Clears throat I don't own anything, but the mistakes…as usual. I set this story in Season 1, because I just love Season 1. But you in your own mind can set it anytime you want. I had this brief flash that I should continue this story, I don't know, make it 2 chapters, but I think that it won't be necessary. I mean no one wants to see what happened later, right?
What was before doesn't matter, what is now is just this:
Freaking cold. Shaking inducing cold. Cold that numbs you and leaves you tense.
And wet. Slippery wet.
"Sammy! Son of a bitch! Sam!!"
And it smelled. Dead fish, sun dried seaweed and salt.
And it was loud, just a few inches from his left ear. So loud and so far away.
"Sam, hey." So soft and so quiet.
He could feel the wet, slippery pebbles cutting into his right cheek. Some were smooth, just caressing him; others were pointy, digging themselves into his skin. There was something else right in front of his nose…something slimy and razor sharp.
"Sammy, hey, O.K."
He could feel a touch on his arms, feel himself being lifted up a little, felt someone's big, strong hands holding him for a second then turning him onto his side and laying him back to those pebbles. He missed them in the short time that they weren't cutting him…one pebble pressing right into his cheekbone…yeah, maybe he didn't miss them all that much.
The sound surrounding him was so far away but so near, he though he could drop in it and never climb back up. A whoosh of air, a slip-slide of heavy boots and those damn rocks crushing beneath someone's boots.
"Sam, come on."
He was drowning; he knew that, he knew it and it hurt. It hurt so bad, he thought death would be a welcome outcome. Pressure…hurt. The weight on his chest…hurt. No room to breathe, no space to live.
He couldn't feel his body; it was like being stripped away from his weight, his bones. He couldn't feel his head, all that was there was a buzz, that seemed to intensify when he tried to think. There was no air, just a feeling of being stuck in vacuum. His lungs were nonexistent, or so he thought.
All there was, was a steady, rapid beating of his heart, it didn't matter that it was situated in his throat at the moment. A wet, trembling finger made its way to his neck, searching for that heart. He wanted to call out that his heart was not there, that it was somewhere near his Adam's apple or someplace, but he couldn't even moan.
He could feel water; he could feel those God damned pebbles that were doing some serious damage to his ribs right about now. And that slimy thing trying to crawl right up his nose. And that hand on his back that was going to push through anytime now. Any second now.
One hard slap.
It hurt, when all he saw was darkness. Other things, outside things were just slight noises that lulled him into an even darker place.
And then the punches started. Somewhere along the way the slaps, that stung, became punches that hurt. Hard and unrelenting.
"Sammy, come on…"
Two hard punches and he saw surface again. He could feel the first waves of water coming from deep within him. Up his throat, down his chin, up his nose, down his lips. Up to his eyes, down his cheeks…oh no, those were tears.
He didn't know what hurt more, the feeling of drowning or the feeling of all that water coming up where he was certain water shouldn't be coming from.
"Sammy, 's O.K. That's it." near his ear, dripping in it, drowning down the panic that was engulfing him.
More punches, just one after another. On his back, between his shoulder blades…yeah bruises were a definite yes. If he didn't know better, he would think he was being tortured. Someone was trying to punch his spine straight through his chest. And that was just…wrong.
He coughed. It was all he could do, all that his body was able to do. He felt the touch of a hand squeezing his shoulder, holding him down on his side. He tried to get up, to get away from the pressure of coughing, but the grip was too strong. The rocks were digging themselves into his ribs, he could count them all and the water was still pouring out from every hole in his body. It felt like he was leaking…a damaged water pipe. He coughed.
He clenched his eyes shut, trying to hold in the tears that were already starting to leak, trying so hard to concentrate on breathing, but air was no where in sight. Water was all that remained, all that he could feel, all that he could taste, all that he could breathe. That God awful, salty, cold water.
"Sammy, that's it. Cough it all out. Even the fish."
He mentally cringed, what fish, Dean, what fish? Oh, he knew it was Dean, who else would talk about fish when his brother was drowning? Only Dean.
O.K. so maybe it wasn't that bad, Dean was talking about fish after all. So maybe he'll live. But it just hurt so badly, that pressure of not being able to breathe, the need to and the panic of not being able to draw in air, when every nerve in your body screams for it. Needs it, demands it with pain…and you can't even lift a finger.
The punches gently turned into slaps. No, not slaps, the hand was just there…on his back. Resting there, so easy, so gentle, so warm.
The hand moved to his forehead, swiping away his, wet, cold hair.
He knew Dean wasn't deliberately trying to deafen him, but the soft calling of his name was doing exactly that.
"O.K., 's O.K., you just lay here for a second. Shhhh. Just breathe, O.K." He felt the hand sliding up and down his back, ironing out the panic that settled in him. Helping him breathe, giving him back that almost forgotten feeling on how to draw in air.
