The rollercoaster that is Winchester Luck has one last has one last pukey plunge in store for the boys before the end of this particular thrill ride!
"Doin' good there Dean, huh?"
It was two days since Doctor Lawrence had encouraged his recovering patient to start getting out and about, and Dean was for once in his life enthusiastically following the doctor's advice, making the most of finally being free of IV lines, catheters and other attachments of varying degrees of inconvenience.
Running Sam ragged, he had explored the length and breadth of the hospital, making regular visits to the washrooms, the bookshop, the cafeteria and the gardens. Between them, Sam and Ross were having the devil's own job in rounding up the wandering Winchester and keeping him anywhere near his bed.
This particular morning, Ross walked in on Dean who was stood leaning on the windowsill and staring wistfully out of the window watching the world go by while Sam stewed angrily in the corner.
"Hey Ross," Dean grinned, "just takin' a look at the outside world, almost forgot what it looks like."
Ross raised his eyebrows at Sam's moody bitchface.
"Do I sense you two have had 'that' chat again, huh?" he asked.
Dean rolled his eyes; "yeah, I feel like a million friggin' dollars and Samantha Sadcase here still thinks I shouldn't leave the hospital."
"yeah, well Dean," Ross smiled, "I hate to break it to you, but Samantha's right."
Sam's head shot up; "see'" he snapped triumphantly, pointing at Ross, "SEE!"
"Jeez, I can't believe I've got you two friggin' mother hens cluckin' around after me." Dean huffed melodramatically, and glared at the smiling nurse, "I thought you were supposed to be my buddy Ross; back me up here."
Ross strolled over and gently patted Dean on the shoulder, "Dean, only a real buddy will tell you what you don't want to hear!"
Dean grunted his reluctant agreement.
"Now, I need to check your vitals, and if you behave, I'll tell you a secret!"
Dean looked up quizzically and flopped heavily on the end of the bed while the nurse carefully measured his pulse, blood pressure and temperature.
He jotted the notes on his clipboard. "Lookin' good," he muttered as he wrote.
"I know I am" Dean grinned.
Ross treated him to a theatrical frown; "don't you go teasing a man now; you might just end up regretting it, huh?" he warned wagging his finger in Dean's direction.
Dean sniggered, "don' swing that way, sorry dude!"
"Pity" sighed Ross.
"Hey you two, get a room;" Sam called from across the bed with a grimace.
The two men looked at each other and laughed.
"Anyway what's this secret?" asked Dean.
"Ah yeah," Ross slipped the clipboard back on the rack at the end of the bed; "if Lawrence is happy with your vital signs today, and I see no reason why he shouldn't be, he's going to let you go home tomorrow."
Dean's face lit up; "tomorrow, cool!" He hesitated, "not today?"
Ross rolled his eyes and looked in exasperation across at Sam who shrugged.
"Do I have to give you a shot of sedative to make you stay one more night, huh?" Ross scolded.
"'s'long as you don't tie me up."
Ross sighed again; "I should be so lucky, huh?"
Both men fell into uproarious laughter again. Sam wearily shook his head and couldn't help a smile as he watched the two men banter and backslap.
"Seriously though," Ross composed himself, "One more night of resting, taking it easy and looking after yourself. That's not too much to ask is it, huh?"
Dean huffed quietly.
"Because if I find you overdoing it and jeopardising your chances of getting out, I'm going to send the lovely nurse you saw while I was off, to come back and tuck you in, huh?.
Dean paled; "okay, I'll be good," he gulped in a small voice.
"She won't be comin' back anytime soon," Sam snorted, "I told her exactly what I thought of her!"
Ross grinned, "yeah I heard it … and I was twenty miles away at home at the time."
He gathered up his things, glancing across at Sam.
"Sam, you look exhausted" he smiled sympathetically; "try to get some rest, it's all over now, huh?"
Sam looked up with a forced smile, "I'm okay Ross, just got a damned headache."
"Take it easy, buddy, huh?" Ross smiled, patting Sam on the shoulder; he looked across at Dean with a menacing frown; "and you, trouble, you leave your brother alone; he needs some rest!"
Dean nodded obediently as Ross left the room.
