you are watching this space for more of the same sort of thing, so I decided to oblige. In this One-shot: Castiel must battle the epically evil forces of *Dun, Dun, Dun!* the common cold! Wait, what? 0_o lol.
Should be a laugh anyway, hope you like!
The Human Experience: What's Worse Than Man Flu?
Sam and Dean shuffled into the motel room with Castiel in tow. The Winchester brothers wore matching scowls and Castiel's expression was as deadpan as ever.
Dean threw his bags down onto the bed nearest the door and headed for the bathroom. He ran a sink full of warm water and started dabbing at the gash above his left eyebrow, carefully, with a flannel. His left eye socket was steadily bruising and the colour and swelling was creeping downwards towards his cheekbone.
Sam gently placed his bags on his own bed and removed, from the shoulder bag, his laptop and power cable. He plugged the PC in and waited for it to boot up before hesitantly sliding onto the bed so that he was sitting up against the headboard. He pulled the computer onto his lap and heaved a sigh, wincing slightly as he did so. His hand immediately flew to his chest, deducing that he must have earned himself a few bruised ribs in that last skirmish.
Castiel stood staring into space as if he were awaiting instructions. He folded his arms and leant against the screen that divided the dining area and the sleeping area and blinked slowly, replaying the recent events in his head and trying to figure out why they had been attacked in the first place.
Sam shook his head, gave an agitated sigh and slammed the laptop shut.
"OK so, what the hell was that?" he asked, breaking the silence.
Dean appeared in the doorway to the bathroom sporting a smirk, "I'll tell you what that was; you just got your ass handed to you by an old lady!"
He gave a short laugh and crossed the room to the dining table, sliding into one of the seats and taking up the motel's information card.
Sam scoffed, "Well what about you? I literally thought 'wheelchair granddad' was gonna ice you!"
"Ok, so we're evidently not popular at the retirement home for the clearly insane…" Dean let his voice trail off.
"Well…" Sam began, shooting Castiel a smile, "…Cas certainly didn't seem to be as unpopular as us."
Dean smiled to the angel as well, "That's right , Sammy. Hey Cas, what was her name again?"
Castiel did not move to meet either brother's gaze and continued to stare into space.
"Maureen." He offered, distantly.
The boys sniggered and Castiel frowned to them.
"What?" he queried.
Dean shook his head, stood and moved towards the angel, placing a hand on his shoulder, "It's just that if I'd have known that geriatrics were your thing, I would have suggested an old folks' home sooner." He turned away from Castiel with another laugh.
Castiel rolled his eyes, "She knew what I was, which probably meant she was close to death…it's difficult to explain." He blinked slowly and decided it wasn't worth explaining to the boys. He gave a sigh, wishing the Winchester brothers would drop it, but knowing they wouldn't.
"Yeah but you didn't have to go hugging her or holding hands." Dean teased, giving a theatrical shudder.
Castiel opened his mouth as if he were about to speak but Sam interrupted him.
"Dean, come on." he pleaded, taking in Castiel's unease and annoyance, "I'm sure Cas knew what he was doing and had a good…angel-related…reason." Sam glanced over to Castiel and noticed a small glimmer of gratitude in his eyes.
The younger Winchester gave a slight smile and stifled a yawn, turning his attention back to his brother, "I don't know about you, Dean, but I'm totally beat."
Dean found himself agreeing with his younger brother and he began to move his bags off of his bed.
"What are you going to do, Cas?" Dean asked over his shoulder, "Not that we really need to ask."
This earned him only the sound of fluttering wings as a response and when he turned around Castiel was gone.
Sam shot Dean a ridiculing scowl and Dean shrugged his shoulders.
Castiel appeared in the middle of a dark motel room, but he couldn't be sure it was the right one; his head was pounding and he found it hard to focus on anything for a long time. He gave it a second for his eyes to become accustomed to the lack of light and scanned the room. There were burger wrappers on the dining table and a heavy jacket thrown untidily over one of the chairs. A few bags were strewn haphazardly around the bed nearest the door. Castiel let his line of sight wander to the far side of the room. Any bags on the floor were pushed neatly to the foot of the bed and a pile of neatly folded clothes lay atop them. Castiel nodded to himself, this was definitely the right room. He took a step in Sam's direction, feeling that the younger Winchester would be his best bet in helping him.
After a few steps the angel halted, his hands flying to his face as sudden bittersweet pain throbbed around his sinuses. He tried to contain it, but it was a futile effort and before he could even think about vanishing, a loud sneeze echoed around the room.
Sam leapt from his bed, taking up Ruby's knife from the bedside table as he did so.
Dean's eyes shot open and he reached for the handgun he kept under his pillow. Within a second he too was out of bed and the pair stared around, awaiting an attack. When nothing came, Sam reached behind him and turned on the small bedside lamp. He frowned as Castiel came into view.
Sam watched as he gave a painful nod.
"Sorry for waking you…" he offered. The angel's voice sounded weird; it was nasal and scratchy and it sounded to Sam as if he was struggling to breathe.
