AN: hey all, this here is a little oneshot done for the SFTCOL(AR)S Secret Santa. I wrote for Spellbound, who gave this excellent prompt. I hope I did it justice and that both she and everyone else enjoys it! it is unbeta'd, so if you see issues, lemme know.
umm, for my regular readers (hides) SOWWY!!! i swear i'll UD the other stories sometime this break!
People were screaming everywhere. Mothers called desperately for lost sons, Husbands yelled for wives, Friends begged for friends. Dean just wanted to find a crane.
It was supposed to be a normal, everyday, nothing out of the ordinary ghost hunt. Nothing too crazy, just dig up a grave, find some salt, add some fire. What the Winchesters didn't count on was a typical Californian earthquake. One that shook the Los Angles graveyard so badly that it upended 3 gravestones. They especially didn't expect one to land directly on Sam's large foot.
For about 2 hours, or what felt like a lifetime for both brothers, Dean tried with brute strength to lift the 6 foot block of marble off Sam. After he had woken up from a brief spout of unconsciousness, the younger Winchester also pitched in with what strength he had left. Sad to say, it wasn't much. Under the blazing sun, they sweated with pain and exhaustion, Dean occasionally making rude comments about California in general.
"Dean, I'm fine. We can just wait until the crews come out with heavy equipment." But Sam wasn't fine. Beneath his mop of hair, Dean could see that his brother was pale, stricken.
He let out a grunt of exasperation. "You're stuck under a dead person's statue, Dude. That ain't fine."
"Ain't isn't a word, and yes, I am. C'mon, I'm healthy enough to correct your grammar. The crews probably don't think to look in a cemetery for survivors. We need to get help. Don't bother with the cell, that'll be tied up for days."
Sam was right. Dead people weren't exactly on the need to save list. Because someone's already failed to save them. That thought hit Dean like a ton of bricks and gave him a little fire within him. He wasn't gonna let that happen to Sam. Not again, not ever. "Yeah, you ain't wrong. I better get this grave un-dug. That might be a bad idea to leave when the crew comes to free your Sasquatch self."
"Ah bite me." Convinced that his brother was not going to try and Hulk Hogan the grave marker off his foot, Sam fell back to the grass next to the half dug grave. He closed his eyes, trying not to focus on his squashed left foot. "And don't you dare try to cover me with dirt."
"You steal all my joy." Dean picked up the well-used shovel and began the slow job of re-covering the coffin. "At least ol' Backus here won't be bothering anyone anymore."
"Yeah..." Sam's voice faded off to nothing, putting Dean's big brother alert on high.
"Sam? Dammit!" Dean dropped the shovel and crouched beside his brother. Sam made no move except a slow rise of his chest. It felt like a bowling ball dropped in Dean's stomach as he assessed his brother. The ground around his trapped foot was turning a steady maroon and his worn jeans were near black with blood. "Shit!"
Dean shed his cargo jacket and over-shirt. Didn't need that many layers in this heat anyway. He quickly rolled the cotton into one long strip and reached for Sam's pant leg. The material was caught fast in between marble and flesh. Out of his back pocket, Dean pulled out his army knife.
"Sorry Sammy, i'll take ya shopping for some new pants after this. You can get your girlish tendencies all out in one spree." He worked at cutting through the soaked material, not being comforted by the amount of blood oozing in between his fingers. Finally, the lower half of Sam's left leg was bare. Dean sat back on his heels, hand covering his mouth in shock. He ran it up across his face and through his hair. "Son of a bitch."
Part of the monument had gone through Sam's leg. His lower shin was a mess of black red and flesh. The statue happened to be one of those superfluous angels that had all the bells and whistles on it. A piece of marble vine had wound its way, with the aid of the earthquake, directly through Sam's leg and into the ground. There was no way either Winchester could unstick the deadly stone plant without putting Sam into serious risk.
"Well crap. Guess you'll need my shirt." Dean carefully packed in the cotton around the entry and exit point of the injury. Sam shifted slightly, more out of unconscious awareness than anything. Dean could see that his foot twitched loosely, that his brother's foot was only pinned at that one place. Well that's a relief. The elder Winchester couldn't keep the sarcasm from creeping in. Why always Sammy? Ya know? Maybe just once can i have the granite, sorry marble, through my leg? He could almost hear his father's voice return, because who would look out for Sam? These conversations between himself and the phantom of John had become more recent, and less compassionate, after the battle in Wyoming. Dean had finally gotten some closure with everything, and it seemed so had the patriarch of this strange family. Of course, the nagging voice would never go away, but that was John's legacy, to teach his eldest how to carry on, to carry out.
