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Big Brothers don't Cry

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Dean's been feeling pretty snotty for the past few days. Sneezy, coughy, headachy, phlegmy… you name it, he has it. He looks like he's got frostbite on his cheeks, they're so red. His eyes have a nice little raccoon-theme going on, all sunken and rimmed with a blackish-grey. It looks like he's been running a couple of laps outside, considering he's so sweaty and huffing slightly.

That's why, Sam pauses at the door eyes fixated to the scene occurring in front of him. And let's face it, considering Dean did look like he was about to keel over when Sam left, Sam was kinda surprised that Dean was awake when he got back from the drugstore.

Okay, maybe AWAKE was stretching it, but half-awake watching Baywatch was close enough. Good times. Pamela Anderson in all her one-piece glory. The light snore finally coming from him let Sam know, Dean wasn't awake. Dean wasn't ogling the double-d's of that gorgeous goddess from Baywatch. He was actually sleeping with his eyes open. OPEN. Like some creepy horror movie. He hadn't slept with his eyes open in years. He definitely wasn't feeling too good.

"Dean?" Sam calls, closing the door as softly as he could. He didn't really want to disturb Dean. Considering that for the past four days he'd been up constantly, coughing and sneezing like mad.

Sam made it his mission to help as much as he can. He kept one of the two washcloths they had in the freezer, so he could rotate it out every time Dean's fever baked the other dry and warm. He made sure Dean had enough blankets, they rented out good movies (though none with explosions, Dean's ears were getting really sensitive), he made dinner each night (even though Dean never ate any of it). It was a tough few days. Dean's throat was sore, which meant minimal talking… Dean explained that his head felt like a hellhound was trying to gnaw it to bits… but Sam tried his best to help.

But, watching Dean carry on like this for –if you include today- five days… it was getting tough for the both of them, especially because John was gone on a hunt two counties over, John's been away for longer than planned. It had them worried. School year-end exams were looming in and Dean had missed most of this semester's work because of hunts… and now this. A cold. A mother-of-all-colds-that-would-end-all-other-colds. It had them both sleepless. But, they both knew, they had each other and for now, that was all they would need.

"You awake?"

"Sure am," and Dean's eyes are still glued shut.

"Dean, you're talking in your sleep again."

"What!", the sleepy Dean suddenly jerks awake. Dean does this weird spastic flair of his arms, to grab onto the armrests of the one-seater to pull himself into a upright position… yeah, let's face it, Dean only flails when someone wakes him up when he was in deep sleep. Otherwise, Dean is a flail-less guy that manly grunts and would tell you to 'Buzz off' because you were bugging him –all the while managing to keep any sleep grog out of his voice.

But right now, a very groggy Dean suddenly squints at Sam, "H… Hey?". He blinks, mutes Baywatch and yawns, "Aww… sorry, I guess I fell asleep."

"I know…" Sam says and walks forwards, dropping a packet on Dean's lap, not pausing a moment as he heads off to the small kitchen.

"What's this?" Dean says, rubbing his eye with the back of his hand, "Did you leave?"

"Just for a little while … and yes, I did take a cat's eye amulet with me, I did have holy water in my backpack and I did have my knife on me," Sam answers the coming questions without Dean even asking. He fills a glass of water, gets the kettle boiling and leans over the counter, "You want coffee?"

"Wha- yeah… coffee…that'd be great…" Dean says, but he's totally pre-occupied with the packet he's now shaking, "Sam, what is this?"

"It's just… something I got from the store…" Sam answers and finishes up the coffee, "Did you eat anything today?" and decidedly won't mention how Dean didn't eat anything for two days now –disregarding the half cup of soup his big brother managed to choke down the day before. Sam loads up the small motel tea-tray with the glass of water, coffee and a digs into his backpack for the polystyrene box that holds a slice of Dean's favourite pie. He carries the tray over to Dean and sets it down on the coffee table.

Dean blinks a bit, suddenly erupts into a sneeze-fest that lasts a good half-a-minute. A good mix of sounds: "Hxxxtsshh", "Ptisshhh" and some "EEaaggghhhtts". He's not happy because it leaves him out of breath. He ends up with one last double-cough and rubs his head, "Ugh, allergies."

