sierraplaid

Rainy Night in Alabama (Supernatural, Sam)

9 posts in this topic

Title: Rainy Night in Alabama
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: Sam, Dean (gen)
Summary: Day-long road trip from Louisville to Mobile. Sam’s sick. Prompt by Shangrilada, on the 2012 meme: 
"Sick long roadtrip and everything that implies--awkward curling up in the passenger seat, the stop and start of traffic, sun in your eyes, engine and Dean's music growling over a headache. Poor Sam.” 

Time frame: Bunker era
Warnings: None
AN
There’s not an ounce of plot to be found in this.


Rainy Night in Alabama

“Oh, wow. Did you know Mobile, Alabama, is the rainiest city in the country?”

“Thanks for the news flash, mister meteorology. I’m driving through a frigging wall of water here but, no, I had no idea Mobile was rainy.”

“Not just rainy, though. The rainiest. I’d’ve guessed Seattle probably.”

Dean grumbles and checks for the twentieth time that the windshield wipers really are on the fastest setting. They are. The radio’s tuned to the weather and Sam’s scrolling through an hourly forecast on his phone.

North Broad Street remains closed in Louisville—the radio voice is saying—after torrential rains inundated the roadway shortly after 5:30 this morning. Drivers are urged to use caution and to stay off the roads whenever possible.

“Listen to this,” Sam chimes in. “‘Seven inches of rainfall in 24 hours with two to three more inches expected tonight.’”

“Can hardly wait,” Dean says, switching the radio off. “Kentucky’s mere six inches just isn’t doing it for me.”

Sam turns away to cough once into his elbow and Dean shoots him a quick glance.

“How’s the throat?”

“Eh. Still sore.”

“You’re definitely coming down with something, then.”

“Maybe.” Sam sniffs. “Probably.”

Sam pops open the glove compartment and rifles through it, sniffling as he searches for napkins. Dean’s watching him out of the corner of his eye.

“They’re in there somewhere; keep digging. We can pick up the real deal next town we hit.”

“No, it’s okay,” Sam says as he comes up with a handful. “I’m not even sick yet. Might just be the weather anyway.”

“Yeah.” Dean leans forward, peering through the blurry windshield. “This is ridiculous.”

Turns out, of course, it’s not just the weather, although the weather’s bad enough. They’re winding south towards Mobile on a narrow two-lane highway and the rain is coming down in buckets, sheeting off the pavement, spilling into muddy ditches and pooling in low-lying fields. It’s a cold rain, too, so Dean has the heat cranked up which means Sam, who has been sniffling all morning, is now doing so pretty much constantly. Then he sneezes for the third time since they climbed in the car, and that’s one time too many for either of them to stay in denial.

“Sick road trip,” Dean says. “Good times.”

Sam lets out a sigh. “Was hoping I could fight it off.”

“You okay? It’s a nine-hour drive.”

Sam clears his throat with a grimace. “Yeah. We’re on a deadline. I’ll be fine.”

“If you say so,” Dean says.

Once they cross the state line into Tennessee they pull in at a rest stop for a stretch break, some snack food, and not least to give Dean a chance to look at their brake pads. Either they’re starting to wear or all the water on the road is making the handling a little sloppy but Dean’s not crazy about either alternative.

“Want my help?” Sam asks as he comes back from the vending machine to find Dean hunched, dripping, at a rear wheel well.

“What?” Dean squints up into the drizzle. “Not unless you’re Ray Magliozzi all of a sudden. Go wait under the awning.”

Sam shakes his head. “Nah.”

“What do you mean, ‘nah’? I don’t need you to keep me company, Sam. Go make friends with the German tourists, under the awning.”

“No,” Sam says, then sneezes into his elbow. “I’ll get them sick. You saw them. They’re old. They’ll end up with pneumonia.”

You’ll end up with pneumonia.”

“No, I won’t.” Sam smiles but turns up the collar of his jacket just the same.

“At least wait under a tree or something,” Dean says, returning his attention to the car. “Out of the rain.”

“Sure you couldn’t use a hand?”

“Go away.” Dean shoos him off.

Dean gets everything checked to his satisfaction and then gets the Impala back on the road, cautiously feeling her out. Next to him Sam’s adjusting the heater up, sniffling all the while.

“You’re sopping,” Dean says, as though he isn’t himself.

“Doesn’t really matter,” Sam says, trying to pass off a shiver as a shrug.

“Be smart, would you? You’re gonna.…”

“What, catch cold? Ship’s kind of sailed, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“I have, as a matter of fact, but there’s such a thing as making it worse.”

Sam can’t help but sneeze just then and he’s sounding more stuffed up already which doesn’t help his point.

