A/N: Hey guys been a while, eh? For those of you who are waiting on an update on Bricks and Water, I'm sorry it's taken so long. As most of you know I've been recovering from a car accident and the surgeries that have followed it. I have most of the next chapter done, it just needs some tweaking so hopefully it won't be much longer. I've had this one-shot for a while and decided to finish it and get it posted. I'd love to here what you think.
Beta: Megan Casady AKA my best buddy! - This one is for you sweatband!! LOL
This story is also set in the bricks verse.
tortures are physical. And some are mental, but the one that is both
Dean Winchester shuffled lethargically into the dingy motel room with a fresh bag of ice pressed to his cheek and a look of utter misery on his face. Letting out a long groan, he sank onto the bed and flopped to his side, pressing the Ziploc to his aching and increasingly swollen jaw.
"Gaaaaaaawwwwwwwd!" he moaned into the hideous, multi-colored comforter that had obviously been on the bed since 1976. Sam cringed when he thought of the numerous body fluids that Dean's mouth was coming into contact with, but at the moment, he knew his brother wouldn't appreciate him pointing out that fact. "I think 'm dying, Sam."
The 13-year-old choked down his laugh, masking it by clearing his throat. His brother was the only person he knew - well, besides their dad - who would claim perfect health when he was losing blood by the gallon and then turn around and act like a toothache was a mortal wound.
"Take some Tylenol," Sam offered, looking back down at the sketch he was working on. Mrs. Fennel, his art teacher, had assigned a Christmas-themed project, to be completed in the medium of their choice. It was proving more difficult than he had assumed it would be.
"I already took like the whole freakin' bottle! I think I can feel my liver melting." Dean shifted on the bed and Sam heard the crinkle of plastic and the rattle of ice cubes. "Are you sure we don't have anything stronger?"
"Dad has the first aid kit," Sam answered absently. He couldn't get past the Christmas tree. He was remembering last Christmas, when they'd hunted down a spirit that had dressed as Santa Claus, complete with reindeer and sleigh. The not-so-jolly Santa impersonator had spent the holiday season merrily slaughtering Christmas carolers and peeing on their corpses.
"What if I have like an abscess or somethin' in my jaw? Can you die from that?" Dean worried, knowing the pain he was experiencing was not the regular toothache. He'd had a cavity in one of his back molars two years ago thanks to his overindulgence in M&M's. It had felt nowhere near as excruciating as the agony he was in now; it was becoming almost unbearable. If he could just pluck up the courage, he'd yank the goddamned tooth out himself.
"Probably. I dunno." Maybe he could draw a picture about Hanukkah instead, claim he was Jewish and Christmas offended him. Mrs. Fennel was the hippy-dippy, let's-celebrate-diversity type; he could totally get away with it.
"Guuuuuhhhh!" Dean exploded, his intended 'gah' somewhat muted and distorted by his inability to fully open his mouth. He stood up restlessly. "I need more ice."
Sam sighed and set his pencil down, crumpling up the Christmas tree and tossing it towards the garbage can. It missed and bounced off the rim, rolling to a stop beside his brother's foot. Dean didn't seem to notice.
"You just got back seventeen seconds ago from the ice machine, Dean. It can't possibly be melted."
"Did I say it was melted?" Dean shot back irritably, momentarily taking the ice away from his face. He had a giant red spot along his puffy jaw and cheek where the constant cold had chilled his skin.
Sam just shook his head wearily, picking up the pencil again. He expected to hear the door open as Dean went on yet another ice quest, but instead his brother simply parked himself across the table. Sam glanced up briefly. Dean was slouched in the chair, resting his head against the back, eyes closed and ice pressed to his face again.
He had just finished a decent menorah when Dean broke the silence.
"M' jaw hurts." The simple declaration had been voiced more times in the last few days than Sam cared – or wanted – to count.
"I know. You've told me. Several hundred times." He was definitely going to have to research Hanukkah because with the menorah completed, he had exhausted his meager knowledge of the holiday.
"You suck," Dean complained. "I changed thousands of your shitty diapers and cleaned up your puke when your girl stomach got upset and you can't even work up a shred of compassion for me when I'm in serious pain?"
Sam rolled his eyes and shoved the drawing away.
"If you were dying, I wouldn't even know about it and you know it. It can't be that bad."
"Wanna bet?" Dean snapped back. "Anything in your mouth hurts ten times worse than anywhere else on your body, plus I can't even eat anymore." He swallowed hard. "Prolly gonna starve to death."
