Summary: Season 8 – Sick, Feverish, Nauseous Sam / Awesome Big Brother Dean taking care of his Sammy – When I'm sick and tired, we watch TV.

Disclaimer: Not mine

Warnings: Usual language, plus spoilers for season eight of Supernatural along with HUGE spoilers for season one of Game of Thrones.


When I'm sick and tired, [we]...watch TV. ~ Warrant


"What the hell?" Dean blurted, his voice echoing through the Batcave as he stared wide-eyed at the television across the room.

Momentarily speechless as he tried to process the dramatic turn of events – the completely unexpected turn of events.

Because seriously...

What. The. Hell?

Was this shit really going down?

Dean blinked, his gaze tracking every single movement onscreen.

Well, fuck.

It certainly looked like this shit was going down.

Ned Stark wasn't on his knees for the hell of it.

Sansa wasn't screaming for nothing.

Arya wasn't burying her face in that guy's chest because he smelled good.

That other guy wasn't pulling out that long-ass blade just for show-and-tell.

The crowd wasn't chanting a round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

This wasn't a party. This was a fucking execution.

Off with your head and all that shit.

Dean blinked again. "Oh my god..."

Because holy shit – this was happening.

"Oh my god..." Dean breathed again, unable to look away.

Because surely something else was going to happen – probably at the last minute – to prevent this from happening.

After all, Ned Stark was a badass!

Ned Stark was the Head of the House of Stark, the Lord of Winterfell, the Warden of the North...the main fucking character!

No fucking way was he going to be taken out by an order from that evil, scrawny, obnoxious little inbred asshat, King Joffrey...who really didn't even have claim to the throne.

But that was another story.

One crisis at a time.

Right now...no fucking way was this happening!

But they only had maybe two minutes left in this episode, so...

"Is this really gonna happen?" Dean asked, not even looking at his brother since he couldn't risk turning away from the TV even for a second.

Sprawled on the couch beside him in sweatpants and a hoodie, Sam tried not to smile at Dean's serious tone and intense expression; the youngest Winchester amused by the way his brother was leaning slightly forward, totally engrossed in the ninth episode of the first season.

Just like Dean had been from the first episode of the first season.

"What the hell is that?" Dean had demanded when the White Walker had appeared in the opening scene of the series. "Does that thing really exist?"

Sam had shaken his head. "No. I checked Dad's journal, did some other research. As far as I can tell, it's just fictional."

"Well, fictional or not, I would salt and burn that sucker so damn fast..."

Sam had nodded his agreement.

Then later...

"If anyone ever pushed you out of a window, I would fucking kill them..." Dean had promised Sam when Jamie the King Slayer had so maliciously pushed ten-year old Bran.

And then the comments had kept coming one episode after another. Hell, one scene after another...

Sam smiled. "You know..." he began, sounding as tired as he was. "It's more fun watching your reaction to this than it is watching the actual show," he admitted, his voice congested and hoarse from coughing all day.

...and coughing and coughing and coughing.

Dean's little brother so exhausted and miserable by evening that Dean had actually given in this time when Sam had suggested they hunker down on the couch and watch the first season of Game of Thrones.

"You've never seen it..." Sam had pointed out, his tone having been slightly whiney in that little brother way that always surfaced whenever he was overly-tired.

And that night, Sam was overly-tired and sick, so Dean had known he didn't stand a chance – that whatever Sam asked for, Sam was going to get.

And Sam, manipulative bitch that he was, had known it, too.

...which was why Sam had set his sights on this – getting Dean to finally watch one of Sam's favorite shows.

Dean had sighed.

"Dean..." Sam had prompted when Dean had not responded. "You've never seen it."

Dean had rolled his eyes at the obvious. "I know," he had agreed, having also known that Sam had seen it; had watched season one and season two of the show – and had them both on DVD – and was now watching season three episodes on his laptop during the week when he felt like it.

So why would Sam want to start again with season one?

That was easy.

Because this was part of the sick Sam package – to seek distraction in a favorite show while seeking comfort by making Dean watch it with him; by making Dean sit right beside him so Sam could lean against his brother and eventually fall asleep.

