Broken Chapter 13

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Presenting the final chapter. Please read the warning!

So here we are, the grand finale to Broken, and what a ride this last chapter has been! In some places it was easy to write but in other places it became completely intense. I've made it extra long as a treat to those who have stuck by me throughout this story.

Enjoy!

Warning: Implied threat of sexual abuse, and of course violence.

Please don't read if you don't like!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

As Bobby left the office, his back turned, Graham's eyes suddenly rippled silver in an almost reptilian blink.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS



"He says he wouldn't waste the bullet, not when he can find me soon enough and use me to get to Dean. Now he's running, back up the aisle...and all I can feel is pain...so much pain...Dean." Sam looked exhausted. Dean, heart breaking a little, glanced meaningfully at Bobby, who nodded.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

"Dean, I think we may have messed with Sam's head with the suggestion it was a shape shifter."

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

"I'm not lying." Sam stared back and inwardly cringed when he heard his own voice shaking with emotion.

"Sam..."

"And I'm not crazy." Sam felt his eyes filling with tears and blinked them away. "I was having nightmares at the hospital about it before you even suspected a shapeshifter, so how could it be auto-suggestion? Please, Dean...you have to believe me."

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS



Sam, I've gotta get to the hospital ok? It doesn't sound too serious but Bobby's been in a car crash."

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

"Tim? How's Bobby?"

Tim stared at him, head tilted to the side. "What?"

Dean glared at him. "You called me..." And the look on Tim's face said it all.

Hitting speed dial didn't make things any easier, especially when Sam didn't pick up.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Before Dean left the hospital perimeter, Tim had grabbed his medical equipment, asked his secretary to hand his ward round duties over to the other on-duty doctor, and was behind the wheel of his Aston Martin DB7. He soon caught up with the Impala and together they raced at a ridiculous speed to Bobby's yard.

Dean glanced at the Aston's headlights in his review mirror and frowned. This was no place for a doctor, no matter who his mother might have been. Tim was not a hunter and could wind up dead. Pulling up half a mile away from the yard and killing the engine, Dean grabbed a flashlight, leapt out and strode over to the low slung supercar.



"Tim, what in hell are you doing? Go back to the hospital for Christ sake!" Dean leaned in the window threateningly. "Don't you have patients to see? You're gonna get yourself killed!"

Tim just shook his head. "I'm assuming the shit's hit the fan and that bastard's shown up?" At Dean's sharp nod, he continued calmly. "Sam could be injured and given his recent problems he might need medical help straight away. You wanna take the risk dude?"

Dean glared at him, knowing he was right.

Just to make sure Tim added, "And when push comes to shove, you could use all the help you can get."

"All right." Dean wasn't at all happy with the arrangement, but it looked like he had no choice. There was no way of knowing if Bobby was on his way, shit, he could be dead for all Dean knew, and if Sam was being held hostage then this could get real ugly, real quickly.

The rumble of an engine sounded far behind them before a set of headlights crested the slight hill in the road.

Guess that answers that question, Dean thought to himself with no small amount of relief. As the vehicle drew near and came to a stop, Dean found himself running to the driver's side and yanking open the door. "Bobby?" He raised the flashlight and shone it into Bobby's eyes, who batted it away impatiently.

"Get that thing away from me; you tryin' to destroy my damn night vision?"

Dean gave a weak grin, doing his best not to hug the ol' guy, and also glad there was no eye flare or distortion evident in his friend's eyes. "We have a situation."

Bobby nodded. "We sure do."



Tim had made his way over and joined in the discussion, listening intently to both hunters' explanations. By the time Bobby and Dean had finished, Tim realised just how truly grim things were.

Dean headed to the trunk of the Impala. "Let's load up and go, but leave the cars here. We can't afford to alert the bastard so it's silent runnin' folks." He started pulling shotguns, small firearms and knives out of the trunk.

Tim stared at the hunting knife and hand gun Dean held out to him, then tentatively accepted them. Dean eyed him carefully. "You know how to use those?"

Tim nodded. "Yeah, I practice at the local rifle range pretty regularly. Never had to use one for real though."

Dean smirked humourlessly. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that. This bastard's mine. You're there for back up and medical treatment if someone gets hurt; don't get involved unless you have to." Having said that, he had to admire the doc's bravery; not many people outside the hunting community would be prepared to risk their lives for a Winchester.

