Please! No one pass out! I know, two updates in a week! I must be sick! (By the way, if you have a moment, I'd love your opinion on 'Mother's Love' (my other update). I've been playing with my theories of Sam's 'gift,' intertwined with the current cannon of the show. We'll see what happens).
So, this is the second to last chapter of this story, but it will be followed by the "resolution" in 'That Which Becomes a Part of You;' the story I had originally set out to write when I began this craziness. Time is just a difficult thing to find these days, so I humbly apologize for making you wait. I am eternally grateful to those of you that constantly poke and prod at me to keep going. And I promise, I'll update 'Cahokia' as well.
This story would not be possible without the unending love and support from Geminigrl11 who has been an amazing inspiration. I also must thank MaddieM who not only found time out of her busy schedule to add her $.02 (actually it was more like $10.45) to this story, but actually housed me as I wrote part of it. Still don't know how she put up with me for a week, but I'll never be able to properly thank her for that.
Thank you all for your support, and remember GO BEARS!!!!!
"Shit! His lung just collapsed," called Justin to the driver in a hurried tone. "Better call it in, Jeff, he's going to have to go right into surgery once he's stabilized." The paramedic continued his evaluation of the situation, hitting Sam with another barrage of voltage.
Beside Justin, Jen continued to monitor Sam's heart, waiting for a spark of life to grace the screen.
Never had she been witness to something so heinous as the torture these two men had endured – especially Sam. She was a trained paramedic; trained to save lives. But when she entered the house, seeing all the blood, it took her breath away. Literally. Had her inaction cost Sam his life?
Jen swore to herself that she would do everything in her power to help save this man; and to restore his brother's confidence in her.
She sighed as the line continued its horizontal taunting. Sam certainly wasn't making this easy. But she wasn't about to give up on him. Not again.
"Breathe, damn it!" Jen whispered, praying silently.
Dean was in agony.
Now fully alert, refusing to let the concussion get the best of him, he watched as his baby brother lay there, helpless to do anything for him. His focus was never daunted as the shrill of the monitor cut to his core. Instinctively, he reached once again for Sam, only to be restrained by the manacles around him. Pain pushed at his being; his ribs screamed as the straps tore into his body. He desperately pulled, trying to free himself as he watched Sam arc in response to the paddles.
Watched as Sam's life slipped away.
All because Dean hadn't put his foot down and left his brother's ass in the last town like he wanted to. Didn't follow his instincts, when everything about this cried out to keep Sam as far away from Holy Cross as possible. And from her.
Watch out for Sammy…
"Sammy, don't you dare leave me!" Dean screamed towards Sam, barely able to keep his voice from cracking. Liquid streams fell down his face as the guilt of the scenario – the sheer terror of it – enveloped him. He took a shallow breath to continue his tirade as fire erupted in his belly. "You hear me? I will kick your ass if you leave me again!"
"We've got him! Holy shit!" cried Jen in disbelief, looking to Dean as if he were a miracle worker. Their eyes met briefly as she felt his relief wash over her. She could feel Dean's gratitude; all other mistakes were cast aside. The young paramedic let go a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
Clicking back to the severity of the situation, Jen wanted to continue the fight, the unspoken promise she'd made to Dean, for Sam. She looked back at the monitor and grabbed her stethoscope, diving to his chest for additional clues. "BP's 80/58, but I hear fluid," Jen announced looking at Justin who was replacing the paddles. "The knife must have punctured his lung. We may have a hemopneumothorax."
Justin finally stole a glance at Dean, who held fear in his features at the term. He gave Dean a reassuring nod. "It means there might be blood and air in the chest cavity. Maybe his lung too. Jen, pull the tube, we don't want to make it worse," he called to his right as she draped the stethoscope over her shoulder, nodding in compliance. Justin returned his attention to Dean. "We can do a quick release of the air with a syringe when we get to the hospital, but it's too dangerous to try it while we're flying down the highway." The paramedic explained, trying to keep the worried brother in the medical loop. "They'll have to do surgery to repair Sam's lung, but they can't do it at Dyersville. He'll need to be stabilized and then transferred to Dubuque."
