Thanks Macs Ace for the Beta, you're a doll. Also NOTE you should probably read Dancing in the Dark first because this may be confusing if you haven't read it. It's a filler chapter from when Sam and Dean had a fight and Sam collapses.
Thanks also goes out to Dawn N for the encouragement. : )
It played in slow motion, his fight with Sam, the push, the collapse. It all seemed surreal, his mind worked on autopilot as he reached out and snatched his brother before he could hit the ground. Trying to keep his composure, his heart pounding but his face set, it didn't matter, his voice always betrayed him, "Shit… Sam? Talk to me."
Sam's chest was struggling as he panted, trying to grasp air he just couldn't seem to find, "I-I'm fine, just tired. I just need to sit."
Dean didn't argue as his brothers legs gave out from under him, the lack of oxygen in his blood making it impossible for Sam to keep standing. Dean watched as his little brother struggled to stay awake, his consciousness fighting against him, and Dean knew he was all to blame.
The world was spinning, well the world he could see anyway. His vision covered with sporadic black dots that moved with the current tilt he seemed to be on, his limbs numb, he desperately needed to lie down.
Sam had felt weakness before, but this, this was foreign to him. He had never experienced the black dots and the tingling in his toes and fingers; it brought involuntary tears to his eyes, the lack of control he had over his body scaring him. If he could just get the world to stop spinning he could deal with the black dots and tingling sensation, but it didn't seem to want to stop, and his stomach was starting to churn.
He knew he needed to do something, to lie down, or move to his bed. But just the very thought of getting up, of trying to move was enough to send his mind racing, and his heart pounding, this wasn't good.
Confusion settled into his weary mind, the loss of what little control he had over his body proving to be much more difficult then he could have ever imagined. Panic was next to follow the confusion, every gasp, every moan, and every move setting off more panic. He couldn't keep up with his body, hell he couldn't keep up with his emotions.
He felt the warm presence behind him, his brother; he leaned into him, finding his one comfort, the one thing that settled his mind. "Dean?"
He felt like he was yelling, but it couldn't have been louder than a whisper. Grasping his brother's arm hard he tried again, "Dean?" He needed to hear his brother's voice, knowing it would help, Dean's voice held the comfort of a mothers voice.
"I'm right here Sammy, What do you need?"
Sam could hear the tears and the fear that was hidden in Dean's tough exterior, it unnerved him knowing he was scaring his older brother, he knew what Dean needed, "I'm fine."
He lied, it wasn't the first time he had lied, and he doubted it would be the last. He only did it if he knew it was needed, and right now, it was needed, "I don't need anything Dean, just need to sit, to catch my breath."
It wasn't a comfortable silence that came over the boys, and it was one Sam wasn't enjoying, "I think I would lose at a sparring match right now." He tried to laugh.
"That's not fucking funny Sam."
Sam heard the hitch in the voice, Dean was getting worse the longer they sat, the longer Dean had time to think about what had just happened. Sam tried to look at his brother, he wanted to let Dean know he was going to be okay, but his body just wasn't co-operating with him.
He didn't need to look to see how much Dean was struggling with what had just happened, his brothers voice quiet and broken, "What kind of person even thinks about pushing someone on chemo?"
"No, Sam, there is no get out of jail free card for this one."
Arguing was going to be tough, he could feel it, hoping that if he didn't move he may be able to get through his conversation, and get through Dean's thick skull.
"I started it Dean, I'm not angry, you didn't do anything. Hell I probably would have been more upset if you hadn't pushed me back." Sam laughed, "It really was a no win situation for you."
Sam's lanky figured moved with the heavy sigh from Dean's chest, "Sam."
"I don't want to hear it, Dean, I owe you so much man," Sam took in a long breath, moving his fingers and toes, his head starting to come back to him. "You gave up everything for me, and you didn't have to. I want you to go out, have fun, you may not be willing to go and hunt, but that doesn't mean you have to give everything up just because I'm stuck here."