Dean gives him a look, validated, and Sam, despite being made of solid obstinacy, evidently sees reason and strips with difficulty out of his sodden jacket. His jeans are soaked up to the knee and there’s not much he can do about that, and his hair is going to take a while to dry. He catches another sneeze in the jacket.

“You’re an idiot,” Dean says. Then, as an afterthought, “You okay?”

“Stop asking me that.” Sam sneezes again.

Sniffling, he reaches into the back seat for his backpack and brings it up front. He pulls out a dry sweatshirt, zips into it, then immediately smothers a sneeze in the sleeve and wipes his nose on the cuff.

“Naptime?” Dean suggests.

“No,” Sam huffs, affronted.

He cuddles up to the door with his arms folded, hands tucked in, and the hood pulled close to his neck like a scarf, trying to get warm, and Dean figures this is all his cue to tune in the soft rock. Soon Sam’s all warmed up and cozy. Then once he’s warm he’s sleepy. Then it’s not long before his head drops to his shoulder and he’s out. Dean chalks up a win.

***

Sam dozes off and on and he’s mostly awake in time for them to hit a brief dry patch, a break between storm cells, where the dark clouds resentfully, temporarily give way to a washed blue sky. After so much gloominess the light seems painfully bright and severe, not to mention they’re cutting slightly west into the sun so the glaring rays are slanting into the car, inescapable. Dean flips down his visor, then Sam’s.

Sam’s wedged against the door, trying to rest his head and shield his eyes, both unsuccessfully, it looks to Dean. He’d been getting pinker and stuffier in his sleep and now he’s awake he’s been coughing a lot and Dean’s lamenting that he really could have done without the cold shower he got earlier.

“Hey,” he says, to break the silence, “you know what I was thinking?”

“Mmm,” Sam says, without opening his eyes.

“New Orleans, once we get done.”

Now Sam’s head comes up heavily off the window. “Know what I was thinking? The bunker. We haven’t been home in five weeks.”

“Aw, c’mon. You’re no fun.”

Sam holds out a fist for rock-paper-scissors.

“Wouldn’t be a fair fight,” Dean retreats. “You’re sick. Wouldn’t want to take advantage of your impaired judgment.”

Sam smiles and drops his hand, leans his head back with a stuffed-up sigh.

“Aspirin’s in the top bag,” Dean says.

Sam gathers himself together with a short-lived surge of energy and sits up in the seat. “I had some not that long ago. I’m okay.”

Dean turns and gives Sam an appraising once-over that confirms Sam is full of crap. Sam hasn’t taken a nap yet in his life, that Dean knows of, that he didn’t wake up from with a splitting headache. In view of that Dean switches off his music somewhat belatedly and feels a twinge of guilt when Sam looks visibly relieved. It occurs to him they might be better off calling it an early day and taking another crack at the trip tomorrow.

He gets as far as opening his mouth when Sam preempts him, saying, “I don’t need a sick day, Dean. I’m just sitting in a car.”

“What don’t you get about taking it easy when you’re sick?”

“Oh, what don’t I get?” Sam laughs, turning on him. “And you’re such a model patient, hunting with walking pneumonia that one time, and, oh, let’s see, what else? Uh, a nest of six vamps and the flu definitely go great together. Yeah, you really know how to take it easy.”

“That all needed doing,” Dean says, getting defensive.

“I’m just saying, logically—”

“Logic’s got nothing to do with it.”

Sam tries to hide a smile as he looks out his window, but Dean sees.

“So, what, I’m not allowed to take care of you now?”

“You’re overreacting, Dean. I’m fine.”

“Okay, then. I always believe you when you say that.”

“Yes,” Sam protests, “you should.”

“Mmhmm. A hundred percent.”

Sam pouts a little until Dean punches him in the thigh.

“Hey. Why so stubborn? Am I this much of a pain when I’m sick?”

Much worse,” Sam says, and he goes to box his brother on the shoulder and Dean can’t quite deflect his hand in time.

“Jeez,” Dean says. “Ow. Maybe you are fine after all.”

“See, I told you.”

Sam coughs for a minute after that and Dean ignores him, waits until he’s done, and then socks him in the leg again.

***

They get stuck in traffic headed into the city that evening—bumper-to-bumper, sea-of-red lights kind of traffic. Sam takes another aspirin, bundles up under a blanket, and settles in to wait it out. After almost an hour of inching closer and closer to an exit that’s been in sight the whole time, Dean’s fuming and carrying about a week’s worth of tension bunched up in his shoulders.

“Dude,” Sam laughs. “Relax.”

“It’s right there,” Dean says through gritted teeth. “The hell do so many people want to be in Mobile for?”

“It’s rush hour. What were you expecting?”

“What happened to the whole, ‘oh, it’s raining, drivers are urged to stay off the frigging roads’ thing?” Dean gripes, letting the Impala roll forward another foot.

“Let’s change the subject,” Sam says. “Deep breath.”

