This is for those who couldn't abide what I had done to Dean... I better get some reviews for this.

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She put the paddles back on their charger, then turned to face Sam. "Sir, I'm sorry." She removed her latex gloves. "I'm sorry." She repeated. "There is only so much the human body can take. Your brother has simply lost too much blood."

Sam sat staring at Dean as the only noise left was the lonely, monotone squeal of the now useless heart monitor.

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Sam grabbed the paramedic by the shoulders, shaking her hard. "I said TRY AGAIN!"

Jane looked at the tortured man before her. He was obviously in anguish...and quite a bit larger than she was. She exhaled deeply. What the hell...might as well. She thought, as grabbed the defibrillator paddles again. "You're going to have to move."

Sam released her arms immediately, but his arms hung in the air as if he were in slow motion, and he watched her work with a look of shock on his face.

She laid the paddles on Dean's chest, spaced so the charge would enter his chest from above, then exit through the paddle slightly under Dean's left arm, passing through his heart in the process. The machine whirred as it charged, getting louder, indicating readiness. Jane looked to verify Sam was not touching Dean, then depressed the button.

Again, Dean's whole body tensed, raising itself a few centimeters off the gurney.

Sam could see a tear roll down the side of Dean's face from open, glassy eyes, and he put a hand to his mouth and pressed firmly as tears welled in his own.

Jane stood over Dean, watching for any signs of life. As she stared, she fell back into her seat slouching, with a feeling of utter uselessness, still clutching the defibrillator paddles in her hands.

Tears running down his face freely now, Sam rose to stand over Dean, face to face. He placed a hand on each side of his brother's face, shaking it slightly. "Dean," he pleaded. "Dean, you can't leave me all alone."

He sniffled, watching for any sign. After a few seconds, he resigned himself to the fact that his big brother was truly dead. He moved his thumbs from the sides of Dean's head to his eyes, to close them; the maneuver filled with love and compassion.

As the eyes sealed, a machine off to Sam's right beeped faintly.

He jerked his head up to look at Jane, who looked just as shocked as he was. "What is that?" he demanded.

She reached up and pressed a few buttons on a touch-screen monitor before answering. "...His heart," she shook her head confused. Then she snapped out of it, grabbing the radio handset strapped to her shoulder and pressing the communicator button, "Put a move on it, Beau!! He's still breathin', but gotta get 'im there now!"

Sam felt the ambulance lurch forward as the driver slammed on the gas and he was thrown backward a bit.

Jane grabbed her handset again, rattling off a list of statistics from the screens, now alive from activity, to the awaiting hospital staff. She grabbed a prefilled syringe from a locked drawer and stabbed it into the tube going into Dean's arm.

Sam pulled himself away from the back wall of the compartment and reached for Dean's hand again. He exhaled in broken pants, eyes searching Dean's face. He couldn't believe it. His brother...his protector...his friend...was alive.

Both Sam and Jane grabbed the side of the ambulance as it practically skidded to a halt at the hospital. Apparently, when prompted, Beau had a penchant for driving like his unconscious passenger.

The back doors flew open, and several hands reached in at the same time to pull the gurney out. Jane climbed out holding on to the head end of the bed, retelling the same stats she had over the radio. Sam followed, quickly catching up enough to put his hand on Dean's shoulder.

The tube down Dean's throat still pumped oxygen into his blood-filled lungs, but he made no movement. Sam jogged along with the medical staff, still holding his brother, not wanting to give him up.

"Sir," a small, stout woman stepped directly in front of him, stopping his progress. Dean and the team of doctors and nurses disappeared around a corner. "You need to wait out here, sir."

Sam tried to force his way past her. "He's my brother, I have to go with him!"

The harsh-faced woman put her hands on Sam's waist, which seemed to be about the same height as her shoulders, and held him back gently. "No, sir, they are doing everything they can and you would just be in the way. I'll keep you apprised of any changes in your brother's condition."

Sam huffed, and backed up a little. He didn't want to stay back. He didn't want to go sit down in some dingy little lounge with three-year-old magazines and terrible coffee to wait patiently for the word to come that his brother had died in his absence. He did not want to be ordered around by this woman half his size.

But he knew she was right. He would be in the way. And he also knew that if he made too big a fuss, the authorities might dig into his true identity more than he'd like.

He put his hands up in defeat and backed away, turning a few steps later to walk back to the emergency lounge.

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Three hours later, Sam had decided that there had been no other news in all of Illinois that day. On every newscast he had seen, the "suicide attempt at the Rockford Asylum" had been the lead story. Most had just stated another incident in association with the seemingly unlucky condemned building had taken place and that no details had been released on the people involved or their status, but Sam was tired of hearing about it.

He had been moved from the Emergency Room lounge to the lounge on the Surgery Floor, since a few minutes after they arrived Dean had been whisked into surgery. He had been pacing around the small room ever since, and had more than once gone to the Nurse's Station to ask for an update, and got a strange look every time he approached, most likely due to the massive amounts of blood on his clothes.

