Title: Wings and Sarcasm
Summary: Castiel was an angel of the lord, not a nursemaid.
Time: After 5.2
Genre: Humor/Hurt Comfort
Characters: Dean, Sam, Castiel, with a side of Bobby
Warnings: Slight cursing, spoilers for 5.1, 5.2
Word Count: 8,051
Pages of books from the nightstand rustle and flap as Castiel quietly descends onto the murky motel room, his shoes making no sound as they step on the thrift store rug.
Minutes earlier he received a muffled phone call from Dean urging him to come to his motel room, although it was hard to interpret what the man was saying, Castiel was able to pick apart a few words that, when combined, made sense. The man sounded haggard and annoyed, although Castiel had no idea why he would be annoyed since he was the one who initially called for his attention.
The room is small, confining, and very dark. One window illuminates the room with moonlight and starlight, but that is the only source of visibility available. It was enough for the angel to see two beds and a lump on each.
Castiel walks over to the beds and steps between them. The lumps are indeed Sam and Dean, each respectively in their own beds, under mounds of pillows and blankets, dead to the world. Their snores are the only sounds in the suffocating silence.
The angel glances at the two with the faintest hint of annoyance. He sees the cellphone Dean called him with on the nightstand beside the open books. His annoyance grows.
With a swift movement of his hand, he turns the switch to every lamp and bulb in the room, and the small space erupts with light. The response he receives are loud, irritated groans, moans, and curses. He ignores all.
The bed which Dean resides in sinks and rises as the man turns around to face the angel with eyes squinted and a face scrunched in bitterness. He groans again when his vision clears and he sees the angel.
"Cas? What the hell, man?"
"Dean," Castiel says simply as a greeting, ignoring Sam's groans. "You called for me."
There is more movement in Dean's bed as he pulls the covers over his eyes to shield it from the light. "Close the lights," he whines like a cranky child.
"You called for me," Castiel repeats. He fishes the cellphone from his pocket as proof and says, "I am searching for God, Dean, I cannot be called over for such insignificant reasons."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Dean's voice is muffled from the blanket that now covers his whole body. "I didn't call you – nobody called you, now stop acting like an over attached girlfriend and close the damn lights and get out."
Castiel cocks his head slightly and looks at his phone. "I can assure you that you did, in fact, call me."
"For the love of – Cas, I didn't call you!"
There's a cough from the other bed. "Yeah, you did," Sam says groggily, most likely annoyed with the commotion that disturbed his sleep. Castiel notes that his voice sounds raspier than he last remembers, but keeps that information to himself.
Dean pulls the blanket from over his head. "What?"
"You did call him," Sam clarifies. He coughs, then continues, "Like two minutes ago, before you fell asleep. Remember?" He coughs again. "Said you wanted him here to heal you or something." He sinks back to his bed, saying what he had to say, hoping that it would end the talking. It doesn't, obviously.
Dean blinks, then looks to the ceiling, pausing before murmuring, "Oh yeah..."
"You are injured?" Castiel inquires.
Dean jumps where he lays. "Shit – Cas, you're still here?"
"Yes. I came because you called me only a few moments ago –"
"Oh my god, just get out!"
A pillow is thrown at the angel's perplexed face, but he is unfazed. "I don't understand," he says. "You called me because you are injured? You must know that I am cut off from Heaven and cannot help you in that way."
"Nobody called you!" Dean groans, once again throwing the covers over his head, clearing his throat loudly. "Now leave, man, some of us need to sleep."
"Listen, Cas," Sam says finally in a much more calmer and negotiable tone than the elder Winchester. Castiel turns to face him, or rather, to face the lump on the bed. "Can you come back tomorrow?" He asks hopefully. "We had a really rough hunt and could really use the sleep..." He coughs again, and Castiel acknowledges that with a tilt of his head, but remains silent once again.
"Very well," he says after a long pause of studying the two. He moves his hand, and the lights are gone and so is he.
Castiel returns the next day, just as Sam told him. The room is much brighter than yesterday, credit going to the morning sunshine that crept through the window.
The room's atmosphere, however, is not as bright. It's stale and murky and Castiel does not take that as a good sign. Dean and Sam have remained in their beds, and a quick assessment of his surrounding suggests that they have not moved since he had last saw them.
His nose crinkles. Something is definitely off.
"Dean," he calls, walking over to the man's bed. When he receives no response, he tries again. "Dean."
Blankets move, springs squeak, and Dean's head turns to face the angel. He blinks, squints, then stretches. "Cas? Oh, thank Jesus."
"I can assure you that Jesus had nothing to do with my arrival."
Dean cranes his neck and lifts a hand to point across the room. Castiel notes that the eldest Winchester is struggling to maintain that gesture. "Do me a favor? See, that trash can thing – yeah, get it for me, will ya? Thanks, man."
Immediately after handing the wastebasket over, Dean lurches and vomits into it. He pauses, catches his breath, and prominently vomits again. When he finishes, and when everything is emptied from his stomach, he collapses onto his bed and wipes his mouth with his arm.
