Title: The Calm Before the Storm

Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural

Timeline: Pre-series. Sam 15, Dean 19

Warnings: A bit of language.

A/N: Wow. So, it's been about a year since I last updated this. I really have no excuse. No excuse at all. Except maybe that life is unpredictable and sometimes we have to take breaks from doing the things that we love. But, I've finally written another chapter. Also, when I wrote the last chapter, I thought that the next one would finish up the story. Well, I was wrong. One more chapter to come after this. Enjoy!

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"I'm so sorry Sam," John said very quietly. "For everything." And he was.

"I'm sorry too, dad."

The two of them silently made their way to Dean's room, despite the doctors' suggestions.

Chapter 8

He'd heard about this feeling somewhere. What was it called? It was hard to remember.

Suspended animation.

That was it. Maybe he'd heard about it on TV. Maybe Sammy the geek boy had told him about it.

That didn't really matter though. Because now he felt it. And hearing about it sure as hell didn't compare to actually feeling it.

Dean was trapped. He could hear what was going on around him. He could even see from time to time, although it was usually just blurred visions of lights that were way too bright, or some nurse that had come in to make sure he was still alive or whatever the hell else they did.

But he couldn't talk to them, couldn't move to protest. He couldn't tell them to back off with whatever giant needle they had or push their hand away as they made a fuss over him.

He just wanted them to leave him alone.

And most of all, he wanted to see Sammy and Dad. He wanted to make sure they were okay.

But how could he do that when he was frozen in his own body, stuck here in some bed, hooked up to god knew how many machines, which were for god knew what?

And so he waited. He waited to hear Sammy's voice, to make sure he was okay. He wouldn't be saved from this hell until he knew his little brother was alright.

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Sam couldn't help but take in a quick breath of shock as he walked into his brother's room. The sight of Dean left him in a state of disbelief. He looked up at his dad. He had an empty sort of stare on his face, one that Sam could understand completely.

Dean lay in the bed, completely unmoving, hooked up to a hundred nameless machines. But that wasn't what had scared him so much.

Sam limped closer to Dean's bedside, relying heavily on a crutch a nurse had brought in for him. His brother was pale, looking as though all the blood had been drained from his body. The scratches and bruises were to be expected, but that didn't stop him from studying each one, wondering which would be new scars on his brother's young skin and which would fade away, no longer a reminder of this horrific event.

Dad came up behind him, a heavy hand on his shoulder giving him the slightest bit of comfort it could.

Sam, in turn, put his own hand on Dean's. It was cold to the touch and Sam shuddered.

Having surely felt his shiver, dad spoke. "The doctors say he should be fine…given some rest and a little time."

Sam didn't respond. He just gripped his brother's hand.

"You should be in bed."

Same looked up, his eyes welling with tears. "I'm fine. I just wanna be sure he is too."

Dad sighed. "Alright. I don't see any harm in letting you rest up in here," he said. "But I'm gonna have a hell of a time convincing those damn Nazi nurses to let you stay."

It was going to be a long night.

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John sat outside Dean's room drinking a cup of day old coffee. He'd managed to find a kindly young nurse and charm her into letting Sammy stay in Dean's room for awhile; after she checked the boy over and decided he was in no immediate danger of course. She'd checked John over after Sam and allowed him to stay out of bed as well, assured of his current health.

"You and your boys were very lucky," the woman told him.

John nearly laughed at the understatement. "Yeah," he smiled.

"Sam seems like a nice boy. I'd really like it if he stayed in bed, but he seems determined to stay with your other son."

John just smiled.

"He can stay until my shift's over. Then you'll have to take it up with whoever's scheduled after me."

"Thank you again," John told her. "You have no idea how much this means."

The nurse smiled before turning to leave.

John, alone now, looked inside the partly cracked door. Sam was asleep on the chair next to Dean's bed, looking entirely uncomfortable. But John knew his son wouldn't have it any other way.

Now that he could relax, John's mind went in a thousand different directions. The accident, the dogs, his boys hurt…The doctors assured him over and over again that both of his sons would be fine. Sammy would be released after a routine twenty-four hour stay. Dean, on the other hand, would be going nowhere soon.

Hell, his son had almost died. Had died, until the doctors shocked him back to life. He hoped, prayed, he would never have to watch anything like that ever again.

He wasn't surprised when the doctors told him that Dean's stay would be a lengthy one. The boy had a lot of healing to do.

John looked up at the clock on the plain taupe hospital wall. 5:00 am. He hadn't slept a wink.

