Treachery

Prompt: The boys are hiking up a steep mountain and Dean's sneezing all over the place and kinda dizzy. When the path gets particularly treacherous, Sam makes Dean hold his hand.

:::

"Do you think it'll carry a big wooden club?"

Sam looks up from the dirt path they're walking and frowns over his shoulder at Dean. "A wooden club?"

"Yeah," Dean says, his face pink against the huge expanse of sky. "You know, like in the stories."

"You mean fairy tales?"

Dean coughs self-consciously. "Shut up."

:::

"Where would you live?"

Sam steps over a knee-high boulder. "What do you mean?"

"If you were a troll," Dean elaborates wheezily behind him.

"Uh," Sam says. He raises his brows and cocks his head, considering. "I dunno. Wherever I could get what I needed, I guess."

Dean sneezes, and it echoes around the mountaintops.

"Bless you."

"Under a bridge."

"What?"

"I'd go with the classics," Dean says. He blows his nose magnanimously. "I'd live under a bridge."

:::

"Stupid cave troll," Dean says, slipping. Sam watches him regain his balance, watches shale clatter over the edge.

"Wow," Sam says. Dean's white-lipped and big-eyed, arms stretched out to either side. Sam grabs the water out of his pack and sits his brother down in the middle of the path. "Here you go."

Dean looks at the plastic bottle without recognition, then screws up his face and sneezes harshly into cupped hands.

"Bad cold," Sam observes. He pats his shoulder.

:::

"You saw what happened."

"Sabb..."

"I'm not letting you fall off a mountain."

"As if I would fall off a moudtaid."

Sam raises his brows meaningfully. "Gimme ten jump squats."

"What?" Dean scowls. "Yeah right."

"Then take my hand."

Dean looks out at the pine forests below them, at the enormous amounts of rock. He pulls a battered tissue out of his pocket. "You deed a girlfriedd."

"I need my brother alive."

Dean gurgles into his Kleenex and sighs. He sniffs. "You photograph this and I'll end you."

"Obviously."

Dean's hand is cold and shaky. Sam doesn't let it go.


Evasive Maneuvers

Prompt: The one where Dean goes to interview a victim, and Sam has to come pick him up because he's a sicky, feverish, sneezy, fainting mess.

:::

Sam's at the library when his phone rings. He sees Dean's name and answers quickly, lowering his voice. "Hey."

At first there's nothing on the other end, just the sound of heavy breathing. Then Dean's voice comes through. "Hello?"

His tone is thick and deep from his cold. He makes a slurping, snuffling sound, then spits.

"Dean?" Sam prompts. "What's up?"

"Listen," Dean says. Sam waits, but there's nothing else.

"Yeah?"

Dean makes a creaky sound and sneezes directly into the phone, or so it seems. Sam rubs his ear.

"Listen," Dean repeats. "I need you to come get me."

Sam looks at the stack of books on the table. "You have the car."

"Right," Dean says. His voice gives out at the end and he clears his throat like a grandfather in training. "Come anyway."

Sam frowns at his laptop. "Okay. Where are you?"

There's the sound of something metal clanging to the floor. "Uh... just off Carolina."

"Carolina... where our witness lives?" Sam's stuffing everything into his bag, abandoning the library books. "I'll get a cab. Be there in ten."

"Good," Dean says. There's a siren in the background, Sam's sure he can hear a siren.

"Dean, what's wrong? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, no. I'm..." Dean snuffles and there's the sound of small objects clattering to the ground. "Damn it."

"I'll meet you at our guy's house?"

"About that..." The siren's getting louder. "Just call me when you're close, okay? I'll meet you at the car."

Sam steps out into daylight. "Yeah. I'm gonna go now, and call a cab. You gonna be all right?"

There's a muffled sneeze and the phone goes dead.

:::

"Dean," Sam exclaims when his brother answers. "I'm here. I'm at the car. Where are you?"

"Mmh." Dean clears his throat and coughs into the line.

"There's an ambulance in the driveway. What's going on?"

"Yeah..."

"Dean?"

"Be right there."

The phone disconnects and Sam watches the house anxiously, watches the back of the ambulance. Turning on instinct, he spots Dean picking his way across the lawn of the house opposite. He heaves a huge sigh. "Dean!"

Dean puts a finger to his lips. The lips are pale, and so's the finger. In fact there's something weirdly deliberate about the way he's walking, like he's crossing a sand dune.

Sam opens the passenger door and bundles Dean inside, then gets behind the wheel and speeds away.

"You okay?" he asks, looking for the highway.

"Yeah," Dean says, and sneezes four times.

"Anything coming after us?"

Dean turns stiffly and looks out the back window. His suit's all rumpled. "Nah."

"If something were going to come after us," Sam coaxes him, "what would it be?"

Dean punches open the glove box and lavishes an upsetting amount of snot onto a napkin. "Okay," he says. "It's like this. I was a little... They called an ambulance on me."

Sam raises his brows. His palm finds Dean's forehead, eyes on the road. "Holy crap."

