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the island of conclusions

Out of Character (SPN: Smith & Wesson, gen)

the island of conclusions

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Out of Character (SPN: Smith & Wesson, gen)

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More comment fic, y'all *facepalm* IDEK, the thing mad_server has going, with its thousands of minor-illness prompts, is just pushing my buttons like nobody's business....

Title: Out of Character
Rating: pg-13 (for language); gen.
Word Count: ~1,400
Spoilers: for 4.17 and a tiny bit for 5.03
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit.

a/n: written for this prompt
a/n: okay--this is kind of slashy gen--as close as I can probably come to Wincest...

Summary: Sam steered them into the farther reaches of the apartment, feeling that weird phase-shift he associated with his dreams of being someone else. Like this was something that other guy knew how to do. Even though Sam wouldn't have thought that guy had any time for looking after sick people, what with the ghost-chasing and vampire killing and all.

Out of Character

“Ten,” Sam said.

“Hmm?” Dean blinked at him blearily. They were in Dean Smith’s immaculate and somewhat intimidating apartment, hunched a little too close together in front of Dean’s laptop.

“Ten sneezes. In the past half hour.” Huh. It could be a little weird that he was counting Dean’s sneezes. “You sick or something?” he asked, to cover up any awkwardness.

“No.” Dean rubbed at his nose with his fingers, “I think I must be allergic to something in the Major Cleanse—maybe the cayenne—it’s giving me a headache too.” He realized what he was doing and grimaced at his hands.

“Oh,” Sam pushed the box of tissues over to him—not Kleenex, some designer brand in an elegant box. Who spent money on stuff like that?—they were just going to get covered with snot and thrown away. “’Cause you seem kinda sick—with the sneezing. And the—ah—layers—“

He gestured at the sweater Dean was wearing—thick and soft-looking—even though Sam was fine in his polo. Cashmere, if he had to guess, not that he knew shit about wool, and a deep mossy green flecked with brown, which must really bring out the color in Dean’s eyes, when they weren’t so bloodshot.

Sam wondered when he’d gotten so precise about the color of Dean Smith’s eyes.

Dean pursed his lips, giving the possibility some serious thought. He waggled his shoulders and coughed experimentally. “Yeah,” he said, “maybe. I do feel pretty achy. And shivery. Like maybe I have a fever or something.”

He angled his face towards Sam expectantly.

It took Sam a minute to figure out what Dean wanted. And when he did, something inside him lurched. Not because he didn’t want to touch Dean—quite the opposite, to tell the truth—but because—well, he was in Tech Support, for chrissakes—he didn’t spend a whole lot of time touching other guys—on the forehead or anyplace else. He was going to fuck this up, he knew he was.

Still, Dean was looking kind of wan now, and little worried, and it seemed the thing to do. So he reached across the short distance between them and carefully laid his palm across Dean’s forehead. The skin was dryer than he expected, and warm. Too warm, Sam thought, but he wasn’t sure—Dean was wearing that big sweater, after all. He kept his hand there for a while, trying to judge—and then suddenly realized the touching had gone on too long, and snatched it back.

“What do you think?” Dean’s voice had gone scratchy, catching on the words, so that he had to cough a little to clear his throat.

“I don’t know,” Sam said, “I’m in Tech Support.” Dean looked him as if he were crazy. “But if you’re not feeling good, we can call it a night—“

“Okay,” Dean sounded a little disappointed at Sam’s lack of diagnosis, “Yeah.”

He pushed his chair back from the table and stood. A few steps from the desk, however, Dean went very still. “Oh—“ One hand came up to a spot between his eyes, and he executed what amounted to a controlled fall, coming to rest in an ungainly sitting position, legs sprawled out in front of him.

Sam hurried over. “Hey—“ He crouched beside Dean. “Hey—what’s going on? Did you faint? Are you about to faint?”

“Just dizzy.” Both hands were pressed to his sinuses now, covering his face, “Really dizzy.”

