Characters: Sam, Dean, Bobby, OFC
Spoilers/Warnings: None - no particular adherence to canon
Word Count: 8,300 (all five chapters)
Disclaimer: I don't own these wonderful people
The boys are recovering from 'flu and they both need some serious down time.
Dean's determined to make the most of it.
Sam knelt down beside the bed and gently shook his brother awake.
There was a wet snort, followed by a groan; "Gnuh … wha?"
"You up to going for a drive, bro'?"
Dean squinted briefly at Sam as if he were speaking Japanese, then rolled back over onto his belly; ""mmmm…g'way". He nestled back down into the bed and tried to tug the blanket out of Sam's hand.
Sam sighed and tried again. "We're gettin' out of this skeevy dump and goin' to Bobby's, we'll be a lot more comfortable there."
Dean rolled half over and fought to open his tired, glassy eyes to glare at his brother, failing parlously.
Blinking, he tried to focus his hazy vision but gave up, closing his eyes with a sigh.
"Don' wanna move, ev'rything hur's," he moaned.
Sam patted his shoulder, "C'mon bro’, work with me here; Bobby's place is warm and dry and we can stay there as long as we need." He hesitated to see if he was making any headway; the signs weren't encouraging. He continued, regardless; "we'd have to check out of this place tomorrow, 'cos those two cards I applied for haven't turned up yet an' we're seriously low on funds, the only place we'd be able to afford is somewhere worse than this dive or a park bench."
Dean laboriously heaved himself up into something resembling a sitting position, panting deeply at the effort and grimacing as a dewdrop dripped off the end of his nose.
Sam moved in for the kill; "plus Bobby's niece is staying at his place, you'll have someone far prettier than me to look after you."
Sam never knew it was possible for a person's ears to prick up, but he smiled watching Dean's brow furrow in thought as he processed Sam's words in his addled mind.
Eventually Dean spoke; "I didn't know Bobby had a niece!"
"Apparently so;" Sam replied, "she's pretty, so I'm told."
"She ain't got a beard?"
"No - no beard."
Dean looked up at his brother; "help me get dressed then, bitch."
The drive to Bobby's took five hours, five interminably long, uncomfortable hours squinting through the torrential rain with Sam trying to ignore a pounding headache and Dean snorting, snuffling and croaking as he tried to sleep curled up against the Impala's passenger window, buried in Sam's massive fleece hoodie.
Glancing away from the road occasionally, Sam kept watch on Dean as he gradually sunk lower and lower into the hoodie. His neck and chin had all but disappeared, and Sam was becoming increasingly nervous that if he continued subsiding at his current rate, he might simply slide off the seat and end up as a heap in the footwell.
It was with a long sigh of relief that Sam swung the Impala into the familiar and comforting environment of Bobby's yard.
He sat for a moment, pinching the bridge of his nose and collecting his thoughts as he listened to the rain still pounding relentlessly on the Impala's sleek black bodywork, stirring Bobby's dusty yard into watery, grey mud.
His brief reverie was interrupted by a stuttering snore next to him.
The brothers stood, shivering in the wet evening chill and leaning heavily into each other, as they huddled together under the porch waiting for their knock to be answered.
From behind the locked door, they heard the faintly familiar sounds of Rumsfeldt barking and an unfamiliar female voice telling him to button it.
After just a moment, the door opened.
The woman that stood before them was of reasonable height; she couldn't have been described as short or tall, but somehow, just right. Wearing her short, dark blonde hair in a boyishly sassy and tousled crop, she briefly scanned the two figures from under long, dark lashes with big, sparkling green eyes which eventually settled appreciatively on Sam's face.
Her fresh, un-made-up face bore a healthy tawny sheen across attractively high, freckled cheekbones which fell just a little short of being tanned, and her whole face lit up as her soft naked lips curled into a welcoming smile at her visitors.
Stepping back, she gestured the brothers to come on in, as the two men stumbled over the threshold in from the downpour. Sam noticed her neat black T shirt clinging to her solid but slender body, tight enough to be flattering, but loose enough to be modest, the whole understated look was completed by a pair of faded jeans skimming her trim waist and a pair of pale blue Timberlands.
