Hey all! I'm back with a oneshot. I had originally wanted to flesh this out a bit more as it seems too bare-bones to me, but alas, I just couldn't get into Dean's head for this without having him unrealistically overthinking things. So anywho, it's definitely not as angsty as it could be, but hopefully what it doens't have in angst, it'll make up for in humor. I hope you all enjoy it!
"Dean! It's coming back!"
"Well entertain the damn thing! I'm not done here!" Dean shouted at his brother over the howling winds as the ghoul reformed itself.
"Entertain it? What the hell do you want me to do, recite a soliloquy from Hamlet?"
Dean shook his head as he pulled more ingredients from the bag. "Dude, I saw you in Hamlet… I said entertain the thing, not put it to sleep."
Sam shot a glare at his brother and Dean added as an afterthought, "Although…that could work too…"
Sam shook his head and shouted over the cloudy vortex. "I'm not-"
He was cut off as the ghoul finally became solid and grabbed Sam's shirt. Using a defensive move, Sam grabbed the skinless creature's arm and twisted it, breaking the hold. "Hurry it up, Dean!"
Turning away from his brother, Dean finished mixing the ingredients and began reciting the Latin incantation. To his right, he heard Sam yell, which was followed by a repetitive banging sound. Finishing the charm, Dean lifted the ghoul-remover-in-a-bag and turned toward the undead creature.
The skeletal being was currently standing five feet away, crouched with its back to Dean as it repeatedly slammed Sam's head into the bottom of the tree. Sam, for his part seemed to be trying to pry the ghoul off of his hair. Dean shook his head this was exactly why Sam needed a haircut.
Lifting the bag, Dean poured the contents over the ghoul. With a shriek and a flash of fiery light, the creature was gone. Dean looked down at his foot with a grimace; the ghoul's ashes had landed on his shoe. "Aw man, that's just gross."
Dean shook out his foot as he shifted his gazed over to where Sam was sitting on the forest floor. Sam was blinking his slowly and deliberately as he held his head with both hands. Dean noted the bloody scrape on his brother's temple where the ghoul had slammed his head into the tree. "You okay?"
Sam didn't respond, but continued to blink.
Dean put some force into his voice. "Sam!"
That seemed to shake Sam out of his reverie. With a start, he looked up.
Dean stared back waiting for his brother to say something. When nothing happened, he tried again. "You okay?"
Sam blinked at him, vacantly.
Feeling the concern well in his stomach, Dean crouched down in front of his brother. Sam remained silent. Gently taking his brother's face in his hands, Dean pulled out a flashlight and examined the pupils. Sure enough, the left one made a brief attempt to shrink, but never quite made it, and the right pupil didn't even try. Dean sighed…concussion.
"Okay, come on…" Grabbing his brother under the arm, Dean attempted to lift Sam up.
Suddenly, Sam spoke. "No."
Dean dropped the arm and crouched in front of his brother again. "Dude, you can't just sit here on the floor all night."
Sam blinked again. "There are two of you."
Dean smirked. "I guess we can skip the whole 'how many fingers am I holding up' thing then, huh?"
Sam only frowned. "Why does my head hurt?"
Dean shrugged. "I'm taking a wild guess here, but the ghoul slamming your head into the tree about seventeen times might've had something to do with it…"
Sam scrunched up his face in confusion. "Dean, my head hurts."
Dean raised his brows, his concern flickering through him once again. "Didn't we just cover that?"
Sam looked around briefly before bending in on himself and putting a hand to his head.
Worry taking over, Dean moved in and uncurled his brother, taking another look at the injury. Under the scrape, a large area was beginning to swell. "Alright, we need to take care of this, come on…"
With a grunt, Dean pulled his brother to his feet. Almost immediately, Sam's knees buckled and Dean quickly found himself on the ground once again. "Dude, what the hell've you been eatin'? You weigh a ton."
