Disclaimer: I have no claims to the show Supernatural, the characters or themes, I just like to play with the characters, tease, torture, caress and the rest!! Don't shoot the writer!
Dean watched his brother sleep; Sam had barely woken over the last three days and even then only long enough to sip water or to use the bathroom, with his brother's help. The effort of staying awake seemed to exhaust him, Dean's refusal to leave his brother's side frustrated John to the point of his storming out of the motel room to cool off before either one said something that would both regret.
He wanted to move on to Father Jim's but Dean insisted that until Sam was aware enough they were staying put. He even went as far as telling John to go find a hunt and that he and Sam would be fine.
Normally John wouldn't have needed anyone to tell him to find a hunt, but he made a promise to watch over his boys until they were well enough to look after themselves and that was what he was going to do.
Sighing heavily Dean ran his good hand through his short dark blond hair and shifted slightly, his back aching from sitting in one spot for so long but he didn't care as long as he was beside Sam, watching over him and protecting him from Decebal then he would put up with a few aches and pains.
'Dean you okay?' a soft whisper broke into his thoughts, 'you look like shit.'
'Yeah well have you looked in a mirror lately?' he quipped back unable to keep the smile from his face as he took in his brother's wide open and aware eyes. 'You with me Sammy?'
'Never left.' Sam yawned, 'man I feel like I've slept a week.'
'Nearly, been three days.' Dean said softly regarding his brother carefully, 'talk to me Sam how you really doing?'
'Aside from the headache, dry throat, general aching all over and feeling like I went ten rounds with a werewolf, just peachy keen.' Sam frowned as he listened to himself, 'man I ... I'm okay Dean.'
'Dude you totally destroyed that place with your mind, you're allowed to feel a bit exhausted and sore.' Dean snapped a little more harshly than intended.
'Where's Dad?' Sam asked deciding to change the subject before they got onto shaky ground, 'he take off already?'
'Nah sent him shopping, he's driving me nuts.' Dean grinned mischievously, 'honestly Sammy I thought I was gonna have to do something radical to the old man.'
'Yeah like what?' Sam asked trying to mask the grimace of pain from the eagle-eyed attention of his brother.
'What is it? Sam what's wrong?'
'I'm fine Dean, just ... ah just my feet and ankles ... feel like they've been dipped in acid.'
'It's still the infection,' Dean said not wanting to upset his brother anymore, 'I've been cleaning them for ya and putting heaps of antiseptic cream on the holes.'
'What aren't you telling me Dean?' Sam asked his eyes brows scrunching up as he stared at the tell-tale signs of Dean's face, at times his older brother was easier to read than a child's book.
'Damn it Sammy, it's just an infection ... what?'
'It's more than an infection isn't it.' Sam asked quietly dropping his head back on the pillow as he fought the raging emotions building up in him again. The rollercoaster ride in his mind was neverending lately.
'Okay you got gangrene in them, happy now?' Dean shot out regretting the words instantly. 'Listen Dad brought a doc here and he ... well just say it's lucky that you were out of it when he worked on your feet. Then he gave us some stuff to put on it and instructions on how to clean the wounds, pack them with it. And a pile of prescriptions for ya.'
'Gangrene?' Sam repeated horrified at the thought, 'Dean I'm not gonna lose...?'
'No, no Sam nothing like that, the doc said that he was able to get it all out before it hit your blood stream.' Dean sat back and scrubbed his hands over his eyes as he tried to block the image of the doctor scrapping foul and blackened skin from Sam's feet. 'You're gonna be fine, but he wants to you to keep off your feet as much as possible until the infections clear up.'
'So when I went to the bathroom, that's why you wouldn't...?'
'Yeah, that and you couldn't stand up anyway without falling over, and dunno if you've checked lately Sammy but damn you're so freaking tall and when you fall it's all arms and legs.'
'Yeah I love you too Dean.' Sam sighed smothering a yawn, 'I need a shower man.'
'So this is gonna be fun.' Dean smirked, and then he grinned and jumped up, 'don't go anywhere.' He said disappearing out the door. Sam stared at the closed front door in shock, unable to comprehend just what happened. His feet were not only infected he had gangrene in them, his body and mind ached interminably but Dean still took precedence over all of that.
Minutes later Dean came back into the motel room wheeling an office chair in front of him, 'your chariot awaits!' he grinned like a Cheshire cat much to Sam's chagrin, 'jump aboard the Sammy shower express.'
'You have to be kidding!'
'Nope, look the doc wants you off your feet as much as possible, now just going to the toilet is one thing but a shower is another, dude you have to take it easy okay and if this gets you around without putting weight on the ooze then I say jump aboard the train's leaving the station.'
'Dean, honestly if you make one more crack like that...' Sam threatened but without a hint of malice in his voice.
'So you need me to get you outta bed?' Dean lifted an eyebrow and stared down at his baby brother, a glint in his green eyes told Sam that he was serious. Shrugging Sam managed to sit upright without listing to his side after a few attempts and then lifted his legs over the edge of the bed, bracing himself for a second before he made the move to the chair.
