Not Everybody Loves A Clown
AU ending to ELAC.
Continuation of my AU re-writes, for Faye, Muffy and the girls.
Dean had his reservations about going into the fun house right from the get go. Though he'd never admit it to his brother the damn place spooked him a little, but needs must. He'd been ragging on his brother's fear of clowns since this case started and he had to put up or shut up.
Though Sam's fear of clowns could always guarantee a good laugh. Dean had been having fun.
Apart from Sam's inability to keep his mouth shut about dad of course, and frankly that part was seriously starting to bug Dean. He just didn't want to hear it; he wasn't ready to open up and talk 'feelings' in fact Dean was determined it would never happen.
And it wasn't as if Sam was all that subtle about it either. It would start out as conversation for the sake of it and the subject would quickly turn to John Winchester. All those years of butting heads, Dean being caught in the middle, and now Sam thought about what their dad wanted?
Yeah right. Sorry Sam. Doesn't work like that.
Sure, he felt a little guilty at the way he'd yelled at him, told him his sudden obedience to their father was too little too late, but it was the truth. And the truth always hurt.
Yeah, Dean wasn't gonna think about that anymore tonight. Let his little brother feel guilt-ridden, if it shut him up. Dean felt he was entitled to the peace and quiet.
In the end it was Sam's idea to enter the fun house, but the brothers became separated when the door slid closed behind Sam, leaving a worried and frustrated Dean to find another way into the maze.
Things started to get of hand almost immediately; the main problem being that the damn thing was invisible. Dean was pinned to the damned wall by two damned throwing knives and boy was he damned well pissed off!
Fun House my ass! Just how screwed in the head did you have to be to come up with something like this anyway?
Neither of them could see it but it was there all right; the continued assault with the accurately thrown blades certainly confirmed it, and one or two had come worryingly close.
Sam ripped out a brass pipe from the organ, preparing, hoping to kill the bastard before it got to him or his brother first.
"Dean where is it?"
"I don't know!"
Sam successfully dodged another blade that was aiming for his throat.
Right that's it!
Fuming, Dean reached up with his free hand and grabbed at a tap he'd spied near the ceiling and steam flooded the room, blinding him temporarily.
So he didn't see the next throwing knife swiftly cutting through the air.
He didn't see his little brother take the hit.
Sam wasn't even aware of it; he was too focussed on the adrenaline pumping round his body to feel a thing.
"Sam behind you behind you!"
Sam held out the brass pipe and jammed it backwards, to be met with a terrifying screech that made him wince. He glanced over as his older brother, cursing loudly, began to unpin himself from the wall and grinned a little. Dean didn't sound at all happy but then being treated like a human pin cushion tended to do that, not to mention he was probably pissed as hell over the holes in his clothes.
The 'clown' was dead, and Sam could finally heave a sigh of relief. Which meant that the knife embedded in Sam's side started making itself known.
Dean had ripped out the throwing knives holding him prisoner and now threw them to the floor in disgust.
"I hate fun houses."
Sam smiled grimly just as he felt the growing pain, which soon took over his senses, destroying his ability to think clearly. He felt the blood drain from his face and he leaned heavily back against the wall, black dots scurrying determinedly across his vision, only to start the downwards slide. He vaguely heard his brother calling out his name over the loud buzzing in his ears and someone grasped his upper arms stopping his descent.
"Sam? Talk to me! What's wrong?"
"I…" Sam blinked and shook his head gently, trying to clear his vision, and suddenly finding it too painful to talk. Risking a look down at his torso his eyes widened at the sight of the growing stain on his shirt and the strange knife jutting out.
Pretty sure that wasn't there before.
Dean followed his gaze. Oh god!
Sam looked back up at him, questions flashing through his eyes. If possible he grew paler, and he felt nauseous as his knees unlocked without his permission, and he slid down even further.
"Sam, you're gonna be ok, just hang in there." Dean shrugged out of his jacket, cursing silently to himself, and slung it round Sam's trembling shoulders to counteract the growing shock. He batted Sam's hand away from the knife, though he didn't think he was attempting remove it. Judging by the confusion on Sam's face Dean guessed he didn't quite believe it.
Dean was struggling to come to terms with it himself.
There was too much blood.
That amount of blood should have been on the inside of his little brother, not greeting the midnight air so freely and easily.