Sam squinted into the ground, whispering, "My head hurts."
Dean's breathing began to pick up. Not only was Sam injured, but he was also very out of it, which meant it was solely up to Dean to get them out of the forest and somewhere that Sam could get help. Luckily, the ghoul was the only reported evil inhabiting the forest and as of a few minutes agothat was no longer an issue. "Look at me, Sam."
Sam looked up and Dean held his head to ensure that his brother didn't turn away. "You probably have a concussion. We need to get you out of the forest."
Sam blinked and Dean saw a small amount of lucidity enter his brother's eyes. That was at least a relief. "You think you can help me out by standing up?"
Looking almost frightened by the prospect, Sam looked up. Dean laughed and took his brother's arm. "Well, who told you to grow so damn tall? Your head wouldn't be so far up if you'd have stopped at my height."
Sam turned to his brother. "I don't feel good."
Dean's brows raised and he loosened his grip. "You gonna be sick?"
Sam's expression turned to confusion and he slowly shook his head. "My head hurts." Then, with wonder, he raised a hand to his scraped temple. "It hurts right here." He touched the scrape and his hand flew down with a shout, "Ow!"
Dean rolled his eyes. "Well what the hell'd you think was gonna happen? Don't touch it."
Sam bit his lip, tears entering his eyes. His voice cracked as the panic came through. "Dean, what's wrong with me? I don't know where I am…I don't know what happened…"
Dean took a deep breath to calm himself. Hearing panic in Sam's voice was something that always hit him hard. Throwing on his most confident expression, Dean put a comforting hand on his brother's arm. "You've got a concussion, man. It's okay. We're going to get you out of here and then we'll take care of it."
Beneath his palm, Sam relaxed somewhat, and Dean tried to reassure him again. "It's alright, Sammy. I'm with you. It's okay."
Sam let out a breath and nodded. "You're here…" He stared up at his brother. "Where are we?"
Dean moved under Sam's arm…again. "West Virginia. We were here fighting a ghoul. You ready? One, two, three…"
With a grunt, Dean lifted his brother into a standing position. Prepared this time, when Sam's knees buckled Dean braced himself against the tree and managed to hold his brother up. It took a few minutes, but eventually, Sam's breathing slowed and he was able to take back at least some of his own weight.
"Where are we going?"
"Car." Dean fought to keep them both upright as his brother wobbled against him. Short-term memory loss was fairly common with concussions, and even though Sam hadn't lost consciousness, it was pretty clear what they were dealing with. Pushing his concern for his brother aside, Dean began walking his injured sibling toward the car.
Throughout the walk, Dean kept a tight hold on his brother's waist, as well as the arm that was draped over his shoulder. The last thing they needed was Sam falling on his face.
Fifteen minutes later, Dean found himself grinding his teeth together in worry and frustration. Next time he'd get the ghoul off of his brother first, before finishing the incantation…or maybe he'd just shave Sam's head while he was sleeping. It'd make it a hell of a lot harder for something to grab his brother's head if there was no hair on it…
"Come on, Sparky. One foot in front of the other." Dean's voice was filled with patience as he led his concussed brother out of the forest and toward the car.
"Where we going?"
Dean sighed, that was the fifth time Sam had asked that question. "To the car."
Sam stopped walking and blinked repeatedly as though thinking hard. Then he turned to Dean, a confused look on his face. "Where are we?"
Dean answered calmly. "West Virginia." Taking Sam's arm, Dean once again began supporting his brother as they walked.
"What day is it?"
"Sunday the twenty forth." The questions were routine by now as Sam's short-term memory seemed non-existent.
"Where are we going?"
Dean sighed again. "The car, Sam."
Once again Sam stopped and Dean rubbed his own head. At this rate, it'd be sun-up before they got back to the car. He hoped his brother wouldn't need a hospital.
"We're in West Virginia?"
Dean nodded. "Yeah."
