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The room was still locked, which meant that Dean wasn’t entirelyincapacitated – not enough that he’d committed such a grievous error as to forget (corporal punishment, by Dad’s standards).

Sam swiped the key card and let himself into their rustic lodgings, replaying the locker room scene in his head, still in disbelief over the fact that the kid had actually dropped a coin into a wishing well and wished himself invisible, so he could spy on naked women. What kind of pathetic (or sheltered) schmuck couldn’t get his adolescent hands on some quality porn these days? The Internet existed for a reason, Sam lamented.

His train of thought was interrupted by a sudden and vile-sounding retch, coming from the bathroom. Brow furrowing, he tried the knob (that one was locked, too. Of course).

“Dean?” He called out, still lingering outside the door. “You okay?”

Another answering retch – Sam cringed as he listened to the sound of vomit splashing into toilet water – followed by a pained groan from his brother. “Wishes turn bad, Sam,” he croaked out. “Wishes turn very bad…

Sam’s own stomach twisted in sympathy as he heard Dean trail off into a pained heave, thinner and requiring more effort to expel. “You sound terrible,” he informed, one hand still gripping the knob. “How long you been pukin’?”

A few ragged pants could be discerned through the wood that divided the brothers; Sam wished he could offer Dean some water, or a back rub, but he knew his older brother would shove him away.

“Sandwich,” was the weak reply Sam got, at last, followed by the sound of the toilet flushing. “My wish.”

Sam stood, considering this tidbit. “A magic coin that grants wishes, but at a cost,” he intoned. “Dean, I think I know what we’re dealing with here.”

The sink faucet ran, briefly, before Dean suddenly opened the bathroom door, leaving Sam to step back in momentary reeling. Dean looked awful. Sweat glistened on his pasty face, and his green eyes shone brilliantly with fever, ringed by swollen pink membranes. Tear streaks still marred his cheeks, a telltale sign that he’d been seriously exerting himself in there.

“Whoa,” was all Sam could manage. “You look rough, dude.”

“Thanks,” Dean grunted, the caustic remark somewhat marred by his recent strains of illness. He brought the hand towel was clutching up to his face to muffle a sick-sounding cough. Sniffling, he tried to regain his composure, facing Sam with as square a jaw as he could muster. “The coin is Babylonian. It’s cursed,” he continued. “Man. I feel like shi-”

Abruptly, he convulsed into the hand towel, cutting himself off and whirling again for the toilet, neglecting the bathroom door in his haste. Sam stepped through the threshold and laid a hand on his brother’s back as he heaved once more. Yellow-tinged bile splashed into the toilet with wrenching effort, and Dean gasped for air, shaky and weak with exhaustion.

“Easy,” Sam murmured, rubbing a soothing path. “I gotcha. Better out than in.”

Dean bent over, gripping his own knees, body locked and set into expulsion position. He trembled slightly – Sam could feel the quakes beneath his palm – and a string of mucous dangled from his lip. “’ss…s’comin’ out my nose,” he announced, spitting harshly and drawing in another breath. His stomach heaved again, but nothing came up this time, the straining spasm ending in nothing more than a hard cough. Immediately, another spasm gripped him, and this cough was punctuated by a brief sharp sob, one that Dean would never admit to and Sam wouldn’t bring up outside this room.

But, they were still in the room, so Sam gave into the urge to comfort his sick brother. Shifting his rubbing to a slower, circular motion, he made a soft sound of sympathy. “It’s okay,” he murmured. “You’re done. All empty. C’mon, let’s get you cleaned up.”

He reached over Dean’s shoulder and flushed the toilet. Dean inhaled raggedly, spitting again for good measure, and began to straighten up with some considerable effort. He blew out a breath upon standing, one hand gravitating to rest on his stomach.

“Fuck,” was all he could muster, but he thought it was succinct enough to convey his current predicament. Sam thought so, too.

“Yeah,” he agreed, giving Dean’s back a final reassuring pat before lowering his hand and grabbing a washcloth from the shelf above the toilet. “Here you go. I’ll get you some water, and then you can lie down. Hopefully this’ll pass soon.”

Dean made a small, miserable grunt into the washcloth, and closed his eyes, the room beginning to spin.

He’d never complain about paying $7.99 for a sub, ever again.