Disclaimer: Oh, I wish…and if wishes were boys, I'd have a Dean right now.
Author's Note: When I started this, it was only the second episode, so I didn't know a whole lot about the characters, and even then, once I'd seen more, I couldn't add in most of the revealing info because usually one of the brothers was just finding out for themselves. So, this is just a little tag scene to "Wendigo" because while I was watching, I couldn't help but think "A couple of scratches? That's all?" when Dean escaped the Wendigo. I thought it was probably a little more than that, so I started throwing this together. Not my best work, not by far. I'd like to think it's not my worst either though, but throw me a line, let me know what you think. Oh, and what the HELL kind of car does Dean drive? Is that a GTO or an Impala?
I always loved to drive. Especially at night. My dad always taught us to be afraid of the things in the night, but when you're in a car cruising along at sixty miles an hour, you can't help but feel you're no longer the prey. Even Women in White can't get you in your car unless you bring them in, and hell, I learned my lesson on that already. No more creepy hitchhiking women in dresses in the dead of night on abandoned highways. Dean might need a little more convincing on that, though. He always was a bit of a skirt chaser. But that's a whole different issue that I intend to stay away from.
Dean shifts in the seat next to me, muttering something in his sleep before falling silent once again. I don't really remember him talking too much in his sleep, but then, Dean never slept much either. I can still see the vivid white bandages across his face in the glow of the dashboard clock where the Wendigo caught him. Or maybe it was just from getting dragged around in the woods. Either way, they looked kinda painful when I saw them first in the light after getting out of the mineshaft. Typical Dean, he said he was fine and he barely felt them, and he was more stiff than anything after hanging from the mineshaft ceiling by his wrists.
Then he hit me for taking so long. I couldn't help but smile at that. If Dean still had the energy to smack me around for taking my time rescuing his ass from a flesh-eating frontier time monster, he was going to be fine.
Dean's head tilted to the side so it was almost flat against his shoulder. Man, if he thought he was stiff before, he's going to have a rude awakening if he stayed like that very long.
Of course, if I woke him up, he might want the wheel back, and I wasn't quite sure I wanted to give that up yet. I mean, it took me years to convince him to even let me sit in the driver seat of his beloved Impala, let alone drive.
The thought suddenly struck a nerve. When I told Dean to give me the keys, he just tossed them over. No arguing, no belligerent whining, or cautions about how if I so much as scratched his baby he'd eviscerate me. That was most definitely not normal Dean behavior, which begged the question: what the hell was wrong with him?
"Dean?" I asked, glancing over at my brother, watching him as his eyelids flickered. He didn't wake.
Okay, nothing to be alarmed about. Maybe he just hit his head while getting dragged off by the Wendigo, because, let's face it, it probably didn't care if his meals hit every rock along the trail as he dragged them off for safe keeping. Of course, if he has a concussion, he really shouldn't be sleeping at all.
"Dean!" This time I emphasized my point by giving him a good push on his side.
That snapped him out of it.
Dean suddenly jumped awake, immediately shoving off towards the door with his feet before he was even really aware of what he was doing. Ah, the fight or flight response. He blinked blearily at me, obviously trying to sort out in his mind where he was.
"What?" he grumbled, wiping a hand across his face.
I couldn't help but smile again. Catching my brother off guard was a rare occurrence, and I wanted to enjoy it. "Just checking to make sure you're alive and breathing."
"That's it?" Dean grumbled, squinting at the dash clock. "You arbitrarily wanted to check my state of being at one fifteen AM?"
"Big words for someone who just woke up," I chuckled. "I was just making sure you didn't have a concussion. Sorry to disturb your beauty sleep. There's a hotel a couple miles up the road, if you're interested."
"Whatever," Dean muttered, his eyes drifting shut again, his head thunking back against the window and one hand wrapping around his stomach.
Ah, my brother. Man of few words. We were definitely stopping at the hotel. I like driving and all, but I'm not overly fond of falling asleep at the wheel, and considering the last couple of nights were spent in the middle of the woods with a flesh eating demon out to get us, I haven't caught a whole lot of Z's lately.
I rubbed my hand wearily across my face, and frowned. What the hell was that on my fingers? I stared at them in the dark, but of course, that didn't really help, so I flipped on the interior lights and froze. My fingers were smeared with blood.
"Dean!" I snapped, unable to break my gaze just yet from the glistening crimson on my fingertips.
I heard him groan. "What now?" he muttered, blinking against the interior light as he turned towards me. I turn and notice now that his eyes aren't really focusing.
"You said you were fine!" I growled, holding up my fingers for him to see. "Since when does having a bleeding wound for four hours count as fine! Jesus, Dean, what's wrong with you? You couldn't have mentioned this to the EMT's in Lost Creek?"
Dean just sort of blinked at me, as though I had grown an extra head. "I was doing fine," he slurred, looking mildly irritated that his mouth was deciding not to cooperate.
"Do we have a first aide kit in here?" I demanded, trying to keep one eye on the road and one on my idiot brother.
"Do I look stupid?" Dean grumbled before wincing. "Don't answer that. It's under the seat."
