Prompt: Teen Sam is going through a growth spurt, and none of his favorite jackets/hoodies fit him anymore. They haven't had time to get him any new clothes lately, either. But Sam is sick and achy and cold, and all he wants is to cuddle up in comfortable layers, so maybe he borrows Dean's jacket when Dean and John are out somewhere.



This Was the Worst


This was the worst. This was worse than the time Dad made him miss a soccer game to spend an entire Saturday at the shooting range. Worse than the time the crazy ghost twins slammed him up against the inside of the barn repeatedly until Dean and Dad burned their bones. Worse than the B- he got on the English paper on the book he hadn’t been able to finish because his family had needed him to drive them to the hospital after some creature tore them up.


Okay, maybe that time was worse, but only by a hair. Sam had a fever. The forehead thermometer in their first aid kit said he had a temperature of one hundred and nine; Sam didn’t know exactly how off that was, but it had to be a fever of some sort. He’d been shivery and chilled all day long. It didn’t help that he was wearing clothes that barely fit any more; they were no good at keeping him warm.


It hadn’t been so bad when they’d been in the car. He’d been on the right side where it was sunny in the morning. He could sit there hugging himself and drifting off to sleep in the warm sunshine. But in the motel room, it was freezing. Sure, he’d turned the heat up as soon as Dean and Dad left, but it hadn’t made any difference in the room. It was probably broken. This wasn’t the best motel.


And it wasn’t like Sam could ask for something special. He’d already asked for a couple pairs of new jeans and some shirts and Dad had said he’d get them when they could afford them and had the time to track down a secondhand store. Until then, Sam would just have to squeeze into what he could still fit into. That was miserable in and of itself; the cold in his nose was just making it ten times worse.


Sam was congested. He’d snuffled quietly into his sleeve whenever Dad was around, knowing sniffling constantly annoyed Dad when he was driving. He’d sneezed a few times, accidentally, and earned sharp, warning looks from Dean. When he’d been alone in gas station bathrooms, he’d blown his nose over and over and over again until it hurt.


That was nothing compared to when Dad and Dean had gone out for dinner. They’d tried to drag Sam along, but Sam wasn’t the least bit hungry and agreed to stay and unpack for them… which he hadn’t done yet. What he had done was park himself on one of the two queen-sized beds with a whole roll of toilet paper and let himself sneeze all the sneezes he’d been holding in all morning. This was one hell of a cold.


Sam ached. His back ached. His shoulders ached. His arms ached. His legs ached. His head really ached. His everything ached. He’d looked for the heating pad, but it was probably still in the car. He’d found the hot water bottle and, with a cry of triumph, had filled it with hot water from the bathroom faucet. However, the second he shut off the water and pressed it to his chest for warmth, he realized what a mistake it was. The thing had a hole somewhere and leaked water right on his crotch, making it look like he had wet himself.


And that meant he needed to change. That shouldn’t have been such a hard thing to do. Except that Sam didn’t have many clean clothes that fit any more. They were supposed to be doing laundry tomorrow, so Sam was wearing his last pair of jeans and the last flannel shirt he had that sleeves that came down to his wrists. Everything else was too small for him after his most recent growth spurt or dirty and already in the laundry bag in the impala’s trunk. What he really wanted was a warm sweatshirt he could put on and snuggle up into rest. He’d been in the motel room for half an hour, a place of new smells and sights—nothing familiar except what they’d brought with them. But all his comfortable clothes were too small for him.


So he didn’t really have a choice, he reasoned, as he walked over to Dean’s duffle. He was supposed to be helping to unpack anyway; this was as good a place as any to start. He rummaged through, pulling out a navy blue hooded sweatshirt. He stared at it a moment, giving himself time to think it over. The cotton was thick and soft in his hand as he rubbed it between his fingers then gripped it tight in his fist. All he wanted to do was get into it, curl up, and sleep. But Dean wasn’t going to like him borrowing it without asking.


Then Sam sneezed a full-body sneeze that knocked his thighs against the side of the bed and made him shiver violently afterward. Before he’d even finished sniffling, he was pulling the sweatshirt on over his head. And, once it was on, he moaned in delight. The inside was softer than he could have imagined. He was swimming in it, the sleeves so long he could slide his arms in and only have his fingertips stick out the ends. He pulled the hood up and his whole head felt fuzzy with warmth as the cotton grazed his ears and cheeks. Hurriedly and without any more regrets, Sam threw off his jeans and pulled on a pair of Dean’s gray sweatpants. They bunched at the bottom, a little too long for his legs, but they were far better than any he had that would have stopped halfway down his calves.


