Title: Use Only As Directed
Rating: PG - Gen
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Dean gets sick, fights germ warfare and passes out in an alleyway.
Dean could feel it coming.
One day his eyes would vaguely itch. The next his throat would be strangely dry. By the end of the week a small nagging headache that wouldn't fade away. By Sunday morning he woke up with a full blown cold. By Monday it had turned into something much worse.
He leaned his forehead against the shower head against the boiling hot water, hoping the steam would allow him to breath once again. His face throbbed, his head was pounding, his skin felt sensitive and itchy. Dizzy, he shivered as he quickly dried himself and without even dressing, got right back into bed.
"It's snowing AND raining outside." Sam said from his own bed which he hadn't gotten out of yet. "You might wanna put something on."
"Shut up." Oh God. Snow and rain? His jaw clenched. "We leave in ten minutes, so get your ass outta bed a-and--" He started coughing.
"You sound like shit." Sam helpfully observed as he stood and stretched.
Dean was about to retort when another fit of coughing overtook him. He sighed into his pillow as he heard the shower come on. He fumbled with the bed stand drawer and palmed half a box of oddly cheery blue gel capsules that promised relief. He wasn't sure how many to take so he took them all. What was the worst that could happen? If he ODed and died at least the horrible sharp stabbing pain right behind his eyes would end. He realized he was shivering with cold but he was also sweating. That couldn't be good.
Hoping Sam would take a long shower, he closed his eyes. He'd just rest for a second, let the pills kick in and then he'd be good to go. He'd get up and get dressed and...get the snow off the car and ... let her warm up for a few before they took her out onto that interstate and ... and...
Dean was asleep.
Dean awoke to the feel of coffee.
In fact, an open cup was being waved directly under his face which is why his stuffed up nose could detect the steam coming from it. He couldn't smell it. He couldn't smell a God damn thing.
"Wha-What time-- wha--"
"It's 4." Sam informed him.
Dean blinked up at him with blurry eyes. "4 what?"
Dean let out the breath he was holding, it at least was still today. He scowled at the cup of coffee, the sight and non-smell of it might as well just been boiled plain water.
"Why didn't you wake me up!" He demanded angrily.
"I believe your exact words were 'Go fuck yourself.'" Sam told him, seating himself on the opposite bed. "So I went and got breakfast, did some leg work in town and then I had lunch over at that--"
Dean sat up and grabbed the offered cup, his head swimming with the rate in which he moved. He had forgotten he was naked but the need to use the bathroom superseded any deep sighs of disapproval from his younger brother.
Thankfully he got none.
"Hey Dean?" Sam called out from behind him.
Dean used the wall to steady himself while he took a leak.
"Dean, how many of these Nyquil things did you take?"
He tried to focus on the mirror over the sink, his skin was flushed and his eyes were red. He didn't just sound like shit, he looked like shit.
"You mean the 'night time, coughing, stuffy head, fever, how the hell did I wake up on my kitchen floor medicine?'"
"That'd be the one." Sam confirmed tiredly.
"Uh," His fogged mind tried to recall what happened before he lapsed into his afternoon long coma. "Uh, I think all of them."
Sam appeared behind him.
"All of them?" He asked incredulously.
Coughing, Dean splashed his face with water. "G-Gonna do something, do it right."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Just get back in bed okay, before you up and lose a lung--"
"No way, I got coffee and soon I'll have pants." Dean declared. "We're going to hit up that contact."
"Even if it kills you?" Sam surmised, the usual sound of him giving in evident in his voice.
"Even if it kills me." Dean sighed into the mirror.
The mark turned out to be the biggest prick they had encountered in a long while.
Sure their Ids were sound even though their presence was iffy, but the guy took two personal phone calls while they sat there, and even stepped out for almost a half an hour to check on 'something'. After easily spotting the 'something' being his twenty something secretary, Dean's patience ran out.
"Okay, you copy his hard drive," Dean directed between coughs. "I'll take a look at his filing cabinet down the hall."
Sam did a quick glance out the narrow window by the door. The guy was sitting comfortably on the young lady's desk and deep in a conversation with her chest.
"How are you goin' to get past em?"
Dean gestured to the window. "We're only on the sixth floor, I'll just use the--ACHOO!"
