I'm gradually getting the hang of finding my way around LJ; a bit slow on the uptake about things like that.
Anyway, thought I might try another little paddle into the fanfic waters. Anyone fancy Dean and Sam in a bed - one bed. The boys ain't happy; but I am!
Take two brothers, add the mother of all head colds and throw in one bed ... what do you get? Poor, poor Sammy knows the answer; serious, brother-induced sleep deprivation ...
Disclaimer: I don't own them, I can only wish.
Sam flinched as an elbow smacked him across the face for the third time that night. Sighing heavily, he knew the flying arm preceeded a complete change of position for the arch-fidget sprawled over three quarters of the bed next to him.
Sure enough, Dean's body rolled over heavily with a breathy groan; and ended up with his cold, wet and very congested nose pressed hard up against Sam's ear.
He heralded his arrival with a juicy, wet snuffle; "Sgnuk"
Sam cringed. "… oh man, this is gonna be a long, long night …"
The flickering neon sign at the entrance of the Lamorna Motel lit up the Impala's gleaming black roof with cascades of dancing red lights as she sat in the parking lot, waiting patiently as the Winchesters tried to check in after an exhausting and seemingly endless drive.
But all was not going well …
… "The annual what?" Sam asked wearily, with a hint of exasperation.
"The annual all-America Cacti and Succulents Festival" repeated the smiling middle-aged lady at the reception desk who had cheerfully introduced herself as Pat.
"Oh …" Sam tailed off, at a loss for anything constructive to say.
"Yes sugar, it's a fantastic event; thousands of people come from all over the US to admire our succulents!" Pat gushed without a hint of irony. "If you go to the store on main street tomorrow, you can try the spicy cactus chowder - it's a whole new taste experience, trust me!"
Sam attempted and failed to look impressed, smiling as sweetly as his drained and shattered body would allow.
Why, he thought, did Dean have to find a job about as far as it was mathematically possible to travel within the same land mass? Sam had been driving all day, he was aching all over and miserably, desperately, bone-crushingly tired; he could feel himself slipping into a coma at just the thought of driving one more inch.
Dean, for his part, having decided that he needed to keep working to shake off the 'friggin' sniffle' that he had picked up a couple of days ago, had spent the whole journey drowsing in the passenger seat, head resting against the window, his condition deteriorating by the minute. Over the course of the journey various feverish coughs, sneezes, sniffs and splutters had plastered an impressive accumulation of bodily fluids and bacteria over the Impala's passenger window, turning it into a giant petrie dish, which Sam had no intention of going near. Not now. Not ever.
"So, the bottom line, is," Sam groaned, looking into Pat's impossibly cheerful face, "because every cactus enthusiast on Earth has converged on the town today, your one vacant room is the only one we are likely to find within a fifty mile radius?" His heavy-lidded, deeply-shadowed eyes betrayed the overwhelming exhaustion that his irritation was trying to hide. "An' it's a double?"
"Uh, yes, that's about right, sugar."
"As in one double bed?"
Pat glanced appreciatively at the hulking shoulders of the tall young man in front of her, and the broad chest of the pallid, red-nosed figure hunched shakily beside him.
"Yes, one queen … it might be a bit of a tight squeeze for both of you big strapping boys," she hesitated, "but, you could always snuggle up and keep warm on this chilly ol' night, huh?" she leaned across the counter with a wink.
Sam closed his eyes and plastered a forced smile across his lips.
A barely audible croak drifted up from somewhere around his elbow. "We're brothers, lady…"
Pat's smile dropped and a hot blush crept across her face; "Oh, um, well … uh, it does have a couch …" she offered weakly.
Sam looked at his brother, "what d'y think Dean?"
Watery green eyes squinted up at him; "Shhhnurkkggh …"
"You know what," Sam sighed, looking back to Pat, "we'll take it; I've driven for sixteen hours straight; I'm exhausted, my brother's sick ... we'll just have to work something out."
He glanced across to his brother as Pat handed him the keys.
"Dean, wipe your nose, you're dripping all over the nice lady's signing in book".
The door to room 13 swung open with a pained squeak, and Sam groped through the darkness to find a light switch.
A single, lonely lightbulb sputtered into life, putting it's entire 50 watts to work illuminating a room which quite frankly wasn't worth the effort. Sam's initial thought was that the room had looked better without it.