"Just go to the doctor already if it's that bad!" Sam burst out in annoyance. Dean would never go, which would just prove his point. If it was really bad, his brother wouldn't put up much of a fight to avoid a doctor's office.
To his amazement, his comment was met with silence. Dean was actually considering it. Which meant it really did hurt. A lot. Sam was sure his head had just morphed into a huge, ugly pucker – he was an asshole.
"I dunno," Dean finally said. "We can't afford it."
Sam snorted. "Since when has money been an issue? It's not like the credit cards are in Dad's name. But there's that free clinic down on 8th Avenue, anyway, so what does it matter?"
When Dean didn't answer, Sam decided to make the decision for him. "You're going." He glanced at the clock on the wall, its cracked face showing that it was 8:30 pm. "First thing in the morning. Because if I have to go through another day listening to you whine, I'm gonna have to kill myself."
"Fine, whatever, drama queen. Don't get your panties in a twist. I'll go," Dean conceded, as if he was truly doing Sam rather than himself a favor. "And I don't whine," he added as Sam stood and walked the short distance across the flattened, olive green, shag carpet to the minuscule bathroom.
Sam didn't even bother answering, choosing to let the slamming door do the talking.
"I don't!" he heard Dean yell from the other side of the flimsy door.
"Well, Dean, I have a relatively easy fix for you," Dr. Middleton said, peeling his blue latex gloves off and dropping them in the trash can. "You need to have your wisdom teeth removed."
"What?" Dean exploded from his perch on the rickety exam table. "Uh-uh. No freakin' way, dude. I'd rather have the skin peeled from my fingers."
Dr. Middleton smiled, raising one eyebrow as he looked over at Sam. "He doesn't like dentists, huh?"
"How could you tell?" Sam replied, grinning back. "He has dental phobia."
"I hate to break up your little geek moment, but I'm sitting right friggin' HERE!" the eldest Winchester snarled. "And my wisdom teeth aren't going anywhere. They're coming with me!"
"Not if you want to get rid of that pain, they're not. And there's all sorts of complications that can develop from impacted wisdom teeth; if you think you're hurting now, just wait." The fifty-something doctor stood up, looking far too jovial for Dean's liking, and walked over to the small desk in the corner. He started scribbling rapidly on a pad, and returned a few moments later, handing a prescription to Dean. "These will help with the pain until you can have the surgery. My nurse will give you the name and phone number of a great oral surgeon. I'll call over and make sure he gets you scheduled as soon as possible. They really do need to come out, Dean. Sooner, rather than later."
Dean snatched the small square of paper angrily and stood up, grabbing his coat from the chair beside the exam table before stalking out of the room.
"Thanks, Doc," Sam said apologetically. "He really doesn't like dentists. Or doctors."
"I can tell. Don't worry about it, though; plenty of people hate us," he laughed. "Just make sure he gets that appointment."
"No problem. I'll make it myself if I have to." And he did.
Dean wouldn't stop fidgeting and people were starting to stare.
"Did you read this?" he asked incredulously, tapping the end of his pen on the consent form. "People DIE under the anaesthesia! No freaking way," Dean made to stand up, but John gripped his forearm and pulled him back into the chair.
"It can happen, dude, but it's very rare. Like one in a million. You'll be fine. Plus you won't be completely under; you'll only be sedated. You'll still be conscious, but barely, and you won't know what's going on. You more than likely won't remember a thing about it. Just finish filling out the paperwork so we can get this over with," John whispered. He wasn't a fan of dentists himself, and even though Dean wasn't a kid anymore, it didn't stop him from worrying and wishing it was himself going in there instead of his boy. The sooner this was over with the better.
"Tell that to the one out of the million that's pushing up daisies," the 17-year-old shot back, his foot beginning a rapid tapping on the shiny wood floor. A cool sweat had started to break out down his spine and his palms felt clammy. His chest was starting to feel tight. "And what's this 'we'? You're not having anything done!"
"Dean! Fill out the damn form!" the single father hissed, reminding himself that Dean did have a good reason for fearing anything having to do with dentistry.
When Dean had been twelve and his brother eight, John had been hunting the source of the Tooth Fairy legend. Unfortunately, the actual "Tooth Fairy" wasn't a pleasant, softly glowing, glittery fairy at all, but the bitter spirit of a woman who had been accused of being a witch during the Salem Trials. The 'questioners' had tortured her, trying to get her to confess by pulling her teeth out, one by one. In death, she re-enacted this torture on children, since her original accusers had been a young brother and sister.
