A/N: Mmmmm, holiday meme.
Huddled in the chilly, stolen, parked car, Sam spots the Impala in the rearview mirror and perks up. He steps out into the searing wind and watches her roll up beside him, tires squeaking and crunching in the snow.
"Hey," he says, tugging the door shut with relief. It's warm in here, and he lets out a sigh. "How'd it go?"
Dean's quiet in the driver's seat, flushed and windblown. He flicks his gaze down Sam, then glues it to the road. He sniffles. "Got 'er done."
"Yeah?" Sam sinks deeper into the familiar leather, instantly sleepy. "She make you work for it?"
Dean blows out air in an approximation of a chuckle. "She got hers." He digs a knuckle into his eye. "Where was the wig? D'you have to steal it from a cancer patient?"
"Ugh." Sam snorts, scrubs a palm over his face. "Yes."
Dean gives him a mournful glance, shakes his head. "Our jobs."
His voice is thick. "You shouldn'ta had to do that, Sam."
"Hey. Greater good, right?"
Sam mushes his cheek into the bench seat. He watches the light from the street lamps pass over Dean's face in flickering bands of light.
Sam lunges instinctively for the chain on his bedside lamp.
Across the room, Dean makes a snuffling sound, then gulps and groans. He's kneeling by the chest of drawers, hunched over, a hand spread across his eyes. His hair's wild above a splotchy red face.
Sam scans the room but it's all clear. His heart pounds. "Hey." He goes to Dean and crouches beside him on the carpet, drops an arm behind his brother's warm back and rubs up along his spine.
Dean's breath hitches and he pushes out an enormous sigh, still covering his eyes. "Hey. Uh. This isn't what it looks like."
Sam squeezes Dean's shoulder and jiggles him back and forth a little. "Okay."
Dean drags a wrist under his runny nose and sucks in another shaky breath. He presses his palm against the lacquered wood of the drawers. His voice is low and even. "I'm serious. I need you to grab me some painkillers."
Sam hesitates. "Painkillers?"
"My eyes, Sam." Dean sniffs and swallows hard. "It's my freakin' eyes."
"Let me see." Sam pulls his brother's fingers gently from his face. The cheeks underneath are puffy, streaked with tears. "C'mon. Open up."
Dean makes an 'o' with his lips and pushes out a tightly controlled breath. His eyes slit open, widen cautiously. They're bloodshot and bleary. Sam watches him blink a couple times, waits for him to focus.
Sam taps the air in front of him in a wash of recognition. "You can't see."
Dean nods, nudges a knuckle under his dripping nose.
"It's okay." Sam fumbles for the tissues on top of the chest, presses two into Dean's hand. "You're okay. It was snowy today, right?"
"Uh." Dean blows his nose. "Yeah. I don't have a concussion, dude."
"Where was the grave?"
"Top of that hill at the edge of town."
"Okay. Elevation. And you were outside for awhile? Digging?"
"Yeah, that and I had to park about a quarter of the way up. Ice on the road. My baby's no mountain goat."
"You hiked the rest of the way. In the snow."
"Yeah." Dean shivers and shuts his unseeing eyes. "Sam, you wanna let me in this?"
Sam sits back on his heels. "Congratulations! You've got snow blindness."
Dean's lips stretch into a slow smile. His shoulders droop. "Snow blindness. I'll be damned."
"I'm pretty sure." Sam brushes clammy hair off Dean's forehead, flinches as he lets out a thunderclap of a sneeze. "And maybe a cold."
Sam peels the warm cloth off his brother's face and presses a fresh, cool one into place. Tears are still leaking down Dean's flushed cheeks, staining his pillowcase a darker shade.
The snow blindness accounts for the tears. It doesn't account for the hiccupy breaths, or the downward curve to his mouth.
"Anything you wanna talk about, man?"
Dean coughs into his wrist, holds the compress in place with his other hand. "No."
The left side of Dean's blanket doesn't come up as high on his chest as the right side does. Sam straightens it thoughtfully, admires the even line. "I kinda miss Cas."
Dean goes still.
Sam lowers his ass to the bed. He picks at a nylon thread curling out of the comforter. "And Ellen. It's stupid but winter makes me think of those fruitcakes she used to make."
Dean snorts wetly. "They were terrible."