"We ready?" Dean raised an eyebrow, and Bobby didn't think he'd ever seen so serious and determined an expression on the kid's face. When Tim nodded again, and Bobby tipped the peak of his cap, he turned on his heel and headed into the shadows on the side of the road. "Time to move out." Dean whispered, already melting into the darkness.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS



Sam felt sick and groggy. His chin was resting on his chest, neck aching from the awkward position, and he raised his head slowly. Trying to shift slightly to ease the discomfort, his eyes snapped open when he found himself virtually immobile. Tugging on his wrists, Sam quickly realised they were secured behind him to the folding crossbars at the back of his wheel chair; the clink of metal on metal indicated his were restraints were hand cuffs. Not rope. Shit.

He tried to call out but his mouth was sealed shut by ductape. Sam struggled, cuffs biting into his wrists as he tugged viciously in a useless attempt to break free. When a knife flashed across his vision and rested against his throat he stilled, his rapid breathing the only movement.

"Awake a last huh?" A familiar voice, dripping with sarcasm spoke in Sam's ear startling him. "Thought you were gonna sleep the night away. And that would've been a great shame Sammy; just think of all the fun I'd have missed out on."

A soft ringing noise caught his attention and Sam's own cell phone appeared in front of him, the caller ID revealing Dean's name. The phone was dropped to the floor and a loud crunch silenced the ring tone.

Sam swallowed convulsively. He felt his anger rising with each warm breath that caressed his neck, and he refused to give the murderous bastard the satisfaction of showing fear.

"I've been searching for you a long time. Guessed Dean would catch up with you eventually, but that news article." Another warm puff of air, "now that was just sweet. Told me everything I needed to know. When I came to see you yesterday you were kinda rude, leaving the house before I'd finished counselling you. And that." A low chuckle. "Just won't do, Sammyboy. Your brother's gonna pay for killing my brother."



As the knife travelled lower, Sam tried not to wince when he felt the blade pierce his skin, carving out a neat, shallow gouge in his chest. Shifter-Dean chuckled again, the sound grating on Sam's nerves. Sure, it sounded like Dean, but it wasn't. And that thought had the fine hairs on the back of his neck rising up.

The shifter moved round the chair slowly, crouched down so he could look Sam in the eye. Sam met his gaze with defiance and anger.

"Oh the things I'd like to do to you Sammy. You and that pretty mouth o'yours. And once I've taken care of your brother, I might just...indulge myself!"

Sam's eyes widened when his meaning sank in. He started shaking his head, lips curling up in a snarl beneath the tape as the shifter reached out a hand and almost lovingly caressed Sam's jaw.

Sam felt bile creep up his throat at the very thought of this thing touching him like that. He'd rather die.

Shifter-Dean moved closer. "Ya know I'm amazed it never crossed your brother's mind before. That he never once wondered how you'd taste, what you'd feel like beneath him. Guess he doesn't swing that way huh?" He leaned in as if to whisper in Sam's ear, but he didn't get the chance.

Utter disgust caused Sam's fraying temper to finally snap, and he reared his head back before shoving it forward again with as much force as he could gather, his forehead connecting with the soft cartilage of the shifter's nose.

The shifter fell backwards clutching his face, blood pouring out from between his fingers.



"Sonofabitch!" And Sam shook his head to clear it before grinning to himself. Now the shifter sounded like Dean.

The shapeshifter sprung to his feet clearly outraged, raised the knife...and pressed the tip into Sam's thigh, just over his femoral artery.

"Tell me something Sammy. Do you think your brother will get here in time to save you?" He barked out and the blade sank in slowly, forcing a muffled cry of pain from the young Winchester. "Or do you think you'll bleed out before he gets the chance?" The knife sank in further and the shifter twisted the hilt, placing more pressure on it.

Sam's head snapped back, the cries turned into screams, as he vented his pain into the ductape. He could feel the rush of warmth and knew his femoral artery had been nicked, possibly severed outright. Another slow thrust and the blade was firmly wedged in Sam's thigh. Hyperventilating through his nose, trying to ignore the pain, he felt the blood drain from his face and he thought he would pass out.

No! Stay awake! When Dean gets here he's gonna need my help.

He tugged on his wrists again and concentrated on staying conscious. It wasn't easy, but the smug grin on the shifter's face caused another fresh burst of anger, and boy! Did that help!

The tape was suddenly ripped from his mouth, taking what felt like several layers of skin with it.

"Whadya say?" Shifter-Dean leaned in again but was unfortunately smart enough to keep his distance this time. "How long dya think ya have baby boy?"