Dean was brought out of the past by another, sharper twitch from Sam. He jolted awake, the hissing intake of his breath the only thing that let Dean know that he was actually conscious.
"Sammy? You with me?" The bass edge that crept into the older brother's voice was born of worry, a shield to that worry, and a shield for Sam to protect himself. See, the way the Winchesters handled pain, it went that if you wanted to hide it, that was okay, even encouraged. So the gruff voce was a signal, like morse code for dude, do what you need.
Sam gasped, "Dean! Sorry, I didn't-"
"Nah, it was okay. I was tired o' hearing your lip anyway. You got quite a friend here. A vine wanted to hump your leg and took a few liberties."
"What?" He could feel the pounding in his head. It felt like his blood was the hippies and Sam was Washington. He brought up a hand to press into his temple, bringing slight relief. "Dean, English. It's what we speak."
"Right. So you have this piece of marble vine in your leg. It's kinda through your leg. And stuck in the ground." Dean looked quickly for any sort of panicky reaction.
"Huh. Well." Confusion and wonder swept Sam's brow. "Guess it could be worse?"
Dean laughed, "Yeah, guess so. Seriously though, how are you?"
"A little light headed? My leg feels like crap. What little I can feel of it. All the way through you said?"
"Yup. You're stuck. I don't want to try and pull it out 'cause it'll most likely rip. Those godddam fancy pants had to put leaves on dead person's freaking statue. Idiots. Don't they know, torch it is the best way?" He attempted his usual mega-whatt smile, but the concern was laid pretty thick.
"To remember them Dean." Sam gave his usual trademark sigh, "Look, I'm just hanging out here, so you'd better get back to work and then find a crew or an EMT or possibly just a rock cutter."
"Does the last one mean that I get play with heavy machinery?" Green eyes twinkled, "Please can I?"
"Oh hell no. Not near my foot. I don't want to be a gimp the rest of my life."
"Sorry Sammy, you already look like the Hunchback, why not complete the look?"
"Cause I don't want to match you."
Dean laughed, giving Sam the point. He resumed digging, with an almost unnoticed gusto. Almost. Having nothing else to watch, Sam could tell his brother was worried. The hunch in his shoulders, the nervous tapping of his fingers, the way he flicked his eyes over to Sam's injury after every shovelful.
"Dude, it would go smoother if you stopped worrying over me. I'm fine, as long as nothing jostles me. And hell, we're in the middle of a graveyard. It's all go-SHIT!" A sudden rumble sent jolts of pain up through Sam's gangly leg, causing him to rear back and cry out.
Dean likewise fell over by the sudden re-surgance of the shifting earth. "SONOVA! SAM! WHAT THE-? AFTERSHOCKS? GODDAMIT!" Though the shaking wasn't as intense, he still struggled to get to his injured brother.
"ARGH!!" Sam tried to grab onto anything that would keep him from being jerked around too hard, but the pain spiked and fell like the waves of an ocean. He wanted to tell Dean not to worrry, to stay back in case anything else fell, but all he could do was clench his teeth against the pain and to not cry out. He screwed up his eyes too, anything to block out the tremor.
Then it stopped. Over. Like it never had happened. The world as they knew it once again grew still. Both brothers lay in a sort of shock, breathing hard.
"Well crap." Dean slowly got up, his legs still unsure of the ground, "That wasn't fun."
Sam groaned, "Yeah, at least you don't have decorative plant life in your leg."
"Is it worse?"
"Don't think so. Can't feel anything anyways."
Dropping in front of the offending statue, Dean didn't know how to break it to his brother. The turbulence had caused a larger hole in the front of Sam's leg, and Dean's shirt was now completely soaked with blood. "Uh, Sammy? Hand me your hoodie."
"Why?" Sam shrugged it off anyway, the question more out of curiosity than debate.
"Oh nothing. Just to give it more cushion in case we get another rumble."
