Author's Notes: So here goes my first Supernatural fic. Many more to come.

As always, don't own the boys.

"Tell me what happened one more time."

Sam winced as a needle pierced the thin skin on his forehead. A local anesthetic was injected, and then he frowned. "I already told you what happened. Why does it matter, anyway? Just, you know, sew me up."

Nurse Dejong frowned right back. She stood on his right, removing suture material from a sterile package, but stopped her movements to look down at him with knitted brows. "We need to know what exactly happened so we can list it in your medical record. Now, you already said something about a bookcase." She picked up the small, curved needle and moved it towards his head. "What else happened?"

Sam felt a light pressure as her warm hands held his head, but the lidocaine prevented him from feeling the prick of the needle. He sat perfectly still on the paper-covered hospital bed- which was really only a padded table, in his opinion- and tried to come up with an answer that didn't involve demon hunting.

It was pretty damn hard.

He squirmed, then regretted the action when the nurse made a noise of frustration and held his head tighter. Sam sighed. What would Dean say? His brother was the expert bull-shitter, always able to fly by the seat of his pants. Sam, on the other hand, was all-too aware of the seconds ticking by as the clock mocked him from where it hung on the wall across from him. He drew in a breath, knowing he had to say something.

"Uh, I got in a fight. With a guy."

A guy demon, actually, but the nurse hadn't asked for details.

She kept sewing, and Sam felt his skin pull as the suture slid through it. "Must have been some fight," she said in a way that made Sam feel like she didn't quite believe him. "Were you alone?"

"Uh, yeah. No. I mean, I was until my brother showed up."

Perfect, Sam. Real smooth.

The nurse tightened a knot and clipped the suture. "So this guy, he threw you against a bookcase…"

"Then it fell on me."

"-then it fell on you." She put a bandage over the bright new stitches above his eye and moved to his other side. "So that explains the bruising on your back. What about this?"

Sam allowed her to take his arm in her hands. Three parallel cuts decorated his forearm, each one red and swollen and still oozing blood.

He hunched over a little further. "Uh, can my brother come in now?" Surely Dean would be done with the paperwork by now. Sam needed his big brother.

"I think it's best if he wait outside for now," Nurse Dejong replied coldly. She picked up some wet gauze and began cleaning his arm. "Where did you get these cuts, Sam?"

Don't say demon claws, don't say demon claws…

"He had a knife."

"Who had a knife?"

Whatever she was cleaning him with stung sharply and Sam pulled back out of instinct. The nurse gently reclaimed his hand, studying him with probing blue eyes, then continued her ministrations.

"Who had a knife, Sam?"

"He did, the guy I was fighting." Why was she giving him the sympathy routine? It was almost as if she didn't believe him.

Oh, right. He was lying, after all.

"I've never seen a knife wound like this," she noted softly, at last setting down the gauze and reaching for another lidocaine syringe. "You can tell me the truth, you know. This hospital strongly believes in patient confidentiality. Whatever you say stays between us."

"It is the truth!" Sam exclaimed, and felt mildly sick doing so. He preferred 'omission of the truth', not flat-out lying to people. "The guy had a knife. I think he wanted to rob me."

"Okay," the nurse replied, and Sam felt like a three year-old in the midst of a temper tantrum. "Then explain the electrical shock."

"The what?" Damn, how had she found out about that?

"Among a very impressive collection of cuts and bruises, your symptoms include hypoxemia, dysrhythmia, and ventricular fibrillation- all symptoms of having received a strong electrical current."

She looked at him expectantly, and Sam felt like he had been caught daydreaming in calculus class. He wilted further under her stare.

"Can my brother come in now?"


He thought for a moment, struggling to come up with an answer that didn't involve a demon zapping the hell out of him. Ah-ha! "I was hit by lightning," he stated proudly.

"I wasn't aware of any storms in the area," she said slowly, one eyebrow raised slightly higher than the other.

Sam jumped on the opportunity. "Oh yeah, it was some freak storm system. Swept through out of nowhere. It only lasted about ten minutes." He looked at the floor, glanced at her face, then shook his head. "It was weird…"

"But I thought you were inside when the bookcase fell on you."

"Well… I was. The storm hit as we were going to the car. Afterwards."

