The prompt- "Well how am I supposed to go to the bathroom?"
The players- A-Blackwinged-Bird and myself.
The rules- between 1000 and 1500 words
"How am I supposed to go to the bathroom?"
Sam held up two bandaged paws, a look of pure misery on his face, his jeans half slung around his hips and the oversized shirt in disarray around his waist. Twenty minutes in the bathroom, several loud exclamations and a stiff curse later, had brought him to this. Dean wasn't quite sure what this was, and didn't quite know what to do about it.
"I told you to stay in the hospital another day."
"What good would that have done? These are gonna take two weeks to heal, Dean." Sam squirmed, leaned against the doorframe and pressed his legs together. His face flushed a deep pink, and his gaze looked everywhere but at Dean. "I can't…." He bit off, tugged on his lower lip and made a low sound in his throat, something between a whimper and a curse.
Dean scratched at his thigh, pushed the laptop across the desk and warily stood. "You want me to, uh," he flapped one hand toward the bathroom, "… help?"
Sam shifted restlessly again, looking all the more like a newly potty trained toddler than a twenty three year old. It was almost amusing, if not for the reality of how they had come to be in this awkward situation. Pissed off poltergeists, glaring red hotplates and a semi-concussed little brother, caught off balance. Sam had saved himself from a face plant into the industrial cooktop, and far worse injury, but his hands had sustained severe second degree burns. How Sam hadn't screamed in agony was beyond Dean, the kid had gone white, slumped to the floor, his hands clutched at his chest while Dean finished off the sorry son of a bitch with a blast of rock salt and a few choice words.
Overnight in the hospital, a carry bag of drugs and written instructions, and now they were here. Dean had figured wasting the poltergeist would be the worst of his problems. He hadn't counted on this.
"They've got to come off," Sam said decisively. To illustrate his point, he began tugging at the bandages with his teeth.
Dean crossed the room in three quick strides. "No. Not an option, kiddo."
"Then what the fuck, Dean?"
"How'd you get dressed this morning?"
Sam looked about to cry. He squirmed again, crossed his legs and shrank in height. "Nurse helped," he grunted.
Dean had just assumed Sam had managed it himself. Stupid assumption, no way in hell could Sam do anything with bandages as big as boxing mitts. Poor kid couldn't even scratch himself. Dean scrubbed a hand through his hair and blew out a breath.
He stepped back, his hands still locked around Sam's wrists lest he try to tear off the bandages again. Sam's breath hitched, his muscles tense beneath Dean's fingers. Anxious, in pain or embarrassed, Dean wasn't sure, but figured it was probably a combination of the three.
It wasn't as though he hadn't seen Sam naked, they were hardly bashful and they lived in such close proximity that it had become commonplace. But this took awkwardness to a whole other level, one Dean didn't quite know how to handle.
"What do you need?" he finally asked, his voice soft.
"My hands," Sam spat back. With his head down, the words came out strangled – bleeding and raw, plump with shame and frustration.
"I hear ya." He released Sam's wrists, squeezed his upper arms and stepped back. "Hang tight, I've got an idea."
"Make it quick."
"I told you not to drink all that orange juice. That shit goes right through you."
"Nice. You hurrying?"
Dean smiled grimly, scouted the motel room in a hurried fashion in search of anything that could be used as a hook. Something Sam could use in his bandaged hands to give him some measure of independence. Sam slid to the floor, crouched on his heels, eyes scrunched as he methodically bumped his forehead against the wall.
"Jesus, Sammy. Don't do that."
"Sam, if you need to go—"
"Fuck, Dean. Just hurry the hell up and find something."
"I could just—"
Okay, bad idea. He winced as Sam nudged his head against the wall again, not hard enough to cause damage, but still disconcerting nonetheless.
He rushed to the motel room door, swung it open and stepped out.
"Be right back. I've got an idea." He didn't wait for Sam's response, just hiked it to the office and barged in. The brunette forty-something year old looked up, her face lighting up as she recognized him.
"Dean, how's your brother?"
"Hey Lorna. That's actually why I'm here."
She leaned forward, immediately concerned. "Is Sam okay? I still can't believe he was hurt at work. What kind of a place hires people and then allows them to be hurt like that."
Dean shrugged, careful not to change topic too quickly. "Yeah, I know. Uh, I hate to ask this of you, but would you have something with a hook, like a roasting fork."
"A roasting fork? Uh, you can't be doing any cooking in the room."
"No." Dean shifted on his feet, his face heating up as he tried to figure out a way to explain this without explaining it. "He… ah… he can't use his hands."
"I know." Her face creased in sympathy.
"And…" Dean shrugged, grimaced and splayed his hands out at his sides. He hoped he didn't have to say anything more.
"Oh." She moved back, her eyes widening. "Oh, poor kid."
Her hands fluttered across the reception desk, as she stared out into the carpark. Then her gaze snapped to his, a flash of a smile lighting her eyes. "I've got just the thing."
She disappeared out the back in a flash of floral and musty perfume. Dean rocked back on his heels, chewed his fingernails and wished to hell he had thought of something sooner. It just hadn't occurred to him that Sam couldn't manage his own personal hygiene. It should have. The nurse had made it abundantly clear that Sam would need care. Pills, meals and monitoring had rushed to mind. Dean could do that, had done it countless times before. He didn't even really have a huge problem with doing whatever else was necessary, but Sam clearly did. And Dean wasn't about to make Sam suffer any more than he already was.
Lorna reappeared. She held a timber back scratcher in one hand that she triumphantly offered it forward. "This should work. I don't need it back."
Dean took it gratefully and backed toward the door. "I… uh…"
"Go. It's okay." She shooed him out the door.
Dean found Sam in more or less the same place, his arms hugged around his knees, his head tucked between them. He made raggedly breathy noises that tightened Dean's chest.
"Shit, Sammy. I'm sorry." He pulled Sam to his feet, supported him as he lilted sideways.
Sam had been crying. Still was, though he tried to hide it. Brought one bandaged paw toward his face and clumsily wiped at the streaked tears.
"This sucks. Should've fried the bastard when we had the chance."
"Yeah, well, hindsight, you know what they say." He nudged Sam into the bathroom, kept an arm around his waist to keep him upright. "Here. This should make things easier."
Sam took the back scratcher in a hurried, anxious action, and shoved Dean out the door.
"Dude, a thank you would be nice."
The door slammed in his face, and the muffled vocalization that accompanied it didn't sound much like thanks. Dean returned to the laptop, the scrawled notes and the muted television.
Sam trudged out of the bathroom ten minutes later, his shirt and jeans still in a mess, but he had lost the pained, anxious look from earlier. He slumped onto the bed, dropped the back scratcher then flopped back, his arms out at his sides.
Dean visually checked him over. "You good."
"Peachy." Sam rolled to his side, his arms loosely crossed at the wrists. "Lorna gave you this?" His gaze shifted to the back scratcher, then lifted to meet Dean's.
"Yeah. She doesn't want it back."
Sam blushed, and shifted on the bed. "You told Lorna?"
"Not in as many words."
"Christ Dean. This is so freakin' embarrassing."
"Yup, but at least now you can use the bathroom on your own. For a while there I was thinking Depends were on the grocery buying list. Though maybe Lorna could have helped us out with those as well."
The look Sam threw him was pure murder.
- End -