Immortality for the Mortally Challenged

Disclaimer: They aren't mine.

Beta'd: By Muffy Morrigan. Thanks for agreeing to beta when stupid time zones conspired against me.

Short little gapfiller for 'Time is on my Side' – cuz I wanted to squeeze every last drop of brotherly schmoop out of this episode as possible.

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"Just relax," he crooned. "Ya'all gonna be okay."

Sam felt the rough, necrotic hands caress his arm in what was supposed to be a reassuring manner.

"Ain't nothing gonna happen here, that you got to worry about, Sammy."

The hand patted his arm before he caught sight of the doctor turning away.

"Your chances of coming out of this procedure alive – very, very high."

The rough confines of the wooden vise around his head prevented Sam from following the doctor's movements, but he could hear the soft crackle of a Bunsen burner to his right.

"How do you know my name?"

"Oh, I know."

Sam tried to turn his head, move his legs and twist on the makeshift surgical bed, but the doctor knew what he was doing. Sam couldn't even blink.

"You think I'm some kind of monster, don't you? Well, I got to tell you, I have never …"

A sharp tug on his arm jarred Sam's shoulder and caused his head to bounce slightly inside the vise, the rough hewn edges scratching his skin.

"Done one thing that I did not have to do. This whole eternal life thing is very high maintenance."

Sam looked around wildly for something, anything he could use to his advantage, but he could barely make out the gray and brown outline of Doctor Benton from this vantage point.

"Something goes bad, like my eyes here."

The cold, fetid breath of the doctor hit Sam's face when he leaned in close.

"You gotta replace them."

His eyes tracked the grotesquely misshapen finger that stroked his brow. He couldn't help the grunt that escaped his lips as he struggled to escape the touch.

"And sometimes, things get damaged…"

Wiry, gray hair invaded his limited range of vision when Benton leaned over him and made a scooping motion over his chest.

"Like when your father cut out my heart."

He stood and Sam swallowed hard.

"Now that? That was very inconvenient."

The doctor turned away from him again and Sam struggled to hear the doctor's words over his pounding heart.

"So, I'm sure that you can understand aaall the joy I felt when I read aaall about myself in this here journal."

Doctor Benton held up his father's journal before slamming it closed in Sam's face.

"Kind of makes this whole thing just feel like some kind of family reunion, don't it?"

Sam sucked in an anxious breath when the doctor leaned close to his face again. Benton loomed tall over his head, the metal instrument in his right hand a blur until it stopped dangerously close to Sam's eye.

"Well, I guess it's about time that we get this thing started."

Sam sucked in several panicked breaths as the scoop was placed over his eye. The heat of the metal burned him before the scoop made full contact with his eye. He tried desperately to pull away from pain invading his socket and stabbing into his head as the instrument burrowed into position. "Aaaahhhh!"

Three loud cracks from a gun and the scoop disappeared along with the doctor.

"Shoot all you want."

Sam started as two more loud cracks rent the air, and he struggled against the straps again with renewed effort. The shooting could only mean one thing: Dean was here and just in time to pull his proverbial fat out of the fire. Loud crashes came from the other side of the tattered sheer curtains.

He heard his brother grunt before the doctor started laughing. No, Dean! His mind screamed. He puffed shallow breaths of relief when the doctor started talking.

"A knife? What part of immortality don't you understand?"

Sam twisted his wrists hoping to gain some flexibility in the leather restraints, but they didn't give. He had yet to hear his brother say a word. Dean could be hurt, the doctor obviously loved to monologue.

"Pity about the heart though. It was a brand new one."

"Good." Dean's guttural response meant he was hurt, but not beyond fighting back. "Should be pumping nice and strong, sending this stuff throughout your whole body. See, I picked up your little bottle upstairs and dipped the knife in it."

Groaning and more crashes. Please don't be Dean. Please don't be Dean. A cold breeze wafted over his skin and Sam then sensed movement beside him. Even so, he couldn't stop the sharp intake of breath and the involuntary jump when fingers touched his face.

"Easy, Sammy." Dean's familiar rumble soothed him. "It's just me."

The tape pulled his eyelashes and his skin. Pain mingled with relief as he closed his eyes, blinking rapidly several times to moisten his corneas. Loud scrapes of metal against wood slowly eased the pressure on his head and he could finally turn it enough to see Dean. He could see Dean.

"Dean, thank God," he breathed the prayer.

Sam tugged at the restraints on his wrists and pulled against the confining leather bands on his ankles and torso.

"Sam, stop it," Dean commanded. "You're burning your skin."

Dean pushed down on his upper chest and Sam stuttered out a request. "Ha-hands."

"Hold still."

Another light push on his chest and this time Sam didn't move. He waited until the first restraint fell away and grasped the sleeve of Dean's jacket. "You're okay?" Sam asked. Questioning green eyes met his. "I heard crashing."

"I'm good," Dean said.

Once more someone leaned over him, but this time it was his brother and Sam relaxed. Dean's attention was diverted to freeing his right arm. "Dean…"

"Eh, I'll probably have a few bruises," Dean confessed. "Are you okay, did he do anything?"

The restraint was removed. Dean stood back up and unbuckled the one around Sam's torso. "He wanted my eyes," Sam said with a grimace. "He almost got one until you showed up."

"Good thing I made it back."

Sam sat up and gently rubbed the raw skin on his wrists while Dean unfastened the restraints on his ankles. "Yeah, good thing," Sam agreed quietly.

Dean glanced backwards at him. Sam could read understanding in Dean's eyes. "I always will if I can," Dean said, determination shone in the mossy depths.

"Me too."

Sam swung his legs off the table and sat up. His head throbbed painfully against the confines of his skull, but whether it was the after effects of the chloroform or the pinching vise grip, Sam wasn't sure. What he did know was that right here, right now, Dean was with him and Sam wanted to keep it that way.

"Come on, let's get Doc Benton and strap him down on his own table. Maybe that'll get his attention," Dean suggested.

Dean slapped him lightly on the shoulder. Sam stood and tilted to the side before placing a hand on the table for balance. It turned out chloroform was the heavy hitter after all.

"You sure you're gonna be okay?" Dean asked, placing a hand on Sam's shoulder.

Sam nodded an affirmative, but he knew better. He'd never let on to Dean just how well he understood that he would only really be okay if he could save his brother. Anything less and they'd both be lost.

Without a word, he followed Dean behind the curtain to where the doctor lay on the floor curled around a metal cabinet. Maybe strapping Benton to his own table would get his attention and they could wrangle the formula out of him. It was a long-shot, but at this point Sam would take any shot he could get.

He'd save Dean, no matter what it cost. You're not gonna go to hell Dean, I won't let you.

…………………………………………………………Supernatural…………………………………………………………

AN: I absolutely loved this episode. For me it was one of the creepiest. The juxtaposition of the doctor's cruelty (coldly harvesting organs) against his humanity (actually doing his best to keep people from dying when possible) made him one of the best baddies ever.

The ONLY thing missing for me was just a wee bit of a brotherly moment squeezed between Dean incapacitating the doc and Benton waking up on the table. After all, there's no point in hurt without comfort, right? :)