"Shit, that was nasty," he gasps, rolls over and curls in on the blankets, gripping them tightly with white knuckles.
The angel looks at the man. He looks at the trash can. He looks at Sam Winchester. He looks at Dean again. He looks at the trash can.
"Are you ill?"
A sarcastic snort, muffled from the blankets, escapes Dean's mouth. "No shit, Sherlock."
"My name is Castiel."
Dean groans. He turns his head towards his brother's bed.
"Sam?" His voice is dry and painful to listen to.
Sam doesn't answer so Castiel supplies an answer. "Sam is asleep."
"Wake him up."
The angel hesitates for a split second before doing as he's told. "Sam."
He turns back to Dean. "Is he ill as well?"
"Probably, most likely – I don't know, just wake him up."
He turns back to the younger Winchester and calls louder. "Sam."
Sam's eyes twitch and his head turns, hair brushing gruffly against his pillow. He opens his eyes and blinks rapidly, licking his lips with a tight grimace. "Wha – Castiel?"
Castiel opens his mouth to greet him, but Dean croaks an irritated response first. "Sam, you bitch, what the hell?"
"Dean?" His hand runs across his forehead. Sam tries to sit up, but his attempt proves to be a failure and he collapses back onto the bed, his arms twisting around his abdomen. "Ugh, I feel like shit."
Dean let's out a weak laugh. "You and me both." He turns his head, stares at his brother with tired eyes. "Care to enlighten?"
Sam sighs, then coughs. He attempts a shrug. "Probably has something to do with that witch."
"Fucking hate witches," Dean mutters groggily, settling his cheek on the pillow.
"Witches hate us, apparently."
"The cause of your states is a witch?" Castiel asks.
The look Sam sends him shows that he had forgotten about the angel's presence. He coughs and supplies Castiel with an answer. "Something about spreading diseases and sicknesses," He sneezes loudly. "Dean and I got hit by it, but it wasn't this bad when we were in town."
Castiel asks, "But you eliminated the witch?"
"We fixed it." Sam assures him. He gives the angel a sheepish look, "You wouldn't, by any chance..."
"I cannot heal you, I am sorry. My powers are limited."
"Great." He sighs, leaning his head back against the headboard. He turns to look at his brother. "Hey, Dean?"
"I believe he has fallen asleep," Castiel says when there is no response.
"Is he OK?"
The angel falters. "I'm …not sure. I am not all too familiar with human illnesses." He straightens then, "However, I can assess that he is not well. And neither are you."
"Understatement of the year, Cas." His smirk slips off his face when another attack of coughs overwhelms him. He doubles over, hand covering his mouth as wet, heavy coughs rack his entire body. Castiel moves to help, but stops himself when he realizes he doesn't know what he can do to help. When Sam's fit ends, he sags into the bed, eyes closed, breathing fast.
"Will you both be alright?" Castiel asks carefully after a long lapse of deafening silence.
Sam swallows thickly and nods. "Yeah – this is nothing. We've been hit with worse. Come tomorrow, we'll be up and kicking and back on the road. Don't worry about us, Cas."
Tomorrow came, and they were, in fact, not up and kicking and back on the road.
Castiel's frown is more defined now as he stares at the two sleeping frames. Breaths deep and haggard, mouths parted, faces flushed, foreheads damp. This most certainly is not nothing as Sam Winchester put it. It is abnormal and odd – and Castiel doesn't know what it is.
He had a vague understanding on human illnesses. Vague. He knows humans get sick. He knows humans get deathly sick. He knows humans die when they get sick. He knows humans can recover from sicknesses. That was all the understanding he had.
As he stares down at Sam and Dean, both who were unfazed by Castiel's attempts at waking them, the angel knew that they were ill, and he knew they were deathly ill. Perhaps not up to the point of death, but if left as is, eventually it might reach that.
To think that he pulled Dean out of Hell only to have him succumb to a meager illness. Preposterous. Ridiculous.
But, as Castiel's brow furrows deeper, as he stares more intently at the brothers, he is struck with the staggering realization that he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know how to stop it. He's fought demons, monsters, humans, angels – yet this was his first encounter with such a thing. Sickness. There was no weapon in his possession to combat this. His angel blade hangs uselessly in his pocket.
Castiel's eyes scan the quiet room, and falls on the small flip phone on the nightstand, one similar to his own. It's Dean's phone, obviously, so he reaches for it and snaps it open, staring for a few minutes as he tries to understand the contraption.
There is one human that Sam and Dean seem to trust with every ounce of their being. Castiel presumes that perhaps he can enlighten him on how to engage this predicament. He fumbles with the phone before dialing.
It rings, then the gruffy voice is heard. "This better be important, Dean. The nurse keeps pesterin' me about a bath and won't lay off."
"Bobby Singer," Castiel states.
There's a pause, then a bark. "Who the hell is this?"
"Cas? I thought you had your own phone – why are you using Dean's?"
"I did not have your number."