“Oh,” Sam pushed down a twinge of real concern, “Maybe you should be—I dunno—lying down? C’mon—“ He reached an arm around Dean’s back, urged him up off the floor.

But Dean wavered when he got to his feet again, listing heavily into Sam. “Okay,” Sam said, getting a firmer grip on the plush green wool, and a little startled at how natural it felt to have Dean tucked up against his side, “Looks like you are sick—let’s find the bed, yeah?”

He steered them into the farther reaches of the apartment, feeling that weird phase-shift he associated with his dreams of being someone else. Like this was something that other guy knew how to do. Even though Sam wouldn’t have thought that guy had any time for looking after sick people, what with the ghost-chasing and vampire killing and all.

As he might have predicted, the bed was a nice bed—dark sheets, multiple pillows, a bunch of fancy gadgets on the bedside table. Sam lowered Dean onto it as gently as he could.

“I’ll just—“ He stopped, startled, as Dean started pulling his sweater over his head. The button-down underneath came with it and Sam found himself a little mesmerized by pale, muscled torso that emerged, the long line of Dean’s back. He swallowed. “I—I—thought you were cold—y’know—shivery, you said—“ he stammered.

“Uh-uh--hot—“ Dean muttered, toeing off his shoes, and flopping, bare-chested, back onto the pillows. He sneezed once, and groaned.

“Oh. Right.” Sam swallowed again. “I’ll just—“ And he retreated towards the bathroom.

The cabinet over the sink was just as well-organized as everything else. One shelf was devoted to vitamins, another to supplements. “Muscle building,” Sam read, “metabolism boosting.” Like you got a body like that with supplements, he thought, remembering the broad planes of Dean’s chest, the neat curve of deltoids towards a narrow waist.

He put the brakes on that train of ideas so fast there were sparks on the tracks.

He poked around in the various herbal cold remedies—Echinacea, zinc, Emergen-C—until he found an old, almost empty bottle of extra-strength Tylenol. He filled a handy water glass—and, without really thinking about it, wet down a washcloth, folding it into a neat roll.

Dean, thank goodness, had put on a t-shirt by the time Sam got back to the bedroom. “Thanks, man,” he murmured, getting up on one elbow to accept the pills and water, “sorry to crap out on you like this; I know we still have a lot to do.” He sank down again and closed his eyes.

“Don’t worry about,” Sam said, “just get some rest.” He laid the cool cloth across Dean’s forehead, happy with the pleased sigh it elicited

And then did a double-take at his own actions. That wasn’t the kind of thing they taught you in Tech Support training. Why had he thought to do it? Something he’d seen in some chick flick Madison had dragged him to? Or was it that other guy, with his unexpected nursing skills, coming through?

Another thought occurred to him. “Have you eaten anything today? I mean, besides that cleanse shit?”

Dean shook his head without opening his eyes. “Not hungry. Sick, remember?”

“No, you should eat. That’s probably why you’re feeling so weak.” Dean looked about as fierce as a kitten, but he still managed to bristle at the word. “I mean, tired,” Sam amended. “I’m gonna find you something—“

Dean Smith’s kitchen was even more off-puttingly streamlined than the rest of the apartment, and Sam had to stare at the stainless steel appliances for a minute before he could even figure out where the food would be. The news wasn’t much better once he did, either. Everything seemed either determinedly not-food—power bars and energy drinks—or stuff that would take an annoyingly long time to cook—steel-cut oats, Arborio rice and so on. Finally, he located a mango-flavored protein shake in the refrigerator—vitamin C in that at least, he thought—and then, hidden in a corner of a top cupboard, a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. Sidled up next to the can, a lone refugee from the carbs purge, was a small bag of regular white rice.

Triumphant, he carried his finds back to the bedroom. Dean had propped himself up on the pillows and was staring glassily at nothing, a bunch of tissues clutched in one hand.

“Choose your poison.” Sam held up the can and the plastic smoothie bottle. “Or both?”

“Where’d you get the soup?” Dean asked, puzzled. “I don’t remember buying that.”

