Hello, as promised, here's the second chapter, and consequently the last, updated on time for a change, :')

Disclaimer: Own nothing, but if I did Castiel would be making a swift return and they'd be driving the bloody Impala again. But I don't, so dead angels and rust buckets it is.

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Dean burst through the motel door, gun drawn, eyes quickly sweeping the dark, orange-tinged room, bathed in only the street lamps that shone in from behind and a sliver of light streaming from the cracks in the bathroom door. His heart jolted as he noticed the tangled bed sheets on the floor, dangling from the bed like a frozen waterfall, swaying in the breeze let in by the open window. Searching the fitted sheets for the curled figure of his brother, his breath hitched when he found nothing.

"Sammy," he hissed, eyes wildly checking beneath the table, scanning the couch, doubling back to the bathroom. Flicking on the light as his darkened search came to no avail; he gagged as he glanced at the floor.

A thin trail of fresh, sickeningly red blood, leading to the bathroom.

It would take nothing for me to call someone, have them sent over to where you're staying.

He stepped further into the room, nostrils flaring as his gaze fell again onto the bed; there, on the pillow, a blossomed patch of red fabric.

He swung the door shut quietly behind him, tiptoeing to the bathroom, heart beating like a drum as every possible event that could have happened during his absence flickered through his mind before he instinctively rapped his knuckles on the crackling paint, tempted to right-hook himself as he withdrew his hand, cursing his own stupidity. If there was someone else in there with Sam…

"Sam?" he asked gently upon hearing no reply, no shift in sound, no movement in the shadows that dappled the thin bar of light emitting from the crack at the base. He gently pushed it open, a shiver running through his skin as his nails scraped down the paint – man, he hated that feeling – almost collapsing as he saw the still, but breathing, figure of his little brother kneeling by the toilet, his back to Dean, torso leaning in the bath as his feet gripped the slippery tiles on the ground. "Sam!"

Sam shifted his position to turn his head slightly, glancing at his brother before sighing in relief. "Occupado," he said weakly, head sagging as his shoulders shrugged further into the tub, now only grounded by the tips of his toes balancing on the floor.

Dean strode to his side, kneeling next to him as he placed a palm on his forehead to stop him colliding with the ceramic, frowning as he felt the heat radiating from the kid's pale, limp body.

"What happened?" he demanded, one hand splayed on Sam's back as he tried to kneel again, stopping him from collapsing backwards to the ground, "you hurt? Who did this?"

Sam's eyes drooped as he analyzed Dean's questions, face contorting in confusion as they sunk in.

"Wha- Dean, it's just a nosebleed, I've been getting them all week," he explained, sighing as his head was gently pushed to lean over the tub again, the streams of blood landing in the pool of blood already coursing down the plughole with a sickening drip.

Dean breathed again as he watched the red, thin liquid drip from Sam's nose, relieved this hadn't been his doing. He grabbed a fresh towel from the rail with one hand as the other stayed supporting his brother's head, before reaching to Sam's nose and holding the towel out for him to squeeze on the bridge of his nose. He gestured for the kid to grip the edge of the tub as Dean left him for a second, standing to turn on the cold water in the sink and soak a washcloth, wringing the fabric before placing it gently on the back of the his brother's neck. He smiled as Sam reached blindly from him, resorting to the childhood mantra of clinging to his older brother in times of sickness.

"Cool it, I'm here kiddo… I would've been earlier if you'd told me you got like this. Why didn't you call?" he asked softly, trying to keep his voice as soft as possible as he knelt back next to Sam, who gripped Dean's arm as a searing shot of pain ran through his stomach, punishing him for trying to move to face his brother. "Easy there."

"You said not too," he gasped, swinging to sit against Dean's chest as his brother's legs were spread either side of him. He held the towel to his face with one hand, the other gripping Dean's calf as a second searing shot of pain coursed his stomach.

"I said to call in an emergency, and I would say this is pretty damn close," Dean corrected, grabbing the slipping cloth from falling down Sam's heated back and dunking it under the running water.

"It's a nosebleed," he sighed as the cool cloth was placed on his forehead.

"It's a bad nosebleed. Did you throw up?"

"Once."

"Sammy," warned Dean, lifting the towel from his brother's face to check the blood flow. He grimaced at Sam's clammy, bloody face before folding the towel and handing it back to Sam to press against his nose.

"Twice," he admitted, voice muffling through the fabric.

"Twice as in two times you had to spend in here? Or twice as in you spewed up your stomach twice?"

"Dean…" Sam moaned, curling his legs to his chest as he suppressed the sick feeling in his stomach.

"I gotta know, Sam. I'm guessing they were dry, too," he guessed, remembering his brother clutching at his chest as his insides cramped not two minutes ago.

"Two bouts. But short," he assured, pulling the towel from his face and dumping it on the ground.

