Count On It

By Carol M

Summary: Dean tries to hide the fact that he's hurt coming off a hunt when he shows up at Lisa's for Ben's birthday…takes place in season six between Two and a Half Men and Live Free or Twihard…Dean/Lisa h/c

Spoilers: This takes place during that timeframe early in season six when Dean and Lisa were trying to make it work with Dean hunting and Dean would stop in to see Lisa and Ben when he could

Disclaimer: Don't own them, only love them

Note: This comes from the writing between the lines challenge at hoodie time…the prompt was these lines by Maypoles…

Thanks to Maypoles for the inspiration! Hope you enjoy!

When Dean saw the birthday balloons tied to the mailbox and Lisa waiting for him in the driveway, the pounding ache at the back of his head disappeared, his back muscles unclenched and the throb of his busted ribs eased up just a notch.

He almost hadn't made it for Ben's birthday. He and Sam had been working on a case involving a nasty poltergeist working over the brothers in a frat house and they had just managed to exterminate the nasty only hours earlier. But not before Dean had taken a fraternity paddle to the ribs and was then tossed into a brick wall, leaving him with a knot on the back of his head and a wrench in his lower back.

But Lisa didn't have to know that. None of the injuries were visible and he didn't want to do anything to ruin Ben's birthday. So he swallowed down the pain, weariness and nausea he'd been battling the whole drive over, snatched the unwrapped model car off the passenger's seat and slowly rolled himself out of the car.

"You made it!" Lisa smiled and pulled him into a hug. He gritted his teeth as her hands wrapped exactly over the bad spot on his back, causing it to pulse with sharp pain.

"Told you I would," he responded a little breathlessly, nonchalantly pulling her hands off of him and wrapping his arms around her instead, caressing her body.

Her hand wandered up to the back of his head and he stiffened as she brushed the knot, letting out a small gasp as dizziness overtook him.

Lisa pulled out of his grasp, cocking an eyebrow at him. "You okay?"

He took as deep a breath as his aching ribs would allow to center himself and then going for distraction, leaned down, brushing his lips softly against hers. "Missed you."

She pulled back moments later, her face dreamy, her concern forgotten. "Ben's in the back. He's going to be so excited to see you. I didn't tell him you were coming…just in case…you know."

"Yeah," Dean said, nodding. "I wouldn't have missed it though." He held up the model car. "I didn't have a chance to wrap it."

Lisa laughed and led him towards the backyard. "It doesn't matter. He's gonna love it."

It seemed the whole neighborhood was in the backyard. The guys were at the barbecue cooking and drinking beer, the ladies were at some tables gossiping and setting out food and the kids were on the porch playing some sort of video game where the player had to match the dance moves of the character on the screen.

Ben saw Dean mid dance step and instantly abandoned the game, tearing off the porch towards him and Lisa. "Dean!" Ben screamed with excitement and once again, Dean's aches and pains seemed to quiet. That was until Ben slammed into him for a hug, Ben's head smacking directly into his ribs. Pain exploded in his side like a bomb had gone off and he was unable to stop a weak grunt of pain from escaping his lips.

"Dean, you okay?" Lisa asked.

When he didn't, or more accurately, couldn't answer, Lisa realized what was going on and swiftly eased Ben off of Dean, handing Ben the model car. "Look what Dean got you."

"Wow! Thanks Dean!" Ben exclaimed.

"Go show your friends, honey," Lisa urged.

"But I want Dean…"

"Dean'll be right there, sweetie. He and I just need to take care of a few things and then he'll be over, okay."

"Yeah, man," Dean managed, giving him a weak wave. "Be right there.

Ben gave Lisa and Dean a funny look and then shrugged, anxious to get back to the party. "Okay," he said and then dashed back over to the porch.

As soon as Ben was gone, Dean collapsed in on himself, wrapping an arm around his middle, breathing through his nose. The pain in his ribs had set off a fierce roil of nausea through his gut and he was struggling not to puke all over the grass.

"What is it?" Lisa asked in concern, her hands coming up to tentatively palm at his chest and waist.

He tried to answer, but the war against the nausea increased by about twenty notches and he knew he was going to be sick. "I'm gonna…gonna throw up," he managed, gagging as he hurriedly moved out of eyesight of the party quests.

"Dean, what…"

All at once he was throwing up into the bushes while Lisa inexplicably stood by him with a hand soft and sweet at the small of his back, not going anywhere. An immovable object.

Lisa's hand remained at his back as his gut throbbed, upchuck after upchuck coming up, the sensation doing a doozy on his head and back too. By the time he was done, he was one big ache from head to toe and he felt weak and shaky.

But still, her hand was there, holding him up, comforting him. It felt good, having that support there, knowing he could fall apart for a second and that she'd be there to pick him back up. It reminded him of the year they'd spent together and of the life and bond they had created with each other. He didn't realize how much he missed it until he felt her hand softly rubbing circles against his achy back.

"Easy," Lisa comforted, curling her arm around him as he finally stopped heaving. "Let's get you inside."

"M'sorry, Lis," Dean muttered, too weak to fight off her help. "I didn't want to bring this stuff home to you guys."

"It's part of your life, Dean. Maybe not the best part, but still, it's a part. If we're gonna do this, then I'm just gonna have to deal with it."

"You shouldn't have to," Dean whispered, swallowing against another wave of nausea.

"We're in this together, remember?" She got him in the bedroom and settled him down on the bed. "What are we dealing with?"

Dean clenched his jaw and then hesitantly rucked up his shirt, revealing his bruised ribs.

Lisa inhaled sharply. "Jesus, Dean."

"Still want to deal with this?"

"Where else are you hurt?"

"Nowhere."

"Dean," she warned, giving him the same disapproving mommy look she sometimes gave Ben that always got the kid spilling his guts.

"My head and my back," he answered, suddenly exhausted. He mashed his head deep against the pillow and let his eyes drift shut for a moment against the weakness and pain.

When he next opened his eyes, he realized that he must have spaced out for a few minutes because he felt some kind of heated salve on his ribs and ice on his back. Lisa was fingering the knot on the back of his head.

"Hmmmm," Dean groaned, still feeling dizzy.

Lisa let go of his head and ran a caressing hand across his cheek. "You're okay, Dean. Just go to sleep."

"Tell Ben m'sorry," he slurred. "Hmmm…make it up to him." He felt her remove his boots and then tuck the comforter around him.

"Shhh. I've got you, Dean. I've got you," he heard Lisa whisper and his aches and pains softened as he floated into oblivion.

That's All Folks!