Title: More Choices We Make

Prompt: Dean and sick!Sam are in the Impala. Sam's all shivery, so Dean gets him a blanket from the trunk. One problem: blanket is suuuuper dusty. Now Sam has to choose between dying of dust allergies and dying of shiveriness...
Author Notes: Originally titled “The Choices We Make” but apparently I used that title for another fic!



More Choices We Make




There was no denying it; whatever Sam had caught was getting worse. That morning when they’d left the motel it’d just been a little sniffle. Sam’s voice was a little rough and he felt a little sneezy. That was about it. They’d hunted through worse. Hell, sometimes a well-placed sniffle was endearing to an interviewee or two. But this bug was shaping up to be more than just a little sniffle.


eh-hehhhhhh… Hihh…


Sam was hunkered down in the passenger seat, nestled against the door as if being pressed up against it would warm him. He had on his magic hoodie—the one Dean borrowed whenever he was sick. So he knew it was the warmest thing either of them owned. And, yet, Sam was shivering. A few shudders at first, like he had the chills. But then shaking with shivers, teeth chattering, all that. So whatever this was, it wasn’t just the sniffles.




Problem was, it had just come on so damn fast. Just a few exits ago, Sam had been okay. Now he was cold and sniffly and probably feverish. And Sam looked just about as miserable as could be. He looked like he wasn’t going to make it three more hours to the motel.




Dean glanced over. Sam shivered even as he pulled a tissue out of the box on his lap. Poor kid. Sam’s mouth hung open and he clutched the tissues in a hand a few inches from his face, just waiting. His hand shook. His whole body shook. Then he snapped forward. “hhh…ehhhh-SHAhhhhhh!” His nose had found the tissues, and he shivered harder, hugging an arm around his chest as he leaned back in the seat again. He tried to breathe through his nose, but all that came was a muted squeak. He added another tissue to his hand and blew. Long, hard. The sound was wet and releasing. But even after four and another wet sniffle, he still couldn’t breathe apart from through his mouth.


Wincing, Dean did the only thing he could think to do and reached over. His palm made contact with Sam’s forehead. It was only there for a second before Sam gathered the strength to bat it away. “Hey!”


“Dude, you’ve been sneezing all morning. Like there was any doubt you’re sick?”


Sniffling, he countered with, “Then why’d you check?”


“’Cause that’s what concerned older brothers do.”


“’Cause that’s what Mom did when you were sick?”


Silent at the mention of their mother, Dean just nodded. Then he glanced in the rear view mirror, put on the turn signal, and eased the Impala onto the shoulder of the road.


“What’re you doing?”


“You’re freezing cold.”


“You won’t turn the heater on.”


“It’s, like, 80 degrees in here.”






Sam rubbed hard at his nose. “Why are we stopping, Dean?” He tried to sniff and failed, resorting to just holding tissues at his nose. “I just want to get to Springdale so we can find a motel and I can… can…”


“Can-can? Sam! All this time and I never knew…”


ehhh-hihhhhhh… hihhhhhh….


Dean sat back and waited.




And waited.




And waited some more.


Iihhh-hehh…heh-IHhhh…hih-damn it!” Sam slammed his head back against the seat and side of the car, as if it would knock him out and put him out of his misery. But it didn’t. And his jaw vibrated up and down, chattering with cold.


Dean put the car in park and turned it off. “I think we’ve got a blanket in the back.”


He perked up at this. “Really?”


Dean was pretty sure he’d seen one a while ago. The trunk was packed now that Sam’s stuff was stuffed in there with Dean’s. But under the bags and the tools and under the fake bottom were the weapons. And under those there was a blanket all right.


It was a ratty, dirty, old army blanket. It was the kind of blanket you avoid touching and you certainly don’t ever consider using until it goes through the washer a half dozen times. Or unless you were sick and freezing and needed something more than a hooded sweatshirt.


Dean shifted the items and pulled out the blanket. A visible puff of dust rose from it. Dean turned his head, coughing, and felt his nose burn with itchiness. He probably shouldn’t give Sam this blanket.


“Dean?” Sam’s voice was rough and deep but just loud enough to be heard outside the car. Then the door clicked and swung open. Sam’s head stuck out. “Did you find it? I… ihhhhh… hehhh… Hih! Ih! HIHH! Uh… oh goddamn it!”


“Yeah, I guess,” Dean called back, glad he couldn’t hear Sam’s sigh of relief. He threw his stuff back into the trunk, closed it, and headed over to the passenger side of the car. He shook the blanket, hoping to get some of the dust off it, but all he got was more coughing and a throat that felt like it was going to close up. He definitely couldn’t give Sam this blanket.


“D-dean? I ihhhhh… hihhh…


Dean frowned, watching Sam shiver and struggle already. If he gave Sam the blanket, the kid would probably die or something.




“Yeah,” Dean said. “Here’s the thing: blanket’s too dusty. It’s just going to make you sneeze.”


“Whahhh… what? Ih-hih!


“If I don’t give you this, you’ll be cold. And if I do give it to you, you’ll sneeze your head off. Not much of a choice. So I’ll just—”


Sam stuck his hand out. “Give it heh-hhhere.”




Sam grabbed for the blanket, but Dean pulled it out of reach. “I’m not going to drive all the way there listening to you having an allergy attack on top of a cold. That’s crazy. You gotta breathe.”


“Dean… ihhhh… I gotta sneeze.” He reached for it again and, this time, grabbed hold of the corner. Dust billowed upward. “ihhhh!” He tugged it free of Dean’s grip. Dean coughed. Sam coughed. But he also hugged the blanket close and tried to shift about to fit himself under it.


Taking pity on him, though not sure he really wanted to do this, Dean helped unfold the blanket. He tucked it around Sam, covering him as best he could. Then he closed the door. By the time he’d rounded the car and slipped back down behind the steering wheel, Sam’s teeth had stopped chattering. Sam was still shivering a little, but not as violently.


His nose, on the other hand, was running. Sam helped himself to a tissue from the box still on his lap, beneath the blanket. Dean suspected Sam was going to be covered in dust by the time they reached the town, the tissue he brought up to his nose probably hadn’t avoided it either. But he held it to his nose, whimpering a little and gasping with desperation. “ihhhh… ihhhh-HIHhhhhhhh… I… HIHhhh…” Sam’s nostrils flared and he gave one last gasp. “Ihh-HETCHshhhhhhhhh!


Dean turned the key in the ignition. “You all right?”


Sam nodded and smiled a blissed out sort of smile. He closed his eyes. “Oh yeah. Sniff! That felt g-good. Sniff! Oh… Ihhh…


Dean had a feeling this was going to be the longest three hours of his life. He stepped on the gas.