I saw the glowing neon sign about three hundred yards ahead of us for the hotel and breathed a sigh of relief. Dean was going to be fine. Get a room, clean him up, he'd be fine. Dean was always fine. Yeah, and Santa Clause was real.
"Sam?" Dean asked.
"Know how I said I was fine?"
"I lied…pull the car over, I'm gonna hurl," Dean muttered, and suddenly slammed his mouth shut, his hand that was previously resting lightly on his stomach now clutching at his side.
"Ah, Christ," I hissed, and slammed on the brakes, even as Dean rolled and threw open his door, gagging as he threw up everything he'd eaten in the last couple of hours. After a couple of moments the retching stopped and Dean pulled himself up once again into the seat, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth.
"Done?" I asked lightly.
"Shut up," he muttered, "I was fine until you hit me."
"Why didn't you say something? Like 'ow'?" I asked, starting the car moving again as Dean halfheartedly pulled the door close.
"Because it didn't hurt at the time," Dean protested. He actually sounded like he was whining, which he does a lot, but this time…it sounded more like me when I was a little kid and I wanted Dean to fix something. That was bad.
I pulled into the gravel parking lot of the motel, and carefully pulled to a stop so as not to jostle Dean anymore. Like he needed to bleed some more.
"Did you ever consider it was shock?" I asked, switching off the motor and finally turning to fully face my brother.
He smiled faintly at that, a ghost of his normal smart-ass smirk. "Funny thing about shock…kinda clouds your judgment."
I couldn't up but laugh. Damn you Dean and your morbid sense of humor. "Don't move, I'm going to get a room."
"Make sure it's on the first floor," Dean muttered, settling back against the seat, his eyes drifting shut.
When I enter the lobby, I almost groaned out loud. The desk clerk was an elderly man, who looked quite friendly and even sweet, which was bad news for people like us. Friendly service is more likely to ask questions, check and see how you're doing. Or why I had blood on my hands.
"Well, hello son," the man said, smiling as he put a marker in the thick book he was reading. "You're out kinda late."
"Sorry about disturbing you, sir," I quickly apologized. "My brother and I were attempting to drive through the night, but it's not working out so well. I need a room, please, with preferably two beds."
Sometimes I hate how easily I can lie.
"Close but not that close, eh?" the man chuckled, opening up his register book. I didn't even think they still used those things. "All right young man, that'll be thirty dollars for the night. Cash, credit, or check?"
"Cash," I said, digging for bills in my pocket. Call me old fashioned, but I don't really like my brother and dad's method of 'cut and run' with fake credit cards. I know Dean doesn't mind it because in his mind, he shouldn't have to pay, because the work we do is thankless and payless, but keeps the world a little safer.
As I handed over the cash, the old man caught a glimpse of my bloodstained fingers.
"Son, what happened?"
"My brother fell asleep, and when I stopped the car, he fell forwards and hit his nose on the dash. It's just a little nosebleed; I got the blood on me when I was trying to see how bad the damage was. Stupid mistake, I shouldn't have hit the brakes so hard. Didn't mean to worry you," I quickly apologized. If there was a circle of hell for liars, my brother and I were on a train straight for it.
"Ah, that's all right. Do you fellas need a towel or ice?" the man asked.
"Actually, that would be great, sir. I don't want to get blood all over the sheets," I said, gratefully accepting the small bag of ice and the clean but old looking towel. "Thanks."
"Your room is number twelve, down at the end of the first floor. Hope you find it accommodating," the man said, smiling. He went back to reading his book and I darted back out to the car.
"Dean?" I called. "You awake?"
A muffled "mmm" was my only response.
"Come on, we gotta get you cleaned up. Can't have you bleeding all over your car. And you better be able to walk, 'cause there's no way I'm carrying your sorry ass all the way down to the room. Now let's go."
Dean blinked blearily at me from the passenger seat. He'd opened the door while I was in the office, with his feet resting on the dirt while he laid his head against the seat. "I was just getting comfy."
"You'll be comfier in the room, trust me. Let's go," I said, pulling him upright. He leaned heavily against me and for a moment I thought I really would have to carry him. Dean's not fat by any means, but he was still mostly muscle and heavy as hell. Dad used to complain about it whenever Dean got wounded and dad needed to lift or carry him somewhere (which, fortunately, wasn't very often). Finally he got his feet underneath him and we were stumbling towards our room. We probably looked drunk off our asses, but I think I'd prefer that over trying to explain my brother was just woozy from massive blood loss.
The room was small, but nice. Old TV set that predated remotes, two beds and a separate tiny bathroom to the rear.
I dropped Dean on the bed closest the door and he simply fell backwards, either too tired or too sore to care about moving to a more comfortable position.
"Mmm…nice bed," he mumbled, fumbling for a pillow without bothering to open his eyes. "I'm going back to sleep."
"Oh no you don't. I promised the desk clerk you wouldn't bleed on the bed, so you're getting bandaged up first," I called from the bathroom as I soaked one of the towels in warm water.
"I'm good. Vital organs missed. No bones broken. Nice scars…" Dean mumbled back.
I'm not sure if he's mumbling because he's so damned tired, or because he's lost that much blood. I prefer to think it's the former.
