Prompt: Well hey, feverish Sam, whatcha doing? What's that? You're cleaning all the guns? Hoookay, let's get you back to bed...

"Cleaning the Guns"

The list of things Dean would not do for a beer and a bed is short. Very short.

It's fuck-o'clock at night and he's been hunting for far too many hours. His muscles ache. His eyes are gritty. He can't stop yawning.

When he pulls up in front of the motel, he's surprised to see that the lights are on in their room. Sam begged off the hunt this morning, sniffling and sneezing and not feeling great.

Sam should be sleeping right now. Dean should be sleeping right now. The whole damn world should be sleeping right now.

Dean opens the motel room door soundlessly in case Sam fell asleep with the lights on. However, both beds are empty. Sam is standing near the room's small table in a pair of sweats and a T-shirt.

"Sammy?" Dean asks, closing the door behind him. "What the hell are you doing up?"

With a start, Sam whirls around, gun pointed right at Dean's chest.

Dean freezes. "Sam, it's me."

Sam sneezes with the gun still pointed, and Dean almost shits his pants. When Sam looks up again, he squints. "Deed?" he sniffles.

"Yeah. It's me. So can you put the fucking gun down?"

Sam looks at the gun like he can't quite remember what it is or why it's in his hands. "Oh. Yeah." He sniffles thickly and puts the gun back on the table.

Dean breathes a sigh of relief. "How are you feeling? You know, besides jumpy." As Sam picks up a different gun and a bore brush, Dean notices that all of the guns he left with Sam are spread out on the table. So is their cleaning kit.

"Fide," Sam says, but totally negates the congested response with three rapid-fire sneezes.

"Right. What are you doing?" Dean asks.

"Cleadidg the guds."

As Sam swipes his sleeve across his nose, Dean notices something. "Sam, is that thing loaded? And is the safety not on?"

Sam looks at the gun like he hasn't had safety lessons ingrained in his mind since he was old enough to even think about touching the guns. "Oh," he says, sliding the gun open to remove the bullets.

"What the hell is wrong with you? And why are you even cleaning the guns when you're supposed to be sleeping?"

Sam barks out a cough that sounds a lot worse than it did this morning. It's wet. It makes Dean cringe. "Dad told me to clead 'emb."

And Dean freezes again, because shit. Glancing around the room, he sees that the salt line at the doors and windows are still in-tact. "Christo," Dean mutters, and checks Sam for a response, but gets none. He's just about to go for the holy water when he sees Sam shiver.

Sam is a 6 foot 4 inch tall furnace. He sweats like it's his job. He bitches about the heat from April to October. Sam does not shiver.

"Hey, Sam? How are you feeling, man? You feel worse than when I left you this morning?"

The grunt Sam gives in response isn't really a yes or a no, so Dean takes a few cautious steps closer. The telltale signs are all there: flushed cheeks, light sheen of sweat on his forehead and upper lip, glassy eyes. Sam's running one hell of a fever. And hallucinating. And cleaning their fucking guns.

"Sam, why don't you let me finish that for you, huh? That way you can get some sleep. You can just go lay down…"

"Doe," Sam interrupts, picking up two of the other guns. Two of the very loaded, very non-safety-protected guns. Then he sneezes. And fuck, sneezing and guns are so not a good combination. "Dad said I gotta clead the guds."

Dean quickly brainstorms his options. "Okay," he says. "That's fine. Just, why don't you keep working on that one?" Dean motions to the unloaded gun. "It's a mess."

There's a terrifying moment of hesitation, but eventually Sam sets the two loaded guns down and goes back to work on the unloaded one. Dean rambles some shit about how Dad's going to be so happy when he sees the good work Sammy is doing. Meanwhile, he makes quick work of unloading the rest of the guns and shoving all of the bullets in his pockets.

With the immediate crisis averted, Dean just needs to work out how exactly to get his feverish, sniffling, sneezing mess of a brother into bed. "Hey, Sam, guess what? Dad just called and said you can quit cleaning the guns and go to sleep."

"Doe he didd't."

Well, it was worth a shot. Switching tactics, Dean digs through the first aid kit for a few Tylenol. He fills a glass with water. "Sammy, I don't want you to be sore tomorrow from all that gun cleaning you're doing. Why don't you take these Tylenol for me?"

Sam considers, coughs, then accepts the pills and swallows them with a few sips of water. Dean wills them to work. Quickly.

Getting another idea, Dean goes to the bathroom and soaks a washcloth in the coldest water he can produce from the tap. He wrings the cloth out slightly and returns to the gun-cleaning festivities. "You've got some oil or something on your forehead, man."

In between a couple of sneezes, Sam swipes half-heartedly at his forehead.

"Here," Dean says. "Let me get it for you." Dean sneaks a hand in for a quick fever check. He knows Sam's forehead well enough to know that they're in at least in high 103 territory, if not low 104s.

He removes his hand and presses the washcloth to Sam's forehead. Sam shivers again and leans slightly into the cloth in Dean's hand. The manic cleaning doesn't stop, but it does slow.

"Think you got some of that oil on your neck, too," Dean says gently, removing the cloth and turning it to the cool side before placing it on the back of Sam's neck.

After another minute or two, Sam asks, "Did you get it?"

Dean sighs. "Yeah, Sammy. I got it."

Sam's motions slow even further until he drops the gun and the brush on the table. "Deed?"


"I dod't feel good."

"I bet you don't, man. Are you ready for bed?" Without waiting for an answer, Dean guides his brother over to the bed. He tucks the blankets around Sam before laying the washcloth across his forehead. "Get some sleep."

"Deed?" Sam asks, blinking up with eyes that are too glassy, too bloodshot, too heavy-lidded.

"Yeah, Sammy?"

"Tell Dad…tell him I tried…"

A wave of 37 different emotions washes over Dean. "He knows, Sammy. He knows."

And even though Dean's exhausted to the bone, he sits at the small table and finishes cleaning the guns, watching his brother sleep.