There wasn't much that got by Sam, and this wasn't an exception. However, he didn't press his brother. The pain had increased slightly, so right now all he cared about was getting the damn thing out of his leg and not passing out. As Dean wrapped up the injury yet again, Sam could tell that this was a near impossibility. Every little bump sent splinters of pain through his body and by the time it was completely covered, Sam's head was swimming in the ozone layer. He laid back.
"Dean?..I think..." Words didn't really come at the moment, though he tried, "I'm..jus'...gonna lay...back."
"Sonova..." Sam was out again, and Dean was really starting to worry. The amount of blood both in the clothing and in the ground around them was more than a single transfusion. He needed help, fast.
It took only 5 minutes to finish loading the dirt back onto Mrs. Backus' grave, but it felt like years draining from Sam's life. They never really liked to bring the subject up, but Sam's death really put a few things into perspective for Dean. It wasn't like he was going to stick his little brother in a bubble, but he also wasn't going to take any unnecessary chances. Doubt there'd be a big enough bubble to hold him anyway, Dean mused.
He made a final check of Sam's shin and headed down the gravel path to the main road. There was no way an emergency team would see them from where the grave was, and Dean highly doubted anyone would look in for survivors. Heh, survivors in a graveyard. Dean Winchester, you kill yourself!
As he reached the low gate, the hunter was awed at the devestation. In the graveyard it was surreal, they had heard the cries of long off people. Now that Dean could put faces to the sounds, the reality of the event rocked him worse than any natural disaster ever could. For a minute, he was stilled. Jaw agape and hands loose, for the first time in his life, Dean Winchester felt small. He didn't know who needed help, who was beyond his help, and who was already gone. Normally quick with a quip and action, Dean was speechless and unable to move.
A jagged crack ran through the city street, nearly three feet wide. To his immediate right, a Jeep lay abandoned on its side, straddling the crack. Beyond that, a group of kids clustered together. By their worn clothes and the way the elder ones looked to the younger, Dean guessed they were runaways. Blood trickled from numerous cuts and a few held arms or legs in pain. He moved to see if they needed help, but a terrible cry echoed to his left. An old woman lay on the sidewalk, reaching into the fissure. Her leg was bent at an odd angle and a cane lay just out of reach, threatening to fall into the abyss of the earth.
"Ma'am! Don't go any further! I'll get it!" Dean quickly rushed to her, his protective nature finally overcoming his shock. He laid down beside her and stretched out his longer frame. "Just Lemme...Got it!"
As he handed her the walking aid, she winked at him. In a low grumble, she proclaimed, "Thanks kid, you'd figure I'd be able to get that after surviving four others in my town. God curse these old bones. Especially that femur at the moment. Damn thing right cracked out on me."
"Is there anything I can do?" While Dean needed to find Sam some help, this woman clearly needed the same kind of assistance.
"Oh, no son. They'll be around soon enough. You just wait."
"How long do you think? Cause my brother, he's hurt..." He trailed off, looking back at the cemetery.
"In there?" Her wizened face contorted in confusion. "What you boys doing in there?"
"Visiting," Dean lied, "Our dear old friend Mrs. Backus. But he really needs help. Auntie B's tombstone landed right on his leg."
"Oh dear! Well yes, usually they're pretty good about coming along. Give it maybe half an hour. Your brother is lucky Los Angeles is prepared for this."
"Yeah, he is. Look, I'm gonna go see if anyone else needs help, alright?"
"Yes, you do that. Nothing I can do except lie here," she chuckled.
As Dean set off to help with the runaways, he marveled at the old woman. Four earthquakes and she was just lying there, happy as all get out. He shook his head, that's a different kinda bucket o' crazy.
She proved herself sane though, as an emergency medical team rolled up not twenty minutes later. Dean hurried over to the leader.
"Excuse me, hey."
"Sir, we've just arrived, please stay calm." The EMT was a mouse of man, with barely any grey hair left on his head, but he spoke with the authority of the mayor.
"I am. I'm sorry, i've been helping the injured here. I'm a med student up at Stanford." Dean fell into a cover story with relative ease, using Sam's old alma mater just for fun.
"Alright, that'll help us out. Give us a rundown of the injured. I'm Gerry Cooper."
