Characters: Dean, Sam, Bobby
Rating: PG-13 (with cussing)
Word Count: c1900
Summary: In which the Winchesters return from 1861 & Frontierland; there is hurt and there is comfort. Dean keeps something from Sam, while Sam keeps something from Dean, and both find that, as usual, keeping secrets from each other can come back to bite you in the ass. Or arm. Whatever. And Bobby thinks they are both idjits.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters I abuse in this fic. Sadly.
Author’s note: Unbeta’d so probably full of bollocks. This is kind of a very pointless interlude fic; written for the E/O Drabble challenge on FF.net which challenged us this week to not write a drabble for a change but something longer, and gave us the prompt word ‘raw’.
I apologise in advance for abusing Sam’s backside in such a reckless manner.
So. It was after they took the angel express back to Bobby’s that Dean first noticed Sam was walking funny. Trouble was, everything was the usual chaotic race-against-time-to-gank-a-monster-shit,
It’d been lucky, Dean thought, that eating a magic slug from the Colt had rather put Elias of his aim, or Dean would have been toast.
So anyways. Dean’s arm had bled a fair bit, but he’d had worse, and had been able to tape it up quickly unassisted and with the minimum of fuss, and barely noticed the twinges once his adrenaline was pumping again. In retrospect, perhaps using the rotgut he’d filled his flask with back in 1861 to disinfect the wound was an error of judgement, but how was he to know it would act as some kind of bacterial accelerant? Besides. He’d been a little distracted, what with Eve’s Alpha army to deal with and all. The all being Sam, of course, because worrying about Sam’s wellbeing was always very distracting.
But that came later. Right now, Dean and Sam finally had some breathing space while all there was to do was potter around Bobby’s trying to find Eve, and Dean’s powers of observation/little brother radar were reengaging enough to see that Sam was behaving rather oddly. Furtively, even. Especially when he saw Dean was watching him, at which point Sam muttered something about needing the bathroom and hurriedly, if awkwardly, disappeared into said room, sidling sideways in a crablike gait.
What the fuck?
Dean stared at the plain wooden door, his mind momentarily as blank as its featureless surface.
Wait a minute. Dean was supposed to be the one with the bow legged walk, wasn’t he? So how come Sam was stomping around as if he’d just got of a …. Oh. Right. A horse.
Mmmm now, just what was it that Sammy’d been researching lately…?
Dean flipped open Sam’s laptop and waited impatiently for it to power up, half his attention on the suspicious lack of normal sounds of lavatorial-use emanating from the bathroom – no shower, no taps running, no toilet flushing…
And yahtzee! There it was, cached in Sam’s browser history. How to treat saddle sores.
A chuckle welled up from deep in Dean’s chest. This could be material sufficient for teasing Sam for the foreseeable future, right there. Awesome.
Dean banged on the flimsy bathroom door.
“Hey, you okay in there, Tonto? What’s the matter, your cheeks get a bit rosy?” He yelled, trying and failing to keep the grin from colouring his voice.
“Oh very funny, Dean. Now fuck off.”
“Now come on, Sam, it says here that left unchecked, saddles sores can progress into legitimate medical and/or surgical illnesses requiring prescription medications and painful procedures. You really need to let me look at them.” He paused. “Or, you know, I could get that sexy chick who was eyeing up your manly attributes at the diner to come over and rub in some Neosporin for you…”
“I don’t think so, Dean. I can deal, thanks very much.” Sam’s tone was indicative of embarrassment, pain and irritation, a bitchface-mix that was one of his little brother’s classics. Dean really wished he had x-ray vision because it was one of his favourites.
He balanced the laptop in his good hand, continuing to read the webpage. As he got deeper into the details, his initial amusement gradually morphed into a growing, genuine concern.
“Hey, Sam, you haven’t got any swelling or redness or lumps, have you?”
“Dean, if you are looking through that keyhole..,”
“No! No, man, I’m being serious. It says here if you neglect treatment, your lesions and subcutaneous damage can turn bad, Sammy, very bad. Geeze. It sounds positively apocalyptic – boils, carbuncles, abscesses, furuncles…what the hell is a furuncle? It says you might even need surgery…”
Sam thrust the door open, nearly knocking the laptop out of Dean’s one-handed grip. His little brother’s face was thunderous and red and his hair tousled, and had Dean now not worked himself into a complete state of worry, he’d have found it hilarious.
Clutching a large tube of something, probably their Neosporin, in one hand, and the waistband of his sweat pants in the other, Sam brushed past Dean on his way to their shared bedroom.
Sam rounded on Dean, with a scowl that would have had the pretty diner waitress running for the Black Hills.
“Dean, I do not need surgery for a bit of chaffing. I can handle this myself thanks very much.” Sam paused, staring at Dean. “Why are you sweating?”
Dean ran his hand over his face and winced – using his wounded arm wasn’t such a clever idea but he’d forgotten he was holding Sam’s laptop with his good arm. Huh. He was a bit hot, now Sam mentioned it. Maybe he needed a bit of that Neosporin on his bullet wound, but first things first. Sam wasn’t going to deflect him from the important matter of the moment, Sam’s butt.
“The air-con must be down,” Dean said dismissively, and bulldozed on when Sam looked as though he was going to point out that Bobby didn’t have air-conditioning. “I bet you can’t even see all the damage you’ve done to yourself, can you? Nah, thought not.” Sam was retreating into their room as Dean advanced, and was starting to look somewhat beleaguered. Dean had Sam backed up against his bed and could see the moment his brother’s resistance caved in. He gave a grim smile.
“Drop ‘em, cowboy, and get on the bed.”
