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Title: Flowers facing the sun
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: Dean Winchester, Robo Sam
Pairing: Pre-wincest (gencest?)
Warnings: Robo-Sam, sickness,
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 2034
Notes: I only found out about this yesterday, so it was rather dashed off

Summary: Dean is sick as hell, and Robo!Sam is the closest thing he has to comfort. Inspired by this prompt, and for the hoodie_time challenge.

Dean's never felt worse, his head aches full and heavy, and when he blinks his eyes are sore. He's almost never ill, almost never gets colds, but when he does get them they're bad, they make him want to sleep, and retch and swear off food. He’s generally learnt to ignore them, has never subscribed to any of the homeopathic shit Lisa’s friend Jules used to hawk (bar the occasional handful of Vitamin C disguised as chewy fruity tablets), has mostly reckoned that if he refuses to acknowledge it, it’ll fuck off. So this is shitty, and the worst timing possible. Slap bang in the middle of a day-long hunt they’d stumbled into, and even though the monster’s dead, it’s no relief. He can’t concentrate on the cleanup, on anything other than how his hands feel wrong - like they’re too big for his body, and how the contents of his stomach are making a ferocious bid for freedom.

In fact he's trembling under his jacket, cold striking through him, freezing the sweat still on his skin. Then Sam is there, his hand on his shoulder and he's unnaturally warm. Is the rest of him bathing in hellfire, Dean wonders - is there some sympathetic magic between soul and body? That’s his last thought before he passes out. When he wakes, no more than a minute later, he's in the car and Sam is driving. There's no music. Sam doesn't listen to music not now, doesn’t even tap his fingers to it. When he sees Dean looking at him, he stares back, bottom lip caught between his teeth, like he's trying to understand something. He never sleeps, doesn’t really need to eat much, has probably never been sick. He must remember though what it felt like, although the detail might be lacking. Before they get back to the motel, Sam stops at an all-night Walmart, buys in what they need.

When the bag lands on Dean's lap, he stares at it unseeingly. How much of Sam is there left in there, he can't help thinking? In the bag there are the stupid fucking cherry-honey Ricolas, the ones Sam knew he liked, the brand of cough medicine that worked the best, and all the things that spoke to his knowledge of Dean. Too years spent travelling in the car together, of mending and fixing and repairing.

Hands press down on his back, strip off his clothes as he shivers and shakes in the cold of the bathroom. When he presses his forehead against the cool white enamel he could groan with relief, the rest of him may be cold, may be threatening to shake him apart with shivers, but his head is too hot. He's aware vaguely of Sam, or the thing that looks like Sam, turning on the shower, letting the hot water beat down, stripping off himself and getting in as well like some twisted version of a cheap motel-shot porno. He lets himself be pulled in though, lets the hot water beat off his shoulders, mutely watches the drops cascade down the body of the thing that looks like his brother. Those strong arms are holding him up, and he wants to vomit and shout and slash and hit all at once, wants to collapse forward and pretend like he can't see what's looking after him.

Because Jesus,  though it feels good to let this happen, it’s like he’s naked without his knives, more so than without his clothes when there's a monster this close. Sam doesn't seem to notice anything odd, lathers up the cheap showergel, smooths it over him, and he knows that this is weird, but can't seem to mind. It's not like this is Sam after all, he tells himself. Not real Sam. Real Sam would hold him up, but he wouldn't rub shampoo in his hair, ‘cause that’s too gay even for them. He knows that this is a thin line they are walking here, that Sam with no soul is unpredictable. Only helping Dean because it's needed for optimal results, his own agenda waiting in the wings. He tries to help, manages to wash himself with shaking hands, because for fuck’s sake he can do that at least. Sam’s fingers walk down his spine, following bone under skin, like he’s blind and can only see through touch, and under Dean’s own hands he can feel Sam, damp and solid.

When he steps out he holds onto the steel and plastic doorframe of the shower, doubles over, feels for a second like he's going to piss himself, like he can't stand up a second longer. Snaps at Sam to get out, because if he throws up or disgraces himself, he doesn’t want it to happen in front of someone who categorises his every moment of weakness. The nausea fades until he can slowly straighten up, and Jesus, this illness is kicking his ass. There’s a towel lying abandoned on the floor and he scoops it up and wraps it round himself. Sam might be comfortable naked in this cold but he isn’t.

When he sits on the motel bed, his skin rises into goosepimples again, and he watches numbly as Sam helps pat him dry with a towel, the motions brief and certain, like he’s washing the Impala on a cold winter’s day, all economical movements and no waste of energy. “Why are you doing this?" he asks and his voice is husky and raw as though the inside of his throat rebels against the question. Sam looks up at him, one hand gripping his calf, and he cocks his head to the side which makes Dean want to smash his face against the table, watch it bruise and bleed and swell, because he looks like Sam when he does that, like the proper Sam.

