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Stowaway SPN, Dean (posting attempt #2!)


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Ok, so here is the thing.. I posted several meme fills awhile back with links to the fills on my LJ, and it was brought to my attention that the link I provided for one of the fills does not work. I don't know why, or when, or how to fix this. So instead of messing around with it and screwing things up even more, I thought I'd just post this fic separately. (With the story actually copied into the text, like I should have done in the first place.) I hope this is ok! I am very sorry if you've seen this already, and also for my posting incompetence in general.


Summary: Written for tarotgal's comment fic meme, for tarotgal's prompt:

John won't let Sam have a dog. That's been pretty well drummed into Sam by now. But John technically never said anything about not having a cat. So what if Sam picks up a stray and hides it in his dufflebag in the back seat? It will be quiet...but Dean won't be quiet for long.

The Winchester family was tired and weary after an 11 hour car ride. John had just finished a job in Memphis, and to say it didn't go smoothly would be an understatement. A seemingly cut and dry demonic possession case had left John worse for wear, with four broken ribs, a concussion and a badly fractured wrist. Bobby had offered for John and the boys to stay at his place while John recuperated, and John had reluctantly accepted.

Now en route to South Dakota, the Winchester men were holed up in some sleazebag motel south of Omaha for the night. If John had been able to drive, he would have made the trip straight through the night. But since the driving had been left solely to Dean, John wanted to give him a few hours rest before finishing the trek to Bobby's. He was just 18 after all, and not accustomed to driving marathon length road trips, as of yet.

John was asleep, in a whiskey and vicoden-induced stupor, Dean snoring softly in the bed next to him. Sam, who had slept off and on a good part of the trip, was awake. He flipped through the meager selection of channels on TV, and could find nothing remotely worth watching. Bored out of his mind, Sam quietly slipped out of the room to retrieve one of his books from the Impala. He turned on his pocket flashlight, then sat in the backseat and sifted through his backpack. He jumped when he suddenly saw a flash of bright eyes glistening through the window of the car. He peered out to get a better look, and noticed a small black kitten staring back at him. Sam smiled and opened the car door, and to his surprise, the kitten jumped into the Impala onto his lap.

The kitten had no collar, and appeared disheveled and underweight. Sam was fully certain it was lost or abandoned. He stroked the kitten softly, and it nuzzled into his arm.

Now, Sam was always more of a dog person than a cat person, but he couldn't help being taken with the little ball of fluff that was seeking out his comfort. Sam was reminded of the various times in the past that he had asked his father if he could have a dog. Of course, John always said no (more like hell no, quit wasting my time with this shit, or somesuch response). Sam didn't really know why he ever bothered asking. He knew his dad would never agree to it, and practically speaking, Sam knew deep down that he could never properly care for a dog, not with the lifestyle his family leads. It didn't stop him from thinking about it from time to time, though. It was just one of many normal childhood experiences Sam longed for that he knew he would never have. No, a dog was most certainly out of the question.

But a cat...

A cat would be much less maintenance than a dog, wouldn't it? All a cat really needs is food and water and a litterbox, right? Surely Sam could figure out a way to feed it, but litter was expensive and messy...hm. Maybe he could train it to do it's business outside. And when they were on long car rides..Well...he didn't really know how that would work, but surely he could figure something out. The trick would be getting his dad to warm up to the idea.

Sam needed some time to figure this out. He scratched the kitten behind the ears as he considered his options. If he could get the cat to Bobby's at least, then if his dad said no to Sam keeping it (which he most likely would), Sam could at least buy some time to figure out what else to do with it. But how would he get the cat to Bobby's without Dean or his Dad seeing it?

Sam let the kitten roam around inside the Impala while he considered his next move. He decided that, for tonight, the kitten would have to stay outside, and Sam would just have to hope it wouldn't stray too far before morning. He briefly considered keeping it in the Impala for the night, but he could already see fine cat hair starting to litter the seats. Not to mention that if the cat pissed in the Impala, Sam wasn't sure who would kick his ass harder, Dean or his dad.

Sam let the cat outside. "Don't worry girl, I'll come back and get you in the morning. Just stay close, ok?" Sam rubbed the kitten under it's chin, then headed back to the hotel room.

The next morning, Sam was up and showered before everyone else. Dean was just getting in the shower when Sam had already finished packing up the car. He was concerned that he hadn't seen the kitten yet that morning.

"We're all packed! I'm going to go read in the car 'till you guys are ready", Sam said hurriedly. Dean gave Sam a suspicious glance, then shrugged as Sam ran out the door.