"Yup," Sam says without missing a beat, he knows Dean well enough to know he won't admit to being actually sick –unless it's something life-threatening, because THEN it's hard-core, manly and awesome. He hands Dean a slice of the most coveted of all pies in pieland, accompanied with the utensil of choice. "Here you go!"

Dean digs into the cherry pie without a second thought, "Wow, is it my birthday or something?" Dean grins and takes a bite of the coveted pie. The grin suddenly switches to a frown and soon the sputtering comes, followed by another coughing fit.

And Sam proves how awesome little brother he is by grabbing that pie, handing Dean the water and doesn't comment a word about the cold. It's tough though, considering ALL the evidence is there... the sneezing, the coughs, the headaches, the fever and sore joints... But, Sam doesn't comment, keeps his brother's stubborn pride in-tact, 'cause Sam's awesome like that.

After a few moments the coughing finally dies down again and Dean growls, "Ugh, sorry… stupid hay fever…". When his sniffs just ends up turning into sneezing again, it gets on Dean's nerves. He angrily grabs his make-shift kleenex, quickly rolls a good chunk of the TP (code name : toilet paper) into a handy dandy tissue that only lasts a one shot of Dean's nasal assault. He crumbles up the withering paper and throws it across the room to the already tissue-overflowing dustbin. Misses by a mile, blames it on wind shear.

"Uh huh," Sam agrees sarcastically and exchanges the pie for the Dean's water glass. He's kind of relieved Dean's finally eating again, considering the past two days Dean's only managed to down half a mug of chicken noodle soup. The fork scrapes on the plate, but the shrill sound doesn't seem to even phase Dean now. Sam can't help but smile when Dean offers him a piece of the cherry filling.

Sam finally clears his throat –knowing Dean'll catch on quick that his little 'outing' was more than just getting a souvenir from some random shop in town- and finally explains his AWOL-ness for the past hour, "I just went out for a few minutes… got some books from the library… I just thought you might like something too…".

Dean's not stupid though, even if the fever he's sporting has got him slightly wobbly and light-headed. He's sure Sam did not enter the motel carrying books. He does appreciate the cover-up though, didn't like being lied to, but he did appreciate it. His internal "Big Brother lie-radar" was going nuts, but the most dangerous thing he can do at the moment is sneeze harshly and use the inside of his hoodie in lieu of a Kleenex (since they ran out of them yesterday, so some TP and other handy dandy laundry items will do instead). He does try out a glare though, only to end up with watery eyes from all the blocked sinuses. He sighs and rubs at his eyes.

Sam braces himself and sits up taller, knowing what's coming.

He finally sets aside the pie and lifts up the packet, "Cigarettes?"

Sam sends him exasperated look and rolls his eyes. He sits down on the coffee table, grabs the packet from Dean and reaches in. He lifts up a small bottle and tosses it over to Dean –who fumbles in the catch. "I got this for you, you jerk."

"I was kidding, okay? …no smokes. That was the deal." Dean finally looks down at the bottle and blinks away his watery eyes for a moment, "What? Cold meds?" he sniffs and absently rubs his sleeve under his nose.

"I bought it with my own money," Sam says proudly, trying to contain his smile. He hands Dean another batch of TP and waits patiently for the reaction.

Dean looks at the bottle for a moment too long before finally looking up, a very concerned look on his face. "This is really expensive stuff, dude. Where did you get the money?" Dean says and clutches the bottle in his hand, "Did you steal this?".

"No! I got money from Uncle Bobby for a birthday present last year… I saved it for an emergency, just like you always tell me to," Sam counters defensively, now seriously considering that this entire idea of trying to help Dean out was a mistake.

"You did this for me? You used your own money to buy me medicine?" Dean says, his throat tightening and his eyes watering –though not from the cold this time. He blinks quickly, swallows hard and rubs at his cheek, "You didn't have to…"

"I know… but you always take care of me… I like to take care of you once in a while too…" Sam says and smiles.

Big brothers don't cry. They might sniff, hug a little too tightly for too long, sigh. But they don't cry. The red eyes are from the cold Dean officially has and that's all he's got to say.