Disclaimer: I do not own or lay claim to anything related to Supernatural.
Five times Sam broke a bone (and one time Dean did, too)
Dean figured it was real shitty luck, though he wouldn't use that kind of language around his dad. After all, he had been training for years, and Sam had been training for a while now too, and you'd think that all the fighting and guns and knives would cause some problems injury-wise. But no; eleven years old, and Dean had barely gotten more than a scratch and a couple bumps and bruises. Sam was no worse for wear. Well, hadn't been.
And the funny thing was, he didn't break his wrist because of training: it was, instead, because some idiot hooked up the monkey bars wrong at the park, and after school one day Sam had been swinging across and one got loose and he just went down. Lucky his wrist was there to break his fall. Or, you know, just break.
Still, Sam was all sniffly and teary like some big bully had just kicked his puppy (or like Dad had just told him, for the umpteenth time since Sammy had found out about pets, that they couldn't get a dog). And Dean, going into super-awesome-big-brother-mode, scooped up the kid and did what any amazingly wise elder sibling would do: ran like hell.
And so Sam had gotten a nice white cast, and Dad had gotten a bill he couldn't pay, and Dean had gotten a lecture on not letting Sammy get hurt. And everything was fine.
So why, why, had Sammy gone all quiet and moody? The kid was only seven years old; what could possibly be weighing on his crazy little mind? Dean tried to ignore Sam's sullen quietude, but oddly, it was easier to tune out the kid's chatter than his silence.
"Sammy, what is it?"
Sam picked at his cereal some more, swinging his legs back and forth. "I don't like the cast."
Dean blinked. That was it? Easy. "Don't like the cast? What are you, nuts?" Sammy blinked up at him with wide, round eyes. "That cast is gonna be so much fun for you."
Warily, Sam put down his spoon and furrowed his brow, discerning in a way that made Dean wonder if his little brother had the mind of someone much older. "Fun how?"
Dean grinned. "Well, for one, it's like a battle scar, and everyone knows how cool battle scars are. I bet the whole second grade'll be asking how you broke it."
"Really?" Sam's brow loosened, and his eyes glinted hopefully.
"Yeah! And you know what else? People love signing casts. It's like a yearbook or a get-well-card. Everyone'll wanna sign their names and draw pictures and stuff on it."
Now Sammy looked downright gleeful. His legs swung faster, with a momentum that belied the previous melancholy of their listless sway.
"Why don't you bring those markers to school with you? The ones your teacher gave you to color with?" Dean suggested. "Then everyone can pick their own color to write their name."
"It'll be like a rainbow!" Sammy cried out excitedly, as though the idea of a rainbow on his arm was about the best thing he could ever hope to have happen. And without further thought, he dashed out of the room to get the markers.
So. Mission accomplished.
Then why did Sammy look so glum after school, dragging his backpack along the floor with his face pointed downwards, all previous childlike frenzy dulled? Dean was about to ask how school had been, trying to detect the problem, when he saw his brother's cast.
It was a nice white cast, pure and unblemished, without a single mark marring its clean surface.
Dean felt his stomach drop. It only fell further when he found the colored markers in the trash.
So that night, once Sammy was sound asleep, Dean grabbed the markers and crept over to his little brother's bed. He used every color: brown for the dog, green for the grass, yellow for the sun, and the rest for the rainbow, though he'd never fess up to actually drawing a rainbow or anything. That was girly.
He signed his name on the other side.
And he almost forgot it was a bad thing to break your arm when he saw his brother's smile the next morning.
So, 17 and ready to break out of high school after four years of torture, dammit, Dean was just a little antsy. And when Dean got a little antsy at that age, it meant too much pent-up energy that was just screaming for a hunt, for a good fight. Unfortunately, Dad wanted Dean to finish the rest of senior year without transferring again, so they were stuck in Bumfuck, Nowhere, with the only thing for miles around being fields and cows. (On a complete side-note, Dean had always wanted to go cow-tipping, and was still waiting for a good opportunity).
Anyway, it was the perfect place to cause trouble, because there seemed to be so freaking little of it. Sometimes, Dean hated the Midwest.
Naturally, then, Dean got into a fight.
It wasn't his fault, really; the other guy had it coming. His whole world was cornstalks and football, and he was just begging someone to kick the crap out of him with his I-own-the-world attitude. And Dean was just the guy to do it.
