Day 7

Title: Day 7
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: A continuation of my fic "Dean Hearding" in which Sam and Dean weather the storm inside the cat-filled B&B.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2014 project for gingerdean

Sam checked the door again. The storm sounded far away, but that was only because they were in a concrete basement with many layers of wood between them and the raging winds and rain. The boards they’d nailed over the door seemed secure still; there would be no getting out and, they all hoped, that for the storm there would be no getting in.

The sunken basement of the B&B was less secure than a storm cellar, but it would have to do for the nine of them… well, nine of them and five cats. Their presence had turned the basement into the third circle of hell—at least for Dean.

He’d managed to get a spot across the room from the cats in their cages, but it wasn’t far enough away and, by now, the damage had been done. All the cat hair and cat dander and whatever else he was allergic to had already gotten to him.

He itched. His eyes itched no matter how much he rubbed them. His throat itched no matter how much he scratched at the roof of his mouth with the tip of his tongue. His nose itched no matter how much he rubbed at it… and he was rubbing at it quite a lot. “ehhtShuhhhhhh!” And sneezing. He couldn’t forget the sneezing.

His bandana was virtually dripping he’d sneezed into it so many times. It was too late to ask the B&B owner for tissues. They’d only been down here a few minutes, but already he wanted out, to take his chances with the storm. At least out there he’d be able to breathe. “ehhhh-Ihkshhhhh! H’Shuhffffffff!” For a moment, he raised his head from the bandana. The cool, damp fabric against his nose was more of a discomfort than a help, but he had no other choice, aside from sneezing into his sleeve like a little kid. So down went his head again. “hehhh-Ehshufffffff!

“Dean, I have something for you.”

“Sabby?” Dean kept his head down, his nose buried in the bandana. “The cats… it’s the huh the cats. I cad’t… stuhh… I cad’t stob… sd… sdehh… sdehhhh-eh-hehh-hehShfff! hehKshfffff!” He tried rubbing his nose with the wet bandana, but that didn’t touch the itch and, in fact, hurt a bit.

“I know,” Sam said. “Close your eyes. I’ve got a cool washcloth for you.”

Quickly, Dean obeyed. He felt the coolness against his eyes. It didn’t stop them from itching exactly, but it soothed them a bit and made them less itchy. He lifted his face and felt the washcloth fall away. Dean was about to protest when he felt the whole thing press against his face. Cool, refreshing, calming. He rubbed his face against it and the rough texture of it scratched a little at his skin and his itchy face. It wouldn’t be enough to get rid of the itch, but it would help for a few moments. He took the washcloth from Sam and held it in place.

“Your arm is all scratched up and bleeding, Dean. I’m going to clean it off, all right? This is going to sting.”

Since when did Sammy talk to him like he was a five year old? He must look worse than he thought. Dean didn’t need the warning; he’d had worse injuries than a few cat scratches. But when the alcohol pad slid over his skin, Dean nearly jumped out of it. The stinging was unreal, and he gasped into the washcloth, biting down on some of it to keep from crying out. He heard Sam chuckle and knew he couldn’t show his little brother how much this hurt, even if Sam could tell. Sam cleaned his arm and then wound a bandage around it.

“The first aid items are supposed to be for storm-related emergencies.” Sam told him. “The storm’s barely upon us and already you’re a mess, Dean.” Biting down on the washcloth, Dean couldn’t answer. But he knew Sammy didn’t require one.

When he felt the washcloth growing warm against his skin thanks to his body heat, he pulled his head back, sniffling. He blinked his irritated, red eyes at Sam. “I believe you brobissed be sub whiskey too?”

Sam chuckled. “I’ve got some of that, yeah. But only after you blow your nose.”


“With these.” Sam held up a small, square box of tissues and Dean’s heart soared. He grabbed it and helped himself to two at once. He took a deep breath before blowing his nose violently into them. “Careful. Don’t irritate your nose. You’ll only—“


“That.” Sam patted his brother on the arm. “You’ll do that. And a lot of it. Use those sparingly; it’s all we’ve got. Now I need to make sure the others are all right. I’ll be back, okay?”

Dean nodded and heartily blew his nose again. The storm was getting louder, closer. Soon it would be loud enough to mask the sound of his sneezing and blowing; that was the only good thing about this nightmare of a situation.

He watched Sam go around the room, only realizing a few seconds later that Sam hadn’t given him the whiskey. Damn it. But he wasn’t about to go after Sam to get it; he wouldn’t get any closer to those cats than needed. As Dean began to contemplate which were worse, hell hounds or these cats, the itchy, tickly feeling returned.

He knew it was pointless to fight against it. But Dean was a fighter, first and foremost. His nose twitched and itched, and he wrinkled it, trying to hold out. And failing. “hehhh-Hihshhhhh! hehKFfshhhh! Hehh… hehhhKTschhhh!

