Supernatural - An Alternate Life or Real Life?
Disclaimer: I lay no claim to the characters or the show. Also Trinity Nebraska is a creation of my imagination.
The bite on his hand throbbed unmercifully, absently he rubbed the site he wanted to sleep so badly. Music thundered from the speakers making his head ache even more, he was so thirsty he felt nauseous.
With innate weariness he turned his head to stare at his brother driving, eyes fixed on the road and fingers tapping the steering wheel in tune with the heavy metal music.
'Take a picture it lasts longer.'
'What's up Sammy?'
'Nothin', everything not sure, tired thirsty and damned ... ahh!' Sam winced and squeezed his eyes shut as the pain assailed his senses.
'Sam? Sammy? Come on man speak to me.' Dean risked a glance over to his young brother while he brought the car to a skidding stop, loose gravel spraying behind them landed tinnily on the road.
Sam tried to open his eyes but a white blinding light made him close them again, 'make it stop Dean.' He ground out through his clenched teeth, 'make it stop.'
'Come on Sammy you're starting to freak me, what's happening?'
Sam screamed as the vision came to life in his mind, sending scorching tendrils through the already sensitive nerve endings. He could see a child's bedroom, filled with soft toys and pastel coloured walls covered with pretty pictures of angels and teddy bears. Against one wall a set of bunks in a state of disarray, clothing scattered across the floor looked wet and dark, as though they were soaked in blood. The vision shifted and Sam let out a small wail, the pain surged down his neck and into his spine as he watched the bedroom morph and stretch into the living room. The furniture spattered with blood and gore shimmered in the light from the full moon. The house silent except for a soft weeping coming from the kitchen.
Just as abruptly as the vision started it stopped, then his cramped muscles started to spasm as he went into convulsions. Dean paled as he watched over his brother making sure that he didn't go through the windscreen or the side window during his fit. Dean felt so helpless because all he could do was wait until the spasms finished and Sam was back with him.
'Sam, okay time to wake up.' Dean shook Sam's shoulder gently, the convulsions had stopped nearly an hour ago and yet Sam was still unconscious, the only sign of life the slight rise and fall of his chest with his shallow breathes and the occasional soft moan escaping from his throat.
Worried, he checked Sam's vital signs again, his pulse rapid but steady, his breathes shallow but even all looked good except that he still hadn't woken.
Carefully he picked up Sam's hand and inspected the bite wound, raw and infected looking, the fang marks still visible where they had sunk into the soft fleshy part of the side of the palm. 'Damn Sam if you push me out of the way again I'll ...'
'You'll do what?' Sam asked his voice hoarse and cracking.
'Dude, honestly you are going to make me grey before I hit thirty.'
'Yeah, yeah what hit me?'
'You tell me Sammy.'
'Sam, it's Sam not Sammy.' Sam snapped, his head was pounding this time not just aching.
'So you gonna sit there all day or you gonna tell me what the vision was about?' Dean asked as he started the car.
'Not sure exactly, there was a kid's room with bunks and a – a living room but everything was covered in blood, I could hear someone crying in the kitchen but that was all ... ah!'
'Sam?' Dean asked as his brother paled even more and swayed in his seat. 'Come on man this isn't funny anymore.'
'Dean, ah my hand it's on fire.' Sam cried, 'Dean, please help me, it's on fire.'
Cursing under his breath Dean pulled off onto the side of the road and twisted in his seat to face Sam who sat shaking and staring at his injured hand, 'Dean put it out, please man put it out.'
'Sammy, hey it's not on fire, it's infected but that's all, Sam – Dude look at me.' Dean cupped his hands around Sam's face and forced him to turn his head and look at him. 'Dean, Dean it hurts so much please put the fire out.'
'Samuel Winchester listen to me your hand is not on fire, concentrate and look at me it's not on fire.'
'What's happening to me Dean?'
'Dunno Sammy but we'll find out.'
'It's Sam not Sammy.'
'Now that's my boy.' Dean pulled the car away from the edge of the road and sped towards the town of Trinity, Nebraska.
'So where we heading?' Sam asked finally breaking the silence.
'Get you checked out Sam, your hand is infected.'
'I'm fine Dean honest I just need sleep.'
'Yeah right, let's see you get in front of a dog demon and let him bite you instead of me, then you get sick, freak out and have a vision, lose consciousness for over an hour, wake up and then you think your hand is on fire ... that's about it isn't it?'
'Dean I ... '
'Can it Sam you're getting checked out by a Doctor before we go any further.'
'Dean ... '
'No arguments Sam.' Dean declared as he pulled his car into the car park of the hospital, 'anyway we're here.'
'What about my vision Dean, we're wasting time.'
'Nope, this comes first and then we'll check out your vision.'
Sullenly Sam followed his brother into the emergency department of the Trinity Hospital, the sterile smell of hospital-grade cleaners hit them as they went through the doors inside the small department they stopped and stared about confused.
