Title: By the Roadside
Prompt: Sam falls asleep in the Impala. Sick!Dean stifles all his sneezes because he doesn't want to wake Sam, BUT stifling only makes him sneeze more XD. So Dean stops at the side of the road so he can get out and let his sneezes out. And then... well, it turns out that he is in the middle of a field of some plants he's allergic to, so he's going to sneeze his head off whether gets back in the car or not. OH DEANO :O
By the Roadside
Dean Winchester loved to drive. He loved the feel of open road beneath his tires. He loved the look of the country stretched out before him through the dashboard. He loved gas station beef jerky and rest stop vending machine M&Ms. He loved strong-as-tar coffee at truck stops and knowing what part of the country you were in based on what they called soda, pop, and tea at drive-through windows. He loved pulling over and reclining the seat and falling asleep in his baby. He loved the way his music sounded on this car’s speakers. He loved the feeling of the world going by, moving around him.
But he didn’t love driving with one hand on the wheel and the other clamped tight to his face. His palm covered the small gasps his mouth insisted on while his thumb and forefinger pinched his nose. Because, God, he needed to sneeze. And his sneezes were going to be loud. And Sammy needed to sleep.
Dean had gone without sleep for a few days before. But six? Seven? He wasn’t sure he even understood what that felt like. Sam probably should have been in a hospital, where he could be monitored. But neither of them had even entertained the idea. Sam wanted to curl up and fall asleep somewhere familiar and Dean wanted him where he could keep an eye on him. Lucifer was supposedly gone, but Sam still needed someone he trusted looking after him.
It just sucked that that someone was fighting a damn annoying head cold right. Dean couldn’t even imagine where he’d picked it up. But he had it now. And it wasn’t going away, no matter how tightly he pinched his nose.
Not gonna sneeze.
The Winchester boys had never mastered the art of stifling sneezes. Sam’s were just too damn big and Dean, well, Dean never saw the point in tiny little sneezes held in so they did no good and just made you feel like sneezing more. Better just to own a sneeze when it came and get it over with. Unless you were worried about waking up your sleeping brother.
So, when the urge to sneeze flared up, he gave it a try. “ngxxxxtt!” The sound was far too loud in the otherwise silent car. And, more importantly, it hadn’t done a thing to make him feel less sneezy.
Quiet. Gotta stay quiet.
Dean glanced in the rearview mirror. Sam lay curled—because he was too tall to stretch out—on the back seat beneath two blankets. His mouth was open just a little. His eyes were closed entirely. And his whole body was slack and relaxed for the first time in months. Truly a beautiful sight. The fact that they were driving away from Cas ate a little at Dean, but they hadn’t had a choice. The old Cas would have wanted it this way. Free will and all that.
Dean gasped again, eyes filling with tears as he fought back the urge to sneeze. The tickle just would not go away. His nose itched and tickled and ran and he knew one good sneeze and a couple good blows into his bandana would probably take care of it. But then Sam would be awake and confused and probably a bit irritated to be woken up like that. So Dean had to stay quiet as they sailed along the asphalt.
Easier said than done. His head felt so damn stuffed up he could barely breathe. A pounding between his eyes made it hard to concentrate. And his throat tickled with every single breath in and out. He couldn’t even pop in a tape and let music take his mind off things and cover up the sniffing he desperately wanted to do. He couldn’t take his hand away to grab for a tissue and wipe his nose. He couldn’t even let his mind wander because if he lost concentration, he was sure to sneeze.
Not gonna sneeze. Not gonna sneeze. Not gonna sneeze.
It wasn’t working. He held his breath, but the gasps came anyway, a slow, strong, steady build-up that would not be denied. He wasn’t going to sneeze immediately, but he absolutely would in a couple seconds. And he had two choices: sneeze and wake Sam up or pull over and get out of the car.
Fuck it. I’m stopping.
He winced as the car took the rumble strips a little too fast and bumped along the loose gravel. Breath hitching, he looked back; Sam was still asleep, thank goodness. So all he needed to do was jump out, sneeze his head off, and then get back on the road. Dean stopped the car and his hand was on the door handle when he froze.