A snort. "Let's keep it that way – talking to angels on a cellphone is beyond weird for me, and I've had my share of weird." When Castiel doesn't respond, Bobby becomes anxious and pounces with questions, just as he would expect the Winchesters to do. "What is it? Is something wrong?"
"Yes," Castiel answers truthfully, but doesn't continue. He is somewhat hesitant to elaborate, namely because he is unsure how to elaborate.
Bobby's voice seethes with impatience at the silence. "You plan on telling me?"
"I am trying to form the words."
"Spit it out already!"
Sam rolls where he sleeps, coughs into his pillow, licks his lips, and sags where he lay. Castiel sees this and observes silently. He turns his attention back on the conversation at hand and says, "I believe Dean and Sam are ill."
"Ill?" Bobby echoes.
"Ill as in … ?"
"I don't know how to elaborate," Castiel admits. "I am not familiar with human illnesses."
He hears an irritable sigh from the other line. Bobby takes his time to answer, and when he does, he is much calmer and more composed. "I'm gonna take a wild guess here and say that you've never dealt with sick people."
Castiel momentarily reviews the question in his mind. "That is correct."
"So you have no idea what to do." It isn't a question.
Castiel answers. "Yes."
Another sigh. Castiel imagines Bobby pinching the bridge of his nose in the same manner Dean does when he is exasperated. "Alright, lemme think. How sick are they?"
"I have no precedent to base that on."
"Take a guess."
Castiel looks at the beds, at the two men that did not acknowledge his presence at all. "Very sick, I presume."
"Can any of them come to the phone."
"They are resting."
"A'right, then you're gonna have to work with me, feathers. Go check on their symptoms – are they coughing? Breathing weird? Anything out of the ordinary?"
"Out of the ordinary, yes." Castiel glances at the two, and racks his memories to identify their strange behaviors and antics from yesterday. "Sam was coughing, and his voice seemed to be very haggard. Dean was very," he searches his mind for the appropriate word, "disoriented. He also vomited yesterday."
"Yesterday? How long they been sick?"
"They were in this state when I visited them two days ago."
"And you decided now to tell me, you idjit?"
Castiel frowns. "Dean told me to leave, and Sam said he would be fine."
"And you listened to them!?"
Castiel falters at the incredulous shout. "Yes."
"Dammit Cas, you should know by now that when those boys say they're fine, they are by all definitions of the word, not fine!"
"I apologize. I'll remember that."
"Damn right, you'll remember that," The man huffs a breathe and takes his time to answer. When he does answer, his tone is very serious and somber. "Now, I ain't no doctor, but I'm pretty sure Dean's got a fever and Sam's got somethin' akin to a bad flu. Nothing that serious; nothing you can't handle." He pauses. "You do know how to handle that, right?"
"You better take notes, then, boy, because you're the only one available to handle them."
Castiel doesn't remind Bobby that he is, in fact, centuries older than him, therefore calling him 'boy' wouldn't be appropriate. "How do I … handle them?"
"First of all, make sure they're comfortable. Are they comfortable?"
Castiel turns. "They are both in bed, so I suppose they are."
"Good enough. Since Dean's got a fever, you gotta make sure his temperature goes down, so get him to cool down. Put a cold rag on his forehead or something. Is he covered in blankets?"
"Dumbass!" Bobby's shout is loud enough for the phone's speaker to muffle. "Get rid of 'em! He needs to cool down, not sweat up a Nile River."
The angel frowns at his mistake. He does what he's told and swipes the blanket from Dean, earning a garbled groan from the man as he curls in on himself in a feeble attempt to stay warm.
"It is done."
"Good. Make sure he drinks plenty of water, too. Same goes for Sam, but make sure he stays warm, you hear?"
"Yes, I hear you."
"They're gonna need medicine, too, so zap yourself to a pharmacy and get some pills."
"I have no money to purchase such things."
"Just take them – zap in, zap out."
"Stealing is a sin, Bobby Singer," Castiel says gravely.
Bobby's voice is exasperated."Then take Dean's wallet and buy them!"
"Wouldn't that mean I am stealing from Dean?"
"Call it borrowing. Make sure you – what? No, I don't want no bath. Lady, I said n-" Castiel hears voices in the background; a woman is reprimanding Bobby while Bobby is arguing back heatedly. Then, "Gotta go, Cas. Don't forget what I said – and try not to kill them."
The line goes dead before Castiel can reply back.
Sam wakes up and there is someone looming over him, over his bed. He starts, but his throat contracts and he finds himself coughing until he is breathless, spots clouding his vision. A glass of water is pushed into his hands and he takes it without question, swallowing it in three swings.
Once he settles, and his vision regains normality, he has to blink several times to be sure he isn't seeing things. He finally finds his voice – his hoarse, dry voice, "C-Cas?"
"Hello, Sam," the angel greets. He takes the cup of water from his hand and asks, "How are you feeling?"
