Rating: Adult themes
Word Count: 1,539
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no offense, no money.
Summary: Sometimes Sam wonders if injury is the only true constant in their lives.
Dean was mostly worried about the fingers initially. He’d seen Sam get a pretty healthy belt to the head, but they’d been running for their lives and only had the time for a quick, “You okay?”, “Yeah, fine. Run!”
The fingers had happened first. Slow and painstaking, one by one with Dean pinned to the ground, forced to watch.
The first indication that Sam wasn’t totally fine was when he’d thrown up rather spectacularly on both himself and the front dash.
He’d been mumbling apologies as Dean had guided him out of the car and into an emergency room, setting him down on a cracked vinyl chair and pushing his hair out of his face.
“Stop it you goof, I’m not worried about the car,” Dean had snapped and a nurse had smiled at him as she’d walked past.
For once Dean hadn’t noticed.
He would complain about the car later, cursing the day Sam was born while he soaped out the interior and then left the doors open for three days to get rid of the smell, but he wouldn’t really mean it.
“You’re supposed to be resting.”
Dean narrowed his eyes as Sam elbowed into the room, juggling an armload of greasy brown bags that would most likely yield burgers and fries.
“I’m bored,” Dean snapped, sighting down the barrel of his shotgun and then placing it back on his bed. “Have you been messing with my stuff?”
“Dean, I’m not twelve anymore. I do resist the compulsion to play with your toys.” A bag was tossed in Dean’s direction, and although Sam had been aiming for the bed opposite, Dean reached to make a catch and hissed when pain bloomed across his chest. Sam grimaced in sympathy.
Sam had dropped in front of his laptop, rubbing his greasy hands on his jeans before tapping away at the keyboard. “You know, five percent of people die-“
“From two cracked ribs?” Dean snorted in derision. “You really have to get off those medical journals. Why do you have to research the hell out of everything?” Dean looked over Sam carefully and then grinned. “Oh yeah, that’s right, you are Lord High Commander of all the Geeks.”
“Children have less chance of a rib fracture because of the elasticity of their thoracic cage.”
“Oh my god,” Dean groaned.
“The frequency of fractures increases with increased brittleness of the chest wall. Getting old there, Dean-o?”
“I’m praying for being one of that lucky five percent, you know,” Dean growled.
Dean was trying valiantly, he really was.
He was shaking and there were tears leaking out of his eyes, trying to hold it in and Sam’s expression was getting stonier by the second.
“I swear to god, if you say it, I will never speak to you again,” Sam warned.
“Dean,” Sam growled, warning in his voice.
“You broke your…”
“I’m never eating again,” Sam groaned, rolling over onto his side and pulling his legs up to his chest. “Never again.”
Dean, looking positively grey, stumbled out of the bathroom. “S’not so bad,” he managed before collapsing face first on the bed. Unfortunately, it was the same bed Sam was occupying, who let out a low groan and tried to pitch Dean off and only managed to upend himself off the bed.
From the floor, Sam growled, “How can you say that?”
A hand with a napkin clenched in it appeared over the side of the bed and the napkin was dropped onto Sam’s face.
“Got the waitress’ number,” Dean said, voice muffled by the mattress.
“As soon as I have the strength, I’m going to kill you,” Sam sighed. The floor was slightly gritty but the bed was too far away and he was just so damn tired.
When he woke up, Sam was back on the bed, a blanket over his legs and Dean gone.
“Okay, small reprieve,” Sam allowed, rolling over and spotting the glass of water and the two blue pills on the side table.
“Big reprieve,” he chuckled, reaching for the water.
When Sam was thirteen, he had yelled at his Father for six hours straight because they were going to move again and he had met a girl he liked and who didn’t mind that he was a little… odd.
place the heel of one hand in the center of the casualty’s chest…
A girl with pigtails and big brown eyes called Katey.
place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand…
John, as immovable an object as ever, had at first patiently tried to explain to Sam why they couldn’t stay, that there were more important things but like he always did with his younger son, had ended up yelling too and telling Sam that he would do as he was goddamn told.
and interlock the fingers of the hand…
As Sam tried to force the life back into his older brother, pushing air through his mouth and slamming hands down over his chest, he remembered Katey and how for one glorious summer he’d had an almost girlfriend. They’d spent most of their time reading medical journals and practicing resuscitation on a dummy her Father had gotten her because Katey wanted to be a Doctor.
with your arms straight, press down on the sternum
His Father had shown him all kinds of things, including this, but it’s Katey’s clear, thirteen year old voice he hears in his head while he works, as if it were yesterday.
Sam woke up to Dean writing something on the bottom of his casted foot.
“Hey!” Sam snapped, trying to pull his leg away, but it was a little difficult with it in plaster from the knee down. “Why are you writing on the bottom?”
“It’s more fun if you can’t see what I’ve written,” Dean smirked, capping his black marker and pitching it across the room.
“What did you write?” Sam demanded, knowing he wasn’t going to get an answer but needing to ask anyway, just in case.
“You’ll have to show it to someone and ask. Or do some gymnastics to be able to see it in a mirror.”
“You’re a jerk,” Sam grumbled.
“In any case, I’m loving those pain pills they have you on.”
“Why?” Sam asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Well, you didn’t even twitch when I wrote on your forehead.”
“I said no hospital, dammit,” Dean growled when he spotted Sam in the doorway.
“Well, then you passed out so I voted in your absence and it was unanimous.”
“Whatever, I didn’t need all this,” Dean said, waving his hand at the IV drip, bed and then tugging on the gown that he knew would show his ass to the world when he got out of bed. “You could have patched me up.”
“I was pre-law, not pre-med.” Sam rubbed a weary hand over his face, dropping into the chair by Dean’s bedside. “You looked pretty bad. You still do.”
“Hey man, no picking on the guy in the hospital bed.”
“Can we just agree that sometimes, we need a hospital?” Sam had that hang-dog expression that Dean had been having trouble resisting since they were both kids. Dean was looking forward to the day Sam was old and haggard and it wouldn’t work anymore.
“Alright, fine,” Dean grumbled, feeling affection wash over him when Sam thunked his head down on the mattress by Dean’s hip.
Dean blinked. “What?”
“You’re staring again. It’s creeping me out.”
”Your brother’s heart stopped…”
“I’m creeping you out? Dude, you’re the one that died.” Dean had tried for flippant but his voice cracked on the last word and Sam looked at him sharply.
”We were able to resuscitate but he’s…”
“I’m fine now. You’re just going to have to face the fact that you’re stuck with me.”
”There is some concern about brain damage but…”
“Maybe you were right.”
“About what?” Sam asked, frowning.
“About this life. Maybe… maybe it’s no good for you.”
”We’ll only know when he wakes up…”
“You’re saying this now?”
“Extenuating circumstances,” Dean sighed, getting up to pace the room.
”In the meantime, you should prepare yourself for the possibility…”
“I’m fine. This life isn’t good for either of us. It isn’t good for Dad either but it’s what we have. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I just…I just want something better for you.”
“I want something better for us, but there’s things we have to do first. I get that now. Miles to go and all that poetic stuff.”
“You didn’t want to do this alone. You don’t have to do this alone. No matter what happens, I always find my way back to you.”
Dean took a moment to look at his brother, dark hollows under his eyes and skin stretched over bone, but resolute.
Sometimes Dean reached a point where he couldn’t articulate what he wanted to say. At those times, he usually improvised.
“Whatever dude, I’m dying for a beer.”
Sam huffed, wry amusement on his face.