They shook hands, "Gabriel Peter. I've got a man in the cemetery with his leg caught, skewered by part of a grave-marker. An elderly woman here with a broken femur, two kids with dislocated shoulders, one with a busted knee cap and several contusions and abrasions. They're most likely runaways, so be careful when talking to them. Across the way, a mother and daughter are trapped together under a sign that fell. No injuries, they got lucky and are just waiting for someone to lift it. Jeep over there is abandoned, leaking gas, but doesn't appear to have any sparks, so it should be alright."
"Who needs the most help, by your assertions?" The man seemed fair, wanted to give the authority to the man already on the scene.
Dean stopped. He wanted to give Sam the most help, but these people needed the same. Crap! He weighed out the options in his mind. Finally, he took a deep breath, but the old woman lying nearby spoke up.
"The man in the cemetery." Another EMT, a woman, was already seeing to the damage in her leg and checking for any other fractures. She looked at Dean, with a look that clearly understood his dilemma.
Cooper looked to Dean, "Please explain his situation, then we'll get the supplies needed."
"A marble vine is going through his shin, and lodged itself in the ground. He's bleeding profusely and has lost consciousness." Dean gave the woman a grateful smile as she was loaded into the back of the van. "I don't think we'll be able to move either him or the vine without causing him further damage. Do you have a small rock cutter?"
"Gabriel, you apparently haven't been in California long enough. Every Urban Search and Rescue Team, or CUSRT, has to carry with them a cutter that will cut through almost any fallen debris. Kid, we've been through these for how long? Give us some credit."
"Oh. Sorry, you're right." Dean moved to help carry equipment that Cooper was pulling out of the van. C'mon Sammy, we're almost there. Hang on. He couldn't fight the nervous jitter, but repressed the urge to shove Cooper towards the graveyard.
They hurried along, laden with medical supplies and a portable slicer that looked slightly akin to chain-saw. Dean chuckled, "Good luck getting that near his leg. This dude's a bit...stubborn."
"Yeah? Ya know the guy?" Being in his line of work, Cooper could keep a conversation going while sewing up a spastic 12-year-old.
Dean paused, unsure if they could trust the man. Sure, he did his job well, but will he file reports of them? They really didn't want to see Hendrickson again. "Yeah, we're best buds. His name's Dan, Dan Fogelberg."
"Like the singer?"
"My old wife loved that. Was a little too chicky for my taste."
"Ha. That's what I tell Dan everyday."
They were laughing until Sam came into view. Dean had to stop himself from calling out with his nickname.
"Dan!" He hollered instead. "Dan? You with us? Its Gabe, I brought some help."
Sam lifted a hand in an attempt at a wave. The youngest Winchester looked bad, real bad. Any color was drained from his skin, his usually bright eyes were closed. Dean stepped up to the injury and peeled back the hoodie. Though the outer layer of wrappings seemed fine, as he unwrapped it, Dean's stomach dropped and he had to swallow back the bile rise in his throat.
"Shit." That was first time Cooper swore, but everyone could tell why. "We gotta get him some more blood, or he's not gonna make it. Can you do an IV Gabriel?"
Sam didn't even move to register Dean's alias, nor did he make any response as Dean's hand clapped him on the shoulder. At this point, Dean's stomach was in the ground. Goddamit, I knew I had gone too long. SONOVABITCH, if he doesn't make it, I swear!
"What?" He said it with more venom than necessary, "Sorry, an IV? yeah, i think i can..."
"Good, you do that, and I need to set up the saw."
For the first time, Sam jerked. His eyes flew open, wide and panicked, "SAW? Dean, no!"
Shit. "Crap, he's delusional. Dan, it's gonna be okay, alright? Dean's not here right now." It cut him deep to say that, but since Sam wasn't lucid enough to stay with their cover, he needed to cover their asses.
"What? Where's Dean? Dean! He said he'd come back!" Fear clouded Sam's eyes, driving everything else back. "Where'd he go? Who are you? Get away!"
Dean couldn't feel any more guilty as his brother's hands weakly tried to push him away. He kept up the steady mantra of getting him to safety in his head. Sam would be alright later, when he was healing. He would understand.
"Gabe, you gotta get him some blood! If you gotta, hold him down. Otherwise he won't survive."
