Day 5

Title: Day 5
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Sam has come down with the worst cold ever.
Notes: Written during my 13 Ficlets in 13 Days in 2016 project for LadyKorana

“This is the worst cold I've ever had,” Sam whispered, his congestion-filled voice barely audible over the crunch of leaves.

“I'm sure you must have had worse,” Dean replied just as softly. Sam wasn't sure if that comment was meant to motivate him to put his attention into the hunt or to belittle what he was feeling now, but it didn't change the fact that he really did feel worse now than he could ever remember feeling before with a head cold. “Go there and wait for a second,” Dean commanded, pointing to a tree up ahead. They split up, taking opposite sides of the path as it widened. They both positioned themselves behind trees on the edge of what seemed to be a likely ambush spot.

Sam leaned against his tree not so much for cover but for support. “ih ih ihhhh!” Sam pinched his nose, trying to keep from sneezing as the tickle built and the need intensified.

From the next tree away, Dean shot him a warning look. Out in the woods, hunting a pair of werewolves, was not the time to be fighting off a bad cold. But Sam couldn't help it. He'd felt rotten all last night, tossing and turning and unable to sleep. And he'd felt awful all day today, sluggish and foggy and stuffy and weak and chilled. Dean always relied on him to do the bulk of the research, and more than once that day, Dean had pulled the laptop out of Sam's hands and had done work on his own instead. Sam had been half outraged and half relieved each time. By the afternoon, Dean had just given up on Sam's usefulness and put Sam to bed, forcing him to take a nap in the hopes that he might be well enough now. Because now that the full moon was up and the danger was real, Dean needed Sam to back him up out in the field. Catching one werewolf was hard enough, but two working together, attacking together, would be nearly impossible. And they were bound to hear Sam's sneezes.

Ihh hiptshhhhhh!” Sam snapped forward, nose falling into in the bandanna Dean had lent him earlier. He took a careful breath in and wiped at his nose. “Sorry,” he whispered over to Dean. Dean shook his head with a sigh and motioned for Sam to follow him.

They walked through the forest as quietly as possible, looking for tracks or any signs at all that something unnatural was there somewhere.

“Deand?” Sam whispered when they'd only been walking again for a few minutes. “I thidk I've ihhh gotta sdee ihhhh! sdee sdeeze agaid.”

Dean stopped walking and held his arm out. Sam went to him at once, burying his nose in the bandanna and his whole face against Dean's coat-covered chest. He could feel Dean's hand stroke the back of his head comfortingly. Dean might be annoyed and sick of Sam sneezing so much, but all the frustration in the world wouldn't make Sam's cold go away and, deep down, his instinct to take care of his brother was stronger than anything else. So he held Sam close as Sam sneezed.

ihhh... IHMmmph!” The sneeze was soft, muffled against Dean's chest. But that didn't mean the werewolves hadn't heard it from wherever they were. A chill ran up Sam's spine even as Dean rubbed his back. He couldn't live with himself if his brother got hurt because of a few sneezes. “hihhh!” Dean's hug tightened up, holding him even closer. “hMMphhhh!

Sam coughed and sniffed and finally pulled back. “Sorry,” he whispered. “I brobise to try to stay quiet.” They both knew it was a promise he couldn't keep. 

“Let's just find these werewolves before—”

From out of the darkness came a huge something full of fur and gnashing teeth. Moving with swiftness, it crashed right into Dean, sending him to the ground and pinning him there under its heavy body. Sam only saw a glint of moonlight on white teeth coated in saliva and blood before he raised the gun and pulled the trigger. The gunshot was twice as loud as any of Sam's loudest sneezes, and it seemed to echo through the trees of the forest, sending a message.

Except the other werewolf most likely understood it not as a warning or a threat but a call to action. Sam had just pumped its mate full of silver. One helpless, weak yelp and they were one werewolf down. But now the other knew just where to find them and had an added incentive to kill them. Sam reached down and pushed the slumped over werewolf off his older brother. Offering a hand, he helped Dean rise to his feet.

Dean didn't spend any time brushing the dirt and leaves off himself. He just pulled out his own gun, keeping it at the ready. The remaining werewolf was going to be pissed off now, which would make it more dangerous but, potentially, also sloppy in its attack. From the look of the victims the pair had left around town yesterday and also last month's full moon, these werewolves did not mind being the viscous killers all werewolves longed to be at heart. There was no hope of redemption. Putting them down was the only solution available.

