Day 5

Title: Day 5
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG
Pairing: None (Gen)
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: It’s Christmastime and the Winchester boys are both sick.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2013 project for absenthe_wrae

It isn’t the rumble of the car on the highway or the honk of the horn of a passing truck that wakes Dean, it’s the feeling that he was being smothered. For a second, he flails in panic, pushing off the heavy motel comforter and breathing cool air again. As the cool air strikes him, his nose tickles fiercely, and Dean pitches forward with an almost simultaneous cough and a sneeze.

Dean sits back against the seat. Against the back seat. The back seat of the Impala. He hasn’t ridden in the back of the Impala for a decade. That’s disconcerting enough without realizing that he isn’t in the back seat alone. Sam sits on the other side, sharing the other half of the heavy blanket. Sam is slumped against the side of the car at an odd angle, a book laying open on his shoulder and upper chest, and his mouth open as he snores softly with each breath in.

Out of habit, Dean reaches over and slides the book out; Sam stirs but doesn’t wake. Dean knows he’ll be bitched at later for it, but he turns down the corner of a page. Better to save Sam’s place and save the book from his drooling brother than worry about the small corner of a single page. Plus, a heavy volume like this would come in handy if he needs to stop whoever has kidnapped them. In their own car. And tucked them in with a blanket. What kind of kidnapper does that?

Breath hitching again, Dean’s eyes close. “hetchhhhhhh!

“There’s Kleenex there somewhere.”

Dean knows that voice… and he knows that baseball cap bobbing above the driver’s seat in front of him. With the rear view mirror adjusted, Dean looks into Bobby’s eyes and Bobby looks back at his.

“I take it your fever broke. You don’t have that glassy-eyed look anymore. Guess that’s one down, one to go. Sam still asleep?”

Dean nods, checks Sam again to be sure, and nods again. “Bobby? What’re you doig here?”

“Sam called me. Sounded like he was coughing his lungs out. He was so stuffy it took him four tries to get me to understand ‘Evanston.’ Finally had to spell it out. I caught the first Greyhound bus I could. Ride was longer than I thought. Damn bus kept making stops. Plus, the driver and two passengers turned out to be demons.”

“Dot surprising. It’s Greyhoud. Sniff! hah… sniff!” He rubs the side of his hand back and forth under his nose, slowly at first, then more frantically.

“I know I threw a box of Kleenex back there, Dean.”

Dean glances around the backseat. But the comforter from the motel room bed is ginormous and twice the size of the backseat. If there is a box, it was lost in the comforter’s folds when Dean pushed it off himself. And there’s absolutely no stopping the sneeze. “hahh-Kitchehhhh!” He snuffles and wipes his nose on his sleeve. “So, ah, sniff, where are we goig?”

“I’m driving you boys home. What’s the big idea being in Wyoming three days before Christmas and not even giving me a call?

Dean mumbles something about not feeling good and not wanting to bother Bobby, but Bobby doesn’t buy it. “Idjits,” Bobby mutters back. “At least Sam had the sense to call me when he did.” Bobby glances in the rear view mirror again. “Sit tight. We’ll be there in an hour.”


Dean’s halfway back to falling asleep when they pull up to Bobby’s. He looks over at Sam, who’s still fast asleep. Dean reaches out, checks his brother’s forehead. The kid’s still burning up. “Sammy?” Dean shakes him a little. “Sammy, we’re here.” How the hell is he going to get the Sasquatch out of the car and into Bobby’s place?

Bobby yanks the car door open. With it comes a startling burst of cold air. “I’ll get your brother. You grab the bags and get inside where it’s warm.”

Dean doesn’t have to be told twice. It’s freezing out there. Dean grabs the bags, which are twice as heavy as he remembers them to be, and jogs inside. He makes it as far as Bobby’s couch before he doubles up with coughs and has to sit down. Sniffling, clearing his throat, and shivering with cold, he grabs the blanket off the back of the couch and throws it over himself. Curling up under the blanket, Dean listens for sounds of Bobby helping Sam inside. But he falls asleep before he hears anything.


It isn’t Bobby’s laughter or Sam’s impossibly loud sneeze that wakes Dean, it’s a word he somehow hears, cutting through his dreams. He props himself up on his elbow, blinking. “Did subode say alcohol?”

“See?” Sam says, laughing as he rubs his long shirt sleeve cuff at his nose. “I told you he’d hear that add wake ub.”

Bobby’s got three glasses of something orangey-brown and hands one to Dean. “Hot toddies. My mother’s recipe. Guaranteed to kill whatever’s making you two sound like you’ve got cotton jammed up your noses.”

Dean’s just happy it’s warm. He wraps both hands around it and breathes in the spicy-sweet scent. Through the steam rising up from the glass, he sees Sam take one of the glasses from Bobby and sip from it. Then he sees what Sam’s standing next to. It seems out of place here in Bobby’s house. “Whed did you get a Christbas tree, Bobby?”

Bobby takes a drink and thinks for a second. “1975, ’76, something like that? Always wanted a real one, but Karen got attached to this tree, God knows why. The thing’s all wires and needles. The string of lights is so old it’s probably a death trap. If they start flickering, it’s probably not a ghost.”

Dean scoots over to the side of the couch, leaning against the cushions. “I thought you add Dad had the sabe idea about Christbas.”

Bobby nods toward his drink. “I can have both whiskey and a tree, ya idjit. Now drink up.”

Dean drinks. He watches Sam pick ornaments out of a dusty old box and choose spots on the tree on which to hang them. Sam seems to take the job seriously. But the hot toddy makes his nose run—Dean’s too, he realizes—and they’re both sniffling louder than the Christmas carol CD playing on Bobby’s old CD player.

IH-Choo! HIHSheww!” Sam nearly spills his drink.

Bobby sighs. “Did John Winchester just forget to teach you boys about Kleenex?”

Sam chuckles and winds up helplessly for another sneeze. Or four.  A green ball ornament dangles from one hand as he buries his nose in the crook of his arm. “IHShoo! ‘KChoo! Ihshooo! Ih-hih-IHShooo!

Dean thumps the couch cushions beside him.  “That’s enough decorating for you, Martha Stewart. Sit down before you fall down.”

Sam flops onto the couch and grabs half of Dean’s blanket. Maybe it’s a little more than half, but Dean doesn’t fight for it back. What he does is raise his glass for a toast. His eyebrows raise. “You okay, Sammy?”

Sam nods then gives Dean a meaningful look.  

Dean smiles and nods back. They clink glasses, but only for a second. Dean pulls his hand back, bracing himself. “hah-KShhhhh!

From Bobby’s side of the room, a Kleenex box flies over and lands between the Winchesters on the sofa.