Dean frowned, "Jeez, Cas, you look awful."
"I know." Castiel replied, giving a nod and then turning to Sam with frantic, panicked eyes, "I think that old woman put some sort of curse on me…or something: I'm…dying, Sam."
Sam frowned as Castiel grabbed at his arm for support, even his grip seemed too weak. Sam tilted his head to the side and studied the fallen angel for a moment or two. Dean took initiative and crossed the room to the main light switch, flicking it on.
Sam couldn't help but grimace; Castiel's face was pale, all except for his nose which had turned a florid red. He seemed to be trying to breathe through his mouth and there were dark circles around his dull eyes.
Sam raised an eyebrow and gave a short laugh.
"Cas, relax; you're not dying." He turned away from him, noticing a small trail of mucus just above Castiel's lip. Sam disappeared into the bathroom and returned a few seconds later with a wad of toilet paper. He handed it to the angel who met the gesture with bemusement. "You've got a cold, that's all."
"But I don't feel cold." Castiel stated, refusing to believe that he was not cursed and dying, "In fact, I feel quite hot…"
The younger Winchester shook his head and smiled in amusement as he crossed the room to his brother-picking up his jacket on the way-leaving Castiel to stare in confusion at the mass of tissue in his hand.
"I'll go to the drug store and pick up some stuff for Cas. You stay and look after him, Ok?" Sam gave a childish smile and went to walk past his brother, slinging his jacket on in the process.
Dean stopped him with a hand on his chest, "Hey, hey, hey! How come I have to stay with him?"
Sam gave a shrug of his shoulders, "He's your angel."
Dean glared at his younger brother, "No, we'll settle this fairly."
Dean clenched his hand into a fist and held it out in front of him. Sam rolled his eyes and decided to humour his brother, doing the same.
"One, Two, Three."
Sam's face lit up as he stared down at their hands.
"I win; See ya later!" He chimed with a triumphant wave, swiping the hotel room key from the table top and making a hasty escape.
"Damn!" Dean hissed under his breath.
Castiel looked over to him, wondering what he had just said. Dean attempted a genuine smile.
"What do I do with this?" The angel asked innocently, holding out the tissue and frowning in bewilderment.
Dean rolled his eyes. Why did he always have to pick scissors?
Dean slung Castiel's trench coat, suit jacket and tie over the empty chair at the dining table, giving a small sigh in resignation. Castiel was standing, swaying slightly on the spot when Dean turned back to him. This earned the angel a frown.
"What?" Castiel sniffed.
"Lay down, dumb ass." Dean instructed with a small smile. He watched as Castiel followed his instruction and made his way over to Sam's bed (Dean had formed a barrier with his body, not letting the ill being anywhere near his own bed. No doubt Sam would thank him for it later.). The older Winchester moved to stand beside the bed, holding the sheets aside. It took what seemed like an age for Castiel to crawl into the bed, but as soon as he was in, Dean removed the angel's shoes and draped the sheets gently over him.
Castiel was still having trouble focusing and jumped a little when Dean handed him a beer bottle of water.
"Sorry, Cas…no glasses…"
Castiel frowned a little, but gave a nod, taking a tentative swig from the bottle and placing it on the bedside table. He didn't much care for the taste of the liquid; the water was tap water from the bathroom, made worse only by the remnants of the last liquid the bottle had held. Dean perched himself on the other bed and studied Castiel intensely. After a while, this seem to annoy him and he turned his attention towards Dean, a nasal, painful version of the word, 'what?' no doubt on his lips.
Dean frowned and gave a shrug, "How can you even get sick, Cas?" he asked, curiosity getting the better of him.
Castiel coughed and the magnitude of this seemed to shock him. He gave a shrug of his shoulders, "It's not me…it has to be my vessel…" He took a deep breath, sniffed and coughed again. Dean grimaced.
"Yeah, I got that part. But why now? I mean how long have you been down here? And you only now decide to get sick?"
"It's not my choice, Dean." The angel growled, shooting Dean a glare that more than matched the tone of voice.
Dean held up his hands in mock surrender and was about to retort when Castiel's glare faltered. He screwed up his eyes and cupped his hands over his nose and mouth.
Dean raised his eyebrows and waited for what was undoubtedly going to be a sneeze. Castiel took in a few hitched breaths and waited for the explosion.
After a few seconds more of waiting the sneeze came, though it was worse than the last time it had happened. With Jimmy's voice, screeching 'atchoo', came Castiel's true voice; a hitch-pitched, almost supersonic, consistent ringing. The shrill, piercing note ensconced Dean for nearly three whole seconds, causing him to cover his ears with his hands. He screwed his eyes closed and gritted his teeth against the din.
When he was sure the sneeze had ended, Dean slowly opened his eyes and removed his hands from his ears. He remembered the last time Castiel had tried to speak to him using his true voice and remembered how it had made his ears bleed. Hesitantly he brought his hands up to look at them and sure enough a few spots of blood stained each palm.