"I wouldn't leave you Sam, not again."
"Well, next time you go out on a prescription run, I'm going to change the locks, and not let you in till you go out for the night."
Sam was happy to hear his brother's chuckle, the air lifted slightly in the room. "Is that right? What, are you a master locksmith now little brother?"
"Damn straight I'm a master locksmith, don't be jealous that you don't have my skills. I could teach you one day, if I have time in my busy schedule." Sam joked; he missed joking around.
Dean laughed, "What was that Hollywood? No time in your schedule? I call your bluff." He said helping Sam back up, practically carrying him over to the couch. The younger brother trying to help but his body still couldn't handle all the moving around.
Sam panted, holding back the hiss of pain as his joints struggled with the movement, "Probably a good call with the bluff, you were always better at the bluff, even when we were kids." Sam reminisced as he lay flat, his body relaxing as he shut his eyes.
"You're just an easy read." Dean teased as he brought a blanket over his baby brother. His mind still reeling over what he had just done to Sam, but trying to hide it, and his concern.
Sam had been weak, but never like this, the very act of moving was leaving him gasping for air. He waited until Sam was asleep before he went to the kitchen, picking up the receiver, calling the number he knew by heart.
"Dr. Leiberman's line, Anne speaking."
"Hey Anne, Dean Winchester here. I'm calling about Sam."
"Of course of course, let me get Dr.Lieberman, I just saw her."
It felt like forever before he heard the doctor's quiet voice on the other end, "What can I do for you Dean?"
"Its Sam, it's probably nothing, but he's just been really tired lately, just going to the washroom has him out of breath. I just wasn't sure if this is something that I should bring him in for or just wait it out for a bit, see if it gets better?"
Dean could feel his heart beating rapidly, the doctor's pause in conversation never a good thing in his books. "Well Dean, this is Sam's bottoming out week, it is normal for blood counts to drop. We know that Sam has been struggling with bringing his hemoglobin back up to normal levels after his recovery week which has caused some concern."
Another pause and Dean felt like shouting at the poor woman.
"It sounds as if Sam's blood count may have dropped significantly this round and it may warrant a red blood cell transfusion, but give it a day, if he is still in the same shape at the end of tomorrow call again and we can bring him to get him looked at."
The sigh of relief was clearly audible; Dean was just relieved that he knew what he could possibly be dealing with. "Thanks doctor, I'll make sure to give him some liver to try and pump that iron up."
They made it through the week, Sam picked up, his actions slow and not too much moving around, but he did a little better everyday. Dean had gone out to purchase a fan for their bedroom to help keep Sam cool at night. His younger brothers temperature rising around the middle of the week.
The thermometer showing Sam had a fever of 38.5, but the younger brother had begged Dean to give it more time, that he knew it was going to go back down. So Dean gave in, keeping a close eye on his brother, getting up through the night to make sure the fever was not rising while Sam slept.
It was something Dean had done when Sam was young, not being able to sleep if he knew his brother was sick, or getting sick.
Dean could feel the heat radiating off of Sam, his brother tossing and turning in his sleep, throwing his blankets off to the side only for Dean to pick them back up and cover Sam's shaking form once again.
He didn't want to bring Sam back to the hospital almost as much as Sam didn't want to go, he hated seeing his brother hooked up to IV machines, and heart monitors, he just wanted to keep him in their small home for as long as he could, trying to take hold of that normal life Sam had once craved.
"Easy Sammy" Dean soothed, running a hand over Sam's smooth head, his touch bringing his brothers listless form to rest. It was then that he decided he needed a fan to help Sam stay cool, and he knew the local grocery store was open 24-7.
Sam questioned the fan briefly the next morning, but didn't push the subject, Dean knew he was grateful.
But the week was over quickly, neither man spoke about the fight, neither one spoke about how weak Sam still was, and neither one was looking forward to what the blood tests were going to reveal as the doctor walked in.
