Title: Goodnight, Sweetheart
Summary: Sam's not feeling too good, but Jess will take care of him, right? Featuring sick!Sam.
Genre/Pairing: Sam/Jess and Dean
Word Count: 1000
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural that privilege belongs to CW, Kripke and Co, I'm simply borrowing them for a while. I'm not making a profit, this is just for fun and all the standard disclaimers apply.
A/N: This was written for the 2018 Happy Birthday Sam - Hurt v Comfort challenge at ohsam for lennelle's prompt. A huge thank you to my wonderful beta harrigan for the speedy once over. I've tinkered so all mistakes are mine.
A/N 2: Eek, I'm a bit late with this, but there's always room for sick!Sam, right?!
The gentle hum of the ceiling fan, and the squeaky springs of the mattress underneath his body tells Sam all he needs to know; he's in the bunker, and judging by the smell of crispy bacon, it must be Dean's turn to make breakfast.
The digital clock next to his bed reads 09:36 and he can't remember the last time he slept in this late or this hard. He's usually run a good five miles and done some research on whatever case they're working on by this time.
Jess stirs next to him, her warm body snuggled up next to his as she sighs deeply; her hair a mass of tangled yellow curls, her eyelashes fluttering gently in sleep.
He tilts his head on the pillow and watches her sleep for a while. She looks so peaceful; all tucked up, the covers pulled up to her chin. She's always felt the cold, and Sam often finds her wearing one of his old hoodies and wrapped in a heap of blankets on one of the chairs in the library, complaining to Dean about the heating in the bunker.
It's so quiet, and Sam finds himself watching the ceiling fan spin and spin, until he feels oddly nauseous, and a dull headache starts to pound in his temples.
But other than that he's never felt so rested, so comfortable, and so at home. Feeling no urgency to break to the peace and quiet, he burrows back under the covers, his bare feet tangling with Jess's, who groans and then rolls over onto her side, allowing Sam to bury his face into the nape of her neck, his arms wrapping around her and pulling her close.
He lets his heavy eyelids close and gets pulled back under far too easily.
When he opens his eyes again, Jess is staring at him, her blue eyes alert and awake.
“You're drooling.” Her tone is teasing as she scrunches her nose in mock disgust. She tries to tidy her wild hair, fingers combing through unruly curls before eventually tying it up into a scruffy top knot with the hair tie that always seems to be around her wrist.
Then she's leaning over him, running a playful hand through his hair, fingernails rubbing into his scalp, and a little frown wrinkles her forehead. “You feeling OK?”
Her palm lingers on his forehead; cool to the touch, and it cuts through the haze in his mind. Maybe he does feel off? It's just not something that he can put his finger on, especially now, with Jess's soft hands running over his face, and then settling over his pulse point on his neck. It feels relaxing, and damn, he's just so tired and that headache is still lingering in the background.
“Hey, no napping without answering my question!” She nudges him, and maybe it hurts more than it should for the meagre effort she puts into it. If he concentrates hard enough he thinks he can feel the bruise forming; his skin warming as the blood rises sluggishly to the surface.
“Sam, I mean it. I need you to talk to me. What's going on?”
He hears the urgency and fear in her voice, and then he feels a sharp sting on his left cheek and his eyes shoot open. Did she just slap him?
He thinks he tells her that he's fine, but honestly he isn't sure, his whole body feels itchy and sore, like it doesn't belong to him at all, and he just can't shake this bone-deep weariness that seems to be stuck to him like an unwelcome shadow.
“I'm getting Dean.” He feels the mattress shift underneath him as she gets up, and hears the soft pad of her bare feet on the concrete floor, and then the door hinge squeaks as she pulls it open.
He's just so damn tired.
It's dark. The lamp on his desk is lit, and everything is drowned in thick shadows that seem to be dancing around the room like he's some kind of sacrifice on an altar.
He turns his head and sees Dean sitting on the desk chair, only it's pulled up beside Sam's bed and that's never a good sign. His legs are propped on Sam's mattress and are crossed at the ankles, and the heel of his socked foot is digging uncomfortably into Sam's thigh.
“You really awake this time?” Dean slaps the laptop closed and puts it back on the desk. He sounds four shades of crap, all whiskey and gravel, and he doesn't look much better either; a couple of days of rusty stubble on his cheeks, and his eyes look tired, maybe even haunted.
“Er, I think so.” Sam scratches his face, and finds long soft hairs under his fingertips. Shit, how long has he been in bed? “Jess called for you, right? When was that?”
Dean takes a sharp breath, and closes his eyes, and Sam can tell he's holding his breath, like he's trying to stop time or something.
It's only then that the world really takes on a sharper focus and the shadows stop dancing, and Sam really thinks about what he just said. He looks over to his left, but the other side of bed is empty. He runs his hand over the cold sheets that don't even smell like her.
He turns to looks at Dean and their gazes meet, but neither of them says a thing.
Dean clears his throat. “I thought it was just a regular fever, but I don't know, I guess you never really know in our line of work.”
Sam nods, and runs his tongue over his chapped lips. His eyes sting with unshed tears, and a familiar lump of grief and guilt wedges itself so tightly in his throat he could choke on it.
He didn't even get to say goodbye.