Sam was thoroughly disappointed when the kitten was still nowhere in sight. Deflated, he made his way to the Impala and gazed around one more time. Suddenly, he saw a little face peek out from behind the rear tire. He glanced over his shoulder at the hotel door, then quickly ushered the cat into the back seat of the Impala. He scooted into the seat and gently scooped the cat into his duffel bag. "Sorry girl. It's just for a few hours," he whispered. Sam was suddenly grateful for the extended car ride the day prior, since they were now only about four hours out from Sioux Falls.

Sam gently placed the duffel between himself and the car door, and nervously watched the kitten squirm around inside the bag. This is the stupidest idea ever. There's no way Dad is going to fall for this, he thought. He was starting to rethink his whole hairbrained scheme when Dean and his dad emerged from the hotel room. Sam took a deep breath. He was committed now.

The first twenty minutes or so of the trip was uneventful. The kitten stayed fairly still, for the most part, and Sam was eternally grateful for the Impala's bench seat, which assisted in obscuring the view of Sam and his stowaway. Dean and John were deep in conversation about John's recent hunt. As they chatted away, Dean's side of the discussion was increasingly impeded by frequent sniffling and throat clearing. Several minutes later, a quiet sneeze filled the car."huh-he'yisshoo."

"Bless you," said Sam.

"Th'nks", Dean grunted.

A few minutes later, Dean rocked forward with another sneeze. And a few minutes later, another one. Sam hardly took notice until perhaps the fifth or sixth sneeze in as many minutes.

Sam frowned. "You okay, Dean?"

Dean gave Sam a sharp glance. "F'course I am." Dean swiped at his nose, and glanced warily at John, who had dozed off, and was leaned into the window. Sam sighed. He really hoped Dean wasn't getting sick. Any bug that Dean caught, Sam would inevitably end up with not long after.

A few minutes later, Dean gasped suddenly, then let out an unprecedented string of sneezes. "huh! huh--eetttchh. h'etch...h'etchhhuh!...ettchhhew...hiiIIITTCCHHuh. hu-hii! he..he'ETCHooo!"

The Impala swerved a little as Dean struggled to keep the car on the road in midst of the fit.

"Whoa. Bless you." Sam frowned. Now that was a new one. He'd never heard Dean sneeze like that before. Dean never really sneezed that often, unless he had a cold, but even then, his sneezes usually presented themselves one at a time. Sometimes he may sneeze twice in a row, but never more than that.

Sam shrugged off his brother's odd sneeze attack, and gently brushed his hand over the top of the duffel bag, feeling the soft rumble of the kitten purring underneath. So far, so good. He was starting to think he may actually be able to pull this off.

A short time later, Sam heard a frustrated, shaky sigh from the front seat. He looked up to the rearview mirror to see Dean's face in an exaggerated frown, as if he was intently focused on something, eyes welling up with tears. He then watched as Dean rolled his eyes, shook his head ever so slightly, then slowly reared his head back, as his breath hitched several times. "huh...hih. huh-hiii! hiiIIITCHH! huh-etch--HE'ETCHooo!......hpttchh! hi'ETCHH! sonovabih..hi'yiichhhhichoo! ...EEESHHhuh!"

Sam looked on in awe and shook his head. "Jesus Dean. Bless you."

There was no response from Dean. He had a fist pressed hard against his nose, and appeared to be putting forth a great effort in warding off even more sneezes. Finally appearing satisfied that he had regained control over his nose, Dean rubbed his hand over his face and sighed. "Y'got any tissues back there, Sammy?"

Sam shook his head. "Sorry. Sure you're all right?" Dean's eyes looked red and puffy through the rearview mirror.

Dean shrugged and cleared his throat. "Just peachy", he grumbled.

Another fit of sneezing hit Dean again a short time later, and this one finally woke up John. "Dammit Dean", he grunted, rubbing at his sore ribs. Sam couldn't believe his Dad had slept through all the sneezing for this long. He must really be hopped up on pain meds right now. Probably had the hair of the dog this morning too, while he was at it.

About ten minutes later, yet another sneezing fit erupted from Dean, and he almost swerved off the road yet again. "Shit Dean, watch it!" John bellowed, as Dean struggled to compose himself. John sighed. "What the hell is going on with you? You getting sick or something?"

