The morning sun shone through the small tears in the heavy curtain. The room was still rather dark, until Sam, who had been awake for about an hour, impatiently decided Dean slept in long enough. They had a long drive ahead of them if they wanted to get to Casper, Wyoming before nightfall. That wraith wasn’t going to hunt itself. Besides, he had an ulterior motive for wanting to get to this next hunt ASAP.
Sam opened the curtains, letting the sun shine down on Dean’s face. “Rise and shine Dean, we’ve got to get moving.”
Dean merely groaned, tugging the covers over his head, “Five more minutes.”
“We’ve got a long way to go, come on,” Sam pulled the covers off him.
“What’s your hurry?” Dean’s voice was hoarse and slurred.
It was then that Sam noticed his flushed cheeks and ghastly pallor. “Hey, you OK?” Sam asked.
Pushing himself up weakly he nodded, “Yeah I’m fi—”
Before he could finish he promptly leaned forward and threw up on the floor and went limp. Sam rushed to his side, easing him back into his pillow. “Dean, what’s going on?” he asked, concerned.
“Don’… feel so good,” Dean murmured faintly. Wincing, he grasped his stomach and doubled over, coughing and shaking.
Sam brushed the back of his hand against Dean’s forehead, “Dean! You’re burning up!”
Dean just shivered, moaning.
“Hang on, I'll get the thermometer and some Tylenol then I guess I’ll clean up this mess.”
“Sorry Sam…” he murmured breathlessly, his eyes sliding shut.
“It’s OK,” Sam replied, patting him gently before grabbing the first aid kit and some towels. He dropped the towels on the floor over Dean’s mess, put the thermometer in Dean’s ear and blanched when he saw that his temp was at 103.9. “Shit Dean, you were fine last night, how’d you get so sick so fast?” Frowning he grabbed Dean’s limp arm and checked the superficial scratch on his bicep courtesy of the ancient witch they hunted the night before. It was literally just a scratch caused by her fingernail, but now it was red and swollen, purple lines snaked from the wound, up and down his arm. Poison. It had to be.
“Dean? Hey, wake up!”
Dean murmured incoherently but didn’t wake. His body randomly twitched and jerked as he moaned softly. Sam drew a deep breath and gently stripped him of his sweaty shirt before he rushed into the bathroom, returning with a cold wet towel that he draped over his forehead. Dean was unresponsive the entire time, he just continued to mutter softly.
Placing the thermometer in his ear again, Sam was shocked when it read 104.6. “Shit, oh shit,” Sam exclaimed, reaching for his phone. He was about to dial Bobby when it rang.
“Sam? It’s me, Ruby. You on your way?”
“I can’t talk right now.”
“Why, is Dean there?”
“Yeah, but he’s really sick. I… I guess we’re not coming tonight.”
“Sam! This is your big chance to go after Lilith!”
“I know but… something happened, you don’t understand, Dean’s…”
“I’m sure he’s fine. Lilith is in Casper right now and I believe you’re finally ready to face her, this might be your only chance before she breaks all the Seals…”
“Are you sure Lilith’s there?”
“Yes. I followed the omens, the signs… they fit the profile. She’s there, but I don’t know for how long.”
“I’m going to call Bobby, he’s a few hours out. He’ll be here and then I’ll come and…” Sam stopped when Dean cried out, clutching his arm, shaking harder than before. His eyes were open but unseeing. “Dean, hey…” he cupped his palm in Dean’s burning cheek. Dean rolled over and puked again, this time blood was mixed with the vomit. Sam sucked in a breath. This was to be his big chance for a showdown with Lilith, if he waited it could be too late, but Dean... “You know what Ruby? Screw it. I can’t leave Dean right now.”
“What about Lilith?”
“Keep tabs on her, I’ll go after her later.”
“No Sam, now. If you don’t get your ass over here I’ll…”
“Fuck you Ruby, I don’t have time for this!” Sam hung up and wrapped his arms around his feverish brother, trying to calm his violent tremors. He was getting worse by the second. Frantically he dialed Bobby.
Sam quickly explained to Bobby everything about the witch-hunt, from the scratch on Dean’s arm to his rapidly deteriorating condition. A few minutes later Bobby called back with an antidote for the poison ravaging Dean’s system.
As luck would have it, they had all the ingredients in the trunk. Sam hurriedly mixed them together and made a salve that he put on the poisonous scratch and a drink that he coaxed down Dean’s throat.
The shaking eventually lessened and Dean relaxed, collapsing into the bed.
For the next twenty-four hours, Sam sat vigil by Dean’s bedside, washing his fevered body with a cool cloth, soothing him during his fevered dreams of Hell and holding him when the tremors got bad. During that time, Sam thought about the implications of what he did by refusing to go after Lilith with Ruby in order to take care of Dean. He might’ve missed his one and only chance to kill Lilith before she could break all the Seals. But at the moment, Sam didn’t care. Dean could’ve died and Sam realized that he was wrong—Dean wasn’t holding him back, Ruby was, by driving a wedge between them. Sam didn’t truly see it until now.
The only way they could truly win was if they faced the coming storm together.
Sam startled when his phone rang. It was Ruby.
“I lost track of Lilith. Happy now? You missed your chance. What’s the matter with you?”
“Nothing,” Sam grinned, sighing in relief when he reached over and felt Dean’s forehead again. The fever had broken at last, “I guess I just finally got my priorities straight.”
Written for the E/O weekly drabble challenge on fanfiction.net.
The theme: Dean has a fever.
Word count: 1000.
Will definitely be AU when the new episodes air. This story is more wishful thinking on my part, for reasons that I figure will be self-explanatory. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.