GIVING A DAMN

A brief diversion from my current project ...

Written for the 'Again But With More Colds' Meme over on Lj. This plumbs whole new depths of soppy schmoopiness and proves beyond all reasonable doubt that I am a hopelessly irredeemable sap.

Dean is the most congested human being on the planet; Sam, a towel and bowl of steam will hopefully make him feel better.

Disclaimer: Don't own, wish I did, yada yada ... depressing.

xxxxx

Sam knew exactly what was coming; the early signs were always the same; tiny, imperceptible changes; the sort of things that only Sam would notice.

First of all, there was the running. Despite Sam's long, loping gait, Dean, with stocky powerhouse legs pumping like pistons, could outrun him with ease. What Dean did not do was rock up at a laboured trot, two minutes after Sam, face glistening with perspiration and blowing like a Kentucky Derby winner.

Then there was the snoring. Sam would never say it out loud because he rather liked being alive, but he thought Dean's snores were kinda cute. Soft, rhythmic snuffles which sounded like a sniffy sigh if he was on his back, or a muffled huff if he was on his belly. Sam knew that whenever their volume increased, then trouble was looming.

When it got the point that Dean sounded like a rutting elk and Sam had to cream him with his pillow to get some sleep, Sam was breaking out the Tylenol and running for cover.

There were other signs; the flushed face, the surreptitious pinching of the bridge of the nose, the sneaky knuckling of the chest and the sly pill popping when Dean thought Sam wasn't looking.

It was quite pathetic really; even after all these years Dean still hadn't grasped the fact that Sam had eyes in his ass when it came to his brother's welfare.

Which was good really, because Dean didn't seem to give a damn about it.

xxxxx

Beaten down by Sam's incessant nagging, pleading and threatening, Dean finally, and very grudgingly, accepted that as he was currently in worse shape than a lot of the cadavers they exhumed, he would do well to sit out the next couple of days and rest up.

Thus it was that Sam found himself holed up in Room 7 of the Goodnite Motel, with the most congested human being who had ever lived, a pitiful drippy creature, snuffling, coughing, and generally making the sort of disturbing noises that Sam would more generally associate with faulty plumbing than a living person.

xxxxx

Stumbling across the parking lot, laden down with groceries and pizza, Sam fumbled clumsily in his jacket pocket for the room's key. As he opened the door, he staggered backwards, a pungent miasma of menthol and eucalyptus with the faintest undertones of coffee and stale sweat hitting him like a freight train.

"What the …?"

Wiping his stinging, watering eyes, Sam squinted across the room through a swirling fog of steam to see a figure hunched wearily across the table, a threadbare grey towel hanging limply over it's head.

"Dean?"

"Gnuh?"

"What you doin'?"

Dean folded the towel back across his shoulders with shaking hands and looked up at Sam, blinking, wet-eyed through the drifting mist, his face, flushed and beaded with moisture from the steaming bowl in front of him, sported a vacantly endearing curiosity.

"S'at a trick questiod *snuck* or whad?"

As he spoke, his attempted smirk faded droopily, eyes drifting softly out of focus, and he loosed a ragged cough from deep within his chest, grimacing as a dewdrop dripped off the end of his nose into the bowl with a delicate 'plip'.

Scratching his comically tousled head, he blinked again to dislodge a bead of moisture that clung to his lashes, and scrunched his raw, inflamed nose to suck in a wet sniff. His misery was utterly, heartbreakingly palpable.

"Feel like crap Sabby …" the mumbled words were accompanied by Dean's 'kicked puppy' face; not the ordinary 'kicked puppy' face, but the 'kicked and then abandoned starving by a roadside on a winters night' puppy face.

Sam's face fell into a soppily sympathetic smile at the sight.

xxxxx

Only three days ago Dean had been battling obstinately against his own weakening body, refusing to entertain the notion of resting until a particularly nasty poltergeist they had been tracking was dealt with. The skanky spirit was gone, the family it had been persecuting finally had peace.

Two days before that, Dean had thrown himself bodily between Sam and a charging black dog. He still bore the grazes on his forearms from that little stunt, but he didn't care, his brother was safe.

In fact, the only person Dean hadn't been giving a damn about was, well, Dean.

Dumping the groceries on his bed, Sam walked over to the shivering heap that was his brother, gently pulling the towel back over his head; "I'm putting that face away;" he joked softly as Dean bent back down over the bowl, "it's scaring the children!"

"B-bide me bitch," the response was a muffled croak, punctuated by an abrupt barking cough.

Sam squeezed Dean's shoulder, smiling as soft moan rattled in Dean's throat.

Moving his hand to lay flat across Dean's back, he traced the ridges of Dean's spine and the shuddering swell of his ribs through the sweat-soaked fabric of his T shirt as his hand rubbed soft circles of soothing care across the muscular landscape beneath them; a gentle, comforting presence to reassure Dean that he was here, helping; healing; caring.

"Big girl," Dean grunted wetly, closing his eyes and canting his head against Sam's arm.

Sam smiled as his hand drifted up to cradle Dean's hot, damp nape.

He could give enough of a damn about Dean for both of them.

xxxxx

end