"You're crazy. They were amazing."
"They were like ninety percent rum. I'll take my rum without weird little fruit bits, thanks."
Sam runs his hand along Dean's side and tucks the covers closer against his body. "And Dad. God, I still miss him."
Dean's lips are cracked and pale. They twitch once.
"He must have been so sad after Mom died."
Dean's jaw muscles work. Sam watches the glow from the lamp catch on different bits of stubble.
"After Jess... I couldn't stop thinking about it."
Raw-scrubbed nostrils flare and relax.
"He knew what that was like. He lost somebody too."
Sam tests Dean's compress, lifts it slowly from his eyes. He lowers it into the bowl on the bedside table, delicately, like it's a fish being introduced into new waters. He studies his brother's drawn face, passes a thumb over one sleek eyebrow.
Dean snuffles. "You're a good guy, Sam." He inhales sharply, sneezes all over his pillow. "Go on and catch some z's while it's still dark out."
Sam pulls a soaking cloth out of the bowl and wrings it out. He smoothes it across Dean's warm forehead, eases it snug against his eyes. "Don't let the bed bugs bite."
Prompt: Dean gets a bad case of snow blindness (photokeratitis) after a long trek on a bright, snowy day. Symptoms include pain, sensitivity to light, and INTENSE TEARS. And he keeps telling Sam that really, he's fine. It's just the snow blindness. He's not REALLY crying. And maybe he wasn't. At first.
Im gonna marry codeine
That's great, Dean.
I'm so jealous. Are you close to my laptop?
We share busty asian beauties. We r close.
No, I mean now.
Are you touching yourself?
Get the laptop.
Look something up for me.
Yeah. Text file on the desktop. List of names.
Is there a Sherilyn?
Awesome. Thx. How's the leg?
For busty asian beauties
Go get high.
Ten minute warning.
Coming home. Hide ur junk.
You luv my junk
Bring busty asian beauties.
Dude. You can't shower.
Cant smell either SUCKA
U r lame
Smell you later.
Prompt: (1) Text messaging has basically two uses: relaying information, and entertaining people who are bored as fuck. (2) Dean has some kind of winter-related ailment, be it an amazing case of the flu or a broken leg from slipping off a roof or whatever. Something that keeps him at home and not doing much in the way of movement. (Not picky!) (3) Well, Sam needs Dean to get him some info on a case they're working and Dean is bored as fuck. Text message shenanigans ensue. Bonus points for drugged/delirious!texting!
Hearth and Home
Sam looks up from his book and into Jo's stern face. She's got a very pale Dean on her arm and she settles him at the other end of the couch, then hooks Sam's legs where they stretch across the cushions and pushes them to the floor.
"Make room for your brother."
Across the sofa, Dean's skin glistens in the lamplight and he swallows, a look of concentration on his face. Then he passes his fingertips across his forehead and raises his brows at Sam, tosses him a mock-salute.
"How's the throat? ...Hey!"
Jo rips the good blanket off Sam's lap, the heaviest and softest blanket that lives in the living room, and tucks it carefully around Dean's shoulders. Dean beams at Sam, coughs into the back of his wrist.
"Mom," Jo bellows into the kitchen. "He's ready for his tea!"
Ellen's voice cuts across the space like that's what it was born to do. "Coming up!"
Ellen's two musician friends wander into the room for a look at Dean. One's nibbling on a leftover snick of turkey, the other's carrying two fiddles. Their plaid is complementary.
"He's as white as when he went upstairs," exclaims the first.
"He needs another lie-down," declares the second.
"He needs a bite to eat. Skinny little thing."
Dean smiles wanly, waves a good-natured dismissal at them.
Jo plants herself on the sofa between Sam and Dean and presses the back of her hand to Dean's forehead. "Aw," she coos. "You're hotter 'n before."
"Ellen," calls the friend with the fiddles, "You got a clean rag in there?"
"Why, you spill somethin'?"
"It's your boy out here. He's hot as coals."
Sam frowns and leans in behind Jo for a quick test of his own. Dean's temple is warm to Sam's fingers, but not blazing like that time the dog bite got infected. Dean winks at Sam as both musicians crowd in to feel his brow.
