Title: Trialculosis Sam

Author: fogsrollingin

Fandom: Supernatural

Relationship(s): Sam & Dean

Story Length: 110k words and counting

Published: 4/30/2013 on FFN.

Tags: hurt/comfort, hurt Sam Winchester, protective Dean Winchester, trials!sam, comforting Dean Winchester, rescue, crying, hugs & cuddling, happy endings, season 8

Summary: The long, dragged-out, emotional, let's-nearly-kill-'im version of Sam dealing with the trials. Setting Season 8. Post S8E20, right after Dean says, "Want me to do the whole, uh, airplane thing with the spoon?"

Or read Trialculosis Sam chapters 1-41 on or

Click to download the old, original and unrevised copy of Trialculosis Sam.

Author's Notes: I WILL finish this story, damn it!

Chapter 42 published solely to fogsrollingin.neocities.org on 1/21/2024. See below. Happy readings!

Chapter 42; published 1/21/24

It was about one in the afternoon and Sam was taking a subtle turn for the worse that went unnoticed by the both of them. They'd unclasped hands awhile ago because Sam had wanted to research on his phone. He was so focused he didn't sense the rash developing on the right side of his face, down his neck to his chest. It itched but he thought nothing of it and Dean couldn't see from the driver's seat.

Sam finally detected something when he went to rub his forehead and uttered a grunt of disgust, touching his hairline and looking at his hands, the dark blue sleeve of his sweatshirt coming away with white flakes of dry skin.

"Sam? What, you okay?" Dean flicked his gaze between the road and his brother. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, I'm just... gross." Sam rubbed his sleeve against his chest. Felt along the rest of his face. He inhaled loud enough for Dean to hear.

"What is it?" Dean pressed. He couldn't see anything with Sam's hands covering his face.



"Lesions***." Sam leaned closer to Dean, annoyed, and pulled his hair back to point at some dark red, flaky bumps that trailed to his temple.

"Oh," Dean glanced at it, the road, then inspected closer, back to the road. "Yuck. Does it hurt?"


"Don't itch it."

"Why not?"

"Because you're never supposed to itch when it itches." Dean batted Sam's hands off his face. Sam huffed but kept his hands down.

"We'll stop off somewhere, get something for that. Maybe you just need a skincare routine, Sammy."

Sam pressed his lips together, idly sustaining Dean's stupid jokes as he eyed his phone screen again. He didn't close out of the searches for soul spells, just opened a new tab for what stores were open and nearby that sold skincare. "There's a Walmart coming up," he offered after a couple minutes.


Sam called Kevin to let him know they would be stopping. Kevin was on board. He didn't need anything but he'd appreciate the break. When Sam hung up, he leaned his head down, idly touching the textured skin.

"Stop that."

"Stop what?"

"You're touching it."

"I'm not itching it."

"Don't touch it either."

Sam growled and sat back, fisting his hands in his lap. Now that he knew about it, he could swear he could feel*** the skin drying out, getting irritated and raw and the impulse to scratch was getting harder to resist. True to his penchant for self-control, Sam didn't itch though. Not even when the prickly sensation felt like it was spreading down his face and neck. Instead he breathed through the pain, accepted it, studied it. Soon, Dean was pulling into the massive parking lot. He turned the ignition off and twisted to face Sam.

"All right, let's see," he murmured, getting up to kneel on the bench seat and hover over him. 

Sam was so sick of his brother examining him but let him go ahead, looking up at the roof of the car as Dean explored his hairline. His brother then went ahead and did exactly what he'd told Sam he couldn't do, and touched it.

"Dude, don't touch it," Sam winced, shifting uncomfortably. "You didn't let me. Why do you get to?!"

"Because. When I touch, it doesn't hurt?"

"No, not the touching. It just itches and... it's gross."

Dean shot a furtive look, sensing his brother's embarrassment. He went back to studying the skin and murmured an "Mm" in response. Sam wasn't wrong. Scaly texture, an angry purplish red in color. It wasn't anything Dean couldn't handle though especially if wasn't inflicting any pain.

Dean paused then, his brow furrowed as he kept tilting Sam's head over and leaning in uncomfortably closer.

"Dean," Sam whined breathily. 

"No, stop, wait," Dean insisted, lightly touching Sam's skin following the trail of ruddy discoloration down Sam's hairline, his neck, his chest. 

"Sam, holy shit you've got a rash down the whole side of your face here," he murmured, gently probing the dry skin.

"No. Really?" Sam rasped, surprised. They didn't have a mirror so Sam could only look down as Dean pulled Sam's shirt collar to the side. Sam looked at it, swallowing nervously. He shook his head. "I didn't even know."

Dean huffed and sat back on his haunches. Sam pulled collar of his shirt down to keep looking at it.