A groan from his left made Dean look up from his tissues. A girl was snuggled into the chest of the tall black guy, presumably her boyfriend. But the groan wasn’t a good one. The guy was making a face at him. “Not only are we trapped down here, but we’re trapped down here with someone who’s going to get us all sick?” He said it loud enough for everyone to hear it, including Sam across the room, who was trying to reassure an elderly woman that she would be able to have another cigarette as soon as all of this was over.

The people in the room went so quiet Dean was sure they could all hear him swearing inside his head. The storm outside was still loud though, so Dean spoke up so they could all hear him. “I’b dot sick.”

“You would say that.”

“He’s not,” Sam said, forcefully. Dean smiled. Sam was a great hunter. And he was smart enough to get into college. But Dean wasn’t used to seeing Sam take the lead like this, take charge of a situation. “It’s just an allergy.”

“What are you allergic to?” asked the elderly gentleman with the unidentifiable accent. “Hurricanes?”

Dean shook his head and mumbled, “Cats.” No one could hear him. He could barely hear himself over the storm crashing around them. Thunder boomed. The emergency radio spit out repeat of their emergency warning broadcast. The wind threw branches and furniture and parts of buildings and anything not nailed down around outside. Dean worried about his baby, all alone and exposed out there.

“What did you say, dear?” The owner of the B&B sat across the room, sticking her fingers into the carriers to pet one of the cats—the white and gray fluffball, by the look of it through the cage door.

“Allergic to cats. Add trabbed id a sball roob with five of theb.”

The boyfriend would not be silenced. “No one asked you to come here. It’s not our fault. Don’t know why we have to listen to this.”

Sam spoke up again. “Chances are, you’d be dead if we hadn’t showed up to help get this place ready. We’ve earned the right to be here as much as you have. So what if my brother is a little sneezy?”

Everyone in the B&B’s basement started talking at once. Everyone seemed to have something to say about this. As far as Dean was concerned, it was his nose and none of their damn business. But the honeymooning couple seemed to think the best idea would be to put the cats upstairs and the B&B owner was dead set against that; they were like her children. There was discussion of putting them in the bathroom to at least put some space between them and Dean, but there was arguing about how the damage had already been done. People bemoaned the fact that they couldn’t go get medicine. Others just wanted Dean to pinch his nose and try to get through the night without driving them crazy with his sneezes. And, of course, there was the one voice suggesting Dean go outside for some fresh air.

It wasn’t until Sam strode over, putting himself in-between them and Dean that Dean realized Sam was more than just taking charge of a disaster situation. Sam was his protector.

heh-Kihtchhhh! hehhhHrschhhh!

Sam pressed tissues into his hand. No, Sam was more than his protector. Sam was his savior.

Ketchmphh!” He blew his nose again and gave a look around the room. Everyone was staring at him. “It’s just a little  sdeezig, all right? Dow lay off. I’b biserable edough. Hehh…” His nose itched even as he scrubbed the balled-up tissue at his nostrils. It felt like his nose and throat would never stop itching. Of all the places they could have stopped, why did it have to be somewhere with five furry, fluffy felines? “hehh-KTchmphh! hehShmphhh! Ehh-Hehchumphhhh!


An hour passed. A long, miserable hour where the storm raged outside and worry took over inside. This was only compounded when they lost power, plunging the small basement room into darkness for a few moments until the emergency lanterns were lit and set up in the center of the room. The nine people and five cats were bathed in a soft, flickering golden glow, which wasn’t without benefit. Dean could sneeze and rub at his nose nonstop without embarrassment as it was hard for anyone to see him. Moreover, several of the guests attempted to sleep. It was late—or early, actually—and the preparations had been tiring.

The honeymooning couple kept nodding  off together in one corner. The retired gentleman from Africa went out like the lights. And others tried to sleep as well. But Dean’s sneezes, along with the sounds of the storm, kept them awake.

The radio was turned down low, the emergency messages only slightly changing as the storm moved onward. The broadcast provided nice white noise to balance out the raging storm outside. Dean snuffled into his tissues, trying to not give into the itch until it grew unbearable.


“Would you shut the hell up?” came the angry growl of the boyfriend somewhere toward Dean’s right. The fact that Sam was sitting directly on Dean’s right was probably no coincidence. “Some of us are trying to sleep here!”

In the near darkness, Dean blinked his tired, watering, itching, burning eyes and looked up at his little brother. Sam didn’t appear to be the least bit sleepy, even though it had to be well into the night by now. Sam had been trained by the best to stay awake all night during hunts if he had to. Sam smiled back at Dean and rolled his eyes to indicate what he thought of the comment.

Dean tried to smile back, but the tickle in his nose got the better of him yet again. “ehhh-Hehtschmph! Hehshuphhh! Eh-eh-ehhhKShuffff!

“I said, shut up!”

