Sam whirled around, eyes widening to see Dean standing in the doorway. “What are you doing here?”
Done dragging his sleeve beneath his nose, Dean looked bewildered. “I thought I lived here.”
Sam cracked a smile. “When we’re not out hunting things. I meant: what are you doing here in the kitchen?”
Dean still looked confused. “It’s lunchtibe.”
With a sigh, “I meant: what are you doing out of bed? I thought we’d agreed you’d stay in bed until you got over that cold.”
Dean sniffed again and waved his hand. “It’s albost gode. Add I got hudgry after workig od the car all bordig.”
Another sigh, this one with a rub of the face. “Dean…”
“It’s by birthday. I did’t wadt to sbed it… it… id… hahhhhh-id-Ihhhh-HIHShhooo!” Dean doubled over, almost in half. But when he straightened up, he headed toward the island in the center of the kitchen.
Sam moved swiftly, sliding in-between Dean and the counter and, more importantly, the thing Sam had on the counter. Sam stood up straighter, trying to make himself look as large as possible to block Dean’s sight. It wasn’t hard, especially with Dean hunched over a little and sniffling.
But that didn’t mean Dean wasn’t suspicious. “Sabby… what are you hidig?”
“Nothing.” That was the least convincing ‘nothing’ Sam had given him since he was a kid and had taken Dad’s journal to read under the covers one night when Dad was out on a bender and Dean had come home early with a girl.
“Sab?” Dean coughed into a fist and then rubbed his knuckles at his nose. “Sab, are you all right? Are you gettig… did you catch by cold?”
Sam relaxed slightly with a chuckle. “No. At least, not yet. I just thought I’d make you something special for your birthday.”
Dean did not look pleased. “You can’t cook.”
Though he didn’t like being told what he couldn’t do, Sam had to admit that was the truth. “I didn’t cook.”
“You can’t bake either.”
“Well, I wanted it to be a surprise.” He rocked forward on his toes. “And you were supposed to be in bed until you stopped doing what you’re about to do—“
Dean waved a hand in front of his face, his breath hitching with the need to sneeze. “ih-hih-heh-heh-ehh-hehh-Hurchhhhh!”
Sam winced. Dean’s cold was far from ‘almost gone.’ And it was rare for one of them to be sick without getting the other sick as well. Sam had done his best not to catch it, but it wasn’t going to be easy with Dean sneezing all over the kitchen.
Dean turned toward him, sniffling. His nostrils flared. His breath caught. And Dean stepped closer, heading right at Sam.
Without much of a choice, Sam stepped aside at the last possible second.
When Dean straightened up and opened his eyes, his eyes rested upon the tray Sam had prepared. Sam sighed and swept his hand at its direction. “Happy birthday.”
The tray held a square tissue box in one corner. In another corner was a tiny plastic cup with bright orange liquid in it and a saucer with several pills. In the center of the tray was a plate that held a single, triangular slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Sticking up from the top, in place of a candle, was an old fashioned mercury thermometer.
“You sneezed on it. It’s yours now.”
Dean just stared at it. “You got be cake?”
“That’s what you’re supposed to have on your birth—“
Dean shook his head. “With all you’re goig through right dow, you actually wedt out add bought be cake?”
“Yeah, it’s just one slice. And I know it isn’t pie, but—“
“I deed a fork.”
Sam blinked. “What?”
“Throw a fork od the tray before brigig it to be id bed.” He rubbed at his nose again and smiled as though with some brilliant thought he was proud of. “I’ll breted I did’t see adythig.” Eagerly, Dean jogged from the kitchen, heading in the direction of his room.