Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen)
Summary: Even demon hunters get sick, and woe betide the people who live with them.
Author's Notes: A little something written for 60_minute_fics, for the reintroduced prompt of Love Vows: In sickness and in health (originally 12/1/06).
"Got any more of that red stuff?" Dean's voice was a wet, broken rasp.
"The cough medicine? You're good for two more hours."
"It's not addictive, Sam—give it," Dean grumbled, and rolled over onto his stomach to hack and gasp until his ribs ached.
"It's not working very well." Sam poured out a dose and reached for Dean's forehead. The sticky-warm heat under his fingers sent him into the bathroom for aspirin and a damp washcloth.
"Gonna take care of me Sam?" Dean mumbled. Sam helped him with the aspirin and settled him down into bed.
"I don't know—can you take care of yourself?"
Not today, Dean thought blearily.
Sam tucked the covers around him and snapped off the lamp, leaving the room nearly dark but for the gray light from the rainstorm outside. Dean tried to keep from coughing, from moving—from being—as Sam pulled up a chair beside him and flipped through TV stations with the remote.
After awhile, Dean was drowsy and Bugs Bunny's voice was in his head. He thought he heard thunder, but it might have been a commercial or a truck out on the highway.
Sam laughed under his breath, and Dean stopped fighting the situation. A few minutes later, he was finally asleep.
"I hate this thing!" Sam brandished his plaster-coated arm.
"Could be worse—could be your legs," Dean commented. They'd both been through this time and again.
Broken bones sucked, but they were inevitable in a life like theirs. Once in awhile, Evil was faster or smarter, and you couldn't complain about it much if you made it through alive.
"Hand me that coat-hanger," Sam ordered. "And bend it open."
Dean spread it out, knowing what was coming.
It didn't keep him from wincing when Sam shoved it down the cast to attack an unrelenting itch.
"These boots are ruined," Dean groaned as he put them in the bathtub. Military-capable, gotten from a thrift store five years back—they were comfortable and had lasted through everything but the demon blood that finally took them down.
"This gash in your back doesn't look that great either." Sam pulled up Dean's shirt and swabbed the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Antibiotic ointment and butterfly bandages closed it off.
"Gotta make more rock-salt bullets again," Dean mumbled. He was suddenly just so tired.
Sam helped him to the bed and turned down the covers, positioning a pillow to keep Dean from rolling over in his sleep.
"We'll do it tomorrow," Sam promised.
Dean just looked at him vaguely, like he'd already forgotten why Sam was talking…
"It's just a burn, Sammy, a little one." Dean turned the water on cold, cold, cold and put Sam's finger under it while he got some ice.
"You won't tell Daddy I got it from the toaster?"
"Not if you don't want me to."
But the broken toaster in the garbage would be harder to hide when Dad came back. If only Dean hadn't used the Holy Water on it, instead of unplugging it.
Too late now.
"Don't you want your cake?"
"No, Sammy—you can have it." Dean's stomach clenched and rolled at the thought of that cake, of the traitorous smells that surrounded it.
"But it's your birthday!"
"It'll be there when I'm ready." If I don't die first.
Number Ten wasn't looking that great, so far. Spending it with a stomach flu was proof.
"Dean," Sam whispered in the dark. He couldn't stop worrying.
"What is it, Sammy?"
"My owie today. I don't think it's getting better."
"You hurt yourself just this morning, Sammy. You've got to give it time."
"What if it never gets better? Daddy barely looked at it." Sam twisted his arm and tried to check it for himself.
Dean sighed, and Sam hoped he wasn't mad. But then Dean reached out and lifted Sam's elbow gently up to his lips.
Sam settled down afterwards, content to go to sleep.
Only Dean understood that kisses made it better. Band-aids alone were never enough.
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