"Hey Dean." Sam whispered shakily. "D..dya think I'll g…get to see Dad? Dya…th…think he'll for…forgive me?"
Dean froze. Sam slowly raised his head again to looked at him, though his eyes were glazing over and Dean wasn't sure just how much Sam could see right now. Unfortunately, Dean could see plenty. He saw the hurt, guilt, fear, pain, all reflected out from those watery blue-green eyes, making Sam appear six years old again. But the one thing Dean hated seeing in his brother's eyes, hated enough to make him angry with Sam, was resignation. Sam was giving up, and maybe, after the harsh words Dean had thrown at him earlier, there was no changing his mind.
Sam thinks he deserves this.
"No! And I'll tell you why ok Sam?" Dean inwardly winced at his tight, angry tone, but just couldn't stop himself. "'Cos there's nothin' to forgive!"
When Sam's chin dropped back to his chest, Dean felt his panic rising.
"HEY! Sammy looked at me!" Dean grabbed Sam's chin and forced him to meet his own gaze. "None of it was your fault, ok? Do you get that?" No answer. Just a forlorn and none too focussed stare. "Come on Sam, let's go."
Forcing his brother to his feet, Dean slung an arm round his waist, careful to avoid the knife.
Sam's head hung down and Dean's could hear his ragged pants as they slowly made their way out of the fun house. The steps were problematic, causing Sam so much agony that he nearly passed out then and there, hissing and scrunching his eyes shut.
"Easy, take it slow Sammy," Dean murmured softly, his earlier anger now since dissipated in light of his brother's pain. He tightened his hold when Sam faltered, nearly going down.
Sam found himself losing strength at an alarming rate, his shivers grew with intensity, and he honestly didn't know how much longer he could stay awake. He was so tired and cold, cold from the inside out.
He wondered if he could ever be warm again.
Too little too late…these are your issues, quit dumpin' them on me…too little too late…these are your issues, quit dumpin' them on me…
The world fell away from Sam, and though he scrambled for purchase, for some kind of emotionally solid ground, he didn't stand a chance. He wasn't sure which was killing him the fastest; the very real knife in his side or the metaphorical one in his heart.
Sam finally collapsed, overcome by blood loss, Dean barely able to hold on to his giant of a brother.
"No you don't! Wake up damn you!" Dean tucked Sam's head under his chin as he sank to his knees. "Please Sammy; don't leave me, not now." He whispered, supporting his brother's neck. "It should've been me. Oh God why wasn't it me?"
Sam was still breathing but each breath was laboured, painful to hear; he didn't have much time left.
Keeping a hand on the pulse at Sam's neck, Dean pulled out his cell phone.
"Mr Pierce?" A soft voice accompanied by an equally soft grip on his arm woke him up from his doze.
"Huh? What?" Dean blinked and rubbed the bridge of his nose before getting abruptly to his feet to face the surgeon. She was really quite beautiful, with silky auburn hair and deep blue eyes, but Dean wasn't in the mood to take much interest. "Sam? Is he all right?" His voice was hard with worry, but that was just another thing to add to his currently rather long list of things he just couldn't give a flying fuck about. When she didn't answer right away he resisted the urge to grab her arms and shake her senseless. "He's gonna be ok, right?"
"Sit down Mr Pierce." She smiled gently, and once he reluctantly lowered himself back into his seat, she joined him, slinking gracefully into the next chair. "The scans show that your brother has a small tear in his liver, but as the blade didn't go as deeply as we first thought we were able to fix that without too much consequence. The major threat to his life was blood loss, and he's being transfused as we speak."
Dean stared hard at her. "Why do I feel a 'but' coming on?" was forced out through clenched teeth.
"I noticed that the knife was a throwing blade, like that used in a circus act." She looked him straight in the eye. "The blade probably wasn't sterile, and an infection has already set in." When Dean's eyes widened fearfully she held out a hand to stall him. "I've placed him on broad spectrum I.V antibiotics, and we're closely monitoring his temperature, as well as the
usual vital signs. If his fever gets any worse we may have to resort to ice packs, though I'd like to avoid that if possible. It's a little hard on the heart and with the blood loss he's suffered…" She shrugged and Dean nodded.
"Can I see 'im?" Just try and stop me!
"Sure. Follow me." She didn't come into the room, just smiled reassuringly. "He's still sedated from the surgery, but give him a few hours and it'll wear off."