He is greatly confused at Catiel's presence. He doesn't answer at first, still gaping. "Ah, honestly, not all the great," Sam admits finally, propping his elbows on the bed and pushing himself up. He leans his head back on the headboard and sighs. His throat is uncomfortably raw and tight, and it hurt immensely to swallow that water.
He notices Castiel staring at him and avoids those blue eyes, looking away somewhere else. He sees Dean on the bed, curling in on himself, blankets thrown on the floor. He licks his lips and asks, "How's Dean?"
"He is feverish," Castiel answers simply, following Sam's gaze. "I will tend to him momentarily."
A brow is raised, "Tend...? Cas, are you … taking care of us?"
Sam couldn't help but gawk. He asks, "Why?"
It was Castiel's turn to be confused. "Because you are ill, of course." He cocks his head. "The woman at the pharmacy expressed that, if left unattended, your sicknesses can ultimately kill you both."
"The woman at the pharmacy...?" He coughs. He wonders if he is hearing things correctly or his foggy mind is playing tricks on him.
"Yes," Castiel says, turning, and Sam could have sworn he saw a glint of delight in his eyes. That's when Sam notices the table on the wall across from his, stacked with bottles, small red boxes, and white bags with the blue words, 'Rosehill's Pharmacy'.
"Uh … Cas?"
"It seems there were many remedies and medications for your's and Dean's illnesses, and many that stated they bested the other," Castiel explained, picking out a few of the bottles. "I was unsure which ones I should purchase."
"So you bought all of them?" Sam feels a headache ensuing.
"Is that a problem?" Castiel asks innocently. "I was merely looking out for your well-being."
"You didn't have to..."
"But I did," Castiel cuts it. He is staring at Sam again, eyes serious, "You both were in no shape to take care of yourselves. I took it upon myself to see to your recovery."
Sam doesn't know how he should he respond, but he is suddenly very uncomfortable. Out of all the odd things Sam has heard the angel say, this one was by far, the oddest. "Oh. Uh – thanks? I guess …?"
"You're welcome, Sam," The angel nods. He walks over to Sam's bed with the bottles in his hands."Now, is your stomach irritating you?"
Sam blinks at the question. "What? Um – yeah, just a little."
"Then take one of these." Castiel pushes a blue bottle into Sam's hands and then asks, "Are you experiencing any headaches?"
"Yeah, maybe – listen Cas, you don't have to..."
"Take two of these," He pushes a red bottle into his hand and ignores his sputters. "Is your nose congested?"
"A little, but –"
"Cas," Sam grabs the sleeve of his trench coat, stopping him. Tiredly, patiently, he says, holding a hand up, "Just hang on a second, man."
The urgency in Castiel's eyes are a strange and peculiar thing to see. "You must take these, Sam." Castiel's voice is firm and resolved, and the seriousness that follows it makes Sam fall back. "You must be restored back to health and these will help you. Take them." He pushes the bottles into Sam's hands adamantly, arduously. "Please."
Sam is staring at the angel, analyzing his face, trying to figure out what has him so worked up. He gives up, however, when his eyes droop and he knows he won't win this battle. He nods mutely.
Castiel relaxes. "Good. Now," a bowl of steaming soup is suddenly in his hands and Sam is unsure whether he materialized it or the angel picked it up from somewhere. "Can you eat it yourself or would you like me to feed you?"
Dean can hear voices in his sleep, not like a dream or a nightmare, rather like something between unconsciousness and consciousness, seeping into his mind. It sounds like people talking, and he has half a mind to shout to the voices to shut the hell up because he is trying to get some freakin' sleep here.
Eventually the voices do simmer down, and Dean tries to sink back into senselessness. He is not successful. He is too cold to sleep and too dizzy and his body aches horrendously. Sleep is no longer a possible idea, so he decides to wake up.
Slowly, in stages, he materializes from under the thin bed sheet. First, his slovenly brown hair, then his flustered, grimacing face, eyes pinched shut against the light, a hand groping for the headboard to support him, the sheets sliding down as he pulls himself up with a grunt. He makes a valiant effort to look up, but flinches from the light and drops his head to his chest.
Then his stomach lurches and his eyes snap open. His throat runs cold and dry and he knows he won't have anytime to stand up before he gets sick.
A wastebasket is handed to him and he vomits into it instantly, not even pausing to see who had given it to him. His throat is on fire when he finishes, and it takes a moment for him to catch his breathe. Shit. He feels horrible. He can't remember the last time he'd felt this shitty – probably that one time Dad left him and Sam in some suspicious motel in the borderlines of Montana, and he'd gotten so under weather that he was under his blankets for a good four days.
Fan – freakin' – tastic.
Mutely, in the distance, probably miles away, he hears a voice. He disregards it, however, in favor of shutting his eyes and trying to keep his balance inside his head. Then the voice gets louder, then louder, then Dean realizes numbly that the voice is coming from less than a foot away from him.
"Dean," the voice says, and Dean has to blink three times to attach the voice to a source.
"Cas," he replies, but he's not completely positive he pronounced that correctly; his tongue is numb and burning from the foul bile that reminiscences in his mouth. The puzzled look Castiel is giving him answers his question for him.