"It's okay, Sam."

"It doesn't hurt. I mean it itches." Sam felt around. "It's really dry."

"This isn't serious, then. This is good news. If it doesn't hurt, that's all I care about, you know? This is just..." Dean waved, and grinned. "It's cosmetic."

Sam huffed and rolled his eyes. He fidgeted, a little nervous to ask his next question. He opened his mouth to speak but Dean got there first.

"You want me to just go get it?"

Sam pressed his lips together and gave Dean his best doleful face.

Dean laughed. "You know it's Walmart. Even looking like that you'll be a ten."

"Dean, a Walmart ten is a Nebraska two," Sam retorted sullenly, and Dean burst into laughter. Sam had to smile then, not fully having realized how funny his rejoinder had been.

"All right I'll go get some stuff for this. You stay here Hellboy."

Sam sneered as Dean barked laughter over his own joke as he got out and slammed the door.

Sam watched, eyes following his brother as he jogged inside and gave a reluctant chuckle. He resumed his efforts to abstain from touching but he ended up rubbing the soft pads of his fingers against his temple. Dean was right. It would only irritate the skin more. Sam forced his hands down. Shit.

Kevin called and Sam hurriedly assured him nothing was amiss, he didn't have to get out of the car and come over. Kevin steamrolled over the suggestion and next thing Sam knew Kevin was hopping into the backseat. Sam felt guilty he was so relieved Kevin hadn't come up to the passenger side window. He felt disgusting and he knew he looked it and Sam only wanted to deal with Dean's repulsion (which hadn't even been that bad, Sam reflected, and the emerging gratitude annoyed him) at the moment. 

Kevin settled into the back with a groan. "Dean said we could try and figure out a way to get Metatron to stop traveling with us." Kevin's tone was hopeful. 

Sam sighed. "There might be. I have a few ideas that might convince him."

"That'd be amazing."

"What's he doing now?"


"That's on brand," Sam replied dryly, rolling his eyes. Though he should talk, book worm that he was. It crossed his mind there was such sad irony that someone he could despise so much loved to read.

The time passed between them easily enough, Kevin never looking at Sam directly, totally unaware of Sam's current predicament.

Then Dean opened the door with an enthusiastic "I got the stuff, Deadpool" announcement.

"Deadpool?" He laughed. He leaned over the seat divider to look down at the plastic bag of supplies Dean had set down between him and his brother.

Dean took barely a fraction of a second to register Kevin in the back seat and Sam, tensed and giving Dean a look. 

"Hey Kev, give us a few, okay?"

"You got it." Kevin tapped the top of the divider. He'd gotten used to the brothers needing 'time.' Sam wasn't particularly private but nobody wanted more people than necessary present when getting help with their health. Kevin hadn't gotten a great look at what was in the bag but he could tell it wasn't snacks. 

"Thanks, Kevin," Sam called out distractedly, already pulling his camera up on his phone. It'd serve as a mirror so he could slather on whatever creams Dean had gotten him.

Kevin saluted and left, gently closing Baby's door. 

Dean's mouth twitched a smile at the treatment. Anyone so soft with his car was good by him.

Dean turned to his brother. "Okay I got you some triple antibiotic cream, some anti-itch cream which we probably don't need - I think it's mostly for bug bites - and then this hydrocortisone cream that should do the trick," he explained as he uncapped it. Sam was already on the triple antibiotic, spreading some onto the center of the lesion where it was its deepest reddish purple. He kept missing because the phone's camera wasn't great, its movement on a delay.

When he was done he startled at Dean, whose finger had the hydrocortisone on it and was coming right for him. 

"Dean, I got it."

"Let me just get your face. You can do your neck and lower but me doing your face will be faster," Dean persuaded. Sam was going to argue until he took note of his bad camera and how much he didn't want to poke himself in the eye with medicated ointments on his fingers.

"Fine," he blew out. 

"I'll make it fast," Dean promised, leaning in and doing a surprisingly great job. He kept his touch light and delicate, scrupulously working around every one of Sam's features and taking extra precaution around Sam's eyes.

After a few seconds, Dean grimaced.


"Nothing," Dean puffed out. The cream glistened on his fingers and Sam could only imagine how gnarly glistening raw scaly red skin looked. He wouldn't have to imagine once Dean was done and he could use his phone to see it. "Two-face," Dean laughed under his breath and it cracked Sam up too.

"Go get a phantom of the opera mask for me."

Dean grinned. "It's okay. It's gonna sink in," he murmured, pulling back and taking a final approving look at his work.

"Let's hope," Sam replied, taking the cream from his brother and setting up to do his neck and chest. "It feels better already."


"Yeah. Doesn't itch."

"Awesome. Might disappear altogether."