Dean barely acknowledged her; he couldn't take his eyes off Sam.
The room was dark apart from a small bed side light, and his little brother looked terrible, skin virtually bloodless, dark shadows under his eyes, perspiration glistening on his forehead and cheekbones, gathering round the oxygen mask covering his mouth and nose. Faint tremors wracked his body, further evidence that Sam wasn't yet out of the woods.
"Sammy?" Dean whispered softly and reached out to grasp a cold, clammy hand. Sam whimpered softly, as if able to feel his brother's presence even in his drug-induced sleep. "I know things have been rough, and I know I've said…I know that I hurt you. But you can't give up, ok? 'Cos if you give up then you give up on me, and I need ya Sam. You're all I've got left, and I can't lose you." He tightened his grip on his brother's hand. "Things will get better, I promise. Just hang in there for me."
It was pretty sad, on reflection, that Dean found it easier to talk to an unconscious Sam about the very things he should've said to him when he was awake. Before tonight, all he'd given Sam was the barest scraps from the table, when he should've been letting him in the door for a four course meal.
He'd effectively treated his little brother like a stray. Giving him a little sustenance from time to time, but nothing of any real value. Sam needed, no deserved more than that. It was time to start treating his baby brother like a human being again.
Refusing to sleep in case Sam woke up and needed him, Dean settled in for a long night.
He watched Sam anxiously as the fever appeared to worsen. When Sam cried out and began panting softly he pushed the call button.
"Sam? Can you hear me? They're gonna help you ok?"
Sam's doctor – Marian, Dean remembered her name now – appeared, yawning widely. She didn't seem at all hurried or panicked and Dean couldn't make out if that was a good or bad thing, until she turned to him and smiled.
"It looks bad I know, but believe it or not he's actually doing better. Looks like he's just having bad dreams." At Dean's doubtfully expression she showed him Sam's biochemistry blood results. "See? That was his C-Reactive Protein level a few hours ago."
Dean just stared at her blankly.
Marian laughed a little. "CRP is an acute phase protein; it's one of the first signs of inflammation and can increase about six hours before the core body temperature. Your brother's level was pretty high after surgery, but now it's starting to fall."
Dean frowned. "So he's gonna be ok?"
"Yep." The doctor's smile widened. "The fever's starting to resolve. He'll be up and around annoying you in no time." At his quizzical glance she added dryly. "I have two younger brothers and they're always annoying me."
Dean found himself smiling in response. "Yeah, he's pretty good at that."
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Whoa Sam, take it easy would ya? You only just got outta hospital! And no offence man but you still look like shit, and warmed over shit at that!" Dean held Sam up when he grimaced in pain.
Sam narrowed his eyes in mock annoyance. "Gee thanks Dean, that's real nice of ya!"
His brother grinned smugly. "Yeah and that's the sugar coated version." He manoeuvred Sam carefully into the passenger seat. This particular car belonged to Ellen, since they'd had to ditch the 'soccer mom' vehicle Bobby originally lent them. "Now just sit tight and don't move, or I'll kick your ass."
Sam laid his head back against the head rest and closed his eyes. Even on the powerful pain meds his side still hurt at the slightest movement, and his eyes felt heavy, like he could sleep for a week.
Except he just had.
His eyes shot open when Dean slid behind the wheel. Dean's grin had achieved optimum smugness.
"Happy juice or phone number?" Sam raised an enquiring eyebrow. "Or dare I ask?"
Dean waved a piece of paper under Sam's nose. "Guess!"
"What the hell does a smart woman like Marian see in a jerk like you?" Sam murmured sleepily, a small smile on his face.
"Well, I'd have to say charm, wit, good looks, and I smell better than you bitch."
Sam yawned. "Dude, I had a fever. I'm not gonna smell of roses when I got sweat pourin' outta me!"
Dean glanced over at Sam, smile fading slightly at the reminder of the last week.
"Yeah, I guess not." And pulled the car away from the curb.
Sam cracked open an eye, noting the serious edge to his brother's voice. "Y'allright Dean?"
There was a long silence and Sam wondered if he'd heard him.
"I am now Sammy." Was the quiet reply.
So here we have it. I've trawled this website and many others to make sure I wasn't copying someone else's idea. But as with my other AU re-writes I apologise if this concept has been done before.
Hope you enjoyed it regardless.