A/N: Argh! I'm sorry this took me hyper long to write! But I promise I have some serious angst to share with you. Eat it up, guys! Oh and my chapterly shout out to Dancing Fiyero who came up with a) the party monster segment and b) the you can't answer a question with a question…yeah, kinda all the funny parts. sighBird Watching
"Dean!" Sam skidded on his knees in the moss and dirt to where his brother was now lying. Dean's face was scrunched up, mouth half open but whatever he was going to say was lost in a pained moan. Blood streaked the front of his gray t-shirt, the lines expanded, spread, until red was the predominant color.
"Dean-" Sam was half sobbing, he didn't know what to do. Breathe that's a first step, hyperventilating when your brother's undergoing severe blood loss wouldn't help the situation. He needed to think like Dean, what would he do? Assess the situation. Slowly as he could, Sam lifted the sopping shirt trying hard to ignore that his brother hissed in pain. Four long talon marks caked with dirt, bleeding but not as badly as he originally thought, still, the dirt was a problem. He could get them to a hospital and pass this off as a bear attack, but getting there would prove difficult because the fall did more damage than scratches. Sam had to hand it to Dean, not many people could be dropped from fifty feet up and live to tell the tale, let alone fall gracefully. On the way down, he'd stuck out his hand and grabbed a branch which yanked his arm so hard his shoulder dislocated, at twenty five feet he hit his side on a branch that luckily gave way, and then the ground broke his fall. Keep him talking.
"What a ride huh?" That was all he could come up with after wracking his brain for five minutes, so much for the Winchester cool under pressure theorem.
"Yeah, I knew there was a reason I hated flying."
How the hell did you not break ribs? Sam was slightly baffled, relieved, but baffled as he ran his fingers gently over his brother's body to check for bruising or broken bones. He could already a deep purple spreading beneath the blood and grime, given time and a wet cloth; it'd be a colorful array of greens yellows and blues.
"Did I get it?"
"My dream date," he made a snide face "the flying bat thingy!"
Sam hesitated a long moment. "No."
Dean sunk his head back against the relatively soft ground, a tear leaking from his eyes leaving a streak of skin colored skin instead of grime colored skin.
"You're gonna be fine Dean, and then you can get it, okay?" As he spoke he took a hold of Dean's hand and smiled sympathetically. "You're okay, you're gonna be fine you're alri-" SNAP His brother let out a yowl as his shoulder was snapped back into it's socket.
"Sammy you son of a…fuck…owwie."
"It had to be done dude."
"I hate you."
"It's my fraternal duty, bro."
Sam slipped his arm under Dean head and lifted him onto his lap, softly stroking his hair and kissing his forehead. The elder Winchester tried to say something but it wasn't audible.
"What?" asked Sam quietly.
"Thanks Sammy, now I owe you one… This cuddling is nice and all but I got a cell phone for these kinda occasions, so could you, maybe, I dunno, CALL A FUCKING AMBULANCE!"
They sat for a while in silence after Sam had made the call, and despite the harsh words each was glad of the others company. Wars of the wits were common place with them, but they never meant what the said…well sometimes, but not often. Truth be told they loved each other more than most brothers did because their lives were on the line if they didn't, people say that family bonds snap together in dire situations…it was a constant dire mire.
Soon the swirling red and white lights approached accompanied by a siren, which made Dean jump slightly as the thought immediately that it was the police. Shock was wearing off and aching had majorly set it, making Dean squirm uncomfortably as the pain increased. A team of medics trotted over with a stretcher and proceeded with practiced care, lifting the injured Winchester carefully, deaf to his whimpers.
"Is he gonna be okay?"
"We haven't had time to assess the situation." Short answer, no. "Are you his partner?"
"Yes." He answered blindly. Dean and Sam had always called each other partner as in 'partner in crime' or partner as in 'when things get tough I'll bail you out, partner.' So this context didn't even cross his mind.
"We'll ask you to accompany him to the hospital now please."
"Yeah, yes of course."