"C'mon Dean, let's just hunker down tonight," he groaned, guiding his sick brother into the room, "Once I've grabbed a few hours shuteye, I'll be fit enough to drive us somewhere in the morning where's there's no friggin' cactuses and plenty of decent motel rooms," he muttered, "we can rest up then until you feel better."
"M'fine," mumbled Dean, decanting himself with a rattly huff on the end of the bed and searching his pockets for a tissue. Finding none, he wiped his nose on the back of his hand and began a protracted exercise in removing his boots.
Sam realised that 'big brother privilege' had clearly been invoked and the bed had been claimed without a shot being fired. He looked down on his brother, still fumbling clumsily with his bootlaces, a wet cough accompanying each heave of his bent back, and he reluctantly accepted that, as tired as he was, Dean needed a warm bed more than he did.
The 'couch' was situated at the foot of the bed and Sam visibly wilted when he saw it; it was little more than a wide armchair. There was no way someone of his dimensions could spend any time comfortably horizontal on it, unless they had limbs hanging over every corner, or were doubled up like some kind of contortionist.
"Where *hack* you sleepin' dude?" A voice drifted up from the bed where Dean was currently shucking his overshirt. He let loose three violent sneezes and looked up at Sam through teary eyes as he wiped his glistening red nose on the back of his hand again.
"Uh," Sam looked again at the couch, then at the carpet; it was difficult to see where the stains stopped and the pattern started.
He briefly examined his options and realised that none of them were particularly attractive; he could spend the night doubled up on the little couch and probably lose the use of his legs for a week; he could spend the night on the floor among whatever mysterious specimens were lying dormant and ready to evolve into new and terrible life forms in those strange stains, or he could share a bed with the feverish, irritable, and infectious fountain of bodily fluids that was masquerading as his brother. Always assuming, of course, that said feverish, irritable and infectious fountain of bodily fluids wouldn't punch his lights out for doing so.
Dean blinked owlishly, knuckling his chest as he stifled a cough; "it *snuck* ain't a difficult *hack-ack* question, geek boy."
Sam sighed, "on the couch I guess," he replied weakly.
Dean began to pull his T shirt off over his head, a muffled curse attracting Sam's attention as the damp material clung to his clammy skin. He squirmed and tugged, eventually managing, with Sam's able assistance, to extract himself.
He flopped breathlessly back onto the bed, flat on his back, feet still firmly planted on the floor, arms outstretched; his gluey breathing clearly audible, even from the other side of the room.
"You need some meds bro?" Sam asked around a yawn, rummaging in his duffel for the Tylenol.
Sam crept across to the motionless, spreadeagled body on the bed.
A soft snore rose up to greet him.
He rolled his weary eyes, "jerk!" he muttered with a shake of the head.
Over the following ten minutes Sam battled, despite his crushing fatigue, to work Dean out of his jeans, tug the bedclothes out from underneath him, and manoeuvre him into the bed. All the while Dean slept like a baby; a baby warthog, judging by the continuous snorting and snuffling, but a baby nonetheless.
Eventually, satisfied that his brother was comfortable, Sam pulled the blankets up over Dean's shoulder, and stood watching him as he slept soundly; a picture of tranquility.
Sam remained concerned by Dean's temperature. As he had manhandled Dean into the bed, he couldn't help but feel how clammy and warm he was, a feverish flush in evidence across his face and chest, and Sam knew if this didn't improve overnight, he would have another battle to fight tomorrow; the 'Dean, you need to see a doctor' battle. Right now, however, Sam was fighting his own battle; a battle to stay awake; he was so weary, so tired, he was seeing double, and even that stupid little couch was starting to look welcoming.
He took one moment to make a final check, bending over his brother's face, laying a cool palm across his forehead when Dean gave a sudden violent jerk;
... HAAA...HAAAAASSSSTTTSSCCHOOOO …
He flopped bonelessly back into the bed, his peaceful slumber seemingly uninterrupted, leaving his shellshocked brother standing over him blinking a spray of spit out of his eyes.
Finally, on the verge of unconsciousness, Sam lowered himself down onto the couch;
He tried to curl up so that his whole body was supported by the cushions.
Fidgeting and shifting miserably, he was aware of the springs creaking with every move, expecting a tirade of abuse from the other side of the room for making so much noise at any moment.
His knees were in his armpits, his elbows tucked in between his knees. He lay there for all of five minutes his limbs all bent and folded up like a praying mantis, but he knew he couldn't stay like that; he was already losing the feeling in his feet.
He rolled onto his back, hesitating as the springs protested again, this time he hung his legs over the far arm of the couch.
