evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: A Time To Sleep
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Rating: PG-13? Dean curses once, otherwise it's pretty harmless.
Pairing: Dean/Castiel hinted at
Word Count: ~1600
Summary: Dean's feeling a bit under the weather and Sam does not have the patience of a saint.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] seryan for listening to me whine about wanting fluff and then beta-reading for me when I decided to write some myself.

A Time To Sleep

"There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep." ~ Homer, The Odyssey

Sam slunk silently out of the hotel room, cell phone clenched in his hand.  He held his breath as he oh-so-carefully pulled the door shut behind him.  He hated to do this, he really did, but the time had come to admit defeat.  Sam was smart enough to recognize when he needed reinforcements.  He dialed and put the phone to his ear, breathing an inward sigh of relief when the call was picked up.

"Hey, Cas," he said, keeping his voice low.  "Are you busy?  No?  Great.  Dean are I are - yeah, still there.  Can you-?"

A rustle of wings was his answer and he thumbed his phone off as he turned to face the angel.

Castiel glanced around the empty parking lot before pinning a searching gaze on Sam.  "What's wrong?" he asked, direct as ever.  "Where's Dean?"

Sam hastily gestured at him to keep his voice down.  "Dean's in there," he answered, waving at the door to their room.  "He's sick."

Castiel's eyes narrowed.  "Sick?" he repeated sharply.

"With the flu," Sam said tightly.  A couple of days of Dean studiously pretending that he was "just fine, Sammy, now fuck off!" and refusing to take it easy had predictably culminated in Dean developing a full-blown case of something nasty.  He'd spiked a fever overnight and had spent the entire day shivering miserably in a huddle of blankets, doing his best to cough up a lung in between bouts of bitching.

Castiel was frowning in confusion.  "So why did you call me?" he asked with a trace of irritation.

"Because I can't leave him alone but I need to go get him some Nyquil or something.  He's a mess," Sam explained.  He'd barely kept Dean from splitting his head open in the bathroom earlier, when the idiot insisted that he was "doing just great!" and shoved Sam out of the room.  Lucky for them both that Sam had ignored him and hovered outside the door until he heard a wobbly curse and shouldered his way inside.

Castiel's frown deepened and Sam could see him gathering a protest.

"And if I have to stay in there with him for even five more minutes, I'm going to kill him," Sam finished.  For such a self-proclaimed tough guy, Dean turned into an unbearably cranky, whiny brat when he was sick.  "Really, I will.  And I won't even feel guilty about it."

Enlightenment spread over Castiel's face.    Sam liked that about Castiel - attached to Dean he might be but he had no illusions about Dean being perfect.

"So what do you expect me to do?" Castiel wanted to know.  "I'm not a nursemaid."

"I know you're not!" Sam was quick to assure him.  "And you know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important but I - Dean - really really needs you.  Just - stay with him?  For a bit?  Just until I get back?  Please?"

Castiel gave him a deeply unconvinced look but Sam was desperate.  He pulled out the most pathetic expression in his arsenal, packing every ounce of ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease that he could into the wordless plea.

Castiel glanced away, looking at the closed door for a long moment before he sighed and gave a shallow nod.

"Great!" Sam exulted, barely remembering to keep his voice down.  "Thank you.  He's sleeping now - finally - so he shouldn't be any trouble.  Don't worry about anything, just be there and try to keep him from being too much of an idiot if he wakes up."

Before Castiel could rethink his agreement or protest the impossible assignment, Sam eased the door open, relieved to see Dean still passed out in a tangle of sheets.  He winced at the rasp to his breathing and mentally promised to buy the good stuff at the drugstore.  "Okay, come on," he murmured to Castiel, grabbing at the angel's coat sleeve when he hesitated.

He practically pushed Castiel inside, lurking in the doorway long enough to see him take a nervous step towards the bed before he noiselessly shut the door.  Then he fumbled the Impala's keys out of his jacket pocket and fled.


Sam's first stop was the drugstore, where he did buy the good stuff.  He even talked to the pharmacist, just to be able to swear to Dean that he bought the best medicine available.  He tried not to fidget at the counter, knowing that he'd used his current set of credit cards nearly as far as they could go but the transaction went through without a hitch.  Relief made him chatty and the girl at the counter was happy to indulge him, once he flashed her a smile.  She even gave him directions to what she promised was the best coffee shop in town.

