Disclaimer: They aren't mine. I'm not making any money (well, not from this at any rate). Please don't sue me.
Beta'd: By Wysawyg who suggested that I try re-writing one scene. It took forever, but she was right. Thanks!
I played after she beta'd so, as usual, any and all remaining errors are mine and mine alone.
Dedicated: To Heather. This is your Hurt!Dean, just because you asked, story. Thanks for giving it a once over – twice. :D
Timeline: Set somewhere between Something Wicked and Shadows – Season One.
Warning: Unapologetic brotherly schmoop ahead! You've been warned.
Dean sniffed the air with the same degree of skill as a hunting dog. Scrambled eggs. He wrinkled his nose and tried to remember the last time he had eaten. His stomach clenched with a ferocious hunger and despite a raging headache, he only felt a little nauseated.
He cracked one eye partially open and squinted towards the source of the scent. Morning sun diffused through bright yellow, sheer curtains illuminating the small motel kitchenette. His brother stood at the tiny gas stove wearing gray sweats and a rumpled blue t-shirt which bore the definite appearance of being slept in.
One eye now fully open, Sam's fresh from bed appearance continued up to his hair, where the too long mop of brown poked out in all directions. For once, Sam had not been up long before him. Dean lay perfectly still; afraid his head might lop off if he made any sudden movements. The headache that had only been niggling his brain when he first awoke was quickly gaining intensity.
The scrape of a metal spatula on cast iron caused ripples of nerve endings to dance up his spine and into his head. He squeezed his eye shut, wincing at the sensation. A clanging frying pan and the delicate tinkling of a fork on a ceramic plate signaled an end to the breakfast preparations.
The distinctive glug of liquid poured into a tall glass preceded the citrus aroma of orange juice wafting on the coattails of scrambled eggs. Silence fell and Dean nearly drifted back to sleep until the sensation of being watched grew into a feeling he could not ignore.
Slits of green took in the sight of his baby brother standing at the foot of the bed, plate in one hand, glass in the other, sporting a blended expression of concerned amusement. "Are you awake?" Sam asked, unnecessarily.
Dean licked dry lips. "That depends." He forced himself up onto his elbows to gain a better vantage point and craned his neck to see what was on the plate although he already knew. The motion caused a wave of dizziness, but he pushed the feeling away and managed a slight smile. "Did you cook?"
"Yeah," Sam replied in a wide, double dimpled grin. He walked closer to Dean and placed the glass of orange juice on the bedside table next to the alarm clock and the television remote that was chained to the table.
"Then I'm awake," Dean replied, flopping back to the pillow. He closed his eyes and immediately felt his body get heavier and sink deeper into the mattress.
"Hey, hey," Sam said, pinching Dean's big toe. "Stay awake."
"Ow!" Dean protested, giving his foot a quick shake. "Leave my toe alone. It never did anything to you."
"Sure it did," Sam replied. Dean felt the bed dip when his little brother sat down. "It poked me on more than one occasion when we were kids and you thought I was hogging the covers."
"You did hog the covers," Dean asserted. "And if I remember right, you snored too."
"Did not," Sam replied, indignantly. "That was Dad."
"Nice one, Sammy," Dean teased. "Dad's not even here to defend himself and you're going to blame your deviated septum problems on him?"
"What?" Sam asked, his face scrunching in a temporary scowl. "I don't have a deviated anything." Sam smirked and added. "Well, I have a deviant brother, but that's not quite the same thing."
Dean tried to follow Sam's verbal acrobatics, but his head pounded in protest. He did not recall drinking last night yet something had to explain the horrendous hangover he nursed. Dean frowned when Sam placed two pills in his palm and held out the glass of orange juice.
"Can you sit up?" Sam asked, setting down the orange juice and retrieving the pills. Dean's face momentarily screwed up in confusion when Sam took the pills back until his question fully registered in Dean's sluggish brain.
"Yes, I can sit up," Dean answered snarkily. A feeble attempt later and Dean realized how wrong he was. He sat propped against the headboard, his head bent at an incredibly awkward angle with his torso barely inches off the mattress. His chest heaved as he breathed deeply to fight back nausea and he squeezed his eyes tightly closed against the wildly spinning room.
Sam's cold fingers grabbed him by the arms and pulled him up in one smooth motion. "Breathe," Sam quietly reminded him. He drew in a long shaky breath and tried to avoid tipping over. The bed spun like a merry go round and he wanted off.