He really couldn't remember what started the fight; all he knew was that the idiot had been goofing off with some buddies after school, and Dean had made some snide comment, and all of a sudden they were tussling on the ground with Sammy watching from the side, wide-eyed and clutching his backpack.
Of course, the yahoo's friends had to join in, and being the infernal cowards that they were, who did they decide to pick on? The thirteen year old kid. Of course. Grabbed his backpack, shoved him back, basically laid into him—and Sammy, well, he did put up a hell of a fight. Guess the training wasn't all for nothing, from what Dean saw as he was busy punching the jackoff's face in.
Unfortunately, one of the friends reached into Sam's backpack and pulled out one of his monstrous books. Before Sammy could get out of the way, he swung the book through the air, and it smacked into the kid's face. Hard.
And that was how they ended up hurrying back to the ramshackle house they were staying in, tails firmly between their legs. While Dean had gotten the better of the main douche bag, he'd promptly forgotten his victory at sight of Sammy crouched on the ground with his palms over his nose, blood pouring over his chin and onto his shirt.
By time they made it back, the bleeding had stopped, but the swelling had just begun. His nose was already twice its normal size and was turning a lovely shade of purple. Dean grimaced. "Man, I think you might've broken it."
"Yeah?" Sam grumbled, wincing as he reached up to feel the damaged flesh. "What were you thinking, going after those jerks? We were outnumbered two to one!"
"And clearly they had the benefit of you being such a girl, too, Marcia," Dean replied, more at ease now that they had escaped the goons intact. Or, you know, mostly.
"Shuddup," Sam grumbled, his swollen nose giving him the voice of someone a bit under the weather. Which, of course, only added to Dean's amusement.
"Seriously Sam, a broken nose? Didn't anyone ever tell you not to play ball in the house?"
"Shuddup," Sam repeated, grabbing his backpack and his bloody algebra book and chucking them onto the kitchenette countertop. Then he hesitated, as though an unsavory thought had just crossed his mind. "I'm not gonna… you know, have a crooked nose for the rest of my life, am I?"
Dean grinned. "Nah. Well, not so much crooked as hooked. You'll probably look like a Toucan for the rest of your life. But hey, who doesn't love Toucans?"
Grumbling his annoyance, Sam shoved Dean's shoulder. "This is all your fault, you know."
"Yeah. Sorry I broke your nose."
"And it's not funny, either," Sam shot back at Dean's light tone. But that only caused Dean's smile to widen, for Sam was speaking as though he were severely congested. "I'm serious. Knock it off."
"I know," Dean replied, a bit more subdued. "Once Dad gets back… well, I can probably fix it for now. I'll get the first aid kit… But, you know," he added, the devilish glint returning to his eyes. "It's really more your fault than mine."
"Oh yeah? How's that?" Sam asked sarcastically.
"Hey, is it my fault you take smart classes with those huge-ass books? You wanna blame someone, blame whoever decided that anyone needed 1,000 pages of algebra in their lives. Ever." Dean laughed. "I mean, books that big… they'll kick your ass, man. They'll beat you up. They'll cut you… you know, paper cuts."
"Shuddup. This is so your fault."
"Yeah, whatever, Toucan Sam."
This time, it was a hunt that caused the injury. And it wasn't just a hunt; it was a werewolf hunt. The big leagues. Real serious crap. Dangerous and stuff.
Somewhere along the way, Sam's gun jammed, which basically screwed them over. A thicket of green foliage created a canopy above them in the forest, shading them from the bright moonlight; in the darkness, the three Winchesters had been following the werewolf into the trees, quietly chasing it deeper into the woods.
And somehow, everything got turned around, and the wolf ended up chasing them instead.
John was far off somewhere, having gotten separated in the dark confusion. Dean couldn't get a clear shot, so he made a run for it. And Sam… well, yeah. His gun jammed. Typical.
Dean was a good twenty feet away when the wolf came into sight out of nowhere, a mass of matted brown fur and dripping saliva as it bared its glistening teeth. Sam turned, but the wolf was on top of him before he could do anything, pouncing on his legs and taking him to the ground.