Sam shrugged. “Top shelf. There’s some rice too—I could make that and throw it in, if you want.”

It took Dean a minute to respond, and his voice sounded funny when he did, almost shaky. “Yeah, okay. The soup—with the rice.”

Probably just the cold hitting him, Sam thought. But when Dean held his gaze a moment longer, that thing happened again, like the first time in the elevator—that uncanny sense of familiarity—deeper than déjà vu, as if the connection were in his bones, like they remembered something he’d forgotten.

Blinking, he headed back into the over-the-top kitchen to find a pot. He’d stick around for a while, he decided, just to make sure Dean Smith was alright.

  • meeeeeeeeeeep, I love this. Aside from the yaaaaaaay near faint and Sam helping him to bed, I loved all the details of Dean Smith's apartment.
    • Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It was pretty fun to write about that apartment--i could have gone on forever ;) (I took another look at the ep., and the place is really a scream--complete with a view of the Vancouver Harbor, even though the episode is supposed to take place in the Midwest somewhere)

      thanks for reading!
  • Aw! I hate that they're not who they are, but i love that it doesn't really matter.
    *pets them*
  • So good - I loved your subtle hints and tweaks here. You played on the undercurrents of that 'other life' of theirs perfectly. Especially with the soup.*g*
    • aw, thanks! the sense of one life being layered over the other was fun to play with--and the soup--well if that soup isn't a gift to fic, I don't know what is *g*

      thanks for reading--I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • Nice touch with the soup. Like Sam wondering how he knows to do this stuff.
    • Glad you liked the soup--I think that little reference in 5.13 might be my favorite thing about S5 *g*

      Thanks for reading--I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • That was lovely. Great details on the apartment. Loved how Dean Smith just naturally leans towards Sam, the way our gruff Dean wouldn't really do.
    • thanks so much! it was a blast to write about that apartment--and also to think about what a Dean who was able to accept comfort would be like...

      Glad you enjoyed it--thanks for reading!
  • This was a surprise, that it was Smith & Wesson! Adds a whole 'nuther dynamic - enjoyed it!
    • lol--I'm a little late to the Smith&Wesson party--like a couple of years late--but it was surprisingly fun to explore that different dynamic--

      thanks for reading--I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • Awww forever. I love how the dynamic is different, but the same too.

    (You should totally be posting all this sick!Dean goodness to hoodie_time, btw. I'm sure it would be loved there.)
  • I love Smith and Wesson. sigh m :D
    • I'm mesmerized by your icon--it took me forever to figure out it was a cat for some reason!

      So glad you enjoyed the fic! I went back and re-watched the ep before I answered the original prompt, and was blown away all over again by the awesomeness of Smith & Wesson!

      Thanks for reading!
  • Aw, so adorable! I think you really captured the weird familiarity they're both feeling, especially with the way it's disorientating Sam.
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And especially that you thought it captured that weird sense of connection between them--that was the most interesting thing about the situation, for me--
  • Very vivid, with the details about the kitchen and bedroom and Sam's POV. Like this fic a lot.
    • I'm so glad you liked it! It was a blast to try and describe that apartment--with the layer of the reader knowing how weird all that stuff was for Winchesters!

      Thanks for reading!
  • Aww, very nice.

  • Apart from the gazillion things I love about this fic...

    Don't get me wrong, I love our rough and tumble Dean Winchester to death - but for some reason the idea of a version of Dean with THAT color cashmere over a button down and then pulling them both off.... Aieeeeeeeeeee! Just about died of awesome.
    • hee! I'm totally with you on the sweater! I re-watched the ep before I wrote this, and it totally goes to town on glossy!Dean--he just about burns the screen through with hotness, you can see why they mostly need to wrap him and Sam up in grubby layers every week--it's for our own protection--

      *ahem* Very glad you enjoyed the fic--thanks for reading and commenting!

      Edited at 2010-09-16 12:55 am (UTC)
  • This is an interesting concept and again, I do love sniffly Dean. Nicely done. :)
  • This is awesome! I love it!
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