Exam season is upon me, so naturally I'm spending my time writing fanfic.
Sorry, still don't own Supernatural. Which is a shame really, 'cause if I did we'd all be rid of our evil overlords at the CW...
Rated for language, becuase you know, this is Dean and he's not feeling so hot.

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Dean's awake.

His head is spinning and pounding and the scratchy sheets are clinging to his body with cold sweat, which is a pretty good indicator that he's still got this crappy cold thing. The cold thing that he's supposed to be sleeping off, not suffering through while he's conscious.

Why the fuck is he up anyway, basically still in the middle of the night, when Dad drugged him with Delsym just a couple hours ago? He drowsily forces his heavy brain to go over some sort of checklist of things that might have woken him.

Dad? Nope.

Sammy and some stupid-ass teenage angst dream? Clear on that front, too.

Congestion? No, cough medicine still doing its job.

Pressing need to take a leak? The sound of rats scurrying about? Vengeful spirit standing over him, getting ready to smash his brains out? All negative.

Groaning, Dean mashes his face back into the rough linen of his pillow when holy crap, what's wrong with his eye?

Suddenly wide awake, he stumbles into the bathroom, punches the light switch several times and stares at his face in the dusty mirror.

Son of a…

His right eye is swollen shut. The skin surrounding it is an angry red and try as he might, he can't open it one inch. Like somebody wacked him across the face with a pool cue. He's pretty sure he didn't get wasted on the Delsym and get into a bar fight last night, though. And anyway, it might look like one hell of a shiner, but it sure doesn't feel like one. It just feels…bloated. Like his eyeball has become too big for its socket overnight. Dean scoots closer to the mirror and shit. Some sort of sticky, yellowish substance has glued his eyelashes together. His fingers ghost over the pasty crust and then it hits him.

Ghost.

Ectoplasm.

His eye has somehow been attacked by a ghost. It's turning into a ghost, maybe already is 100% ectoplasm. If he doesn't do something about it, it will probably spread. He should probably cut it out. And burn it. Well…just…fuck.

A few minutes later John walks in on his oldest clutching the bathroom sink with one sweaty, trembling hand, the other one shakily holding his twelve inch Bowie knife to his eye.

"What the…" He's too shocked to come up with an appropriately vulgar curse. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Some'in' cursed my eye. Need t' geddit out."

Right. That's Dean on drugs for you. Dean and cough syrup in all their Technicolor glory.

"Gimme that knife, buddy."

"You g'nna cuddit out for me? I c'n't do it."

"Sure. Just gimme the knife."

Thankfully, by the time Dean realizes that his knife is going into John's duffel bag and nowhere near his eye, Sam is up and between the two of them they manage to coax Dean back into his bed.

Human illness, they keep telling him. Mucus. Not ectoplasm.

Well, if his eye isn't cursed then what else happened to it?

Neither Sam nor John really have an answer for that. Allergic reaction is their best guess. John's gonna send Sam to the library as soon as it opens, to do some research on it and…

Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present 'Today's Sam Winchester Hissy Fit #1' on the subject of 'If you were anything near a decent father you would have spent less money on ammo and let me buy that laptop at that garage sale.'

Without Dean running interference it blows up pretty spectacularly and ends with Sam sulkily leafing through his biology textbook and John force feeding Dean instant chicken soup on the other end of the room.

The second the broken alarm clock on the nightstand announces 08:0-, Sam grabs the keys to the Impala and hurries off for the library.

John assures Dean that his brother left on foot and is most certainly not driving his beloved car.

By now the cough medicine is wearing off. Which unfortunately means the headache is getting worse, as are the sneezing and (obviously) coughing. But John will take that any day over thoughts of self mutilation.

"Stop that!" he slaps Dean's hand away from his eye for the third time in what can't have been more than thirty seconds.

"But it's itchy!" His twenty-one year old son manages to sound about five.

"Yeah, well suck it up."

Dean sucks it up. For about another thirty seconds. This time John doesn't let go of his wrist, pins it down on the mattress, when Dean's other hand starts sneaking up.

"Do you want me to cuff you to bed, goddamnit?"

"Huh, didn't think you'd swing that way."

They keep going like that for another hour until Sam comes back, clutching a bunch of print outs, announcing that Dean is suffering from bacterial conjunctivitis.

John's answer basically consists of "huh?" Dean manages to croak "try that again in English" around his sore throat.

