Dean was an idiot. He had pushed himself too hard and had gotten sick. When Sam came back from his run in the morning, he had found Jack sitting alone in the kitchen, Dean nowhere to be seen. Around 10, he had gone to look for his brother and found him still in his room. Dean had been running a quite high fever and had been sneezing a lot. After a trip to town to get some medicine, he had returned hurriedly to his brother’s side. Jack had been in his room looking rather sad, a cloth in his hand.
“I can’t heal him. I don’t know how.” The Nephilim had muttered.
Sam had put a hand on his shoulder and assured it was alright, he would take care of his brother with human methods. The sight had warmed him up. Even if his brother and Jack were still at odds, the kid was trying to help him. He had thanked the kid who had then left, and given Dean some medicine.
An hour later, he was in the corridor leading to Dean’s room. He had brought a fresh cloth in case is brother’s fever was still high, which likely was. Sam knocked slightly on the door, not too loud to not disturb Dean if he was sleeping. He didn’t hear anything coming from the room, so he called softly his brother’s name.
There was again no response, so Sam gently pushed the door open. His brother was half asleep, with only one eye opened. He was laying on his back more on the left side of his bed, left arm next to him and right arm splayed across the empty space left. Sam sighed. At least Dean was sleeping. Careful not to make too much noise, he took a few steps foward.
"Cas..." said his brother, turning slightly towards him.
Sam stopped in his tracks. Cas ? Damn, his brother must be hallucinating. The medicine shouldn’t be that strong, but maybe that could happen coupled with exhaustion. He would research it after. "Dean, it's Sam, were at the bunker."
"Smy okay ?"
The tall man frowned. "Yeah, yeah I'm fine Dean. It's you who are not okay. You have a fever." This didn't get him any answer, so he shrugged. He then proceeded to change the cloth on his brother's forehead for the new one he had brought with him.
This time Dean turned his face completely to the right and let out a contempt sigh.
Sam frowned again. Apparently, Dean still thought he was Castiel. He opened his mouth to try to contradict him, but his brother beat him to it.
"You a'ways... take care o me." he slurred.
Deciding it was best to leave it at that, his brother was probably too far gone anyway, Sam stayed silent. He then checked that Dean was well covered and breathed correctly. Sam was about to leave the room when his bother spoke.
“Stay”, Dean whispered.
That was unusual. Almost every other time, when Dean had been sick, he generally wanted to be left alone. Sam hovered at the doorway, wondering what to do. He didn’t mind staying, but his brother would probably bitch about it when waking up.
"Please stay." his brother whispered again. Sam stepped back into the room, decided to stay for a bit. “Okay Dean”, he said softly.
Dean smiled a bit and brought his right arm back to his body. Sam sat on the bed and took off his shoes. "Missed ya Cas" Well that had been made clear enough some days ago for sure. He went to lean his back on the wall.
“You always ma’e a good p’llow.” Sam stopped, half sitting half laying down. Always ? His brother didn’t let him process anything because he shuffled in the bed, coming closer to Sam, and started talking again.
“I need you. Y'know tha' right ?”
That wasn’t something Dean admitted a lot. The thought saddened him. His brother rarely let himself express his feelings, whatever nature they were. It also felt a bit intrusive. After all, these words were meant for Cas, not him.
Finally settled against the wall, propped on a pillow, Sam let his brother come closer. Dean put his head on Sam’s stomach and passed an arm around his waist. The younger brother arched an eyebrow at that but didn’t comment. He just replaced the cloth that had fallen from Dean’s forehead.
Sam thought that Dean had finally fallen asleep again, but his brother suddenly tightened his grip.
“You alright ?”
“Just… Don’t leave me Cas.” Dean answered with a broken whisper.
Sam felt a pang in his gut. Dean’s tone had been one he hardly ever heard his big brother use.
“Please”, Dean said, gripping his t-shirt.
Sam looked at Dean’s twisted face. He ached for his brother. He had only seen him so broken and vulnerable twice. A tear fell on his tshirt and everything finally clicked into place. The expression on his brother’s face, the stubbornness during the few cases they had taken, the general aura surrounding Dean, his grief so much more intense than Sam’s own… His attitude just now.
“Oh, Dean. I’m so sorry.” He said softly, draping his arms around his brother’s shaking shoulders.
Dean hadn’t just lost his best friend. Dean had lost his lover.