"I think I'm going to be sick," Dean moaned, cradling his head in his hands.
"You're not going to be sick," Sam reassured him, rubbing his shoulder. "Just keep breathing and you'll be fine in a minute."
Dean lifted his head for a brief moment and opened his eyes to glare at Sam. A mistake he soon discovered when the spinning bed and the blurry vision combined to upset his stomach once more.
"Shit, Sam," Dean cursed tightly. "Whatever I drank last night, remind me not to do it again."
When his brother did not reply, Dean chanced opening his eyes again and banged his head against the headboard in surprise. Sam hovered only inches from his face, the concerned look in his blue-greens leaking into a frown.
"What?" Dean snapped. He reached blindly for what he hoped were pain pills on the side table and his fingers connected with the glass of orange juice. He could feel the glass tipping, but he knew he would never be able to right it in time.
"Easy," Sam cautioned, grasping the glass before it could tip. He looked over at Dean and gave him an appraising look.
Dean felt a few splashes of cool liquid hit his hand and he slurped them off. "I'll take those pills now," he said with a wan smile. "Assuming you do plan on letting me have them."
"Oh, sorry," Sam apologized, dipping his gaze. He dropped the pills into Dean's hand again and handed him the glass.
Dean popped the pills into his mouth nearly gagging as he downed them with a large gulp of orange juice. His stomach roiled in rebellion. "Quit staring, Sam."
"Do you remember what happened?" Sam asked, finally.
Dean closed his eyes in thought and racked his brain. Shadowed memories glided past his closed lids. "Were we hunting a ghost?"
"Yeah," Sam replied. He took the glass from Dean and set the plate of scrambled eggs and toast next to him on the bed. "What else?"
Blonde, ringlet curls edged in crimson sprang into focus. "We were too late to save the little girl," Dean supplied, his voice cracking ever so slightly.
He took a moment to compose himself before opening his eyes. He hated losing people to the hunt, especially kids. When he opened his eyes he could tell by the sympathy radiating from his brother's hazels that he had not managed to disguise his emotions very well.
"Is that it?" Sam asked. Dean could feel the penetrating stare from his baby brother, but he did not know the right answer.
"I think so," he replied, hesitantly. The frown and furrowed brows on Sam's face told him that was not the correct one.
"You yelled at the spirit to distract it from the brother," Sam explained. "Do you remember that?"
Dean shook his head in the negative and when his equilibrium tilted, his stomach churned in warning to a possible orange juice revolt. He gulped several times and regained his balance. "Bad idea," he moaned.
Sam studied him for a moment before continuing, "It came towards you and I didn't have a clear shot."
"You wanted me to duck," Dean recited from memory. He did remember something after all. "Why didn't I duck? I…" he trailed off at the stricken look on Sam's face. "What?"
Sam swallowed hard. "Nothing, no, you didn't duck. You were between me and the ghost and you wanted me to grab the boy and leave."
"You didn't," Dean stated. It was not a question, in spite of the fact he had no clear memory of the event.
"No, I didn't," Sam replied, lowering his gaze. "And I didn't fire either. I hesitated. I wanted a clear shot."
Sam fell silent and Dean leaned forward and tapped his brother on the knee. "And?"
"And I got one, when it sent you flying across the barn and into a wall."
"Always the wall," Dean murmured wryly. In a blur of blue and gray his brother disappeared behind the bathroom door. "Well that went well."
Sam flopped down on the toilet seat and sighed. He brushed bangs out of his eyes with both hands and cradled his head in his hands. He hated confessing his mistake to Dean. His hesitation had gotten Dean hurt and he'd had to admit to it three times already.
As usual everything happened so fast and he had not been willing to risk hitting Dean. In the end, there was a moment he thought he may have lost Dean anyway when he hit the wall and slumped down, his head drooping to the side at an odd angle.
Sam thought back to the beginning of the hunt when his research had uncovered that Harlon Bevons was a suspected child molester in the 1950's. He had simply vanished one day and no one tried very hard to find him. That is until children started going missing again over fifty years later and no one save the Winchesters thought to look for a decades old spirit. Sam tried to push back the memory, but it pulled him along as an unwilling passenger down the corridors of his own mind.
"You're sure this is where Bevons is buried?" Dean asked.