Sam raised his head and glared. "Fuck you! You mutant asshole!" The flash of anger across the shifter's face was instantly followed by a blow to the side of Sam's head so powerful that 

the wheelchair tipped over and Sam found himself lying on his side, still trapped. He grimaced in pain as he turned his head to continue glaring up at the shifter.

"Being rude again Sam, not good." He raised a finger and waggled it at him in admonishment. "You're really tryin' my patience kid."

The bastard smirked and raised a booted foot, about to plant it in Sam's face, but a shot rang out and he dropped and rolled. Ducking and whirling, he pulled a berretta from the waist band of his jeans and took out one of the lamps nearby, plunging most of the room into darkness. Sam heard a brief scuffle then silence.

He was pretty sure the shifter was no longer in the room and he rested his aching head on the carpet. Sam reflected bitterly that the only thing stopping him from bleeding to death was the knife the shifter had thoughtfully left in his thigh.

Just fucking perfect!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

They'd adopted a five meter spread as they crept along the roadside, Dean in front, followed by Bobby then Tim. When they reached the gates they were sealed by a padlock and chain from the inside. Bobby raised an eyebrow. It was brand new, not even the slightest hint of rust or tarnish.

Dean made quick work picking the lock, then slowly pushed the gates open. Another raised eyebrow from Bobby. Someone had oiled the hinges recently, which explained how the shapeshifter had been able to get the drop on Sam. And they were all pretty sure that's what had happened. Dean had tried Sam's cell phone once more on route to the yard and there was 

still no answer. Sam never went anywhere without his cell, especially these days, and he always answered without fail.

His little brother was in deep trouble, and it was scaring the hell out of Dean.

His fear shot up even further when they moved closer to the house and spied Sam gagged and bound through the lighted windows of the den. Even this far away Dean could see the anger in his brother's eyes and as the shifter leaned in, Dean nearly stood up and applauded when Sam took the opportunity to nut the bastard.

"That's m'boy," Dean whispered in grim amusement. But what happened next stole his breath and anger coursed through him. His heart clenched at the pain he saw on Sam's face as the shifter slowly but surely thrust the blade deep into Sam's thigh. A slight twist and Sam shot up straight in his seat, head thrown back, clearly in agony.

Dean whispered without turning. "Bobby, guard the front door, Tim you guard the side entrance." Watching as the tape was ripped from Sam's mouth, a short exchange of words and the shifter belted Sam hard across the head, tipping him over. "Push has come to shove."

They moved out again. But Dean had a few words for Tim.

"I'll try to keep him away from you but if I fail, shoot first..."

"And ask questions later." Tim finished for him, clutching both his medical case and weapon.

Dean glanced at him then, a feral look clouding his face. "There aint nothin' I wanna ask 'im."

Tim and Bobby disappeared. Dean glanced through the window again; he couldn't see his little brother given that he was on the floor by now, but he knew exactly what the shifter had 

in mind when he drew back his foot. Dean reacted instantly. He couldn't stand by and see Sam hurt again. He raised his weapon and fired, the bullet smashing through the glass. It was a perfect shot, or would have been if not for the slight kink in the window that changed the trajectory of the silver round just enough to miss the shapeshifter, who disappeared from sight immediately. There came the sound of another shot being fired and the lights went out.

"Damnit!" Dean whispered to himself loudly. He had no time to lose. Moving as silently as he could, he jumped up on the veranda, headed for the side door, and found it unlocked. Dropping into defensive stance he cocked his head and listened. Nothing moved. Swinging round he quietly opened the door and slipped inside. A small sound to the left and Dean knew the shifter was no longer in the den. The damn thing was stalking him.

It couldn't matter right now because Sam was injured and Dean had no idea how badly. Decision made, he crept silently into the den and made for the dark shape lying prone near the sofa.

"Sam, you with me buddy?" Dean whispered as loudly as he dared. The shape moved slightly and a small moan had Dean down on his knees. He quickly but gently placed a hand over Sam's mouth when he whimpered and tried to struggle away. "It's ok. It's Dean."

Sam went still and Dean wondered if he'd lost consciousness. Lifting his hand away slowly, he strained his eyes to see his brother's face in the gloom. "Sammy? You ok? How badly did he hurt you?"

"Dean...knife in my leg...artery..." Sam rasped out painfully. "Knife's still in."

Heart sinking, Dean cradled Sam's head gently in his hands. "Tim's here. He'll fix you up, but don't remove the blade ok? Sam? Ya hear me bro?" Sam managed a weak nod and Dean smiled worriedly. He couldn't tell how much blood loss had occurred but if the knife 

had indeed hit an artery then Sam needed help right away. But first he had to take care of the shifter before anyone else got hurt.

