A/N: Because I just love sick!Sam and am trying to crawl out of a stupid case of horrible writer's block! heh ... LOL ... I own nothing. Sorry for any grammar/spelling mistakes. Enjoy.
He's trying to fall asleep, head leaned to the cool glass of the car's side window, but every time he almost falls over the edge between just resting his eyes and full on sleep, he jerks back, pulled from the edge by some noise that comes from the driver's side. A sniff, a creak of leather, a hand through Dean's hair, a shift of his brother's body on the seat, the sound of the blinker, a guitar riff a bit too loud from the speakers; just some tiny noise that usually means absolutely nothing to him, but is just too much right now.
The sun is hot through the glass, heating up his right cheek and helping the headache that's trying to push his right eye out of its socket and split open his temple.
His hands cannot seem to stop shaking where he has them curled up in his lap and there are tears gathering in the corner of his eye, clearly pushed there by the splitting headache and the warmth of the sun.
He wants to sleep, get away from this insistent pain and the inability to stop his hands from trembling so much.
The word is whispered, but to him it sounds as if it has been yelled straight into his ear. He flinches and shudders and clenches his eyes shut against the noise of everything - the world, the car, his brother. Even listening to Dean breathe, while usually very comforting, is hurting him.
"Uh, Dean, I..." he swallows "... don't feel so good, man."
"You gonna hurl?"
"I don't know."
He doesn't. Not really. Yes he feels something shifting in his stomach, something tightening his throat, but he honestly can't say if he's in the puking zone yet or not.
"Okay Sam, we'll stop soon."
He trusts his brother, knows they really will stop soon and then he'll lay down on some unmoving bed and rest.
He just needs some rest that doesn't come in the form of sitting up and moving or lying down like a pretzel in the back seat.
He burps. Uh-oh.
"Dean..." he whines, because he's definitely approaching puking territory now.
Something in his stomach moves and it's not good.
"Dean..." he whimpers and breathes out slowly, leaning back on the seat, pressing his hands into his stomach as if he's trying to grab whatever is moving in there and stop it from making its way up and out.
"Ooookay, okay stopping."
The Impala is a good car, a great car, always gets them where they wanna go, in and out of trouble, a reliable home, but the way she lurches to the right, and stops ... it nearly makes him puke all over her.
He can't reply to all the questions in that one word. His mouth is full of spit and he needs all his energy to breathe and not scream at the headache that's - no kidding - trying to crack his skull open.
He hears the soft cuss even through the creak of the door opening and the bang when they close, because Dean in a state of worry is loud even when not trying to be.
He sees his brother walk in front of the car, almost half run, but he knows Dean's muscles are all locked too tight from worry and the long drive to really run.
This is bad. He shouldn't have said that he isn't feeling good, he should have just stayed quiet and moan his pain out internally. Damn it. Daaaamn it.
He breathes out and in and startles when the door on his right side open too fast for his body to notice the vanishing of something solid there and he almost falls out of the car. Almost, because there are hands on his shoulders keeping him firmly in place.
"Jeesh hey, don't roll out."
He sounds like a child. He sounds like he did when he had been five and wanting his teddy bear, that got forgotten in the other other motel.
He sounds like he needs more than the world can give him. He sounds like he needs his mom, his dad, friends, life. But he also sounds like he needs Dean most of all.
"Yeah, 'm here."
There are no witty comebacks here, no stop whining, bitch and no you're such a girl, Sammy ... because as much as he would love to hear all that, would give anything really to hear all that stupid, stupid crap fall out of his brother's mouth, he knows they are way beyond that now. They aren't kids anymore, no matter how much he wishes they still would be, they are no longer so young to take sickness as a joke, injuries as a joke, they aren't young enough anymore for all of that to not matter. They're old enough now, wise enough to know - from so many hits and misses throughout their fucked up lives - that there are no such things as minor injury, minor sickness. Everything is important now. Every knife nick, every paper cut, every weird feeling in the belly, every little pinch in the head, all of that is important now, even if before it was just brushed off like dust from a shoe.
"Dude, 'm really not feeling..." he chokes out to the dashboard, squinting his eyes against the glare of the sun and squeezing his jeans into tight fists. He's shaking, vibrating from the pain. He doesn't know what's wrong with him. He had been just fine when they started driving this morning, had breakfast and coffee, bought a bottle of water and some energy bars, sat down next to Dean and they were on their way.
And then baam! the headache just slammed into him somewhere along the way, the nausea started cooking up in his stomach and there's just nothing he can do now to make it all go away.
Dean's hands are as sure as they had ever been when they grab his legs under the knees and push and pull and slide his legs out of the car and set them to the ground. The heat from outside crashes into him and keeps on crashing like waves, punching him in his chest when he finally gathers enough strength to get his upper body to follow his legs. It's hard to breathe, the heat oppressive, pushing at his lungs, squeezing them and he rubs a hand up and down his sternum and groans. Puffs out air from his open mouth, because somehow, he just doesn't have the strength to close them.