Hovering Dean watched with pride as his stubborn little brother hoisted himself across and plonked down unceremoniously on the hard seat. 'Okay next stop shower city.'
A low growl the only answer he received from Sam, humming to himself Dean pushed the chair to the small bathroom before pulling a pair of plastic bags out of the cabinet drawer, 'you have to keep them dry.' He explained as he covered each of Sam's feet in one and taped them tightly making sure they were water tight. 'Okay now the fun part.'
'I can undress myself Dean,' Sam snapped his face blushing bright red.
'I know you can and while you do I'll get the shower going,' Dean said his tone bordering on condescending.
Huffing under his breath Sam managed to pull his T-shirt off and dump it on the floor then he wriggled the sweatpants and boxers down to his ankles, a wave of dizziness and nausea made him sit back up before he could finish. Grabbing a towel, he laid it over his lap and waited for Dean to stop fiddling with the water temperature. His blush now covered his throat as well as his face this was so embarrassing.
'Okay we ready to go?' Dean asked as he turned back to the red-faced Sam, 'what's wrong?'
'Can't get them all the way off.' Sam said miserably pointing to his ankles. Swallowing a giggle and smart remark Dean knelt down and carefully eased the pants and boxers over the plastic bags and dropped them on the floor with Sam's shirt.
'Now we got ya a stool for the shower so ya don't have to stand and you can still shower yourself.' Dean said tucking his arms under Sam's he helped his brother stand and helped him to the shower cubicle and onto the high-backed stool.
'Thanks Dean.' Sam whispered, 'for everything.'
'No probs so yell when you're ready to get out, I'll go get you some clean gear and make a coffee.' Dean said giving Sam a bright smile, 'it's good to see you up and aware again Sam.' he said before rushing out, not waiting for Sam's reply.
After enjoying the shower's warmth and feeling clean again, Sam turned the water off and towelled himself dry before he called for Dean, the privacy was too precious to give up too quickly. As he dried himself, Sam heard raised voices coming from the other room, 'Dad must be back.' Sam closed his eyes for a moment and caught his breath listening to the growing argument, he stared to hold his breath with worry, Dean and his Dad never fought or if they did, they never did it in front of Sam. That was what Sam and John did, publicly and privately but not Dean and John.
'Listen Dad, Sam's barely been awake for an hour and you want him to travel to Father Jim's?' Dean screamed incredulously, 'damn it old man he can't even walk properly.'
'It will be safer and Jim's.' John yelled back, 'I can't protect him, you like this.'
'Like what Dad?'
'Out in the open, vulnerable, damn it Dean I'm doing this for Sam.'
'Why? He's a grown man Dad he can make up his own mind now.'
'He is ill Dean, and wide open to any and all demons including Decebal.' John let his temper get the better of him then and the words tumbled out, 'he can't control his powers, gifts or whatever the hell you want to call it, he can't control anything. He's prey to any sick fuck that wants to come along and use him. Damn it Dean at the moment your brother is a liability until we can hunt The Demon and Decebal down and kill them.'
'What did you just say?' Dean asked his voice low and empty of emotion, a cold rage built inside of him but he kept it in check, trying to stay respectful towards his father.
'Look at what he did Dean, the devastation he caused just with a thought.'
'That thought, that devastation saved our lives Dad.' Dean snapped emphasising each word with a finger poke at his father's chest; he had to make the man see reason. Too many times in the past John refused to acknowledge Sam's contribution to their family to their lives, he was not going to let it happen again. 'So what? You dump Sam at Father Jim's and go off to hunt again? He's not thirteen anymore Dad.'
'No, I'm leaving both of you there.' John said, his tone enforcing the fact that it was a done deal. 'Now go get your brother and help him get dressed while I finish packing.'
'Dad!' Dean growled, fuck it he was twenty-eight years old, Sam was twenty-four they were not kids anymore, John couldn't just expect them to follow orders blindly anymore.
'Dean!' Sam's voice broke the sudden static charged silence between the men, the urgency in his tone made Dean turn and hurry to the bathroom without another glance at his father.
'Hey Sammy I'm here.' Dean said closing the door behind him, 'damn it Sammy what happened?' he cried out when he saw Sam lying on the floor, half in and half out of the shower cubicle.
'Got dizzy,' Sam said blinking up at his brother, 'don't feel so good.'
'Damn it Sammy I'm sorry I should have been in here with you not letting the old man get to me.'
'Dean?' Sam squinted at the bright bathroom light, 'Dean?'
'What ... what's wrong Sammy?' Dean wrapped another towel around his shivering brother and cradled him to his chest rubbing his hands down Sam's arms, ignoring the pain of his shattered hand.
'Cold Dean ... Dean I can feel him.' Sam tried to string his words together, 'I can feel him in me.'
'Decebal, he wants us back.' Sam whispered, 'why can't they leave us alone?'
'Sam ... listen to me Dad wants us to go and stay with Father Jim for a while, you up for that? We'll be on consecrated ground he won't be able to...'