That was even worse; a whole night of that and he'd most likely never walk again.
He dropped a heavy arm across his closed eyes and sighed.
The contented snores of his brother taunted him as he shuffled clumsily round, arranging and rearranging his limbs into every position he could think of to try to find some comfort before finally realising that he was wasting his time.
He sat up, his head dropping into his cupped hands. There was no way he was gonna to be able to sleep sitting on that couch; he'd been sitting in the Impala for sixteen hours; his poor back already felt like he'd been run over by a truck.
He looked up as Dean shifted, rolling onto his belly with a breathy snort and a bare arm dropped limply off the side of the bed.
"Screw this!" Sam thought. He stood up, arching his back into a pained, but satisfying stretch, blinking against the grinding headache which was settling in behind his desperately tired eyes. "I'm getting in that bed; if Dean doesn't like it, he can either shove me out or smack me one in the morning."
He pulled up the blankets and slid beneath them as delicately as a man his size could. Dean was completely and lavishly sparked and didn't appear to have been disturbed at all by the sudden sinking of the mattress. Propping himself up on his elbows, Sam turned towards the hump under the blankets next to him. "Heck," he dared to think, "Dean's so out of it with the cold and all the Tylenol he's been popping though the day, if I wake up before him, he might not ever know …"
Allowing his head to sink into the pillow, Sam settled down, closing his eyes, a broad smile crossing his face as he succumbed to the long overdue and utterly, utterly delicious pull of sleep.
Sam's sweet oblivion lasted all of 30 minutes. It was at that point he awoke to the sound of his brother's barking coughs.
Glancing across the bed he saw Dean half sitting, leaning up on one arm; his back heaving under the force of the coughing. Sam frowned and couldn't help but notice a sheen of sweat glistening under the faint moonlight across his brother's bare back.
Sam wanted to reach out to grasp Dean's shoulder; abandoning his 'don't tell Dean I'm here in the bed beside him' idea, but held back as he saw Dean reach to the bedside table and take a sip from a glass of water.
The coughing subsided as rapidly as it seemed to have started, and before Sam even had a chance to check on his brother's welfare, Dean had sunk silently back into the mattress with a wet snuffle, and was unconsciously tugging all the bedclothes over himself. Sam felt his feet slip out from underneath the retreating covers, and grasped on to his side of the last blanket trying to prevent it retreating any further.
Dean murmured; a soft, incoherent mumble, as he tugged at the blankets again, a knot of frustration wrinkling his brow. He wriggled back onto his belly, dragging the bedclothes with him and ended up completely swamped, wrapped from head to foot.
Sam lay flat on his back, the edge of the comforter just covering his knees.
He retrieved the few scraps of bedclothes he could find, and settled back resigning himself to cold feet for the rest of the night.
He catnapped for maybe an hour before he was woken once again by a bundle of bedlinen which, propelled by an arm, smacked him square across the face as Dean, overheating in his 100% cotton cocoon, attempted to unwrap himself, kicking, squirming, and finally tossing the discarded bedclothes down to the bottom of the bed. He flopped out inelegantly, face down across the mattress in an attempt to cool off, limbs akimbo, panting harshly between spluttering snores.
Sam shook his head, marvelling at his restless brother's propensity for fidgeting, and took the opportunity to grasp the discarded bedclothes so that he could pull them up over himself.
Suddenly, with a long sigh and a lavishly wet sniff, Dean shuffled round again, unco-ordinated arms and legs groping as he flopped heavily across the middle of the bed, all of the bedclothes and his shocked brother.
Sam grunted as Dean's flying arm landed across his throat, and waited motionless, silent and mortified until his brother had stopped moving. Nervously opening one eye; he dreaded the sight that awaited him.
It wasn't pretty.
Dean's right arm, shoulder, and a good portion of his chest were spread across across Sam's torso; his belly was pressed so hard against Sam's left side, Sam was convinced he could feel the fries Dean had eaten at lunch earlier, it also had the unlovely effect of pinning Sam's arm tightly in a place where it had no business being pinned. Dean's leg was hooked over Sam's leg, his knee hovering within inches of severely jeopardising Sam's future prospects of fathering children.
Sam had never been so glad that he always slept in a T-shirt and sweatpants. He wasn't a squeamish man, but being pinned helpless under his big brother's sweat slicked, practically naked body was the sort of nightmare that could scar a man for life. Having a thin layer of fabric between them both at least went some small way towards reducing the psychological damage.