Sam looked hard at the ground before looking back up. "I got hurt?"
Dean nodded again. "Concussion. Damn ghoul slammed your head into a tree a few times."
Sam blinked. "You okay?"
Dean smirked and pointed to himself. "Me? No, see, I know how to keep my hair to a respectable length. You're the one with the wavy locks that allow for the undead to grab on and use you as a hammerhead."
Sam squinted and swallowed, taking almost a minute before responding with a whisper. "I don't remember that."
Dean gave a humorless laugh and took his brother by the arm once again. "Come on, our chariot awaits."
A minute later… "Where are we going?"
Dean closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm his frustration. It wasn't Sam's fault. He was injured… "The car."
Sam kept walking as he pondered, or tried to ponder. "There was a ghoul?"
Dean agreed. "Yeah, Sammy."
Sam shook his head. "I don't remember that."
Dean snorted. "No kidding… What's the last thing you do remember?"
Sam scrunched his face in thought for a while before shaking his head. "I don't remember."
Dean nodded and kept them moving. "You remember where we're going?"
Sam furrowed his brow. Then finally, "The car?"
Dean stopped, a huge grin on his face. "Well, look at that!"
Sam just blinked back at him in confusion. Dean smirked. "You remember asking me where we were going?"
Sam went to respond, but then stopped himself, obviously perplexed. "Didn't you ask me?"
Dean closed his eyes and shook his head. He wished he was getting this on video because he'd love to mock Sam about it and unfortunately, right now his brother was too out of it to respond properly to the mocking. With a sigh, Dean pushed his brother forward.
Dean whined. He didn't want to know…
"I don't remember what day it is."
Sam stumbled and Dean moved up to his brother's side. Clearly, Sam couldn't walk on his own. "It's Sunday, the twenty fourth."
Sam nodded. "I'm twenty four?"
Dean smiled, yet again wishing this was on camera. "Yeah, Sammy. You're twenty four."
"Where am I?"
"West Virginia." Finally, the Impala's form appeared in the distance. Dean let out a breath of relief upon seeing the car's exterior reflect the moonlight.
"How did we get here?"
Evidently, Sam had not yet noticed the beautiful black machine. Either that or he couldn't connect the car's presence with how they got there… "You drove us here."
Sam stopped and stared at the grass. "I don't remember that."
Dean raised his brows and pointed. "The car's there, Sam. We've only got a few feet more."
Sam turned in the direction that Dean was pointing. "Did I get hurt?"
Dean took another calming breath. This was really concerning him. Sam wasn't having trouble staying conscious, but nevertheless, this was a bad concussion. Maybe they would need to go to the hospital. Although with a shitload of demons out there and Henrickson up their ass, it would be a huge risk.
He'd have to watch Sam. If he got any worse or didn't start improving over the next few hours, they have to chance a trip to the hospital. "Concussion. Your head got slammed into a tree."
Sam shook his head. "I don't remember."
Dean nodded, once again taking his brother's arm. "Come on, dude. We're almost there."
"Where are we going?"
Dean closed his eyes, trying to muster up patience that he didn't have. "The car."
"I drove here?"
Dean looked over to find his brother stumbling against him, squinting in confusion at the car. "Yeah. Why? You wanna drive back?"
Slowly, Sam turned his head to his brother, a look of distress on his face. "I don't remember driving here. I don't remember where we are."
Dean's brows drew together in sympathy. Sam was clearly upset over the fact that he couldn't remember anything. But then, who could blame him? Dean stopped walking and turned his brother toward him before putting his hands on Sam's shoulders and speaking clearly. "You remember we talked about your injury?"
Sam thought for a moment. "Concussion?"
Dean smiled. "Good. We're in West Virginia. A ghoul slammed your head into a tree. You can't remember anything because of the concussion. When we get back to the motel, you can sleep. You'll feel better tomorrow."
Sam took a minute to absorb the information before speaking. "What day is it?"