Dan, as the woman behind the computer mistakenly called him (Sam had corrected her the first three times), was still in surgery and there had been no word from the surgeons working on him. Yes, she said she was very well aware that Sam was the man's brother and was to be notified as soon as any news presented itself.

"Sir, your brother has received a very serious injury. It will take some time for the doctors to reconnect everything that has been affected by his wound." She tried to sound consoling, seeing the frustration and fear on Sam's face. "In this situation, the longer they are in there without bad news, the better it is for your brother. It means he's still alive, and being put back together." She reached up and patted Sam's hand lightly as it laid on the counter in front of her.

Sam smiled a fake smile, being polite, and pulled away, walking back to his seat. As he turned, he saw a man in a suit walking toward him, pulling something out of his inside pocket.

"Mr. Tufnel?" the man said, approaching Sam, holding up a badge before sticking it back in the pocket.

Sam nodded, swallowing. "Sam. Sam Tufnel. Is there a problem, officer?"

"Detective Bob Harris." The man introduced himself, then motioned Sam to sit down in one of the waiting room chairs, sitting himself down in the one opposite it. "Not as of yet. We need to get your statement about the shooting of your...brother, is it?" The man said the last as though he didn't believe the claim.

Sam nodded again.

The detective made a note on a small pad of paper. "Okay, well, let's get started." Harris pulled out a small digital voice recorder from his pocket and pressed record. "This is Detective Bob Harris, it is November 24, 2005, taking the statement of one 'Samuel Tufnel'. Speak directly into the red light, son." He sat the recorder on the coffee table piled with old magazines between them.

Not knowing what to say, he stuck with "Uh, hi."

Harris scowled at Sam for the remark, but trudged on. "Where are you from?"

"Tulsa, Oklahoma."

Harris made a note. "Why were you in the Roosevelt Asylum last night?"

Sam shook his head and ran his hands through his hair. "We had heard from our cousin in Chicago about this place that was supposed to be haunted. We were on a road trip, so decided to stop to see for ourselves."

"Why did you have weapons?"

"We were just goofing around. We had shotguns filled with rock-salt rounds. Heard somewhere that salt scares ghosts, so we thought we should be prepared just in case ghost were real. I didn't know Dean had the pistol, I don't know where he got it."

Harris looked at Sam directly in the eye, obviously trying to determine if he was telling the truth. "Uh huh," he finally decided on. "So did you find any ghosts?" he asked smartly.

Sam sat back in his chair for a second, then leaned forward again. "We, well, we, uh... Some stuff happened that I can't explain."

"Such as?" Harris probed.

"Well," Sam ran another hand through his hair. "Gavin, the guy we found inside said something other than his girlfriend kissed him. I didn't see anybody else in there but his girlfriend, Kat, so I think that counts as unexplainable. Then when we were trying to get out, something made all the doors stick shut." He decided that when dealing with an already problematic asylum, one that people were already scared of, it was best to tell the truth...mostly.

Harris jotted another note on his pad. "Are you on any type of medication or illegal drug, son?"

Sam looked directly into the man's eyes and stated clearly. "No, sir."

The detective raised his eyebrows and rolled his eyes ever so slightly, showing that he did not believe Sam. "So, why did you light a fire in the basement?"

Sam shrugged, playing like he was an idiot college kid in a panic. "We thought it might make the doors open. Since Dean was hurt, I'd try almost anything. Seemed to work though. We got out."

"Did you ever think you shouldn't have been in there in the first place?" Harris chided, then paused for a response from Sam, but all he got was a sheepish shrug. "What would have caused your brother to try suicide?"

"I don't know." Sam said, looking truly baffled. "He's never been...I mean, he's never done anything like that, or said anything about it."

"Did you shoot him?" Harris asked flatly.

"No!" Sam shouted, standing from his chair.

"Sit down, Mr. Tufnel."

"I did not shoot my brother." Sam whispered loudly, sitting back down in the uncomfortable, cheap, plastic armchair. Sam tried to read Harris' face, and thought the man did actually believe him.

"Did Kathryn Grant or Gavin MacLeod shoot him?" Harris continued as if he was checking off a list of prepared questions.

Sam shook his head. "No, they were upstairs, trying to get out. Dean called my phone and told me to come to the basement. I went down there, and couldn't find him. A couple minutes later I heard the shot. I found him in a room that I swear wasn't there before. I tossed the gun and I called 911. They heard the shot too, and came downstairs; they helped me carry him out."

"Mr. Tufnel?" A man in green scrubs and a surgical mask was standing at the doorway to the waiting room.

Sam stood. "Detective, can we finish this later?"

Harris stood and shook Sam's hand. "Sure, I think that's all I needed. I already spoke with the teenagers, and the paramedics, and all the stories seem to line up. The paramedics think you're a little scary when you're trying to keep your brother alive, so I guess that's a decent enough indication you probably didn't try to kill him. I'll be in touch."

The doctor, Dr. Canton, went on to tell Sam that Dean was in very bad condition, and though he had come through the surgery okay, and they had been able to excise the blood from his lungs, he was still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and would be for quite some time.

