A/N: Well here it is guys, the last chapter. I hope you have all enjoyed this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. A big thanks goes to my beta Dev, who beta'd this chapter incredibly fast. I hope to hear your thoughts and opinions with the next few stories that I have lined up, hehe. Thanks everyone!!
A/N #2: Oh yeah, perhaps I should mention this. When you read some of the phrases in italics, you'll recognize them from the previous chapter. Those are Dean's memories from that night, but he's not telling Sam, just thinking back on it. Just in case anyone gets confused.
Disclaimer: Sad to say, but I still don't own the boys. Kripke does and he doesn't like to share.
Squeaky wheels going past his room is what broke through Sam's dreamless sleep. His eyelid twitched in annoyance at having been woken up. He tried to drift off again, but a voice was calling him. Oh now what?
Sam was more awake now, but refused to open his eyes. That voice was calling to him again and Sam turned his head away and sought refuge from the endless chatter from the person on his other side.
Where the hell is a mute button when you need one? He thought wearily.
"Come on Sam. Open your eyes buddy." Dean? Sam turned his head back towards his brother's voice. Like trying to lift 300 pound weights, Sam struggled to open his eyes. Finally, his eyelids cracked open and he looked at the blurry figure that was Dean.
"Was' a guy to do to get some sleep around here?" Sam's raspy voice sputtered out. Dean merely chuckled.
"Nap time's over, sleeping beauty."
"You're such a kill joy sometimes Dean." Sam answered dryly, the corners of his mouth upturning slightly. Sam had to blink a few times to clear the sleep from his eyes. Taking a good look at Dean, Sam was surprised to see that Dean looked like he was ready to cry.
"You okay Dean?" Dean didn't answer right away. Instead, he stood up and leaned over and gave Sam a brief hug, to which Sam reciprocated awkwardly, before letting go and sitting down on the edge of Sam's bed. To say that Sam was surprised would be an understatement. The Winchester men had never been a 'hugs all around' kind of family, only showing that kind of emotion when they had been badly injured or quite sick for the most part. Though he was surprised, the action spoke more than any words that could be said between them.
When Dean finally spoke, his voice was low and Sam had to strain to hear what he was saying.
"I'll be okay Sam. But you ever pull something like this again," He began, gesturing to the room and all the machines, "I'll severely kick your ass Sam." Sam laughed, his dimpled smile bright and full of life, just as it should always be.
"So what happened Dean?" Sam's questioning gaze implored Dean to answer. Dean fidgeted, uneasy about the question and unsure about how much to relay back.
"Well, what do you remember?" Sam thought hard about it, trying to recollect the events that had taken place.
"I remember being cold and throwing up, but after that I don't really remember anything." Dean decided to fill in some of the blanks.
"You got really sick Sam. You had a high fever that kept rising no matter what the doctors did." Dean paused, wondering if he should continue. Sam looked at him, nodding his head for Dean to continue.
"Well, you were delirious there for a bit."
"Sam? Tell me what's wrong?" Sam's breathing rate hitched, as panic set in across his features. "Where's Dean?"
"I was delirious?" Sam asked incredulously.
"Yeah, you were Sam. Tried to rip your IVs out and everything. Doctor had to give you a sedative to calm you down." Dean was looking at the floor by now, avoiding Sam's eyes. Sam was unnerved by this, but he couldn't change it and he knew there was probably more to it, but decided to let it go for now.
"Well, he did what he had to. What else happened? Dean?" Dean looked up, still pulling on the loose string on the knee of his jeans. "You…ah… your temperature went up too high too fast. You had a seizure not long after you became delirious."
"Sam? What's wrong?"
"Help." Dean's eyes widened in horror as Sam threw his head back, his back arching as if he was electrocuted, every muscle tightening and constricting, leaving them tense and rigid. Dean saw the blood trickle down Sam's jaw and land on his pillow before his body released its hold, causing his body to jerk and twitch in different directions, as if connected to a circuit board that fried itself with too much electricity. His arms continuously smacked against the handrail while his legs twitched and jerked in different directions. The icepacks landed on the floor with a thud, the machines wailing and beeping away.
"I did?" Sam's voice held an air of shock and disbelief. He didn't want to believe that he had been that bad off.
"When did this happen Dean?"
"Almost two days ago." Dean grounded out, still not looking at Sam.
"Two days?! I've been asleep for the past 48 hours?"
"Last 38 actually." Dean muttered under his breath.
"Your fever broke almost 9 hours ago. Doctor said after a seizure like that, you were going to sleep for a while. If I had known it would have been this long, I'd have brought a deck of cards with me." Dean grinned and Sam merely rolled his eyes with a small smile finding its way onto his face.