"Bacterial conjunctivitis," Sam repeats, a smirk creeping onto his face. "More commonly referred to as 'pink eye'."

"Pi-? I've got something called pink eye? Pink? Aw, c'mon." John is fighting hard to keep his own smirk off his face at Dean's horrified whine. "That can't be a real thing. We're not gonna call it that. We'll call it the bacteria thing, right?"

John is quickly losing his battle.

"Yeah, you guys just keep laughing at me. I'll so get my revenge, next time I have to stitch you up." Dean shoots a series of furious glares at his family.

"Dude, I can't wait for your embroidery," Sam answers with a shit-eating grin. The pillow his brother tosses in his direction misses Sam's head by about a mile.

"Throwing like a girl, too."

"Dad!"

John ducks in time for the second pillow to hit the TV.

"Sam," he asks, before the urge to throw the pillow right back at his kid becomes overpowering. "What do we do now?"

The boy is clearly enjoying this rare instance where he has more knowledge than the two older hunters and them actually being interested in hearing it. Without once glancing down at the papers in his hands, Sam recites a few passages on how the bacterial infection that led to Dean's cold spread to his eye and how they can be sure it's not a viral infection instead.

"Sammy, that's so not what Dad asked you," Dean sighs, rolling his eyes. His head's hurting. He's allowed to be just a tiny bit pissy. "How do we get rid of it?"

"Well, we get you to an ophthalmologist."

Dean imagines that's some sort of fancy way of saying 'doctor that specializes in eyes'…sounds like an instrument of torture, though. He's about to say as much, but Dad and Sam have already moved on to…

Ladies and gentlemen, 'Today's Sam Winchester Hissy Fit #2'. It's a classic. You've probably heard it before, but you'll enjoy it. 'Normal parents think that getting their kids medical attention is more important than staying under the radar, because they could get busted for insurance fraud.' Ah, this one just never gets old.

Dean tries coughing pointedly. He's sick over here. Someone wanna pay attention to that? Anyone? No? What if he tries -

"Oh, for fuck's sake, stop scratching your eye!"

And scene.

Sam slumps down on the side of Dean's bed.

"I guess we could give you antibiotics," he huffs. "Though I have no idea how many or for how long. And we should try and get that mucus off."

Dean nods in agreement. As long as his eye hasn't been turned into ectoplasm he's willing to take whatever pills they can grab from the local pharmacy.

John returns to the bed, carrying a cup of lukewarm water and a towel and starts dabbing at Dean's eye. They wait for the water to soak through the dried up mucus and Dean starts whining that he wants his pillows back.

"You're a pain in the ass when you're sick, you know that?" Sam gripes while pushing the pillows behind his brother's head, helping him sit up.

Sam's right, of course. Dean is sick, but not sick enough to feel the need to hide it or man up about it or anything. Just miserable enough to want to share his unhappiness with as many people as possible.

"It's part of my charm."

"Being a pain in the ass is part of your charm?"

"Yup. Where'd you find all this crap on pink- …bacterial coninvi…that eye thing, anyway?"

"That new thing on the internet." Sam seems very enthusiastic about sharing his new geek find. "It's called Wikipedia."

Wiki what? Sounds bullshit to John.

He finally manages to pull the cloth away from Dean's eye and pry it open, scratching his calloused fingers all over the enflamed skin. He finds that he preferred it when the eye was closed. 'Pink eye' is obviously the wrong name for the kid's condition. 'Blood red eye' or 'rugaru eye' seem much more appropriate. He looks away and focuses and Sam instead.

"It's this really cool site, like a lexicon on the internet with…Stop. Scratching."

"But why?" Dean's back to being five.

"'Cause if you don't I'll cut off your fingers." And his brother sounds about thirty. "Look, you'll just get the infection into your other eye, do you want that?"

"…guess not."

"Or you'll get me sick."

Dean shoves his hands under his blanket.

"Good. Now we need to get you an eye patch."

And just like that Dean's compliant manner flies out the window.

"I'm not wearing an eye patch!"

His tone of voice suggests that Sam just asked him to eat some toe cheese.

Shaking his head, John starts rummaging through their first aid kit. Maybe he can craft a makeshift eye patch out of a couple of band-aids and some gauze, when, huh, look at that. There's an actual eye patch in that kit. Who knew…Anyway, the idea of covering up that blood red eye seems very appealing.

Sam shoves his papers into his brother's face. "Well, this says you need to wear one."

"Oh, if the internet says it, it must be true. Not wearin' it."

