Bobby's knees buckled as he took the dead weight of the younger Winchester; manhandling him gently back onto the bed, and glad for the distraction, he removed Sam's boots, fussing around making him comfortable. The boy was exhausted and needed to sleep. A blind man on a galloping horse could see that.
"Get some sleep, Sam," Bobby whispered, making a point of not looking across to the other bed.
Dean's vision swam; bursting spots of light danced before his unfocussed, disorientated eyes against a backdrop of utter darkness.
He was aware of nothing except searing pain in his side; a burning, ripping pain that stole the breath from his lungs and made his head spin; tearing his stomach apart from the inside. He tried to curl up; to hide; to be small; to make the pain go away, but unseen hands restrained him.
An overwhelming nausea engulfed him as he stared down in horror through a haze of tears at his blood-smeared stomach; it was swelling and pulsating even as he watched; icy cold dread gripped his chest, turning his breaths into panting sobs.
His stomach was painfully, grotesquely distended; convulsing and moving; something was crawling around inside him. He was too terrified even to scream, watching in mesmerised revulsion as his belly shifted and stretched over the thing squirming and moving within it.
He retched violently, convulsing as his body acted instinctively to try to dislodge the alien presence within it, but now it was closer to the surface, outlines of a long, flexible body rippling beneath his skin; he clawed frantically at his swollen, undulating stomach, the crawling and scratching tormented him beyond endurance; faster and more aggressively it thrashed and scratched and tore at it's host's body.
Dean found his voice; just as the thing burst from his belly in a crimson spray. As the tiny Lyndworm clawed it's way out of the ragged, bloody remains of his belly, he screamed long and hard, until the cry trailed off into a breathless gurgle.
Sam jolted awake, tumbling off of the bed on hearing the scream to see Tom and Bobby fighting to hold his thrashing brother down. Like a cornered animal, Dean plunged and writhed; howling incoherently, clawing and grasping at thin air over his stomach.
He scrambled over to the bed, pleading eyes looking up to Tom for guidance.
"This stuff is evil," panted Tom, his not insubstantial weight thrown across Dean's heaving shoulders. "It's a powerful and vicious hallucinogen; I don't know what he was just dreaming about, but it wasn't pleasant, whatever it was."
Sam grasped Dean's face, staring intently into the panic-glazed eyes; "Dean" he cried, "Dean, calm down man, please calm down …"
Eventually, Dean's frantic terrors subsided and he sunk bonelessly into the bed; soaked in his own sweat, shaking and gasping uncontrollably; Bobby slumped back down into the chair beside the bed, reaching across to soothe and comfort the stricken hunter.
As pale as a sheet, Bobby was shaking almost as much as Dean; when he turned to Sam, there was a look of utter shock and fear that Sam had never seen in the older man's eyes before.
Sam leaned over, stroking his brother's head, softly hushing and reassuring his brother and his eye scanned Dean's shivering body. It was then he noticed that Dean had wet himself.
He choked back tears; the sight of his big brother, so vulnerable, so helpless was more than he could bear. He took Dean's hand in his and pressed it against his face; "hang in there, dude," he whispered, "please, it's gonna be ok, I promise."
Sam glanced up at Tom; he knew Tom had seen what had happened; an unspoken agreement passed between the two men.
"Bobby, how about some coffee for us all?" Tom smiled at his old friend. "I think we can all use a caffeine kick." Bobby nodded, and heaved himself up out of the chair with a grunt. He hesitated, laying a hand over Dean's hot scalp and glancing across at Sam, before he looked back down to his precious boy, almost scared to break the physical contact.
"He'll be fine now;" Tom reassured, "I've got him." Bobby reluctantly relinquished his hold on Dean's head and slipped out of the room towards the kitchen.
"Sam, can you clean him up?" Tom spoke quietly and kindly; "I think he'd probably prefer you to do it." Sam smiled his silent gratitude; all he knew was that he had utter respect for this man right now.
As Tom checked Dean over, monitoring his temperature and rewrapping his wound, Sam gently and discreetly washed his brother, taking the opportunity to cool him down again on Tom's instruction; changing the bedlinen and changing Dean into fresh boxers, talking softly and soothingly to his brother the whole time. He watched with relief as a calm descended over Dean.
Dean's eyes remained closed, but his mouth worked constantly, whispering and murmuring barely audible words that made no sense. His head twitched from side to side as he huffed and sighed through whatever fretful, dream filled sleep had consumed him.
The three men stood back and drunk their coffee as they watched the elder Winchester rest, enjoying a short respite from the trials of the Lyndworm bite.
Bobby took the nightshift.
He sat beside the bed, watching over the sleeping hunter as the other two men took some well earned rest on Tom's orders; as he had rightly pointed out, none of them were any good to Dean if they were out of their mind with exhaustion.
Behind him, Sam lay on the spare bed; sleep had not come easily to the younger man, but eventually he had slipped into a fitful rest. Tom sat on the other side of the room, in a ramshackle armchair, snoring loudly.
Bobby watched the elder Winchester sleep.
Through the darkness he saw Dean stir weakly with a sigh.
"Hey" whispered Bobby, "what's up son, thirsty?" He reached across, sliding his hand behind Dean's neck, lifting his head, to enable him to drink. To Bobby's delight, Dean drunk clumsily but enthusiastically; "you're wearin' more than you're drinkin', kid," he observed with a smile.
Dean's eyes fluttered open and gazed unseeing through the darkness up at Bobby.
Bobby rubbed a calloused hand over Dean's damp forehead. "You're a bit warm, son;" he whispered, reaching for the bowl of water Tom had left for him.
Dean continued to gaze upwards at the older man; eventually he spoke; his voice was barely a whisper.
Bobby looked down at Dean with a smile, "hey kid, I think you're a bit confused!"
Dean spoke again; quiet, absently; "m-mom ... hur's…"
Bobby closed his eyes when he felt tears pricking, "Hey kid," he whispered, stroking the warm, damp hair, "your Momma's with ya, she'll never leave ya."
Dean shifted on the bed, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand, and looked up absently at Bobby; after an age he spoke again; "Mom?"
Bobby gazed down at his boy; leaning over him, and thinking back to what the boys had told him years ago. He stroked the warm, clammy face with the back of his hand.
"Go to sleep son, the angels are watching over ya."