Dean's head swam with information, but the one thing that rang true was the possibility of not being around his brother. "I have to go with him. When you move him," he stated with authority in his voice. "I need to be with him."
Justin nodded, understanding the special bond the brothers had. He knew that moving Dean again with his head wound was probably not the best idea, but he knew it had to be done; for both their sakes.
Behind Justin, Dean saw Jen preparing Sam for the extraction of the tube. She placed her hand gently on his neck, and soothed the muscles. Firmly, she grasped the plastic and in one yank, pulled it out. The end appeared, bloodied and wet as she quickly hid the sight from Dean, trying to spare him any additional trauma.
Sam had little reaction to its removal as his oxygen level depleted. The monitor beeped again, but the chimes were erratic. Blood dripped from his lips as the crimson started to make its way up his throat. His head lolled to the side as the last of his energy was exhausted.
Dean's heart dropped as he watched his brother's lifeless body. The droplets of blood on Sam's lips and the red of the end of the tube did not escape his notice. Dean felt nausea encroaching him and reached for Justin, who saw him pale. He quickly grabbed a bucket and loosened the top strap for Dean who vomited, almost on cue. He screamed in agony, beads of sweat mixed with tears as they streamed down his face. Dean felt like shards of glass were jetting into him from the head wound, not to mention the additional pressure on his injured ribs.
Justin looked on in sympathy, knowing that his patient was dealing with too many things at once. The nausea was normal for a concussed individual, but the added strain of watching the extubation of his brother had sent him over the edge. He handed Dean a cloth to wipe his mouth, which he took gratefully, as he slowly eased Dean back to the lying position, certain the spell had passed.
Dean stared at the ceiling of the ambulance, trying to catch his breath. Taking in everything around him. He managed a slow lungful of air, willing himself to calm down. He knew the care that Jen and Justin had been administering to Sam was remarkable, but for the first time, Dean began to realize that he might actually lose his brother.
Lose him to the fucking Kitsune.
In reality, he'd lost him from the moment she'd found him. There seemed no escape for Sam. No happy ending.
I had to come. This is not your fault. Please, Dean, you have to know that. The words echoed in Dean's mind.
Dean snapped from his reverie, clearing his mind of negativity, even though his vision was a tad blurry. The empty pit in his stomach lurched again but he kept it at bay. He needed to know what was going on. How to help his brother. Dean steadied his breath, feeling the last of the sweat drying on his forehead. "Is he… will he make it?" he croaked out, coughing and instantly regretting it.
The paramedic sighed loudly, looking back at the young man on the other bed, trying to offer some form of comfort, but knowing not much would be found. He grabbed a small glass of water and offered it to Dean, who took it greedily.
"Honestly, Dean, I don't know. Whatever happened to you two back there, the guy wasn't fooling around." Justin looked at the monitor and the oxygen levels, relieved as he saw Jen following every sign, and trying to clean up her patient. "Sam's lost a lot of blood, so that's our first priority when we get to Dyersville. We just have to take it one step at a time."
Justin watched Dean's jaw tighten at the diagnosis; his eyes becoming glassy as he fought back the impending tears. Justin touched his arm and smiled. "If it helps, I am thoroughly convinced that your yelling brought Sam back. I've seen it time after time."
"Damn right it did," replied Dean letting a tear drop down his cheek. "He knows better than to go dying on me. I'll kick his ass."
Justin snorted a reply. "I'm sure you would." He looked up as he saw the hospital approaching and rose for the arrival. "Just keep still. I don't want you aggravating those wounds any more than you already have." Justin could see that Dean was having none of it and gently squeezed his arm again, winning a glance upward from Dean. "We'll get you and your brother taken care of, okay?"
The ambulance pulled into the bay, sirens blaring. The back doors were thrust open as the medics rushed to get Sam out of the unit. They rambled stats and pulled Sam towards the looming hospital. Several doctors were now involved in the arrival of their newest patient. One barked out questions regarding his lung; another questioned the blood loss and wanted immediate answers regarding his blood type.
