Day 1

Title: Day 1
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: Sam's allergic to all the things and decides to take a holiday from his meds.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2019-20 project project for sexualoddity

As the ghost charged at them, Sam tossed the match into the grave. Dean raised his sawed-off, ready to blast it full of rock salt, but the flames caught the gas-soaked bones just in time. The ghost vanished and Sam sighed with relief. Immediately, he regretted it. The cemetery was surrounded by an almost endless field of flowers, which made Sam’s nose itch terribly. It wasn’t quite enough to make him sneeze, not with the serious allergy medication he took twice a day every day like it was his religion. But there was still this fluttery almost-sneezy feeling in the very back of his nose and throat.

Sam had crossed the country more times than he could count. He’d woken in in thousands of different run-down motels over the years. One year, his birthday might find him hiking through the woods after a windigo and the next might have him in a cage with Adam, Lucifer, and Michael. His life was crazy and utterly unpredictable. But there were also ghosts, salt circles, demons, silver bullets, the Impala, his brother, and a tickle in his nose. For better or for worse, those were the constants in Sam Winchester’s life.

He couldn’t do much about the presence of most of those things in his life, but he did have a way of dealing with the last item on the list. “So we’re done here, right?” Sam asked, scrubbing the side of his hand under his nose. “Body’s burned, ghost’s gone, motel checkout is ten am?” That would give them roughly six hours maximum until they were back on the road and another three hours until they were back at the Men of Letters’ bunker, given the way Dean drove. Nine hours, maybe ten if they hit traffic. The timing would be perfect as long as there were no lose ends Dean wanted them to stick around and tie up.

“We’re done here,” Dean agreed. He cast a suspicious glance at his brother. “Why?”

Sam tried to keep it light and casual. He shrugged, realizing as he did so that it was an unnatural, forced movement. “Oh, no reason.” Sam put on an equally forced smile, though it was slightly ruined by his need to pinch his nose and wiggle it back and forth for a second, the tickle backing off just a little as he did so, which felt great even if he knew it wouldn’t last.

“Sam…” Dean narrowed his eyes, suspicion written all over his face.

“C’mon,” Sam said, a bounce to his step as he picked up both shovels and led the way across the cemetery back to the car. Dean frowned and followed but chose not to ask any follow-up questions. Sam was as glad for that as he was to leave this field of flowers behind him.

Not that getting back to the motel was really any better. Unless it was the middle of winter, Dean drove with the windows half down, and the dust from the side of the road never failed to get to Sam. Then there was the artificial lemon smell of whatever cleaning product the motel’s housekeeping staff used. And the scent of fabric softener on the bedsheets and towels. And don’t even get him started with whatever was in the soap. He was allergic to just about everything there was to be allergic to. Without his allergy medication, Sam really didn’t stand a chance.

As soon as they got to the motel, Dean slipped off his jacket, toed off his boots, and flopped upon his bed, crashing as hard as there was to crash for a few hours of well-earned sleep before the drive home. On any normal night, Sam would carefully strip off his clothes and shove them and their allergens into a plastic bag to deal with at a laundromat. Then he’d head straight for the bathroom for a hot shower, complete with the non-allergenic shampoo and conditioner he had in his duffle. But this time, he dropped onto the bed fully-clothed, too tired to bother getting undressed and making the conscious decision to skip his morning dose of allergy medication. Smiling to himself, he fell asleep.


eh’hhh!” No interviews with witnesses. No hovering waitresses. Not even an angel cocking his head and squinting in confusion. There was nobody in the impala to pass judgement on the way Sam rubbed his nose over and over and over again. His nose was getting so incredibly tickly, and it felt so damn good to freely rub at it as much as he liked and find that the rubbing actually helped.

Of course, Dean was there. But Dean was in the zone, driving. And, besides, Dean already knew about this. Or, at least, he suspected what was happened. Sam had tried to explain a dozen times over the years how good it felt to get rid of the tickles in his nose, but he was pretty sure Dean still thought he was crazy. Who in their right mind would actually invite a sneezing fit? Sam Winchester, that’s who.

ehh hehhhhhhhhhh…” Sam let his eyes close and his face go slack, relaxing into the urge to sneeze, inviting it. He’d felt so sneezy for so damn long, letting it out was going to feel good. “hehhh!” The tip of his tongue pressed against his bottom teeth as his chest expanded with breath. His body rocked back and forward in his seat as much as the belt would allow, as if he were trying to help the sneeze to come out. He could feel the strong need which was usually in the back of his nose prickle and spread throughout his whole nose and his whole body. Every part of him was ready and expectant. “ehh ehhh ehhhhhhh!” Almost. Allllllmost there. “ehhh! Ehhh!” Sam gripped the door handle to steady himself. The urge was bigger, undeniable. “Ehhhhh! HEH!” Here it came! “HEHHHTtttchoooo!” It was all Sam could do to keep from groaning in pure delight. He’d given his brother enough to make fun of him with already.