There were no waiting patients, a receptionist sat at her desk working silently at her computer and two nurses wrote up reports and the larger desk behind her. The silence was almost deafening in its intensity.
'Can I help you?' The young receptionist asked as she looked up and stared at the two young men.
'Ah yeah my brother here needs to see a Doctor.' Dean said smiling warmly as he raked his gaze over her lithe figure, her large blue eyes and red hair cut in a stylish bob.
'Can I ask what's wrong?'
'Got himself bitten by an ... animal we think it has gotten infected and he's running a fever.'
'Sam, Sam Mitchell, I'm Dean by the way.' Dean smiled and glanced down at the silver name plaque, 'Sheryl is it?'
'Sure is.' She answered with a warm smile as she focused on Dean completely and then blinking suddenly she turned her attention to Sam, 'he does look rather pale doesn't he.'
'Oh that, yeah he's always a bit on the white side ... '
'Dean I'm not ... ' Sam started to correct his brother when he winced and pinched the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut as another vision blasted into colour in his mind.
'Nurse we need help here.' Sheryl called over to the two nurses still engrossed in their reports. One of them, a young woman with blonde hair pulled back into a severe bun and a plain face with no visible make up glanced up and stared at the two new arrivals and the receptionist after considering them she slowly made her way to them and went straight to Sam.
'Ah we have a free cubicle just through here.' She said just loud enough for Sam to here, 'the Doctor is due down here very soon.'
Sam nodded his head in acknowledgement but kept his eyes closed as he tried to make sense of the events floating through in his thoughts.
'Are you related to this young man?' The nurse turned to stare at Dean, a disapproving look on her face.
'Yeah I'm his brother Dean, his name is Sam, look I hate to rush things here but my brother is not doing so good can someone do something for him?'
'I am taking Sam to the cubicles now, you can wait here for him.'
'No, no sorry but we stay together.' Dean said his eyes narrowing suspiciously, something deep down inside his gut didn't feel right, instinctively he didn't trust the nurse or the hospital.
'Sorry young man but you will only be in the way while the Doctor examines your brother we will come and get you after the exam.'
'Dean!' Sam gasped as his knees buckled and his lanky frame crumpled to the floor, a trickle of blood came from his nose, 'Dean?'
'Look lady I'm not going to stand here and debate things with you, I'm coming with Sam whether you like it or not.'
'Grace get a gurney here now.' The nurse ordered her counterpart as she crouched down next to Sam and checked his pulse, 'we don't have time to argue Mr ... ?'
'Mitchell, no we don't so let's get going.' Dean argued as he helped lift his unconscious sibling onto the gurney.
The nurse glared at Dean and shook her head but stopped arguing with him, she would deal with him later.
'Hope do you want me to go and page the Doctor?' Grace asked as she tucked a blanket around Sam.
'Please, I'll take our young patient here to cubicle two.'
Dean turned to stare at the other nurse, she looked about the same age as the first one, again plain faced with no visible make up, her hair cut in the same bob was the only difference, dark brown instead of blonde.
His attention focused on Sam once again as he started to thrash about on the gurney desperately trying to wake up from the terrors only he could see. 'Sam buddy wake up time.'
The nurse gave the gurney a hard shove and started pushing it towards the curtained area at the rear of reception, breaking the tenuous contact Dean had with Sam.
A low growl rumbled up Dean's throat as he pulled away from Sam and had to watch the nurse named Hope wheel him behind the curtains. Lengthening his stride he managed to catch up with them just as the end of the gurney disappeared behind the screens of cubicle two.
With a look daring the nurse to mess with him Dean took up his post at the head of the bed, next to Sam's shoulder so he could make sure he could keep an eye on Sam and still watch the nurse and doctor deal during the examination.
The screen parted just then as a tall robust looking man strode in, with steel grey hair and pale grey eyes he looked like death warmed up. His white skin barely held any other colour, rimless glasses hung from a thick cord around his neck. He wore the standard white lab coat and stethoscope around his neck. 'Who do we have here Nurse?'
'Young man aged twenty-three, he presented with periods of unconsciousness, bleeding from the nose, fever, and an infected bite on his left hand.'
'He had convulsions on the way here.' Dean cut in, 'then he was unconscious for an hour or so.'
'And why did it take you so long to get here young man?'
'Coz we were still on the road out of town, I pulled over to make sure that he was alright and didn't hurt himself and then got here as fast as I could.' Dean answered hating the defensive tone to his voice, 'he got the bite two days ago.'
'Do you know what bit him?'
Yeah you idiot a demonised dog, 'some sort of dog.' Dean grumbled, just then Sam started to thrash violently in the bed, his eyes snapped open but were unfocused and glazed over.
'Dean, Dean save them ... get them out of here ... before it gets you too.' Sam screamed reaching for something that he was the only one who could see it, 'get them out now ... I got the gun and rock salt.'
'What's he talking about?' The doctor demanded staring at Dean.
