It's Real

To worse

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Sam, Bobby and Cas look after Dean.

A few hours later, Sam was sitting by his unconscious brother's bedside. Dean had managed to pick up an infection, and was back on oxygen since his breathing was laboured. He was tilted slightly to take pressure off his back.

Sam hadn't left his side since he passed out. Dean always somehow managed to get worse before he got better while he was in hospital. Sam remembered when they were teenagers and Dean broke two ribs and his leg during a hunt. He ended up with a bad case of pneumonia during that stay in hospital.

"You never do things the easy way, do you?" Sam asked him as he started stroking his flushed cheek gently, his other hand was holding Dean's tightly. "But I'm not going anywhere... now or when you get out of here. Just keep fighting, okay? That's all you need to do."

Sam wiped the tear that fell down his cheek. "I need you, Dean. I know you think you being in a wheelchair will change things between us, but it won't. I don't care if you can walk or not... I'm not leaving you."

"I need my big brother to wake up. I-I love you. I know, chick-flick moment. But I'm not going to stop until you wake up, and tell me to shut the hell up. You can even call me Samantha or some other girly name." Sam smiled slightly. He would give anything to hear one of Dean's sarcastic comments right now.

There was a quiet knock at the door, and a young nurse walked in. Sam glared at her, and shifted his chair even closer to his brother's bed.

"Hey Sam. I've just come to check on him."

When she touched Dean's face, Sam shot up. "Don't touch him," he growled, making the nurse step back in shock.

"I was checking his temp... Making sure he wasn't getting worse."

"Well, can't you do that without touching him?" asked Sam, sitting back in his chair, and taking Dean's hand in both of his.

"Sorry." The nurse checked Dean over, shooting glances at Sam every few seconds. He seemed to be in full protective mode- he didn't let anyone touch his brother, and had already threatened several nurses and the doctor when they had touched him.

When she finished, Sam finally looked away from Dean. "How's he doing?"

"His fever is still holding at 105. The antibiotics we gave him earlier aren't working yet, but it's still early so hopefully we'll see an improvement soon," she told him, writing something down. "We'll have to keep a close eye on him, make sure he doesn't get worse."

Sam bit his lip, and nodded. "Okay... But he won't, right?" he asked, sounding like a child.

"I can't say, Sam. I have to go. Press the call button if there's any change," she told him, before leaving the room.

Sam nodded again, eyes glued to his unconscious sibling. "Just get better, Dean. You hear me?"

When the only answer he got in return was the beep beep of the heart monitor, Sam sighed, and leaned slightly forward. "I'm keeping my promise, Dean. I'm going to be right here with you... and nothing will hurt you while I'm here, you hear me? All you need to do is lie here and get better. Me, Bobby and Castiel are right here with you."

He took the wet cloth from the bowl beside him, and started wiping Dean's flushed face with it. While the doctors tried to lower his fever their way, he was trying to do everything he could to help him.

After almost fifteen minutes, Sam nodded to himself, and left the cloth on Dean's forehead, to sit back and watch over his sick brother.

Later, Bobby walked into the room, sitting in the spare chair. "Hey, Sam. How's he doing?"

Sam shrugged. "Still the same," he told him, squeezing his limp hand gently in his own.

"He can't catch a break, can he?"

"No. Where's Castiel?" Sam asked him, looking away from Dean for a second.

"I sent him to the cafeteria for awhile, to give us some time alone. Yer going to have to let the nurses help him, ya know."

"I never stopped them from helping him, they just can't touch him."

"Sam..."

"He doesn't like to be touched when he's sick, Bobby," Sam told him, stroking the back of Dean's hand.

"Why are ya holding his hand then?"

"So he knows I'm here. I told him I'm not leaving him, and if he knows I'm here... he'll keep fighting."

"Sam?"

"What?"

"Maybe ya should take a little break, huh? Ya haven't left him for hours, not even to eat. I'll take care of him."

"No. I'm not going anywhere."

"Sam, he's not going to wake up or get worse the second ya look away from him."

"You don't know that. I'm just doing my job, I'm going to do it right this time," Sam whispered quietly.

"What are ya talking about?" asked a confused Bobby.

"When he came back from hell, I wasn't there for him when he needed me the most. The only thing he probably needed was me, but I was always out with Ruby. I chose a demon over my own brother, how could I do that?"

"Sam..."

"But now, I'm putting him first before everything, like I should've done last year," said Sam, interrupting whatever Bobby was going to say. "He's my brother, and I can't even take care of him properly."

Bobby put his hand on Sam's shoulder. "Yer the best at taking care of him... even when he won't let ya."

"Bobby, he got shot when I was right there... he can't walk and now he's sick. Yeah, I'm the best brother ever," he said sarcastically. "I know that if I'm here looking after him, nobody's going to touch him or hurt him... he's hurt enough."

"The doctors and nurses won't hurt him, they're trying to help him... when they can get near him without ya threatening them."

"They can help him without touching him. How do you know if they're just doctors? What if a demon or something found out where he is, and they possessed one of them? I know I'm not usually good at keeping promises. I promised him I wouldn't let him go to hell, look how well that turned out. But I'm keeping these promises."

"Sam, ya can't watch him every second of every day."

"I can try. He's my brother Bobby," said the younger Winchester with tears in his eyes. "H-He's my big brother." He lowered his head against Dean's shoulder and started crying.

Bobby frowned in concern, and patted Sam on the back. "He'll be alright, Sam. I'll get us some lunch, okay? Ya can't look after him if ya can't look after yerself." He stood and gave Sam some alone time with Dean.