"SAM!" Dean shouted, whirling around and lining up a shot. But Sam was too much in the way… if he fired now, there was no way he'd hit the werewolf and miss Sam…
The crack of a gunshot echoed through the air, followed shortly by John's speedy footsteps and the thud of the wolf falling limply to the forest floor. Lowering his gun, Dean dashed over to his little brother, his lungs burning from all the running and from the deep, aching fear that the wolf had bitten him, that Sam had gotten bit, that the werewolf had bitten his little brother…
He got to Sam before John, crouching down immediately to inspect him for injuries. The latter was pale, his eyes clenched shut as he clutched his leg with both hands, blood spreading through the fabric of his pants and soaking the grass around him.
"Sammy!" John called as he got closer, kneeling down next to Dean. "Did it bite you?"
Sam took a few unsteady breaths. "My… leg…"
"Dad?" Dean glanced at John worriedly, trying to push down his panic.
"Sam, did it bite you?" John enunciated again, ignoring Sam's panted non-answer and Dean's plea for reassurance.
Swallowing, Sam shook his head and opened his eyes. "No," he breathed. "It's claws… are pretty sharp… though."
Dean's breath came out in a whoosh, a sort of half-sigh, half-laugh. If Sam was making jokes, he'd be all right. Even though he looked like hell.
But it was a bitch of a break, he had to give him that. Broken in three places, one where the bone had practically shot right through the skin. The doctors had been mighty shocked by the ferocity of the bears in those woods. Really. Bears. It was just a camping trip, and they came out of nowhere. Two of them. Mean fuckers, too.
The cast was huge, spanning all the way from Sam's thigh to the bottom of his foot, and he'd been informed that he'd have to walk around on crutches for a while. Pissed, as he often was, he'd slunk moodily into the car and went straight to his and Dean's bedroom when they got back, slumping down on the bed and grabbing a book to keep himself occupied.
Dean leaned against the doorframe, an idea striking him at sight of a black Sharpie with Sam's school stuff. "Hey, want me to sign your cast?"
Sam cast him a wary look, his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes sharp and discerning—certainly too discerning for a fifteen-year-old. "Um… if you want."
Grinning, Dean grabbed the Sharpie and crouched down by Sam's leg, beginning to write a big, loopy 'S.' Glancing up at Sam, he found the younger Winchester returning to his book. So Dean went to work.
The expected reaction came just as he was replacing the cap on the marker. Sam leaned over and snatched it out of his hand, chucking the marker on the floor.
"Dean? What the hell?"
"What?" Dean asked innocently, trying—and failing—to hide his smirk of amusement.
"'Sam is a transvestite who likes to wear thongs?'" He read off the cast incredulously, his voice rising in pitch with his indignation.
Dean just couldn't help himself. "Did you see the drawing, too?"
It was a stick figure. In a skirt. Labeled 'Sam.' And Sam would have to be blind not to see it.
"You're a friggin jerk," Sam grumbled, turning the cast so that the crude phrase was partially covered by the blanket.
"Jerk… Hey, gimme that marker again," Dean grinned as he bent down to find it.
"Oh come on, I won't write anything bad. I promise."
"Stay away from me."
Dean rolled his eyes. "What are you going to do? You're practically bedridden."
"I'll shove my crutches down your throat."
"Touché." But, as Dean well knew, the threat could not very well hold up while trapped in the oblivious state of slumber. This was going to be fun.
And, sure enough, Dean was awakened the next morning by a strangled cry of horror, which pulled him from the muddled darkness of sleep. It sounded like Sam was choking, but after a moment, he realized why his little brother was making that sound.
"Dean!" he managed to roar at last, still hissing sharp breaths between his teeth in frustration. "What the fuck did you do?"
Now fully awake, Dean sat up and grinned, looking over to the other bed and the myriad of scribbles adorning Sammy's nice white cast. It was a work of art, if he did say so himself. Which, he did.
Going down the top of his shin was the lovely sentiment, 'Sam jerks off to Barry Manilow' and several crudely doodled music notes. Nearby was a masterpiece of epic proportions, the likes of which would surely decorate the Louvre, or some such other pretentious art museum full of naked paintings. It was a pair of very round boobs.
"What?" Dean asked innocently, admiring his genius. "I know you don't like having a blank cast, so I thought I'd… spice it up for you."