Dean shrugged, swiping roughly at his nose. "M'dot sick, Dad, I swear. It's just...juh..hi..hh'ettttchh! Shit." sniff. "Sobething's bakin' me sdeeze is all. Dot sure why."

"Well, pull over before you run us off the damn road. I'm safer driving with one hand than you are right now."

Sam felt a pang of sympathy for his brother as Dean guided the car to the curb, shoulders slumped. He knew Dean well enough to know he was going to beat himself up about this one for awhile. Leave it to Dean to feel guilty about something as uncontrollable as a sneezing fit, and leave it to his dad to act like Dean could do anything to help it.

John and Dean switched seats, and the brief exposure to the outdoor air seemed to calm Dean's twitching nose for a brief time. But it wasn't long before the sneezes started up again- First soft, single ones, spaced out several minutes apart, soon escalating into uncontrollable fits of sneezing. John said nothing, but kept shooting Dean sharp, irritated looks.

Sam grew increasingly concerned about his brother as the car ride went on. What could possibly be making him sneeze like that? Sam wondered. Dean didn't have any allergies, as far as Sam knew, and it wasn't allergy season anyway. Sam looked around the car for clues, and his eyes migrated to the little lump that protruded from his duffle bag.

Sam briefly considered the possibility of the tiny kitten curled up in his bag eliciting such a reaction from his big brother. The thought made him smile in amusement. No freaking way, Sam decided. Dean was just getting sick, and was trying to hide it from their dad. It must be the fucking plague or something, Sam thought, as he watched Dean dissolve into another fit.

It was after a particularly violent sneezing fit that left Dean puffing for air afterwards that John gave Dean a sharp look, which for the first time that day, held more concern than annoyance. "Christ, Dean. What the hell..." John shook his head and sighed. "You doin' ok over there, buddy?"

Dean turned his head towards the window, in obvious embarrassment. "M'fide, dad. M'sorry."

"Fine my ass, just look at yourself. What the hell..." John trailed off, apparently deep in thought. "Come on, Dean, think. You aren't allergic to anything besides cats that I don't know about, are you?

Sam froze. Dean...was allergic to cats? Really? Oh shit...

"hi'yiithchhh!" sniff. "Ub, dow...Dothig that I dow of." Dean caught a glimpse of Sam's horrified face in the rearview mirror. "What's wrog, Sab? Looks like you just saw a ghost."

Sam tried to act casual. "Oh. Um...I just...I didn't know you were allergic to cats."

"Really? Yeah, don't you rebember that one tibe we were stayig at Pastor Jib's, ad he was pet-sidding for sobeone's cat? God, that sucked. I guess...I, uh...hhhiiiiiIIIITTCHHUH...I guess you were too youg to rebember."

"Huh. That's...huh. Interesting."

Dean gave Sam a strange look. "Interestig? Whatever, dude." Dean turned back around and dug his palms into his eyes, groaning softly.

Sam was torn between telling his Dad and Dean about the cat, or waiting it out until they got to Bobby's house. They were still in the middle of nowhere right now, and he was sure the cat would never survive if he let it out now. If he could get it to Bobby's and feed the poor thing, it would at least stand a fighting chance. But then...Poor Dean looked completely miserable. The sneezing was brutal and incessant. His eyes were streaming, and he was constantly clearing his throat, rubbing his eyes and pawing at his nose. Sam could tell by the way he was absently rubbing his forehead that he had also developed a headache. Sam sighed. Putting his brother's welfare before a cat's was a no brainer. "Um, Dad, Dean...I gotta tell you something."

Dean swirled around to look his brother square in the eyes. Sam knew that look. It was the patented Dean Winchester Shut The Hell Up, Sammy look. Sam looked back at Dean in confusion.

John sighed. "Well, what is it?"

"Um..." He looked at Dean again, who shaking his head at him almost imperceptively, with one slightly arched eyebrow. Only Sam could read Dean well enough to know exactly what he was trying to tell him right now.

Dean knew about the cat. At some point during the car ride, he had figured it out. Probably from my stupid comment on how 'interesting' his cat allergy is, he thought. And.. oh God..Dean was going to suffer through the rest of the car ride in allergic misery to keep Sam from getting busted. Sam felt like the biggest asshole on the planet right now.

John let out an exasperated sigh. "Goddammit Sam, what the hell is the problem?"

Sam snapped back to himself and racked his brain. "Um...I really need to use the bathroom. How far from Bobby's are we?"

"About twenty minutes, and I don't believe for one damn second that that was what you were about to tell me. When we get to Bobby's you're adding an extra five miles to your drill today."

