Title: Inside the Lines
Author: kaly
Category: Gen, humor
Characters: Dean, Sam
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,400
Spoilers: (blink and you'll miss it for) Hell House
Summary: Sam breaks his arm, earning him a cast - or canvas, as the case may be. What else is a bored Dean to do?

Note the first: Written for the SFTCOL(AR)S Summer Santa (round one) exchange.

Note the second: My thanks, as always, to geminigirl11 - my debt to you, as always, for the typo spotting and suggestions.

Disclaimer: Not mine. The pretty, snarky, angsty brothers belong to Kripke & the CW.

Inside the Lines

Sam was asleep when Dean snuck into the hospital room - dead to the world from the pain medication the doctors had given him. The telltale sign was the thin line of drool running from Sam's lips to the pillow - only the good stuff made him do that. And while the thought of 'dead' and 'Sam' in the same sentence invariably made Dean's skin crawl, his brother being passed out asleep played perfectly into his plan.

Glancing over his shoulder to ensure he wasn't seen, Dean closed the door quietly behind him. No need to advertise his dastardly plan, after all. Pulling a magic marker out of his pocket, Dean snickered softly. Oh yeah, no way would he get away with this if Sam was awake. Good thing the doctor had assured him that his little brother would sleep peacefully for some time. Healing rest, the woman had said, smiling gently.

If they were going to be stuck overnight in the one-horse town Sam had managed to get hurt in, with no hunt (well, that Sam wouldn't kill him for taking alone, when he inevitably found out), no wireless connection, and - worst of all - no hot chicks at the diner, Dean was going to have to take drastic measures.

He was bored. It had taken about thirty minutes after the initial adrenaline rush of getting Sam to the hospital and in good hands had worn off for Dean to start to go slowly mad. Relief that the damage had been so easily dealt with had passed. The memory of Sam's cry when he fell out of sight still pulled at him, when he let it, but instead, he chose to focus on the fact Sam was going to be all right. While having a little fun in the process.

Served Sam right for scaring him the way he had, surely, after all. Dean would swear his heart almost stopped when Sam disappeared from in front of him. The rotten flooring of the house they were searching had given way under his weight, and in the blink of an eye he was gone. In the end, he'd broken through two floors, finally landing in the basement.

Dean had found him, several breathless moments later, sprawled out on the earthen floor, unconscious. Somehow, he'd managed to rouse Sam enough to drag him up the stairs and out of the house - ominous sounds of the poltergeist still ringing overhead - and into the car. A tense ride to the hospital later, and Sam had been declared bruised and broken but safe.

It was almost sad to say, but in the long run, a minor concussion (not too bad, Dean assured himself - they'd given him pain medicine, after all) and a broken arm were minor injuries on their job. Not that it made Dean any happier about it. But he knew, without spending any more time on the what ifs, that it could've been a lot worse.

So here he was, two hours later - having procured a couple of markers at a nearby gas station (one red, one black) - staring down at Sam who slept, wonderfully unaware. Dean was careful to not jostle Sam's arm; bored or not he would never hurt his little brother on purpose if it could be helped. Luckily, it was lying on top of the covers, accessible without really moving it.

It was also lucky because Dean didn't want Sam waking up before he was done. Even groggy, Dean had no doubt Sam would object. Loudly.

Pulling a chair over to the bedside, Dean sat down, trying to get as comfortable as the torture devices hospitals always offered would let him. He ripped open both marker packages and tossed the trash half-heartedly in the direction of the trashcan. The marker opened with a satisfying pop.

And then the real challenge began.

What artwork should decorate his little brother's cast? It would be there for weeks, in the end. Well, or less, depending on how dirty or wet it got in the meantime. They never had been the easiest family on casts, no matter how careful they were.

Grinning, an idea struck that was too good to pass up. True, it wasn't something Sam would appreciate - what was, really? - but Sam wasn't the one making the choice, was he? Dean considered how much space he had, what all would fit - luckily since his brother was forty feet tall, his arm sported an appropriately huge cast. There was lots of room to decorate, just as long as Sam remained asleep and unaware.

He dropped the red marker onto the bed, turned Sam's arm just so, and started. Soon enough, the outline of the AC/DC logo covered the area just above Sam's hand. It was a little rough around the edges, but Dean's usual idea of art was stick figures, so he thought it was pretty damn good, if he did say so himself. He took a moment to consider it, head tilted to the side, before nodding approvingly and picking up the red marker to highlight the piece.

Over the next hour or so, he moved from one area to the next - until there was precious little free space left - drawing names and logos that had been familiar as long as Dean could remember. Next to AC/DC, running up Sam's arm was Metallica. Below that, Boston. Over to the side of Sam's arm, Ratt and KISS. Up near the top, on the inside of his arm, Dean polished off the symbol of Blue Oyster Cult - trying hard to forget Harry and Ed and good old as he did.

He was so intent on getting the symbol just right, Sam's voice surprised him. "Dean?" Sam asked, his eyes barely open and his voice slurred from the medication.

Sparing a glance at his brother before returning to his work, Dean asked, "Yeah?"

There was a lengthy pause - Dean knew Sam wouldn't be firing on all cylinders for a while yet. "What are you doing?" Sam asked, and Dean could tell that he was focusing very hard on saying the words as carefully as possible. Almost like he was drunk and trying to pretend he wasn't. "You're doing that thing..."

Dean did look up then. "Huh?"

Gesturing with his free hand. "That thing where you stick your tongue out between your teeth. When you're concentrating on some..."

Dean was about to object - had his mouth open and everything - when Sam's words trailed off. Suddenly, the eyes that met Dean's were far more lucid than they had been. He watched as Sam's gaze tracked from Dean's face, to his cast and over to the marker in Dean's hand.

Slowly, as though it was weighted down, Sam lifted his arm to get a better look at the once gleaming-white cast. His mouth gaped, as if he couldn't settle on exactly which words best grasped the situation. Or maybe it was just the medication.

Unrepentant, Dean laughed at the look on Sam's face. "Come on, Sammy. Chicks'll totally dig it."

Sam groaned, closing his eyes and settling back against the pillows. "Dude. What are you? Twelve?"

"Just go back to sleep there, Francis. There're more where those came from."

Sam shook his head, though Dean thought he saw the faintest trace of a smile on his face. "Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of."

"I should sign it, ya know. It's totally a work of art!"

"It's something, anyway," Sam mumbled, on the verge of sleep once more.

They would have to hit the road soon - against medical advice or not - to avoid any uncomfortable questions about finances, but for the moment, Dean was happy to let Sam rest and heal. Soon enough, they would lay low in a hotel, waiting until Sam was back on his feet before finishing off the poltergeist. It wasn't hurting anybody, so there was no reason not to face it with both of them at one hundred percent.

Appraising Sam's cast once more, Dean couldn't help thinking of the bands that were missing. Zeppelin for sure, maybe Sabbath. Glancing at his once again sleeping brother, Dean nodded. Yeah, they had time. There was nothing that couldn't wait a little bit longer.