When I get back, Dean still hasn't moved from where he dropped onto the bed, but I can tell he's not actually asleep. Just trying not to move a lot.
"Come on, sit up, I need to get your shirt off," I said, setting the towel down in the ice bucket filled with more warm water.
"I don't swing that way," Dean grumbled, absently swatting at me as I tried to lift him up. I want that damn coat off of him, but I didn't want to make whatever injuries he had any worse.
"Get up!" I demanded, levering myself behind him so I could push him up into a sitting position.
"Going…" Reluctantly Dean finally pulled off his jacket, but hesitated again when he reached for his t-shirt.
"Come on, you know the dangers of gangrene just as well as I do. I'll let you sleep till noon tomorrow to make it up to you."
"Couldn't we just agree I'm fine?" Dean asked. He suddenly sounded a lot more awake, and it had me a little worried. It meant either taking off his jacket hurt enough to finally snap him out of it, or he was pretending to be that tired just to get me to leave him alone. Either way, it didn't sound good.
"Sorry Dean. Take it off."
He swore in Latin, some phrase I didn't know the exact translation for, but I knew enough that he was pissed. He tugged the stained shirt over his head and I swallowed convulsively.
"Jesus, Dean…" I breathed, staring at the gouges in my brother's left side. There were four perfectly spaced claw marks, starting from mid-back and curving across his ribs from the Wendigo's claws. They didn't look deep enough to require stitches, except the second one down from the top. I guess Wendigo middle fingers are longer than the rest of their fingers.
"It's just a couple of scratches," Dean protested, shifting uncomfortably as I cautiously touched the tender flesh near the edges of the torn skin. "And you're hands are cold."
"My hands are warm, the cuts are infected you dumbass. Why the hell didn't you say something?" I wrung out one of the towels and handed it to him. "Clean up the parts you can reach, I'll work on your back."
"All right but I'm telling you – OW!" Dean swatted the towel at me but just missed. "Watch it!"
"Stop being such a baby, I barely touched you," I said, pressing carefully against the angry looking wound. Clear liquid wept from the cut and I suppressed a small sigh of relief. At least they weren't all infected if one was oozing plasma instead of puss. "They're not all infected."
"I told you so," Dean said, not looking up from his work. To his credit, he was just biting his lip, no cringing or wincing, which was good. If Dean showed outward signs of pain, it was bad.
"Then why were you sick in the car?" I pressed. I moved onto the next cut and frowned. There were bits of fabric and what looked like dirt smudged into the cut. "Never mind, you probably have a fever too. You know, you probably could have avoided this whole thing if you'd gone with the EMT's."
"You keep talking, but all I hear is 'meh meh meh'," Dean said. He hissed when I pressed harder against the deepest wound, trying to wipe the debris out. "Sammy! Stop that, you're making it worse!"
"I was cleaning out the dirt and shit in here, but since you just called me Sammy again, it's revenge," I replied casually, easily blocking his attempted swipe at my rag.
The towel was originally white, but was now turning an even shade of pink due to the water and blood. I tried to remind myself that Dean had been hurt worse before…hell, I'd been hurt worse, but this time was different. This time it was just him and me. Dad was gone, hell knows where, and he was all I had left.
"Sam!" Dean's pained voice pulled me out of my thoughts.
"What?" I looked down and realized that while I was thinking about Dad I'd pressed a little harder than I meant to, and now the cut was openly bleeding again. "Ah, man, I'm sorry, I didn't mean…I was thinking about Dad, and I wasn't…"
"Sammy?" Dean said before grabbing my hand with the stained towel. When I didn't look up to meet his gaze, he repeated my name.
After a moment I finally looked up, half expecting Dean to smack the back of my head. Instead, he was half-smiling, with a sad look in his eyes, and I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow in surprise. "What?"
"We're going to find Dad. One way or another. He didn't run off on us, you know he wouldn't do that." He said it so confidently, I couldn't help but want to believe him. But everyone else around our family had died or left us…why should Dad be any different?
"But so help me, if you jab me like that again, I'll be the only one there when we do find him," Dean finished, smirking.
"Couldn't help but spoil the chick flick moment, could you?" I said, dropping the towel back into the bowl of now cool water. Dean finished up with the cuts on his chest while I ripped open a couple of packages of gauze from the first aide kit.
"Naturally. It's what I do."
"Well, Mr. Macho, you're in for some fun nights sleeping on your side for a while," I said, carefully taping the gauze patches over the cleaned wounds.
"That's okay. These babies will make awesome scars to impress the ladies with," Dean said, smiling brightly.
"Like you need help," I said.
"Every little bit helps, you know that. Bet Jess was impressed by those claw marks on the back of your neck."
"Those are from a cat, Dean, not a monster."
"I remember that cat. I'd rather face the Wendigo again."
"Sissy," I said, applying the last bandage. I sat back for a moment, admiring my handiwork. "Dean?"
"For sticking around."
Dean laughed, but immediately hiss when it pulled against the bandages. "I plan on living forever, Sammy. So far, so good."
And when Dean said that, I wanted to believe him too.