Sam had been sick with an ear infection and John had been out searching for the spirit's grave, so Dean had struck out for the nearest convenience store in search of a five-finger discount on some children's Tylenol and Gatorade. On his way back, he'd been attacked by the object of their father's hunt, and the bitch had yanked two of Dean's molar teeth before John fortunately drove by on his way to the motel. He'd shot her full of rock salt and collected his eldest. Sam still remembered his father returning with his brother, who was white as a sheet and bleeding profusely from his mouth. He remembered Dean in the bathroom, leaning over the sink as the blood streamed from his mouth, and his dad folding up gauze squares for Dean to put in his mouth to help stem the bleeding while telling the twelve-year-old he'd been lucky – lucky that the witch hadn't taken his front teeth. And then he'd been darting past the two of them to drop once again to his knees in front of the toilet, too busy with his own misery to notice that of his brother.
"How come we see all these people going in, but no one coming back out?" Dean asked suspiciously, nervously tapping his fingers on the faux wood clipboard containing his now completed paperwork. "That's definitely not normal. They're hiding something."
"Dean, stop," Sam said firmly, leaning close enough to Dean so that only he could hear his words. He glanced over at the little girl in the pink dress and blonde pigtails, who was now burrowed into her mother's side, sobbing as she begged her mom to go home. "You're scaring the kids. And that fat guy over by the door."
"Maybe they should be scared, Sam," Dean retorted, his fingers refusing to relinquish their death grip on the clipboard as his little brother tried to pry it free. He didn't care how odd it looked that his gangly 13-year-old brother was playing the adult now; his teeth were screaming to be left alone.
"Let go! You're just making it worse for yourself sitting out here getting all worked up over it. Just give me the clipboard so we can get this over with." Sam grunted in surprise when he nearly fell out of his chair as he suddenly managed to free the clipboard. Standing quickly, he walked it over to the receptionist, fully expecting to be body slammed into the floor by Dean at any moment. But Dean remained seated and Sam turned the paperwork in with no major or even minor events taking place.
By the time he returned to his cushioned dark blue chair next to his brother, Dean had moved on from mysteriously vanishing patients to how the surgery would affect his good looks.
"I just remembered Tracy Terrance, ya know the granddaughter of that old couple a few blocks down from Jim and Marla? Well she had her wisdom teeth out last year and she looked like a freakin' chipmunk for weeks. I can't look like a chipmunk, Dad," Dean stated seriously.
"It's not forever, Dean. So you'll swell up a little – it's normal with this type of procedure." Please, please, please come get him soon!
"Women love this face, dad, and guys who look like furry, woodland creatures don't get laid. Who knows how long of a dry spell I'm gonna be forced into!" Dean dropped his head into his hands woefully, his elbows resting on his knees.
"Are you serious?" Sam asked incredulously. "You're about to get your wisdom teeth pulled and you're worried about how your sex life will be affected?"
"Yeah! What the hell's more important than that?" Dean shot back, obviously offended. He was still glaring at his little brother when the door leading back to the surgery and exam areas opened.
"Harold Birnbaum?" the petite nurse in Scooby Doo scrubs called, reading the name from the clipboard in her hand. She smiled at the 60-something-year-old man that stood up, holding the door for him as he passed her. "How are you today?" she asked, the man's response unintelligible as the door clicked shut behind them.
Beside him, Dean let out an explosive sigh of relief that his name had not been called.
"Caleb should be here tonight. Said he was gonna stop in on his way back from that job a few states over." John hoped that he could get Dean's mind off of the surgery for at least a few minutes with a topic change; he could see how worked up Dean was getting. His son just grunted.
The door opened again, and this time, Dean was out of luck. John and Sam watched as he reluctantly stood up, heading toward the attractive brunette nurse with all the enthusiasm of a man walking up the gallows for his own hanging.
Leaning back in his chair and picking up a tattered copy of National Geographic, John settled himself in for the wait, praying for a skilled surgeon and good drugs for his boy.
The x-rays only took about 30 seconds. They checked his height and weight and then he was escorted to the large, airy room where his surgery would take place. It was painted a light blue, which he assumed was meant to help soften the atmosphere, but to him it made the already chilly medical décor even colder. The whole area reeked of antiseptic. His eyes fell on the large dental chair in the centre of the room, surrounded by all sorts of equipment and the biggest overhead light he'd ever seen.