"Hey," Dean grouses, smacking him away. "Come on. They panicked."

Sam slows the car. "Why did they panic, Dean?"

"I maybe... passed out a little."

"You fainted? From this fever?"

"I passed out." Dean's voice has gone all thin and thready. "I'm tired, Sam. Just take me home."

"You ran away from an ambulance."

"Yes." Dean sniffles and sinks deep into his seat. "I ran away from an ambulance."

Sam touches the backs of his fingers to Dean's temple. This time Dean stays still.

"Home it is," says Sam.


On Hand

Prompt: In an attempt to keep police off their trail they decide to burn Dean's fingerprints off. Of course he happens to come down with a sneezy messy cold and needs Sam to take care of him (since his fingers are all sore and bandaged and unusable).

The police scanner on the motel table is quiet.

"Okay," says Dean.

"Okay?" asks Sam.

"Yeah."

Dean lowers his fingertips to the hot plate.

:::

"C'mere," Sam says, unscrewing the cap from the ointment tube.

"Is it that time, Nurse?"

"It's that time."

Dean sits down across from Sam and puts both hands on the table.

Sam picks at the tape and peels back the bandage. "So far so good," he says, appraising them.

"I'm happy to have your approoo... ap... hh-HHXSHSHHH!"

Sam glances up, then squeezes cream onto his burn. "Gesundheit."

:::

"Hhr... HR-HHH... HG-XXISHSHSH! IH-KHHOO-huh!"

Sam frowns over the expanse of his salad. "You okay?"

Dean snuffles. "Yeah." He drags his sleeve under his nose. "Whew." He goes back to his milkshake.

:::

"DZHSHH! Hhhhhh-DZHSHSHSHH!"

Dean's got a tissue pinned between his wrists. It flutters uselessly near his red nose.

"Sneezy McGee." Sam comes over to the couch. "You coming down with something?"

Dean sniffles and looks at the Kleenex.

"Here," Sam says. He takes it from Dean and folds it in half, then holds it to his nose. "Blow."

Dean squints at him through watery eyes. He blows.

:::

"These are coming along," Sam says, taping the last fresh bandage over a fingertip. He catches the distracted look on his brother's face and plucks up two tissues fast. They nestle around his nose just in time.

"Hhh-HGITCHHH! Heh... hhh-hhhhhh... hih-HGKCHCHCHH!"

"Gesundheit." Sam waits for Dean to blow.

"Ugh," Dean snuffles afterwards. "It's weird how good you are at that."

"Thanks, I think." Sam plucks out three more and presses them to Dean's face.

"What are you... hh-hh-HH-HH-TCHCHCH-hooo!"

:::

Dean coughs up a ball of phlegm and spits it in a napkin. He watches Sam cut up his steak for him.

"There," Sam says, sliding the plate back across the table.

Dean takes a deep breath through his clear nose and sighs. He eyes the fork.

"What?"

"Nothing," Dean says. "Looks great."

Sam grins down at his own plate in private amusement. He comes around the table slides into the booth next to Dean. Stabbing a piece of meat, he holds it up to Dean's lips.

Dean stares at him. His cheeks go a little pink. He takes the food between his teeth and eats.


F-ing Canada

Prompt: Why don't the boys ever take cases in Canada? Well, Dean is allergic to it. Insanely, inexplicably allergic.

:::

"You're not."

"I am." Dean raises meaningful eyebrows at Sam and lays the box of allergy medicine on the grocery store conveyor belt.

"Dude, you can't be allergic to a country. That's not how it works."

"Suit yourself." Dean opens his wallet.

:::

They're crossing the bridge into Windsor when Dean starts sniffling.

Sam rolls his eyes at the Detroit River. "You're so full of crap."

"GXSHH!"

:::

Dean scowls at his puny cardboard cup of coffee. "We're idd Cadada," he says, his voice Motown-deep. "Couldd't it at least be a haudted boose?"

"Boose?"

Dean sneezes. His drink makes a sloshing sound and drips onto his hand. "Fuckidd' Cadada."

:::

Dean shoots the ghost with rock salt while Sam jumps out of the grave and lights it up. The spirit burns away.

"Thagk God," Dean says, and pulls out the last lotion-tissue in the box.

:::

"Jesus," Sam says, accepting the car keys. He chases Dean's forehead with the backs of his fingers. "Are you running a fever?"

Dean ducks into the backseat. "Eh... HH-HGF-uh! Hh-hh-hh-KHTCHCHCHHH!" He paws at Sam's duffel on the floor, unzips it and pulls out a T-shirt. He buries his red nose in it and blows.

:::

"Huh... hh-huh..."

The tires hum along the bridge. Detroit's smog looms up to embrace them.

"Hh-hh-hhhhhh..."

Sam guides the car down onto pavement. American pavement.

"HH-hahhhh."

Dean gurgles into a soggy Kleenex and takes a deep breath in through his nose. He sits up and smiles. "Home sweet home."