Biting his lip and silently fighting the twin urges to hyperventilate and hurl, Sam also felt a growing unease; knowing the way Winchester luck worked, he knew that if Dean was going to wake up, coherent, alert and in full possession of his wits; it would be at this precise moment and in this precise position that he would do it. Sam couldn't even bring himself to imagine how Dean would react to waking up to find himself spreadeagled in a state of undress over his brother, but fleeting images of someone switching on a blender kept flitting through his mind.
Dean's head wormed and burrowed into the warm nook of his brother's neck, his soft snores muffling against the skin into hot, moist wheezes; his body relaxed as he settled into the blissful warmth and comfort of his position. Sam sighed, utterly convinced he was going to wake up with a spectacular hickie in the morning and a nervous tic for the rest of his life.
Lifting his head with effort to look over Dean's hefty shoulder, Sam gazed wistfully at the little couch, and felt a compelling urge to smother himself with a pillow.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Dean shifted once more; a rumbling moan rising deep from within his chest. He extracted his head from the crook of Sam's neck after firing a salvo of mighty sneezes into it, and rolled back over to the middle of the bed.
Sam let out an audible sigh of relief. Dean may have been smaller than Sam but he was no lightweight, one hundred and eighty pounds of solid muscle planted in a dead weight across Sam's chest was not an experience that Sam wanted to repeat anytime soon.
Reaching down to pull the bedclothes up over both of them; Sam received another elbow across the teeth for his trouble. Godamnit; was that man never still?
As he pulled the bedclothes up under his chin, Sam settled back into some degree of comfort, and began to feel the drag of sleep that he so desperately wanted once again, relishing the warmth of his brother's little blast-furnace of a back pressed up against him.
Sam began to drift, calm, warm and comfortable; the trauma of his recent experience starting to fade; Dean thankfully seemed to have settled; his breathy wheezes softening into a gentle, calm rhythm of deep sleep after a muffled coughing fit. Sam smiled as he looked across at the tousled knot of dark blond hair which was all that was visible of his brother.
The smile was still playing on his lips as sleep finally claimed him.
That is until Dean suddenly twitched, raking a sharp, unclipped toenail down the length of Sam's shin.
Sam jackknifed violently, and found himself sitting bolt upright on the side of the bed clutching his leg and biting down on his lip to prevent yelling out in pain.
Holy crap, this couldn't be happening, could it?
All he wanted was a good night's sleep; it wasn't like he wanted to raise the Titanic or split the atom or anything ambitious, surely it wasn't too much to ask?
Instead, over the last few hours, he'd been sprayed with lurgy-infested spit, thumped, elbowed in the teeth, chilled, garrotted by his brother's arm, flattened under the rest of his brother's body (least said about that the better), and now sliced up the leg.
He was cold; his weary eyes hurt like hell; he was deeply traumatised by being far more intimately acquainted with Dean's revolting sweaty body than he ever wanted to be; he was so exhausted he could have slept for a month and now he was damn well bleeding. His leg would probably go gangrenous and fall off and it was all Dean's fault!
He heard the bed creak as Dean shifted again behind him.
Yeah, all his fault; that crappy bandy-legged, pathological fidget-ass, the sawn-off little sonofabitch curled up there in the bedclothes dribbling into his pillow, sleepin' the contented sleep of an angel, whistling through his congested nose and sounding all sweet and harmless.
Harmless? My ass! He's a friggin' weapon of mass destruction.
Blinking back tears as the pain in his leg dulled to a throb, Sam closed his sore eyes and tried to lay back; but Dean was sprawled all over the bed again and Sam felt himself teetering uncomfortably on the edge of the mattress. He opened his eyes and almost choked on his own tongue when he found he was nose to nose with Dean who had somehow fidgeted his way towards Sam's side of the bed, and was resting peacefully with his head nestled into Sam's pillow.
Clearly unaware of his shocked brother mere inches away, Dean wrinkled his nose with a sniff, Sam saw his eyelids flutter briefly, and realised what was about to happen.
He just managed to turn his head before a mighty sneeze plastered the side of his head and left a permanent ringing in his ear.
'Shnuck', a wet, congested sniff followed in it's wake before Sam felt Dean's arm slide up beneath the pillow; he buried his face into it, unconsciously kneading and plumping, huffing peacefully into it's mushed softness. Then without warning, he turned over and tugged it out from under Sam's head.
Sam's head hit the mattress with a soft bounce.
Any lesser man would have cried.
Sam stared at the ceiling through blurring eyes that felt like they had been used to mop a floor and wondered idly how long he would get for murdering his brother.