Sam grabbed the roll of toilet paper and dove into one of the beds. He pulled the covers up over himself almost entirely, leaving just a little pathway open for fresh air to get in. He hugged the toilet paper to his chest with one arm and thrust his other hand into the front pocket of the hoodie. Between the long sleeves and the pouch, the sweats and the clean sheets, the blankets and the heavy motel duvet, he was surrounded by comfort. And, for the first time all day, he didn’t feel shivery or achy.


He just felt sleepy. Sam closed his eyes, smiling, and drifted off.




The soft glow of late summer evening light was gone from the windows when Sam opened his eyes. At first, he thought it was a tickle in his throat or the need to sneeze that had woken him. Then he realized it was something far worse: the sound of the impala’s doors closing. Sam froze, not sure what he could do. He had only seconds, which wouldn’t be enough time to get out of Dean’s clothes, let alone unpack. Dad was going to be angry with him. Dean was going to be furious with him. And Sam wasn’t sure he could stand any punishment on top of the aches and stuffiness he already had with this cold.


Really, the only thing he might be able to do was roll out of bed and delay the shouting for a minute until they found him. Either that or pretend he was asleep. As he heard the key in the door’s old fashioned lock, Sam squeezed his eyes shut and tried to swallow back the coughs that scratched at his throat.


“Saaam?” Sam could tell at once that without him along, Dad and Dean had gone to a bar for dinner, and Dad probably hadn’t eaten much.


“Think he’s asleep already, Sir.” That was Dean, who sounded… suspicious? Or was Sam imagining that?


Dad grunted and flopped heavily onto the other bed in the room. In a minute, there was heavy breathing. In five, there was snoring. By then, Dean had to have spotted his open duffle bag. And probably Sam’s discarded jeans and shoes at the bottom of their bed. The bed shook slightly when Dean moved the bag off and also when he sat down on the side of the bed. “Hey, kiddo,” he whispered.


Sam tensed, instinctively, forgetting that he was supposed to be pretending he was asleep.


“I know you’re not feeling so good,” Dean continued. Dad’s snores were steady and loud, so Sam focused on Dean’s hushed tones. “You wanna sit up so I can take a look at you?”


Sam didn’t know what to say. He was comfortable and warm where he was. Or was this a trick of Dean’s to get him to sit up and reveal what he’d done? Did Dean know about his missing sweats yet? Had Dean been planning on wearing those exact clothes to bed himself? Was Dean going to tease him or yell at him when he found out for sure what Sam had done? Before he could decide, he sneezed. His whole body shook under the covers. And the duvet slipped down, exposing the hood pulled over his head.


Dean had to have seen. But instead of yelling at him, Dean rubbed Sam’s shoulder through the blankets.


So Sam sat up, sniffling. His head swam for a second, and his nose tickled. All at once, another sneeze seized him. And before he knew what he was doing, he was sneezing three times, his nose buried in his warm, soft sleeve. Dean’s sleeve. Dean’s sweatshirt. Oh no.


But Dean didn’t yell about this either. Dean patted his back and pulled a handful of toilet paper from the roll Sam had been hugging. He stuffed it into Sam’s hand then ruffled Sam’s hair. “I’m going to find you some cold medicine. In the meantime, are you warm enough? Here….” Dean shrugged out of his leather jacket and put it around Sam’s shoulders. Sam hesitated then slid his arms through the sleeves. Dean pulled it into place and patted Sam on the back again. “There you go.” He grinned. “Now lie down and stay as quiet as you can. Sneeze into your sleeve if you have to, but don’t wake Dad, okay? I’ll run over to a drug store and be back as soon as I can.” He dragged the covers up and tucked them around Sam. “Warm enough, Sammy?” Sam nodded and closed his eyes, wrapping his arms around himself in a hug,


This was the best. Better than the time he had the chicken pox and Dean scratched his back for him when Dad wasn’t looking. Better than when he had the stomach flu during first grade and Dean snuck out of class to sit with him in the school clinic until Dad could be reached. Better than when he’d had a bad headache and Dean had turned off all the lights in their apartment for a whole night so they wouldn’t bother Sam’s eyes, even though he’d been halfway through an episode of Dean’s favorite TV show at the time.


Sam snuggled up in Dean’s jacket—still warm from Dean wearing it—and hoodie and sweatpants and blankets and fell asleep to the sound of Dad’s snoring before Dean got back.