Sorry bro. Dean held Sam down as he quickly found an artery and inserted the needle. "Tape?"
Cooper handed it over immediately. He worked quietly, supporting and helping Dean. He knew there was something more going on, but his job was to save lives, not get involved. Dean deftly secured the IV and let go of Sam, who calmed almost instantly.
"So how are you planning on using that thing?" Dean recalled Sam's earlier aversion to the blade.
"Once that bag is half full, we can sedate him. Then we'll work on the leg. One of us will have to hold both the vine and leg. The other will cut."
Dean was apprehensive, but agreed.
"I'm gonna say that you hold his leg, and I cut. You haven't used this before, right?"
"Yeah, he already said that if I go anywhere near his leg, he'd shoot me."
The EMT raised an eyebrow, but set to work getting out the sedative. "We'll feed it through the mask, alright?"
"Sure. Just as long as he's okay."
"He'll be fine son." He was treating Dean like a pupil, which served many purposes. It was like their father was back, with a medical degree. Dean worked best when under orders. "Alright, blood's getting in him. Let's hope it doesn't come out his leg and get him sedated."
Cooper handed over a mask which Dean gently placed on his sibling's nose and mouth. Sam's eyes opened for one instant and recognition flickered there before they once again closed. He was out.
"Alright Coop, we better do this then." Dean was as nervous as a diver going off the high dive. He wiped sweating palms on his jeans and moved to a better position to support Sam's shin. He spoke softly, "Stay with me bro."
"Alright, grab at the bottom of the vine, and near where it enters his leg. Yes, hold the shin there. I'll be holding onto the upper vine and the saw, so please trust me."
"Yessir." Dean grew somber and deadly serious. There was no way that he would cause Sam anymore damage.
The saw gave off a high pitched whining that would normally make Dean cringe in pain. However, today he just focused on saving his brother's leg. C'mon Sammy. As the machine grew closer, a fine buzz went through Dean's hands. He quickly looked up to see if Sam was out. He silently thanked God that no grimace of pain crossed his face.
Dean started as the blade bit into the marble, emitting an even higher pitched noise as it cut smoothly through. Pressing an ear into his shoulder, Dean was able to block some of the piercing noise. He stole a glance at Cooper and was heartened to see just sheer determination on the older man's face. Now here was a hero. He motioned for Dean to support underneath Sam's leg as the saw came close to cutting all the way through. Dean switched his grip on the offending leg and also grabbed the statue from falling further onto his brother. Cooper nodded his approval and set to work on the lower vine, freeing Sam's leg from the ground.
Soon it was done. Both men breathed a sigh of relief and rearranged Sam's sweatshirt underneath the leg to cushion it while they readied him for transport.
"Never attempt to remove something in the field, got that? You make it safe for travel, then you make the person as comfortable as possible." The EMT continued his lesson while reaching for the walkie-talkie on his belt. "Yeah, I need a stretcher out in the graveyard stat. Thanks Steph."
"Do they need help with the stretcher?" Dean was anxious to move into action.
"NO! You never leave a patient by his or her self!"
"Oh. Yessir." Geez, with this guy, I could be an EMT by the end of the day.
The woman EMT arrived with a gurney a minute later, and they all helped to get Sam's large frame onto the portable bed. The gas mask went around his head, trapping his hair and Dean held the life-sustaining IV above him. The significance of Dean holding Sam's life in his hands was not lost on the older Winchester as they hurried to another van. Apparently the other one already took the old woman to the hospital. I never did find out her name...
As they loaded Sam in, Dean expected to be left behind, to be treated like family as he usually did. Instead, Cooper ordered him to change the IV and plug Sam into the support system on the ambulance, pointing out what needed to be done. Dean barely felt the van take off across the city, barely heard the sirens as they screeched. All he knew was that his baby brother was going to be okay, and that he played a large part in it. Sam may never know how much Dean did for him, but he knew that his big brother was there. As they speeded towards what would probably be a painful surgery and recovery, Dean clutched at his brother's hand, supporting him in every instance.
Reviews are like Evil!Sam and i'm the fandom. :D you know what that means!
also, btw, the aliases were from singers Peter Gabriel and Dan Fogelberg, who my mom adores. LOL