Sammy was numb all over as they bumped down the last stretch of dirt road, like he was watching it in third person. He held his brothers hand though he was long since drugged into blissful oblivion, and as he watched Dean's eyes flick restlessly under his eyelids it occurred to him that his older brother had never been taken care of, not really anyway. His hand twitched jerkily every five seconds or so, which shouldn't be happening considering they'd pumped him full of enough sedatives to send a horse to la-la land, Sam felt helpless, not being able to do anything but sit. Thinking more about "their" childhood Sammy remembered Dean kissing his scrapes after cleaning them with rubbing alcohol, Dean picking him up from little league, Dean driving him to dances, Dean giving him "the talk", and during all that time, where was Dean's childhood? Their dad hunted pretty often, and if he wasn't actually hunting he was researching, so Sam's brother was the real man, and woman of the house. Meals, cleaning, repair, those were all Dean's jobs while Sam was doing homework or being the all around good normal kid he was.
Sam sighed deeply, this was an unnerving revelation. There was nothing to be done about the past, however the present was another story, he was needed here and now and nothing was going to tear him away.
Slowly his eyes opened, muscles being uncooperative as possible. There was a low cold chirp of a monitor and bright light from an open window. This was a hospital. And he was Dean Winchester. He, Dean Winchester was in a hospital because…because…he'd gotten the crap kicked/clawed out of him by a huge flying demon. Oh yeah. Oh great. Dean looked down at his hand, which was hooked up to an IV drip, good old morphine, other than that he only had a few miscellaneous wires poking out of him. Under the rhythm of the beeps he noticed a compulsive clicking. Sam was dismantling and remantling a pen.
"Dude, do you have to take apart everything you see?"
"Ugh, you can't answer a question with a question!"
"…Why not?" A wide smile broke out over Sam face, literally ear to ear. Something else, Dean perceived something that made him look younger and older all at once. His eyes were welled up with tears, the boldest ones leaking down his cheeks. Tears would do it.
"Woah, Sammy? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he said wiping his eyes and nose on his sleeve. "It's just, I'm glad you're awake, I'm glad you're okay."
Not meaning to, Dean felt touched. Something about the way Sam had left for university made Dean doubt, ever so slightly, that Sam really wanted him around. It was just like, WHOSH he was gone, packed and away, it be honest it felt a little more than awful. But seeing Sam's eyes full to the brims and shinning in the artificial light made him feel good inside in a strange way, it made him feel wanted.
"I'm fine as long as the drugs keep coming." He managed a smirk. "Hey? Is my nurse cute?"
"Sure, if you like guys named Bruno."
"Why God? Not even now do a get even a teensy weensy break of luck!"
"You did." Said Sam from the chair beside the hospital cot.
"You did get a break. You've been out for a week, it could have been longer by a long shot." There wasn't any humor in Sam's voice, he was deeply disturbed by this situation, by almost losing his brother.
"Shit, good thing." He gave a general thumbs up to the ceiling. "Thanks big guy."
Sam had obviously been sleeping in the room for a few nights at least. Their leather duffel bags were tossed into the corner, the car keys were on the bedside table… those were really all their personal effects.
"No, how long do I have to stay in here?"
"A month or so, plus regular visits for physio for your shoulder, you did some real damage."
"A month, as in four weeks, thirty one days, seven hundred and forty four hours, 44,640 minutes?"
"Those are the magic numbers."
"Greeeeat." He flicked on the TV with his bedside remote. "We better get porn in here."
Sam laughed wearily. From the look of his clothes and his face, which was covered in thick stubble, he'd been in that same chair for days. His shirt was wrinkled to high hell and his jeans were stained with days old coffee, Sam never looked this disheveled. But in an odd way, it was a nice break, for both of them now that Dean was awake and seemingly okay. No demons, no ghosts or monsters, just brothers.
Three weeks later both Winchesters had taken up residence in the hospital, though Sam wasn't staying there under regulation of course. A nurse came in to Dean's room about a week before telling Sam ever so gently that visitors couldn't stay over night and he wasn't able to wiggle the hours with her. Here's where Dean teaching the manly art of flirting came in very handy, he looked as charmingly pathetic as possible and smiled.
"Look, please? He's all I have now, ditto for him. I don't want him to wake up to being totally alone okay?"
"I'm sorry sir, but he won't be alone, this facility is well staffed. You can't stay."