The next couple of hours passed relatively uneventfully; Sam dozed on and off, shifting uncomfortably, using his screwed up jacket as a makeshift pillow; Beside him, Dean snored softly, face buried deeply into two pillows.
Another flying forearm woke Sam abruptly as Dean turned over again, curling into a ball, his snores dissolving into soft sighs.
Dean's movement had left Sam's pillow unattended behind him and Sam saw his opportunity. Slowly, carefully sitting up, he reached over his sleeping brother, thanking heaven and earth and whatever genetic quirk had gifted him with such long arms, and grasped the pillow; slowly, cautiously lifting it over the sleeping form beside him.
He triumphantly clutched the pillow to his chest, as he tossed his jacket into the bedside table, and placed it carefully on the bed. Sinking into it's softness with a sigh of blissful relief.
That is until he shifted slightly, planting his face right into a cold damp patch.
Gritting his teeth, he bit back the urge to swear; OK, so he was lying here with his face in a puddle of his brother's drool; no need to lose his temper. He dropped the back of his hand over his eyes, wondering if it was possible to die of sleep deprivation. Right now that actually seemed like an attractive option.
He irritably turned the pillow over, sweeping a palm across it to test for anything damp or unpleasant. Satisfied that this side of the pillow was free of stray bodily fluids, he drilled his head down into it, screwing his eyes closed and practically begging for sleep to come and take him.
He lay drifting on the edge of sleep for possibly ten minutes, relishing the comfort afforded by having his pillow back, listening to the rhythmic snorts of his brother's congested breathing, soothed by the reassuring feeling of Dean's warm back pressed against his.
Suddenly, he heard a breathy moan drift up from Dean's side of the bed.
"mmmm….Sonya ….oooh yeah…"
Sam opened one bleary eye, and turned to Dean with a sigh; not content with sneezing, coughing, snoring, fidgeting and groaning, you're gonna start talking now?
"ooooh yeah, baby … jus' there …"
Sam swallowed weakly; "oh crap!" He decided this was probably just the perfect to time to get up for a pee.
He rolled out of the bed, standing with a groan on weary, wobbly legs.
"… mmm, oh yeah Marie, baby … s'good …"
Sam's eyes widened in horror; Sonya? Marie? Oh, God, not the 'twins' dream … he scampered to the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
The bolt slid back on the bathroom door and Sam peered timidly round it. He'd left it a good fifteen minutes, sitting on the edge of the bath, trying not to look at the hollow, wrecked face reflected in the mirror, counting the tiles on the wall, freezing his conjones off, and hopefully giving Dean ample opportunity to move on from his twins dream to something less - um - disturbing.
There was a stillness and quiet about the bed, and Sam adjudged the situation to be safe, so he quietly closed the bathroom door behind him and crept back to the bed.
He settled back under the bedclothes. Closing his desperately sore eyes, he silently prayed for unconsciousness; he couldn't think any more, he would take whatever fate (or Dean) threw at him; he just needed to sleep.
Dean shifted, and his flying arm made it's mark again; Sam was past caring, and just lay still, waiting for the throbbing in his nose to subside.
Even when Dean shifted again to leave Sam lying with his face buried into his brother's sweaty armpit, Sam decided to just run with it. OK, so he'd slept in better environments, but right now, if it meant getting some sleep, Dean's armpit, sweaty or otherwise, could be heaven for all he cared.
Shortly after dawn, Sam blinked blearily through the hazy morning sunlight, he felt marginally less demented for the couple of hours decent sleep he had managed to salvage out of the end of the night, but crushing fatigue still weighed heavily on him.
His mouth felt like the inside of a welder's glove, he had taken more hits than he might have done on a weeks worth of hunts, his bloodstained shin was stinging like a bitch, he had armpit hairs stuck between his teeth and his back and neck were aching to hell.
What a night; maybe - just maybe - he could just force another hour's shuteye before Dean woke up.
Then he heard the sound of someone blowing their nose behind him.
Ah, maybe not.
He turned over to see Dean sitting up in bed, snotty tissue still pressed to his face, glaring at him.
"Something you wanna tell me, Cinderella?"
Sam stared at his brother's blurred outline through stinging eyes and grinned.
"yeah, in a couple of hours," he mumbled, pulling up the bedclothes and spreading himself out as far as he could, pushing Dean off the bed with his foot in the process.
"The couch is really comfy …" he added as deep sleep overwhelmed him.