Title: It's Gotta Be Four in the Morning
Fandom: Supernatural
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: No money made. No characters/world owned.
We're hunting a pack of fledgling vampires. Shouldn't be a problem for us, except this one here has to go and get all sneezy on me.

Author’s Notes: Written for the Oh Sam Triple Play 2015 using prompts:
1. Roadhouse 

2. Ellen
3. Respiratory illness


It's Gotta Be Four in the Morning


Lightning illuminated the sky ahead just as thunder rumbled. From inside the Impala, it sounded like the thunder was all around them. Dean had the windshield wipers on full blast and kept flipping the headlights from regular to brights and back again, desperately hoping for some visibility in this terrible storm. Total concentration was needed to stay on the road, and Dean's knuckles were white as he gripped the steering wheel. They didn't speak, not even about the storm or the road conditions or the possibility of pulling over somewhere until all of this blew past, because they both knew that wasn't a possibility. Even though Sam and Dean did not speak, it was hardly silent inside the car. There were the occasional bursts of thunder and the constant barrage of rain against the car. And there was also the sneezing.


“There it is,” Dean finally said, pressing down on the gas pedal. It was a little reckless, but he was desperate to get there.


“I still dond't thindg this is a good idea,” Sam said. Dean didn't say anything; Dean didn't even look over at him. But Sam could tell from his expression that he didn't want to have this argument a third time. So Sam just bunched Dean's bandanna up and buried his runny nose in it with some small sniffles and light coughs.


Dean pulled into parking lot of the Roadhouse, threw the Impala into park, and cut the ignition. “On your feet, Sammy.”


Sam coughed bu obeyed his brother, grabbing his bag from the backseat in the process. Despite his slightly longer stride, Sam had to double-time it to catch up with Dean. Before he could voice his uncertainty again, Dean tried the front door. Finding it locked “Dean?” Dean raised a fist “Dean?” and knocked loudly. “Dean...”


The door flew open and a shotgun was shoved right into Dean's face. “Whoa!” he stepped back, throwing his hands up. “Hey, Ellen, hey. Don't shoot. It's us.” Instinctively, he stepped to the side, in front of Sam, protecting his younger brother.


Rain pelted down upon them, drops running down their faces. Ellen lowered the gun and sighed, staring at them. “Winchesters.” Wet and pathetic, the boys stared back at her.“Of course it's Winchesters. What are you two doing here?”


“Told you we should have called ahead,” Sam said from behind Dean.


“Boys, it's gotta be four in the morning. What are you doing here?”


From behind Dean, Sam drew a sharp breath and sneezed, mostly smothering it into the now rain-soaked bandanna. Dean turned and grabbed Sam by the shoulders. He pulled Sam a few steps forward, as if presenting his little brother to Ellen. “We're hunting a pack of fledgling vampires. Shouldn't be a problem for us, except this one here has to go and get all sneezy on me.” He poked at Sam, who flinched.


“God, Deand, I cand't just sndeeze ond comband.” Sam rubbed the side of his hand at his nose.


“He's sneezy, trust me on that. It's one hell of a head cold,” Dean explained. “And all it takes is one sneeze for the vamps to wake up and be all over us.” Dean positioned himself behind Sam now and pushed him a step forward toward Ellen. “He needs a place to stay until he kicks this thing.”


Rain ran down their faces, dripping from their hair and clothes. Sam couldn't have looked more pathetic if he'd tried.




Correction: now he couldn't have looked any more pathetic. He snuffled and wiped his nose on the soggy bandanna before tucking it into his jacket pocket.


“Let me get this straight: you want me to take your obviously sick brother into my establishment, knowing I have to be up in four hours to put the coffee on?”


Dean gave her a part-sheepish, part-worried look. “Yes?”


Ellen sighed. He raised a hand and gestured for Sam to step forward. “All right. Come with me, Sam. I've got a Kleenex box and a tall glass of OJ with your name on it.”


Sniffling, Sam stepped forward. “Thandg you, Ellend. I really mbeand it.”


“Yeah, yeah. Just get your ass in here and get out of that rain.” She patted Sam's shoulder as he passed her in the doorway. Once inside, he sneezed again, bending forward so suddenly he only had time to lift his arm and direct his nose at it. Ellen shook her head. “I've got more than one extra cot, if you want to wait out this storm, Dean.”


Anyone with any sense at all would have taken Ellen up on that offer. But Sam wasn't surprised when Dean refused it. “Vamps are a few hours away, and I'm not going to make good time in this storm. I need to get a move on.”


hahhh-IHKTschxxxxttttt! Heh-hehhh-URKTSchxxshhh!” Both Ellen and Dean stared at Sam, who stood just inside the bar with his mouth open, rocking on the balls of his feet. “hahhh... hahhh... hah-HAH-HahhKTSchxxxxttttttt!” Sam grabbed a few napkins out of a dispenser on a table and blew his nose into the. “Sorry. Excuse mbe. Sor...ry—hah-IHKTSchxxttt!


Ellen looked back at Dean. “You are coming back for him, right?”


Dean watched Sam cough and snuffle and blow his nose.




“Yeah, I'll be back.” Dean raised his voice, calling over to Sam. “Get better, kiddo!”


Sam nodded wearily then bunched another handful of napkins to his nose. “hahh-IHPTSchhxxxt!


“I'll look after him,” Ellen reassured Dean.


Dean nodded in appreciation, then called back over to his brother. “You listen to Ellen, all right, Sammy? You got your knife and some salt?” Sam nodded. “Good. I'll be back as soon as the job's done.”


“Get those... get those vamps.” Sam nodded again before snatching another napkin from the table. “hahh-KTschxxxttt! Huhhh-Hekktschxxxxtttttt!” When he looked up up, Dean was gone and the door was closed.


Ellen locked the door then came over and put a hand on Sam's back, guiding him on. “Come on. Let's get you dried off and into bed.”


Though dabbing at his nose with a napkin, Sam gave her a grateful smile which didn't go away even after he had crawled into bed under layers of blankets. They were the sort of blankets you don't get at cheap motels, the kind normal people have and hold onto for years. And the sheets warmed right up to his body as soon as his head hit the pillow. She dosed him up with some sort of syrup that made him want to close his eyes just two yawns later. Before he did, Ellen forced two big boxes of tissues at him, and he pulled one under the covers with him, dipping one of his hands right in as he wheezed and coughed into the other, held with a fist to his mouth.


“Now you come wake me up if you need anything else,” she told him. “But you're not going to need anything else, are you?”


He shook his head. “This is wondderful. Thandk you. I dow you didnd't have to...”


“Sometimes you don't get to choose your family, and sometimes your family chooses you. And when they show up at your doorstep at four in the morning, all sick and pathetic, you just feel glad it's because of a cold and not a gunshot to the gut or a pair of fang marks. Now get some sleep, Sam.”


With only a brief thought of his brother, out there driving in the rain on his way to a solo hunt, Sam fell asleep.