"Are you awake now?" His voice is cadaverous as per norm and echoes in his ears painfully.
"What're you doing here?" Dean slurs, vocalizing the first thing that creeps his mind. "Uriel's not with you, is he?"
"No. Uriel died months ago."
"Oh. Good. He was a dick."
"You've expressed that many times in the past."
"Not enough times, seeing that you brought him with you."
"That is impossible due to the fact that he is dead."
"Where do angels go when they die?"
Dean nods to himself. A pounding in his head emerges and he winces. His hand flies to his forehead, trying to still the banging. "Urgh – God damn, did I get hit by a fucking truck?"
Castiel is pushing a cup of water to him, he notices after a few moments. He wants to ask how Castiel got that cup of water, if he learned how to use the faucet, if he knew where the plastic cups were, if the water is tap or sparkling, if Castiel flew to Alaska to get him the purest water – he couldn't decide on a question to ask so he takes the water instead.
After drinking, and feeling it trail down his throat, he finally feels relaxed. He decides to assess his condition as he wheezes out breathes. He can't decide whether he's cold or hot and he can't tell if the cold sweat is a side effect of vomiting or from the non-existent heat that lingers then leaves.
"Dean," he hears, and he notices that he's closed his eyes. Peeling them open, he sees that Castiel is still there, standing over him, his face in that peculiar expression, looking down at him. "How are you feeling?"
"Like shit, Cas, like fucking shit," and he wonders briefly if maybe he shouldn't curse in front of an angel of The Lord but then he remembers he wouldn't have to if he wasn't feeling like shit.
"Drink this," Cas says, holding up a spoon.
Dean blinks. "What is it?"
"Where the hell did you get medicine from?"
"The hell were you doing at a pharmacy?"
"Purchasing medication for you and Sam."
Dean perks up instantly at the name of his brother."Sam? Where is he? Is he OK? He's not sea again, is he?"
"He is currently asleep," the angel answers calmly, pushing Dean back down on the bed softy. "He is sick, like you."
"Oh." He relaxes at the reassurance. A part of him is guiltily satisfied that Sam is also sick like him so he doesn't have to suffer alone. Misery loves company. He stares blankly at the wall behind Castiel for many seconds, thoughts blank. Then he looks at the angel and says flippantly, "Well, this has been fun and all, but I think I'm gonna get some more shut eye."
"No. You must drink your medication first." The spoon is still resiliently in his hand, unwavering, posed to enter Dean's mouth.
"But I'm tired." He knows that he is whining and doesn't care.
Unsurprisingly, Castiel doesn't waver an inch. "I am aware of that. However, the bottle says that this medication is capable of making you feel better after one night's rest."
"It's bullshit, Cas. It doesn't actually do that."
Castiel stares at him, then looks at the bottle, looking somewhat betrayed. "Why would they print a lie on medication?"
"The million dollar question..." His eyes droop shut.
"Dean," then they snap open.
"Mrffg," he replies intelligently.
"Drink the medication."
He huffs, frowning. "Cas, I'm fine. I don't need medicine."
"On the contrary, I think you do."
"On the contrary contrary, I think I don't."
"You're beginning to not make sense. I believe your illness is effecting your thinking process."
Dean groans. "Sleep, Cas. I just want to sleep."
"Drink your medication first."
The large amount of patience that Castiel had seemed to be wearing off. "You are aware that I have the strength to forcefully open your mouth and pour the contents in it? If you don't consign to my request, I will have to resort to that, more unpleasant, method."
"Fine – fine." He snatches the spoon from the angel's hand and glares at him. "If it'll get you off my back, fine."
The spoon filled with liquid enters his mouth and Dean chokes at the contact. He turns his head and spits on the contents. "The hell, Cas? Grape? Grape? You got the grape flavored one?"
Castiel eyes widen slightly in surprise at the reaction. "Are you allergic?"
He snarls, "It's fucking grape flavored, dude! The most disgusting shit ever." Then he gags, "Oh, Jesus – Oh, god, it's like drinking acid." Then he moans, "I trusted you, man! I trusted you!"
"I – I'm sorry," Now the angel is surprised and confused.
Dean is wiping his tongue with his sleeve. "I thought you were my friend, Cas, my friend. And then you go ahead and give me grape flavored medicine. Jesus Christ, out of all the flavors, you go and get grape."
"I also have cherry flavored," Castiel tries, raising the red colored bottle.
"Gimme," Dean snatches it, twists the cap and takes a swing, grimacing afterward. "Ack – my mouth fucking burns. If I don't get better by tomorrow, I will force that whole bottle of grape shit down your throat!"
Later, Castiel disposes the grape medication by searing it in flames.
When Dean wakes up again - he doesn't even remember falling asleep - there is no angel in a trench coat standing by his bedside, staring down at him, a silent observer.
He is aware, however, of Sam, sitting up on his bed, besides Dean's, cradling his forehead in his palm. The light from the lamp is illuminating his sweaty and flushed face. Eyes sunken, forehead creased, Adam apple bopping in his throat.