"Sam, your rebounded blood count for your hemoglobin is at 74." Doctor Leiberman could see the dread in the young mans eyes, he knew what was coming.
"I am going to recommend that you receive a blood transfusion today, even though your hemoglobin is at 74 and that is above what we usually transfuse at. This is supposed to be your rebound week, and your blood counts should be sitting much higher than they are. If you went back to last week, I'm sure you were well below 70."
"Is it mandatory." Sam questioned, he didn't want a blood transfusion, and it made him sick to think that someone else's blood was going to be pumping through his system.
"No, no, its not mandatory, I highly recommend it though. However, if you choose not to go for the blood transfusion today I will need you to come back in every few days so we can monitor your counts. I truly believe that you will need a transfusion within the week, and instead of coming in on one of your off days you could just get it down and over with now. It could even count as part of your three hour hydration for your Cyclophosphamide."
The youngest brother took it all in, weighing his options, he didn't want it done, and he was hoping that maybe, just maybe his body would pull through and raise his blood counts. Looking over at Dean. Sam knew what his brother's decision was, and he respected Dean for letting him come to his own conclusion over the transfusion.
Sighing Sam gave in, "I don't like this." He admitted quietly.
"Our blood is tested thoroughly Sam, there is always a risk of something coming through with the blood but it is highly unlikely."
Sam paled at the thought, looking over to Dean who just smiled and gave him a nod; he knew he had made the right decision.
He couldn't look at it, placing a sweater over his IV; he tried to watch the television at the foot of his bed, Bob Barker staring back at him as Dean shouted at yet another stupid contestant who didn't know jack about prices.
Sam rolled his eyes, his temper continuing to rise the longer the transfusion went on for, agitation written across his face, "Why don't you shout louder? Maybe they'll hear you."
"Dude, I don't know how you aren't shouting." Dean replied, glancing over at Sam, quickly bringing his eyes back to the screen, he didn't like seeing the blood anymore than Sam did.
Sam felt his frustrations rise, he wanted to go home, his eyes welling back up at the thought of how much longer he still had to stay in the hospital.
Dean could feel his brother's agitation rise, and he wasn't sure how to bring it back down, to distract him from everything going on.
"Come on Sammy, its bidding time on contestant row, play a round with me."
"Dean…" Sam began, but couldn't finish as his emotions steamrolled through, garnering his brother's full attention, which received a quickly placed hand on Sam's shoulder. "Hey, Sammy, just be easy, before you know it we'll be back at home, and you'll feel like a million bucks after getting this fresh blood in. Just give it time Sammy, and until then, play a round with me little brother."
Sam focused in on Dean, trying to relax as much as he could, "I bid one dollar" he said, earning a smile from his older brother.
The price is right had managed to pass some time, but now Sam was a few hours into his treatment and he was going downhill quick. The cocktail of drugs on day one had gotten progressively worse on Sam's body as the treatment went on. He could no longer even think about food after day one without fear of clearing his stomach of its meager contents.
Dean had watched as his brother pale, his face going the trademark green with nausea. Shutting his eyes he tried to find comfort in sleep, but Dean could see his efforts were futile as he woke numerous times, a loud sigh accompanied with a groan as he clutched the Kay basin that lay on his chest.
Placing a hand on Sam's shoulder, Dean sat quietly, squeezing the shoulder with every moan of pain from his little brother. "We're almost done Sam, just hold on a little longer."
Sam turned, grasping his Kay basin even harder, his fingers paling as he lifted his head, Dean helped to support, wincing at the dry heave. Sam turned to him, his eyes watering, "Don't lie, its never going to be over."
Dean knew how Sam was feeling, remission never felt like it was going to come, and with two more months on the way it felt like an eternity, so he lied, "Before you know it, it'll be over."
He knew Sam didn't believe him, hell he didn't believe what he was saying. But they both just had to hold on, it was almost over.