The Right Blanket
Ever since they were kids, Dean could tell what was wrong with his little brother just by what blanket Sam wanted.
When Sam wanted the softest blanket, Dean knew he was feeling feverish and needed something that wouldn't bother his hypersensitive skin. When Sam asked for the heavy blanket, Dean knew he was feeling achy and needed something weighing down on top of him. When Sam called for the thick, gray blanket with the soft edges, it was because he felt chilled and needed something to hold in the warmth and cocoon him. And when Sam requested the extra wide, blue blanket, it was because he felt super sneezy and needed something that would wrap all the way around him even if he had a couple boxes of tissues under there with him.
So when Sam started getting sick and didn't know what blanket he wanted, Dean grew understandably concerned. How was he going to figure out what was wrong if Sam wouldn't choose a blanket? “What about the patchwork quilt?” Dean suggested. It was stiff, heavy, and cool to the touch.
Sam huddled in the corner of the couch, shivering, arms wrapped around his legs, face buried against his knees. His mop of brown hair shook as he indicated he did not want the quilt.
“How about that light, green blanket? The soft, warm one?” That was the one Sam had liked when he'd been going through the trials, needing something he could walk around with draped over his shoulders.
Sam shook his head again. And coughed.
Coughing wasn't a good sign. “How about the big brown comforter, huh?” Even gigantor Sam could get lost in that thing.
There was some hesitation this time before Sam shook his head no. His breath caught and his whole body shook in place. “huh-Uhnfschhhh!”
“h'Uhmphshhh! Huhuhxschoo!” He sniffled miserably, rubbed his nose against the leg of his sweatpants.
“All right. Gesundheit.” Apparently there were shivers, coughs, and sneezes now with whatever Sam had. Dean grabbed the tissue box off the table and sitting down next to his brother on the couch. “First thing's first. Blow your nose, kiddo.”
Reluctantly, Sam unfolded himself. His hand shook as he shivered, but he still reached for a tissue and wiped it at his nose.
“Nuh-uh. Give it a good blow, Sammy, or we both know you're going to be sniffing all day.”
Sam gave him a weak glare but readjusted the tissue and blew his nose.
“Good start.” Dean put his arm around Sam's shoulders. “Now, about that blanket...” He trailed off as Sam leaned into him, burying himself against flannel and denim, nuzzling against day-old stubble.
As Sam cuddled close to Dean's side, his shivering subsided. “Don't need a blanket anymore.”