"You okay dude?" He asked Sam, "you look like crap."
Sitting back on the chair, Sam leaned against the wall; "yeah, I'm fine, jus' tired."
Dean looked unconvinced.
"Look, man; I barely slept while you were bad; I guess now the pressure's off, it's just catching up with me."
Dean frowned and shuffled over; "why don't you get some shuteye on the bed?"
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Sam nodded. "I'll even ask Ross to come and give you a bed bath;" Dean added mischieviously.
Sam laughed as he lay down; "Sorry bro', It's you he digs, not me."
Lowering himself into the chair beside the bed, Dean picked up the magazine that Sam had bought him and scanned the room; "Damnit, Sammy, never did get my freakin' Oreos back!"
But his sleeping brother never heard him.
The big day had finally come with Lawrence giving his long awaited permission for Dean to leave, and he found himself stood impatiently in reception fidgeting wildly like a cat on hot bricks waiting for Sam to fetch the Impala.
He spun round when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
It was Ross.
"Didn't think you could escape without saying goodbye, huh?
"Hey dude, good to see you;" Dean grinned, "thanks for all your help, it's been great knowin' you."
Ross chuckled, "presumably that was after Sam managed to convince you that I wasn't going to molest you to within an inch of your life, huh?" He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Clearing his throat, Dean looked down at his feet, a faint blush colouring his cheeks, "uh, yeah … I kinda, um … sorry 'bout that!"
Ross laughed, "Just be thankful I'm already spoken for;" he grinned, "or I might not have tried so hard to control myself, huh?"
Dean snorted with laughter; "I must remember to meet your David and thank him!"
Strolling back through the door towards the two laughing men, Sam called to Dean; "your carriage awaits bro'."
Ross shook the brothers' hands warmly and handed Dean a slip of paper.
"My phone number," he said; "if you boys ever need any help, I remember Sam sayin' your job was dangerous, you just give me a call, huh?"
The brothers smiled; "thanks Ross, will do."
Turning smartly, they walked across the foyer, catching a last glimpse of their waving friend reflected in the glass door as it slid across in front of them. Sam could have sworn there was a hint of sadness behind the broad smile.
The Impala rolled to a halt in the car park of a fair to middling motel about thirty miles from the hospital.
Climbing out of the car, Dean paused, taking a long deep breath and relishing the refreshing breeze after the stifling heatwave and the hospital's stuffy atmosphere.
Wrapping an arm across his brother's back, Sam guided him toward the building; "We're stayin' here overnight, then I've arranged for us to go to Bobby's for a couple of weeks while you recuperate."
Dean huffed, but closed his mouth. Sam was still tired and irritable, and for once he thought better than to argue.
Unlocking a profoundly unattractive door to an equally uninspiring room, they bundled their duffels down in the corner and flopped on their respective beds.
Feels good to be outta hospital, huh,? Sam smiled, looking across at Dean.
"Oh, jeez, you've been listening to Ross too much, you're doing it now!" Dean groaned, lethargically pulling his socks off.
Sam grinned, scratching his head through a mop of comically messy hair; "gonna have a shower;" he sighed, "I didn't have the luxury of Ross giving me regular bed baths; I had to make do with a sink in the mens room; feel like I got cooties."
Dean cringed, "ew, too much information bro'; go an' get your stinky carcass in that shower," he rose from the bed with a grunt, "I'll make the coffee."
He padded barefoot across to the kitchenette as the bolt slid home on the bathroom door.
He was still stood by the counter waiting for the kettle to boil when the bolt slid back and Sam stumbled out of the bathroom; "Oh crap Dean;" he gasped in wild-eyed horror, "crap, crap, freakin' double crap!"
Dean glanced at Sam's spot-peppered chest and dropped the mug he was holding.
The two brothers stared at each other in silence until eventully Dean spoke.
"I thought you said …"
Sam miserably wrapped his arms across his chest as if hiding the spots would somehow make them disappear; "it said on the internet that in extremely rare cases it is possible for someone who already had it to get it again." He looked across at Dean, "but I figured, nah - even we couldn't be that unlucky…"
Dean groaned, he was already dialling the number.
"Hey, Ross … ?"