"I. Am going. To kill. You," Sam spat through gritted teeth, his eyes practically bugging out of his head as they darted between the doodles and his brother. "You—you turned my cast into freaking erotica!"
"Now hold on a minute; I know you in a dress might seem sexy to you, but that doesn't mean I drew porn all over your cast. Quit overreacting."
Sam merely let out a long breath through his nose and pointed to his knee, where, in large capital letters, Dean had written 'PORN!' with a rather enthusiastic exclamation mark.
Oh. Dean chuckled, having forgotten about that. His eyes trailed over his handiwork once more, twinkling merrily at sight of the added sentence above the picture of Sam in a skirt: 'Some like it hot. Sam is not.'
Sam groaned, and Dean half-expected to see smoke rising from his little brother's ears. "You have got to be kidding me," he grumbled. "I can't go to school like this. What are my teachers going to say? And what the hell is this?"
It was a picture of a cat. And, next to it, another word in all caps: 'PUSSY!'
"It's the pet you've always wanted," Dean pointed out. Sam looked as if he were resisting the urge to throttle his brother.
"I. Can't. Go. To school. Like this," he ground out again, enunciating every word with vicious sharpness.
Dean shrugged. "Wear pants."
There was a momentary pause. "I'm telling Dad."
"Sure," Dean replied nonchalantly. "But that might make me want to tell him about the time you tried to drive the Impala and backed it up into a tree."
"You wouldn't," Sam muttered in a low voice.
Dean smirked. "Without a permit. Into a tree."
"There wasn't even a scratch!"
"Into a tree."
"Fine!" Sam snapped, crossing his arms. "But if you think you're getting away with writing 'pussy' on my cast…"
"If you think pussy is bad, wait 'til you see what I wrote on the bottom of your foot," Dean cut in, unable to contain his grin. Sometimes, it was so much fun being a pain in the ass.
"What…?" Sam, looking bewildered and anxious, grabbed his leg and tried to lean over to see the bottom of his foot. Unfortunately, his leg—being, as it were, in a cast—would not bend, and he therefore only succeeded in looking like a complete idiot. At last, he got up and hobbled to the bathroom, Dean trailing along but remaining out in the hall. He didn't need to see the reaction, but boy, he heard it just fine.
There was a dull thunk as the cast hit the sink, surely aimed at the mirror behind it. Then a sharp intake of air, and finally the dull thud of the cast hitting the floor. Then, as Dean reached 'one' after counting down on his fingers from five, he heard the furious shout.
"I can't believe you broke your finger."
Sam rolled his eyes. "Shut up."
"But, I mean," Dean continued, leaning against the small, decrepit desk at which Sam was attempting to do schoolwork, "your finger. That's got to be like, the lamest broken bone ever… aside from that time you broke your nose, I mean," Dean amended.
"Will you just knock it off? I'm trying to do homework, and it's a little hard with you blabbering on over here. Don't you have some knives to sharpen or something?" Sam snapped, returning to AP Comparative Political and Governmental Gobbledygook Social Science or some other crazy super-smart-senior-year crap.
"Ouch, Sam. That hurt almost as much as a broken finger."
Sam didn't look up from his notes. "Yeah, well, you try getting your hand slammed in a car door and then see how you like it."
"You didn't get your hand slammed. You left your fingers on the edge of the doorframe and then proceeded to slam it shut on yourself. There's a difference."
"Like the difference between being told to shut up and actually shutting up?"
Dean grinned. "You catch on quick, Sammy."
"Gee thanks," he replied, rolling his eyes. "And stop calling me Sammy. I'm not a dog, and I'm not twelve."
"Okay, Sammy," Dean said in a chipper voice. "You just do your homework and be a good boy, and maybe I'll have a treat for you later."
But as he went back to taking notes, the pen slipped and created a long black gash on the page. Sam glared at the culprit: the small finger-splint on his right hand, keeping his middle and forefinger held straight and thus making writing quite a chore.
"Aw, it's okay, Sammy. Writing is hard. You want me to teach you how to shape your letters?"
Dean merely sat on the edge of the desk and patted Sam's arm. Picking up the pen, he carefully scrawled a big, capital 'A' on the paper. "We'll start with the first letter of the alphabet: 'A' as in ass."
Sam held up his two straight fingers. Dean stared at him, nonplussed.
"Pretend my first finger is bent."
