Summary: Watching Sam suffer with a debilitating migraine brings up bad memories for Dean and unresolved issues between the brothers. Sick!Sam Worried!Dean. Brotherly angst. Set in S1 after 1:12 "Faith". #2 in the Bicycle Verse.
A/N: The response to my one shot, "Like Riding A Bicycle" was so amazing that I decided to write a few more stories in "The Bicycle Verse". All these fics will be set in Season One and they'll deal with long buried hurts and current conflicts as Sam and Dean struggle to reconnect following their reunion.
A/N:This is for everyone who read, reviewed and favourited "Like Riding A Bicycle" and for Kathryn Marie Black who got this whole thing started. Here's more Sick!Sam for all of you.
A/N: Anyone who's read any of my fics knows this part by heart: Thanks, as always, to the World's Best Beta, Ericka Jane. The fastest gun in the West!
After more than twenty years of playing nursemaid, Dean Winchester could handle any of his brother's illnesses. That is, everything except the fever migraines that reduced Sam to a shivering, pain-riddled, zombie.
A few weeks had passed since Dean's electrocution, their subsequent encounter with the faith healer, and the nasty run-in with the reaper. It had been a near-miss of epic proportions but Dean had put the whole harrowing episode behind him, and now he felt better than ever. The only problem was that his little brother was looking like he was the one who'd had the intimate encounter with the high voltage weapon.
Dean had been flying down a back road, pushing the Impala to her limit, savouring the thrill of speed and the interplay with his favourite girl, when he'd glanced over at the passenger seat and got the first hint that there was trouble. Sam was slumped against the door, covering his eyes with his hands and pillowing his head with a jacket.
Without a word of complaint from his brother, Dean instantly recognised the signs of the onset of a migraine. Less than an hour later, they were booked into a motel room and Dean had Sam safely tucked into bed with the blinds closed, and the air conditioning on full blast. He tried not to be too alarmed when he saw his little brother practically curl into a foetal position.
"Hey," Dean whispered stooping down at the side of Sam's bed and placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Please tell me you have prescription meds for that head of yours."
"Hasn't been this bad in ages," Sam barely muttered covering his eyes against the faint strains of light that stole through the blinds.
"Come on, Sammy," Dean barely managed to keep from raising his voice knowing that practically any sound would turn a notch up on his brother's agony. "You know it doesn't matter how long it takes in between, when a migraine hits you it can take you out completely. You always gotta have your stash with you."
Sam exhaled agonisingly. "I lost it in the fire," he admitted.
The rest of the rebuke died on Dean's lips.
"O.K., hold still," Dean raised himself up and sat on the bed.
"Dean, don't," Sam protested weakly.
"It'll take the edge off Sam, it always does, even if it hurts at first."
Sam sighed in compliance and Dean pressed his thumbs to his brother's temples then began kneading slowly and deeply. Dean swallowed hard when he felt Sam flinch and heard him gasp softly, but he didn't stop.
"I'm sorry, Sammy, just bear it a little longer," he whispered soothingly hoping the pressure on his brother's temples would at least distract him from the pain tearing through the rest of his head.
When Dean heard Sam exhale without any sounds of agony, he reached around to the base of his brother's head and applied the same deep, circular motion.
"Better?" Dean asked, after several minutes of treatment.
The answer was a barely audible mutter but there was no sound of protest, and that was good enough for Dean.
"Be back in a second," he said and used a small flashlight to find the restroom in the darkness. "Take these," he instructed softly when he returned to Sam's bedside. "Come on, Sammy" he prodded gently when his brother wouldn't budge. "Sit up."
Eventually he practically had to lift Sam up into a sitting position so he could feed him the meds.
"What is it?" Sam asked accepting what felt like a handful of tablets.
"Lots of Ibuprofen and some night-time antihistamines," Dean answered, tipping a glass of water to Sam's lips. "Now drink this," he said proffering another glass, this one with a heavy serving of whiskey.
"Dean," Sam gagged recognising the liquid as it burned his throat.
"If that doesn't kill the pain it will at least knock you out," Dean whispered settling Sam back down against his pillows. "Either way, you can thank me in the morning."
Morning however, brought no relief for Sam.
Although Dean's cocktail put him under for several hours he woke up feeling worse than ever. Dean grew increasingly alarmed when Sam began to shiver visibly. He killed the air conditioning and covered Sam with additional layers of blankets, but the effort brought no relief.
When a barely audible Sam started to complain about body aches and pains, Dean was on the verge of a full-fledged freak out. He had never done well when he had to see his brother in any kind of discomfort, but what had him really anxious now was the way Sam had become almost completely unresponsive under the weight of all the pain. He had only seen his brother like this on two previous occasions. Neither had been good, but the last time had been particularly catastrophic.
Every time Sam tried to lift his head, he was seared by a stab of agonising pain, and the room spun around. Eventually, he gave up. For the last two days his body had made it clear it had no intention of cooperating with any of his demands, so he cancelled all requests. It was easier to just switch off, shut down and hope and pray for the debilitating agony to end.
In the midst of his pain and confusion he knew Dean was close by trying to make it better, and reassuring him that everything would be alright. Sam couldn't think of a time when he had ever been more grateful for his big brother's care. It never ceased to amaze him how his tougher than nails sibling became such a big softie when Sam was hurt or sick.
When he thought of all the things he had lost in the great Palo Alto fire, his migraine medicine had been the least of his concerns, until now. Lucky for Sam, his big brother had always been very creative about developing home remedies; and a makeshift, pain-relieving sedative had quickly emerged. The temple massage was another Dean Winchester invention. He had come up with that one, several years before, on a desperate winter night when they had been snowed in at a motel and Sam's head had been on the verge of an explosion.
As always, more than anything Dean did, his presence was what provided the most comfort. And as soon as Sam pulled out of the dense fog of pain and was able to sustain a sensible conversation, he planned to tell him. But for now, he could barely manage one word responses and so he had practically stopped talking.
Worse that the unrelenting pain that had taken over his body was the disconcerting anxiety deep in his gut. It was a feeling that was hauntingly familiar. It was a disturbing sensation that he could recall experiencing only two times before and on both occasions – like now – he had been sick to the point of resignation. And both occurrences had been episodes he wished he could forget.
TO BE CONTINUED