"Go ahead and sit down," the pretty brunette nurse with the purple scrubs covered in smiling cartoon teeth said with a smile, gesturing to the dentist's chair. Before he could move forward she came up behind him and pulled off his leather jacket, leaving him in a blue, button-down shirt and white tee.
"Can you remove that as well, please?" she smiled, motioning towards the over shirt. "We need access to your arms."
The young hunter's Adam's apple bobbed as he tried to swallow, his mouth suddenly bone dry; he did not want to be here. Give him an angry spirit or blood-sucking vamp over a dentist's chair any day.
Once he had taken off his shirt and handed it to the nurse, he reluctantly parked himself in the large, pale green, vinyl chair. The giant chair made him look small, which just annoyed him further. He crossed his legs at the ankles, then immediately uncrossed them, trying to find a comfortable position.
Another nurse walked into the room, a red-haired woman in her mid forties, hung up an IV bag with a clear fluid inside it, then walked behind him. Dean could hear metal clanking on metal as she laid things out on what he guessed was a metal tray. He closed his eyes and took deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. This was ridiculous. He was a demon hunter for fuck sake! He hunted down and killed things that most people's worst nightmares wouldn't even touch, and here he was reduced to sheer terror and panic, because he needed a little dental surgery.
His eyes flew open as he jerked his arm away from the red-haired nurse in alarm as she jabbed at the crook of his elbow with a needle. He hadn't even noticed her tie the rubber tourniquet around his upper arm.
"What the hell, lady?" he snapped. "Give a guy a little warning!"
"Sorry," she drawled, and Dean couldn't detect even a hint of remorse in her voice. He liked the dark-haired nurse better. "I thought you were watching." She gripped his wrist and pulled his arm back toward her, renewing her efforts.
Dean winced as she dug around in his arm trying to find a vein. "Have you even done this before?" he snarled. She was practically butchering him here.
"Of course I have. You have small veins." She didn't even look up.
"Well, no one else has ever had this problem getting an IV in before," Dean shot back accusingly. At the rate she was going, he was going to have an enormous hole in his arm before the damn surgery even started.
Finally she sighed and stood up. "I'm going to have to get one of the doctors to put the IV in."
"Thank God for that." That comment did not earn him an endearing look from her.
The other nurse lowered the back of the chair so that Dean was lying down. Taking his hand in hers, she pegged a pulse ox clip on his left index finger. He watched as his oxygen levels appeared on the LCD screen at his side, along with a constant annoying blip blip blip blip ... Leaning forward, she pulled down the neck of his tee a little and stuck two small white electrodes on each side of his chest. After strapping a blood pressure cuff to his upper arm, the nurse walked around the chair and hovered behind his head, chatting quietly to the other nurse as she leaned slightly over his face and stuck a nasal cannula up Dean's unsuspecting nostrils. His whole body jumped at the intrusion, his heart racing as he felt the hiss of cool, fresh air flow up his nose and down into his lungs. "Sorry handsome, didn't mean to startle you, just a little extra oxygen," the nurse said, coming around to face him again. Gee thanks for the warning, Dean griped inwardly.
"You're all set up and ready to roll." She was way too cheerful for Dean's liking, although he was sure he'd appreciate her bubbly personality in another time and place. Just not when he was laid out on a dentist's chair about to have his teeth ripped from his gums.
"My name's Ella," the nurse said, introducing herself for the first time. "I'll be staying with you through your procedure. My job is to make sure you're well looked after and as comfortable as possible." She smiled again, her pearly white teeth lighting up her tanned face.
"Now, before we get started, I have to go over some things with you," she said, thanking the other nurse when she handed her the clipboard containing the information Dean had filled out in the waiting room. Ella took a minute to look it over before her eyes settled on her patient again.
"Okay dokey. So you're definitely Dean Winchester, 17 years old, you're here for removal of all four wisdom teeth."
Please don't remind me.
"Your father is here with you to make sure you're escorted home safely, and you have an allergy to penicillin," she rattled off, double checking everything on the form.
"And you're asthmatic; did you bring your inhaler with you?" she asked, and Dean nodded. It was in his jeans pocket. His dad had always drummed it into his head to carry it with him at all times after he'd suffered a severe attack when he was younger and nearly didn't make it. Why was she asking that anyway? Did she think he'd need it any time soon? Was it common for people with asthma to have some sort of complication with this type of surgery? What if...oh shit. Now he was crapping himself. He wanted this over with yesterday.