Ragweed. Sam was allergic to damn near everything. But Dean… the only thing that bothered him was ragweed. And that’s what lined the sides of the roads here as far as the eye could see. It was almost a meter high and just a few feet from where Dean sat. Even if he stayed inside the car, it was enough surrounding him to eventually get to him. But it was a dry, windy day and he had to get out of the car.
Son of a bitch!
With one final look back at his soundly sleeping brother and then a check in the side mirror to make sure no cars were coming, he bolted. How long he would get before he started sneezing, he didn’t know, but he had to at least try to put some distance between himself and the car.
Dean made it about a foot before the first sneeze that he had been holding back the whole time finally struck. “HaPTChhoo! Uhh!”
The involuntary breath afterward was his undoing. His cold making his nose all tickly and the ragweed making it itchy were all too much for him. And though he cupped his hand over his nose and mouth, trying to muffle the sound, the sneezes seemed to boom out of him. “HepTchahhhH! HAHKRshhoo! Herchooo! Hahhh-URChoooo!”
His nose dripped as he wiped his hand on the leg of his jeans. He eyed the damn green weeds that surrounded him. “hahh-Hah-URSchooo! Heptchooo!” They were coming faster now, the ragweed really getting to him. He switched hands. “HAHKTshoo! Ketchoo! KAHShooo! HERShoo! Hufshooo!” They wouldn’t stop. “HAHShooo! Kehshooo! HERShooo! HAHShoo! UHshchhh! Kershhhhh!”
Dizzy was the first thing Dean thought when he sort of caught his breath. The second thing was to lean against the car to keep himself upright. What he ended up with was sliding down the side of the car and slumping against the wheel. He buried his face in his knees. “HAH-Choo! HURH-Shoo! URSChhooo! Hehh… HAHShooo!”
Oh son of a BITCH!
Cringing, Dean lifted his head.
Sam hung out the window, eyelids drooping, face pale. “What are you… doing?” He broke off to yawn and then scrubbed his hand at his face.
“I…” He couldn’t explain. Literally, he couldn’t explain. “Hahhh-Choo! HUPTchoo! HERSHooo! HETCHOO!”
“Bless you… man…” Sam blinked, trying to keep his eyes open. “Ragweed?”
Dean nodded. “Yeah. Sniff! My allergies.”
Not a complete lie.
“Didn’t want to wake you”
Sam ducked back in and emerged again a few seconds later, hand extending with a crumpled but unused clean tissue in it.
Hauling himself to his feet, Dean accepted it and blew his nose as many times as the tissue supported. It sounded like he was now made of snot. It didn’t even matter if he had a cold or allergies. All he knew was that he needed to sneeze. “hahhhh… hahhhURShhhh! HahShooo! HEHShooo!” He leaned against the car wheezy, dizzy, sniffly.
“Get back in the car,” Sam said, his words slurred from exhaustion. “Don’t care if you sneeze loud.”
You’ll care if I sneeze at the wrong time and run us off the road.
Sam pointed straight forward. “We’re far enough away. We can stop. No need to keep driving.”
Wondering why the hell he didn’t think of holing up in a motel until they’d recovered, Dean nodded in agreement. And sneezed again. “HahhKShoo!” His head felt so packed full of congestion that it might explode. He wasn’t going to make it further on the road.
He got to his feet and, sniffing, got back to the car. Sam lay back down and Dean tucked the blanket around him. “I just need to sleep a little longer…” Sam murmured. “Maybe a couple hours. Or days.”
“I dow,” Dean said, patting Sam’s arm then slipping into the driver’s seat. With any luck, Sam would sleep right through Dean’s cold and be none the wiser.
As the car hummed back to life and found its way back onto the road, Sam nodded off and Dean made sure the windows were rolled him. He still pinched his nose, trying to hold off sneezes, but somehow it seemed easier to hold his sneezes back now that there was an end in sight.
Dean Winchester was made for a life on the road. Dean loved to drive. But he also loved pulling into a clean motel, taking a hot shower, and crawling under warm covers with the world still and calm around him.