"There is still a possibility that he might catch pneumonia from all the fluid in his lungs. We've taken measures to avoid that, though, it is still a very real possibility. The fact that his right lung collapsed is probably what saved his life, since it would no longer pump properly, minimizing the transfer of blood to the left lung. However, the bullet went all the way through, and he lost a lot of blood." Sam nodded knowingly as the doctor continued. "We had to close up the lung, reinflate it, then gave him several addition pints of donor blood. He should not wake up for a few hours, however, given that this was a suicide attempt, he has been restrained."

"Restrained?" Sam looked concerned.

"We don't want him to wake up and try to hurt himself again. When he is well enough, he will need to be cleared by the hospital psychotherapist before the restraints will be removed."

Sam knew there was an immoveable policy involved now, and it was his fault that Dean would be restrained, but there wasn't much that could be done about it now so arguing would be pointless. He hated red tape.

Sam nodded, blinking away tears of guilt. "Can I see him?"

"He is still unconscious, but you may sit with him for a while. Unfortunately, ICU rules only allow visits to be an hour, so a nurse will come get you when the time is up." The doctor turned to the nurse at the desk and she made a note of the order, then the doctor gently took Sam's arm and led him to Dean's room.

Sam pushed the door open slowly. Oh, my God. He recoiled a bit at the sight of Dean. His strong brother was lying prostrate, naked from the waist up save for the bandages, and was hooked to more machines than Sam knew could be hooked to one person.

As he entered, he pulled a chair from the far wall close to the side of the bed. He sat down and gingerly picked up Dean's limp hand in his own. It felt cold.

Sam didn't say a word for the near hour that he was sitting there, he simply wanted to be there, and let Dean know that he was there.

Too soon, the nurse Dr. Canton had instructed to remove Sam came to the door and knocked politely.

Sam looked up, "Time?"

She nodded meekly, "'Fraid so."

"When can I come back?"

"Twelve hours for an in-room visit, but you're welcome to come hang out in the hospital in the mean time." She smiled, flirting slightly.

"What am I supposed to do now?" Sam asked, completely lost, not even noticing her advance.

The nurse looked at him. His eyes drooped from lack of sleep, which was logical considering they had spent a sleepless night at the asylum, and he was still covered in blood. "From the sight of you, I'd say, go home, get cleaned up, and go to bed." She opened the door wider for him to walk through. "If you give me your phone number, I'll call you if there is any change."

Sam smiled graciously, gave her his phone number, and took one more long look at Dean before letting the door close softly behind him.

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Six days later, Dean was moved from ICU to a private room, where Sam could sit with him as long as he liked. Dean had not yet regained consciousness, but Dr. Canton assured Sam that Dean's body was working very hard to rebuild the hole left in the wake of the bullet, and that required a lot of energy. Sam had learned enough about the machines attached to Dean in the last few days to decipher the readings himself; Dean's vitals were getting stronger, and that was a great thing.

Sam had taken to sleeping in a chair with his feet propped up on an adjacent chair, holding Dean's hand in his own. The chairs were about as comfortable as a bed of nails, but they were the only place Sam had found he could actually let his guard down enough to sleep.

"Dude, you look like shit." Dean's voice croaked just barely loud enough to wake Sam.

"Dean?" Sam opened his eyes and blinked, not quite believing his ears. He pulled his feet off the chair in front of him and stood up to look at his brother, Dean's hand still in his own. The quick rise was enough to make him a little dizzy, but he paid the feeling no mind; he was giving his full attention to his brother.

"Yeah." Dean said quietly.

"Man, it is so good to hear your voice."

Dean blinked and swallowed hard. "I didn't think I'd be seein' you again."

Sam chuckled nervously, "Yeah, I was pretty worried about you. Didn't know if you'd pull through."

"Yeah." Dean tried to raise his hand to touch his face. He looked up at Sam, annoyed. "Why am I strapped to the bed?"

"Uh," Sam stuttered. "You tried to commit suicide," he gave Dean a look that meant this was a patented Winchester fabrication.

Dean dropped his hand back to his side. "Oh. Huh."

Sam smiled, embarrassed. "Doc says you're gonna be fine, but it'll take a while."

Dean blinked tiredly and smiled a very weak half smile. "Could you send a pretty nurse in here with some water, then?"

Sam laughed for the first time in what seemed like years as he pushed the 'call' button at the head of Dean's bed.

Neither of the boys noticed as John Winchester slowly shuffled past the door in a janitor's uniform, keeping an eye on his boys.

Fin.

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For reference:

The episode 'Asylum' orginally aired 11/22/05, and if you count forward from the Pilot (which featured Halloween), that timeframe would be about right. Since they spoke to Officer Gunderson the first night, researched the asylum and spoke with James Ellicott the next day, and the hospital was the morning after, I made the date 11/24/05.

Dean introduced himself as 'Nigel Tufnel' when trying to get info out of the officer at the beginning of the episode, hence the dreadful alias. If asked, his hospital records would reflect Nigel Dean Tufnel as his full name.

Since their last names are not used in the episode, I had to make them up for Kat and Gavin. Kat Grant is a reference to 'Cat Grant', a reporter from the Superman comics. Gavin MacLeod is the lead singer of the Celt band Seven Nations.