"But you're gonna develop photophobia!"

"You're gonna get photophobia."

"Dean, it's gonna hurt like hell, if you get light in it."

"At least I won't look like some pansy, pantyhose-wearing asshole with an unhealthy fixation on his parro – waaaAAAaah!"

Clamping his hand over his eye, Dean scoots back against the headboard, staring at his dad and that evil flashlight. That evil flashlight that he just pointed right at his eye. For no fucking reason.

"Jesus fucking Christ, what'd you do that for?"

John holds out his hand with the first aid eye patch.

"You're wearing an eye patch."

"Yes, sir."

He doesn't have to be happy about it though.

John waits for Sam to put the thing over his sulking brother's head, grumbles something about keeping the goddamn thing on or else and heads out to grab some antibiotics.

Sam tries to get Dean to choke down some more of the chemically enhanced sludge that some crazy person thought to label 'Chicken Broth' and Dean tries to blink in a manner that might rub his eye against the patch.

When Dad comes back he pushes a couple of pills into Dean's hand, makes sure he swallows them and then starts covering the bed in a jumble of the most amazing Chinese takeout foods ever. Which is awesome. And he's brought DVD's. The Black Corsair. And Captain Blood. And Muppet Treasure Island. And a couple other boxes with people wearing eye patches on the cover. Which is so not awesome…or even vaguely okay.

"Haha. Very funny, Dad. Really, you should be on Comedy Central."

By the time Sam puts in the second DVD, Dean is sitting on his hands to keep from ripping his eye out and rolling it around in some gravel. His head feels about ready to explode with all that stupid-ass congestion. His throat isn't doing all that great either, but Dad is adamant that he not take any more Delsym. He's all paranoid about it. Who cares if it made him a tiny bit drowsy? At least he could fucking breathe…

The common cold sucks.

Eyes suck!

"Hey Dad, you know what Dean should do on the weekend?"

"What?"

"Yarrrrdwork!"

Oh, yeah, that's right. Sam sucks too.

"Hey, Sammy, what's Dean's favorite mode of transportation?"

"What's that, Dad?"

"His carrrr!"

They both suck.

And now they're fist bumping. Honest to god fist bumping. It's like normally you can't leave these two alone in the same room without risking a bloodbath, but give them the common task of torturing Dean and they couldn't be better pals.

"What's Dean's favorite kind of music?"

"Will you stop it with the stupid fucking pirate jokes?"

"Aye aye, Cap'n."

They so suck.

"You guys suck."

Dean tries for an annoyed shout, but his voice is barely existent as it is and midway through 'suck' it disappears all together. Great. Thanks a lot, vocal chords, for making him sound like a hysteric thirteen-year old. If he could just get his hands on some of that cough medicine, maybe it would make him drowsy enough to tune out the mocking laughter and let him forget that itching in his eye and…itching. Damn, why did he have to remind himself of that?

"Alright, here's the deal." John can see the exhaustion taking over the kid's features again. "You take some of the Delsym and we'll let you sleep it off."

"Yes! Thank you!" Dean's relief is almost palpable.

John holds up his hand.

"Under a few conditions. One, no attacking yourself with any and all weaponry."

"Done."

"Two, you take that eye patch off, I'll kick your ass."

"Okay."

"Three, no climbing out the window and hoisting the Jolly Roger on the Impala."

"I'm not an idiot, you know."

Sam huffs his opinion on that and John gets up to pour ¼ of the recommended dosage into the syrup bottle's cap and hands it over.

"Do I need to wrap your hands in oven cloths or something?"

The grinded back "no, sir" sounds a lot less self assured than Dean would have liked. He's not gonna scratch his eye. He doesn't even want to scratch it, really. It's not itchy at all. Oh, who's he kidding? He'll just keep his hands under the covers…or lie on top of them or something.

He's still trying to come up with a comfortable position that puts no pressure on the right side of his face and doesn't aggravate his headache and keeps his hands pinned under him, when he feels the Delsym start to work its magic (¼ of what normal people take and it still knocks him on his ass. Something's seriously fucked up with his DNA.). The headache gets pushed back and all thoughts of grabbing his eye and throwing it against the nearest wall are drowned in a nice and cozy haze and from the other bed and a thousand miles away he can hear Sam challenge Dad to an egg roll duel and they both laugh and Dad runs a hand over Dean's head before he gets up to take Sam up on his challenge.

And maybe being sick doesn't suck so much after all.