As soon as Bobby was outside, he looked up. "Ya better take care of that boy in there. Sam needs his big brother, his hero... and I need that kid too. So if yer up there, Get yer thumb out of yer ass and help him," he said, before going to the cafeteria.

Alone with his brother again, Sam re-wet the cloth, and wiped his face gently. He frowned in concern when even unconscious, Dean started shaking. "It's okay, Dean."

Sam was too busy trying to cool Dean down, that at first he didn't notice Castiel suddenly appear on the other side of Dean's bed until he looked up. "Hey, what's up?"

The angel was looking down at Dean with his head tilted slightly to the left. "Why is he moving like that?"

"Like what?"

"Like he is getting electrocuted."

"He's shivering. The fever, and the cold water make him feel cold even when he's hot."

"He feels cold?" asked Cas, looking down at himself. He nodded, and started taking the trench coat off.

Sam stopped what he was doing and stared as the angel gently covered the bed-ridden hunter in the trench coats warmth.

Castiel adjusted the coat so it covered Dean's upper body. "Will that help?"

"I'm sure it will. Thanks." That little gesture made Sam like the angel a little more, and he smiled at him to show his appreciation.

Castiel gave Sam a tiny smile in return, and looked back down at Dean. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" asked Sam, frowning. "You didn't do anything."

"I would heal him if I could... But without my powers, I cannot do anything for him." He sat down on the edge of Dean's bed, and watched him. "I'm sorry," he repeated.

"It's okay. It's not your fault."

Castiel watched Sam for a few minutes. "Can I do that?"

"Do what?"

"What you are doing. I would like to help."

Sam looked from Dean to Castiel. If he couldn't trust an angel to look after his brother, who could he trust? He reluctantly handed the cloth to Cas, who took it with a nod.

"Thank you, Sam." Castiel placed the cloth on Dean's cheek like he had seen Sam doing.

"Wipe it across his face," Sam told him, demonstrating. "And down his neck."

Castiel nodded, and did as Sam told him. He wasn't used to taking care of humans this way, but he felt as if he owed this to his friend. "Why are we doing this?"

"The water is cold, so it'll hopefully cool his skin down and get rid of some of the fever." Sam watched Cas carefully. The angel and Bobby were the only two he could trust with Dean.

"Should one of us kiss him?" Castiel asked suddenly.

Sam looked over in shock, his eyebrows shooting up. "Excuse me?"

Castiel shifted uncomfortably at the way Sam was looking at him. "Once, Dean said something about you when you were sleeping."

Sam continued staring, but didn't say anything.

"He called you sleeping beauty... because you were asleep and snoring," Castiel explained. "I think he was being sarcastic. When I asked who that was, he told me it was a story about this girl who would not wake up until this man kissed her. Maybe we should try that, and he will recover."

Sam burst out laughing. It was the first time he had laughed in days, it felt good. He could just imagine the expression on Dean's face if he woke up to one of them kissing him, and it made him laugh harder.

"Why are you laughing?"

Sam put his hand over his face, still laughing uncontrollably.

"Should I get a nurse?" asked Cas, wondering if Sam had gone weird.

Sam just shook his head as the laughter continued. Two minutes later, he cleared his throat, and wiped his eyes as he finally stopped laughing.

"Are you feeling okay?" asked the concerned angel.

"Yeah. Sorry. But that's a fairy tale, it won't happen in real life. Can you imagine Dean's face if he woke up to one of us kissing him?" he asked, and started laughing again.

"He would threaten to kill us. So maybe we should not kiss him then."

"Yeah. I like my head where it is, thanks," said Sam, squeezing his brother's hand gently. "Not that I'm complaining, but why do you care about Dean so much?"

"He is my friend. I have learned a lot from him."

"Me too," said Sam with a fond smile.

"Some of the things he says I do not understand, but he is... interesting."

"That's one word to describe him," said Sam lovingly.

Bobby walked back into the room with some coffee and sandwiches. "Hey Sam." He raised his eyebrows when he saw Castiel with the cloth. "What happened to nobody touches yer brother?"

"He's somebody I trust," said Sam, stroking Dean's sweat-soaked hair.

Castiel looked at the younger Winchester in surprise. "Thank you, Sam."

Sam nodded, then yawned sleepily. He rubbed his eyes, and shook his head as he continued staring at Dean.

"Sam, maybe ya should take a little nap, huh?"

"I'm not tired," said Sam, blinking rapidly.

"You need sleep, Sam," Castiel told him, stilling the washcloth.

"I need to take care of my brother. It's my responsibility... my job. If I don't do it, who else will?"

"Bobby and I will," answered Cas, not intimidated by Sam's glaring. "I will make sure no demon nurses get near Dean. I will protect him, you have my word."

"I can't. He needs me."

"Ya won't be able to look after him if ya end up passing out," Bobby tried telling the stubborn younger man.

Castiel watched the two men, nodding in agreement. "Since I have been here, you've barely slept. Humans need rest to... recharge."

"I need to look after Dean more than I need sleep," said Sam, yawning again.

"You leave me no choice," said Castiel, reaching out to touch Sam's forehead.

Bobby caught Sam as he fell sideways limply, head flopping everywhere. "Thanks," he said to the angel, adjusting the sleeping Winchester, so his upper body was laying on Dean's bed. "Stubborn Winchesters."

Cas nodded once, looking sadly down at Dean. "I wish it would work to help Dean get better."

"Yeah, me too. Give him time, he'll be as good as new. He always is."

TBC

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