That's just what Sam did when he was sick whether he was three or 30 – he watched TV and sought the reassurance of Dean.

And that was fine.

Dean was certainly used to this routine, having patiently endured it numerous times over the years while taking care of a sick, clingy little brother.

But...

Dean had sighed once more as he had ladled soup into one of the bowls on the counter.

"It's not really my kind of show, Sam."

Seated at the small table they had in the kitchen, Sam had scowled at Dean's back. "How do you know? Do you even know what it's about?"

Dean had shrugged, had crossed to the table and had placed the bowl in front of his brother. "Medieval shit."

Sam had pulled a face at the overly simplistic description of such a complicated show. "It's more than that," he had insisted in that passionate way most people did when talking about their favorite fandom. "It's about family and love and trust...but there's also fighting and lying and blood and..."

Sam had paused, had seemed to suddenly realize the one detail that might attract his brother's attention.

Dean had returned to the stove, his back once again to Sam as he had ladled his own soup into the other bowl.

"There's lots of naked people and sex," Sam had announced, revealing just one of the reasons why the show was on HBO. "Almost like porn in some episodes..."

Dean had blinked and had turned to look at Sam with an arched eyebrow.

Porn, you say?

I'm listening...

Sam had smiled, knowing he had won.

Dean had said nothing, had again crossed to the table with his bowl of soup and had sat opposite Sam.

Sam had watched him. "It's a good show," he had further enticed and had nodded in that adorable loopy way he did these days.

Dean had quirked a smile.

Sick, exhausted, adorable, sweet, loopy, little brother Sammy was always impossible to resist.

Damn this kid.

"It's a really good show," Sam had added. "Really, really, really, really good."

Dean had snorted. "Fine," he had relented. "I'll tell you what..."

Because Sam wasn't the only manipulative bitch around here.

"If you eat all of your soup and drink all of your water...then I'll watch it with you. But just season one..." Dean had quickly clarified. "I'm not watching the whole damn series."

Sam had frowned at the deal his brother was trying to strike. "I'm not a kid, Dean," he had whined...just like a kid. "You can't bargain with me like that."

Dean had again arched an eyebrow at Sam's claim.

Because really? Since when couldn't he bargain with his little brother like that?

There had been a beat of silence.

Sam had sighed, had reconsidered the offered deal as he had glanced down at the soup, feeling the steam rising from the bowl.

"Dean. If I eat this, I'll throw up," Sam had warned, had wrinkled his nose and had swallowed hard at just the thought of putting the spoon in his mouth.

Dean had shrugged. "Then I'll clean it up."

It wouldn't be the first time.

Sam had wrinkled his nose again. "Gross, Dean."

Dean had chuckled – because he had done a lot of "gross" things for Sam over the years without even thinking twice. That's what you did when you loved somebody. That's what you did for your kid – you took care of him no matter what that required and no matter how old he got.

There had been more silence.

Dean had watched Sam continue to stare at the soup and swallow like Sam was going to make good on his prediction about throwing up even before he took a bite.

From across the table, Dean had sighed. "Sammy. Listen. You want me to watch that stupid show with you...and I want you to eat so I don't have to worry about you starving or losing more weight." He had paused. "Sounds like a win-win situation to me..."

"Except for the throwing up part..."

Dean had shaken his head. "Dude. Stop thinking about that. And stop being a drama queen. Just eat the damn soup..." he had ordered his brother.

And to his amazement, Sam had.

In fact, the first bite had seemed to remind Sam that he was actually hungry.

Twenty minutes later, Dean's little brother had cleaned his bowl, had emptied his water bottle...and had managed to keep all of it down, even now several hours later.

It was a small victory, but Dean would take it.

Especially since their victories were so few and far between these days.

And since Sam had kept his end of the deal, Dean had no choice but to keep his as well.

...which was why he and his little brother were sitting in the dark with the yellow-blue glow of the television flickering around the room at 3:00 in the morning as they continued to watch Game of Thrones.

Because Dean had said he would – only the big brother had never expected the show to be this damn good, this damn engaging, this damn heart-pounding.