'He showed me Dean.'
'When I was asleep, he showed me what he did to you.' Sam mumbled, 'it was all my fault Dean I'm so sorry.'
'No, no dude it's not your fault at all.' Dean said holding his brother closer, a feeling of sick horror filled Dean no one was ever to find out, ever.
'Dean I'm tired ... when we going?'
'Daddy's takin' us isn't he?' Sam murmured sleepily, 'don't wanna go and be left alone Deanie.'
'No one's leaving you alone again Sammy.' Dean whispered in Sam's ear, lifting his good hand to Sam's forehead he eased his brother's head back onto his shoulder and then brushed his fringe out of his eyes, 'no one's leaving you alone anymore.'
'Daddy doesn't want me anymore,' Sam whimpered, 'I heard him tell Father Jim, he doesn't want me to help hunt anymore. Jus' be you an' him. I don't wanna be alone Dean.'
'Sh Sammy its okay, no one's leaving you behind, I'm gonna be there with you.' Dean said rocking his brother gently; both still huddled on the bathroom floor. a movement behind him caught Dean's eye, and he looked up at their father standing in the doorway, tears running freely down his weather-beaten face.
'We have to get going.' John said hoarsely before turning on his heels and striding out of the room, leaving his shell-shocked and traumatised sons on the bathroom floor, unable to find the right way to comfort them, hell to comfort himself, the guilt meter just exploded in his mind. Running outside he managed to drop to his knees next to what was claimed to a be a flower bed, and retched violently. The acidic vomit burning and scalding on its upward spiral. An overwhelming feeling of failure filled John as he purged it from his body. Failure was not in his vocabulary.
Weakly he sat back on his haunches and dragged a hand over his mouth, spitting a few times to rid himself of the last dregs of bile lingering in his throat.
Ignoring the pain and dizziness, and the overpowering need to sleep John staggered to his feet and went to sit behind the wheel to wait for Sam and Dean to come out. His head thumped and pounded against the backs of his eyes, as the word failure crept back into his thoughts. Finally, after what seemed to be hours of waiting the boys made their way to the car and their father. Sam shook with the effort of making it the extra few feet to the car, unable to get out of the car to help John sat up straighter and avoided making eye contact with either of them. Easing Sam's long frame into the backseat was no mean feat, and Dean was breathing heavily by the time he finished. Resting against pillows Sam had his legs stretched out on the back seat with more pillows piled under his ankles to take the pressure off his infected feet.
Shivering despite the warmth of the day Sam snuggled into the blankets Dean covered him with and immediately closed his eyes. The events of the day finally taking their toll on him. After making sure they had everything Dean made his way around to the front passenger side door and slid in, pale-faced, with pain lines etched across his face Dean slipped down a little to rest his head on the back of the bench seat. Unable to look at his father he put his sunglasses on and feigned sleep.
It was going to be a long, silent trip as the three Winchester men all tried to come to terms with their own private torments and hells, as well as dealing with each others.
John had already rung ahead and told Father Jim Murphy what had happened, in a short abridged fashion warning him that there could be demonic trouble. He kept glancing at Sam's reflection in the rear-view mirror, the boy's words still stinging his ears, the barbed-wire tightened even more around his heart, and his guilt sat in his stomach heavily. How could he ever fix things again?
Dean glanced over at his father, hiding behind his shades he watched the emotions playing across the old man's face. The looks, of fear, anger, determination, and utter desolation played across his features in a silent slide show.
Sam murmured incoherently in his sleep as another terror gripped him, he could feel the ropes burning him as he struggled against them. Bound to the chair he couldn't move the rope around his throat secure and tight enough to choke him added to his fear but it was what played out in front of him, that held him in awe and horror, unable to turn away, or close his eyes all he could do was watch silently. The gag effectively cutting off his angry screams and sobs.
How could Dean have survived mentally, let alone physically? Decebal's face loomed in front of him, laughing, and mocking him. 'Soon Sammy, soon you will both be back and I promise you, that this is nothing compared to what I will do to Dean in front of you. You took my pet away from me; I will take your brother away from you.'
Sam let out a hoarse scream, his hands flailing in the air as he tried to fight off invisible hands, hearing words unspoken. 'Dean!' He screamed, 'No, Dean what have I done?'
John swore as he fought to right the car, Sam's outburst startling him making him swerve onto the loose gravel, sending dust and stones flying in their wake. 'Dean, check your brother.' He yelled but Dean was already leaning over the seat trying to calm Sam down.
'Dad we have to get to Father Jim's now,' Dean said urgently, 'something attacked Sammy in his dreams.'
'What the fuck are you talking about?' John demanded as he finally got them back onto the asphalt.
'He's got rope burns on his wrists and around his neck, and, and damn it Dad just get us there.'
Author's Note: Sorry guys but I am leaving this story here... I will be posting a new one this week, which will be the 3rd in the Decebal trilogy.
And I promise that there will be an ending in sight!!