Sam couldn't believe his eyes.
Diana was the she-Dean …
"Wow, that rain's a bitch;" she commented cheerfully, thrusting a hand out towards her visitors; "Diana, Diana Dixon," she stated economically, "my Uncle told me you were coming; I'm happy to help."
The wet and bedraggled Winchesters, still leaning on each other for support reciprocated the warm welcome and shook the offered hand.
"I can see which side got the looks in your family," Dean croaked hoarsely.
Pushing the door closed, she turned to him with a grin and reached out to press the back of a hand against his face. "Oh hell, you're burning up, c'mon soldier, let's get you into bed."
Dean gave a droopy smile, and engaged in a long and protracted exercise in clearing his throat; "ain't y'gonna let me buy you dinner first?" he asked at the end of it all.
Sam had to hand it to his brother, even burning up with fever, dripping snot and croaking like a bullfrog, he was still giving it his best shot.
She glanced at Sam who shrugged apologetically and laughed; "c'mon snotty, you can buy me dinner when you feel better." She took his arm to offer some extra support, "I reckon if you rocked up at a restaurant now, the health inspectors would close it down."
Reaching up again and as if to confirm her earlier diagnosis, she laid a cool palm across his forehead. His eyes drifted closed under her touch.
"Heck, Dean, I could sear a steak on there."
Together Sam and Diana helped Dean up the stairs and into the room that the Winchesters knew so well, decanting him on his usual bed.
"C'mon Sam," she urged, "help me get him ready for bed."
"Woah, steady on sweetheart," Dean croaked, slowly shucking his overshirt; "only if you'll still respect me in the morning."
She turned again to Sam who grinned weakly as he folded the damp overshirt, before turning back to Dean, "my uncle warned me to expect a ladykiller with a cool line in cheesy pick-up lines."
She smiled, moving behind Dean and lifted the hem of his T shirt which clung wetly to his hot, clammy back.
"C'mon, off," she encouraged, helping Dean tug the damp garment off over his head.
"Dean's head emerged, from the sticky black cotton, his hair comically ruffled; "cheesy?" he looked round, mock outrage across his flushed face; "f-friggin' cheesy?"
He flinched as he suddenly realised her confident, busy hands were undoing his belt. "Hey, hey, lady; if you wanted to get your hands on the prize you only had to ask!"
Glancing down at Sam who was unlacing his brother's boots, she rolled her eyes before turning back to her patient; "I didn't like to, you were too busy nursing your bruised ego."
Sam dropped the boots to the floor and started to pull off Dean's socks. He stifled a snigger; it seemed his brother had finally met his match.
Working together, Sam and Diana managed to get Dean settled in the bed, despite the older Winchester's weary invitations for Diana to rub his chest or any other part of his anatomy that took her fancy. His overtures were abruptly cut off when Diana gently but firmly shoved a thermometer in his mouth.
Coaxing Dean to lay still and relax, Sam could clearly see that his brother was struggling to stay awake. Rubbing his forehead, he reflected with a stifled yawn that Dean wasn't the only one.
Taking the thermometer, Diana glanced at it and frowned; "be right back," she announced to Sam, patting his shoulder. With that she headed off to the bathroom, returning a moment later with a pair of cool damp facecloths; she folded one pressing it to Dean's burning forehead and laid the other flat across his chest. Under her gentle ministrations, Dean settled into a contented silence.
Sam at last allowed himself to relax and sunk into a chair beside the bed. He was happy his brother was in good hands; they were Bobby's hands, and they didn't get much better than that.
He turned heavy lidded eyes up to the face of the woman in front of him and yawned, raising his arms into a long stretch; "thanks Diana, really appreciate your help."
Closing his eyes, he felt a soft hand on his shoulder; "get some sleep Sam." The voice was gentle as confident hands helped him up out of the chair and guided him over to the other bed.
"You look like you need it."