Disclaimer: Sadly, I still don't own them, just playing with them 'til they break.
Notes: A small splattering of swear words escaped. No spoilers. Set sometime in Season Two.
Summary: Sam was barely a few feet away when he heard the impact – there wasn't enough time for him to get out of the way. Hurt!Sam.
Another crappy motel room, Sam thought with distaste, as the weathered door creaked open on its sagging hinges. Just what he needed to complete his already crappy day. Hours trekking through the forest only to find that it had been a pack of wild dogs killing the local cows hadn't been exactly how he'd anticipated the hunt ending. He'd thought it was better to be safe than sorry, however Dean wasn't being quite so philosophical about the whole thing.
No, Dean was tired, dirty and in an obnoxiously bad mood - and Sam was bearing the brunt of his displeasure. Shit, just because Dean didn't get to shoot anything or start a fire it was suddenly his fault.
Sam tossed his duffel on to the bed and sank down into the sagging mattress to pull off his boots, watching as Dean yanked off his own muddy footwear with total disregard for the beige carpet.
He moved quietly around the room, keeping out of Dean's line of fire, masking his presence in the room with his silence. Experience had taught him to give his brother a little space when he was in one of his 'moods'.
He stopped and stared out the window. The rain had started to come down in earnest, quickly gaining momentum from the few light drops he'd felt earlier. Heavy rain was forecast and he was glad they'd finished the hunt on schedule and could ride out the storm in the shelter of the motel. The dismal outside weather somehow made the drab motel room so much more appealing. It was dry and warm, if not a little stuffy, but there was hot water and a clean bed, which was everything he needed.
The sound of the television switching on pulled him away from the window and he glanced across the room to see Dean lounging on one of the beds with his back propped against the head board, the remote control clutched in his hand as he clicked through the array of available channels.
He walked across the room and settled on his own bed, for once raising no objection to his brother's incessant channel flicking. It'd been a long day and he was beyond tired.
"Could go a burger." Dean announced ten minutes later as he watched the advertising spiel for a local diner.
"Mmm." Sam mumbled, already half asleep.
"Maybe some pie." Dean considered as an array of foods flashed across the screen.
"Mmm." Sam tried to block out the annoying sound of his brother as he settled his head deeper into the pillow.
"You hearing me Sammy? I said I'm hungry." Dean snapped.
"Well go get something to eat." Sam muttered.
"It's your turn to go fetch." Dean announced, giving Sam's mattress a nudge with his foot.
"Since when?" Sam pushed himself up and looked at Dean.
"Since it was your bright idea to waste the day tracking a pack of dogs." Dean retorted, fishing the Impala keys out of his pocket and tossing them to his brother.
Sam instinctively stretched out a hand and caught the keys effortlessly. "Can't we just order in?"
"Nah," Dean answered before giving Sam the memorized address of the local diner that he wanted food from.
Sam sat silently for a moment looking at Dean, trying to weigh up how serious he was. When Dean's only response was to pull a few crumpled bills out of his wallet and hold them out, Sam resigned himself to heading out into the rain again. If it would cheer up his brother and pull him out of his current bad mood then it was probably a small price to pay.
With a deep sigh Sam stood up and took the bills out of his brother's hand. If he had to be the one going out, the least Dean could do was pay.
Sam pulled back on his mud stained boots and gave Dean a last hopeful look. "It's raining," he muttered, the words taking on a childish whine.
"No shit Sherlock." Dean watched as Sam opened the door, taking a step backwards as the wind drove the cold rain into the room. "What the hell Sam, you gonna melt or something?"
"No, no I'm going." Sam braced his shoulders and stepped outside.
Sam maneuvered the Impala on the slippery road, thankful that there were few other motorists braving the weather as he swerved to avoid a large pot hole. Of course there were no other motorists, he thought, only an idiot would be out driving in this weather.
An idiot with an obstinate older brother.
The address Dean had given him was accurate, and he found the diner with little trouble, even though he couldn't read a street sign in the dismal weather. He sat in the parked car for a moment, hoping the rain would ease up, but the drops only got larger, and the distant sound of thunder roared across the sky. The storm was getting closer.
Sam made a mad dash into the diner, his feet saturated by the torrent of water running off the road. There was only one other customer inside, and it looked as though the place was getting ready to close up.
"Sorry sweetie, closing up early 'cause of the storm." Sam watched as the waitress deftly stacked the chairs, preparing to mop the floor.
Sam brushed his dripping hair out of his eyes.