"Let's get you outta those cuffs, then I want you to stay still and silent. I don't want him targeting you again." After freeing Sam's wrists, Dean ripped his belt through the loops of his jeans and tied it tightly round Sam's injured thigh, only the slight hitch to Sam's breathing an indication of just how much that must have hurt him. Dean whispered an apology, promised he'd be back, then moved off.

Sam lay there in the dark massaging his sore wrists and worrying about his big brother. This shapeshifter was particularly vicious and far smarter than the ones both brothers had previously encountered.

A loud crash came from deep within the house and someone cried out in pain. It sounded like Dean, and Sam anxiously tried to twist his upper body so he could see round the sofa. Running feet approached the den, and Dean appeared breathing heavily, leaning against the doorframe.

"Damnit Sammy, that is one mean bastard!" He staggered forward and dropped to his knees beside Sam. "How's the leg?"

Sam didn't answer at first. But when he did he spoke soft and slow.

"Painful. Can you call Tim? I think he's at the hospital."

"Sure Sam..."

And that proved it.

"DEAN!" Sam let loose with a loud yell, which was cut off almost instantly by the shifter's hand clamping down hard over his mouth.



"Sammy?" And that was Dean, Sam realised with relief that his brother was still alive. "Sam you ok? Answer me!"

Sam struggled, trying to rip the hand away but the shifter readjusted his position and used his thumb to pinch off Sam's nose. "Quiet!" He hissed loudly. Sam, wide eyed with fear, tried to scratch and claw his way free, the angle he was lying at hindering any efforts to throw a punch. He even tried to bite his way out but the shifter had his jaw in a vice-like grip, and Sam was starting to fade as he slowly suffocated.

Shifter-Dean moved round behind Sam holding his upper body tight against his as a human shield, still keeping his grip of iron over Sam's mouth and nose. Even semi-conscious Sam could just make out his older brother entering the room and saw the shifter raise his gun.

Dean no!

Using the last of his reserves, Sam reached down and yanked out the knife, wincing at the shaft of agony that ran through his leg, and plunged it into the shifter's foot, who immediately roared in anger and not only dropped his hold on Sam but leapt up in shock from the pain.

Straight into Dean's line of fire.

And this time, he didn't miss.

After emptying the entire clip of silver rounds, Dean watched dispassionately as the creature wearing his face dropped to the floor stone dead.

Dean just stared at him, a sense of déjà vu briefly attacking him. But a small whimper brought him back to the present. "Sam?" He reached out and snapped on the main overhead light then stared in horror at his little brother. "Shit! Sammy what the hell did you do?" Dean yelled in fear. "I told you not to pull out the knife...oh God!"



Sam offered up a tired smile. "Hurts...Dean..."

Dean bit his lip hard and pulled Sam from the over turned wheelchair. Holding him close, he tried to stop the bleeding by pressing down with his hand. In spite of the tourniquet Sam was now losing too much blood, and Dean just didn't know if he could help.

"I know it hurts Sam, but Tim's here. He'll know wh..." he nearly sobbed in dismay. He took a deep breath. "He'll know what to do."

"No...you don't understand." Sam whispered softly. "I can feel pain...in my leg..."

Dean wondered if his little brother was finally losing it, either from the blow to his head or the blood loss. Then he blinked as realisation dawned.

Sam can feel pain in his leg...holy crap!

"Sam..." Dean didn't know what to say. "You...does that mean you might walk again?"

"I...I thin...thi..." Sam eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped in Dean's arms.

"Sam no! No you can't do that to me...Sam!" Dean started shaking him gently. "Not now. NOT NOW DAMNIT!"

But the blood loss had been too much and Sam was just plain exhausted.

"Sammy..." Dean whispered, feeling his little brother's heart rate gradually slow. He rocked Sam in his arms, heart breaking as he called to him, begging him to come back. "You can't go now. You're gonna walk again Sam, I need to see you walk again. Please..."

"Dean where are you man? You two ok?" Tim called out. He'd heard the shots and when nothing but silence followed had stormed in, searching for the den. He met up with Bobby 

just as they heard Dean roar in anguish, and the two of them crept cautiously through the house just in case Dean had been unsuccessful, and the shifter was still alive.

Bobby stopped at the door to the den. "Oh God Sam." He motioned for Tim to follow him, and while Bobby stared in sorrow at the fallen boys, the doctor sprang into action.

