Dean sat at the table near Sam's bed, his right elbow resting against the wooden surface. His forehead was nestled into his right hand as he bit his lower lip in thought. It had only been two months since Sammy had come back from the pit. They had taken jobs here and there and with the "Mother" being let out their world seemed to have turned upside down once again. His mind started racing, when had Sam even gotten sick? Dean hadn't noticed anything was wrong until he found his brother on the bathroom floor exactly four days before.
They had just finished a case in Colorado Springs where a group of teenage girls had been playing with witchcraft. Turns out the one of them had been into the black magics for quite sometime and Dean had to admit that she got them pretty bad. That was a little over a week ago. Now they were in Missouri there were rumors of a haunted Art Museum but Sam got sick just as things started to get interesting.
"Dean?" Sam's gruff voice sounded from beneath the blankets.
"Yea, Sammy?" Dean rushed to his brother's side.
"Dean, I'm freezing. Can you get me some more blankets?" Sam asked trying to burrow deeper into the mattress.
"You have a fever, Sam." Dean said, truth was Sam already had every blanket in the room covering him.
There wasn't a response from the younger Winchester because he had fallen back asleep. Dean was at a loss. Sam could barely stay awake for minutes at a time and his fever wasn't getting any better. Frustration settled in his gut and Dean felt helpless. He didn't know what to do and Cas had left promising to return but that had been hours ago. Dean recalled the conversation that he had with Cas the night before.
"Do you think that those Witches have something to do with Sam being sick?" Dean asked the angel hopefully. "You know how Witches can be, with all their spells and unsanitary practices." He swung his right arm in front of him while the other rubbed the back of his neck.
"It's a possibility. Although, I do not see how it is possible."Cas paced at the end of Sam's bed. His gaze falling on the younger Winchester with every turn.
"What else could it be, Cas?" Dean asked in desperation, wanting anything more than to avoid what was on the forefront of their minds.
"We have to consider that Sam has scratched the wall or in any case put some what of a dent in it." Cas said pausing in his pacing to look at Sam then back to Dean.
Presently, tears welled up in Dean's eyes just at the very thought. If Sam scratches the wall then everything they had worked for was for nothing. Then that means that Dean really had killed his brother, that means that he made a mistake. That means that he would be alone and that means he would never be able to face Cas or Bobby ever again. This was all his fault, he had to bring Sam back he couldn't just leave him in there with Michael and Lucifer. Falling to his knees by Sam's bed he buried his face in the blankets near his brother's shoulder.
"I'm so sorry, Sam. I've tried everything. I just don't know what to do." Dean's throat swelled with emotion as he spoke aloud to his unconscious brother.
Helplessness took over him and his frustration began to build. Taking a moment to compose himself Dean stood up and reached for his cell phone. There was no way he was going to let Sammy get any worse, so he made a phone call to the only person he knew that could actually help.
"Bobby, tell me. What do you know about fevers?" Dean asked turning away from his brother.
"Fevers? What about them?" Bobby's voice sounded over the phone.
"Well, how would you get rid of one?" Dean asked.
"Uh, well let's see. What I know is that a fever mainly goes away on its own but if your temperature gets too high they put you in an ice bath." Bobby answered. "Why do you need to know about fevers?" He persisted.
"Thanks Bobby. I'll call of I need your help." Dean said hanging up the phone.
Sam was drowning or he thought he was. It was hot and wet, his lungs burned like fire. He felt as if layer after layer of his skin was being slowly peeled off and he couldn't cry out it hurt to much. It was dark but he wasn't alone, there was somebody there with him or somebodies.
He was naked and the skin on his thighs was missing, he knew that much. He could open his eyes, he wasn't even sure he still had eyes. He remembered being here before, this wasn't knew. He'd been through this. It all felt too familiar.
Then a voice sounded out about that pain, it brought him out and forced him to focus. That's when he cried out in agony. A scream that seemed foreign to him, one that was horse and filled with so much vulgarity. He tried to listen to the voice surrounding him but he couldn't. All he could feel was his skinless thighs and empty eye sockets. He had no eyes, he was sure of that. He wasn't even sure if he still have arms or feet.
The voice grew louder, harsher. He heard his name, he swore he heard his name and it wasn't until something grabbed his arm that he realized he really had no skin at all. Something pulled at him, then a push and then he felt weightless.
Then nothing at all.
Dean grunted as he tried to haul his brother out of bed. The fact that Sam was much bigger than him wasn't helping and with all the dead weight this younger Winchester was twice as heavy. Sweat gathered at his brow at his efforts until suddenly the weight seemed to be lifted. Looking over Cas was on the other side of Sam helping Dean carry him into the cheap motel bathroom.
"What is the purpose of this?" Cas asked as they sat Sam down on the floor back against the bathtub and head rolling to his chest.
"His fever wont go away on it's own. I'm forcing it to." Dean answered as he began to rid his brother of his shirt.
Behind Sam the tub was filled nearly to the rim with water and ice. Castiel looked down at Dean who finished getting Sam's shirt off but decided to leave his pants on as he tried to lift his brother once again. With the help of Cas they were able to slow put Sam in the water. There was no change in his condition, at leas not immediately.
Give or take thirty seconds, according to Dean at least, Sam jumped in surprise at the sudden temperature change. He was no longer hot and he was no longer in pain, he was alive. Looking between Dean and Cas who each held the same looks of concern. His brow furrowed in confusion. Why was he here? He didn't understand.
"You're staying in there until your fever goes down. Cas and I have some...research to do." Dean said avoiding his brother's eyes for a split second.
"Dean is right. We must know what is making you so ill." Cas said with a nod of his head and an intense look at Sam.
"What are you talking about? There isn't anything wrong with me. I've had the flu. That's not a big deal." Sam argued splashing water as he gestured with his arms.
"Sam, you must listen when I tell you that you have no human disease. This goes far beyond anything I have ever encountered." Cas said.
"Listen to Cas, Sammy. He knows what he's talking about." Dean asked with pleading eyes. "Ten minutes then we'll get you out."
"Yea, alright. Ten minutes." Sam shrugged and Dean left the room.
"Sam, you have to know that I will do anything to cure you." Cas said kneeling down by the bathtub.
"I know that, Cas." Sam said not meeting the angel's eyes.
"I'm serious." Cas said with surety that made Sam look at him.
That's when Cas stood and planted a kiss on Sam's temple before leaving the room.