"Sunday, the twenty fourth."
Sam nodded, staring at a spot on Dean's jacket. "We're in West Virginia?"
Dean clapped his brother on the shoulder. "That's right."
Sam squinted in misery. "I don't remember being here."
Dean took another breath. "We talked about that. Why don't you remember?"
Sam looked over at the car. "I have a concussion."
Dean smiled and resumed guiding his brother forward. "That's good, Sam. You'll feel better after you sleep."
The remainder of the trip back to the car was silent, for which Dean was grateful. His tolerance for repeated questions was running thin. After what seemed like an eternity, Dean opened the passenger door and helped his brother into the car before running over to the driver's side and jumping in.
The car ride back was quiet, to the point where Dean found himself frequently checking his brother to see if he had fallen asleep. However, throughout the ride, Sam remained wide-awake, mostly staring out the windshield with a confused look on his face. Every now and then he would mumble something to himself, causing Dean to wish, for the third time, that he had a video camera.
They were only three miles from the motel when the silence was broken by Sam's hesitant voice. "Dean? How old are you?"
Dean briefly glanced at his younger sibling before responding. "Twenty eight, dude. And before you ask, you're twenty four."
Sam seemed to accept this and for a moment remained silent. The moment was short-lived. "Is dad dead?"
The words stung and Dean couldn't stop himself from flinching, but just as he had done all night, he managed to answer his brother with patience. "Yeah."
Sam blinked, taking a long moment to think. He appeared confused, a glimpse of a memory that didn't compute..."Am I dead?"
Another sting and Dean took his right hand off the wheel to shake it out. His brother's questions were innocent, but the memories they evoked were painful. "No."
Sam squinted in more uncertainty for another minute. "Are you dead?"
This time Dean just rolled his eyes. "No, Sam."
Dean watched his brother sag in relief. Then the puzzled look that had adorned Sam's face for the past hour, returned. "So just dad?"
Dean shrugged. "And mom…and Jess…and Ash…and Caleb…and Pastor Jim…and-"
"Stop it, Dean." Dean shut his mouth at his brother's pained whisper. He hadn't meant to hurt Sam with the list, but he was angry, and frustrated. And not just with Sam's questions. The truth was both he and Sam had died…and so had all those other people- too many people. It was getting to the point where it was almost impossible to see life anymore. When he was a kid, he had had so much hope. He had had a future. Now he had a dead family, dead friends, and Hell.
Dean thought for a moment more…and he had Sam…thank God he had Sam…
Out of the corner of his eye, Dean saw his brother lean over and massage his temples. Reaching out a hand, Dean tried to stop him. "Don't do that. You'll hit the spot-"
Drawing his hand back, Dean nodded to himself; saw that one coming.
"I hit my head?"
Only one more light before they could park at the motel. "Yeah, remember? We talked about it? You have a concussion."
Sam shook his head. "I don't remember."
Dean nodded and pulled the car into the spot facing their motel room. Noticing that they had parked, Sam looked around. "Where are we?"
Ignoring the question for the moment, Dean got out of the car and made his way over to the passenger side to help his brother out. Once he had unbuckled Sam, he answered his brother's question. "We're at the motel. When we get in, you're going to sleep."
With a grunt, Dean lifted his brother up, pausing to regain his balance as Sam leaned his head onto Dean's shoulder. He spoke from beneath his brother's weight. "Come on, Hefty. We'll get you some ice for your head in a minute."
Sam picked his head up and looked toward the door. "Dean, I don't remember anything."
Slamming the car door, Dean helped his brother to their room. "You don't need to, Sammy. I got everything under control. Just trust me."
Sam seemed to consider that before asking, "We're okay?"
Dean gave his brother a close look, noticing, with relief, the normal pupils. He smiled. "We're okay."
Sam nodded. "Okay."
There were no more questions for the rest of the night.
That was it...let me know what you thought...please?