Dean narrowed his eyes at the TV as the guy with the long-ass sword approached a kneeling Ned Stark.

And spoiler alert – Ned wasn't about to be knighted. It wasn't that kind of sword.

Dean shook his head. "Sam..." he growled. "I'm not screwin' around here. Is this really gonna happen?"

Sam rolled his eyes. "Stop asking me, Dean," he complained, his brother having quizzed him on episode events throughout the last four discs. "I'm not telling you."

Dean cut his eyes at his brother. "You're a pain in my ass."

Sam laughed and then swallowed against the urge to cough.

Because the coughing spells had lessened after dinner, and he really didn't want to start again.

Even more, Sam didn't want to ruin the moment; didn't want to interrupt the good time he had been having with Dean – just him and his big brother shoulder-to-shoulder on the couch as they watched TV just like any other brothers...just like Sam wasn't sick and the third trial wasn't still looming.

Sam sighed – not wanting to think about that now – and swallowed again, glancing at the water bottle on the coffee table where his feet were currently propped.

And hey...whoever guessed they would even have a coffee table?

Sam smiled at the thought and then sighed once more, wanting the water but deciding it was too much trouble to actually sit up and reach for it.

Oh, well...

Sam yawned – he was tired, always tired – and wondered if Dean realized he was leaning against him more now than he had been an hour ago.

Knowing Dean, he probably did.

And he probably had noticed that Sam was warmer now than he had been an hour ago, too.

Because that's how Dean operated – would seem to be completely absorbed in something, yet always keenly aware of Sam as well.

It was a big brother superpower.

Sam smiled at his inner dialogue, feeling slightly loopy from fever and fatigue.

He really needed to go to bed.

But Dean was enjoying the show...and Sam was enjoying the moment...and there was only one more episode left in season one, so...

"Are you fucking kidding me?"

Sam blinked as Dean ranted about what was seconds away from happening onscreen.

Dean shook his head, still staring at the TV across the room and then leaned forward to grab Sam's water bottle.

"Here," Dean told his brother, pushing the bottle into Sam's clammy hand without even looking at the kid. "I think your fever's going up. You're too hot."

Sam nodded – because he felt too hot – and accepted the water.

Not surprised that Dean had read his mind about wanting it.

Not surprised that Dean had felt his increasing temperature as he leaned against him.

Not surprised that Dean was simultaneously keeping up with the show and with his condition.

Dean was awesome like that.

Sam smiled and took a sip of water, closing his eyes as he swallowed.

He was hot.

And tired.

He was hot and tired.

"Sam...what the fuck is this shit?" Dean demanded, vaguely gesturing toward the grim scene unfolding in the last seconds of the show.

Sam snorted and opened his eyes. "I know, right?" he replied. "Totally unexpected."

"Totally fucked up," Dean corrected heatedly and suddenly stood, unable to sit still any longer.

Sam sagged into the space on the couch where Dean had been seconds before and chuckled; then coughed, swallowed, spoke. "Pacing isn't going to help..."

Because Ned Stark was already a goner.

"It helps me," Dean retorted, stomping back and forth and then stopping when the moment of truth had arrived.

The sword was raised.

Dean clasped his hands and grabbed his head, his elbows out to the side. "Dude! You can't kill him!" he yelled at the executioner on TV. "He's Ned Stark! Winter is coming and shit! What the hell?"

But Dean's ranting was useless.

It was too late.

The story had already been written.

The sword swung down with the sharp, unmistakable sound of metal slicing through flesh...and Arya opened her eyes...and the birds flew up into the sky...and that was it.

Blackout.

Cue music.

Roll credits.

Dean stared wide-eyed at the TV. "I can't fucking believe this..."

Sam nodded. "I know," he agreed. "That's how I felt the first time I saw it."

Dean shook his head, speechless.

Sam smiled at his brother's back as Dean continued to stare at the TV with his hands clasped on his head.

There was a beat of silence.

Only a second separating Sam from feeling relatively okay...to feeling like he was going to throw up.

Sam frowned at the realization and shifted uncomfortably on the couch, suddenly aware of just how hot he was, of just how nauseous he felt.