Dean is right there, crouching before him, his brother's hands cupping his knees and the warmth that seeps through the jeans is comforting. Is familiar. He knows that heat, knows it will never go away as long as his brother is alive. Hell, if Ash is to be believed, it will never go away even when they die. For real die, not just one of those five minutes deaths that they have going on apparently.
He's not making any sense, he knows, but he also knows that Dean understands his gibberish just fine.
"Yeah, I hear ya brother."
He wants to weep. He truly, truly does. They are brothers. In their thirties and they should already have families, wives and kids and nephews and nieces and jobs that aren't all about blood and violence and obscure weirdness. But throughout their whole lives, there was no one, no other alive or dead person who would understand him like Dean does. Or understand Dean like he does. Sure there were times they hadn't understood each other at all, but deep, deep down, the understanding never went away. They can't have anyone else. They can never settle down, they can never have anything else but each other.
The thought makes him gasp and groan, even if he had known that for years and years.
"You gonna puke now?"
He lowers his head between his shoulders, and looks down to the pebbly ground. They're somewhere in Arizona, he doesn't know where exactly, he knows he should know, but it was Dean's case and Dean knows were to drive them.
"Sam? You gonna hurl?"
He wants to, but what would be the point? It' not like he can upchuck his whole life and start anew, now can he? He shakes his head no.
"Okay," the hands shake his knees and grip tighter and he sighs, "then just take some deep breaths and we'll see how that'll go down."
When he hit puberty he wanted so damn much to become his own person, develop his own personality, be something other than Dean's little brother or John's son or Bobby's nephew ... so he doesn't know, and the way his life is going probably never will, what inside of him, what nerve, what particle of his being is still made of little brother. What atom in him does Dean keep on hitting that triggers that little brother in him? He had tried to be Sam, his own man, but when Dean's voice hits just the right note, he is still Sammy, the little brother. And he doesn't know if he still hates that or not. It's a heady feeling, one that makes him feel like he's drowning and can't do anything about it. He can't do anything but do what Dean says.
So he breathes, because Dean said to do that. Deep. Slow. Tasting the air; the hot, hot air that burns his throat. There's even a smell in the air, Old Spice, he can smell it and it warms him from the inside out. He breathes and hopes the air will make it all better, that the way his chest and stomach muscles work will ease the nausea a little, just long enough for Dean to find them a motel.
He listens to Dean, because no matter what, no matter the past, Dean is still and always will be his big brother and that thing in his body will always make him little brother. It really should bother him more, bother him to the point of screaming I am Sam, a grown man, my own person, but it just doesn't.
Maybe its because they are older, although because of that he should be more irritated, or maybe its because they had been through so much, so much, too much, or maybe its because he knows how it is to not have a big brother with him all the time, still remembers all those months, years ... he shudders.
"Dude, maybe you should puke."
"What? No," he looks up at his brother, all concern, "dude, no. Fuck."
He doesn't know anything anymore. He's hot and his palms are clammy and his headache is getting worse and he just wants to go to sleep. Lie down and sleep for a few hours and maybe take some painkillers and wash them down with some alcohol and go away.
"What's wrong with you, man?"
The dry, cool palm on the back of his neck feels like someone threw a bucket of ice down his shirt and its melting down his spine now. It feels so good, so fresh, something he never thought his brother would do. They hug, sure, they touch when they have to, to stop a bleeding and stuff, they touch in combat too when they have to, but this? Is new and weird and kinda awkward, but not unwelcomed. Its grounding, its skin on skin and cool on hot and brother to brother and he's still a little brother to a big brother and that will never change. And he doesn't hate it. Will fight it, struggle against it, but he knows that in the end, in the end end to end everything, he is still gonna be the little brother.
He relaxes and breathes. For minutes. Probably ten or fifteen minutes everything is still and he just breathes, because he doesn't know why he feels sick and headachy, maybe it was just the drive in the heat and not enough real food in his stomach, he really doesn't know. But breathing helps, it always does, the fresh air helps too but Dean being there helps the most. It really shouldn't, because they are over thirty years old and "normal" people have their own lives at that age, he has seen it, he knows that's how it should be, but ...
He looks at his brother, wide green eyes and sweat pooling above his upper lip, a raised eyebrow in a silent you good?
... his "normal" is a life with his brother. It's the open road. Its guts and blood and a gun and a knife and its Dean. There's no way away from that.
He breathes slowly and a sense of calm washes over him like a spray of cool, soft water. Because it's okay. They were never "normal" they were always freaks, weren't they?
"Nothing's wrong, 'm fine." he breathes out and believes it. He does feel better. The headache is a very dull throb, and the nausea stopped boiling in his belly and is all but gone now. He just needed some air.
"Alright, so ... can we go on now?"
"Yeah, yeah just... just gimme a sec."
He just needs a second more of this, this being a little brother to a big brother and then he will be just fine.