Disclaimer: I don't much other anything, much less these characters.
A/N: Hello ... This is another one-shot for the ohsam comment fic meme and it was quickly written and unbeta'd, so please excuse the mistakes.
Spring is never a time of year that Sam looks forward to. While other people prance about through green, freshly mowed grasses, pick flowers, or look up at the budding trees with hope and promise of the renewal of life after a long, harsh winter, Sam looks at it all with dread, knowing that soon all of that pollen and shit will be flowing up his nose and causing his immune system to go haywire.
Sure, spring is pretty – he can appreciate the beauty of it, he just wishes all of it could come without the sniffling, sneezing, aching, fever, itchy eyes, runny nose, headaches that burst into migraines, sinus infections and medicines that make him so tired that he just wants to sleep until summer finally comes and gives him a break.
Speaking of medicines … he's only got one dose left.
He peers down at the two lonely pills at the bottom of the bottle, debating if he should take them. He's got a ton of research he needs to do and while the medicine helps alleviate some of his misery-inducing symptoms, they also make him drowsy as hell and the last thing he wants to do while people are dying is fall asleep in the middle of the library.
He screws the cap back on the bottle and tosses it into his duffel bag – he'll take them later, he decides.
"I'll just drop you off – I'm gonna go down to the police station and see if I can get my hands on some of those reports." Dean informs him.
Sam nods, but the action only causes the sneeze that he's been trying to stifle for the last minute to finally burst forth and he gives up any attempt to hold it back any longer. His mouth opens just as he turns his head away from Dean towards the window and it comes shooting out of his nose and lips so fast that he has no time to cover it. Spittle and snot splash against the window while at the same time his burning nose decides that it's not done. In rapid succession, it blasts out four more sneezes that shoot freezing chills up his spine and down his arms but at least this time around he's able to cover them before he blankets the window with mucus again.
Dean recoils, "Dude … gross. You're cleaning that up."
"Sorry." Sam sniffles through his stuffy nose. Wishing he had thought to bring some tissues along, he has to reach down into the floor for a used napkin from a McDonald's bag to blow some of the snot from his nose and clean his face, making him feel just about as disgusting as the window next to his head looks.
He rubs at his swelling, itchy eyes and swallows some of the post nasal drip he can feel slipping from the back of his sinuses and down his sore throat.
It wouldn't be so bad, he thinks, if they had been out someplace dry like Arizona where vegetation is sparse, but no … this case just has to be in Georgia where the humid days make for beautiful flowers, and green grass, but also leaves behind pollen in the air so thick that it coats everything in a fine, yellow dust.
Sam doesn't think he's ever been so miserable and he's wondering if he should just find a cave in the desert next spring to wait out the season. He's also beginning to really regret leaving his pills behind in the motel room now as spring's allergens attack him from all angles.
Sam feels another sneeze working its way up just as Dean pulls the car into the library parking lot. The sneezes come one after the other and so fast that Sam has a difficult time finding time to breathe and when they finally seem to be done, he's nearly hyperventilating, trying to reoxygenate his lungs.
Dean looks over at Sam with some big-brother concern flashing in his eyes, "You okay?"
"Yeah." Sam answers his irritatingly hay-fever free brother once he can breathe again, even if it's only through his mouth.
"You getting sick? We can always go back to the motel – you look like you could use a nap … or three."
"Just allergies – I'll live." Sam comes back, not completely certain about the surviving part as every minute that passes just seems to make him more achy and congested. His head hurts and he just wants to take Dean up on his suggestion about taking a nap, but he can't – he needs to research this case and Dean's got better things to do than fuss over him.
Dean eyes Sam warily like he doesn't believe him.
Sam knows that Dean sees that he isn't feeling up to par, but when Sam shoots him an eyeroll that says, 'I'm fine' to him. Dean relaxes just a little and backs off from his annoying mother-henning, "Whatever, man. I'll be back in a couple of hours to pick you up then it's to bed for you."
Sam gets out of the car and trudges his way up the sidewalk towards the library, every step heavy and tiring. The library itself is small, but is surrounded by a huge garden that looks like it was stolen from a page of Better Homes and Gardens. The lush vegetation seems to swallow up the tiny building and along the walkway, the scents of azaleas, tulips, sage, lilacs, lilies, and crocuses mingle, penetrating even his stuffy nose. He has to pause ten feet from the library doors to let loose a string of powerful sneezes so hard that two other patrons trying to enter the building give him a wide berth as though he has the pneumonic plague.
Fucking spring …
He tries to hurry past the bright, lovely, and offensive flowers to the door only to feel a sudden stabbing in the back of his neck. He slaps a hand at the literal pain in his neck and feels it make contact with a small, squirmy body.
Grabbing the thing between his fingers, he untangles it from the fringe of hair at the back of his neck and pulls it out to reveal a dead and now squished yellow and black striped honey bee. He swears out loud and drops its tiny body to the ground before reaching back to his neck to pull out the stinger left behind in his skin with his finger nails. Flicking the stinger away, he curses spring and nature in general again, but he's not overly concerned – it hurts far less than a gun-shot wound and he's been stung by bees plenty of times before – it kinda comes with the job and with staying in far too many insect-infested abandoned houses when funds ran low.
