This story is an extension of a little one-shot I posted about a hundred years ago; and looking back, I always felt that it deserved little bit more attention … that's Dizzo speak for 'I needed to spend much longer pummelling and humiliating our lovely boy'.
So, here we go ...
It's hot, oh boy, it's hot. Those boys are fractious, and Dean's got an itch ...
Disclaimer: I think it's fairly obvious by now that I don't own them :(
The suffocating heatwave was entering it's third week.
Day after day, the sun bled it's relentless, vermillion path across the sky, leaving the southern three quarters of the United States simmering helplessly under the oppressive, choking heat; wilting just a little bit more with each passing day.
Newspaper headlines screamed 'Hottest Day in Living Memory', and 'No End In Sight,' but the clammy, limp-haired population was just too exhausted and torpid to bother reading them as life slowly ground to a halt in the stifling heat which bore down day after day, heavier and hotter. Families retreated indoors, panting dogs sprawled on shrivelled, sun-scorched lawns, and even the birds were too heat-dazed to sing.
Cutting through the airless furnace like a bullet, a sleek black car roared along a deserted strip of shimmering, half-melted asphalt, seemingly untroubled by the sweltering paralysis around her.
By contrast, the frosty chill permeating her smart leather-clad interior would have made an Eskimo shiver.
Pointedly ignoring each other, insofar as that is possible when you're sitting eighteen inches apart, her two cranky occupants sat stewing moodily, glaring intently through the windscreen, their respective jaws set in matching stubborn grimaces.
"Dean, I am not bustin;' my ass to find us a hunt in Alaska." Sam suddenly snapped, "just because His Precious Lordship of the Sweaty Butt-Cheeks is a bit warm." He folded his arms across his chest in a gesture which matched his scowl perfectly.
Dean let out a petulant huff, blinking to clear his vision as he rubbed a sweaty palm over his glistening neck. "Well, ain't you a ray of friggin' sunshine?" he snorted, "what bug crawled up your pansy-ass an' died?"
"We're all hot, so just quit your moanin'," Sam spat back.
"I'm not moanin'," Dean snorted, "I'm sick of listening to your whinin'."
He effected an effeminate voice, "I'm hot; I'm sweaty; Ive gotta moisturise; shut the window, it's messin' my hair up …"
Sam closed his eyes and leaned back, scrubbing a clammy hand through his damp hair. His sense of humour had evaporated along with the beads of sweat on his forehead, and it was only the fact that Dean was driving the swiftly moving vehicle that he was currently sitting in that was stopping him from smacking his obnoxious brother into the middle of next week.
Over the last few days, the Winchesters had narrowly avoided coming to blows on more than one occasion. Tempers had flared regularly in the blazing heat and Dean's 'be as annoying as humanly possible' gene had kicked in impressively.
Taking a deep breath, Sam knew he was taking his life into his hands, and hesitated before speaking; "an' anyway, I don't think we should be thinking about long journeys; I think you're …"
"Don't go there …" Dean interrupted, an edge of menace in his voice.
Sam knew his creeping concern, initially voiced a couple of days ago, was the thing that had set off all the escalating exchanges of sulky bickering. Not to be deterred, however, he tried again, "I think you're coming down with something."
The suspicion had been there for a while now; the slightly glassy look in Dean's eyes, the throat rubbing, the laboured huffing and sighing, the short temper. Sam knew that the heat was inclined to make Dean irritable, but this Dean was beyond irritable; he was bristling with belligerence; a walking affray waiting to happen.
"You're talkin' crap," was the measured response.
"You look a bit flushed."
Dean's eyes never left the road. "I look a bit flushed, Einstein, because it's, like, about a zillion degrees out there."
Sam shook his head, "no it's more than that;" he continued, "we're both hot and bothered but you look like you've just walked out of a sauna."
"I've seen you swallowing aspirins like there's no tomorrow."
"Yeah, well, this friggin' heat makes my head ache."
Sam took his chance; "all the more reason why we should rest up for a couple of days."
Dean huffed theatrically, and scratched his head.
"Jeez, if it'll keep you quiet," Dean groaned irritably, "still don' see why we can' go to Alaska," he added in a quiet grumble. As he spoke, he leaned forward, snaking an arm round to scratch his back through the clinging, soaked fabric of his t-shirt.