"Pretty sure," Sam replied. "I think the recent renovations to the old farm stirred up Harlon's spirit and based on the pattern of sightings, the barn seems the most likely place."
Dean appeared to contemplate it for a moment before responding, "Good enough for me."
Sam followed Dean into the barn, carrying the shovel and the salt. As usual, Dean had insisted on not only carrying the rifle, but the lighter fluid. It demonstrated Dean's affinity for his weapon and his natural tendency towards pyromania. Sam shook his head affectionately. In any other line of work, Dean would feel deprived of the things he loved.
As they approached the barn door, Sam heard crying. Dean rushed inside with Sam following on his heels. The brothers shone their flashlights along the walls and floor, searching for the source of the crying. Sam's flashlight landed on the form of a young boy. He sat hunched over a girl who was lying on the ground.
"Hey there, kiddo," Dean said, hunkering down next to the boy. "It'll be okay. What's your name?"
"Tony," the boy sniffled. His brown eyes filled with tears. "Somepin' is wrong with Carina."
Sam knelt down on the other side of the unconscious girl and checked for her pulse. His fingers felt cold skin, but no heartbeat. They were too late. He shook his head at his brother. Dean's jade eyes clearly reflected his emotions as they flittered past: regret, guilt and anger.
"Tony," Dean said, wrapping his arm around the young boy. "I'm sorry. Carina is gone."
Tony wailed and buried his head in Dean's chest. Dean wrapped his arms protectively around the boy and rocked him gently. Sam watched his brother comfort the child for a moment before holding up the shovel in an unspoken offer and Dean nodded his head in agreement.
An hour later, Sam stopped digging when Dean's boots appeared beside the half dug grave. "He's sleeping," Dean said. "I'll take a turn."
"I can do this," Sam stated. He looked up into his brother's face and saw the need there. Dean had to dig for awhile to physically work through some of his feelings. He handed the shovel to his older brother. "But if you're offering…"
"He's sleeping over there," Dean said, nodding. He pulled Sam out of the grave before jumping in himself.
"I've got him," Sam reassured him when he realized Dean was waiting for a response before starting to dig. Dean nodded once and attacked the soft ground with the shovel.
Sam walked over to the boy and sat down. Dean had covered Carina with his coat and Tony was curled up next to her. He kept a close eye on his brother, flicking his flashlight around the barn sporadically checking for any signs of Bevons. Dean's head was barely visible above the grave when Tony started crying.
"No, Carina!" he cried. His eyes popped open, wet with unshed tears and he launched himself at Sam. Sam cradled the toddler, his large hands dwarfing the small form nestled in his arms. "She, she tried to stop the bad man," Tony cried, his tiny hands grabbing handfuls of Sam's shirt. "And he hurt her."
Sam's heart went out to the little boy and he tried to console the toddler. Only Dad's training and Dean's skill had kept his brother from ending up like Carina and Sam from suffering the same fate as Tony knowing that his sibling had died to save him.
"Sam, look out!" Dean shouted, frantically.
Sam looked up at the slowly approaching form of Harlon Bevons. He stood quickly and pushed Tony behind him, trying to shield the child from Harlon's lascivious gaze. The rifle rested only a foot away. Sam lunged for it and his fingers snagged the cool metal of the weapon.
"Hey, you fugly pervert, over here!" Dean taunted, jumping out of the grave to stand between Sam and the spirit.
"Dean, duck!" Sam commanded.
Sam could see Bevons hovering with his head bent near his brother's ear. "Sam, grab Tony and get out of here!" he commanded, without looking back.
"No, Dean! I just need a clean shot," Sam shouted back, raising the weapon and sighting it with his flashlight. He hesitated, waiting for a shot at Bevons that did not put his brother in danger. Moments later he could only watch in horror as Dean flew across the barn and hit the wall with a sickening thud.
In the next instant, Sam fired the rifle and the scattering rock salt caused the spirit to disappear into a vapor. He grabbed the salt and lighter fluid with his free hand. "Tony, stay right behind me," he instructed. Sam felt a tug on the hem of his shirt and twisted his head to see the towhead had his hands fisted in his shirt.
