The brothers talk. Dean gets worse.
The next day, Dean woke up, and saw his brother sitting by his bed, reading the paper. "Anything interesting?" he whispered weakly, still feeling no better.
Sam jumped and lowered the paper. "No. Not really. How are you feeling?"
"You don't need to ask me that every day, you know."
"Sorry. I'm just worried about you," said Sam, reaching over for the glass of water on the bedside table. "Here." He helped Dean sit up a little so he could have a drink.
"Thanks," said Dean after taking a sip. "Where are Bobby and Cas?"
"Bobby's gone to a motel. Castiel had to do something."
"Is Cas any better yet?"
"Yeah. Caffeine high wore off late last night. Almost drove me and Bobby crazy."
Dean closed his eyes and moaned in pain, turning away from Sam.
Sam noticed how white he looked, and sat on the edge of Dean's bed. "Dean? Are you sure you're alright?" he asked, stroking Dean's hair back from his forehead. He flinched when he felt the heat emanating from him. "Dean, you're burning up."
"No, I'm not. It's just a little warm in here," Dean answered, shifting slightly. He grabbed Sam's arm, which was reaching for the call button. "Sam, please. I don't need your help, I'm fine."
"Dean, you're not fine. You're as white as a sheet... you're hot."
Dean's lips twitched slightly. "Thanks."
"You know what I mean, you jerk," he said fondly. "You don't moan in pain when you're feeling okay. Will you just admit that not even Dean Winchester can be 100% all the time."
"Sam, for the last time... I-I'm fine. Stop worrying," said Dean, looking up at Sam through half-lidded eyes.
"Dean, you're my brother. It's my job to worry about you," Sam told him, taking Dean's hand in his. "It's my turn to look after you, how can I do that if you won't let me?"
"I can take care of myself, Sam. I've been doing it since I was four years old. I don't need you mother henning me to death. And I don't need your help."
"Brothers take care of each other. You're hurt, in hospital and you can't walk right now, so that gives me another reason to be more of a 'mother-hen'. Just let me, alright?"
Dean was about to shake his head, when Sam squeezed his hand slightly. "Dean, I'm not taking no for an answer. I'll be right here by your side until you get out of here." He frowned when he saw Dean looking away. "What's wrong?"
"What if I still can't?" asked Dean quietly, refusing to look at his brother.
"What do you mean?"
Dean was silent for a minute, and then whispered, "When I get out of here... w-what if I still can't walk?"
"I'll still be right here to take care of you."
"I don't want to be a burden," Dean admitted.
"Dean, you're not a burden, you're my brother. I don't care whether you can walk or not, you're still my smartass big brother and I love you." Sam's eyes filled with tears as he told Dean something he hadn't in years. "Is that why you won't let me help? You think that if you have to spend your life in a wheelchair that I'm just going to abandon you?" he asked, feeling hurt that he would even think that.
Dean shrugged, and looked down at their joined hands. "It wouldn't be the first time you've left me."
"Listen to me... Whether you can walk or not, I'm not leaving you. I've walked away... I've lost count of how many times, but this time you're not getting rid of me. I don't care if I have to tell you that every single day, I'm not going anywhere."
Dean swallowed around the sudden lump in his throat as he gave a tiny smile. "Thanks Sam."
Sam squeezed Dean's hand again. "Don't mention it. Now if you're in pain, not feeling good or you need anything... doesn't matter what it is, I want you to tell me straight away, alright?"
"Do I have a choice?"
"No, you don't." Sam turned serious again. "You're the strongest person I know, and if anyone can beat this, it's you. You just have to believe in yourself like I do."
Dean nodded. "Okay, I'll try." He shifted a little, and closed his eyes against the sudden dizziness.
Sam was about to ask if he was okay again, when Castiel suddenly appeared in the room. "Is everything okay?" he asked the angel.
"Yes. There was a little problem I had to take care of, but everything is fine now." He looked down at Dean and frowned in concern. "Dean?"
Sam quickly turned back to his brother, and saw him with his hand over his eyes, breathing heavily. "Castiel, get a nurse. Now."
The angel nodded, and rushed out of the hospital room to look for a nurse.
"Hey, Dean? Look at me," said Sam urgently. "Dean."
Dean moaned, and lowered his arm. "S'm?" he muttered. "I-I don't..."
"I know. Castiel's getting a nurse right now. Hold on, okay?" Sam cupped Dean's hot cheek gently, and gasped when he noticed that he felt hotter than before. "Dammit."
Dean started blinking rapidly, fighting to stay conscious.
"Dean, stay awake."
Castiel rushed back in. "A nurse will be here in a minute. What's wrong with him?"
"I don't know," answered Sam, not looking away from Dean. "Dean, stay the hell awake."
"No... N-Not hell. No."
"Crap, wrong word to say." Sam leaned closer until his face was just an inch away from Dean's. "Hey, you're not in hell. You're going to be fine. Stay awake."
"Is everything okay?" asked Bobby, walking into the room. "What happened?"
"There's something wrong with Dean."
Bobby joined Cas at Dean's bedside. "Damn, son. Ya look like crap."
"Th-thanks," he whispered weakly, eyelids fluttering.
"Hey, come on. Don't close your eyes."
Dean's eyes closed against his will, his head lolled weakly back against the pillows.
"DEAN!" yelled Sam, lifting Dean's head onto his lap, fingers combing through the sweat-soaked hair.
Dean's eyes opened a crack, and slivers of green looked up at his brother. "S'my?"
"I'm right here," said Sam in a soothing voice, still stroking his hair.
Castiel frowned worriedly, and ran back out of the room, trench coat flying behind him. "HEY ASS-BUTT! WHERE'S THE NURSE?" he called to a random guy in the corridor.
Sam smiled in amusement. "He's been hanging around you too much," he whispered fondly, his free hand holding tightly to Dean's.
"B'sh," said Dean weakly.
By the time the nurse finally came in, Dean was unconscious.
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