"You know, I don't remember much about the fight Dean. Like I remember bits and pieces of it, but for the most part it's a complete blank. And then there're a few images that I can't place anywhere." Dean furrowed his brows in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"Something about two girls and some run down building. I dunno. Just kind of weird, you know?"
"Well you always had a good imagination Sam."
Dean didn't want to think that it could have been a vision. It would just be more guilt piled up on his brother's already needlessly guilt-ridden shoulders. Though, the vision would explain Sam's irregular brain activity during surgery… no. Dean wouldn't ever mention that tid-bit of information to Sam. Now that he thought about it, there was a lot that Dean wasn't going to tell Sam about, being that most of it stemmed from the last two weeks. Things like how he had seriously considered breaking into jail and beating the royal crap out of those guys and making it as severely painful as possible. Or that he had threatened one staff member with putting his foot up his ass when the intern had screwed up trying to get a needle in to start a new IV line for Sam and had to do it over gain. Or even how close he had come to losing it all. No, sometimes it was better to keep some things to himself.
An evil thought occurred to him and he couldn't resist irritating his brother.
"So Sam, you ready for breakfast?"
The next few days saw steady improvement in Sam's health. With the infection finally gone, the road to recovery was already being well traveled upon. The metal plates that held the small piece of skull in place were removed, leaving tiny strands of hair in its place, already growing back. Dean teased him relentlessly for his partial buzz cut.
Sam's first few steps out of bed since the attack would have sent him to the floor, his body unable to hold itself up from the lack of use of his muscles. He would have fallen, if it hadn't been for Dean's strong arms holding him up.
"You're going in the wrong direction Sam. You're supposed to walk, not sit on your ass." He joked as he helped his brother to a standing position. Dean's unyielding encouragement helped Sam continue to make leaps and strides in his recovery. At the end of the week, Sam's regular doctor, Dr. Mortison, agreed to sign the release papers, allowing Sam to finally leave the hospital. Dean couldn't contain his excitement. With papers in hand, Dean thanked Dr. Morison as well as Dr. Rowland, Sam's neurosurgeon, who had come to say goodbye to both brothers. Dean walked into Sam's new room. He had been transferred from the ICU and placed in a regular room a few days prior.
"You all ready to blow this popsicle stand?" Sam was struggling to get his white button up shirt done up, his cast proving to be a nuisance.
"Hmm? Yeah, I'm more than ready to get the hell out of here." Sam finally got the buttons done up and looked over towards his brother. His eyes narrowed and a deep frown replaced the grin of triumph from seconds earlier, when he saw the sight of the black wheelchair in his brother's hand. At Sam's disbelieving look, Dean grinned, pushing the wheelchair back and forth making car noises.
"Doctor's orders man. Come on, your hot rod is waiting." Sam glared and rolled his eyes at Dean before slowly making his way over to the chair and sitting down. Dean pushed his brother out of the room and into the brightly lit hallway.
"Hey Sam? Maybe we can do a few wheelies before we leave the hospital. Make a grand exit." Dean said as they passed the nurses station.
"I thought you wanted me to leave the hospital Dean. Not have me put back in."
"Geez, what a kill joy." Dean muttered under his breath as they made their way out of the main entrance doors.
Dean helped Sam get into the passenger seat, and walked around to the driver's side and got in. The Impala roared to life, and Dean gratefully floored it, leaving the hospital and the memories in the rear-view mirror. They were silent for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. Dean decided to speak up.
"So I grabbed your prescriptions before we left, so we don't have to run to the next clinic we come across. Though, clinics do tend to have the hotter nurses…." Dean grinned mischievously as Sam let out a breathless chuckle.
"You ever try thinking with your upstairs brain Dean? You should give it a try sometime. You know, clear out the cobwebs and other crap you've got stuffed up there." Dean huffed, but couldn't keep the grin off his face.
"Jerk." Sam smiled too, glad to be back on the road again with his brother, ready to get back to a normal routine. Well as normal a routine as the Winchesters had. Though they couldn't go back and see those guys go to jail and pay for what they had done to Sam because of the FBI on their tails, the woman would be testifying and would help put those guys behind bars for years to come.
Dean glanced over and saw that Sam was leaning against the passenger door, his head resting against the window. His eyes were closed and Dean could tell by the even steady breaths that Sam had fallen asleep. Dean smiled to himself. Sam was on the mend and back sitting shotgun in the Impala where he belonged. They still had a ways to go before Sam was back in hunting condition, but he was back nonetheless and Dean couldn't ask for more. With one last glance at his still sleeping brother, Dean pressed harder on the gas pedal, the open road long and unending. With the Impala moving graciously over the highway with the sun's rays casting its shimmering glow over the interior of the car, it brought with it a promising new day for the brothers. "Don't Look Back" played loud and clear out of the stereo as the Impala drove away into the distance.
A/N: Well I hope you all enjoyed. It's been a blast guys. Thanks for the reviews.