And Sam hoped it would happen sooner rather than later. His hand shook, slightly, an after effect pulling the trigger. Ever since Madison it hadn't been easy to kill a werewolf... if it ever had been easy for him to take a life before. But this time he just wanted this case over and done with. It was freezing out here. He could see his breath in front of his face. And his whole body just wanted to pull in on itself, huddle up to conserve warmth. He wanted to be back in the car. Or back at the motel room. Or back in the bed, under the covers.

Sam coughed into his shoulder. “Wadt be to sdeeze agaid?” He offered. “Bight draw its attedtiod. Hell, the werewolf bight sedse I'b id a weakeded state add go after be. It's worth a shot, right?”

Dean frowned at him. “Using yourself as bait? Yeah, that sounds like an excellent idea, Sammy.”

“We've got to try subthig. It's out there add it's bissed off at us.” He scrubbed two fingers under his nose. “Besides... I'b feelig sdeezy agaid.”

Dean shook his head. “Oh, of course you are. I've never seen you sneeze so much from one cold before. It's crazy.”

Sam nodded in agreement. Try as he might, he couldn't remember having a cold that made him feel this stuffed-up and sneezy either. Every bit of him hurt and it seemed like all his energy was going straight to his nose. It wouldn't stop tickling and itching and twitching and running. He knew being out in the middle of a cold winter night wasn't helping any; even Dean was sounding a little sniffly out here. But this was definitely the worst cold Sam had ever had.

ih ih ihhh ihih!” He cupped the bandanna to his face as his breath hitched. “hhhihhhh ihhhh IHH Here HIHH here it ih ih IHHHH IHHTSchhhhhhhhhh!” he sneezed harshly toward the damp cloth. But he wasn't done yet. “hehhIhhptshhhh! Hehkshhhhhh!” Sniffling, he lifted his head to see Dean with his gun raised, pointed at the second werewolf.

The werewolf stood not seven feet away, bearing its teeth and arching its back. As it started to leap forward, Sam held his breath, making a silent wish, and Dean pulled the trigger of his gun. The silver bullet struck the beast, the two opposing momentums meeting in midair with the bullet winning out. It sent the werewolf back a few feet, falling to the dirt, motionless.

The two Winchester brothers stood frozen for a moment, ready and on guard. Then the tension began to slip away from them. Sam took a breath, slow and steady, in and out, and he heard his brother force himself to do the same. Then Sam's breath caught again. “IH!” He turned his head, knowing this would be too quick to get to the bandanna, which was starting to outlive its usefulness anyway. “IHChshooo! Sniiiifffff!” He rubbed his nose on his sleeve as he looked at the two werewolf bodies.

By the time they got back to the Impala, Sam was a mess. Sweat trickled down from his forehead. His nose ran, no matter how many times he sniffed or tried to wipe it with the back of his hand. And his whole body cried out for rest. When he collapsed into the passenger seat of the Impala, he groaned wearily. He wasn't sure he would ever be able to get up out of it again, even when they got back to the crappy motel they were staying at. But the upside was the large box of tissues they'd picked up at the drug store on the way to the hunt. Sam pulled a few out and blew his nose into them right away, wishing that brought more relief than it did. 

“Hey, you okay?” Dean asked as they drove back into town. He glanced worriedly over at Sam.

Sam considered his answer carefully. “Doe. I'b dot okay,” he said at last, deciding that honesty should win out. He didn't have to hold back or act tough. “I... I huh...” Sam pulled a couple more tissues out of the box and held them out in front of his face. Every breath in stung at his throat. Every breath out tickled his nose. “hah hahhh IHTchhhhh! IHPTschhhhh! Hihtshhhhhhhh!


hihh hahIHTchhhh! Hihshhhh! HKShhhhh! Hehhh hahh HAHTchuhhh!

Dean waited for more sneezes. When there were none, he tried again. “Bless you. Jeez, Sammy. That was impressive.”

Sam leaned his head against the cool car window.

“I mean, I've seen you sick and pathetic before, but never this sick and pathetic. Where'd you catch this thing?”

Sam shrugged and closed his eyes.

“Okay. You just rest. We'll be back to the motel before you know it.”

Sam nodded a thank you while pulling another tissue from the box. “hah... hah-CHIDddshhhhh!