"Dean Winchester," Ellen scolds, cutting through the gathering like an arrow. She drops her palm to Dean's hairline, soothes a thumb along his eyebrow. Dean looks up quietly into her eyes and something passes between them. "Shh," Ellen murmurs and lays a wet cloth across his forehead. He shivers and melts into the sofa, eyes drooping sleepily. Jo pats his leg and snuggles closer.
"Everything all right out here?" Bobby asks, lumbering into the room with his giant clay teapot poised awkwardly between two tea cozies. He sets it on the end table beside Sam, close to the fireplace. Sam watches the warm, flickering light play across the glaze of the pot. "What'd I miss?" Bobby's voice is tight and Sam grabs his flannel sleeve to get his attention.
"Hey," Sam murmurs. "He's okay." Bobby's eyes are dark under the rim of his hat. "Promise. He's had way worse."
Bobby nods, but goes to where Dean's nodding off and touches the backs of his fingers to the space between his eyebrows. He exchanges reassuring glances with Ellen.
"Right," Ellen announces, standing to her full height. "Let's get this shindig underway."
"Something soft," says the friend with the fiddles, relinquishing one.
"Something sweet," says the other, plucking idly at a string.
"Jo, baby, get your banjo."
Bobby reappears with three pottery mugs clutched in each hand and an accordion around his neck. He gives all the cups to Sam.
Ellen sits down in the arm chair closest to Dean, pulls a harmonica out of her pocket.
Jo stands and collects her banjo. She wanders toward the fireplace as she and tunes it, facing into the crackling blaze. Sam shifts into the space she left and sits in her warm spot, drops a proprietary arm in behind his brother, who turns to him with a slow and slitted blink.
Sam pitches his voice low. "Your head okay?"
Dean licks his lips carefully, raises a sleepy hand and makes an OK sign with his fingers.
Sam messes up his hair.
The music, when it comes, is richly textured, soothing like a gentle hay ride. Sam pours a cup of tea for Dean and watches him drink it all. Christmas leaves him with a warm and dreamily twitching weight against his side, drool on his shoulder, and the taste of cookies in his mouth.
Prompt: Titanic!AU. Christmas at Bobby's with Ellen and Jo, and a sick!hurt!Dean who gets TLC from the ladies.
Dean doesn't know how the Abominable Snowman found him, or where it's taking him. He just knows that its fur is warm and soft and that its arms are strong and gentle and that his head really really hurts.
He sighs and licks his lips and presses his ear against the Yeti's chest. Its giant heart is beating in there. One-two, one-two. Dean breathes in and out, and in and out, and turns his face into its coat to block out the sun.
The Snowman scoops him in closer. It produces a soft little sound that makes Dean think of Sam. He shivers and nuzzles in.
You're not going to eat me, he reveals to the Snowman in his mind. You're like Sam.
The Yeti doesn't reply. There's nothing but the soft sway of its gait, the crush of its huge paws against the snow.
Prompt: Dean is saved by the Abominable Snowman...who bears an uncanny resemblance to Dean's Sasquatch of a brother.
"It's not that good," Sam tries.
Dean looks up from where he's curled up on the picnic blanket in defeat, his mouth smeared with cherry. He sniffles gloomily. "Yeah, right."
"Tastes kinda... stale," Sam persists. He puts down his fork, sets his piece of pie aside with effort.
Dean snuggles closer around his own plate. "It's amazing. I can tell by your face."
"What? No. This is a day old, at least."
"You have sad pie face." Dean points vaguely at Sam's eyebrows. "You want the pie."
"I want furniture," Sam protests, gesturing at the empty, run-down apartment. "I want a space heater. I want you to feel better. I don't care about the pie."
Dean goes slightly cross-eyed on the grey wool blanket. He takes two deep panting breaths and shouts a sneeze at his plate.
"Oof. Bless you." Sam crawls forward and nudges a folded-up sweatshirt under his brother's head. He slides up tight behind him and kisses the back of his neck, feels him jitter out a shiver as Sam drapes an arm down over him. "There'll be other pies. Better pies. Way better pies." His palm slips past Dean's waistband. "And in the meantime..."
Dean turns his sticky face to Sam's. Sam licks it clean.
Prompt: Dean is sick and can't taste anything (like the PIE Sam brought him for Christmas) which is totally not fair. He's grumpy and feverish and saaaad.