"Well, that's better than yesterday. You may not feel it, but you're getting better. Stopped bleeding?"

"Uh-huh."

"Good. You gonna throw up?"

Sam tested his gag reflex by swallowing, waiting a few seconds before answering. "I'm good."

"Ok. Move your skinny ass a minute then, and get out of your shirt."

Sam shuffled awkwardly, groaning as he had to flick the bloodied towel a few feet to give him room to move. Dean, knowing Sam's ability to cope with the sight – and smell – of blood was significantly worse when he was sick had sense to grab it from the ground and discarding of it behind the door, smiling at Sam's weak "thank you".

"Okay, little brother, let's get you cleaned up and back to bed. Shirt off," he said again, stifling a laugh as Sam struggled to pull the damp fabric from his head, remembering Sam as a toddler wrestling similarly with his clothes before bathtime. Surrendering, he walked over to him, tugging it off the kid before grabbing him by his arms as he sagged dangerously close the toilet lid.

"Man, you're pretty tired, huh? Guess it ain't so nice havin' one of your random ass nosebleeds at a time like this," he mumbled, pleased at the knowledge the kid was probably exhausted enough to probably get at least some sleep tonight. He leaned Sam against the tub as he handed him a clean, damp towel to wipe of the crusted blood from his body, face and hands, darting into the room to grab his own duffle and extracting a faded Def Leppard shirt. He shuffled over to Sam, whose head was now lolling forward as he fought to stay awake, and pulled the towel from his hand, tossing it into the bloodied bath before slipping the too-big shirt over his brother's head.

"Dean, you stayin' in now?' he mumbled, squinting up at Dean through crusty eyes.

"Sure am, kiddo. You good to stand?" he asked, grabbing Sam's arms when he nodded.

He pulled him into a standing position, more carrying him than supporting him as the kid's tired legs buckled beneath him. They froze for a second, Sam's face contorting as he sucked in a breath.

"Dean," he said hoarsely, and the older Winchester, who recognized the 'I'm gonna to hurl' voice that hadn't changed in all these years, quickly placed him in front of the toilet bowl, rubbing circles into his tense back muscles as Sam's body convulsed, his body wracking as he spat strings of bile into the water.

"It's okay, Sammy," he whispered, grabbing his brother's hand as it searched wildly for his comfort, placing it back onto the toilet seat to help him balance. He wiped Sam's mouth with his wrist, rubbing the mess onto his own flannel shirt before replacing his hand onto the kid's forehead. "I'm here. I'm right here."

Minutes passed before Sam's muscles finally relaxed, falling back into Dean's arms as he breathed heavily. "Sorry," he mumbled, eyes drooping shut again as he swallowed, leaning heavily into his brother's chest. Dean smiled affectionately, always surprised by how the simple gestures filled him with importance. He cupped one hand under the running water, allowing it to fill before raising it to Sam's lips, raising him to spit it into the toilet bowl and pulling him back again, the damp hand resting on the kid's sternum.

"Don't be, little brother. So, no more sudden movements, huh?" he said lightly, gently pulling him up to his feet, awaiting his reaction before leading him back across the room, following the trail of dark blood splattering the carpet. "You good to bunk with me?" Dean nodded with Sam, expecting the answer. Sickness, fear, nosebleeds or injury always resulted into the younger brother clinging shamelessly to his sibling, and Dean was glad of it; he always felt guilt creep into him when he saw his brother suffering, as if everything that happened to him rooted somehow to Dean screwing up somewhere along the line, and having him close could stop it happening again.

He slipped Sam under the covers of the bed closest to the door, hoping that the wall he was laying against would provide some sort of protection to anything that may come bursting through the door…

Joey.

He tensed as he remembered his angry face, his snarling words…

And Sam didn't miss it. "Dean?" he whispered, searching the older sibling's face for the distress that outlined his movements.

"Huh?" he mumbled eyes wide as he fell into his memories.

"Dean, what's wrong?" he asked, pulling his arm from Dean's grip as he tried to face him.

"Hey, hey, stop it, you'll throw up again," said Dean, snapping from his trip down nightmare lane as Sam wriggled beneath him, "a couple of pills, some special Sick Sammy Cocktail then you can pass out, okay buddy?"

He ignored Sam's worried gaze as he headed to the kitchenette, stealing worried glances out of the window as he watched for any predator, supernatural or otherwise.

Opening the fridge, he pulled out the green bottle of lemonade, glad he'd reminded himself to open it to kill the bubbles in it, and poured some into a glass. He dunked a teaspoon of sugar on top, stirring it gently before carefully selecting a suitable antibiotic for Sam to use now they'd run out of Tylenol. He emptied a capsule into the glass, knowing the kid was in no condition to be swallowing anything solid.