Who knew dead chicks could run? Really. It could only be hoped that cross-country coaches never got wind of that, or Team Zombie would be winning track trophies left and right. Dean figured it might have something to do with never being short of breath. Because, you know, dead people didn't really need to breathe, did they?
Still, though. A dead chick. Dean wasn't ready to let Sammy live that one down, even if it meant obliterating that conversation in the middle of nowhere from his memory. Especially if it meant obliterating that conversation from memory. That was just a suck-ass conversation all around. Too much spilling, too much sharing and caring. Too much.
They were just pulling up to a motel when Sam started scratching at the skin around his cast, finally digging out a pen and shoving it down to get the itch.
"I still can't believe that bitch broke your hand," Dean commented neutrally, turning the key and letting the engine fade into silence. "I mean… you got tackled by a dead chick."
Sammy snorted but let it go. "Yeah. I know."
"Hey, isn't that the same wrist you broke when you were seven?"
They stepped out of the car, Sam having to reach around awkwardly to open the door with his left hand. "Yeah. If you break a wrist once, you're more likely to break it again."
Dean actually knew that. Which is why he wondered how come he hadn't reacted right away to Sam's comment about breaking his right wrist. But nothing had really connected in his jumbled mind, since Sam's comment had been lighthearted and offhand. Dean hadn't thought much of it other than 'make fun of fragile Sammy.'
It hadn't been until hours of driving later that they'd stopped at a motel, ready to crash for the night, and Dean had seen Sam cradling his swollen, purple wrist with his left hand. So much for crashing. They'd spent that night at a hospital.
Once inside the motel room, Sam dropped the pen he'd been using to scratch under his cast, and Dean noted that it was a Sharpie. "Hey, Sam. You want me to sign your cast?"
"No," came the immediate response. "I've had too much experience with you and markers to know when to keep away. Don't even think of coming near me with that," he added when Dean picked up the Sharpie and started twisting the cap.
"Aw, come on. You think I haven't grown out of that horndog teenage phase?"
"Let me think," Sam replied sarcastically. "No."
"And I'm having vivid flashbacks of 'pussy' written in big bold letters on my leg."
Dean cracked a grin. "That was pretty funny." The conversation slid away as Dean started pulling out clothes to change into, ready to flop down on the bed and sleep for several hours. But the Sharpie still sat on the table, innocently beckoning to him. "Come on, Sam. I promise I won't write anything that would offend your virgin eyes."
"What part of 'no' don't you understand?" Sam asked incredulously, pulling his cast to his chest as he sat down on the bed.
Dean picked up the marker. "I'll write something really nice, how about that?"
But Dean reached out anyway, snagging onto Sam's cast and pulling his arm straight so that he could write something.
"Why do you like writing things on casts?" Sam queried as he yanked his cast back, attempting to free it from his brother's grasp.
"Because I know it bugs the crap out of you."
As Dean was lowering the marker, Sam managed to pull the cast away. Dean grabbed it with his other hand, and when Sam wrenched it out of that hold, the momentum carried it back towards Dean, smacking him square in the face.
"Ah, crap!" Dean shouted, bringing both of his hands up to clutch his nose. "What the fuck, Sam?"
"I'd say I'm sorry, but it's kind of your own fault," Sam offered, reaching up to Dean's hands. "Let me see."
But Dean pulled away, cursing under his breath. "Shit. That hurts. Ow. Goddammit!"
Sam sighed. "I'm sure it's not that bad. I didn't even hit you that hard."
"Yeah, well your cast is a little more solid than your arm, genius," Dean snapped back. "Son of a bitch, I think you broke my nose."
Smirking, Sam replied, "Yeah, well now you know how it feels."
"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to play ball in the house?"
"Yeah, ha ha, laugh it up."
"I bet it'll be harder to pick up girls with a crooked nose."
"I think I'll stick to taking advice from people who get chased by girls who are actually alive, thanks," Dean replied, rubbing his nose.
Sam's grin didn't falter, but rather caused his eyes to twinkle cheerfully. "Stop being a pussy."
"I hate you."
Sam merely laughed. "Okay. But really, don't worry too much. Who doesn't love Toucans?"
Dean picked up the Sharpie from where he'd dropped it, slipping it into his pocket. "Just wait 'til tonight, Sammy. It's on."