Ella could see the panic in the young man's face. "There's nothing to worry about Dean, we just like to make sure we know all the facts so we can keep on top of things. All you have to do is relax and it will all be over before you know it. Doctor Donnelly is the very best; he could do this in his sleep." She smiled at him reassuringly, patting his hand. "He's one of the best oral surgeons in the state."
"Yeah. Strangely, I'm not comforted by that at all," Dean answered, now tapping out a frantic rhythm on his thigh. He could hear the bleeping of his heart on the monitor, embarrassingly fast.
Nurse Ratchet came back in with a gray-haired, friendly-looking man in a white coat; this must be the doctor.
"I'm Dr. Ray," he said, extending his hand and smiling at his nervous patient. "I'm just going to get your IV started and Dr. Donnelly will be in in just a moment."
"Hallelujah," Dean said sarcastically as the doctor examined his butchered arm.
"We'll just insert the IV in your hand," he said, filling a syringe from a small vial. "I'm going to numb the area first." He slid the needle into the back of Dean's hand. The stinging sensation quickly faded as the numbing medication kicked in. This was more like it. He didn't even feel it as Dr. Ray inserted the IV.
"How's he doing? Is everything okay to get started?" the doctor asked.
"Yes, Doctor, everything's fine," Ella reassured the man, marking Dean's vitals down on the file in her hand.
"Right, then. Dean, let's get you hooked up to the happy juice." Dean watched as the IV line leading from a complicated-looking machine at his side was hooked to the port in his hand.
"There you go," Dr. Ray said cheerfully. "It'll be kicking in any moment now. All you have to do is relax, take deep breaths and think happy thoughts. This will all be over before you know it."
I feel normal, Dean thought. Not working yet.
"Hey there, Dean. I'm Dr. Donnelly," a young, thirty-something guy said in an Australian accent. Dean had to blink a few times to get his vision to clear. Everything was kinda blurry and his body felt light and floaty. A euphoric feeling was slowly building up inside him; it felt good. In fact, it felt pretty fucking fantastic.
"Looks like you're ready to get started, mate." He chuckled at the big, dopey grin on his patient's face. Dean was finding it harder and harder to keep his eyes open, so he settled for leaving them drooping at half mast.
"I'm gonna start with making sure your mouths nice and numb." Dean didn't reply. He was too sleepy and he could feel himself drifting off.
"Just relax and let yourself drift off," he heard Ella's voice say close to his ear. He could feel her soft hand stroking his forearm soothingly. He could also feel Dr. Donnelly poking around in his mouth and hear sucking noises and the doctor speaking with the two nurses, but he couldn't keep track of anything. He kept drifting off and then forgetting what he'd been thinking about seconds before. Everything just felt 'nice'.
Dean's eyes were closed and he was confused. He wasn't sure if he was going to sleep or waking up. He was sure that his eyes sure as shit didn't want to open, though, so he let them stay closed.
His mouth felt weird and dry, and swallowing was too much work.
He wasn't sure how long he laid there, floating blissfully between wakefulness and sleep – it could have been hours for all he knew – but he suddenly realized how quiet it was.
What happened to the nurses and the doctor? They were just here.
Someone was touching him then, and if he wouldn't have been so damn tired, he would've jerked in surprise. Fingers opened his mouth and he tasted the coppery tang of blood when something dragged on his tongue as it was removed from the back of his mouth.
"Ugh," he groaned as the fingers reached into his mouth again. Fucking doctors and nurses. Assholes. He managed to open his eyes to mere slits for about five milliseconds before they slid shut again.
"It's all over, Dean," Ella said, and Dean was thankful it wasn't the red-haired, sadistic nurse. Ella patted his shoulder when she'd finished removing what Dean had noticed was bloody gauze. "You did fine. I'm just putting some new gauze on your stitches to help with the bleeding. Those teeth were embedded pretty deep and Dr. Donnelly had to cut into your jaw to remove some bone fragments on the right side, but don't worry. Everything went just fine."
She was stuffing gauze back into his mouth, but Dean didn't really care anymore because he could barely move.
"Your father and brother are out there walking holes in our waiting area floor. Your procedure took longer than planned due to the problems with the right side and they're both a little agitated," she said, replacing the two cloth-covered ice packs to each side of his swollen face. "Do you want me to go get them now?"
