A/N: Does everybody know about the fever meme happening on LJ right now, at Hoodie Time? Come plaaaay!
"Mind the Gap"
Dean hasn't got out of bed in two days and two nights when Castiel shows up.
Sam's doing push-ups on the motel room floor, and the puff of air over his bare back is what clues him in. He looks up as Dean's big yellow notepad on the desk stops rustling, as the curtains sway gently over a closed window.
Cas is standing over the bed, the bed where Dean is lying. "Hello, Sam," the angel says, without looking up, and he squats down so he's eye level with Dean, except Dean's eyes are closed, Dean hasn't opened his eyes since last night.
"Cas." Sam stands, towels himself off. "What's up?"
The angel does look, then, and the cold blue of his eyes makes the hairs on Sam's arms stand up. "Your brother is ill."
"Yeah." Sam sniffs, drags on a shirt.
Cas looks at him a moment longer, then reaches out a hand to Dean's head. "He prayed to me."
"Oh." Sam cocks his head. "He's not... Is he gonna make it?"
"Yes." Castiel strokes over Dean's hair, touches his grey face. "No thanks to you."
"Hey, I didn't do anything to him."
"No. Indeed, you did not." Dean takes a heavy breath, rolls toward the angel. It's the most he's moved in hours.
"Well, good thing you showed up when you did. He looks better already."
Cas glances at him, straightens and takes off his coat. He drops it onto Sam's bed. "You can stay."
Sam knows he's done this before. Castiel is feeding soup to Dean out of a mug, lifting each spoonful and blowing on it and then tipping it to Dean's pale lips. Dean's spilling most of it onto his dirty black T-shirt and Castiel is mopping gently at his chest with a cloth, stirring the cup and lifting out more broth. Dean starts coughing and the angel rubs his shoulder, brushes stringy hair back from his face.
"He doesn't sound too good," Sam observes.
"No," Cas agrees. "There is a great deal of congestion in his lungs."
"He's sounded like that before."
"Humans are unfortunately susceptible to illness. It's a wonder anything gets accomplished."
Sam remembers the wide, shallow spoon, the blue tin cup. "I fed him then."
"That was merciful of you, Sam."
Sam picks up a book and reads.
"No," Dean groans, pawing at the blankets. Cas peels them off for him, one at a time. "I can't... Don't make me..."
Castiel brushes at Dean's cheeks with a wet cloth, wipes at his brow, his exposed throat. He lays his palm on Dean's head again and closes his eyes.
A tear runs down Dean's cheek. He goes quiet.
Sam thinks of migraines and Dean's big warm hands. He knows he liked Dean's ministrations, but they didn't cure the headaches and the headaches didn't kill him. He can't for the life of him explain why anybody did anything at all about the migraines, when they were just going to pass.
"Hey," Sam smiles when Dean opens clear green eyes. "You're awake."
Dean sniffles, lifts his head to scan the room. "Cas here?"
"Nope." Sam pats Dean's shoulder, runs a hand experimentally through his greasy hair. "It's just you and me."
"I dreamed..." Dean frowns at Sam. "Did somebody feed me?"
"Wasn't gonna let you starve, was I?"
Dean settles back against the pillows. "Apparently not."
"You got half of it on your shirt. You don't remember?"
"No." He pinches the bridge of his nose. "Thanks for doing that."
Sam tucks the blankets up to Dean's chin. "Anytime, bro."
Prompt: Dean has a wretched fever - chills alternating with cold sweats, bad dreams, dehydration, the works. Robo!Sam isn't exactly the source of great comfort or compassion. Cas picks up the slack. I'd really love Robo!Sam trying to process Cas physically soothing/comforting Dean, knowing that memories of such things are in his own head (giving and receiving) and trying to work it out in his head. He can't. He doesn't give a damn, which sucks because Dean needs him.
"I'll Sneeze You"
"Not hungry, huh?" Sam spears three hash browns on his fork and shoves them into his disgustingly healthy mouth. He chews and swallows and dimples appear in his appallingly rosy cheeks.