Sam tossed him a fancy metal plated tissue box from the desk and went to pull up the blinds. He turned to look down into the empty alley below.
"I'll do it." Sam decided while watching Dean double over into another hacking fit. "I'll meet you down by those dumpsters."
"Fine." Dean rasped, unwilling to argue and aware that his voice was slowly but surely going.
As the window shut behind his brother, he turned to the passworded computer and sighed. Typing the magic hack word Sam had taught him he easily brought up the festive desktop.
Clicking on the man's carefully allocated files, he started in F, for Fucked.
Semi-pleased to see Sam hadn't slipped on some ice to his death, Dean hunkered down as far as he could into his coat and listened to Sam babble about C-drives.
Sidled up behind a dumspter, they were inundated by heavy wet snow flakes. The wind would pick up long enough to bring a spray of frigid rain against his hot but cold face, and his boots and bottoms of his jeans were soaked through from walking through the slush.
"S-S-So, long story freakin' short, you got it or what?" Dean's teeth were chattering.
"I think so, I was still looking at the last of it before I heard someone coming--"
"Good enough." Dean cut him short. "Let's just- Let's just get back to the car."
He thought about the twenty minute walk made an eternity by the weather and groaned. His body shuddered and he held a tissue over his mouth as he started coughing uncontrollably.
"How ya feelin'?" Sam thought to suddenly ask.
"Groovy." He managed to gasp.
And actually, suddenly he kind of was. As he started walking behind his brother, with each step the chill seemed to dissipate, the harsh wind seem to lessen. He took a deep breath, the block of congestion behind his eyes faded, the pain all but becoming gone. Those Nyquil pills were probably finally working. He shoved his gloved hands further into his pockets and took another deep breath. Warmth spread from his chest to his face, not the sick hot feeling he'd had since he woke up, but something pleasant, that ... almost made him....drowsy....
...almost as light as the snow that drifted down from the sky...
"Dean, you don't look so good..."
....to settle on the ground one by one, burying each other in a thick blanket, smothering each other as they kept falling and falling and--
He heard his name as quiet dark swallowed him up as he descended, not meeting the hard cold slushy ground but a soft warmth, vanishing like a snowflake on feverish skin and disappearing completely.
"Do you remember when I was about 8 years old?"
8 years old? He could barely remember what the hell he did yesterday. And he was trying to sleep, why the hell was Sam trying to have a conversation with him now. Something wet and cool touched his burning forehead and he resisted opening his eyes.
"Dad came back after a week in the Minnesota woods, dead of January and sick as a dog. But you know what he did?"
Dean had no idea.
"He kept on truckin' for another three days. Didn't rest, didn't sleep, didn't even crack an extra bottle of water."
Sounded like Dad all right.
"Then on the fourth day he drove us all right off the road because he had a 104 fever and advanced bronchitis."
Dean did remember that. He still had a scar on his cheek from hitting the dashboard with his face.
"Remind you of anyone?" Sam asked from somewhere above him.
No, not really. He couldn't think of anyone as stubborn and tough as the old man.
Dean opened his eyes. He was in bed, dry and in his sweat pants from the feel of them.
"Back at the motel, just relax, you took a header into a pile of garbage cans."
Dean had wondered why his body felt even more sore than the usual.
The heater was purring, the gentle splat of wet snow was safely on the other side of the window pane and the blankets were soft and heavy. He realized he didn't care much about the indignity of how he got there, just as long as it was all for real and not some Nyquil induced dream.
Sam gestured to the glass of water he'd left by the bed. "Just try to get some-some s- sleep--"
His brother reached for the tissues and suddenly sneezed. Staring down at it, he growled.
"It's payback for when you were a kid and sneezed in my face every winter." Dean let his eyes close again and coughed softly. "Y-You were like a goddamn petri dish."
"W-What about the mark? We only have a few days to--"
"Don't worry about him." Dean assured him. "He'll be out of the office for at least a week."
"How do you know?"
Dean grinned. "I licked his stapler."
"Aw no, Dean--"
"And his phone."
"And a few other things I won't tell you about, you know, so you can sleep at night."
"That's so ... gross."
"I think the word you are actually looking for is 'effective."
"Can't argue with results Sammy." Dean breathed and settled into his bed. "Can't argue with results."