"There's a convenience store 'cross town that might be open, but I wouldn't recommend driving in this weather," the waitress continued, barely pausing in her task.
"Uh, thanks." Sam gave her a small smile as he turned away.
Sam pulled open the heavy door, bracing himself against the onslaught of water pouring off the diner roof and sloshing over the eaves. He jogged back to the car, no longer caring about how much wetter his feet or clothes got. There came that point where you couldn't really get any wetter than you already were. As he climbed into the car, he made a squelching noise on the seat as he slid his lanky frame in front of the steering wheel in his water logged clothes. He was soaked through, his drenched hair dripping cold water down his back and into his eyes. A small puddle pooled at his feet.
A shiver rippled through his body and he cursed his older brother.
He started the car and cranked up the heating, letting it run for a moment before accelerating away from the diner. He'd have to head back and pick them up something from the convenience store around the corner from their motel. If Dean hadn't been such an ass, if he hadn't been foolish enough to give in to his brother's demands; that's where they'd most likely have picked up something to eat anyway. At least he'd tried – he'd gone to the diner; it wasn't his fault it was closed. Dean could either take it or leave it. He was beyond caring.
He drove cautiously, unable to see the potholes that riddled the road, much less avoid them. The windscreen wipers moved rhythmically across the window, but he still found himself leaning forwards, peering out the windscreen, trying to get a better view. The journey to the convenience store was painfully slow, and he had to fight a few times to keep the car on the road. It was times like these that he would have liked a more modern car, with benefits like traction control, but he'd never dare say those words to Dean.
As he pulled to a stop at the side of the road near the convenience store he was pleased to see a number of other cars already parked nearby. It looked as though the store was open, so this could thankfully be his last stop. His wet clothes were sticking uncomfortably to his body, and a warm shower was starting to take precedence over hot food. Despite the pumped up heating, another shiver rippled across his body.
Once again, he stepped out into the driving rain. He didn't bother hurrying this time. There didn't seem to be an inch of him that wasn't already wet. Sometimes you just reached that stage where a bit more water made no difference. Wet was wet.
The convenience store was crowded when he entered, and he doubted he was the only one directed to this location. He looked around, picking up some pre-made sandwiches and a couple of drinks before joining the queue. Fortunately, there seemed to be a selection of hot greasy food also available for purchase. Dean at least would be happy.
It seemed the convenience store wasn't used to catering for a crowd. The queue moved achingly slow, and he had jog on the spot a few times to try to keep warm. Heating didn't seem to be an option the store had chosen to install so he pulled his coat a little tighter around himself. It made little difference.
Finally he had his purchases in hand, secured in a plastic bag to keep dry; he made his way across the street and back towards the car. At least something would stay dry, he though, as he trudged through the rain to the car, pulling his jacket tighter around his neck to ward off the icy drops of water.
Sam distantly heard the compression braking as a truck tried to slow to a stop in the slippery conditions. Only as the sound got closer and the screeching increased in intensity did he raise his face in the direction of the noise. He watched as the truck fish-tailed as the driver tried in vain to control the vehicle as it slid on the wet road, tires struggling to maintain their grip. Unable to look away, he watched as the truck shuddered and slammed sideways into the guard rail at the edge of the road, still moving steadily in his direction, towards the parked Impala.
He fumbled with the keys, trying to keep an eye on the approaching truck. He needed to get the Impala out of its destructive path.
The keys dropped from his wet fingers and landed on the road. The sound of screeching tires was getting louder, closer, and he wavered between getting himself to safety and saving the car. Dean's car. His brother's most treasured possession.
He dropped the bag of food to the ground beside the car and bent down to retrieve the keys from the puddle near his feet, gripping them tightly this time as he inserted the key into the lock with precision.
He looked up.
The truck was almost upon him.
He didn't have enough time.
He felt like everything was happening in slow motion and he was powerless to change the course of the events unfolding in front of him. The truck was close enough that he could see the driver yanking on the steering wheel as he tried to get his vehicle under control. His attempts were fruitless, not altering the route the truck seemed determined to take.
The Impala was directly in its path.
His instinct to run kicked in, but deep inside he knew he had left his flight too late. Mindless now of the pouring rain he pushed his body away from the car, turning his back on the approaching vehicle and moving in the opposite direction. He was barely a few feet away when he heard the distinctive sound of metal hitting metal - the sound of metal compacting as two unyielding forces met.
Adrenaline was already pumping through his veins, but the fear of impact forced another shot to surge through his body, urging him away from the imminent danger.
His heart raced and muscles pumped as his body raced to reach safety. He just wasn't fast enough.