"Yessir." Sam looked at Dean again, with his best puppy dog expression, to let Dean know how freaking guilty he felt over this whole thing. Dean gave Sam another look - The one that clearly stated You so owe me for this one, dude - right before his face went slack, his brow wrinkled ever so slightly, and his eyelashes fluttered. Sam felt a sharp pang of guilt as Dean buried his face in his hands and convulsed repeatedly as another fit of sneezing took him over.

Sam felt his chest release with sweet relief as the Implala made it's way down the outer road that led to Bobby's house. They were almost home free now. He winced as he suddenly became aware of a very quiet, high pitched noise. Great. Darn cat's been quiet as a mouse this entire car ride, and now it's going to give us away in the last five minutes. He put his hand on the bag gently in attempt to quiet the cat. Sam frowned when he realized the sound didn't seem to be coming from the bag after all, but from the front seat of the car. Wait...was it coming from...Dean? He bent forward and listened carefully, and sure enough, it was - a steady, high pitched whistle that seemed to repeat itself every time Dean exhaled.

Sam had never heard a wheeze before, but he was pretty sure that was the sound that seemed to be coming from Dean's chest right now. Fuck. I let this stupid cat stay in the car, and now Dean's gonna suffocate or something, and it's all my stupid fault. John had apparently taken notice of the sound at the same moment that Sam did, and cast Dean a worried glance.

"Dammit, Dean, what the hell is going on with you? Are you breathing ok, son?"

Dean coughed and took a deep breath, which elicited a particularly loud wheeze. John and Sam winced simultaneously in response. "Ub...I think so? Except...by chest feels a little tight, or...or sobethiii..huhh...hhiii-eetchchh!"

Sam couldn't take it anymore. He didn't care if his dad buried him alive in Bobby's back yard at this point. He was hurting his brother, and he should have come clean the minute he found out Dean was allergic to the stupid cat. "Dad, I've gotta to tell you something." he blurted out. "I..I've got a kitten back here. I found it back at the hotel, and it was alone and I just know it was gonna die, an' I was just trying to...I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't know.."

Sam had seen his father angry before. Many times. Almost on a daily basis, in fact. But the look of sheer fury in his eyes was one that his father reserved for only the most noteworthy of occasions. Sam winced as he prepared for the colossal ass-chewing he was about to receive. Instead, John remained silent, as he pulled up the driveway to Bobby's place. The disturbing quietude was interrupted by a volley of sneezes from Dean once again, the gasping breaths between them punctuated by the unnerving wheezing, which was getting louder by the minute. John slowed the Impala to a halt and turned to Dean. "OUT. Right now. Just keep taking nice, deep breaths, alright? Get inside, I'll be there in just a second." Dean nodded, and clumsily made his way out of the car, as if in a daze. John then turned his eyes to Sam, and spoke in a terrifyingly calm voice. "Get. The Cat. Out. Right. The Fuck. Now." Sam's eyes widened, and he nodded frantically.

Sam exited the car, duffel bag in hand. He gently emptied his duffel bag of the kitten, gave it sad glance, and followed his dad into the house.

By the time Sam entered the house, Bobby had already greeted Dean, and was in the midst of sizing up Dean's ragged appearance.

"Dean, you look like all kinds of crap, son. What the hell happened to you?"

Dean coughed, and gave Bobby a halfhearted smirk. "Oh, you dnow.. just Sabby, tryig to save the world one allergy-inducing rodent at a..a tibe...hiii! ..HIISHHHUH! hiiichxx! hyiiich-iichh--IIICHHOOO!" Dean had turned and wandered a few steps away from Bobby, and was now bent over at the waist, hands on his knees, sneezing freely towards the floor.

Bobby winced in sympathy, then turned an accusatory pair of eyes to Sam. Sam could feel his eyes burning, and fought to hold back the tears that were threatening to escape. He already felt horrible for making his brother suffer like this, and now Bobby was pissed at him too. His dad was fuming, and to top it all off, Sam knew the kitten was never going to survive wandering around Bobby's place. He would have been better off leaving it at the hotel; at least there would be a chance of someone else finding the poor thing and taking care of it. For all Sam knew, Bobby's dogs could be making a snack out of it right now.

Fortunately, it didn't take too long for the wheezing to dissipate after Dean had been freed from the confines of the cat dander-infested Impala. A heavy dose of Benadryl, a shower, and a change of clothes later, Dean's blotchy face and swollen, streaming eyes had nearly returned to normal. It took some time for the sneezing to subside, however, as his abused, irritated nose continued to revolt against him, as if to reassure itself that all traces of cat dander had been permanently removed from it's presence.