Dean didn’t seem to be in the teasing mood, though. He took his eyes off the road for a few moments, glancing over at Sam with concern. “Did you forget to take your allergy medication?”

Sam shook his head, smiling. “Didn’t forget. Just didn’t take it.” He sniffed and leaned back in his seat, smiling blissfully. For the first time in months he didn’t feel the need to sneeze. He knew this feeling would not and could not last. But he was determined to savor every second of it.

Dean muttered something under his breath, but Sam didn’t catch it, what with one more sneeze on its way. “Ehhhh ehhhhhh EH EH EHHFFTttttchooo!” His head felt lighter, freer. He rolled down the passenger side window all the way and took in a deep breath as the world zoomed past.

All too soon, his nose tickled again, and he just smiled to himself. There was such a delight in feeling like you had to sneeze and knowing you’d actually be able to.


 It was just past lunchtime by the time they got to the bunker, but Sam was feeling far more sneezy than he was hungry. “I’ll… I’ll grab some… some… suh-hehh HEH-IHTTchhoo! Snff! I’ll grab something later.”

Dean looked concerned, but that was nothing new. When was he not concerned about Sam? Not that Sam could blame him. Between dying and coming back from the cage with no soul and the trials, well, there was a lot to worry about. But Sam didn’t feel guilty this time. He felt too good getting these sneezes out. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d done this. Weeks? Months? Either way, it was a long time to endure an itchy nose and the strong, constant feel that he had to sneeze but couldn’t. And all of the teasing and torment were on hold for a few days, at least until they found a new case. The allergy medication was a necessity, but he definitely preferred to go without it.

Sam gestured toward the hallway. “I’m j-just going to grab a book and a… a box of tih-tissues and hole up in my room to sn-sneh-ehhh-sneh-EH!” He lifted his arm and nuzzled his tickling nose into the crook of his elbow. The well-worn flannel felt extraordinarily nice against his nose; better than tissues, really. “Ehhh-EHPTshhhhh! H’pttshhhh!” But if he kept sneezing into his sleeve, it would get wet and uncomfortable. Tissues really were the way to go. “hehhh-IPTshhh! Heh I heh I should hehh-EHFffshhhh!

When he pulled his eyes open, Dean was nowhere in sight. Maybe he’d already headed off to the kitchen or maybe he was back in the garage? He always liked to give the car a tune up after a road trip. Sam was pretty sure his brother had spent more time in the garage than in the library part of the bunker.

“I should go find tissues,” Sam finally finished, talking to nobody but himself now. He was halfway to the hallway when Dean appeared again, a tissue box in hand. He held it out to Sam, who took it with a grateful nod. Big brother to the rescue again.  “Thanks, Dean. I’ll definitely neh-need this.” He pulled a tissue out and pressed it to his tickling nose. Naturally, the tickles remained as strong as ever, but now he could relax and let them come. As many sneezes as he wanted. For as long as he wanted. This was as close to Heaven as Sam was likely to get these days.

Hehhh…” He sank down into one of the big chairs, elbows on the arms of the chair, tissue box on his lap. “hehhh… hehhh…” He rocked a bit, tongue wetting his lips, nostrils flaring wildly. “ehh ehhh EHHHHH-H’PTschooo! Hershooo!

“Bless you, Sammy.”

Sam laughed. “Don’t sniff don’t start with that. I’m going to be sneezing too much. If you… if… oh… gonna… ehhh-HIHShoo! Ehhshuhhhh! HEH-TShooo!” He switched one tissue for another. His sneezes weren’t too wet, but they were pretty strong. They had to be to get at the itch that was usually deep in his nose, pushed down. “ehhhh-TIHshhh!” He sighed, the itch gone for a moment.

Dean sat down in the chair across from him at the table and leaned forward with an expression of concern on his face. “Can’t you take something to make this stop?”

Basking in the bliss of a tickle-free nose, Sam shook his head. “Nope. Really don’t want to.”