"Sam? Can you hear me?" Tim checked his eyes, pulse, pulled out a blood pressure monitor and eventually went on to check the knife wound, muttering softly to his patient.

Dean watched him work feeling completely disconnected. He was no fool. Sam had been through too much and was bleeding to death miles from the nearest hospital.

"Dean? Help me get him on the sofa; we need to keep his leg raised up above the level of his heart and I want that tourniquet tightened. As much pressure as you can ok?" Tim waved a hand in front of Dean's face and snapped his fingers. "Hey! It's not over yet. You want your brother to live? Then give me a hand here!"

Dean shook himself and got to work, still unable to believe that even Tim could save his little brother's life now; Sam was terribly pale, his breathing shallow and heart rate too slow. As soon as Sam was settled on the couch Tim put him on oxygen, set up an IV and put in a call to the emergency services, whilst Bobby and Dean went in search of blankets. By the time they came back Sam's wounded thigh was heavily bandaged, though blood still seeped through.

"Is there anything else we can do for him?" Dean asked as he stared at Sam, fearful now that Tim had bought him hope again, bought Sam some time.

"Just keep him warm and rested, and talk to him. The ambulance will be here soon." Tim carried on monitoring Sam, answering Dean's questions. Bobby stood guard over all three, also watching for any signs that the shifter might have survived, though judging from the 

bullet holes in the upper left of the creature's chest that was pretty unlikely. Bobby thought about dragging the thing outside for a salt and burn right this minute, but he didn't want to leave the boys. Not now.

Dean slid in behind Sam on the couch and wrapped his arms round his waist, pulling the blankets up to his neck. Sam had just started shivering and Tim explained that delayed shock was setting in; something that he'd hoped to counteract when he set up the IV. But Sam needed a blood transfusion badly.

"Can we do it here?" Dean spoke up hopefully. "I have the same blood type as Sam."

Tim scratched his head. "It's risky...I just don't know. If it goes wrong it could kill him."

Sam shuddered, let out a small whimper and snuggled deeper into the blankets, his head tucked under Dean's chin. Dean reached up a hand and cupped Sam's jaw, whispering softly. When he looked up and caught Tim's troubled gaze he raised an eyebrow. "And if he doesn't get that transfusion...?"

Chewing on his lip, Tim thought hard. The ambulance was on its way and its crew had been forewarned about the need for several units of blood, but Sam was almost out of time and the crew were at least thirty minutes out.

Decision made, he suddenly clapped his hands and rubbed them together like a magician about to perform his favourite trick. "Ok. Let's get to work. Bobby? I'm gonna need your help. Dean you just lie back and relax. Your job is to keep Sam warm, calm and still."

"Not a problem." Dean gently pulled Sam's right arm out from beneath the blankets and gently rubbed the pale flesh, softly talking to his little brother. "Ok Sam. Just hang in there for me." Then held out his own arm.



Tim was fairly sure it would be ok, seeing as Sam had been transfused with his brother's blood not so long ago, but just to be on the safe side he administered antihistamine and acetaminophen into Sam's IV in case of any adverse transfusion reactions.

Bobby took charge of Dean's arm, muttering about stubborn-assed Winchesters and swabbing the crook of his elbow with an alcohol wipe, whilst Tim dealt with Sam's. It didn't take long before both boys had a cannula in their arms, and Dean's blood was snaking its way into Sam's body.

"The ambulance will be here before we're finished, but at least we've made a start." Tim settled in to monitor the pair of them closely.

Dean became more optimistic when Sam regained consciousness albeit only briefly.

"Dean? You ok?" he whispered sluggishly through the oxygen mask, to which Dean chuckled softly.

"Yeah. And so are you."

"Heard you...you were in pain...wha' happened?"

"Bastard took me by surprise and threw me head first into a bookcase. Which reminds me, Bobby? Made a bit of mess back there. Sorry dude." Dean grinned at Bobby's scowl.

"Figures." The grizzled hunter grunted in response.

Sam sighed as his eyes slipped shut again, and Dean glanced worriedly at Tim.

"Sam's doing just fine but he's exhausted. Let him sleep for now." Tim smiled reassuringly at the older brother.



"He said he could feel pain in his leg when he was stabbed. That's good news right?" Dean just couldn't bring himself to stop worrying. "I mean, he couldn't feel anything before."

Tim's eyebrows crept up in surprise. "Damn straight that's good news! That's better than good!" He eyed Sam's sleeping form happily and Dean relaxed a little. "A cause for celebration in fact!"

"Well skewer me with a fish hook!" Bobby sat up straight on hearing that. "Does that mean...?"

