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's eyes snapped open as he awoke to the harsh sounds of breathless barking coughs from the other bed.
Slipping out of bed, he tottered, still half-dopey with sleep, toward the other bed in the room, the one containing his brother.
Sliding a hand beneath Dean's clammy back, he gently hoisted him up into a sitting position, rubbing soothing circles as he did so.
"Hey man; take it easy, have a drink."
He held out a glass of water to Dean who took it with a shaking hand and helped him to guide the glass to his mouth. Taking untidy noisy mouthfuls of the water between harsh, gulping breaths, Dean eventually returned the glass to Sam and managed to speak.
"Sorry S'mmy … 'okay now … g'back to bed … y'need t'get some sleep."
Sam hesitated before taking the glass away from his brother and setting it on the nightstand.
"You sure you're okay now?"
Dean nodded, his breathing was calming and across his back, Sam could feel his heartbeat settling.
As he helped Dean to lay back down, there was a timid knock at the door; "everything okay in there?" A woman's voice sounded from behind the closed door.
"We're good thanks," Sam replied, "sorry to wake you."
The brothers heard light footsteps head back along the landing.
Dean glared up at his brother through the pre-dawn darkness.
"What'dy mean … 'we're good?'" he scolded, his voice gravelly with the strain of his coughing fit.
Sam looked at him in concern, "what, is there something wrong?"
"Something wrong? Yeah, there's something wrong!" Dean propped himself up on his elbow with effort and continued to glare at his perplexed brother.
"There was a smokin' hot chick out there just begging to come in here and treat me to a thorough examination and you told her to go back to bed. Alone." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Sam sighed in exasperated relief and pulled the blankets back up to his brother's shoulders.
"Go to sleep asshat."
Later that morning both brothers woke to a soft tap at the door.
"Knock knock," said quiet, feminine voice, as the door opened slowly, and a cautious face peered around it.
Sam rolled over with a groan, and slowly sat up in the bed.
"I thought I'd treat you both to breakfast in bed," Diana smiled warmly across the room at Sam who quickly glanced down into his lap to make sure he was decent.
"That's really kind, you didn't have to do that," he replied awkwardly, realising he was blushing slightly.
"I know," she handed a plate of toast and raspberry jam from the tray she was carrying to Sam, affectionately patting his arm, "I was planning to come in here and check up on Dean and I didn't want you to feel all neglected."
Sam held her gaze for a moment as he took the toast, gratefully taking a massive bite. They both looked across to the room on hearing Dean begin to stir.
He peered out from under the bedclothes, blinking wetly against the harsh daylight.
"Uh?" was all he managed to say.
Diana set her tray down on the table beside Sam's bed and crouched down next to Dean.
"Hey, Tiger; how ya doin?"
Dean's weary eyes fluttered open and it took only a second for a pale imitation of his hundred megawatt 'ensnare-the-chicks' smile to appear.
"Good, well y-yeah … ok;" he replied barely above a whisper, stuttering through a suppressed coughing fit.
She cocked her head, never breaking his gaze, "and now the truth?"
"Okay, feel like crap."
She pressed a cool palm on his forehead, "you're still warm, but not cooking like you were yesterday, just simmering on a low heat now."
Sam would later swear that Dean looked vaguely disappointed.
"Bringing anything up?" She asked.
"When you cough; any phlegm?" She asked bluntly.
Dean's nose wrinkled in disgust, "wow, you really know how to sweet-talk the guys!"
She grinned; "the perils of flirting with a nurse."
Dean gagged, rolling his eyes; "No," he confirmed, "no friggin' phlegm."
"Doesn't sound like an infection then," Diana sounded satisfied, "but we should still keep a close eye on you."
Dean's smile stretched into a smirk; "… knew you'd find an excuse."
Diana grinned, "don't flatter yourself gorgeous; can you sit up?" She slid an arm behind his shoulders to help him.
Slowly easing himself up, Dean paused halfway. He groaned, grimacing dramatically with pain.
"You in pain dude?" Sam clambered out of his bed and hurried over to the side of Dean's bed.
"Yeah," Dean panted in response.
"Where's it hurt?"
"Mos'ly ribs ache," Dean replied, suppressing another cough and miserably clutching his side as he did so.
"I'm not surprised," Diana looked across at Sam, "I thought I might accidentally step on his lungs when I came in here this morning."
She pressed the back of a hand against Dean's forehead again. Sam watched as her brow furrowed in thought for a moment.
"Sam, can you fetch a couple of washcloths from the bathroom, please," she asked softly, rearranging the pillows behind Dean so he could lean against them.
Sam smiled in response, "sure thing Diana."
Picking up Dean's wrist, Diana pressed gently on the pulse point; "any pain other than the aching ribs."
"Only the pain in my heart from lookin' at you sweetheart!"
She turned and shouted through the door after Sam, "Sam, can you get me a bucket as well …"
Sam walked back into the room to see Dean pouting at the woman standing over him holding his wrist, and handed her a damp washcloth.
"Bucket huh?" he grinned, "you losin' your touch bro'."
Dean snorted huffily as if the notion was completely absurd.
Taking the opportunity while Dean was quiet, Diana pressed the washcloth to his forehead, smiling as 'his eyes drifted closed and he groaned softly under the cooling relief.
Taking the other washcloth, Sam sat the other side of the bed and carefully worked it across Dean's shoulders and chest. Diana sat opposite him watched in quiet admiration at how he worked caringly and gently, knowing his brother had absolute trust and faith in him.
It was in that moment that she realised how close these two were and how much they relied on each other.
Without opening his eyes Dean mumbled "How you feelin' Sammy?"
"Better," Sam replied without pausing from his work, "just tired."
Dean's eyes suddenly flickered open, and both Sam and Diana could see the concern in them.
"Why you still tired?"
Sam grinned; "'cause someone kept me awake coughing all night."
Dean grumbled quietly; "bite me," he snorted as he shifted uncomfortably, his left arm hugging his aching ribs.
Watching his obvious discomfort, Diana rose to her feet; "back in a second," she called over her shoulder.
The Winchesters shared a glance; Sam shrugged.
Returning to the room only moments later, Diana held up a tube of muscle liniment.
"This should help with the aching ribs," she suggested, offering the tube of cream to Sam; "Sam do you want to …"
Dean chimed in, "No he doesn't." He grinned eagerly at Diana and lay back against the pillows, folding his arms behind his head with a pained wince.
"It's all yours, sweetheart; knock yourself out," he grinned with a wink.
Diana couldn't stop herself from laughing at the sheer cheek of the reclining figure before her. She removed the tube's lid and squeezed a generous amount of the cream into her hand; "I'll knock you out if you call me sweetheart one more time," she grinned, winking back at her patient.
Sam decided to head for the bathroom and make himself scarce as Diana leaned over, and began to work the soothing lotion firmly but gently into Dean's sore muscles. Her delicate hands sweeping over the planes of his chest, fingertips working thoroughly along the intercostals, guided by her patient's relaxed sighs until she was sure that the soothing heat was doing its job, penetrating the deepest and stiffest layers of strained muscle.
Dean smiled droopily, "not bad, swee …"
His sleeping face was a picture of utter, sublime bliss.
Diana was wiping her hands on one of the discarded washcloths, and hadn't noticed Sam return to the room until he stood behind her looking over her shoulder at the inert figure in the bed.
"Wow, he never looks like that after I've patched him up!"