"Mmmmhmm," was all he managed to slur, blood oozing from the corners of his mouth.
"Okay, honey. I'll be right back."
And then she was there again, and so were his dad and brother. Dean was seriously beginning to wonder if 'beaming people' to and from locations had suddenly become a widespread technology while he was under.
"Dean, open your eyes," Ella was coaxing, rubbing her knuckles lightly against his sternum. "It's time to wake up."
"Dean," Sam's voice said. "Wake up, man."
He was moving, then. The nurse was putting the chair back up so he was almost in a sitting position.
"Come on, Dean," John said, rubbing his hand through his boy's hair before trying to sit him forward by supporting his shoulders, while Ella removed the ice from the side of his face. "Let's get you sitting up."
He pried his reluctant eyelids open and looked around blearily as she and John moved him so he was sitting up, feet dangling off the side of the chair.
As soon as Ella let go of the side she was supporting he started tipping, so Sam parked himself next to him, his grip keeping Dean propped up.
"Let's give him some time," he heard. "I'll be back in a bit with a wheelchair."
Screw that! I'm not riding in any fuckin' wheelchair!
The door clicked shut as the nurse left, and Dean let his eyelids slide shut again.
Sam nudged him.
"How you doing?" he asked.
Dean just grunted in response, and Sam chuckled. "Awesome, huh?"
"Open your eyes, dude." Another nudge - his dad this time. Dean wanted to tell him to lay off, he'd just had freakin' surgery, but he didn't have the energy. All he wanted to do was lay down and go back to sleep.
Dean opened his eyes again when he realized he was going to puke, bile slowly creeping up his throat. He swallowed hard, knowing he'd be dry heaving since they had told him not to eat before surgery. Stay down, stay down, stay down.
His dad must have noticed his distress, because suddenly he shoved a pink kidney-shaped dish in front of Dean's face.
"The nurse said you might be nauseous," his brother supplied helpfully, as if Dean didn't already know that.
"Do you wanna lie back down?" John asked, concerned at his son's paleness.
Dean immediately starting tipping himself back to the side and John leapt forward to keep the descent slow enough so he didn't whack his swelling jaw on the back of the chair. He slid the small pillow under Dean's cheek and set the kidney bowl on the rolling table that sat next to the chair.
"Dean. Dean, look." The young hunter opened tired, green eyes yet again and John felt guilty for insisting he do it, even though he knew it needed to be done. "I'm setting the bowl here if you need to hurl, okay?" Dean shut his eyes and John took that as an 'okay, got it'.
He must have fallen asleep, because dad was shaking his knee, telling him to wake up, to open his eyes. Dean was becoming increasingly annoyed that nobody seemed to understand that he was tired. If he wasn't, he'd be awake! Why was that concept so hard for everyone to grasp?
"Go 'way," Dean managed to say, his mouth throbbing at the slightest movement.
"Dean, you've got to start waking up. We've been in here an hour and a half past the normal time, son. We're putting them behind schedule. Come on, dude. Just sit up and convince them that you're conscious enough to leave and you can sleep it off at the motel."
Sleep it off? Yeah, 'cause I'm going to feel so fucking good in the morning. I've been sliced and diced by the dentists from hell. He was definitely cranky.
"Dean." He was being pulled back up into a sitting position. Yes, Sam was definitely a jerk. "Just wake up long enough to get to the car, dude."
"Screw you," Dean mumbled, lifting a heavy arm to slap at Sam's hands. Instead, it turned out to be more of a bump and Sam easily pushed the wayward hand back down.
"I love you, too," Sam said sarcastically.
Dean could feel the world spinning and tried to lie back down, but his brother's grip wouldn't let him. So when he spewed all over the front of Sam's disgustingly preppy polo shirt, he didn't feel nearly as bad as he normally would have. He actually felt pretty satisfied - he didn't actually have to say 'I told you so'.
Sam had jumped up when Dean puked on him, his brother luckily not having much in his stomach since he hadn't eaten in twelve hours. But it was still enough to be nasty, and there was plenty of bile and blood to make up for what it lacked in digested food. He had to remind himself that Dean was just having a reaction to the anesthetic, that yelling at him right now would not be a good move. He turned on the water faucet, grabbed some paper towels, and started trying to clean the vomit from his shirt. At least it's not chunky, he thought.
When the nurse came back in a few moments later, having just barely missed the excitement, she immediately gave Dean some water to rinse out his mouth, telling him to spit into the kidney bowl. John felt like a jerk for not thinking of that.
