Dean stared guiltily at his hands clasped together on his knees. He didn't dare look up, knowing he'd only be met with his father's furious glare.
Dean hadn't meant for Sam to get hurt! Of course he hadn't. It was supposed to be a little prank. It was April Fools' Day after all.
That didn't change anything though. Dean had gotten Sam hurt. Dean should have known better. John had already told his eldest that about a hundred times as they waited in the hospital waiting room for news on their youngest family member.
Dean sighed. All he'd tried to do was cheer his brother up and have some fun.
Dean smirked as he shoved the clown mask into his duffel bag, hidden underneath the weapons they needed to take out the ghost.
"Are you ready?" John asked, shouldering his own duffel bag and grabbing the Impala's keys.
Dean nodded and followed his father out to the Chevy. Sam trailed along behind them.
"Wipe that frown off your face," John snapped at Sam as the boy climbed into the backseat of the car.
Dean settled down in shotgun and peered over his shoulder at his brother. Sam was moping, scowling.
He didn't want to go on this hunt. He'd rather stay at the motel and do homework.
But John needed them there. There were no other hunters in the area and their father couldn't get rid of the ghost by himself.
Besides, Sam could use the practice.
Dean turned around, thinking about the mask in his duffel and hoping that he might just be able to make this night a little more entertaining for his brother.
The manor house was huge. It had over a hundred different rooms from basement to attic.
It was old and moldering. A chain-link fence around the property deterred most people but there was always the odd drifter or group of nosy kids who found a way inside.
The resident ghost, a woman named Fern Gates, had been murdered by her husband and her body hidden somewhere inside the mansion. Fern wasn't exactly violent. Yes she was known to scare the living daylights out of anyone unlucky enough to see her, but she really posed no threat to the living.
But a ghost was a ghost in John's eyes and Fern Gates needed to be laid to rest.
The door creaked on rusty hinges as Dean pulled it open.
"You boys start on the top floor make your way down," John told his sons, "I'll work my way up from the basement."
Dean nodded and walked confidently across the dusty hardwood floors.
Sam said nothing. Dean knew he didn't think the ghost needed to be destroyed. That was why Sam was pouting. He had said as much to John and had been told to keep his mouth shut and do as he was told.
The stairs groaned underneath Dean's feet and he stepped carefully.
"Maybe she wants to go," Dean whispered to Sam, trying to defend his father's views, "It can't be much fun being stuck here."
Sam sniffed, "But she's not hurting anyone."
Dean shrugged and set his duffel down once they'd reached the landing. He grabbed a sledgehammer from the bag and held it out to Sam.
"What are you going to do?" the younger boy asked, taking the hammer.
"Look around for places a body could be hiding," Dean answered.
"Look, you do the grunt work for an hour and then we can switch, okay?" Dean said and Sam nodded, satisfied with that arrangement.
Dean didn't put on the mask right away. He really wanted to surprise his brother. After an hour of searching the house, he took over the hammering, smashing holes into the walls and floorboards in an attempt to find the body- and not just wantonly destroy private property- he claimed.
Dean waited until it was almost two in the morning. Sam was tired and irritable; definitely in need of a pick-me-up. Dean handed Sam to sledgehammer and walked away under the pretense of searching for Fern Gates' remains.
He could hear Sam swinging the sledgehammer from behind him as he ducked into an abandoned bedroom and pulled out the mask. Chuckling to himself, Dean slipped the rubbery face over his head and stepped from the room.
He could barely see with the mask but that was okay. He could hear the sound of his brother smashing the walls clearly enough.
At first Sam didn't notice Dean. He was too focused on his job.
Then, slowly, he looked to his side and saw his brother. The look on his face was priceless.
Sam had always been afraid of clowns. Dean didn't know why but it was hilarious. Sam's eyes widened and his mouth opened in an 'o' of surprise.
The boy began backing up.