Sam swallowed and glanced at the bottle still in his hand, vaguely wondering if maybe drinking water had not been a good idea.

Because Sam could feel the liquid sitting heavy in his stomach along with the soup he had eaten several hours ago.

And it seemed the water was becoming a troublemaker, was quite literally stirring the soup; was convincing Sam's dinner that it had been too content to let itself be digested and instead needed to rise up.

Sam's stomach churned in preparation even as he swallowed against the impending uprising.

Because did his life not already suck enough without having to endure puking, too?

Really?

And what if there was blood in his vomit? Would that mean something different than the blood he routinely coughed up?

Sam swallowed again, scared to even think about that, and struggled to sit up straighter on the couch, to lean forward so at least the watery, soupy mess that threatened to spew any second would land on the floor and not on the upholstery.

Dean glanced over his shoulder at the sound of Sam moving, frowning at the expression of alarm on his brother's pale, sweaty face. "What's wrong?"

"I think I'm gonna throw up..." Sam announced, barely able to speak over the urge to gag.

Dean snorted. "Yeah. Me, too..." he agreed dryly, joking about feeling physically sick over Ned Stark losing his head...and then realizing that Sam was not joking.

That Sam was serious.

That Sam was gagging even as Dean was staring at him, though thankfully nothing was coming up...yet.

"Whoa. Hey..." Dean called, immediately crossing to his brother; crouching in front of Sam and angling for a better view of the kid's face. "Sammy..."

Sam hummed a distracted response, having successfully sat up on the couch and leaned forward; his elbows on his knees, his head in his hands with his thumbs on his temples and his fingers steepled in the middle of his forehead as he tried to breathe through this.

"I don't wanna throw up..." Sam admitted miserably, practically panting from the adrenaline-fueled panic pulsing through his system. "Dean..." He swallowed, one hand leaving his forehead and blindly reaching for his brother. "I don't wanna throw up."

"I know, Sammy. I know, man..." Dean soothed, still crouched in front of his brother – not caring if that meant he would be puked on – and grabbed Sam's seeking hand. "It's okay. I'm right here. And we've been through this before, right? No big deal."

Sam huffed a breathless laugh – because yeah, he and Dean had thrown up in front of each other countless times, but this time seemed different.

"What if..." Sam swallowed and squeezed Dean's hand as his stomach cramped. "What if there's blood?"

Dean cringed at the question, thankful that his brother was still looking at the floor and not at him. "Then we'll deal with it," he replied, his tone calm and confident even as his own stomach twisted at the thought.

But what else could they do?

If Sam threw up blood, then they would deal with it.

"But don't worry about that now," Dean told his brother – and himself. "Nothing's happened yet. Just breathe through it..."

Sam nodded and swallowed.

Seconds passed.

Dean remained crouched in front of Sam, wondering what had brought this on.

It had been over nine hours since Sam had eaten anything, so why would his brother be nauseous now? If the soup Sam had consumed was going to make the kid throw up, that should've happened hours ago.

Dean shook his head, hoping this wasn't a new symptom of the trials' effects and thinking he should probably go snag a trashcan from one of the nearby rooms. That way he wouldn't have as much mess to clean up if his brother really did puke.

But doing that would require leaving Sam alone, so...

Dean shook his head, rejecting that idea, and then glanced at Sam.

"Hey..." Dean called to his brother, still gripping Sam's hand. "Talk to me. Any better?" he asked, though he knew it wasn't; could tell by Sam's tense posture, ragged breathing, and repeated swallowing.

As predicted, Sam shook his head.

Dean nodded. "Alright. Just hang in there, man..." he encouraged. "I don't know what the hell brought this on, but – "

" – water," Sam interrupted and gagged at just the mention of what had started this feeling.

Sam swallowed and then gagged again, the stronger gag dangerously close to becoming productive.

Dean frowned. "Easy..." he urged and glanced at the now empty water bottle that Sam had set back on the coffee table at some point. "What do you mean 'water'?" he asked, glancing back at Sam. "You want more water?"