He walked back to the bed, sitting next to his brother as he handed Sam the glass. "Drink it all, it's got some drugs in it. I just gotta sort out the bathroom and I'll be back in a sec'."

Sam nodded, watching Dean pace around the motel room, listening to him wash the red stains from the bathroom. As promised, he was done in minutes, and returned to a drooping little brother, resting uncomfortably against the headboard, empty glass in hand. He turned back to the front door, locking it securely and, just in case, pushing the wooden coffee table against it as a second barrier. He extended the salt line around the table and checked the others, frowning as he closed the only open window. Obviously Sam's doing, but he couldn't help but worry, couldn't help the 'what if's stream through his imagination. He picked up the trashcan and placed it next to the bed, just in case any unexpected bouts of sickness visited during the night.

"Dean," came a small voice from across the room, "m'hot."

"I know, buddy. But hey, fever's down. Not long 'til your all better and back hunting," he smiled.

He checked the room once more for anything out of place, and grabbing his gun from the pile of clothes in the bathroom, headed to bed, covering the bloody sheets on Sam's bed with a cluster of towels. He clambered into bed next to his brother, smiling as Sam automatically rolled over to curl up next to him, one hand across his waist, warming him instantly with his fever ridden body.

Minutes of silence passed, broken only by the rumble of the ancient air conditioning hub, the tick of Dean's watch, the odd tickled cough from Sam.

"What happened tonight?" Sam mumbled, looking up as Dean tensed once again, his body rigid under his hand. "Dean?"

"Nothing happened," he replied stiffly, snaking his hand around his brother, patting his back reassuringly.

Sam moved to sit up, sighing as he was pushed down again. "I know you're lying to me. Come on, Dean. I won't tell Dad."

He hesitated, trying to resist Sam's kicked puppy look. "I hustled poker."

The youngest Winchester sniggered, resulting in a weak cough – damn, was he ever gonna get better? – as he heard Dean's excuse. "Conscience finally catching up with ya'?"

"Shut up," Dean said, grinning at his brother.

"I know something's up; the coffee table, you thinking I'd been hurt. Come on, Dean, I won't tell Dad, promise."

Dean laughed darkly. "It's not Dad I'm worried about."

Sam looked up, surprised at the remark. "I'll never, never think bad of you, Dean. There's always a reason for the stupid stuff you do." He looked up expectantly.

Dean hesitated again. "I…I pulled a gun on someone."

Silence.

"You didn't…" whispered Sam, loosening his grip slightly on his brother's shirt.

"No, I didn't shoot him… Sam, you know I'd never kill a person… He caught me hustling. I was swapping cards- yeah, yeah, I know," he muttered as Sam raised his eyebrows, "I thought they'd be drunk enough not to notice."

"That big one looked pretty hawk-eyed," remarked Sam, remembering him from the many trips they'd taken to analyze the men's everyday schedules.

"Sammy… they said they were gonna hurt…"

"They all say that."

"No… they said they were gonna come after you. They said they were gonna hurt you, Sam. They said they were gonna kill you."

Sam swallowed, fear wallowing his features for a minute until Dean squeezed him again. "Dean, you know they all bullshit about that kind of thing. They're trying to scare you. You can't just pull a gun on someone…"

"But they threatened you, Sam, not me-"

"That's not-"

"I know you don't like it, Sammy. But it's my job to keep you safe, and that's what I had to do tonight. As long as I'm around, no one touches you. I'm here to protect you, and I swear to God that's what I'll do until the day I die. Got it?"

Sam nodded, too tired to retaliate, and in all honesty, pretty damn scared. He'd never been threatened by these types of guys before, and the thought…

He must have given off some kind of sign of distress, as Dean leaned down and kissed the top of his head, pulling the blankets tightly around them before checking his fever one more time.

"Stomach good?"

"Cocktail magic."

"Head?"

"Cocktail magic."

"Nose?'

"Bled out." He yawned tiredly, snuggling into Dean's side, as sleep overcame him.

Dean smiled, rubbing Sam's arm, glad this bout of sickness was almost over. "You're always safe with me, Sammy."

To his surprise, he heard a tiny "I know" drift up from his chest, and he could only smile.

He leaned back on the headboard, sighing as he picked up his gun and took up position to watch the door all night, fulfilling his duty no matter what to protect his brother. Even though he knew those guys were all words, he couldn't help but feel a little spooked.

Shivering as he remembered their words, he tightened his grip on the handle, narrowing his eyes as he watched the entrance, knowing it was going to be a long night.

Sam shifted in his sleep, and Dean looked down at him, affection flooding through him as he realized his brother was worth all of this.

As long as Sam was safe, Dean was happy.

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definitely not my best, but it was good fun to write; can be easily edited if you think any drastic changes should be made. Hope you all enjoyed! Muchos love