He could have gone back into his room and rested a few hours. Sam should be out for awhile and Dean was medicated so strongly that he'd probably be asleep for the majority of the day. But he just couldn't bring himself to rest.

God, he'd screwed up. The boys were in this mess because of him. There was no doubt about it. For years he'd been having the same argument over and over again, not only with Sam, but with himself.

John stood up and walked into the hospital room. Quietly, he took a light blanket provided by the nurses and covered Sam, bending down to kiss his son on the head.

Next he walked over to Dean. He ran a hand through his boy's hair, before gently kissing him on the head as well. John turned to leave the room, but stopped.

"I'm sorry boys. God, I'm so, so sorry."

John signed himself out of the hospital, and called a cab. His first destination was the impound lot where the destroyed Impala had been towed. He claimed ownership, arranged to pick it up at a later date, and quickly removed what he needed from the trunk. Then, with his weapon hidden slyly in his large coat pocket, he took the cab to his second destination:

The sight of the crash.

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The lights were so god damned bright. He squinted, looking past the blurriness and at his surroundings. For a moment he thought he was stuck; he remembered a strange sensation, that of being trapped in his own body. He didn't know if that feeling had been real or a nightmare. But whether or not it had really occurred, he was free now, able to move, able to see, despite the fact that everything seemed to be moving quickly in a dizzying blur.

The first thing Dean noticed, was the throbbing headache and pain that had probably been dulled by some medication or another. He was slightly nauseous, but for the time being it was all bearable.

The second thing he noticed was the sight of a discarded blanket hung loosely over a chair next to his bed. He looked around, careful not to jar his body too much, but saw nobody. That's when he heard it.

"He what? Why the hell-"came a pleasingly familiar voice from outside the hospital room.

"Try to calm down-"

"No, this is fucking ridiculous! His son is lying in that room…"

"Honey, if you don't calm down I'm going to have to ask you to-"

"I need to use a phone."

It seemed like a long time before Sam entered the room loudly, obviously in a fit of rage.

"Sammy?" Dean asked, slightly unnerved by the weak sound of his voice.

Sam looked up, startled. "Dean! You're awake!" He rushed over to his brother.

"Really, Einstein?" Dean attempted to bring about some normality, although it didn't seem entirely likely that he would be successful.

"Hey, how are you feeling?" the kid asked frantically. "I'll call someone."

Sam reached up to hit the call button, but Dean put a hand on his wrist, stopping him.

"Hold up…just a second," Dean said tiredly and out of breath.

Sam sat down, moving his seat closer to his brother's bed. "What's wrong Dean?"

"Nothing…I just wanna…make sure…you're okay."

"I'm fine. I really think we should call-"

"Where's dad?"

"Dean I really think-"

"Sam. Where's dad?"

Sam frowned. He waited a minute, as though considering whether or not to let Dean in on whatever secret he had.

"Come on Sammy," Dean encouraged. "You know you…could never keep a…secret from me."

Sam hesitated for another moment, then his eyes turned dark, his face angry. "He's gone. He checked himself out of the hospital."

"So he's…okay then."

Sam laughed a disbelieving laugh. "Yes, Dean, he's fine. He's fine enough that he went after those god damn dogs!"

"You don't-"

"Yes, I do know. I called the junk yard the Impala was hauled off to. He took a cab there, got some stuff out of the truck, then headed west on the highway. The same highway we were taking when we crashed."

Dean frowned. God, how could the man have done that? He'd left Sam there alone to worry and take care of things. And he hadn't even told him he was leaving.

For a moment, Dean felt intense anger for him; it was more anger than he'd ever felt toward his father. He started to get up, but Sam put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him.

"Dean…"

Dean looked at Sam. He felt a wave of strong admiration for him. He'd saved their lives; not just tonight, but on other occasions as well. His little brother was good and strong and willful in every way possible. But looking at him now, he could see the kid's exhaustion. Exhaustion from worry, from anger, and, also, no doubt from his own injuries.

But he still held strong.

"Sam, have I…ever told you how…" he paused to catch his breath. "How…proud I am of you?"

Sam stared at Dean for a moment, the anger in his face fading slightly. Dean could have sworn he saw the ghost of a smile. "Yeah Dean," he said, rolling his eyes. "All the time."

"Well…I mean it every…every time."

Somewhere, miles away, an evil dog growled, a gunshot fired, and the night was still once again.

TBC…and I promise this time, I won't make you wait a year ;)