Later that evening, Sam snuck out of the house and sat on the back porch. He was both elated and guilt ridden when he saw the kitten creeping towards him. It rubbed it's head against Sam's knee, and Sam had to restrain himself from scooping it up into his lap. "Sorry girl. You'll get fur all over me if I pick you up. I think you've made my brother sneeze enough for one day." Sam jumped when he suddenly heard the back door open behind him. He turned, expecting to see a livid John, but was relieved to see his brother there instead.

Dean grinned at Sam. "Dad'll kick your ass if he sees you out here with that hairball."

"Yeah.. I know. I was just about to come in."

Dean waved a hand at Sam. "Don't sweat it, dude. Dad's already asleep." Dean smirked. "Man, did you get off easy today. You're lucky he felt like shit today..." Dean trailed off as a sudden look of concern crossed his eyes.

Sam elbowed his brother. "He'll be okay, Dean. He's...dad. I give it two weeks before he's dragging us off to another hunt. Broken wrist and all." Sam cleared his throat. "Hey, Dean?"


Sam sighed. "Dean.. I am so...so sorry. I feel terrible about...you know.."

Dean rolled his eyes. "Forget it, man. I live to see another day right?" he joked. "And, hey. I haven't sneezed in a whole.." Dean looked down at his watch..."ten minutes! Things are looking up, aren't they Sammy?"

Sam narrowed his eyes at his brother. "Are you trying to make me feel better or worse? I mean...you really scared me, Dean. You were breathing so weird...I thought we'd have to take you to the hospital or something."

"Dude, you didn't know. You have nothing to be sorry for. And I'm not going to the hospital over some stupid cat. I was fine. I am fine. So just drop it, okay?"

Sam started to retort, but stopped himself. There was nothing Dean hated more than appearing weak and out of control, and Sam knew he felt embarrassed that the whole spectacle had happened not only in front of Sam and his dad, but Bobby as well. Sam wanted to tell him that nobody thought any less of him just because of a stupid cat allergy, but there was never any getting through to Dean about things like this. The best thing to do was to end the conversation and move on.

Dean's eyes softened at Sam. "Well, I'm going inside. But I thought your pain-in-the-ass little friend there could use this." Dean held out a plastic bag to Sam. Sam opened the bag to find a mason jar filled with milk, a bowel, and a small baggie full of shredded chicken. Dean shrugged. "Who knows how long that chicken's been sitting in Bobby's fridge, but I thought it was better than nothing.....hptchhh!" Dean turned suddenly and stifled a quiet sneeze into the crook of his arm. "Anyway, when you're done feeding that damn thing, stick it in Bobby's tool shed. I talked to Bobby, and he said he'd take care of it tomorrow."

Sam raised his eyebrows suspiciously. "Take care of it...like, how?" In the hunting world, "taking care of it" usually only meant one thing, and Sam didn't like where this might be going.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Relax, Sammy. I told Bobby how broken up your pansy ass would be if that cat was left to starve to death in his yard. So he's getting someone to come pick it up tomorrow.'

Sam's heart skipped a beat. "Seriously? But...why? Really?" Bobby was going to call in a favor over a cat?

Dean shrugged. "Hey, all I know is that it's some lady from town that Bobby knows. She's gonna take the cat for now, and find a place for it to live." Dean glanced at the cat, and Sam didn't miss that one corner of his mouth curled into a sly smile. Dean yawned and stretched. "I'm turning in, Sammy. Benadryl's knocking my ass out."

Sam nodded. "Night, Dean. And...thanks. I mean...really. Thank you."

"You're welcome." Dean started to open the door to the house, then paused for a moment. "Um...Sorry you couldn't keep the cat, Sammy."

Sam's heart sunk as he looked into his brother's guilt-ridden eyes. He sighed. "Oh, come on, Dean. There's no way dad would have let me keep it anyway. You know that."

Dean shrugged. "Yeah...I guess. 'Night Sammy".

Sam frowned wistfully at the door as his brother ambled dejectedly into the house. "Night, big brother", he said softly.

Edited by gingerdean
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Awww. Dean knew and wouldn't let Sammy say anything. Such a good big brother.

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OMG! I love this! Allergic Dean was written perfectly!!!! So was innocent Sam! I just love it! It was written so well!!!!

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