Sam managed to drift off for a few moments during the drive, but the difficulties he'd anticipated in
getting up and out of the car were very real. His head was floating and foggy when Dean literally reached in and pulled him out of the Impala. Dean walked him over to the motel room. Dean pulled him out of his dirty, sweaty clothes. Dean tucked him into bed with a box of tissues. And Dean sat up with him as long as it took for Sam to finally fall asleep.

He didn't stay asleep, however. Every twenty minutes he was awake again, sneezing and coughing. It didn't matter if Dean was sitting him down in a steam-filled bathroom or snuggling him under the covers, he just couldn't stop sneezing.

hehhhh!” Dean held onto him as they stopped in the middle of the motel room, halfway between bathroom and bed.  “hahh ahhhhhhhh!” Sam's hand came up weakly, almost too exhausted to cover his sneezes by now. “hahhhh! Hah HAH IHTSchhhhhhhhhhh!” Sam was thrown forward, sleep-messed hair flopping into his face, tall frame rocking helplessly from the force. “Sniff! Sniff!” He clung fast to Dean, who held him up and waited to be sure the sneezing was over before prodding him forward again, back to the bed.

Sam sank into the mounds of pillows and under the layers of blankets, coughing and sniffling. But he couldn't really get comfortable until Dean joined him. Dean snuggled him close, resting Sam's head on his upper chest and holding his arm stretched out along Sam's back. He rubbed Sam's chest with Vick's VapoRub and grabbed for tissues every time Sam tensed up with the sudden need to sneeze again. “I've got you. It'll be all right.” He whispered reassurances into the darkness or into Sam's ear, softly.

Sometimes Sam would nod along, trying to believe his brother. Sometimes Sam would answer with a stuffy-sounding “Okay, but by head hurts” or “Okay, but I h-have to sdeeze agaid.” But most times Sam just whimpered and shook his head and tried to snuggle impossibly closer to Dean for his warmth and comfort. Usually this meant sneezing on him before he could stop himself or before Dean could get a tissue into position in time, but Dean didn't flinch once.

“Leave it to you to catch the worst cold in the history of colds,” Dean laughed lightly, stuffing a tissue under Sam's runny nose, but only after Sam's latest sneeze had sprayed his undershirt.

“B'sorry,” Sam snuffled wearily. “I cahh cad't heh h-helb ihhh ihhhhhhhhh here it hahhhhh c-cobes! HEHIHDschhhhhhh!

“Don't be sorry,” Dean soothed, stroking Sam's head. “Just rest and get better.” Sam closed his eyes and drifted off again for a few minutes only.


When Sam next woke, a hazy light peeked out from behind the thick curtains covering the motel room's only window. The bed was warm around him, but there was no Dean beside him to nuzzle into; Sam had to settle for hugging a pillow to his chest, which was a poor substitute for a Dean Winchester.

He didn't have to go far for tissues, as balled-up ones were strewn across the bed and a box was tucked under the covers with him. This was good as the urge to sneeze seemed permanently upon him now. “hehhh hihhhhh hehhh-IHDTChhhhhhhh!” He snuffled into a tissue, shivering as the sneeze shook him and the bed both, dislodging the covers. “hehhhhh HEHTchuhhhhh!” He shivered again and blew his nose. Clutching the balled-up tissue, he lifted his head and looked around for Dean. Not finding him, Sam tossed the tissue away, but it didn't clear the far side of the bed. And Sam didn't have the energy to go after it.

The motel room door opened and Dean shuffled in, coughing lightly into the crook of his elbow. He tossed a grocery bag down on the table and shrugged off his coat, kicked off his shoes, and stripped off his jeans and flannel shirts. He headed over to the bed, placing his hands on the mattress so that it sagged a little. “You feeling any better?”

Sam sniffed and shook his head. “Doe. This is... hah haaaahhhh HAH-KIDTChhhh! Sniff! This is the worst cold ever.”

“I know,” Dean said, nodding his agreement. “And do you know how I know this is the worst cold ever?”

Sam shook his head, snuffling into another tissue.

“'Cause I think you gave it to me. I feel like I just got run over by a demon truck or something.”

Sam lifted the covers as much as he could, his arm weak. “Yeah. That's how this bug starts.” Dean groaned as he climbed, crawled, rolled, and collapsed into bed next to Sam. Sam pulled him closer, draping an arm over him and then curving his body around Dean's.