Sam made his way to Bevon's grave and shone his flashlight inside. Dean had finished digging and all that remained was to salt and burn the corpse. He knew he had to finish the job to keep his brother safe from Harlon returning. He sprinkled the body liberally with salt and doused it in lighter fluid. A single match later, the flames shot up past the lip of the grave and illuminated the barn in a fiery glow.
Tony's minature hand slipped into his much larger one and Sam gave it a gentle squeeze. He led Tony around the burning corpse and over to Dean. Sam knelt down next to his brother and felt for a pulse. "Dean?" he said, panic jumping through his veins when he had trouble locating a pulse or rousing his brother. He sighed in relief when a thready beat registered against numb fingers. "Dean?"
A cursory examination of his brother revealed a jagged cut that ran the length of an impressive goose egg on the back of his head. Sam removed his jacket and long sleeved shirt and pressed the shirt firmly on the bleeding wound. It felt as if an eternity passed while he knelt on the dusty barn floor trying to stem the bleeding, praying that Dean would be alright.
After the bleeding stopped, Sam was faced with the final problem of getting an unconscious Dean out of the ramshackle barn and into the car with a terrified child in tow. In the end, he slung Dean over his shoulder in a fireman's carry heedless of the possible injuries to his brother's neck or back. Three-year-old Tony followed behind him, never relinquishing his tight hold on Sam's shirt.
Sam carefully placed Dean in the passenger seat and ushered Tony inside next to his brother. "Stay with Dean," Sam said. "You're safe here."
"Okay," Tony tearfully agreed. Sam shut the door and went back inside.
The dying flames did little to light the way and Sam shone his light along the floor, quickly locating the discarded salt, lighter fluid and rifle. He took them out to the Impala and locked them in the trunk before returning to the barn a final time for Carina.
Sam wrapped her body tighter inside Dean's coat and carried her out to the car, placing her gently in the back seat. Walking around to the front, he slid into the driver's seat and started the engine. "It'll be okay," he said, trying to reassure Tony. When he did not get a reply he looked over to find Tony asleep, his head resting on Dean and his brother's arm draped over the toddler. Sam put the car into drive and headed back to town, the Impala's wheels kicking up gravel.
A trip to the hospital and some fast talking left Tony in the hands of a matronly nurse and Carina's body in the hands of medical professionals. He narrowly avoided spending precious time explaining his involvement to the local police by ducking into the restroom. When the children's mother arrived in a flurry of excitement, he snuck past security and out the emergency room doors.
Sam drove for over an hour to a run down motel eighty miles away to give them distance from any possible connection with the children. Dean did not stir once during the trip and Sam reached over periodically to feel for his pulse or check the wound on his head.
After checking them into the motel, Sam bodily dragged his big brother into the room and dropped him unceremoniously on the bed. He cleaned the still seeping tear on the back of Dean's head all the while keeping up a running dialogue in hopes that his brother would respond.
"I haven't found any rocks in here yet," Sam said, irrigating the wound. "It looks like Dad was wrong about that one."
"I need to shave your head in this spot to stitch it up. It's going to look funny for a couple of weeks," Sam goaded, picking up the razor, "Now's your chance to stop me."
Hands shaking from exhaustion and the aftermath of an adrenaline rush pulled thread in five neat stitches. "You know, a tiny scar on the back of your head will hardly impress any women. That's a lose-lose for you, Dean."
A lightly placed self-adhesive gauze pad finished the job. He tried one last ditch effort to provoke a response out of his big brother by pulling out his little brother in distress card. "Dean, wake up. I'm getting a little worried here." Dean's pale face did not even twitch in response and Sam made him as comfortable as possible before collapsing himself.
Sam gasped as he snapped back to the present. Every time Dean awoke and they had the same conversation, he beat himself up over it. Dean had comforted Tony too. He could hardly resist children and he knew how to talk to them. Something Sam had not realized until he and Dean had reconnected after Stanford and Sam had watched his brother through the eyes of an adult.
The fact remained; he had allowed himself to get too distracted and to be pulled away from the task at hand. Something his dad and his brother had cautioned him about in the past.
Sam was certain, however, that Dean would not have allowed himself to be distracted from watching his back. It had only been for a second, but Sam knew only too well how quickly things could go to hell during a hunt, especially when Dean was involved.
He had spent the last thirty-six hours, waking Dean every two. Each time Dean seemed more aware and he remembered a little more of what happened. Although a part of Sam was glad Dean did not remember much about Carina; neither one of them had taken her death well and at least the concussion spared Dean some of the gory details.
