I'm back with another story to tell! A dear friend prompted me to write a story that changes how IMTOD ended. So for Laughter…here it is!

PROMPT: There was no deal with the demon in IMTOD, but Dean beat the odds, and survived his injuries. Only now, he has to recover from them. How would he deal with that? Would John and Sam be able to put aside their differences long enough to be there for him? What would Dean do if it seemed like some of the injuries might be permanent?

I appreciate reviews and more than anything, I hope you guys enjoy reading the junk my brain produces and taps out onto the keyboard. So…here it goes…

Vigilance. Don't sleep, just rest for a minute. Sammy leaned his back against the wall and closed his eyes. Slowly his knees gave and he slid down the wall and sat on the floor next to his brother's bed. Every part of Sam was sore and his head pounded. His face was bruised and busted and his muscles ached. But none of that mattered. Dean was dying and he had to save him. So he'd close his eyes and rest for a moment, stay alert, but rest a little.

Sam didn't remember falling asleep. But the sound of machines beeping and blaring pulled him back to consciousness where he found the room filled with nurses and doctors all huddled around Dean.

No, no, no. I only closed my eyes for a second Sam reasoned with himself.

He pushed his weight through his arms and rose from the floor.

"Is he okay? Move I can't see him. Is he okay?" Sam was screaming above the noise, but no one seemed to hear him. Just then, a nurse stepped to the left and Sam could see Dean's chest. Rise and fall, rise and fall. There was no respirator and Sam could see Dean's eyes fluttering open to reveal the slightest bit of green. Sam felt a twinge of relief.

"Sir, why don't you come with me?" A nurse took Sam by the arm and led him into the hallway, his head turned the entire time, trying to get a good look at Dean. "The doctor is going to talk to you in a minute, but why don't you just wait here and give us a little room for now?"

"He's okay, right?" Sam asked with pleading in his eyes.

"Better than he should be", she told him with a sweet smile as she turned and went back into the room.

Sam would have hit the floor if the wall hadn't caught him. For the first time in two days Sam felt like he could breathe. The weight that had been sitting on his chest was gone and he could breathe. He covered his face with his big hand and closed his eyes.

"Sam, what's going on?" John limped through the hall toward his son, startling Sam out of his moment of respite.

"Dean's awake. Doc's going to talk to us in a minute".

Sam studied John and realized he was dressed and carrying the duffle bag over his shoulder. "Dad what's going on? Where are you going?" he questioned.

"Nowhere. It doesn't matter now", John answered flatly.

The familiar rage was starting to build up in Sam again. John always kept him out of the loop, always held back. He knew he should trust John and just focus on Dean for now, but something in him was telling him that they had all just dodged a bullet.

"Mr. McGilicuty", the approaching doctor broke the silence, "I'd like to talk to you about your son".

"How is he", John questioned, leaning over to get a look into Dean's room.

"He's awake and that's good. By all accounts he should be dead, but he has some kind of angel watching over him. He suffered a lot of trauma. Like I told your other son earlier, he has internal contusions and an edema. But now that he's conscious we can give him a scan and find out exactly what we're dealing with". He dolled out the information in a cautious fashion that made Sam a little wary.

"But he'll be fine, right", Sam asked.

"He still has serious injuries. Recovery is going to take time and I can't guarantee that he'll come back fully from this. He has been through a lot. But the fact that he woke up on his own is very promising".

"Can I see him now?" Sam asked, but didn't wait for the doctor's answer before he made his way through the door.

John watched his son rush away as the doctor spoke again, "He's going to need a lot of care Mr. McGilicuty, and I'd like to keep him here for a few more days before we try to send him home".


In Dean's room Sam stood over his brothers bed and stared at his broken body. His eyes were closed and he had an oxygen mask covering his face.

"Can I talk to him?" Sam asked the nurse.

"Yes, he's conscious", she answered.

"Dean", Sam urged.

Dean heard his brother's voice and opened his eyes a little to look at Sam. He reached up and pulled the oxygen mask down and tried to talk but his breathing was labored and Sam could tell it was taking a toll.

"Sammy. Thank God you're alive, man".

Dean tried to pull himself to sit up and face his little brother but stopped and winced in pain.

"Let me help you", the nurse offered. She pressed the button on the side of the bed and Dean's body rose slowly. His face contorted and he let out a soft moan. "The doctor wants you to have something for the pain if you need it", she offered.

"Please", Dean rasped.

Sam pulled a chair close and sat down next to Dean as the nurse busied herself pushing meds into Dean's IV . He knew his brother had to be in a great deal of pain to have taken the drugs. Dean had closed his eyes again and Sam couldn't help but notice how pale and limp he looked. The nurse placed the oxygen back over Dean's face and left the room.

"Is he awake?" John whispered when he entered the room.

Dean spoke for the first time since the nurse left, "Yes, he's awake".

John smiled and looked down at his son, "Well, kiddo. Doc says it's going to take a little time, but you should be just fine". John looked up at Sam for a second, "But for now you need to rest and Sam and I gotta go and find a motel and a car".

"No", Sam sputtered, "I'll stay here at the hospital".

"Sam, go. You look like hell and…" Dean started.

"No, I'm going to stay here, so drop it" Sam demanded.

"Alright". Dean closed his eyes and the drugs took over. In no time he was sleeping again, oblivious to the dueling glares John and Sam exchanged.

Sam knew there was no way he could leave Dean's side. The fear that had gripped him while Dean was in the coma was holding tight. He didn't want to leave in case Dean needed something or in case the reaper changed its mind and came back for him.

So…what do we think?? Good…bad…bury my computer and get a new hobby? Either way, thanx for reading and please leave me a review.