Chapter 7: The Calm After the Storm
Summary: When Sam's visions begin to evolve, Dean will have more to worry about than just headaches.
Disclaimer: blah blah blah blah… I don't own them, I make no money… blah blah blah
Previously on Supernatural:
A minute passed. Another minute. Five. Dean's body started to shake, unable to hold back the giant sob welling up in his chest. It had been too long. He was gone. Why didn't it work this time? WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T THEY FIX HIM!
"You've made your decision. It's an unconscious choice Sammy. And even if you won't remember this, you have accepted your place. Your mind will be at peace." The man stepped forward, his image beginning to take on a haze. He grasped Sam's hand in his own.
"Thank you Samuel."
A car rolled by, flooding the dark hotel room in light. Dean sat on the floor, his back against the bed, head between his knees, slowly rocking while one thought was repeated in his mind over and over for the past hour. One more minute. I'll give them one more minute to heal him. Then I'll find the bastards who did this and give them a taste of their own frickin' medicine. Dean's head moved up slightly, just high enough to see the body… my brother… that empty shell… still lying in the blood pool. He ducked his head back down. One more minute. I'll give them one more minute…
A small creaking in the floor boards had Dean diving over the bed, instinct taking over his grieving body as he swung around, knife flashing. Nothing. The room was just as empty as it was an hour ago. No wait. Something was different. Dean looked own again, praying to find Sammy looking up at him with the puppy dog eyes Dean pretended to hate.
His eyes teared up once more in disappointment. No. There he still is. Lying there, covered in… nothing? No blood? Dean's eyes widened. There had been blood. Lots of it. Where'd it go? Dean scurried over the bed, practically smashing in his nose as his foot caught the bed cover. He landed on his hands and knees, his face a few inches from Sam's. I have to be going crazy.
A small river of blood tricked from Sam's neck. No, not from. To. Into to be specific. Like a movie playing backwards, the last of the blood puddle was sucked into Sam. Dean swallowed back a scream as what appeared to be a large worm slithered out of each end of his brother's neck. Squinting in closer, he saw it was more a tube than a worm. Oh my god, it's his esophagus. It's happening. The tubes met each other and almost in a kissing embrace, fused the ends together. The tendons and muscles began to stretch, pulled toward its own torn edge, joining together once more. They began to pulsate, filling with blood and turning a healthy pink. Dean blinked, his eyes darting wildly as the skin sucked itself together, making a small pop sound every few inches, as if invisible stitches were being formed. As the skin sealed itself off, the redness slowly faded, the white scar disappeared. But still Sam didn't move.
Dean felt like he had been holding his breath forever. He leaned in, placing a shaking hand against his brother's newly healed throat. Please have a pulse. Please God let him have a pulse.
"AAAAHHHHH!" Sam's eyes shot open, his mouth gasping for air. Dean's hand snapped away, his body practically leaving the floor as he jumped back, startled… well, scared shitless more likely… at the unexpected movement and noise filling the silent room. It took a whole 2.3 seconds before returning to Sam's side, whose hand had sprung to his chest as he gasped in panic, his eyes darting around the room.
"Sam? Come on Sammy." Dean leaned forward once more, placing a hand on Sam's face, the other grabbing Sam's flailing hand. "That's it brother. Don't panic. Just breathe." Sam took in breath after shaking breath. His eyes finally rested on Dean's face.
"It's okay Sammy. Take it nice and slow." Dean sat, slowly rubbing Sam's cheek, watching as the color returned to his face and his breathing returned to normal. Dean barely felt the tears fall down his cheeks.
"Dean." Sam's voice croaked as if it hadn't been used in a year instead of an hour. "I'm okay? I'm alive?"
"Yeah, Sammy. You're alive." Dean pulled Sam half-way up, almost going to hug him, but instead decided to check his neck for marks instead. This past week has been like a Lifetime Movie of the Week, no need to keep it running. "Let's get you off this floor 'cause my legs are kinda falling asleep."
Sam rolled his eyes. Leave it to Dean to start cracking jokes right after I almost die. And a bad joke at that. Sam pushed himself up the rest of the way, waiting for the usual gut-wrenching dizziness that would always accompany his visions and his most recent brushes with death. A smile crossed his lips when the room stayed upright and he managed to get himself to the bed with minimal help from Dean. Sam lowered himself onto the bed, slowly working his shoulders loose, attentively rolling his neck.