"Isn't this what I should do?" Sam asks, and he sounds honestly curious, like he wants to add something to what he probably thinks of as memory banks. Dean doesn't want to know what thoughts he rifled through that he thinks this is normal, doesn't want to think of anything but not throwing up, however hard that might be. Sam's hands are gentle, firm and strong, and it feels good, until Dean looks in his eyes, until he knows exactly what's touching him.

He's still shivering with cold, with fever that alternately burns him and freezes him to death, and even getting under the blankets proves an ordeal, particularly when Sam with no thought to decency or anything else, slides under with him, naked as the day he was born, looks at Dean with eyes that hide too much and tells him, "this is good for heat-sharing."

Dean generally doesn’t fucking spoon with anyone. He let Lisa’s cold feet press against his, threw an arm over her to keep her warm, but spooning was suffocating. Looks like he doesn't have much choice, though so he shifts, knee pressing in uncomfortable places, over until his chest is against Sam's back. The warmth is prodigious, it pours off him like nothing else he can imagine, like a furnace and he shivers once more - it feels like the goosepimples are trying to flee. He won't let Sam spoon him, if you can't trust your brother to watch your back then don't let him flank it. This is safer, easier. It's easier to pretend this is Sam, to let the smooth warm heat knock you out. He tightens his grasp for a moment.

And now Dean is ill, and all Sam can do is go through the motions, like he's pretending to care. Kidnapped by fairies, turned by vampires, none of it matters to him, not so long as he was alive. "Why?" he asks, though he doesn't hold his breath for an answer, when the question is so impossible to determine. He gets an answer though, Sam pushes back further against him, up close and real, like the 80% sum total of the brother Dean wanted back.

"What do you think I am?" Sam asks, and the softness of it makes the back of Dean's neck crawl. He can't tell if it's fever, or just disgust. "Aren't memories all that we have of other people? How can I not love if I remember loving?"

"They're not real," Dean said, and he chokes on the words that spilled out from his tongue. You don't look at me like he did. The bastard’s trying to fuck with him, he knows that. You can’t trust a word he says, even when he looks at you with those eyes, not even  when he smells like the brother you’ve always known.

He feels Sam shifting under his skin, like a restless disease. "You don't need a soul to love," he says, and his words are hollow and rotten to the core, even to someone like Dean who puts no great stock in his soul, has bartered it away to save this man in the past. There is a silence that falls between them now, like it all too often does. "I feel," says Sam, like he's trying to convince himself. "And when you bring the soul back?" (He does not say 'mine') Dean notes, "you will destroy me. It'll be like I've never been. Flowers turn towards the sun even though they don’t feel anything. Isn’t that a sort of love?" And occasionally he does things like that, reaches right in close to Dean's chest and tugs at his heartstrings, makes him want to beg the fucking angels to get Sam back, to fix him because he can’t take much more of this. When you can’t see his face, when he says things like that, it’s too hard to hate him, too hard to distrust him.

Sam turns now, throws one arm over Dean, casually comfortable and possessive. "I stay with you," he says lowly, "doesn't that mean something?" And for the moment that's enough, that's enough for Dean, Sam is there warm and strong and perfect, hair tousled back, next to Dean in nothing. "Don't," he says, but there's no force behind the words that should be said. Don't pretend to be him, don't pretend anything of the sort, just keep doing your job and letting me do mine.

And Sam's voice is lower now, right up close to him. "Do you want me to pretend Dean?" he asks, like he doesn't know what Dean feels. There's nothing in that tone bar faint curiosity. He doesn't mind. "Just for now, just while you're ill. I mean I am Sam, but we can pretend I'm your Sam. You can let yourself sleep next to him, and in the morning he'll be gone."

Dean lies there like a stone, and he feels the surge of nausea up and down, like a sea in his belly, can't help wanting what's offered. Can't help taking it, just for tonight, one last hit of a drug proved too soon defective. He says nothing, and when he opens his eyes Sam is there in front of him, eyelashes long on his cheek, his hand between them like he's looking for something. It makes him want to shoot something, makes him want to curl around him and shake, and ask him never to stop.

He doesn't like being helpless near Sam, (but really that hasn’t been different in years, he’s always had to be strong,) doesn't like feeling wrung out and weak, like a sneeze would knock him over, and he rolls over; fumbles through his bag, drags out a knife. It’s cold and heavy and solid in his hand, and he drops it between them, feels the cold steel press against him, threatening to cut him. He doesn't know if not-Sam notices the barrier between them. The steel warms gently, gradually, and Dean trusts in innate sleep-safety mechanisms not to roll on it. As it warms, the reality it represents slips away, his fevered mind can't take the strain. For a moment, he lets himself fall, let himself pretend. Lets it be Sam, sleeping next to him, warm and solid and real, like there's nothing missing. Lets himself rest cold fingers on Sam’s shoulder, feel that heat sink through his skin. Just for now. Just for tonight.