Dean, unable to see much other than what was directly in front of him, didn't see that Sam was standing on the landing… and had begun to back up towards the staircase.
Dean smiled and jumped forwards.
Sam yelped and vanished from sight. A crashing sound followed the younger brother's disappearance.
Dean frowned, "Sam? You okay?"
Did he faint? Dean wondered.
There was no response.
Yanking the mask off, Dean's heart leaped into his chest when he was that he was standing in front of the empty landing.
Rushing forward, Dean's heart almost stopped at the sight of his brother lying crumpled at the bottom of the stairs.
All mirth left Dean and he ran down the stairs, falling onto his knees beside his sibling.
Sam's eyes were closed and he wasn't moving.
"Sammy?" Dean said anxiously, mouth going dry at the sight of blood running down his brother's face.
"DAD!" Dean yelled and hastily felt Sam's neck for a pulse.
The stomping of boots announced John's arrival.
"What the hell happened?" he asked, kneeling down beside his sons, "Was it the ghost?"
Dean wanted to lie but he knew he couldn't.
"N-No, Dad," he said quietly, "I was trying to scare Sam, for a prank, and he just fell."
"Damn it," John swore, "We need to get him to a hospital."
Dean made to pull his brother up but John pushed him out of the way.
"I'll do it," he growled, "You've already done enough. Go gather the equipment."
Dean felt like crying. He knew he'd screwed up; John didn't have to rub it in.
He watched as John gathered Sam into his arms and began walking towards the front door.
Dean's stomach was twisted into knots. He didn't know what he had been thinking. He was supposed to keep Sammy safe and he'd hurt him.
He was a terrible brother.
"Family of Samuel Winchester?"
Dean looked up instantly at the sound of his brother's name and saw a middle-aged female doctor peering around with a clipboard.
"Here," John said and stood, "I'm John. Sam's father."
Dean got up as well, "Is he going to be okay?"
The doctor nodded and Dean felt relief wash over him.
"Sam has a concussion and he needed stitches for the gash in his forehead. He also dislocated his right shoulder. But, he's very lucky his injuries weren't worse. Sam will be bruised and sore for a couple of weeks but he'll make a full recovery."
"Thank you, Doctor," John said, "Can we see him now?"
Dean didn't look at John as they followed the doctor down the hall to Sam's room. Even though Sam was going to be okay, he knew his Dad was still angry with him.
The small family stopped outside the door as the doctor opened it with a smile.
"Use the call button if you need anything," she said and left the family alone.
Dean rushed into the room; heart hammering in his chest, an apology on his lips.
As soon as Sam saw him, he started laughing.
Both Dean and John stared at Sam.
It's the concussion, Dean thought; it's making him loopy.
Sam didn't look like he should be laughing. He had gauze covering one side of his forehead while blue and purple bruises began to darken all down the right side of his face. His right arm was resting in a sling across his chest.
"Sam?" Dean asked cautiously, "What's so funny?"
It took a moment for the younger boy to get his breath, "You."
Dean glanced at his father confusedly. John's eyebrows were furrowed in worry.
"Uh…" Dean began but then Sam continued.
"That was great! I wasn't expecting it at all."
The prank. The mask.
"Sam-" John began but his youngest continued speaking.
"I'm gonna get you back, Dean," Sam said, "One of these days."
Dean peered at his father before chuckling to himself. He was surprised when John even smiled a little. Even after getting hurt, Sam didn't blame Dean and still managed to act like the kid that he still was, despite being a hunter-in-training.
John just shook his head in disbelief.
Dean grinned, "Happy April Fools' Day, Sammy."
Fanfic title comes from a quote by T.S. Eliot; "April is the cruelest month."
I want your hurt!Sam fanfic suggestions! Send them to me and I will write a hurt!Sam one-shot for every day this month! Feel free to send them in reviews or through Private Messaging. Don't be shy! I've never done this sort of thing before and wanted to try it out.
Please leave a review and tell me what you think.