"Dean, stop staring. My head isn't going to fall off. Again." Dean winced, putting his focus onto his hands picking at the bed sheets. Sam frowned. Maybe I should have used a bit more finesse. Dean has to have been scared to the core for him to be so quiet.
Sam averted his eyes, suddenly deciding his jeans were terribly interesting. "So… how long was I out?" He glanced up, checking for any type of reaction.
"Too long." Dean clenched his jaw and stood. It was obvious he didn't want to be talking about this.
"Dean. Tell me."
"Tell you what?" Dean paced the room, looking everywhere except at his brother.
"Tell me what is ripping you apart. You are never this quiet and we gotta talk about this. Cause if you don't, I'll just keep pushing and pushing and if you still don't tell me, I'll keep pushing and pushing…"
"Sammy, I don't know if I can do this again." Dean blurted out. His eyes widened as he realized what just came out of his mouth. Shit. Backpedal time. "It's just… I don't think your body can take this anymore. I mean, you almost didn't make it this time and we still don't know what is hurting you."
"Dean… it'll be okay."
'No Sammy, it won't. I mean, what's healing you? And how long will it stick around if you keep getting hurt? It took you almost an hour to come back Sam. I had to sit here and wait for some unknown thing to heal my brother because I couldn't do anything! My brother was lying on the floor dying and I just sat there! I broke Sam! I can't do that again!"
Sam sat with his mouth gaping open, not sure what he should say or do, afraid anything could tip his brother over an edge. Dean stopped pacing the floor, taking a moment to realize what he had just said. He had never before admitted feeling helpless, let alone weak to his brother in his entire life. Why can't I just… why can't I deal with this like everything ELSE! With that thought, Dean slammed his fist into the hotel wall, breaking through the drywall and plaster.
Sam jumped up and was by his brother's side as he pulled a bloody fist from the wall.
"Dean?" Sam touched his shoulder. "Dean. It's going to be okay."
Dean turned, his fist forgotten. "You can't know that Sammy. Next time you could wake up and… and… your body could be blown apart for all we know!"
Sam smiled gently. "Dean, I'm not exactly sure what happened while I was… gone… but I know it was good. I… I can't remember. But I… My feelings are hardly ever wrong and you know it. I feel like… like I know what to do now." Sam shrugged and looked away for a moment. "I don't know how to explain it Dean. It just feels better. And I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about me blowing up anytime soon, okay?"
Dean looked Sam in the eye, worry filling his face. "Prove it."
"I can't tell the future Dean." A grin pulled at the corner of Dean's lips, threatening to make him laugh. Sam rolled his eyes. "Okay, so sometimes I can. But I'm telling you Dean. Believe me. Whatever happened in the past few days is over. Let's just be thankful and move on. And forget about all this."
Dean sighed, finally allowing himself to release some of the tension he had been holding for week. He pointed an accusing finger in Sam's face. "Alright. But if you're wrong, then I'm going to kick your ass."
Sam grinned. "Okay, deal. Jerk."
Sam walked to the hotel table, grabbing the first-aid kit. "Come on, let's clean up your hand and hit the sack. We haven't exactly been getting a lot of sleep lately."
"Well, that's not exactly my fault, is it Psychic Boy?"
Sam rolled his eyes, not giving his brother the satisfaction of eliciting a response.
That night, Dean rolled over on his bed, staring at his brother. Sam was dead asleep, his body unconsciously facing his brother's bed. As Dean watched, Sam twisted slightly, straining against something unseen before settling again. Dean sat half way up, ready to jump to his brother's aid. Some was different though. Dean squinted, double checking before settling into the pillow, giving himself over to exhaustion. Yup, I'm not imagining it. Guess it really is okay.
Sam lay on the bed, unmoving. A smile was on his face, the usual pained tension was obviously absent. For the first night in a long time, he had no nightmares.
And that's the end! (Trumpet flourish) Hope everyone liked it… this story will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first. However, if you didn't like how the story panned out, then you can give it another go with Feel the Pain Version B. The story will be titled as such and will have a lot in common with Version A (first chapter will be exactly the same), but will still be different. I'm going to wait a bit before posting as I want to write a few chapters and post them together. So please go visit Version B if you wish and don't forget to R&R! Thanks again to everyone who reviewed and waited for this story.