Because keeping Sam hydrated had definitely been an ongoing battle these days. Not due to vomiting – though that seemed to be changing – but due to the incredibly high fevers the kid would spike. The intense heat raging through Sam's sick, exhausted body and sucking him dry in every possible way.

Dean shook his head – freshly hating these fucking trials and what they were doing to his brother.

"Sam..." Dean called and lightly shook his brother's hand still grasped in his. "Talk to me. You want more water?"

Because Dean would get Sam whatever he wanted.

Just name it, kid.

"No," Sam replied, practically sobbing the word. "That..." He swallowed. "That started this."

Dean arched a skeptical eyebrow at the theory, remembering why he had given Sam the water bottle in the first place several minutes ago – because his brother was burning up.

Dean had felt the heat through his shirt as Sam had leaned against him on the couch.

And suddenly this all made sense.

Suddenly Dean realized he could fix this.

Because it wasn't the water or anything else making Sam feel pukey – it was the fever.

High fevers could cause nausea.

And Sam's fever was through the fucking roof.

Dean could feel the heat radiating from his brother as he continued to crouch in front of Sam; could feel the kid's sweaty hand held in his.

Dean nodded in agreement with his diagnosis and reached for his brother to further confirm; damp strands of Sam's bangs limply tickling his knuckles as he palmed Sam's forehead; his fingers overlapping with Sam's as the kid continued to rest his head in his hand.

Sam glanced up at Dean, his brother's face within inches of his. "What?" he asked; his voice tired, his eyes squinting.

"I think you're about to spontaneously combust," Dean reported, only half joking since Sam was uncomfortably hot to touch.

No wonder the kid felt even shittier than usual.

"We need to get your fever down," Dean told his brother, one hand slipping from Sam's forehead while the other wormed out of Sam's grasp. "Put your arms up."

Sam blinked at the unexpected order. "What?"

"Arms up," Dean repeated, actually raising Sam's arms himself before reaching for the hem of his brother's hoodie as he stood, bringing the sweatshirt over Sam's head and then pulling the sleeves off his arms, revealing the kid's grey t-shirt underneath.

Dean nodded his approval.

"There," the big brother announced as he tossed the hoodie on the coffee table. "That has to help. I know that thing is like your binky when you're sick, but you were roasting in it. Like a fever incubator..."

Sam didn't comment; only swallowed and leaned forward.

Dean nodded, understanding how it felt to be so close to throwing up that you were afraid to even open your mouth to speak. "Okay, Sammy. It's okay," he soothed. "Once we get you cooled off, you'll feel better."

Sam made a skeptical sound – half moan, half grunt – and continued to brace his elbows against his knees as he held his head.

"I promise," Dean assured his brother about feeling better soon and patted Sam's shoulder. "I'll be right back. Just hang tight. And don't throw up..."

"I'll try..." Sam offered and then closed his eyes, swallowing to prevent himself from gagging.

Dean nodded and left the room, returning barely a minute later with a fresh bottle of water, a wet washcloth, an icepack wrapped in a towel, and a small oscillating fan.

"Here..." Dean paused beside the couch long enough to press the washcloth into Sam's hand. "Put that on your face while I get this set up."

"'Kay..." Sam easily agreed, not asking what Dean had to set up; not even looking to see – just accepting the washcloth as he kept his head down and his eyes closed, burying his face into the cold, wet fabric as he concentrated on breathing slowly and deliberately through his mouth as he listened to Dean moving around.

In the next second, there was a cool, gentle breeze blowing through Sam's sweat-damp hair and across his overly-warm forehead and down his neck and over his shoulders and...

Sam sighed in response – because damn that felt good – and raised his head; blinking open his eyes and squinting as the fan now blew directly in his face.

Dean smiled, clearly pleased with himself and his surprise; having bought the fan on a whim the last time he had made a run for supplies.

Sam tilted his head and swallowed. "Where did you get that?"

Dean shrugged. "Doesn't matter. It's ours now," he replied vaguely.

Sam frowned as Dean crossed to the couch and sat down beside him. "Did you steal it?"

Dean laughed, thinking he should probably be offended not amused. "No. It's bought and paid for," he assured his loopy brother, taking the washcloth from Sam. "Just figured it would be a good thing to have around..."