“Why don’t you?” Sam snapped back. He tightened  the arm he had wrapped possessively around Dean’s shoulders, a move Dean hadn’t dared to question at the time. “I’m sorry you can’t sleep, but the storm’s louder than anything in here anyway.”

Silence followed this statement, and Dean kept his nose buried in a whole fistful of tissues to quiet his nose, not wanting to even sniffle in case that set the itch off again. This guy was worse than a demon. At least with demons he could say a couple well-chosen words in Latin and send their sorry asses straight downstairs. But this guy was definitely human, which meant Dean couldn’t touch him, no matter how much he wanted to.

Closing his eyes, Dean pictured the man with duct tape over his mouth and wondered if the man was imagining doing the same to Dean—or worse. Another itch flared up in his nostrils, the deep, irritating tickle of allergies he knew all too well. Instinctively, he pinched his nose through the tissues and tried not to breathe. But holding his breath was a pretty poor plan. He could only hold out so long. And even through the tissues, dander-filled air got into his poor, irritated nose. The room was just too small and there were just too many cats in it. “eh… eh-eh-UHTschhh! Huhkshhphhhh! Hehktshphhhh! Uh-uh-Hrschphhhh!

“Oh come on!” The man moaned. There was a shuffling sound as Dean adjusted the tissues at his nose to find a dryer spot and as people moved around, possibly having been woken from their dozing states by the boyfriend’s complaining. “Shut ooof!

He was cut off, finally, with the sound both Sam and Dean recognized all too well as a fist making contact with a jawbone. There was a soft shriek from the girlfriend then glorious silence yet again. Dean turned toward Sam, but Sam’s whole body was already shaking with silent laughter.

If Dean had felt better, he would have joined in. As it was, he could only rub his face against Sam’s side, the thick flannel scratching wonderfully against his itchy skin. Sam squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.

And then a huge crash sounded, shaking the whole house above them. Everyone jumped or screamed or both, except for the man who’d been knocked out cold by a single, well-placed punch.


It was another two hours until the storm passed completely and they felt it was safe to venture up and out. The power was still off, so Dean and the elderly woman who kept giving him ‘come hither’ looks that made Dean feel all kinds of uncomfortable, held flashlights while Sam and the man from Africa pried the boards off the door to the basement. One by one, the boards came off, sharp, long nails point outward dangerously, piled on the bare stretch of floor in the center of the small basement room. When the door was finally pulled open, Dean had to grab the woman who ran the B&B to keep her from rushing up into unknown danger.

Sam and the other guy took the flashlights, leaving Dean alone with the others and the emergency lanterns, as they investigated carefully. They were back down a few minutes later with the report.

“Not too bad,” Sam told her, and Dean felt the B&B owner relax a little. “The worst of the damage is to the top floor. A tree crashed into the house, taking half the roof with it. That’ll need replacing, but everything else is intact.”

The B&B owner gave a bit of a whimper and started up the stairs to look at the damage for herself. The man from Africa escorted her with his flashlight.

The next to charge up the stairs was the boyfriend, followed by his girlfriend. He hadn’t said anything since regaining consciousness, maybe ashamed for going down from just one hit or maybe he’d woken up with a shred of human decency he hadn’t had before. Next out was the elderly woman, a cigarette already perched between her lips and a lighter out and at the ready.

The honeymooners went next, sticking close together and being careful on the rickety old staircase.

That left Dean alone in the basement with the five cats in their carriers. Dean glared at them, as if they could possibly have understood what was going on and how much harder they had just made it for him. But the furballs just sat in their cages, sleeping or softly mewing, wanting to get out. There was no way in hell Dean was letting them out or getting near them, for that matter. But he was filled with satisfaction as he gave them one last look before leaving the basement. He downed the last few gulps of the whiskey Sam had given him as he mounted the stairs.

Sam was waiting for him at the top. “I just checked. The car’s good. A couple scratches and dents from branches, but that’s it.”

Dean sighed with relief and went straight for the front door, but Sam put a hand to his chest to stop him. “Dean, it’s the middle of the night. Maybe we should crash hear until morning? It’s dark and the roads’ll probably be pretty bad out there.”

Dean glanced back at the basement, hearing the meowing still, and shook his head. “Dod’t care if we have to drive at five biles ad hour or sleeb id the car at the first rest stob we get to. I’b dot sbeddig adother secod id this place.”

Dean stormed outside and took a deep breath of what he’d expected to find was fresh, cool, post-storm air. But he got a faceful of cigarette smoke. On a normal day, Dean could spend hours in a smokey bar hustling at pool. But after a night of nonstop sneezing, his nose couldn’t take it. It was all he could do to get a few of the last of the tissues in the box up to his itchy nose. “huhh-IHTShhhh! Ehh-KIHTSchhhh! Heh-heh-Ihshhhh! Hihshhhh! Hehh-Ihkuhschhhhh!

He felt a familiar hand on his back. Without opening his eyes, Dean felt himself being guided down the walk, around debris, toward the Impala.