Tim nodded enthusiastically. "Yep. If Sam's getting sensations in his leg, able to feel pain, then there's a good chance he'll eventually walk again."

Bobby was amazed and immediately began a discussion with Tim about treatment, physical therapy regimes and pain management. Dean felt himself slip into a comfortable doze, happy to have his brother tucked safe and alive in his arms.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Tim poked his head round the door to Sam's room and grinned. Both brothers were asleep, Dean resting his head on Sam's bed, hand still tightly gripping his sibling's in spite of the obviously deep slumber. Sam looked just as peaceful not to mention a lot less pale than he had a few hours ago before the surgery to patch up his leg, though his haemoglobin levels were still a little on the low side and Tim continued to keep a close eye on things. He felt a gentle shove from behind and almost fell into the room as Bobby Singer appeared.



"Thought you were never gonna move." Bobby hissed quietly. He wanted to see his boys, and as far as he was concerned they were his boys. "How they doin?"

Tim chuckled softly. "They're both pretty tired but Sam's been awake from time to time, so that's put Dean's mind at ease. I've run some more scans on Sam in fact and everything seems fine, his back wasn't injured by what happened."

"Good." Bobby sat in the other chair. "What about his leg?" He listened to Tim assurances that the wound was healing nicely. Bobby was pretty exhausted himself after ducking out for a few hours to get rid of the shapeshifter's body. Boy! That'd been a pleasant experience, burning a dead ringer for Dean Winchester! Talk about weird! On top of that Bobby had a visit from Graham Lightman's captain. The detective had been found dead behind the wheel of his abandoned car and the time of death had been established as a few hours before Bobby went to see him about the CCTV footage. Which led him on to believe the disc had been tampered with as had the reports on Beth Cooper and Dr Sander's death. He pushed aside his grief for now; he'd deal with that later. Right now it was time to deal with the people still living.

It was all starting to come together. Sam had been right all along, but Bobby and Dean had doubted his recollection, even his sanity. Sure, in light of the evidence presented to Bobby by the faux detective, how could he have thought anything else at the time?

But it still must've hurt Sam badly, only to be taken prisoner by the shapeshifter shortly after everyone he loved left him alone and vulnerable. Poor kid had been through so much, been badly injured...Bobby just wanted to kick himself right now. Though no amount of guilt in the world could beat how Dean was feeling. He felt he'd let his brother down again.

"...it could be a while before he's ready to go back to physio but I'm confident...uh, Bobby?"



Bobby blinked, realising he'd drifted off on his own thoughts. "Sorry Tim. Mind was wanderin'."

Tim smiled. "Go home and get some sleep. It'll be awhile before Sam's awake and Dean won't leave him on his own. They'll be fine."

Bobby nodded. "In a little while. When Dean wakes up maybe."

So Tim left the Winchesters to sleep, with their 'Uncle' Bobby playing guard dog.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Sam had been in and out of hospital for various examinations and treatments over the last few months, but now he was living permanently back at Bobby's place, and Dean felt as though he were fighting an up-hill battle.

"Come on Sam, you need to eat." Dean stared at his little brother. Something was wrong. Sam was quiet and depressed not to mention nervous; the slightest sudden noise or sound made him jump and he refused to sit with his back to the door or window. Dean couldn't blame him and knew it would take time for Sam to feel safe again, but it worried him how little he was eating, how thin he was becoming.

Sam didn't blame Dean or Bobby though he did admit how much their lack of faith in him had hurt. And neither did Sam associate his big brother with the shapeshifter, which came as a relief to Dean.

"Not hungry." Sam answered quietly. He was becoming more withdrawn as time moved on, though he never lacked enthusiasm for his physical therapy sessions, attacking each challenge 

like a true warrior and never giving up until he'd conquered every trial. He was using the wheelchair less and less these days, getting about on crutches as his strength grew. But Dean was worried how long that strength would last if Sam lost any more weight. Over the last seven months since the night the shifter tortured Sam, damn near mortally wounding him, something was praying on Sam's mind, disturbing him. Dean could feel it.

It started him wondering what had been said between Sam and the shapeshifter; a conversation of sorts had obviously taken place and the more Dean thought about it, the more he remembered his brother, gagged and bound to his own wheelchair, head butting the shifter...

Yeah. Something had been said alright, something that had Sam badly riled. Dean stared at him again.

