Title: Surprise!
Author: Emily Brunson
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Took 15 mins to write, and she ain't betaed. Bit of h/c fluff for your amusement (and probably shock, since it's been about eight centuries since I wrote any fiction). Yes, I'm familiar with Dean's issues firsthand. It ain't pretty.


About mid-afternoon he has an inkling. A tiny, nagging suspicion that shit ain't right.

By 5:00 -- digging marathon mostly over but the crying -- he's not sure whether to puke, cuss, or just sit down next to this last motherfucking godforsaken CAS-forsaken grave site and cry his eyes out.

"Dude," Sam breathes, in an awed tone normally reserved for serious-ass shit very much unlike Dean's skin. "You are FRIED."

"No," Dean grits out. "Need a six-pack for that." Or a case. Or Ten.

"Dean --"

"Shut up."

Because the thing of it is -- the thing of it is, is, that Sam's tan. The fucker is fucking BRONZED. Light glances off his fucking biceps like he's some piece of goddamn Greek statuary or something, and it's.

Well. Shit ain't RIGHT.

"Dean, are your HANDS swollen?"

He's struggling with his shirt, wondering who in the hell dipped it in hydrochloric acid while they were digging because JESUS CHRIST it hurts on his skin, and he looks down at his hands. "Huh."

"Wait a second." Sam's making anxious motions with his bronzed hands, bronzed face all pinched and puckery. "Wait, hold on, waiwaiwait a second. This is serious, Dean, this is not normal."

Dean breathes through his nose and feels tears prickling behind his eyes. "It's a sunburn, Sam, sunburns're normal."

"This -- This is NOT sunburn. This is like -- conflagration. This is. I don't even. This." Hands flail, but don't touch. Dean's pretty sure he WILL cry if Sam or anyone else touches him.
How is he not on FIRE right now?

He looks at Sam and won't say it, won't, will NOT

"ER," Sam snaps.

"Okay," Dean says, and bends over and throws up on their feet.


The doc looks tired, frustrated, and kind of like an asshole.

"Solar urticaria," he says, flopping down on one of those stools with wheels on them. Dean wishes fervently he'd slide off on his ass. No joy.

Dean sees his own confusion mirrored on Sam's face.

The doc sighs. "With the edema, the blistering, the wheals -- sun poisoning. You got a good case there. How's your pain?"

Dean means to snap about how the fuck does he THINK the pain is, but it comes out sounding sort of like a whimper. He thinks vaguely about horking again.

"Pretty bad then, okay." A tiny, wry smile cracks the doc's bored facade. "Some Demerol do ya?"

This doc is the best fucking ER doctor in the state.

Possibly in the country.

Ten minutes later, the GALAXY.

"Dude," Sam says, after the IV and the four-gallon bag of LR and the blessed, sanctified Demerol. "You KNOW better. You always burn."

"Not always," Dean slurs.

"ALWAYS. But I mean, DAMN." Sam reaches out and presses a finger -- feather-light -- against Dean's ham-sized right hand. "You look like the Sta Puft Marshmallow Man."

There are maybe sixty Ghostbusters jokes Dean could make right now. If his tongue would work. His hands feel like he's had hand transplants, violently red and tight as a drum. His arms, his back, oh CHRIST his back. Thank fuck he hadn't worn shorts. Knew there was a reason he didn't do shorts.

"It's like -- blisters on top of the swelling." Sam gives him a freaked-out but impressed look. "Gross," he pronounces firmly.

"Mmm," Dean says, and closes his eyes.


The blessed saint among ER docs finally pushes them out the door the next morning, with a positively saintly prescription for serious-ass painkillers. Dean's still Demerol-ed, so he wobbles in behind Sam at the pharmacy and waves an ID at the pharmacist, whose horrified expression puts paid to any assumption of habitual drug-seeking.

"Ow," she says, and flinches.

Sam sends him back to the car to wait, and emerges later with a big bag of shit. Dean nods and dozes on the way to the motel.

Sadly, the blessed Demerol fades into the ether an hour later. Dean wipes tears from his eyes and says, "I will pay you a million dollars, Sam. A million. If you will shoot me now."

Sam fiddles with a little jar from his bag. "How you gonna pay me when you're dead?"

"I swear, I swear to you I will find a way. Been dead before, it ain't that hard. Come on, just do it."

"Hang on."

For a second he thinks maybe Sam actually will. And then he has to try not to cry when Sam comes back with a wet washcloth instead.

"To pull the heat out. Lean forward."

The weird thing is, it helps a little. Not for long, but for a few seconds it's marginally better. He sits there -- because his days of lying down are over for the moment -- and lets Sam drape him in about twelve wet washcloths, then replace them with new wet cloths. Over and over again, until Dean thinks maybe he's going to live and possibly not have to change his forwarding address to the nearest burn ward.

Something aromatic penetrates his stupor. "Whuh."

"Jess got a burn a couple of times," Sam says, scooping out a couple fingers-ful of white cream. "She said this helps."

"S'for your face. Like, makeup."

"Hey, whatever helps."

The cream stinks, but it feels even better than the washcloths. Lasts longer.

He sighs and drinks a little nasty-ass Gatorade.

"You're a mess," Sam says, the soft, gently amused voice he uses when Dean's hurt, or sick. "You are the burniest person I have ever met, and you know better, man. What were you thinking?"

Wasn't, Dean thinks, but just makes a sound in his throat.

"Yeah, I know you weren't," Sam murmurs. "Drink your Gatorade."

Later Dean takes one of the excellent ER doctor's most fantastic prescription painkillers, but a tiny muddle-headed part of his brain thinks that all the remedies in the world won't beat the sound of Sam's voice, familiar and teasing and filled with love.