Sure, Sam had told Castiel he wouldn't be gone long but he hadn't promised to come right back.  Damn it, he'd earned a break. 

Even if Dean woke up, Sam reassured himself as he settled at a table with a frappucino and his laptop, there was no way he'd give Castiel the kind of crap he heaped on Sam.  Not that Castiel would be particularly bothered if he did.  Sam sometimes envied the way that Dean's attitude just sort of rolled off of Castiel's shoulders.  Sam had never learned the trick of ignoring Dean at his most annoying.

By the time Sam had finished his coffee, he figured he'd pushed his luck as far as he could and collected his things to go.  A few minutes' drive put him back at the motel, where he remembered to park away from the door.  If there was any chance Dean was still sleeping, Sam didn't want to wake him by pulling up right outside.  Dean had been known to rouse from concussions at the sound of his baby's engine.  He gave himself another couple of minutes before he got out of the car to take a few deep breaths and remind himself that he loved his brother and Dean really wasn't responsible for his actions just now. Then Sam was pretty much out of excuses so he ambled back to their door, plastic bag swinging from his hand as he fit the key in the lock, still clinging to the hope that Dean might not be awake yet.

He froze in the doorway when he saw that yes, Dean was still asleep.  Asleep and practically draped across Castiel's lap, in fact.

The last Sam had seen of Castiel, he'd been hovering uncertainly near the door.  Now he was sitting propped up against Dean's headboard, coat lying across Sam's bed, shoes neatly tucked against the nightstand.  And yeah, Sam had eventually gotten used to the weirdness going on between Dean and Castiel but that hadn't prepared him to walk in on Dean sprawling over all Castiel while the angel petted him.  Yet here was Dean, sleeping with his head pillowed on Castiel's thigh and his arm draped across the angel's legs as Castiel stared down at him in bemusement, hand absently smoothing over his hair.  

It should have looked weird, his brother all cuddled up to another guy who happened to be an angel.  Instead Sam found himself thinking that it was really kind of sweet.  Dean would murder him for the thought, Sam was sure, but Dean was currently sleeping more peacefully than he had in weeks and Castiel didn't exactly look upset either.

"Don't get up just yet," Sam whispered on impulse. 

Castiel looked a bit confused at that but obediently stayed where he was, resting his hand against Dean's shoulder.

"I just came back to drop this off," Sam lied hastily, holding up the plastic bag.  "The medicine, in case he woke up." 

Castiel nodded cautiously, clearly waiting for the rest of it. 

"I have to run back out and get him something to eat," Sam improvised.  Hey, it was even mostly true.  "At an actual grocery store, I mean.  Diner food isn't exactly going to cut it, when he's like this." 

Apparently Castiel had been among humans long enough to form an opinion about diner food, Sam noted, surprised at the grimace he got in response.  Or maybe it was just Dean's eating habits that had put the angel off.

"Anyway, can you stay a bit longer?" he asked, mentally crossing his fingers.

Castiel gave him one of those penetrating looks and Sam put every bit of effort he could spare into looking innocent and hopeful.  It must have worked because Castiel relaxed back against the headboard again with a silent nod.  Dean shifted a little closer to him with a quiet sigh and that small, content sound made Sam want to smile.  Yeah, for that, Sam would lie to an angel.

"Thanks," he told him gratefully.  "If he wakes up, give him some of this stuff," he instructed, laying the bag on the wobbly table next to the door.  "Don't listen to anything he tells you, read the instructions on the packages," he warned, amused when that earned him a solemn nod.  "I'll be back soon!" he added as he backed out of the door, closing it softly.

Who knew that Castiel would be so good at Dean-sitting, he wondered as he headed back to the car.  Hell, who'd have guessed that Dean would let him?  Whatever, Sam wasn't going to waste time worrying over one of the few good things that had happened recently in their crazy, messed-up lives.  Dean and Castiel deserved whatever comfort they could find in each other and Sam would take his extra coffee break and be glad for it.


Comments always welcome!


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