Dean briefly wonders how long he had been asleep, laying in this stiff bed. His stiff joints suggest a long time.
Sam's voice is gravelly and grated when he notices Dean awake, blinking away sleep. He gets up and walks over to his older brother.
"Yo," Dean manages, giving a weak wave. He struggles to sit up, and Sam is by his side, gripping him by his elbows and setting him by the headboard. "Jesus, Sammy, that hair – it's taking over your face."
"Shut up," is Sam's automatic retort, shaking his head. He sits beside his brother. "But it's good to see you talking in normal sentences."
"I always talk in normal sentences."
Sam shakes his head again, but this time pushing his hair back. "You had a really high fever, man. You were saying all sorts of weird stuff."
He puts his palm on Dean's forehead and the other hand on his and frowns thoughtfully, nodding. "Looks like it finally dropped."
Dean smacks his hand away. "I'm fine – jeez. You really think a fever can keep me down?"
"Well, it has. It did – for a whole week."
"Wait – what?" Dean straightens quickly, eyes scanning Sam for any hint of a lie. "A week? I've been sick for a week?"
"Well, yeah." He points to the cheap calendar with the landscape pictures. June's picture is a close up of a lily in a field. "We started the hunt for the witch on the 15th. It's the 22nd now."
"You're shitting me..."
Dean stares at him, dazed. Then, a wave of cold hits him and he shivers, hugging him. Sam notices this and scoops the blanket that lay discarded on the floor, wrapping it around his brother.
"You had a fever," Sam reminds him, because he knows Dean is about to complain about the lack of warmth. "You had to cool off."
Dean grunts as a response, but accepts the answer. He looks at his brother, who's eyes reflect his concern. "What about you?"
"How are you feeling? You look like you just took six rounds with the bacteria king."
Sam laughs, rubbing his neck. "No, no, I'm – I'm good. I was worse before – like you – but now I'm good. Stomach hurts a bit, but that's all."
"Guess we were lucky then, huh?"
Sam pauses, and Dean notices this pause. "What?" He asks at his brother's silence. Sam is looking at him strangely, his eyes squinted in confusion, corners of his mouth pulled down in perturbation. "What?" Dean repeats.
"You don't remember?"
Sam stares at him longer, more oddly. Then, he laughs. "Man, you must have been really out of it to not remember."
"Remember what?" Dean repeats in a growl, because now he is just plain aggravated.
"Castiel." Sam answers simply.
"Cas?" Dean frowns. "What about Cas?"
He can't tell if Sam is finding his confusion to be frighteningly strange or oddly funny, but either way he still wants to punch him in the face.
"He was here," Sam explains. "While we were down for the count, he was here – taking care of us." He gestures to the table by the bathroom door, the one that's stacks with pills and small boxes and medicine bottles and – is that a syringe?
"It was ... really weird."
Then it all comes rushing back to him; his memory like a vintage 50's film roll that's been burned and charred with little care. He sees Castiel, talking to him and giving him something, sees Sam in bed, sees Cas again, hears his voice, window getting bright then dark then bright; all the while, Cas is still standing there.
Something akin to remembrance must have flashed across Dean's face because after that long pause Sam asks, "Remember now?"
He licks his dry lips, "Yeah." His hand isn't shaking anymore when he brings it up to cradle his forehead, "Damn, I thought that was just some wacky dream."
"You always have wacky dreams with Cas?"
Dean shoves him. "Shut up, you know what I mean."
"Sure," Sam stands, patting his brother on the shoulder. "I'm gonna hit the shower; see if you can reach Bobby." He stretches, an audible snap from his bones is heard. He rummages through the forgotten bag on the floor, picks a few articles of clothing and shuts the door to the bathroom. A few seconds later, the sound of the shower running fills the small motel room.
Dean decides to get up too at this point. When he pushes himself off the bed, he pauses. The room is spinning at a nauseating pace, and Dean closes his eyes in hopes that it would stop. Minutes pass as he sits there, the only sound being the running water, the occasional truck rushing by. Finally, it stops, and Dean sighs.
He stands, pausing to see if the wave of dizziness would mercilessly return. It doesn't. He smirks.
He stretches as he walks toward the table with all the different bottles and boxes. Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, some brand that was beyond pronounceable.
He takes an aspirin and swallows it dryly. The floorboards creek as he paces towards the nightstand that sat between the two beds, towards his phone.
He flips it over. Black screen. "Dead," Dean mutters.
He searches his bag for his charger, finds it and plugs it into the wall and waits. He taps his fingers on his knees, bites his lips, looks around, listens to the water stop and Sam's wet feet slap onto the cheap tiles as he patiently – ever so patiently – waits for the phone to recharge.
He puffs his cheeks and stands, searching for something, anything to keep his mind off waiting. Using the motel's phone would only add to his bill, and he wasn't one to wasting money.
