Sam had moved to the table and the spider-clowns hadn't followed him. They still swarmed Dean's bed, roiling and spinning in dozens of tiny, colorful, evil tornadoes, but they seemed to be slowly dissolving, each tornado slowly losing height and mass and color as Sam watched from his safe distance.
He had his head pillowed on his arms on the table and he was covered with one of the blankets from the trunk of the car. The latest ice pack was melting across the back of his neck, and the shivering drops of freezing water soaking down his back and across his shoulder blades weren't doing him any favors; he was wet, cold, hot, sweaty, and miserable all at the same time.
Dean was at the sink, refilling the ice cube tray. Again. He had his phone tucked in at his ear while he worked, talking to Garth about possible doctors he could bring Sam to.
"No, that's a hospital. I told you - no hospitals. Because Sam doesn't want a hospital." He caught Sam's eye as he turned to put the ice cubes trays into the freezer and he rolled his eyes in aggravation at his conversation with Garth. "No, I can't put him a cold bath in the meantime. Because I can't, all right?"
Sam cast a fast glance at the bathroom door and the multicolored drips of clown snot that covered it. Nope, no way was Sam ever going near there again.
Dean was still arguing with Garth.
"Yeah, well, when you have a little brother counting on you to take care of him, we'll talk. Until then - doctor, no hospital."
He clicked Garth off and tossed the phone onto his bed where the spider clown tornadoes instantly swarmed it. He came over to Sam.
"Okay, Garth's looking into doctors and non-hospital emergency rooms we can take you to. How're you holding up?"
"M'fine." Sam answered, slurred, without lifting his head. "Don't need doctor. Clowns'r going 'way."
"Yeah?" Dean asked. Sam nodded.
"Melting? Okay, you definitely still need medical intervention."
"Mmm…." Sam answered, not sure if he was agreeing or disagreeing. His skin was so hot it felt cold, his throat was still raw and on fire, and he thought his brain might be liquefying. Anything he could get to help with any of that would definitely be OK.
Dean felt Sam's forehead and sighed.
"Fever's still going strong. You want to lie down?"
"No." Sam said, shaking his head even as the little spider clowns all turned to him, clapping and waving their spidery little legs, beckoning him over to the bed. He squeezed his eyes shut with what was indisputably a whimper and he felt Dean put a hand on his shoulder.
"It'll be okay." Dean said, his voice deep and comforting. "Garth'll find somebody. We'll get this taken care of."
Sam nodded and didn't open his eyes, even when Dean's phone rang, and Dean left Sam to answer it.
"Garth - what've you got? Which is how far away from here? Okay, great, that's not too far. He knows the deal? He expecting us? Great -thanks. I owe you one."
Then Sam heard Dean walk back over to him. He expected Dean to get him to his feet or toss clothes at him or something else urgent and immediate. But Dean didn't say anything at first, he seemed to be just standing there. When he did start talking, Sam could tell that he was crouched down in front of him.
"Hey, Sammy…" Dean said, quietly. Sam opened his eyes and Dean was down at his eye level. "We gotta get you in the car and on the road. Y'up for that? We're gonna have to get you dressed."
Sam nodded. He was already in a long-sleeve t-shirt. He could pull jeans on over his pajamas and push his feet into his boots. He nodded again and sat up from the table and Dean caught the ice pack and blanket as they slipped towards the floor. Once upright, the air turned hot, Sam's stomach turned wobbly, and the spider clowns turned into dully colored bubbles that floated in front of his eyes and popped apart with wet splats.
He closed his eyes and swallowed hard and Dean asked, "You good? You gonna stay upright? Yeah? Okay, let me get you some clothes. Hold on."
Dean moved away and Sam wavered where he sat, but then he gathered his strength and pushed himself to standing. It felt like all the blood in his body drained to his feet, scouring his veins and leaving him lightheaded. The spider-clown-bubbles gaped at him wide-eyed in surprise before split-splat-splotting out of their bobbing existence and he sank back down in the chair.
"All right, here we go…" Dean was back in a moment. "Jeans and boots. Think you can handle that?"
"Yeah…" Sam said and nodded. He reached out for his jeans and got them from Dean's hands only with a little tugging but once they were in his hands, he wasn't sure he could get dressed. He wasn't sure he wanted to get dressed. He thought if he moved he'd throw up. He thought if he didn't move, didn't get to the doctor, the heat of the fever would peel his skin off in rubbery strings, dangling and tangling and twisting around his feet.
"Let me give you a hand." Dean said, still in that low, serious voice. He reached to take the jeans back.
"Lemme do it," Sam breathed out. "I can – I can – lemme do it."
Dean sighed but let go. He straightened out the legs of the jeans and watched Sam slide them on over his feet. Then Sam waited a minute to gather what strength he could and stood up to pull them on over his pajamas. He had to lean his hip against the table to stay upright, but he got the jeans fastened without falling down. That left the boots to get on but all he really wanted was to crawl into a clown-free bed and ride out the waves of pain and fever and general misery. If he couldn't move that far, he'd settle for falling down to die. Dean seemed to realize it.
"Screw the boots, let's just get you to the car, okay? Nice and slow."
Sam nodded and gratefully reached an arm out that Dean pulled over his shoulders.
"Okay, Sammy. Here we go."
As slow as Dean was walking out of the room, Sam had to concentrate to keep pace with him. He tried to not lean all his weight on Dean, but the room swam and his feet stumbled and he figured he was lucky Dean didn't have to carry him.
"Where're we going?" He asked.
"Garth found one of those urgent care places, about 30 miles away. The guy works with hunters. He's expecting us. C'mon."
As they crossed the threshold and Dean turned them to shut the door, Sam took a last look into the room and all the shiny, vivid, spider-clown-bubbles waved goodbye to him.
Next up: how hard can it be to get a sick little brother to the doctor?