He rubs at the sore spot as it continues to throb, but decides quickly that where there is one bee there might be more and he rushes to the door before any more of those bastards can get at him.
Once inside the quiet building, he sneezes loudly yet again, causing the little, old librarian behind the counter to look up at him with an annoyed glare and a bring finger to her wrinkled lips, effectively shushing him and reminding him to keep it down while people try to read.
Sam's embarrassment as people look up to stare at his boisterous entrance masks the pain of the bee sting and it fades away with the heat of his face, soon to be forgotten.
The books he is looking for are sequestered in the back of the library amongst shelves of reference books that look as though they haven't been touched in years. A fine coating of dust blankets them and each page turn tickles the back of Sam's sinuses. He keeps to himself and finds a table to study at that is far from the other people in the library, trying to keep his repeated and constant sneezes down to a dull roar before the cranky, old librarian throws him out for being too disruptive.
Sam does his best to concentrate, but the words are blurry on the pages as his itchy, hot eyes tear up from the dust and it's hard to keep his eyelids up as they grow puffier. He's feeling worse than he ever has before with his allergies and his thoughts drift again to those two Allegra pills back at the motel room and he's tempted to call Dean and ask him to pick up some Benedryl or anything that will make this crap go away no matter how sleepy the medicine will make him.
After a while, it's not just the sneezing that's bugging him - he's itchy all over while his skin feels hot and tight. He's sweating so much that he has to strip down to just a t-shirt and continuously wipe moisture from wet bangs before it drips into his already sore and irritated eyes. He's coughing now too on top of all of the congestion, making his throat burn and twist with each breath like a boa constrictor has wrapped itself around his neck, trying to strangle him.
It isn't until Sam pushes back his chair and tries to stand that it suddenly dawns on him that this is so much more than just hay fever making him feel like shit. The room spins and darkens while floating, black orbs crowd his vision. His knees start to give and he has to grab the back of his chair before he falls.
He can barely see as he lowers his head, hoping for the wash of dizziness to pass and when it finally does, he can just make out his bright, white knuckles attached to sausage-like fingers that are tight, fat and swollen as they grasp the chair.
With no idea what is happening to him. Dread and fear flood his chest, making it even harder to breathe.
He has to get out … has to call Dean …
Leaving the pile of books he pulled from the shelves scattered and open on the table, he lurches from the chair and forces his cement-encased feet to stumble forward and towards the library exit. He passes by the circulation desk where the grey-haired librarian looks up at him again, but this time her face shows open-mouthed surprise and concern.
"Sir?" She calls out to him just as he reaches the exit.
It is then that he catches sight of his reflection in the glass door and he stops cold.
His face is swollen like a bloated corpse that has just floated up to the surface after a week under water. He chokes on his breath and wheezes painfully while his head and heart start to pound so furiously that he can't pull any air into his lungs.
Can't breathe … can't breathe … can't …
Someone start to shout as his knees fail to keep supporting his weight and the last thing he feels is the hard, cool, tile floor catch his falling body.
He just wants to keep sleeping and stay in his cottony cocoon forever, but it's so annoying, especially the itch under his nose and it's almost automatic when his hands reach up in an attempt to scratch the irritation away.
They don't make it very far before they are stopped by someone's fingers wrapping around his own, "Don't scratch, Sammy. You'll just make it worse."
Sam tries to open his eyelids, but they won't cooperate – he can't even get them to crack open even a little bit and the first thing he thinks is that he's gone blind and will be trapped in darkness forever. He tosses his head back and forth, but he still can't force his eyelids to part.
"D –" He mutters around a tongue that's four sizes too big for his mouth. His voice sounds muffled in his ears and not his own. He feels panic swell, "Can' see."
A cool hand swipes soothingly across his forehead, his heart "That's 'cause you're all swollen up like a balloon right now … just relax … you're gonna be okay."
Sam feels the bed dip a little as his brother sits down on the mattress, "Would you believe it if I told you that something the size of your fingernail took your huge ass down?"
Sam's having a hard time processing much of anything, "huh?"
"You were stung by a bee ... remember that?"
Sam nods and can feel the sting on the back of his neck throbbing in time to his heartbeat.
"The docs say you had some kind of uber-allergic reaction and they're pumping you full of fluids and anti-histamines right now, but don't worry, the swelling should start to go down soon."
Sam sucks in a breath, a little bit more relaxed now that he knows what happened. He still feels itchy and his throat aches, but it's much easier to breathe and now that his initial panic has bled away, he can lie back and let the drugs to their job.
"Ya know, you're pretty damn lucky though," Dean continues, "that old librarian back there just happened to be allergic to bees too and injected you with her epi-pen after you passed out. She said she recognized your symptoms after the same thing happened to her years ago and we owe her big time for saving your gigantic hide."
Feeling Dean ruffle his hair, he has to fight to not sigh in contentment and possibly expose his brother to just how scared he had been or to how relieved he is to know that he's near.
Sam feels the bed suddenly bounce as Dean snatches his hand away, "Ahhhhh - ahhhh – !"
The power of Dean's sneeze shakes the mattress and Sam fails to suppress a grin even as it pulls at his swelled skin.
"Stupid, fucking springtime." Dean mutters and sniffs.
Sam couldn't agree more.