It starts with just a tingling in his fingertips, and Dean ignores it, late spring heat keeping his hands thick and swollen most of the time anyway. Dehydration. Because he won’t scavenge anymore, the abandoned buildings too haunted to risk.
By late afternoon, it’s in his stomach, too, and his Wranglers are too tight where they weren’t before. For practically the first time since the end, he thinks about sex.
Oh god. By the time he is visualizing, compulsively, the last good fuck he had, he knows that he’s made a mistake. Within the next mile of walking, he can’t even delude himself into ignoring it anymore; he can feel a trickle of moisture running down the inside of his thigh. Oh god.
Dean looks around wildly for a place that seems safe. The golden light makes everything seem so cozy, and he thinks how great it would be to spend a night inside. There’s a stand-alone two-storey building just a half mile off, separated from the other run-down businesses on the street. It looks like one of those really shitty office spaces with tiny, embarrassed suite numbers. The stairs are outside the building, though, wooden slats cutting a diagonal across the back of it, an ugly wood walkway down the row of doors on the second floor.
At least no one will be able to sneak up on him. He can smell old trails of Type A all over the road. Even though it’s been weeks – maybe months – since they passed through, the back of Dean’s jeans soaks in a gush. He stumbles, caught off-balance by the lightning flash rolling outward from his belly.
His backpack slides off his shoulder to the blacktop, but he doesn’t notice. Just make it into the building, Dean. Just fucking do it. Move your fucking feet. Crawl if you have to.
He nearly doesn’t make it up the stairs, the lightning coming unrelentlessly now. His entire body feels like it’s been shocked by an electric fence all at once. He needs someone to hold him together.
Picking the lock is all muscle memory, and his last conscious thought is, Just need a couplea days.