"Enough's enough Sam. Ok? Whatever it is, you need to talk about it dude." Dean said softly. "You've virtually stopped eating, you've stopped talking...all you do is sleep, watch TV or work at rehabilitation and even then I have to stop you virtually killing yourself from exhaustion. It's gotta stop Sam. I'm worried about you kiddo."

"I'm sorry, I just..." Sam turned his gaze away. If Dean didn't know better he'd say his little brother looked ashamed. "I can't..."

Dean knew this wasn't about Sam not trusting him; whatever was bothering him was hard to talk about. Maybe it was time to take the initiative. Normally he'd have waited, given his brother more time, but if he waited any longer Sam was going to make himself sick.

"What did he say to you that night?" When Sam's head shot round in shock Dean raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, I figured that much. Look Sam, whatever it was you've nothing to worry about, nothin' to be ashamed of..."



"Oh don't I?" Sam snapped out. It was Dean's turn to be shocked. "You didn't hear...you weren't there..." He stared into his older brother's eyes and Dean saw him start to shut down again.

Oh no you don't!

"I wasn't there, I didn't hear." Voice hard, Dean reached out to grab Sam's arm before he could turn away. "So tell me. I can't help you figure this out if you don't tell me."

"There's nothin' to figure out." Sam's own voice lowered again, and Dean could hear the resignation in his tone. "The bastard threatened to rape me."

Anyone listening outside the door could have heard a pin drop.

"He what?" Asked Dean as calmly as he could.

Sam gave a short sharp nod. "Yeah. Words to that effect." He tried to hide the trembling but Dean was too sharp to miss it. "And if it weren't for you showing up when you did...there was nothing I could've done to stop him."

Another long silence.

Dean didn't want to say the wrong thing but his anger was brewing, and if he stayed any longer he was going to lose it. "Sam...I'm sorry dude. I just need a minute ok?"

Sam watched fearfully, heart sinking as Dean got abruptly to his feet and headed for the door.

Dean turned at the last moment, devastated to see the tears of self-loathing in his little brother's eyes, and sought to reassure him. "There's no way I'm angry with you Sammy. It's not your fault, it's mine. I'm just going to get some fresh air. I won't be long I promise."



Once outside in the yard, Dean crouched down and took some deep breaths. He felt sick to his stomach at what might've happened, what Sam could've suffered...

"Oh God..."

No wonder Sam was so ferocious with his physical therapy, why he was so jumpy. Anyone would be after being attacked and stabbed, but...rape? Even the threat!

Sam felt he would never be safe again if he couldn't get back on his feet, couldn't defend himself, and Dean couldn't blame him for that either.

There was no doubt in Dean's mind why Sam had kept it to himself. Not just because he was ashamed but Sam already knew how guilty Dean felt over his behaviour that night.

Sam, a fully grown, highly independent adult, had been tied to his wheelchair, brutally stabbed and threatened with sexual abuse by a creature looking, and sounding like his brother, someone who'd only that very night seriously let him down.

The events of that night whirled round his mind and before he knew it, an hour had passed. And hour he'd left his little brother alone and depressed.

Shit!

Dean suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to get back into the house. He had to see him. Sam needed him right now, and no way was Dean letting him down again.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS



Sam sat miserably staring at the empty fireplace. He felt loneliness in a way he'd never experienced before; Dean couldn't even bare to look at him right now, in spite of what he'd said before he virtually ran from the room.

And it was his fault. Dean felt guilty enough and now Sam had made things worse.

Tears threatened again; Sam angrily blinked them away and got unsteadily to his feet. Grabbing the crutches he slowly made his way from the room, wincing a little at the pull on his tired muscles. What Sam wanted, needed right now was oblivion.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Panic. Sheer panic.

"Sam?" Dean, on finding the empty den, was assaulted by a dark, terrible sense of dread and raced through the house. "Sammy!"

He stumbled into the kitchen to find Sam slumped over the table, a half empty bottle of Jack in front of him. No glass.

And a bottle of pain meds. Dean tentatively reached out, picked up the meds and gave the container a shake.

"Sam!" He dropped the empty pill bottle on the floor and grabbed Sam's shoulders, shaking him. "What the fuck? Not again! What...?"

He stopped when Sam cracked open one eye and glared at him.

"God Sam...I thought you were...shit!"



Sam opened his other eye and carried on glaring. "Wha? Thought I wwaaasss ddead? M'not ddead you idiiiot...I'm druuunnnk!" The glare turned into a smirk and to Dean's amazement, he started giggling. Then hiccupped loudly.

Dean swiped up the empty pill container from the floor and waved them angrily in Sam's face. "Then what the hell is this!" He yelled out.

