Author's Note- Here's a short one I whipped up in half an hour, just because I had the sudden urge to whump Sam. I'm such a bully. Enjoy.
"Stay there and don't move."
Sam Winchester leaned back against the cold porcelain tank of the motel toilet. The lid was hard and unforgiving beneath him, grating against his bones as he shifted uncomfortably.
The coldness and fatigue were catching up, quickly becoming overwhelming now that the flood of adrenaline had left his veins. Sam tilted his head back awkwardly against the cream-colored wall and let his eyes fall shut.
Something small and soft landed with a thunk on the edge of the sink, then a zipper was pulled open. Small objects rattled and clinked together briefly.
"Hey- open your eyes, Sam. Don't go to sleep on me."
Wincing against the pain in his skull, Sam cracked open his eyes, instantly feeling the burn of tears from the too-bright lights overhead. "What?" he croaked, turning his head away from the light.
When his vision cleared, Dean was bent over before him, his face mere inches from Sam's. Sam jerked and tried to back away.
"Quit moving," Dean snapped, reaching out and grasping Sam's jaw with calloused fingers. The other hand pressed a thick wad of white gauze to Sam's temple.
Sam yielded to his brother's firm grip, despite the pain that blossomed in his temple. "Stop," he whimpered, closing his eyes once more. "Hurts."
"No shit, Sammy," Dean replied, his breath hot against Sam's cheek. "You were thrown into a wall, again. You know you got a real bad habit of doing that, don't ya?"
Sam swallowed against the tightness in his throat. His nose was getting stuffy and before he could stop it, one tear spilled down his face, dropping off his jaw and landing silently on his clenched fist. Knowing he wasn't suppose to cry, Sam sniffed and wiped away the warm track of moisture. "Sorry," he croaked, unsure of what he was truly sorry for- letting his weakness show, or getting hurt in the first place.
Dean said nothing, but the pressure on his temple lightened marginally. In the silence that ticked by, Sam became aware of his secondary hurts- the aching in his ribs and the throbbing in his right knee. He had hit the wall hard enough to chip the pain and expose the chalky drywall. The fall to the floor wasn't pleasant either.
The pressure on his temple disappeared completely as Dean peeled back the gauze. Sam heard his brother's quiet hiss of sympathy pain. "You should probably get this sewn up."
Sam shook his head, the back of his skull knocking painfully over the bathroom wall. "No, it'll be fine. Just gimme a Band Aid."
Sam pried open his eyes once more and was forced to duck his head to shield his eyes from the bright lights. "Please, Dean," he said, blinking and fighting to keep his balance in a wildly spinning world. "No hospital." He focused on the silver pendant of Dean's necklace as the vertigo was slowly tamed.
The vertical line between Dean's brow deepened as his gaze shifted to Sam's temple and back. Sam held his gaze for a tense moment, looking into the sea-green eyes of a killer without any fear.
Those same eyes belonged to his big brother.
Suddenly Sam's lunch vaulted up his esophagus and he swallowed, looking away as he fought it back down.
"Christ Sam, your pupils aren't even the same size. You gotta go to the ER."
Sam focused on breathing, in and out… in and out… and slowly, his stomach settled. His hands were white and trembling, and the rest of his probably didn't look much better. "No," he protested weakly, "At least let's wait till morning. I'll be fine. Hard head."
Dean growled and stood up, his necklace and leather jacket falling back against his body and leaving Sam feeling way too unprotected. "Don't I know it," he muttered, slinging the bloody gauze in the trash. He rooted through the small travel bag once more, finally pulling out a few butterfly bandages. Sam watched the bag balance precariously on the edge of the sink as Dean approached again.
"Stay still," he ordered, grabbing Sam's jaw once more and tilting his head slightly. Sam's eyes fell shut in anticipation of more pain.
The toilet lid grew even more hard and uncomfortable as he tried not to flinch away from Dean's ministrations. He slowed his breathing, unconscious he was doing it until his lings began to burn. A cold cotton ball was swiped over his split on his temple, and a tight, bubbling pain followed as the peroxide did its job.
Sam held still. He'd had twenty-two years of practice and had gotten quite good at staying his ground, enduring one pain after the other. If there was one thing he was good at, it was taking the pain.
The ache in his ribs was making it hard to breathe, but Sam kept silent. His jaw was clenched, his teeth grating together ever so slightly as he struggled to breathe through his nose.
"Don't move," Dean said, and Sam inhaled.
Dean's fingers were steady as the bandages were pressed to the swollen and tender lump on Sam's head. The pain was blinding and breath-stealing, but Sam held still. His fingernails dug into his palms and even his thighs stretched the damp denim of his jeans.
But Sam held still.
Dean backed away, his boots squeaking suddenly on the white tile floor, and Sam risked moving his head from the wall.
At once, the nausea overcame him and hot saliva flooded his cheeks. "Sick-" he croaked and instantly the trash can was shoved into his lap.
Sam leaned forward, curling over the trashcan just as a meager portion of partially digested lunch ran forth. His ribs burned from the effort. Bitterness stung his tongue as pale, nerveless fingers clutched the trash can like a lifeline. Then suddenly, he was falling forward.
"Damnit Sam-" Dean grabbed him by the shoulders, catching him as Sam nearly took a nose dive onto the bathroom floor. "Stay awake," he ground out, pushing Sam back against the toilet tank.
Sam blinked through very wet eyes, finally lifting his face away from the vomit in the plastic bucket his was clutching. "Okay," he panted, dizziness forcing him to close his eyes once more. "Maybe we should go… to the hospital now."
"I knew you'd see things my way," Dean replied, and the last thing Sam was aware of was his brother's strong arms lifting him from the cold and unforgiving toilet lid.