Speaking of money ... He crosses the room, to his jacket that was thrown over a chair. There was a chance he should have enough money to pay for the extra nights at the room, but one could never be too sure.
He searches the pockets and finds his wallet, frowning at the lightness of it. "No he didn't ..." He mutters breathlessly, his mind immediately coming to the one conclusion of why his wallet felt so empty. "He didn't."
"What's up, Dean?" Sam asks from the other side of the door, but he ignores him.
"No, no, no, no..." Dean fumbles to open the leather wallet, and finally pulls it open. "No, no, no – He did."
Dean drops his wallet, pursing his lips, crossing his arms. He looks up, taking a deep breathe to calm himself, then loses his patience all at once. "Cas is a thieving bastard, that's what's wrong!"
"What are you talking about?" Sam emerges from the bathroom, hair wet, clad in fresh clothes, towel around his neck. The shower did him some good; he looks much better than he did moments earlier.
Dean points to the wallet on the floor like it was the scene of the crime. "That wallet was stack filled with bills, Sam! And where are they now?"
"I'm sure there's a good reason for that," Sam tries.
"The only reason I see is that they grew fucking legs and walked away to money world!" Dean breathes through his nose dramatically. "I'm telling you, man, he robbed me. What kind of Angel of The Lord steals?"
"It's borrowing," Castiel sounds from beside Sam, and the younger Winchester jumps back at the sudden presence, clutching at his chest as if his heart was about to jump out.
"Hello, Sam," Castiel replies. He looks at the other. "Hello, Dean." He studies them both for a short moment and nods approvingly, "It is good to see you both on your feet."
"And where the hell were you?" Dean asks.
"Reporting to Bobby of your conditions. He'll be pleased to know that you are both doing much better."
"Reporting...?" Sam echoes the strange choice of wording, looking at his brother.
Dean shakes his head, "forget that – listen," he points to his wallet. "Where the hell is my money, Cas?"
Castiel frowns. "I would presume with the store clerk I gave it to, although, perhaps she has given it to someone else as change, therefore it could be miles away from here."
"Let me rephrase the question," his patience is running very thin. "Why did you take my money."
Cas squints his eyes at Dean's tone. "For your medication," the angel answers simply. "Also, for the motel owner. He was not pleased that you occupied the room longer than you specifically informed him." Seeing that Dean was still fuming, he cocked his head and tried, instead, with, "Bobby said it would be alright."
Dean runs a hand through his hair, "Bobby, of course." He sighs finally, and sags a little, letting a hand fall on Castiel's shoulder. "Listen, Cas –" he tries to form the appropriate words to say to the angel and ends up saying, "taking money from me, without asking, is a big no-no."
"No," Dean drawls. "No."
Castiel resigns. "Very well. It won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't," Dean says with a smile, patting the angel on the shoulder. Then he points at Castiel and says darkly, "and don't think I forgot about the grape medicine."
"Hey, Cas," Sam interrupts, and when both Dean and Castiel look at him, he sheepishly continues, "We're you really here, all week, taking care of us?"
"Really?" Dean gawks.
The angel doesn't reply. Sam licks his lips and awkwardly says, "oh, well, um, thanks, I guess."
Castiel turns to him, meets his eyes with his own blue ones, smiles a small smile, says, "you are welcome," and disappears.
"Wait –" he calls to the now empty space. Dean has the same expression as him, muttering a short, "Hate when he does that."
Suddenly, the cellphone left forgotten on the floor gives a small enthusiastic 'beep!' and Sam looks at his brother. "Call Bobby?"
"Yup." The charger cable is too short for him to stand and carry, so Dean has to sit down beside the phone, since pulling it out of the charger would result in it's immediate death.
He punches the speed dial number (1, obviously. Cas is 2.) and listens for the line start up. Sam sits next to him wordlessly, leaning back against the cheap floral wallpaper.
"For Christ's sake, Cas, what is it now?"
The outburst is unexpected, and incredibly loud that even Sam winces. Dean approaches tentatively, "Uh, Bobby?"
"Dean?" Bobby lets out an empty laugh – or was it a bewildered snort? – and says, "it's about time. I was beginning to think your angel killed you. Sam okay?"
Dean ignores the 'your angel' comment because, lately, he'd learned he could never stop Bobby and Sam from referring to Cas as such no matter how many times he rebutted. "We're both kickin' just fine."
"Just fine ain't gonna cut it, boy," Bobby snaps, but his tone held no malice. "You've been out for a week! A week! And because of that, the damn hospital wouldn't discharge me!"
When Dean rolled his eyes, Sam mouths mutely, "What's he saying?" And Dean replies, "that he misses us and sends us his love."
"The hell I do."
Sam snatches the cellphone from Dean's grip and presses the speaker button before setting it on the scratchy floor. "Hey, Bobby."
"Good, someone that cuts the crap." Dean gives his best offended look, and an aghast sound comes from the back of his throat. "Now will you tell me just what the hell happened to ya'll?"