Sam tried to focus on the bottle, then broke out in a huge grin. "Fi...finnn...finnisshhhed thiiisss morn'n..." Another hiccup.

As realisation dawned, Dean hung his head with relief, and found himself chuckling along with his brother. Of course. Bobby was out getting a repeat prescription for Sam right this minute.

"Jesus kiddo, you had me scared."

Sam seemed to sober up a little. "'m not in that place anymmore Dean. Sure I aint feeeeling like dancin' the Irish jig with sunshhhine and daisies all 'round, but 'm not suicidal. Ok?" He sighed tiredly, voice becoming a little clearer. "Not that 'm in a position to daaance anythin' right nnoow."

Dean smirked a little. "Dude you couldn't dance anyway. Least ways not without lookin' like a dork."

And Sam smiled a genuinely happy smile as he gazed at his brother. It felt as though a weight had been lifted, a small one admittedly, but a weight nonetheless.

"You ok Dean? I mean...I haven't made things worse for you?" Sam asked tiredly, softly, uncertainly.



Dean stared at him. "Dude! Stop doin' that! You're the one this happened to and I'm fine 'cos you're nearly back on your feet and alive. That's all I care about." He offered up a smile before he raised the bottle of Jack to his lips.

"Hey! I aint finnnnished with that!" Sam made a drunken swipe at the bottle.

"Oh you so are! I gotta hide the evidence before Bobby gets back and kicks both our asses for drinkin' his liquor." Dean grinned again as he took another swig.

"Hide?" Sam raised a sardonic eyebrow. "Don't you mean drinnnk the evidence?"

"Yeah!" Dean set the Jack bottle down on the table. "And you little bro," he belched loudly and Sam laughed. "you shouldn't be drinking at all. As of tomorrow, you're back in training!"

"Oh really!" Sam managed to grab the bottle regardless. "And how do suppose we manage that?" He glanced over at the crutches meaningfully.

Dean's smile faded. "You aint defenceless Sammy. I saw what you did to that shapeshifter; you didn't give up and just sit there. You hit out." A small chuckle. "You head butted 'im dude!"

"Ya saw that huh? Damn that hurt!"

"Not as much as it hurt him." Dean gazed at Sam, pride shining in his eyes. "And it bought us time."

In the silence that followed a lot passed between the brothers, and both got the sense that things were finally on the mend, albeit slowly.



SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Bobby heard loud familiar laughter as he approached the house and smiled a little. He couldn't remember the last time his kitchen had played host to such a noise, but that was just fine. The brother's were finally talking.

Tim had made arrangements with Bobby to come over at the weekend for a poker game, and Bobby had offered him the sofa in case they decided to crack open the bottle of Jack Daniels in Bobby's drinks cabinet. But judging by the alcoholic haze that hit him as soon as he entered the room, Bobby figured he'd have to make a run out to the local store again.

He hid a smirked when the drunken Winchester brothers glanced up at him a little guiltily from the kitchen table.

"You boys realise ya gonna have to pay for that?" When Sam started giggling Bobby found he couldn't hold it in any longer. Sam always had an infectious laugh but when he'd been so long without hearing it...well, it was like music to his old ears. Bobby started sniggering.

Dean was grinning at his brother. "Hey Bobby! You got anymore of this stuff?" he asked, waving the empty bottle under his nose.

"I think you boys've had enough. Let's get Sam to bed before he falls outa his chair huh?" Bobby gently grasped Sam by one arm. Dean grabbed the other arm and between the two of them they managed to half-drag the youngest boy to his bed.

When Sam let out a sigh, closed his eyes and was snoring instantly, Dean reached down with a relieved smile and tucked Sam's fringe behind his ears.

"I think he's gonna be ok Bobby."



"Yeah." Bobby had no idea what had been discussed while he was out, but it was obviously something profound and it wasn't his place to ask. He was just glad the boys were heading back towards an even keel. And if that meant a few hours of just the two of them getting a little drunk together, then that was fine by Bobby Singer.

When Dean fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, Bobby left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

Just for a little while maybe Bobby's boys would have some peace of mind.

End.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Author's notes:

And it's over. Wasn't sure about the whole 'shifter threatening Sam' the way he did but, for my own reasons, I really wanted to tackle it. I apologise to anyone who might be offended; it's really not meant that way.

As usual the whole blood transfusion scene has been somewhat over-exaggerated, but you all know how addicted I am to drama.

Hope you all enjoyed it, and I can't wait to read what you have to say.

Kind regards,

ST.xxx.