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Sam's busy tonguing at the traces of blood left in his mouth. It's sticky and warm in the back of his throat, heat having slowly spread throughout his body like growing vines. He barely notices the cold outside, definitely doesn't feel it inside the motel room.

Dean is gone. Sam's heart rate picks up immediately; he was only gone twenty minutes.  It's only been twenty minutes.  Not even Dean could get himself in to trouble in that amount of time.

“Dean?” he calls out warily, taking another step into the room. His brother's bed sheets are crumpled, slept-in. He'd left Dean here just twenty minutes ago.

A low moan from the bathroom, and Sam finds his brother curled up there by the toilet. Dean's sickly pale, freckles stark and visible. He's got his cheek pressed to the tiles and there's sick on the corner of his mouth. Sam doesn't bother to check the toilet before flushing. The noise startles Dean, eyes moving rapidly behind closed lids and he lets out another hurt noise.

“Dean?” Sam smooths his hand over Dean's forehead. He's burning up.

His brother's eyes flutter. “Sammy?”

“Yeah. Yeah, it's me, Dean."

“Where'd you go?” Dean is shaking, goosebumps decorating his skin but he's boiling hot and sweating. He fists one hand in Sam's shirt like he's afraid he's going to leave him again. “I. I woke up and you were gone.”

Sam licks his lips. Dean can barely keep his eyes open, and when they are they're glassy and unfocused. He's pretty out of it and Sam can't think of a more convincing lie than, “I was getting snacks.”

“Okay,” Dean sniffles. “Did you get me any liquorice?”

“I will later,” Sam promises quietly. “Jesus, what happened to you? You were fine earlier.”

Dean murmurs incoherently about  god damn angels  and  fucking immune systems  whilst Sam wets a wash cloth. He manages to get Dean to sit up, wipes his forehead, neck and mouth. Dean is unusually quiet as he's fussed over.

“The angels brought you back without an immune system?” Sam tries to clarify.

“Somethin' like.” Dean twists his face away from the wash cloth and Sam takes the hint, throwing it back in the sink. “Motherfuckers.”

Sam smirks. “C'mon, man. Let's get you back into bed and I'll go get you some vitamins and OJ and whatever the hell else you want.”

Dean grunts but otherwise doesn't reply. Sam puts his hands under Dean's arms, helps pull him up. He hadn't noticed before but Dean feels a lot lighter, like he's lost a ton of weight. He doesn't look any thinner. Sam wonders if Hell can shed weight off your soul.

“You feel alright? Apart from being sick, I mean.”

“No, Sam. I feel like I've been dead for four months.” Sam flinches and Dean adds, “I didn't mean it like. It's not your fault, y'know?”

Sam focuses on getting Dean back to bed. His brother doesn't seem to notice, but Sam's carrying most of his weight. Maybe Dean wasn't quite as well resurrected as he'd first hoped. Once Sam's got him on the bed, he tries to disentangle himself but Dean grabs hold of his shirt again and pulls him down.

“I'm. I'm cold,” Dean explains lamely. Sam knows a desperate man when he sees one. He slides under the covers with his brother, pulls him up against his chest. He feels Dean press his face against Sam's neck, mouth moving in what might be a kiss but he won't hold his breath on that. Dean stammers out a, “thanks Sammy.”

It's quiet for a few moments. The only sound is Dean's breathing; he's got his mouth open because he's congested, warm air against Sam's skin again and again. He's surprised Dean hasn't asked for any Tylenol, but maybe that has something to do with him knowing they're out and it would involve Sam leaving.

Sam rubs slow circles on Dean's back. Ten minutes pass and then Dean says, “Sammy?”


“You'll be here when I wake up, right?” Dean's speaking so quietly, Sam strains to hear him. He also thinks Dean must be half asleep to be saying things like that.

“Yeah, Dean. I'll be here.”

Dean presses another one of those not-quite-kisses to Sam's throat. Sam's hand raises to thread his fingers through his brother's hair.

“I'll be here.”