Title: Snow Angels
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: none
Category: Drama
Keywords: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Castiel Spoilers: Bad Day at Black Rock
Summary: Dean's hurt, Sam's angry, and Castiel is trying to puzzle out the dynamics of medication-laced humor. 697 words.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Ficlet #3 for Zarz, who asked for these three characters, with hurt/comfort and snow.

Dean limps beside Sam, who has an arm wrapped around his brother, supporting him. Castiel walks beside them. His brows are drawn together into a line, dark as thunderheads on the horizon.

Sam tightens his grip on Dean, eliciting a moan from him. Sam pauses, causing Dean to stumble slightly. Dean swears and pulls away from Sam, collapsing onto the cold ground.

Sam mutters, "Well, excuse me for trying to help!" Dean glowers up at him, while Castiel softly says, "Samuel."

Sam throws his arms wide, and then lets them fall back to his side, where they slap against his coat. "Come on, Cas! I know you were there and all, but how could you let him get--"

Dean cuts in, "Sammy, stop."

Sam swings around, away from them, obviously ticked off enough that words have momentarily forsaken him.

A moment passes, tense and uncomfortable, before Sam turns back around, rubbing at his chin, back-handed. "All right," he says. "All right."

He flops down beside Dean, shoulder to shoulder. Castiel still stands, looking like a bird in freezing weather, solitary and bedraggled, one end of his coat's tie sweeping the ground.

A second passes, and then Dean starts to chuckle, which turns to a snigger, which turns into an outright guffaw, when he sees how startled both Sam and Castiel look. Falling back on the ground, he laughs until he starts coughing, which then turns to groans, at which point Castiel bends down. He asks, "Are you all right, Dean?"

"Fine. Peachy," Dean wheezes, wiping tears out of his eyes. "Oh, man, that hurts." He hugs his middle, gingerly.

When he catches his breath, he says, "Hey, Sam, he looked like you did when you lost your shoe at Black Rock."

Sam snorts. He says, "You're nuts, Dean. Come on. Let's get you back to the motel before we all freeze our butts off."

Castiel looks completely befuddled. Dean takes mercy on him and says, "Oh, man, you haven't heard this story, have you? We found a lucky rabbit's foot--"

Sam interrupts, "A cursed rabbit's foot."

"Yeah, a cursed rabbit's foot. If you had it, everything went great for you, but if you lost it, man, everything would be out to get you."

"Literally," Sam adds.

"I see," Castiel says. "I take it Sam lost it?"

Dean's mouth twists in amusement again. "Yep. And his shoe, down a drain. Bye-bye, all gone."

Sam says, "I guess the pain medication is starting to work." He stands up, and pulls Dean to a sitting position and then slings his brother's arm over his shoulder. "Come on. Ups-a-daisy."

Dean giggles. "Ups-a-daisy."

Sam rolls his eyes and says, "Good to know you're feeling no pain, Dean."

Dean turns a blindingly bright smile on his brother. "Yep, great stuff, thanks."

They start along again, every couple of steps punctuated by a soft chuckle from Dean. They're a few steps from the motel door, when Dean says, "Hey, it's snowing."

Sam says, "Great observation, Dean."

"Oh, Sammy," Dean says, "we should have a snowball fight. And Cas, you should make a snow angel. Let's all make snow angels!"

Castiel catches Sam's gaze over Dean's head, puzzled. Sam says, "All right, Dean, but first you're taking a long rest in bed. You can teach Cas how to make a snow angel later."

Dean nods, and his eyelids fall momentarily, before sweeping back up. Sam tightens his grip again, this time avoiding compressing Dean's ribs. It's a tough job, as he feels Dean's body becoming heavier, the medication relaxing all his muscles.

They reach the door of the motel room, which already has a pile of drifted snow against the bottom. Sam unlocks it, and then turns to Castiel, saying softly, "Thanks, Cas."

"For what?" he asks.

"For being there."

Castiel nods. "Will he be all right?" he asks, looking at Dean, who has finally succumbed to the medication, and is completely out.

"It's just a broken bone and bruised ribs. They'll heal."

"Take care of him, Sam."

"I will."

There's the customary flutter and back-draft of unseen wings, and then Sam is left alone with Dean, watching snowflakes fall where Castiel was.


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