Sam took a deep breath; "I reckon we should just hole up somewhere with air conditioning for a few days, then at least we can be comfortable." He sighed, choking wetly on the sticky air; "we might even get through this hot spell without killin' each other."
Dean grunted; "why, what you planning on doing - stabbing me with your mascara brush?"
There was a brief silence punctuated by a laboured huff as he raised his arm and scratched his armpit lavishly.
"Dean!" Sam grimaced in disgust, "give it a rest with the scratching already, that's disgusting. What are you, a friggin' chimp?"
"Crappy damn weather," snapped Dean, "reckon I got a prickly heat rash." His hand strayed towards his sweat-soaked back again, "an' I think I've scratched my freakin' back raw. Firs' thing I'm gonna do when we find a friggin' room is have a cool shower."
It was another hot and bothered hour of driving and fighting over whether the windows should be open or closed, before the Impala pulled over.
The Winchesters leaned over each other peering through the passenger window up at the grey, uninspiring building that loomed alongside them. In underwhelmed silence, they scanned the high grey walls and grimy windows, but through the lingering heat haze both brothers faces twitched into a strained smile as they read the magic words; 'Air Conditioning in Every Room'.
Sam closed his eyes and tried so hard to ignore Dean rooting furiously in his armpit again.
In room 14 of the Roadrunner Motel, Sam lay on his bed, and allowed his eyes to drift out of focus as he stared at cobwebs on the ceiling. He was simply too drained to move. The simple act of carrying his duffel from the car, walking into the room and pulling his boots off had left him feeling like he'd never walk again.
The air conditioning which had been so optimistically promised on the sign outside turned out to be an ancient unit which appeared to have struggled through one hot Summer too many. It rattled and clanked, switching between a soporific drone and a strained whine, shuddering as it belched out sporadic bursts of cool air across the room.
From underneath now closed eyelids, Sam could hear Dean muttering angrily to himself as he sat on the side of his bed and clumsily yanked his rank, sweat-soaked T shirt off over his head, throwing it to the floor with a wet splat.
He hoped and prayed that there was a decent shower because, after the disappointment of the feeble air conditioner, Dean's mood was growing blacker with each passing moment, and a puny shower? Sam didn't even want to think of the consequences.
He cracked open one eye, looking up from his pillow to see Dean padding barefoot past his bed, "goin' for a shower; he grunted sourly.
Nodding limply, Sam glanced up and blinked as something caught his eye.
"Dean," he called.
"What?" The response echoed gruffly from within the bathroom.
"C'mere," Sam shuffled off the end of the bed, "just wanna check something."
Dean stomped back out of the bathroom, huffily buttoning his jeans back up; "the hell, dude? I'm hot, wan' my friggin' shower!"
Sam grabbed Dean by the shoulders and spun him round, ignoring his brother's outraged squawk.
"Dean, since when have you had a spotty back?"
Dean turned, a look of outrage on his face, "uh, since never …" he snapped.
Sam bent down to look again, trying to hold his squirming brother still as he leaned in closer, wincing at how raw Dean's skin looked after all his scratching. There was definitely a scattering of inflamed, crimson spots between Dean's shoulder blades.
"Dean… you've got spots all over your back!" Sam muttered quietly.
"What the hell are you talkin' abou … GYUH!"
Dean gasped as Sam spun him round again. A cursory inspection of his chest revealed that it was, so far at least, spot-free, but if Dean was shocked at that, it was nothing to his reaction when Sam, thinking back to his journey in the Impala next to an armpit-exploring brother, tugged up his arm and grimaced when he saw a cluster of angry, weeping spots nestling there.
"Dean pulled his arm away with a yelp, stumbling backwards as he did so. "What the hell?" He wrapped his arms defensively around himself, "will you quit pawin' me about?"
It all fell into place; the headaches, the irritability, the sore throat, the temperature, and now … the spots.
Sam sighed deeply and scraped and hand over his sweat-slicked brow, looking at his huddled brother's furiously wide-eyed face with a weak smile.
"Dude;" he groaned weakly, "you've got chickenpox!"