Especially when little brothers were routinely spiking fevers well over 100.

Sam nodded, suddenly realizing, and smiled tiredly. "Thanks."

Dean smiled as well, tossing the now warm washcloth to join Sam's hoodie on the coffee table and then reaching for the towel-wrapped icepack, flattening it between his hands.

"I feel better already," Sam reported, amazed how the small fan blowing back and forth across his face had dramatically decreased his nausea.

Dean nodded at the news. "Told you..." he teased his brother good-naturedly. "Have I ever let you down?"

"Not recently," Sam responded and then laughed when Dean lightly nudged his shoulder.

"Smartass," Dean growled, though there was no heat to his words.

Sam smiled.

Dean shook his head in mock irritation. "Here..." he told his brother, reaching to settle the icepack over the back of Sam's neck and holding it there; his thumb rubbing the too-warm skin beneath the towel's edge in a subconscious, comforting gesture.

Sam sighed in response and closed his eyes, his body sagging in relief as his temperature instantly dropped, taking the lingering remnants of nausea with it.

Dean smiled, because these were the moments he appreciated these days; these rare moments when he could actually do something to make Sam feel better.

Dean nodded – more relaxed now that Sam seemed more relaxed – and leaned back on the couch, grasping Sam's shoulder and pulling his brother back as well.

Sam didn't resist, practically melting into the cushions and then listing toward Dean.

Dean let him, gladly accepting Sam's weight as the kid slumped against him.

Nearby, the fan continued to blow across the brothers – both resting their heads on the top cushion of the couch with Dean's hand sandwiched between Sam's neck and the cushion, still holding the icepack where it belonged.

It was an awkward position, and Dean carefully slid his hand out of the space; narrowing his eyes to make sure the icepack would be held securely enough by itself.

Satisfied that it wasn't moving, Dean nodded his approval and shook his hand, loosening slightly cramped muscles and glancing down at Sam.

"Hey..." he called to his brother. "How's it going over there? You good now?"

"Mmhmm..." Sam hummed, sounding content and relaxed but completely wrung out.

...which wasn't surprising given Sam's condition; the current crisis passed but the overall symptoms still lingering.

Because Sam's fever wasn't gone; it was just down.

But Dean would take it, especially if Sam felt better.

Dean sighed, watching the fan slowly turn in front of them, and then glanced at the TV, realizing it was still on – the DVD having automatically returned itself to the main menu, patiently waiting for them to start episode ten.

Dean soundlessly snorted.

No thanks. He had been emotionally traumatized enough for one night.

But he stared at the screen, thinking about everything that had happened in the last nine episodes they had watched and how good the overall show was.

Dean pulled a face.

Whoever thought he would become a Game of Thrones fanboy?

Dean twitched a smile at the description and shook his head, fully blaming Sam for this.

"I still can't believe Ned is dead," Dean commented, the statement losing some of its impact when it rhymed like that.

Dean shrugged, feeling Sam shift beside him on the couch.

"I guess the Queen was right, huh?" Dean continued to muse. "You either win or your die. There's no middle ground."

...just like these trials.

Sam either succeeded and won...or he died.

Dean blinked at the thought, startled by the unexpected comparison, and then clenched his jaw.

Because fuck that – fuck dying.

It was overrated and no longer allowed between him and Sam.

No.

Sam was going to succeed.

Sam was going to make this third trial his bitch.

Sam was going to fucking win.

Dean's little brother was going to slam the gates of Hell forever, and Dean was going to be right there beside the kid every step of the way – cheering him on, holding him up, and making it better when this was finally over...making Sam better.

And Dean could hardly wait; could hardly wait for the day when Sam was healthy again.

Dean closed his eyes, surprisingly emotional at the thought.

There was silence – just the whir of the fan mixed with the soft whispers of Sam's breaths in Dean's ear as the kid dozed on Dean's shoulder.

Dean sighed, opening his eyes and getting a grip.

He cleared his throat.

"Hey..." Dean called to Sam, once again glancing down at his brother resting against him. "You still good?"

