5.13, fanfic, fic, h/c, s5, sick!sam, spn
'So let it out and let it in" (SPN fic: minor spoilers for 5.13)
Title: 'So let it out and let it in'
Genre: gen, h/c (PG-13 for language)
Word Count: ~1,450
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit
Warnings: not exactly a coda for 5.13, but minor spoilers for the episode.
Summary: Sam wakes up to Dean singing.
a/n: For a prompt at spn_hurtcomfort, here—though the fic takes it in a slightly different direction.
a/n: Set at some unspecified time. To me, it has more of a S1-2 feel to it than S5, but I'll let you all be the judge of that.
a/n: omg, the fluff, y'all *facepalm*. I actually thought that 5.13 was an emotionally complicated episode, but this? Not so much. I think the combination of the little bit of info the fic is based on and the youtube clip of Jensen singing at the 100th episode party kind of did me in. Also possibly a reaction to that dollop of angst I wrote last week.
'So let it out and let it in'
Sam woke and was pleasantly surprised not to feel like shit. He tested cautiously, and sure enough, he could breathe through his nose for the first time in days. The dull ache behind his cheekbones had eased up, and the rest of him was warm and relaxed under a pile of blankets.
Enjoying the sensation, he kept his eyes closed, and listened to the familiar sounds of Dean puttering around the motel room. Mostly familiar, anyway. Over the usual muted clanking and clicking of weapons being cleaned, he could hear the much less common sound of Dean singing.
Sam knew from long experience that Dean indulged his musical impulses in two distinctly different ways. Mostly, he amused himself by accompanying the tape deck in the car with a variety of yowls, barks and chants —all delivered in the key of drive-Sam-crazy he had perfected over the years. But sometimes, when he thought nobody was around, Dean would actually carry a tune, his voice higher and lighter than anything he would allow himself in ordinary life, almost achingly sweet.
Apparently, this was one of those times.
Sam willed himself still, savoring the return of his well-being and the rare beauty of his brother's real voice.
It felt like he'd been sick forever, though it couldn't have been more than a week. Just a nasty cold, nothing worse than that. But his nose was stuffed up, his throat raw, and all his muscles sore and tense. He'd shivered under a permanent chill exacerbated by weather that perpetually promised snow and kept delivering freezing rain instead.
Nothing to be done about it, of course. There was no question of slowing down—they'd been raised not to slack off for anything less than broken bones or a triple digit temperature, and usually not even then. And anyway, he would have had to have been a lot sicker to consider letting Dean deal with the batshit West Virginian poltergeist on his own. So Sam had resigned himself to riding it out—hoping the virus would back off before the over-the-counter cold medicine in his system reached toxic levels.
Dean had been pretty good about it, in his taciturn, faux-grudging way—not complaining when Sam cranked the heat in the Impala, and silently tossing a bottle of juice in his lap whenever they stopped for gas or coffee. Every once in a while, Dean would unceremoniously palm the back of Sam's neck, checking for fever. Not finding any, he would turn the gesture into a light cuff or head rub, disowning the concern before it had a chance to surface.
Really, the worst of it had been that he couldn't get a decent night's sleep, his own snuffling and tossing waking him up every couple of hours. Once, he'd coughed himself awake and found Dean already perched on the side of his bed, water and meds in hand.
"Just about to get you up," Dean had said, handing him the glass and pills and deftly straightening the tangled covers, "you sound like a freakin' hacksaw, man—some of us are trying to sleep." But he'd stayed on the bed until Sam drifted off again.
Still, they'd dispatched the poltergeist fine, and the bug had started to lift of its own accord right about the same time the weather had really begun to close in. Sam had almost been able to feel the cold exiting his body, leaving a gaping pit of weariness in its wake. They'd pulled into a motel just ahead of the storm, and it had been all he could do to brush his teeth and shuck a layer of clothing before collapsing into a dreamless sleep.
Sam tried to figure out what Dean was singing. It sounded familiar, but it definitely wasn't from his usual repertoire of Zeppelin and Metallica. Dean seemed to be having trouble remembering the words, mumbling his way through most of the lyrics, but he had every note of the wistful melody down. After a bit, Sam was able to peg it as something by the Beatles, which was weird, since they hadn't had any Beatles albums growing up, and Dean had never picked up any for the car. Still, everybody knew Beatles songs, right? You learned them through osmosis or something.
Blurry with sleep, Sam couldn't dredge up the title or words for this one. He had a vague memory of what it was about, though—something encouraging, or consoling—a far cry from the fast cars and hot chicks that were typically his brother's first choice for musical content.
There was something about the song, a kind of earnest sweetness, a hopefulness that seemed at odds with their lives, that triggered a complex yearning in Sam, as if it wasn't just the name of the song he couldn't remember, but a whole set of feelings and responses he had lost, or had never had long enough to put words to. He wondered if Dean remembered those nameless emotions, whatever they were, carried them in some hidden reservoir that also had also bodied forth this song. He wondered why it had emerged now.
After a while, the song devolved into a chain of nonsense syllables, the refrain more upbeat than what had come before, almost joyful. Dean enunciated every sound carefully, seemed let himself go a little, getting into the lilting rhythm, his boot tapping lightly to the beat.
And then it was over, the room quiet again except for the slotting of metal back into place as Dean reassembled the guns.
Feeling the sting of the song's ending more sharply than he expected, Sam opened his eyes, allowed them to adjust to the morning light and pushed himself to his feet,
"Hey," Dean said, voice returned to its regular growl, "glad you could join us, Rip Van Winkle," he looked Sam over, "Feeling less like road-kill today?"
"Yeah, I'm good," Sam answered, still a little hoarse, and headed to the bathroom.
When he came out, though, he just had to ask.
"I didn't know you liked the Beatles," he said, voice carefully neutral.
Dean looked patently confused, "Huh?"
"Just now. You were singing a Beatles song. The one—" the name of the song still eluded Sam's sleep-addled, post-cold mind, "you know, the one about the guy with the girl's name—It's really pretty, and, uh, kind of lyrical…"
"Dude," Dean managed to look even more puzzled, and a little offended for good measure. "I don't sing Beatles songs. And even if I did, I don't think I'd sing a pretty one about some girly-man." Sam peered at him. He couldn't tell if Dean honestly wasn't conscious of what he'd been singing, or whether he was just bluffing his way past something he was embarrassed about. He knuckled his eyes, deciding he didn't have the energy to press the issue right now.
"You still look wiped," Dean said, not unkindly, "Go back to sleep. I'll go get us some food in a bit."
"But don't we have to—?" A massive yawn cut his question short.
Dean understood anyway. "Nah.," he said, "I paid for another night. It really came down yesterday," he continued, before Sam could attribute the move to fraternal solicitude, "Roads are a mess. No way am I taking my baby out before they clean them up a little—have you seen what all that salt does to the undercarriage?"
Grunting his agreement, Sam burrowed under the warm covers again, realizing just how exhausted he still was. Dean's singing might have woken him, but the much more familiar sound of Dean bitching about the roads quickly lulled him back into sleep.
a/n: title from "Hey Jude," by Lennon and McCartney