Dean scrubbed his hand over his face. “Sam, I know we’ve had this discussion before, but I’m still not sure I’m okay with all of this.”

Rubbing at his nose, Sam replied, “This is my nose, my choice.” He sniffed. “And I definitely want to sneeze out this itch.”

With a sigh, Dean nodded. “Right. I just wish it wasn’t so miserable.”

“I don’t feel miserable!” Dean looked doubtful at this statement. “I promise! I… wait… I’m going to sn-sneeze again.” Sam knew this wasn’t helping his point, but he couldn’t help it. Now that he could finally sneeze, he didn’t want this to stop.  “ehhhh ehhh-IHTchoo! Ehhh-Hipptshooo!” It felt too damn good. “I know I don’t sound so great right now, but you have no idea how annoying the tickle in my nose is when I’m on that medication. And when these sneezes come out, there’s this great feeling of relief. It lasts for several beautiful minutes. My head is clear and there isn’t a single distraction, not even an itch in the back of my throat. It’s the opposite of miserable.”  

Dean mumbled something that Sam didn’t quite catch.

“Sorry, what?”

Forced to repeat himself, Dean looked down at the table instead of at his brother. “I meant it’s miserable for me.”

Sam gave a start. “What? Because my sneezes are annoying to listen to?”

“No, because your sneezes are… sneezes. I don’t like to see you suffer. They take a lot out of you and… they keep coming. I can’t do anything about them.”


Dean looked up, the sneeze making him uneasy and proving his point. “I don’t know what I can do to help you.”

Softening with a smile, Sam nodded down at the tissue box on his lap. “You already hah-have. You brought me tih… tihhh-ehhhh tissues.”

“That’s not enough.”

“It ehhh it is ehhhhh heh HEHPtchoo!” Sam rubbed his nose with the tissue, feeling again the fleeting but immense relief that came from being able to sneeze such a strong, satisfying sneeze. “But sniff if you want to do more…” It was clear from the way Dean leaned forward that he did. “You can start by not treating me like there’s something wrong with me.”  

“Sammy, I don’t—“Dean started to reply, but realized he didn’t know how to not worry about his brother.

Sam couldn’t help but smile. “I’m not sick. I’m not hurt. I’m not dying. They’re sneezes, Dean. And they’re… they’re… coming-eh!” He grabbed another tissue and pressed it to his nose. “ehhh-Ehh-HEPTShooo! HEHShoo!

Dean’s eyes narrowed.

“I c-could use the company, if you don’t mind the sneezing.” He felt another sneeze coming already. That deep, itchy tickle that he felt every waking second of every day was building stronger and stronger. It was the dirt and pollen and mold and fragrances and dust and dander and all the other things that tickled his nose, and he knew that it was going to take a whole lot more sneezes until the irritations were gone. But right now, in the moment, there was just this one sneeze. The urge in the back of his throat and in his nostrils. His breath hitching and racing. “eh! eh! ehhh!” His whole body giving over to the desperate need. “ehh ehhh EH HEHH!”His body swaying back then pitching forward with a powerful “EHPIHTchooo!

That joyous relief after a particularly good sneeze filled him with so much satisfaction. He could breathe in and out without the flutters in the tip of his nose making him want to rub it. He could smile at his brother without needing to secretly scratch the roof of his mouth with his tongue. He could feel normal. Or, well, as close to normal as Sam Winchester could ever feel. He sat back in his seat, pushed his hair back from his face, and sighed happily. He was clearly content to do this all day.

Dean shook his head, but this time he was chuckling as well.  “How about I start by getting another box of tissues, a couple sandwiches, and some beer?”  

“Sounds great,” Sam agreed. A second box of tissues was probably unnecessary, but he knew Dean had to feel like he was helping.

“Anything else you need?”

Sam could feel the tickle in his nose creeping back up on him again. It was a faint twinge but growing stronger with each passing moment. “Yeah,” Sam nodded. “I need to… to snee… n-need to ehhhhh to EH to Ehhhhhhhhh!” He pulled another tissue out of the box, cupping it to his face. “Ehhhffftshhhhhhhhhh! HEHKShhhhhh!” Wiping his nose and sniffling a little, Sam still had that blissful smile plastered on his face, looking like this was the best day of his life.  “Need to sneeze,” he finished. “A lot.”

It looked like it pained Dean a little to say, but he said, “Then go ahead and sneeze as much as you like. I won’t stop you,” before heading toward the kitchen.