Feedback/crit always appreciated.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 25th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
This is really beautiful. You know, I never thought I would say this back during S6, but I kind of miss Robo!Sam. He's such an intriguing concept, I suppose, or at least what fandom does with him is.
Nov. 25th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This is the first time I've written hurt!Dean, I usually have broken, battered bros battling on (with bonus alliteration!)

I find Robo!Sam fascinating as a concept, especially towards the end where a few of the things that keep him close came to light. Thanks again, much appreciated.
Nov. 26th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
I'm about 95% sure that prompt was another one of mine :D. (gen H/C, check; multiple pairing options including RoboSam love, check; inappropriate use of brackets, check)

Even if it wasn't mine, it's good stuff! I love that you went with RoboSam, so that not only is there the caretaking stuff, it's uneasy and unsettling and kind of sad, and it's kind of dubcon caretaking, too <3. It's really gorgeously done, and I love it. The exchange at the end is fascinating, too, with the question about what makes something real.

Nov. 26th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
Oh dear I do keep using your prompts! But that's because they're super excellent prompts.

I'm really glad you liked though, I did want a weird off sort of vibe between them, and just a hint of something more (which is why I didn't list it as a fill on the kink-meme, since it doesn't strike me as specifically quite gen enough. I'm still hovering over whether to crosspost to gen, or to wincest, since it doesn't really fit anywhere.

Oh and thank you!
Nov. 26th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm fascinated by robo!Sam, and rather love this version of him, alternatively chilling and comforting. Nicely done.
Nov. 26th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
Much appreciated, thank you. I'm a big fan of robo!Sam as well.
Nov. 26th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
Ohhh, you break my heart, Stripy! I'm always fascinated by RoboSam, and this offer he makes Dean here, to be "your Sam" for a night, seems very much in-character to me. Dean feels IC, too - he's harsh to RoboSam because he misses because he misses "his" Sam so badly and doesn't dare believe that Sam might have become the guy he sees in front of him. So Dean's reactions here feel very true, even though I don't agree with all of his conclusions.
Nov. 26th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
<3 I aim to break hearts please! I'm really glad they both felt IC. RoboSam is really fascinating because he's so unexplored in canon, and yet there's something there. Thank you so much!
Nov. 26th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
I love this to bits. <333 It's beautifully bittersweet. And there's something really fresh about your writing style. I love how raw your Dean POV is; how deeply unsettled he is by this version of Sam, how he misses him, and how he loves him, and in his fevered mindset, how he can't help but pretend in the end. So goooood.
Nov. 26th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, really kind of you to say. I'm really glad the sheer rawness of Dean came through.
Nov. 26th, 2012 06:09 am (UTC)
I never really liked Robo!Sam- the canon version; and especially not the heartless-cold fanon version... but your RoboSam... He's something else. And for the first time, I find myself feeling a li'l sorry to know that he'll be gone when Sam's soul is back.

And this line-
Flowers turn towards the sun even though they don’t feel either. Isn’t that a sort of love?

That's so beautiful. Really brought out the fact that even as feeling-less as he was, all cold logic and pure calculation with no space for grey; in his own way, RoboSam cared for Dean. Loved the metaphor(I'm assuming that's what you set it up as?) of Dean as the 'sun' and 'fleur' Sam.

Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 26th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
This is the first time I've actually written RoboSam, so very glad that you enjoyed this version of him (and can feel a little bit sad for him as well.) And yeah there's something about Dean that still pulls at this version of Sam, that he lacks the emotional component to understand. Thank you so much for commenting :)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 27th, 2012 09:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! Super glad that you enjoyed :)
Nov. 26th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
imagine how hard it has to be, being next to the person you love the most without being near to 'em...
very good and very very sad
Nov. 27th, 2012 09:57 am (UTC)
Very glad that you liked it, and thanks for the comment! I imagine the whole situation would be terribly sad.
Nov. 28th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
*Very* nice--I really felt the tension of being helpless with someone you don't trust. On top of that, there's the conflict that the person you don't trust wears the face of someone who's always been counted on to have your back. It was interesting to try and figure out Robo!Sam's game. Was notSam was playing with Dean, or driven by motivation to keep a weapon in good condition or was he honestly confused by private thought of Sam's?

Robo!Sam was kind of a gift to fandom--a little chocolate box full of possibilities!
Nov. 29th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Really glad that came across- that Dean himself is slipping up with what Sam is and how much he can trust him (versus how much he wants to.) I really liked Robo Sam as well. Thanks again :)
Dec. 2nd, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
OTP Weekly Recap: 12/2/2012: Edition #80
User lavishsqualor referenced to your post from OTP Weekly Recap: 12/2/2012: Edition #80 saying: [...] by Flowers Facing the Sun [...]
Feb. 1st, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
This was awesome. Loved it :D
Feb. 1st, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Glad you liked it.
Feb. 7th, 2015 05:09 am (UTC)
This is fabulously written, with emotions that are so tangible and terrifyingly visceral. Awesome job, hun :)
Feb. 7th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much - really appreciate it!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


heart, Dean and Sam

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