With the taste of vomit mostly out of his mouth, Dean could taste blood in his throat. When Betsey (Dean could see her name tag now that his eyes were for the most part open) exchanged the soiled gauze in his mouth for clean, she told him he'd been lucky not to pull a stitch. It had increased the bleeding, though.
Sam almost cried with joy when a different nurse brought him a scrub shirt and a plastic bag to put his soiled one in. He quickly changed into it while Betsey's back was to him as she took care of his brother.
"You're going to need to buy some gauze squares," she was saying to John, since Dean was obviously too out of it to really be paying attention. "Fold them up, like so, and put one on each side. The pressure will help to stop the bleeding. If he's still bleeding after 3 days, give us a call."
"Okay," John acknowledged. He didn't tell her that they already had enough gauze to tend the wounded of the D-Day battle and still have some left over.
"His prescription for pain pills and antibiotics has already been called into the pharmacy you requested, so you can pick them up right away," she continued, stripping her latex gloves off and dropping them into the trash can. "Vomiting is fairly common after anesthesia, but I'm going to let him rest a little while longer."
Thankfully, Dean wasn't sick again, and he was a bit more alert when Betsey came back, pushing a wheelchair.
"'m findh," Dean said around his mouthful of gauze. "Don't needth that."
She looked at him piercingly and sighed.
"Okay. You have had more time than most to wake up. Just take it slow, all right."
"Don't worry, he will," John answered, accepting the white, plastic bag with a giant, smiling tooth on the front of it from Betsey.
"There's some pamphlets that have information aboutsigns to watch for and aftercare in there. The doctor also put his wisdom teeth in there in a separate bag. Some people like to keep them."
Dean stood up on shaky legs, his father hovering at his side ready to catch him if he started to fall over. Nausea rolled over him again, but he swallowed it back, his stitches tugging. He headed for the door, more slowly than he normally would have, but at least he was up.
"You can take that elevator down to the first floor. It's private, so you don't have to go through the waiting room," he heard Betsy say.
The short walk was exhausting, and he leaned into the corner of the elevator, allowing it to prop him up as he closed his eyes again.
"Are you okay?" Sam's worried voice this time. He just nodded.
When the final bleep sounded and the doors pinged open, John gripped his arm and Dean was actually grateful for it. By the time they got to the car, he was seriously questioning the intelligence of not just using the wheelchair. He felt like he was going to pass out, and when his dad released his arm to unlock the door for him, he wavered unsteadily. His stomach started churning again and he knew he needed to sit. Right the hell now.
"Open the freakin' door already," he snapped in irritation at his little brother.
"I am!" Sam shot back, pulling the creaking door open so Dean could get in. He collapsed into the seat with relief, a fresh kidney bowl in his lap in case he couldn't manage to keep from throwing up again. As he looked at the bowl, his annoyance grew. How are you supposed to hit this stupid frickin' thing?
When John started the engine, Dean sank back into the seat, instantly soothed.
Sam was talking, but Dean wasn't listening, and the next thing he knew, they were at the motel, Dad was waking him up and they were stumbling into the room. Dean dropped onto the bed and immediately rolled onto his side.
"Do you need a pain pill?" John asked. "I picked them up while you were sleeping."
"Nuh," Dean grunted.
"Are you sure? You should stay ahead of the pain."
"Go 'way." He felt his dad run a hand soothingly over his tousled hair, and then he was out.
Dean didn't remember much of that afternoon or early evening because he slept through most of it. Dad had woken him up at one point to force a pain pill into him, and he'd gone back to sleep immediately afterwards.
He was dearly wishing he could be asleep now, too, instead of sprawled on the permanently dirty linoleum of their motel room bathroom, waiting for the next round of vomiting to hit. This was definitely way worse than the original symptoms that led to the surgery.
"Dean? You okay in there? You need anything?" Sam asked after knocking and not receiving an answer.
"What do you think?" he snapped, careful to keep his mouth shut as much as possible. To his chagrin, his words came out slurred.
His jaw ached, the kind of ache where it was a warning that you needed another pain pill ASAP or you would regret it in the very near future. Unfortunately, he knew if he took one, it would be coming right back up to end its life in the toilet instead of his bloodstream.
He groaned as a fresh round of shivering hit him. Sam opened the door, popping his big, shaggy head in when he heard his brother's sound of misery.