The truck clashed with the front corner of the Impala, causing the truck to slow but not stop. The momentum caused it to push the Impala forwards, spinning the car on the slippery road. There wasn't enough time for him to change direction and distance himself from the collision.
The sudden impact of the Impala striking him on the side of the body left him reeling. He felt disconnected from his body as the air left his lungs in a rush. Instinct kicked in and he raised his arms to shield his body as he was propelled forwards, feet struggling to remain on the ground as his body was thrust from it's purchase on the ground with sudden force.
He landed hard but managed to hold on to consciousness.
Through the haze he heard a crash as the truck came to a sudden stop and then all was blissfully silent save for the sound of the rain, its pounding harsh against his now throbbing head.
He was a little afraid to look up and see what had become of the truck. What had become of the Impala.
Raising pain filled eyes, he took stock of the scene before him.
Dean was going to kill him.
He parked the car directly outside their motel room.
Taking a deep breath, he dragged himself from the car and walked the few steps to the motel room.
"Bobby's got a new hunt for us." Dean greeted him as he pushed open the motel door.
Sam looked down at their packed bags resting beside the door.
"What the hell happened to you?" Dean took stock of the sodden muddy figure that his brother presented.
"I'm okay, I …ah…" Sam held out the car keys to his brother.
"Sam, tell me you didn't - not my car!" Dean pulled the door fully open and peered around Sam and into the car park beyond.
"No Dean, I didn't." Sam moved into the room and ran a hand through his wet hair, pushing the dripping tendrils away from his eyes.
"Oh, thank god." Dean released his pent up breath.
"But a truck…" Sam hesitated as he watched Dean's body tense.
"What, a truck what? Dean demanded.
"I ah parked on the side of the road and a truck clipped – ." Sam watched as Dean's eyes darted outside to look at the Impala again.
"Clipped?" Dean let the word hang in the silence as he waited for an answer.
Sam stood rooted to the spot as Dean threw on his jacket. "Yeah, front corner - it's not that bad Dean. Could've been worse."
Sam watched as Dean stepped outside, circling the car before crouching down low to inspect the damage. Considering the impact, it really wasn't that bad, Sam thought. The Impala was still drivable, most of the damage confined to the front end and from what he could gather; the mechanics were all intact except for a headlight. Granted, the car would need a bit of body work, but it wasn't like they hadn't been there before.
"You smashed my car." Dean accused as he ran a hand across the damage.
Sam watched from the doorway. "God Dean, I wasn't even driving. I told you, the truck driver lost control, hell the roads are pretty slippery, and the truck just slid straight into her."
"I'm gonna kill him." Dean stroked the car as he moved back towards the motel room.
Sam stepped aside to let his brother enter. "Dean, it wasn't his fault."
"How do you figure that one Sam?" Dean wiped a sleeve across his face to remove the rain drops.
Sam lent against the wall. "I watched it Dean, he tried to avoid the car."
"Didn't try goddamn hard enough if you ask me." Dean snapped as he tossed the car keys onto the dresser.
Sam lowered his head and looked at the stains his wet boots were trampling into the carpet. Exhaustion was making itself felt.
"Well there's not much point going anywhere now, we'd be better off waiting 'til tomorrow morning …wanna take a good look at her in the daylight, see what work needs to be done before we head off. Hopefully it can wait 'til we get to Bobby's and I can fix her up there." Dean looked out the open door, unmindful of the driving rain as he stared transfixed at the Impala.
"I'm ah gonna grab a shower, dry off." Sam reached down for his bag, biting back the grimace of pain that the action caused.
Sam gave a last look at his brother as Dean stood still and silent, staring out into the rain. "I'm sorry," Sam whispered as he moved across the room and slipped into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Letting the bag drop to the floor, Sam braced his hands on the sink and took a good look at himself in the mirror. He was utterly drenched, from head to toe, flecks of mud clinging to his face and hair.
"Hey Sam." Sam startled at the thump on the door. "Where's the food?"
"Diner closed up early 'cause of the storm."
"Just friggin' great." Dean cursed at the closed door. "I'm gonna see if there's anywhere else around this crap hole to get a bite to eat."
Sam didn't move until he heard the motel room door slam. Without the worry of being overheard he pulled his clothes off, emitting a deep groan at the pain the movements caused. He wondered briefly whether he should have acquiesced to the bystanders concerns and gone to the hospital, but dismissed the thought. He'd had worse and money, as always, was tight.
Author's note: Next chapter is already in draft format – should be posted in a couple of days or so.
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