Sam looked in the mirror as he washed his hands. Dark circles under his eyes bore evidence to the fact he'd only slept a few hours here and there. Greasy strands of unruly brown showed he hadn't showered and overall he looked like crap. If he was a gambling man, he'd wager he smelled like crap too. Sam dipped his head and sniffed. He grimaced and wrinkled his nose in disgust. He doubted even another layer of deodorant and a fresh t-shirt would kill that stench.
Resigned to smelling like a stale gym locker, Sam opened the door and slunk back to his brother. Dean's eyes were closed and Sam regretted leaving him for even a moment to compose himself. He had hoped this time he would be able to get Dean to eat and now he was sleeping.
Sam stood for a moment watching his brother. Dean always looked so peaceful when he slept. Something he rarely looked when awake and Sam took comfort in knowing his brother found at least a few moments in his life to just relax and let it all go.
He reached over Dean and picked the plate of eggs off the bed. Dean's hand encircled his wrist with reptilian quickness. "Leave it," he commanded his voice fully awake, not edged with sleepiness as Sam suspected it would be.
"You're sleeping," Sam stated. A slow smile spread across his face as he pushed all bad feelings to the background. Dean was okay and that was enough for Sam. "I wouldn't want you to wake up with egg on your face."
"You're a riot," Dean replied, not bothering to open his eyes.
"Can't let you have all the fun." Sam released the plate and leaned over Dean. "Sit forward. I want to check your head."
In an uncharacteristically compliant gesture, Dean allowed Sam to gently push him forward. "Sorry," Sam apologized when Dean grunted.
"S'okay," Dean replied. "My ribs are just a little sore."
"I'm sure," Sam replied. "Your back has a spectacular array of bruises."
Dean grunted in response. "Ow! Stop poking it."
"I'm not poking it," Sam insisted. He frowned at the goose egg his brother still sported after nearly two days. At least it looked smaller and the cut less red than before. "I'm just trying to get a good look at it."
"My head is not a lump of Playdough," Dean replied. He did not move his head to look at Sam, but held up a hand and growled. "Shut up."
Sam snapped his mouth shut and smirked. "The swelling is going down." He released Dean's head and helped his brother sit back.
Dean screwed up his face in disgust. "Dude, one word -- shower."
Sam lowered his gaze and sat down on the bed instead. "Dean, I'm sorry."
"For what?" Dean asked, perplexed. "I mean, yeah, you smell bad, but…"
"For hesitating," Sam replied quietly interrupting. "For letting you get hurt."
"Sam, you got him, right?" Dean asked, tapping Sam on the knee.
"Yeah?" Sam asked looking up, confused as to where his brother was headed.
"And the kid?" Dean asked.
"Left him at the hospital," Sam replied, a slight frown ghosting his lips at the memory of leaving a tearful and clutching Tony with a motherly nurse.
"So what's the problem?" he asked.
"What's the problem?" Sam asked, his voice raising just a half a point. "You got hurt because of me."
"Mmm," Dean replied in apparently understanding. "As opposed to all the times we've made it out just fine because we've had each other's backs."
"Exactly," Sam agreed. He could hear the guilt leaking into his tone.
"Or the times I saved your ass despite seemingly insurmountable odds?" Dean continued.
"Yeah," Sam replied feeling the blush of shame rise in his cheeks.
"Or the times you were choked or beaten because I'm such an awesome big brother," he finished sarcastically.
"Those weren't your fault," Sam insisted angrily, his hazel eyes flashing.
"Huh," Dean replied thoughtfully. He winced and pinched the bridge of his nose. "So, uh…what were you saying?"
"I got it." Sam rolled his eyes, not fully convinced of Dean's argument, but certainly not in any mood to argue with his injured brother. He made eye contact with Dean and shrugged his shoulders. "I got it."
"You better." Dean allowed his head to gently rest against the headboard and closed his eyes.
"Dean, you should try to eat something," Sam said, changing the subject.
"Mmmm," Dean hummed through his nose.
"I'll be right back." Sam picked up the empty orange juice glass and walked into the kitchen to refill it. Orange juice was better than nothing.
Dean could hear Sam banging around in the kitchenette, the sounds reverberating hollowly in his head. He did not feel like eating, but how could he resist his little brother actually cooking something for him? Dean had always been the family cook and as dubious as his skills were they beat Sam's hands down any day.