The flurry of activity was swift. It was clear they were not set up to handle the severity of Sam's case and they wanted to make sure they could at least stabilize him and get him back on his way to better care.
Dean was then removed and a few medical personnel approached him, poking and prodding. Justin gave a quick overview of Dean's condition to his now attending physician. The older Winchester was oblivious to it all as he used every ounce of his strength to watch as his brother headed off in another direction.
Then panic shrouded him as he struggled to gain his freedom, realizing that his proximity to his brother was being threatened. That he wouldn't be able to protect him.
"Sammy! Sam!" Dean reached an arm towards his brother as they rushed him to triage, placing a mask on Sam's face to give him extra oxygen. The monitors were pushed hurriedly along with him so they could watch his progress as they got close to the ER. Then the doors slammed shut and Dean continued to scream, his face twisted in agony. "No! That's my brother. Please. He's my…"
"He's in the best available care, Dean. You need to let them do their job," Justin soothed, trying to get Dean to stop fighting the nurses. He knew that Dean was in pain, both physically and mentally, but aggravating his injuries would do him no good. "And you need to calm down. You won't do Sam any good if you hurt yourself further." Justin already knew what card to play to cut to the chase.
But the agitation continued as Dean still struggled to gain his freedom. "No! Please. I have to go with him. He's my brother, my responsibility." Dean's eyes filled with tears as he pleaded with the young paramedic, starting to release the second strap on the gurney. "Please." Determined to get to his brother, Dean continued to loosen the belt and began to swing his leg over the side, aiming for the direction they had taken Sam.
Dean was desperate; ignoring the dizziness and throbbing in his head. Oblivious to the stabbing of his ribs into his own lungs. None of it mattered as he fought the horde of people now surrounding him. Their voices rose as they tried to calm the irrational man before them. Justin took the lead, trying to quiet him down and get him back to the gurney.
Dean's focus was on one thing only - Sam - so he never saw the nurse approach from behind. In an instant, she shot Dean with a controlled dose of morphine into his IV, knowing this small amount would relieve his pain and make him more docile without aggravating his concussion further.
Dean's struggles were suddenly sluggish, and he looked to his arm, following the port back to the IV bag. The nurse capped the needle and slowly stepped back from the gurney. Dean felt the warmth enter his bloodstream too late as he regarded the mass of medical personnel around him, finally landing his gaze on Justin. His eyes widened in something akin to fear.
Fear of not being able to help Sam.
"No. Please. I'm…"
The fogginess overtook Dean. The world spun as the pain in his throbbing head and chest ceased; along with his ability to breath. His eyes settled on Justin's as he felt his throat close, trying to speak, but knowing it was no use. A quick release of air was all he could manage.
Morphine. I guess I should have told them I'm allergic…No, Sammy…
Justin could see right away that they had made a mistake as he watched Dean's eyes roll back into his head. "Shit! He's allergic. Damn it! Christy, get an EpiPen now! Grab the antihistamine too, just in case. He's going into anaphylactic shock."
The nurse ran off in another direction, understanding the severity of the situation. Christy cursed herself for not asking him if he was allergic, but there was simply no time. She stumbled into the drug closet and grabbed the requested supplies and some steroids in case things got really bad. Better to be safe than sorry.
Guess I should have thought of that in the first place.
When Christy arrived back at the scene, Justin was trying to push a tube he had scavenged from the ambulance quickly down Dean's throat before it was too late. He wasn't having any luck as he slowly watched Dean's lips turn a sickening shade of blue. The swelling was blocking Dean's airway and they were running out of time. Christy grabbed the Epi quickly and fisted it, injecting it immediately into Dean's thigh. She held the pen for fifteen seconds; enough time to know that the medicine was making its way into his bloodstream.
They watched and waited.
Color slowly came back to the man's features and the swelling began to cease slightly. Justin, not taking any chances, inserted the tube as their back-up plan. He was confident that they caught it in time, but the luck of these two brothers was not something he was willing to play with. The medical team heaved a collective sigh and wheeled the incapacitated man to the nearest room to check him for further damage.
And a quick shout out to my homies at the Sam board! Limp-Sam dot com. You guys rock!