Sam was in the middle of finishing up with his chest around his collarbone when Kevin popped up alongside Sam's window. "Hey are we ready to go because- oh," Kevin spotted Sam's skin. "Yiiikes," he dragged out as he took in Sam's sad eyes and Dean's cringe as he mouthed 'be nice.'

Instead Kevin just came closer. "Are those burns?"

"Just rashes, we think," Sam hedged, off-put by Kevin's interest. 

"What're you using for it?"

"Um," Sam showed Kevin the cream. 

"Hydrocortisone," Kevin nodded with appreciation. "That should clear it up in no time."

The brothers just looked at him.

"I wanted to go to med school, remember? I'm also a teenager. You think you look bad, Sam, you should take a look at poor Katie Sorenson in 8th period chem," Kevin chuckled, then went a little distant, "Or me a couple years ago, honestly."

Dean smiled, watching Sam reluctantly laugh at Kevin's input. "Thanks for putting this into perspective, Kevin."

"We're ready to go, kiddo," Dean added. Kevin grinned, knowing he'd done something right by the way the brothers were looking at him so fondly.

"Awesome. Lunch anytime soon?"

"Yeah sounds good," Dean nodded, Sam too.

"Cool. I'm not starving but anywhere around now," Kevin trailed off as he walked back to his van. He gave a thumbs up. They returned it. Dean led the way out of the parking lot and back onto the interstate, Kevin and Metatron puttering in the minivan behind.

It was a couple hours later, winding down the afternoon, when they stopped for lunch in Casper, Wyoming. Sam had been holding out to see if his face would calm down but it hadn't much. The lesions along his hairline were still visible. He could hide them with his bangs though so at least there was that. 

Sam had capitulated to stop in Casper for lunch particularly because he'd found a reputable magic shop. He needed some angelica root, cat's eyes shells, eye of newt, and a few other things to get going on one of the spells that could supposedly strengthen a soul. He figured they could all eat, Sam could float the idea of these spells past Metatron (against Dean's advice, which gave Sam pause so he wasn't a hundred percent sure he'd do that), and then they'd hit up Marjorie's Metaphysics.

Dean street-parked for a small diner called Sherrie's Place. 

Sam's mind was taken off the issue when they entered. The looks he was getting from the other diners were on a spectrum of worried to disgusted. More self-conscious then he'd ever been in his life, Sam hunched, folding into himself to hide as best he could, as they walked down the diner's only aisle to get to the closest available booth. Dean stepped over and gestured for Sam to slide in first like usual. Sam paused.

"I want the aisle, Dean, I don't feel..." Sam trailed off, unwilling to explain that he needed the comfort to a quick exit, either to the bathroom or the car. With a look, Dean seemed to understand. Sam sighed with relief and his brother immediately slid into the seat and reached for Sam. 

"Easy," he whispered as Sam got in after him and faced Dean so his back was to the aisle and nobody could see his face.

Sam had his head ducked low. Dean pulled the hood of Sam's sweatshirt over his head. It had started to become a thing of Dean's, covering Sam up by putting his hood to use. Sam liked it.

The bell in the restaurant door jingled and Kevin appeared, flipping the keys to his minivan he'd parked. He waved and Sam did his best to smile and wave back before putting his head down again.

"Maybe this wasn't the best idea," Dean mumbled into Sam's ear. "I'm sorry."

Sam huffed and shook his head.

"Hi y'all I'm Sheila. I'm gonna be your server for today." The waitress's voice was chipper but nasal. Sam flinched, not having noticed she'd approached. He shuddered under her standard script listing out the specials of the day. Dean took his brother's hand under the table and held it. 

Sheila was determined not to notice anything wrong with Sam, just kept up a friendly albeit empty smile looking at the three of them. Sam appreciated it to a certain extent. He couldn't however ignore the father of a couple toddlers staring at him with contempt. Sam blinked and looked away, unsure what conclusions the guy had jumped to but knowing they were bad. 

"Anything to drink to start?"

He squeezed Dean's hand and Dean squeezed back. Dean put his arm around Sam's shoulders and rubbed. Sam let the warmth and pressure comfort him.

There was a time Sam would've just tried to cut his palm with his thumbnails under stressors like these. Stone number one had been pain for awhile. Dean had been the one to show him that. Sam hadn't minded the strategy, not when it worked and it didn't require him to depend on Dean for once. 

It was unhealthy though and it wasn't effective for long, and when Dean took his hand and rubbed Sam's knuckles sometimes in reassurance during idle conversation with Kevin sitting across the table from them, Sam didn't feel dependant on it so much as just... special. Loved.

Sam looked past his brother to spot a woman at a table nearby just beyond their booth. She was staring straight at him, her eyes a peculiar shade of violet.

Weird, he thought, and gave his order to Sheila.