"I'm hungry." Dean glares at the jiggly eggs on his plate and wonders what he was thinking. "I could eat a h-hhh-... EH-hhhh... hh-KSHSSH!"
"You could eat a sneeze?"
"A horse. Shut up. I'll sneeze you." Dean jams two fingers under his nose and struggles to steady out his breath. "Oh damnit... hh-HH-HRSHSHHH!"
"Okay." Sam sucks down the last of his juice, claps his hands together and rubs them mildly. "So did you want that to go, or...?"
Dean blows his nose in a handful of napkins, tosses it on the eggs.
"You say something?"
"Ohh, more sneezing. Huh. Well, good thing it's only a cold. You'll probably be fine by tomorrow."
"We could pick up some vitamins but I guess it'd be a waste."
A shadow falls across Dean's eyelids. "Rise and shine, little guy."
"There's work to do."
Dean fumbles for his six hundredth tissue, squints at Sam's silhouette. "'Little guy?'"
"People to meet, things to kill."
"Bring me coffee. Hih-HISHSH!"
"A cold never keeps someone in bed, Dean."
Spots wash out the room and dissipate. Dean swallows, palms his face. "Oh god."
"You look a bit flushed."
"I hate you."
"Say it and I'll give you medicine."
Dean face plants on the way to his duffel bag.
He clacks out Metallica on the thermometer with his teeth, massaging his itchy nose.
"You feeling any better?" Sam calls from the kitchen.
"Hot chocolate's almost ready."
Sam approaches, forehead creased with concern. "Dean?"
The thermometer rockets into his eye.
It's everything Dean wanted.
Prompt: Dean thinks it's a cold – granted, the worst, sneeziest cold of his life - but still just a cold. Sam thinks Dean has the flu, at least. Maybe something worse. Sam is right. Sam is always right about these things, goddamn it.
"A day for every French fry you ate?"
"Crazy bitch thought they were hers."
"You did intercept the waitress."
"I was hungry! And adorable. Is it my fault Cheron took pity?"
Sam shakes down the thermometer, holds it out to Dean. "Here. Let's get a starting point."
Dean shivers in his hoodie, wipes a hand down his face. "Yes, nurse."
In the motel parking lot Sam watches Dean dig irritably through the trunk of the car. A squirrel scampers across the stretch of concrete. There's not a tree in sight.
"What are you looking for?"
Dean tosses down a case of silver bullets in frustration. He sighs. "I got no friggin' clue."
"It's high today."
Dean sniffles in bed, red-faced.
Sam strokes back his hair, damp and soft like milkweed. "Porky's 2?"
Dean slouches at the picnic table. The sweater Sam bought him's zipped up to his lips.
"Hey," Sam frowns, spreading open his book. "Where's your drink?"
"I thought you were always gonna have a drink."
Dean rubs his ear. The dark grey wool makes him look bone white. "Oh yeah."
Dean's in the cereal aisle, gazing at the array of boxes like it's a message from outer space.
Sam wheels their cart up next to him, scans the display. "There's so many to choose from."
Dean looks at him dizzily.
"Got a favorite?"
Dean's nostrils flare wide. He crunches forward in a sneeze.
Sam picks up a box of Corn Pops. "You like these. Want these?"
Dean buries his face in Sam's chest. Sam cups his burning neck.
"How many days left?" Sam checks the rearview mirror. "Six."
Dean shifts in his peripheral vision. "I thought eight."
"No, man." Sam glances over, squeezes his hot shoulder. "Almost there."
Dean huffs and twitches in his sleep. The springs squeak under him like panicked birds. Sam lies down beside him, drapes a gentle arm across his chest.
In the morning Dean emerges from a cocoon of soaked sheets, cool and radiant.
Prompt: Dean is cursed with some kind of fever-producing illness he will have to suffer through for a prolonged period of time – at least several months. Woozy never-ending feverishness and protective!worried!Sam, mmm. Sam/Dean or Sam, Dean: gen.