Sam's mask was melting away because he wasn't putting on a show anymore, this was all true. He didn't even want to know how Dean would feel waking up alone. He looked at the nurse with an honestly heart breaking stare. "Please." Childhood memories flashed in front of his Sam's eyes like every time that Sam ever woke up sacred and how concerned Dean would look. Dean would always check under his bed and when the younger brother still lay awake not making a sound Dean would 'pssst' and lift his own blanket covers and let Sam snuggle in with Dean's arms wrapped around him. That's why he was staying, it was about time that someone looked after Dean, so now when he woke up disoriented and drugged Sam could hold his hand and reassure him.
"Please." He said again, shaking himself from his thoughts.
"You two must really be in love, huh?"
"In love?" Sam spluttered, disbelieving. "We're not in love, we're brothers!"
"Oh!" said the nurse as her cheeks turned rosy pink. Actually it was a very pretty color on her Sam mused.
"Well, I'll se what I can do, but don't get your hopes up."
"Gotcha." But as she turned to leave Sam called after her. "Hey, thanks. Really, thanks."
"You just be glad you got the sentimental nurse sweetie. Do you want a coffee or something? You know, just while I'm out, I need to be back here soon anyway."
"Sure. Ummm, can I ask you something?"
"What's your name?"
"Jessie." Sam's face blanched. What a coincidence. Her name was Jessica
"Nice to meet you Jessica-Jessie" He corrected himself.
"Only my mom call me Jessica and even then, only when she's mad."
Dean stirred beside them, blearily opening his eyes and rubbing his face.
"Hey, you still here?"
"Yeah, Dean, and I will be for a while."
"I'll see you to handsome boys in a little while." Laughed Jessie turning out of the room waving as she went.
"Ooh, I like her." Dean's eyes instantly brightened.
Sam sat for a while in silence watching his brother watch TV, he really didn't appreciate how much he loved seeing Dean's nose crinkle when he laughed or any of his other expressions for that matter. Even now when he was supposed to be looking after his brother Sam couldn't help but feel a little comforted by Dean's presence.
"Yuh-huh? This better be good, I've only seen this Flintstones' a hundred times."
"Do you hate me?"
"What? Sammy no! I don't hate you! Why would you say that?" Dean sat fully up taking his brothers shoulders forcing him to look him in the eyes.
"It's just…I got to play base ball, and I got to have a sandbox and do well on tests and go to dances, you were looking after me all the time weren't you?"
"Yeah, but I wouldn't have it…well I would have liked all those things but it's not how I was raised. I wasn't raised to…boy you ask hard questions." Dean smiled sadly. "Let's leave it at I love you okay?"
It was hard for Dean to listen to this, how could Sam doubt that he loved him? Sam's shoulders were bouncing as he sobbed as quietly as he could.
Just on habit alone Sam crawled on the cot and gave Dean a hug.
"Yes!" Cried Dean jumping up and down, doing something that looked like a drunken jig. "I'm free! Free!"
There was a gaggle of female nurses waving goodbye morosely at the sliding glass doors. At the front of the crowd was Jessie, hands on her hips looking as I-don't-take-no-bullshit as ever.
Sam smiled as watched his brother jumps around like a crazy person before he turned to Jessie.
"Thanks for everything."
"No problem, now get that pain in the ass bundle of testosterone off hospital property before I drug him onto silence again." Deceptively harsh words for someone wiping tears away from her cheeks.
"Will do." Sam smirked and kissed her cheek hastily and walking away.
"That's not gonna fly Sam." She said yanking him back by his coat sleeve and planting a firm kiss on his lips, lingering a little longer than was fair. "Goodbye Sam."
From across the corridor Sam heard a shout of "MY CAR!" apparently Dean had found the parking lot.
"My poor baby, did you miss me? I missed you, yes I did."
"You can't drive yet, you know that right?"
"The hell I can't, she's an extension of my soul. We were born to be together."
"Just until the highway, then I drive."
"You just want to get your grubby mitts on my girl."
They laughed together happy to finally be out in something that wasn't florescent lights. Something nagged at Sam that told him that'd be their last break in a long time.
Thanks for reading! Don't worry there's still much to come (let's just say Vampires and New York) I hope you liked this chapter please Review!