He could still taste the burnt toast and the coffee sludge Sam had made him for breakfast five years ago. Dean had sworn off Sam's cooking then, but the scrambled eggs on the plate beside him were more than breakfast. They were Sam showing Dean that he cared and that he was worried about him. You could not turn down a plate full of brotherly concern, it was bad form and Dean prided himself on having good form.
Now the guilty conscience Sam nursed over his injuries? That mood he would have to beat out of his little brother later. A guilty Sam was a closed off, emotional train wreck with a side of nightmares. He preferred his little brother happy, geeky and annoyed by banter run amok to the point of huffing fits.
"Dean?" Sam's voice called to him from a mile away.
Dean tried to answer, but even to his own ears it sounded like more of a grunt than anything else. "What?" he managed finally, past near-sleep paralyzed lips.
"Try to stay awake for awhile and eat something, okay?"
"Absolutely," Dean responded amiably. A light chuckle from the kitchenette drifted into Dean's ear and warmed him from the inside.
"You're almost asleep, aren't you?" Sam asked.
"I think so."
He started to doze off and barely registered the light thunk of the orange juice glass on the bedside table. A small tinkling Dean assumed were additional pain pills joined the glass. The bed dipped when Sam sat down on the opposite side and flipped on the television. The sound was turned down so low it took Dean a moment to identify the opening strains of 'The Simpsons' and a smile teased his lips.
His heavy head fell to the left and landed on Sam's shoulder. It wasn't often he allowed himself the luxury of taking comfort from his little brother, but he didn't try to fight it because he figured he had built in deniability by way of concussion. All thoughts of eating disappeared as Dean drifted off to sleep with his little brother's muffled and sporadic laughter as background accompaniment to his own even breathing.
When Dean awoke again, his legs felt heavy and he could not move them. He opened his eyes to find his little brother, all six foot four of him, curled into a ball lying over Dean's legs like a guard dog. He smothered a laugh not wanting to wake him. All the times Sam had been compared to a puppy and now here he was sleeping at the foot of the bed. He chuckled again and watched Sam for any sign he heard, but he didn't stir.
His legs tingled from the lack of circulation, but he could wait for now. Sam had looked awful before and Dean wanted to give him a few more minutes of sleep. His stomach rumbled in hunger and he looked for the plate of scrambled eggs Sam had brought to him earlier. He found it under the top sheet beside him and picked it up. It looked fine. Probably cold eggs and no doubt soggy toast, but it would hold him over for now.
Dean picked up the plate and scooped a forkful of eggs. A distinctive crunch alerted Dean to a wayward eggshell and he caught it on his tongue and fished it out with his fingers before dropping it back to the plate. Apparently, Sam had never mastered the fine art of cracking eggs.
The weight on his legs disappeared and Dean looked up from his plate to find Sam sitting up and blinking owlishly at him. He tossed Sam a grin and pointed to the eggs with his fork. He was rewarded with a slow, wide, double-dimpled grin from his little brother before Sam peeled himself off the bed and staggered for the bathroom.
"Don't be in there too long!" Dean called. "I gotta go and now that my little brother is no longer doing an excellent impression of a paper weight on my legs I call first dibs on the shower!"
Dean could not quite make out Sam's sleepy and muffled response through the bathroom door, but it sounded suspiciously like, 'whatever.' Dean smiled, pleased things were settling back to normal.
He reached for the now warm orange juice and the pain pills Sam had left for him and swallowed them both in a large gulp. It was the little things like this, the attempt at breakfast, leaving the pain pills and the obvious outpouring of concern that reminded Dean that he was loved by his little brother and that Sam watched out for him too.
It wasn't that he didn't know Sam cared about him, but sometimes he was so caught up in looking out for his brother that he forgot it went both ways. Dean took another bite of eggs and chewed them thoughtfully. They were cold and tough and there was entirely too much salt.
And Dean had never tasted anything better in his entire life.
AN: Yes, I know I'm in the middle of a long-shot, but I started this a month ago and whenever I needed a break from Envy, I worked on this one. :)
I promise, I'm working on Chapter 9!
Thanks for reading!
Oh and Heather – I tried adding that scene you wanted, but I couldn't make it work. I'll save it for another round of brotherly schmoop. :D