"The abridged version is," Sam starts, looking up to process his thoughts. "Went down to this town in Idaho to see why everyone was getting sick and dying. Turns out a doctor was working with a funeral director, using spells to get people sick. The sick people went to the doctor, got him some money, then they'd die and the funeral director would get money."
"Synergy at its finest," Dean comments with a smirk.
"And you idjits just happened to get smacked by their spell then?" The smirk slides off.
"What's success without a little commission?"
"Not successful enough."
"It doesn't matter, really," Sam says hastily. "We're fine, the witches have been taken care of. Everything's good."
Dean snorts, loudly and obnoxiously. "Um, no, everything is not good." He glares at the phone as if he were glaring at Bobby, giving him his most pointed look. "You told Cas to take money from me? Really, Bobby? Really?"
"Fricken' angel tattles now..."
"Damn right he does! And since it was your brilliant idea, you owe me four hundred bucks!"
"You'll get your damn money once you get me the hell out of this hellhole of a hospital."
"We will," Sam reassures him. "We'll be there soon once we pack and leave."
"Just have Cas zap you here," Bobby suggests impatiently.
"He already took off," mutters Dean.
"Yeah, that reminds me," Sam starts. "Cas said that he was, uh..."
"Reporting," Dean supplies.
"Yeah, reporting to you about us."
"Reporting? Try annoying! That damned angel wouldn't leave me alone; hospital was bad enough without him popping in whenever he felt like it."
"Aw, Bobby! I think you have a secret angel admirer," Dean wags his eyebrows slyly and Sam rolls his eyes.
"He wasn't visiting 'cause he had a crush, you idjit."
Sam looks confused. "Then, what?"
Bobby mutters something along the lines of, "like talking to a frickin' wall," then says, "he was askin' me what he should do with you two morons."
The look of confusion flees Sam's face as understanding replaces it. Earlier conversation that he had with Castiel while he was bedridden replays in his mind. "Unfamiliar with human illnesses," he murmurs.
Dean's brow furrows. "What?"
Sighing, Sam elaborates. "Dean, Cas knows little to nothing about human ... behaviors. He's as naive as naive gets, remember?"
"So, imagine what he was thinking when he saw us sick in bed."
"Probably thought we were dying," Dean jokes with a snort. Then, with Sam's prodding face staring expectantly at him, Dean nods an "Oh" and says more seriously, more surprised, "he probably thought we were dying!"
"Exactly!" Sam enthusiastically says, his hand waving. "And since he didn't know what to do, he went to Bobby for help."
"Nice job, Nancy Drew."
"Wait," Dean starts, and the look of confusion is back on his face again. "So you're tellin' me that, for the whole week that we've been sick, Cas has been taking care of us?"
Dean frowns. "Don't you find that a little weird? Cas is suppose to be out there playing hide n' seek with God. Why the hell would he waste a week stuck with us? I mean, I know I'm awesome and all, but still..."
"That ... Huh. That is a little weird."
"You've gotta be kiddin' me..." Bobby drawls from the other line.
"What?" Sam and Dean ask simultaneously.
"I take back calling you Nancy Drew. You two are as dumb as dumb gets."
The brothers share a glance. Sam asks, "What are you talking about?"
"You really not know why he didn't just leave you there to rot in your own puke?"
"Should we?" Dean asks meekly.
An exasperated huff from Bobby fills the speakers, and Dean can imagine Bobby rolling his eyes. "I thought the angel was the emotionally stunted one in yer group..." He mutters.
The boys are quiet, because, really, they don't know how Bobby expects them to reply to him. They wait for him to continue, to explain, and after a few choice grumbles, the older hunter does, saying, "He couldn't heal my legs; his healing mojo is out of whack, remember? He couldn't heal me like you guys wanted him to, so..."
That's when Dean's eyes lit up brightly, full of understanding and perhaps a small amount of pity. "...so when he saw us both sick, he thought he could make up for it by healing us," he finishes breathlessly.
"Good job," Bobby drawls sarcastically. "Now don't forget to pick me up from this place. Can't exactly drive without workin' legs." He hangs up, the click echoing in the motel room.
Sam and Dean remain sitting. Sam's frown is more significant, and his brow more furrowed as he purses his lips, looking to his brother. Then, he murmurs, softly, apologetically, "I don't think we thank him enough."
And Dean knows that he's talking about Castiel, because he nods grimly and adds, "always thought he was just an emotionless Terminator."
"I think that changed when he frickin' got himself killed by an archangel for us," Sam says, trying not to make his tone sound accusing. Regardless, Dean nods, standing up, rubbing his face with one hand while the other is cropped on his hip.
"Well, next time we see him, we'll treat him to a nice thank you pie."
"I thought angels don't eat."
Dean smirks. "Then we'll shove it down his throat and make him eat it. If that doesn't say thank you then I don't know what does."
Author's note: For now, this is a one-shot, but there is a high probability that I might make this into a collection of one-shots, all centering around Dean, Sam, and Cas. So if you have any suggestions, prompts, ideas, or recs for the next one-shot, I'd be happy to take it into consideration! Thanks for reading!