"Dean, why don't you just go back to bed? You can puke in the garbage can. At least you'll be more comfortable. And warmer," his brother reasoned, squatting down next to him.
Dean considered his words for a moment then shook his head.
"I'm good here." Moving was definitely a bad idea.
Sam sighed, but stood and left. He returned shortly with a pillow and a blanket, which he gave to Dean. He left again and came back with a gel pack that he'd cooled in the mini-fridge that sat in the corner of the room.
"Here, it'll help keep the swelling down." Dean had burrowed into the blanket and didn't make a move to take the ice pack. "Okay, then. I'll put it here, in case you want it." Sam set it beside the sink.
When he left, Dean threw back the blanket and puked again.
"Oh. My. God."
John looked up from his research at his son, who was finally awake. He couldn't blame him, though; he'd been up all night vomiting, so it was no wonder he was tired. Dean gave a long, drawn out groan.
"I'm fucking dying." A pause. "I'm dead already, aren't I?"
"Not yet," John replied, grinning as he stood and pulled a bottle of water from the mini-fridge. He walked over to his first born and shook a Vicodin and an antibiotic into his palm from the orange, white-capped bottles. "Here ya go, Puffy."
Dean glared at him, but took the proffered pills and water. He winced when he swallowed, his stitches tugging painfully. He made a mental note that swallowing should be avoided for the time being, if at all possible.
"How bad is it?" he asked his father, who had seated himself on the edge of the other bed. At Dad's smirk, he knew it couldn't be good.
"Well, at least it's not permanent," Sam piped up from across the room, which didn't make Dean feel even remotely better.
"You're a bitch," he mumbled, rolling to his side but quickly returning to his original position. Lying on his sore jaw was definitely out of the question.
John picked up a box of gauze and a trash can and held them both out to Dean, who just stared at him blankly.
"What? I'm not gonna hurl, if that's what you're getting at. Jeez, dad, I am capable of keeping my stomach under control," Dean huffed. John snorted and bit down on his cheek to keep the laugh from exploding from his mouth. Dean, who had just spent the night puking, was claiming he had total control over his vomit reflex. Ha.
"Yeah, Dean," he replied sarcastically. "The garbage can is for the old gauze in your mouth and the gauze is so you can replace the old stuff."
Now that dad pointed it out, Dean noticed that he did have something stuffed in the back of his mouth. And once he noticed it, he also realized that he could taste blood. He was pretty sure that bloody-gauze-stuffed-in-your-mouth earned him another 15 notches on the Misery Scale.
"Maaaaan," he whined as he worked the right one out with his tongue. He was just about to spit it into the trash when John stopped him.
"No, don't spit!" he exclaimed. "You're not supposed to spit! It can dislodge the clots."
"I don't think I have any clots to dislodge," Dean growled when he pulled the bloody gauze from his mouth. "Ugh, that's disgusting."
"Dean, only you would bang that stripper in Buffalo and think that this was disgusting," Sam called from his perch.
John dropped the metal garbage can to the floor with a clunk when the second gauze pad dropped into it and handed his son the box. "Start folding, Casanova."
Ignoring his father and glaring over at Sam, Dean plucked a square from the box and folded it up into a thick pad.
"I was drunk. And you were supposed to stop me from doing something stupid." Dean chuckled at his unexpected pun and then carefully worked the gauze into place. His dad was already handing him the second square.
"I tried. But you assured me that 'Lolly Pop' was a fine, young woman, just working hard to get through med school," Sam answered dryly, raising an eyebrow. "And what else was it you said? That she just needed someone to listen to her and teach her some 'stress management'?"
"Sam, shut up. I seriously thought she'd given me something. Me and Big Dean were worried for awhile." Dean had finished with the gauze and thrown an arm over his eyes.
Sam almost choked on his tongue. This conversation had officially gone too far. Waaaay too far.
"I'm never ever goin' to the dentist again," Dean mumbled, starting to fall asleep again. "I don't care how much pain I'm in. They're all evil."
John and Sam exchanged glances.
"Okay, son, no more dentists," John said, reaching out to stroke a hand through the teenager's hair.
He wished he could protect his kids from anything that could cause them pain, but he knew that was impossible. For now, he was just grateful that this time, Dean's experience with the medical establishment was voluntary (for the most part) and for a reason that didn't involve life-threatening injuries.
He'd never admit it to Sam, but for the moment, he was going to enjoy the simple normalcy that the removal of Dean's wisdom teeth offered.