Reluctance was drawn into every line of that big body, but Sam did as he was told. With his sweat pants pooled around his ankles, Sam spread his length on the bed. Dean couldn’t help a whistle that was part sympathy and part amusement as he took in the sight. On either side of his crack, along bottom of the curve of Sam’s ass, and all down the insides of his thighs was red-raw with chaffing. Dean thought that the damage probably extended between his brother’s legs into even more sensitive areas, which had him wincing harder as he thought about how that must be hurting. Maybe a joke about having a sexy woman fondle Sam’s balls was in worse taste than usual, given the circumstances.
“You’d better not be laughing, man, or I’ll…”
“Not laughing here, dude, no way. That is a mess. Fuck, Sammy, why didn’t you mention it sooner?” Dean ran his hands gently down Sam’s legs, untangled the sweatpants that were hobbling Sam’s ankles then tapped at his brother’s legs, forcing them farther apart. He absently wiped a bead of sweat from his nose and growled at Sam. “Gimme the cream.”
Half an hour later, Sam was more relaxed, almost comatose in fact, after a treatment that had ended up feeling almost as good as a spa massage. He had been thoroughly smeared in antibiotic, including nooks and crannies he was sure hadn’t been explored since he was in diapers, and didn’t want to think too closely about again any time soon. Who’d have thought Dean would have been so good with his fingers? Sam quickly suppressed that thought as touching on areas too embarrassing to contemplate. He didn’t want to move or open his eyes, but Dean had gone strangely quiet after talking a mile a minute while he had been applying the ointment, and Sam was starting to feel self-conscious, spread out naked on display like this now the ministrations were over.
He wrinkled his nose as something warm and wet dripped onto his bare back, and cracked open an eye. Yeuch! Dean was sweating all over him; gross! He was just pushing himself up onto his forearms to see what was going on when a crushing weight crashed down on him, temporarily winding him and squashing him into the mattress.
“Ooof! What the fuck, Dean, this isn’t funny! Gerroff me, man!”
But Dean - assuming that this hot sweaty lump was his brother that is, at which point Sam had a moment of totally irrational panic that it might have been something else that landed on him, before rational thought kicked back in - was a dead weight across Sam, pinning him down, and was breathing in stentorious damp snuffles somewhere in the region of Sam’s left kidney. Sam bucked a bit to try and dislodge his brother, to no avail. Well, this was just great. Trapped in a compromising position naked in bed with your big brother was not how Sam had envisaged spending his evening.
After a few minutes, Sam started to get worried. Dean seemed to be totally out of it, and Sam had no idea what could have happened to knock Dean out like this. After all, they’d done nothing more taxing than research since coming back from 1861 and Dean’s little High Noon tribute act… Oh. Right.
The Phoenix had managed to fire a shot, hadn’t he, before the Colt’s bullet incinerated him. Great. What were the odds that Dean had been hit and was hiding it? Odds that anyone knowing Dean wouldn’t bother betting on, Sam reckoned. Well damn.
“You stupid, stubborn, hypocritical, asinine, secretive…”
“I hate to interrupt your little brotherly bonding moment, but what in tarnation are you boys doin’ now?”
Sam craned his neck to look over both his own shoulder and the mound of Dean’s body to see Bobby push himself off the doorframe where he’d been leaning, and step into their room. As Bobby habitually looked all creased up and vaguely pissed, Sam couldn’t tell what the old hunter was thinking now, and really? He didn’t want to know.
“I think Dean’s been carrying an injury without telling anyone and now he’s gone and passed out on me,” Sam panted while wriggling out from under Dean as Bobby heaved the unconscious elder Winchester half off of him. Freed at last, Sam hurriedly grabbed his pants off the floor and pulled them on. Bobby eased Dean back onto the bed then carefully pushed him onto his back, ignoring a garbled protest from Dean about tortoises and some bastard having brought him cake instead of pie. Bobby shot Sam a sharp glance and Sam knew his own injuries hadn’t gone unnoticed. But for now, both men focussed their attention on Dean, flushed and out of it on the bed.
It didn’t take them long to find the source of Dean’s fever. Dean’s improvised dressing was clean enough, but once unwound, both Bobby and Sam hissed in unified disapproval at the state of the wound. The bullet hole itself was a dark angry red and leaking pus, and there were disturbing signs of infection spreading from the epicentre both up to Dean’s shoulder and down to his elbow.
“Goddamit, this is only two days old, right, Sam? How’d it get so messed up so quick?”
Dean surprised them with a moment of lucidity. “Elkin’s best whiskey,” he rasped, before his eyes wandered and he started rambling again. Something about horse-shit and Florida this time. Sam just groaned while Bobby looked puzzled.
“You gonna fill me in anytime soon, boy?”
“Sorry, Bobby. He must have poured some rotgut on it. He said the stuff tasted like gasoline, so I’ve no idea why he’d have filled his flask with it, let alone used it on an open wound.”
Bobby muttered something under his breath about damn fool Winchesters, like father like sons, and set to work. The old hunter brushed off all Sam’s attempts to help, saying he could only be trusted to mop Dean’s brow the state he was in. Sam’s face ended up nearly as red as his derriere. Bobby considered that to be justice. He was quite vocal about it, and the ridiculous antics of the brothers Winchester in general.
The old hunter saw them both safely tucked into their respective beds just like when they were freaking school kids, Bobby pointed out acerbically. Sam lay unhappily on his stomach and flinched as Bobby closed their bedroom door with a slam and his final parting shot of idjits.
Sam couldn’t help but think that Bobby had a point, as he tried not to scratch at his tight, itchy, raw skin, and listened to Dean muttering something complicated and surreal that included a serape and a pineapple.