Sam nodded, his cheek rubbing against Dean's shirt.

"Good," Dean praised. "Let's get you to bed, then. You've already stayed up way too late."

Sam snorted sleepily. "I don't have a bedtime," he mumbled.

"Yeah, you do," Dean countered, easing Sam away from him and preparing to stand.

Sam scowled, lifting his head and feeling the icepack shift behind his neck. "We can't go to bed now," he protested as Dean stood. "We've got one more episode to watch."

"No thanks," Dean replied dryly. "I've had enough emotional trauma for one night. And unless you tell me that episode ten opens with the resurrection of Ned Stark, then I'm not interested. It can wait."

Sam shook his head. "No. He's still dead."

"Then I'm still pissed, and it's time for bed," Dean announced, grabbing the icepack from behind Sam's neck and tossing it on the coffee table with everything else Dean would clean up later.

Still sitting on the couch, Sam sighed and rubbed his eyes like a sleepy kid.

Dean quirked a smile. "Want some more water?" he asked, gesturing to the fresh bottle he had brought earlier.

"Ugh..." Sam replied and swallowed. "No."

Dean nodded at the expected response. "Fine. Later, then..."

Because Sam would be drinking water later, whether he liked it or not.

Sam only swallowed once more at the thought.

Dean smiled. "Alright. Let's go..." he told Sam, reaching to help his tired, unsteady brother to his feet. "We can finish season one after breakfast and then start season two..."

Sam arched an eyebrow. "Season two?" he echoed, confused...then amused as he realized what that meant. "I thought you were only going to watch season one. That was our deal."

Dean scowled at Sam's teasing, not ready to admit that he liked Game of Thrones, though he knew Sam already knew.

"Well, new deal..." Dean recovered smoothly, grabbing the remote from the coffee table and clicking off the TV; the room now lit only by the light in the hallway filtering in. "If you eat breakfast, I'll watch season two."

Sam snorted knowingly. "Uh-huh..."

"Don't 'uh-huh' me," Dean returned and grasped Sam's bicep, trying not to notice that his fingers almost touched his thumb on the opposite side.

That's how thin Sam was getting.

Dean forced himself to smile. "C'mon, Sammy. On three..."

Sam nodded, helping to push himself to his feet when Dean finished counting and then swaying slightly as he stood in front of his brother.

"Easy..." Dean urged, waiting for Sam to regain his balance and then cupping the kid's elbow. "Ready?"

"Yeah," Sam agreed and swallowed. "Just a little dizzy, so..."

"We'll take it slow," Dean assured, knowing his brother was also weak and exhausted.

Sam nodded.

Dean did the same, leaning to switch off the fan as they turned to leave the room.

They shuffled down the hallway in silence – Sam concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other while Dean concentrated on holding his little brother up.

After all, they had always worked best as a team; as one brother watching the other brother's back.

There was no reason that should change now.

Dean smiled fondly, his hand still cupping Sam's elbow as his other hand now rested on Sam's back.

"So..." Dean began, tired of the silence. "How does season one end? Will I be further traumatized?"

Sam laughed breathlessly, the walk to his room draining him more than it should. "You'll like it," he promised his brother.

Dean arched an interested eyebrow. "Yeah?"

Sam nodded. "Two words..." He swallowed. "Naked Khaleesi."

Dean blinked, pleasantly surprised. "I like those two words," he agreed. "We're talking about the dragon woman, right?"

Sam nodded again, too winded to speak.

Dean smiled appreciatively. "Khaleesi..." he commented, his tone as suggestive as his expression.

Sam rolled his eyes but smiled.

Seconds passed.

"Hey..." Dean called as they neared Sam's room. "Speaking of dragons...when the hell are we gonna see them? I mean, really..."

"Don't worry," Sam assured and coughed lightly. "They're coming."

"Winter is coming..." Dean returned and smiled, knowing Sam would get the joke.

And Sam did.

Dean's little brother snorted.

Dean smiled, loving this kid so damn much – this sick, weak, exhausted kid who was barely on his feet but who was going to complete these fucking trials and win.

Because dying wasn't an option.

And there was no middle ground.


FIN