Dean looked to Castiel with an expression that was on third wounded, one third confused and one third angry.
"What the hell, Cas?" Dean shouted.
Castiel wasn't paying attention, he was regarding his own hands with confusion and disgust. He looked to the older Winchester helplessly. Dean's expression faltered and he rolled his eyes, crossing the small space between the beds and handing the angel the wad of tissue that had ended up on Dean's bedside table.
Castiel dabbed at his palms with the tissue and then brought it up to his nose. He blew it cautiously; Dean had showed him what the tissue was for, but he still wasn't entirely sure on the correct technique. When he had finished, he screwed the tissue up in one hand and reached for the beer bottle, taking another mouthful.
"Sorry, Dean." The fallen angel sniffed, placing the bottle back down on the table.
Dean smiled, pityingly, "Don't worry about it. Just give me some warning next time OK?"
Castiel smiled, sleepily, back and gave a slow nod.
It was early afternoon by the time Sam returned to the Motel room. He had had to walk to the drug store since the keys to the Impala were still in Dean's jacket pocket and once he had left, Sam had no desire to go back just in case Dean insisted they switch places. He wasn't being selfish, he reasoned, he just couldn't trust his brother to pick up anything strong enough or of a big enough quantity to cure an angel of the common cold.
Sam turned into the motel car park, a fat carrier bag in his left fist. He frowned and slowed his pace a little as he noticed Dean, leaning against the Chevrolet Impala, nonchalantly sipping at a beer from the cooler.
"Dean?" Sam tried.
Dean turned to his younger brother, affecting a smile.
"Oh hey Sammy. Nice of you to join us."
"You had the car keys so I had to walk." Sam's face fell a little and panic edged into his voice, "Is everything alright? Where's Cas?" He momentarily glanced round to the motel room door.
Dean pushed away from the car and placed his free arm around Sam's shoulders, leading him across the parking lot.
"Cas is where you left him. Still ill…" He raised his eyebrows at his younger brother, insinuating that he should have been back sooner, "I just had to step out for a minute; taking care of Castiel was giving me a headache…literally."
Sam inwardly wondered what Dean was getting at. The pair came to their door and Dean inserted the key into the lock, pushing it open. Sam's gaze immediately fell upon Castiel who looked worse than when he had left him. The angel turned to him and gave a weak smile in greeting.
Dean patted Sam on the back, "Go on then, nurse, drug him up!" He grinned widely.
Sam began to approach Castiel's bedside, opening the carrier bag as he did so. He tipped the contents out onto Dean's bed and began to sort through them. He took up a litre bottle of mineral water and broke the seal on it, placing it carefully atop the nearest bedside table. Aside it he placed a small box of tissues and a pack of throat lozenges. He began to open pill bottles and break the foil on paracetamol and aspirin packets. Before long he had a handful of different coloured pills of various sizes. He swept the bottles and packets aside and perched himself on the edge of Dean's bed. He offered the deadly mixture to Castiel who picked a few out at a time taking them with mouthfuls of water. After a minute or so the pills had vanished and Sam put the remaining back into the plastic bag, tossing it absent-mindedly onto the dining table. Dean had closed the door, but had not taken more that four steps into the room. He took a swig of his beer and smiled, deviously, into the bottle as he noticed the expression of pain and defiance on Castiel's face. He backed away slowly, finding the door handle, deftly with his free hand.
"Dean?" Castiel groaned between short sharp breaths.
"I'm already on it." He opened the door and slid out of the room, mimicking his brother's triumphant wave from earlier.
Sam frowned as he watched Dean leave.
"You might want to leave too." Castiel warned.
"I'm about to sneeze."
The younger Winchester's brow creased deeper as he tried to figure out exactly what the angel was talking about. He stood slowly, deciding to give Castiel the benefit of the doubt.
He was only a couple of feet away from the door when Castiel sneezed. Sam cried out in pain as the ringing surrounded him. His hands flew involuntarily to his ears in an attempt to save his ear drums from total destruction. A few seconds passed and the sneeze ended. Castiel reached for the tissues and after blowing his nose and wiping his hands clean he looked to Sam with concern. "Are you ok?" he asked, quietly.
Sam merely stared to him, bemused.
"I'm sorry." The angel offered.
The motel room door clicked obediently, heralding the arrival of a laughing Dean. He patted Sam on the back and walked past him to the table, seating himself at it and placing the now empty beer bottle on it's surface.
"You should have stayed here, Sammy; Cas and I learned a few interesting things about what happens to angels when they get colds, didn't we, Cas?"
Castiel gave a weak nod.
Sam shook his head and gave a disbelieving laugh.
Well that was fun to write, hope you guys like it! :P I was going to write another paragraph or so about Dean and Sam coming down with the same cold when Castiel recovers, but I thought better of it. After all, six pages is enough, don't you think? Also I think this ends it nicely…but hey, if you want another paragraph then let me know and I'll add it on!