Title: A Little Help

Prompt/Summary: From the twisted mad_server herself, at her comment-fic meme Again, but with Colds: The boys are staying at Bobby's. Sam and Bobby are working on a case, but Dean's all sick and feverish and sneezy and benched. He keeps padding in in his jammies and "helping" by falling asleep on the couch or on that snazzy downstairs-bed from S5. Original prompt and my reply can be found here.

Characters: Dean, Sam, Bobby

Rating: G

Wordcount: 926

Disclaimer: Still not mine. When I've been in fandom for a year, do I get one of 'em as a present?

Warnings: None. Well, if you don't like colds, this isn't the place for you. ;)

Neurotic Author's Note: Did I mention the comment-fic meme was eating my brain? Because it IS.

"Baybe id's a s-succ.. hxxnGHSH!" Dean barely has time to catch the sneeze in a tissue. The book he's holding tilts, starts to slide off his lap in slow-motion, and he still can't catch it with his free hand.

Sam scoops it up before it hits the floor, laying it back on the coffee table. "It's not a succubus. It's not an incubus, either, before you suggest that."


Dean doesn't look like he's about to suggest anything, face buried in the tissue, huddled with a blanket over his shoulders on Bobby's sofa, bare feet tucked under him, surrounded by used tissues. Sam is seriously considering a salt 'n' burn of the used tissues, given just how vicious it's turned out to be. He figures the cold germs might come back from the dead to try to re-infect the living just out of spite. ("Ha-ha. Very fuddy, Sab.") This latest cold is definitely the messiest, wettest, snottiest one in recent memory, even by Dean's standards, and has kept him out of commission and in a pair of Bobby's blue flannel pajamas for over a day already. The pajamas are both a little too big in the waist and too short in the arms and legs, and it's only because Dean is perfectly willing to sneeze in Sam's food that Sam has stopped mocking him for it.

Bobby comes back from the kitchen, a whiskey tumbler in either hand, and hands one to Dean. "Hot toddy. It'll cure what ails ya."

"Or finish you off," Sam supplies helpfully. "Either way, you'll be out of your misery."

"F-fuddy," Dean sniffles, hitches, and with a slightly panicked look manages to put the tumbler down before he sneezes again and scalds himself with Bobby's remedy. "KKNGSHXXT!"

Sam winces. "Damn, that one sounded like it hurt."

"It did," Dean blows his nose gingerly, then takes a careful sip of the hot toddy. "Hadd be thad boogk, please?" he gestures vaguely at the pile of books.

"Why don't you take a nap instead?"

It's a mistake, but it's too late to take it back now. He gets a withering look, in spite of the red-rimmed eyes. Dean's hair is sticking to him with sweat, he's still shivering under his blanket, and yet he manages to look as if the mere suggestion of a nap is pure, unadulterated madness that only the feeble-minded could conceive of. He sneezes wetly, then reaches for the book himself and hauls it into his lap before plucking another tissue from the rapidly-dwindling box on the coffee table.

"Boy, you spray on my priceless volumes, and I will take it out of your hide."

"Relagx, Bobby. I god id," Dean coughs, spits something nasty-sounding into his tissue. "Ugh," he comments softly, and tosses it into the already-overflowing waste basket at his feet, plucks out another tissue immediately. "Hih... hehGNTSCHT!"

"Don't stifle."

"Bide be."

"Fine then. Kill what few remaining brain cells you've got, see if I care," Sam grabs the waste basket and empties it in the large green garbage bag in Bobby's kitchen, brings it back and sets it down in front of Dean. "NyQuil?"

"Doh. Stuff puts be to sleep."

Sam fills the little plastic cup anyway, and hands it to him. "Got the daytime stuff. Here."

Dean glares, swallows the viscous substance and makes a face. "Tasdes ligke ass." He coughs, lets Sam take the little plastic cup away, submits to having the blanket rearranged, and jerks away when Sam tries to check on the fever. "Dabbit, Sab, I —HSHSZCHH! Quid thad," he concludes lamely, his eyes apologizing for the snot on Sam's hand even if the rest of him won't.

Sam just grabs a tissue and the bottle of hand sanitizer from the table, rolls his eyes, and doesn't say a word before pulling out another book and resuming his research. For a while there's nothing but companionable silence, punctuated by the sound of Dean's coughing and the occasional sneezes, some better-stifled than others. Sam can hear the pages of the book turning ever more slowly, looks up to see Dean's head jerk up from where he's desperately trying to keep himself awake. He glances at Bobby, who nods back, then carefully slides onto the sofa next to Dean, and tugs the book away from him. Dean sniffles wetly, but doesn't object, and when Sam wraps a hand over his forehead he kind of lists to the side, comes to land against Sam's chest with a sigh.

"Fugker," he murmurs into Sam's shirt. "Totally gave be the dighttibe stuff, did't you?"

Dean's half-asleep, so Sam risks planting a quick kiss to the top of his head. "You need the nap more than we need the help with the research. Come on," he tries to nudge him back onto the sofa, but Dean just wriggles until he's settled even more comfortably against Sam's chest.

"'m good here," he mumbles.

Sam shoots Bobby a helpless look, only to be met by a smirk. So he shrugs, leans back against the sofa so Dean can lie against him, head pillowed on his stomach, and lets Bobby hand him a book. Dean coughs into his shirt, mumbles something unintelligible, and sighs quietly as the Nyquil finally claims him. The corners of Sam's mouth twitch, and he runs his fingers once through sweat-soaked hair before going back to his book.