“Okay.” Dean gives up the staring contest with the brake lights in front of them and turns to Sam. “How you doing?”

“Not to that subject. Um…” Sam twists away and sneezes. “The same, I guess. Just tired.”

“You look like you’ve got it coming to you,” Dean says as he watches Sam stretch his legs and rearrange the blanket. “We should’ve taken it slower, used another day.”

“I don’t know why you think that would’ve made any difference,” Sam says, reaching for the tissues. “I’ll be fine. There’s a job to do here, remember?”

“Yeah, about that. You gonna be up for it?”

“Mmm.” Sam nods.

Sam tucks the blanket tighter around his shoulders, looking worn out, ready for bed, and Dean suddenly realizes he’s tired, too. If the traffic were only moving a little bit slower, he could take a nap right here. The rain’s still hammering on the roof of the car, drowning out the sound of the engine, the heater, Dean’s fingers drumming the steering wheel impatiently.

Sam coughs and snuggles deeper under the blanket.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” Dean says. “Almost there.”

On the other side of the freeway divide cars are streaming out of the city with an endless swish of tires over wet asphalt. The Impala creeps forward again, little by little. By the time she’s only a few lengths from the exit the sunset is beginning to flush the gray horizon a watery gold.

They do twenty-five miles an hour down the off-ramp and feel like they’re flying.

***

End

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Aww cute. I liked this, Sammy just let dean play nursemaid. 

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I love the way you write. The flow is gentle and smooth, very relaxed. Fantastic fill for a nifty prompt.

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This is great. Your writing always has such great flow to it. Very natural.

22 hours ago, sierraplaid said:

If the traffic were only moving a little bit slower, he could take a nap right here.

LOL!

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On 2017. 01. 11. at 7:40 AM, sierraplaid said:

Sam holds out a fist for rock-paper-scissors.

“Wouldn’t be a fair fight,” Dean retreats. “You’re sick. Wouldn’t want to take advantage of your impaired judgment.”

Haha XD like Dean ever does anything besides scissors :D

Loved this fic! Love the boys and their teasing but caring interactions.

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Wow, you did such and awesome job on this. :heart: This is so beautifully written and atmospheric, and the banter between the boys is so light and fun, just perfect. And wow, this prompt is from 2012! So glad you filled it, awesome prompts should never die :D

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I really enjoyed this! ^_^ The thing I especially liked was how they were both so casual about Sam being sick. I mean, denial is fantastic and all, but sometimes I just love it when the sick person is reasonable about the whole thing and admits they're unwell in kind of an offhand way, you know? Anyway, yes, wonderful dynamic! :wub:

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Ahhhh this is just so...right. SierraPlaid, I absolutely adore your writing! <3 Perfect characterisation and such beautiful, clean style. 

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On 1/11/2017 at 2:22 AM, Zuki said:

Aww cute. I liked this, Sammy just let dean play nursemaid. 

Glad you liked it!

On 1/11/2017 at 8:11 PM, Anilkex said:

I love the way you write. The flow is gentle and smooth, very relaxed. Fantastic fill for a nifty prompt.

Ahhh, thanks so much! Gentle is kind of exactly what I was going for so I'm super thrilled that came across. :)

On 1/11/2017 at 8:41 PM, AngelEyes said:

This is great. Your writing always has such great flow to it. Very natural.

Thank you! That means a lot to me since pacing is usually my biggest challenge when writing these.

On 1/12/2017 at 0:05 PM, lilysneeze said:

Haha XD like Dean ever does anything besides scissors :D

Loved this fic! Love the boys and their teasing but caring interactions.

Yup, rock-paper-scissors is... not Dean's forte. Glad you liked!

On 1/13/2017 at 11:05 AM, gingerdean said:

Wow, you did such and awesome job on this. :heart: This is so beautifully written and atmospheric, and the banter between the boys is so light and fun, just perfect. And wow, this prompt is from 2012! So glad you filled it, awesome prompts should never die :D

Gahh, thanks so much! :) Yeah, the older memes have some unclaimed prompts that are gems. This prompt has actually been around longer than I've been watching the show... haha

On 1/13/2017 at 3:23 PM, Sophie<3 said:

I really enjoyed this! ^_^ The thing I especially liked was how they were both so casual about Sam being sick. I mean, denial is fantastic and all, but sometimes I just love it when the sick person is reasonable about the whole thing and admits they're unwell in kind of an offhand way, you know? Anyway, yes, wonderful dynamic! :wub:

Awesome, I'm so happy the casual/offhand dynamic worked! :) It's my favorite thing to write, for sure.

On 1/14/2017 at 0:53 PM, estrelleta said:

Ahhhh this is just so...right. SierraPlaid, I absolutely adore your writing! <3 Perfect characterisation and such beautiful, clean style. 

Yay, thank you!

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