Nurse Dejong tied off the suture and looked deeply into Sam's eyes. "You don't have to be afraid, Sam. If your brother is hurting you, we can call the police and have him arrested-"

"What? No!" Sam straightened on the bed and shook his head vehemently. So that's why she'd been treating him like a kicked puppy! She thought he was the victim of some sort of domestic abuse? That was crazy! Sure he and Dean had gotten in fights- didn't all brothers?- but Dean hadn't laid a hand on him since they'd began really hunting for the things that go bump in the night. The worse thing Dean had ever done was pin him down demonstrate his ability to yo-yo his saliva dangerously close to Sam's face.

And that was more disgusting than painful.

Sam slid off the table, holding his arm protectively against his ribs. The room spun from his head wound and he struggled to keep from tilting over. "I want to go home now. I told you what happened. My brother did not hit me, some maniac with a knife did."

"I really think we should keep you overnight, your heart rate is still erratic-"

"Because my brother is being accused of abuse!" Sam struggled to lower his voice. "I'm leaving now. Gimme an AMA form and I'll sign it."

The nurse sighed and Sam almost felt sorry for her. She was just concerned, after all. "Maybe we can contact your parents, do you-"

"My mother's dead and my dad's… unavailable." He stared at the middle-aged woman and slowed his breathing. "I'll be fine, I promise."

"You sound like this has happened before."

Sam shrugged and flashed her a disarming smile. "Once or twice."

She spoke softly. "Mr. Winchester, what are we going to do with you?" She returned the smile although it was a little sad, like the smile you get when watching the wild animal you've bottle fed and fostered return to the wild.

The question became rhetorical when a loud knock sounded on the door. "Sam? You in there?"

"Yeah," he replied, turning away from her sad eyes and opening the door for Dean.

"Hey," Dean greeted, immediately stepping in the small room. "You look like crap. You been giving the nurse trouble?"

Sam smiled sarcastically. "I think I've been pretty good."

"Good, then toss my brother a lollipop and we'll get back on the road."

Sam stood in front of the door, with the familiar weight of Dean's arm across his shoulders, and he met the nurse's steady gaze. Couldn't she see that this was where he belonged? Wasn't it obvious? Although he would never admit it, Sam had never felt safer anywhere else.

"Just one question, Mr. Winchester," Nurse Dejong said, looking cautiously at Dean. "Can you tell me what happened to your brother?"

"Yeah, I think he was dropped on his head when he was little. Oh- you mean tonight?"

The nurse didn't even try to smile. "Yes. Tonight."

Sam felt his heart drop. Great. Now they were up shit creek without a paddle. How dare her! Why wouldn't she believe him- why'd she have to compare stories? He wasn't five years old, and he sure as hell didn't need protection from his own brother!

"Sure," Dean replied flawlessly, his arm still slung over Sam. "He was attacked. Some big ugly guy thought he could rob my little brother. Boy was he in for a surprise!"

Sam blinked.

The nurse seemed to deflate.

"Then- the weirdest thing happened on the way to the car... Some freak storm came up on us and Sammie here couldn't get out of the way fast enough. Big lightning bolt zapped him." Dean was looking right at the nurse, his voice very sure and his composure solid.

Sam wondered how he did that.

"Thank you," Nurse Dejong said softly, as a light blush covered her cheeks. "I'm sorry for what I said, Sam. You're free to go. Keep your stitches dry, and don't forget your prescriptions on the way out."

He nodded, feeling a little sorry for her. She was probably a mother herself, and just following some strong paternal instincts. "Thank you," he replied, and he really meant it. "For everything." Then he turned to follow Dean.

He caught up with Dean down the hall. "So, how'd you do that?" he asked, sticking close as they maneuvered through the busy corridor.

"Do what?"

"Come up with the same story as me."

Dean glanced at him, smiling. "You're too predictable, little brother. You always pick the easiest, corniest alibi."

Sam huffed and dodged a jogging nurse. "Are you saying I have no imagination?"

"Uh, yeah, pretty much."

"Oh. Well thanks for the vote of confidence."

"Hey," Dean said firmly, back-handing Sam lightly on the chest as he turned serious. He stopped, halting Sam as well, and looked him dead in the eyes. "I wouldn't have it any other way, you hear?"

Sam smiled and Dean's hand fell away. A semi-emotional compliment from Mr. Anti Girl-Moment? That nurse really had no idea what she was walking about.

"Yeah, I hear ya."