'Dunno doc he has nightmares all the time.' Dean countered desperately trying to think of a way to keep Sam quiet.
The doctor frowned at Dean and then gave the nurse an order for a mild sedative, just enough to calm Sam down, he explained to Dean the young man looking increasingly distraught as Sam tried to fight the nurse and doctor off him.
'No!' Sam kept crying out as he pushed them away, 'get off me!'
'Sam, Dude it's Dean come on calm down man, let the doctor take a look at you.' Dean grabbed Sam's flailing hands and made him lie still, 'come on Dude look at me.'
At the sound of Dean's voice, Sam stopped struggling and tried to focus on his brother's face, 'Dean?' He asked sounding confused and lost.
'That's it Sammy, you're safe and in the hospital.'
'Hospital?' Sam echoed his confusion growing, 'no – we gotta get out of here, they're coming Dean we have to go and help ... help who? Dean what's happening to me?'
'That's what we're gonna find out Sammy, but first you have to let the doc take a look at you.'
Sam blinked hard and turned to face the stranger trying to hold him down, 'you're a doctor?'
'Yes son, I just want to give you something that will help calm you down.'
'Dean what's going on?' Sam asked letting his gaze slide back to the only familiar face in the room.
'Dude you ... you got sick on the way into town, kinda freaked me out a bit there Sammy.'
'It's Sam not Sammy.'
'Now that's more like it Sammy, just please let the doc check you out.'
'Then we can go home?'
'See what the doc says first okay Dude.' Dean frowned as he stared at his younger sibling carefully, the dark smudges under his eyes, the sallow look to his skin, but it was the dullness in his hazel eyes that really made Dean start to worry.
'Look young man I would like to examine your brother now you can either stand back over there and stay quiet or go and wait in reception.' The Doctor stepped between the two brothers and focused his attention on Dean. 'It's up to you.'
'Fine, I'll just be over here Sammy.' Dean said as his eyes narrowed and he stared at the doctor for a few more seconds before he stepped back and leant against the wall, his arms folded defiantly in front of him.
The doctor glared at Dean and then turned his attention back to his patient, with efficient brusqueness he gave Sam a cursory examination, speaking in low tones to the nurse, he acted as though he was examining a lump of meat, taking no notice of the winces and gasps of pain from the young man on the bed. He spoke to the nurse once again, then when she left to do his bidding he turned back to Sam a strange look on his face, 'okay young man let's see what makes you tick.' He whispered just loud enough for Sam to hear.
Turning to Dean he stepped towards him, 'I am going to have to do some more tests on Samuel, I suggest that you come back later, they will take about an hour or so.'
'Look doc I don't think that's such a good idea, I'd like to stay with Sam.'
'I am sorry young man, I didn't make myself clear I really think it would be a good idea for you to come back in about an hour, there is nothing for you to do and you won't be allowed in the room with Sam during the tests anyway.'
'What kind of tests are you talking about?'
'Firstly an MRI and a Cat Scan to see if there is anything internally going on, then there are a few other neurological tests I would like to do to rule out a few things, as well as blood work-ups and such.'
'Dean, it's okay go get a motel room and something to eat I'll be fine.' Sam said his voice failing as another wave of exhaustion hit him. 'Just so tired.'
'I'll be right back Sammy, I'm not going anywhere.'
Just then the nurse returned with a small tray holding a syringe and a vial, the doctor ignored the suspicious scowl on Dean's face and quickly filled the needle and injected it into the IV bung in the back of Sam's hand.
Sleepily Sam blinked and gave Dean a tremulous grin before his eyes slowly closed and he appeared to full asleep. 'That's better, he's resting now young man and if you don't mind me saying so, you look like you could do with a good rest as well. Don't worry about your brother we'll take good care of him.'
'Thanks Doc.' Dean said as he kept his gaze focused on Sam, 'I'll be back in a few.'
'Just come into the reception and they will page me when you do.' The doctor said patting Dean's arm in a slightly comforting fashion.
Dean watched the silent orderlies as they wheeled the bed out of the cubicle and whisked Sam away behind swinging doors deeper into the hospital depths, a feeling of dread passed through him as he slowly made his way back to his car, something was not right in that hospital he was sure of that.
With a heavy sigh Dean pulled out his mobile phone and pressed a well-used speed dial button, he tried to concentrate on the message but his thoughts kept returning to Sam alone in the strange hospital. 'Dad, if you get this I just want to let you know, Sam's sick and he's in hospital, we're in Trinity, Nebraska. I'll let you know when I find out more, but if you can Sam needs you here Dad ... I need you here.' Dean left his message on the voice mail, as he watched the building in front of him. In the fading light, it appeared dark, looming and very ominous against the dusk sky.
Wearily he climbed into the car and sank back into the driver's seat, flicked on the tape deck and turned the volume up as Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' came blasting through the speakers and slowly pulled out of the car park, intent on finding the closest motel, having a quick shower, grabbing a coffee and food and returning to the hospital as soon as he could.