He laid there; like a log. Almost dead in a way. His muscles were aching, his throat felt raw, his eyes were stinging, his nose was leaking, his hair was all over the place, wet strands of it falling into his eyes. He saw what that slimy, creepy thing was…fresh seaweed. Disgusting.
He tried to get up, pushed weakly at Dean and finally managed to sit. Now that the pebbles stopped torturing his ribs, they found a new job of torturing his behind. He shifted a little and looked at Dean.
"Sammy? You O.K.?"
Dean heard the gravely sound coming from his brother's mouth.
"Just don't talk for a while. O.K? Alright? Sam?! "
He nodded. Even though Dean let him sit up, he knew he would get in a whole new world of trouble if he would talk.
And he really didn't want to talk. All he wanted to do was breathe. Finally. Breathe. He was drinking down the night air like water…soft, salty air.
He pulled up his long legs, his wet jeans constricting them and putting pressure on his bruised knees he carried from their last hunt. He circled his arms around them and hugged himself. The hand on his back slid up on the back of his neck and pushed his head down between his hands and he breathed.
"That's it Sam, deep breaths. Shhhh, you're O.K., 's O.K."
He tried deep, but it didn't go so well. The only effect deep had, was that it sparkled the burn in his throat and made him cough again.
"Cough it all out, that's it. Just calm yourself, 's O.K."
He tried calm, and that just got him to panic more. This, almost getting drown, sucked.
"God this," a breath, "sucks."
"Yeah well, Sammy…" Sam had really freaked him out this time. Going and getting himself nearly drowned…that is just bad for big brothers blood pressure.
He sat there for a while, breathing in the salty air. He coughed some more and raised his hand to wipe off his face; the tears he didn't want Dean to see, but was pretty sure he already had seen, the water and the spit, he knew his chin was covered in, the snot he felt hanging from his nose.
And only then did he raise his head which made a whole new pain come to life. His head was killing him and alongside the burn in his throat and the ringing in his ears, he thought he was gonna die.
His line of vision was a deep black sea that expanded for miles and miles. There was a pier on his left, long stretch of rotten wood. The waves crushing into the shore were moving those stupid little pebbles. Up and down, up and down and he thought he would throw up.
When he swallowed down a little too harsh, he could feel his throat tore up a bit, but that was just his imagination. Right? Ugh, and it tasted rotten, salty and…oh those were the fish Dean was talking about… fishy.
"Ugh, disgusting." He spit out the saliva that contained the residues of the sea.
"Well what did you think, drinking all that sea water? 's not exactly apple juice."
"Uhhh, no." he spit on the floor again.
He felt Dean's hand on his back, his fingers lightly scraping his neck. Almost as if he was checking for his pulse.
"'m heart's in 'm throat."
"You're looking," a breath, "for my pulse," a breath, "you'll find it somewhere in my throat."
"Nah, I founded it right where it belongs. A little too fast, but you'll be fine."
Sam could feel Deans fingers pressing at his pulse point and the pressure was a distraction of a kind. A weird, warm distraction from all the pain of having to expand his bruised chest after it was in no-motion for a while.
"So what's the verdict, doc?" his breathing calmed down some, but then the shaking started.
"You'll live. Throat'll be sore for a while, but you'll live."
"What 'bout my lungs?"
"You weren't in the water that long Sam, I shot the bastard as soon as he pushed you down. You just drank some, 's all."
"It doesn't feel like it. It feels like I drank the whole bay." he spat again, the spit colliding with a small crab, that was probably late for his dinner.
"How do you feel?" Dean looked at Sam's face, and ran his hands down Sam's torso, checking Sam's eyes for any indication of pain. When he touched Sam's ribs, Sam flinched.
"They were killing me, dude."
"Alright…" he rolled his eyes.
The sound of the waves crashing into the beach and the pounding in his head were playing with the nasty taste of salt water in his mouth. And all that was a deadly combination to his already sensitive stomach.
"Aw, Sammy, crap."
He got just enough warning so that he could shift his body behind Sam, letting him settle on his chest. He listened helplessly as the kid vomited his brains out. His hand shot up to Sam's forehead to hold him steady. It was hard holding Sam like that, his hand kept sliding off Sam's wet forehead…but he tried his best to hold her there. No need for a concussion too.
"Let it out, Sam…" were words whispered into his ear.
Well what the hell else have I been doing than letting it all out? Through my mouth, eyes, nose…God even my ears. Sam thought to himself when he tried to support his weight on his shaking hands. He was clutching the pebbles in his hand, making them his lifeline. He used to hold Dean's hand, but now…he's too old to do that, now. So he held to those hate inducing pebbles, and started to love them, now.
Dean's knees were a steady pressure on his ribs, adding new pain to the already tender spot, but the pain was…calming in a way. Dean's bony knees were familiar, and he focused his mind on that.
When he felt Dean's hand sneak around to put pressure on his chest, he was so grateful he could scream, if he could. So he moaned and leaned forward into that hand that he knew would never let him fall.
"God, that sucked."
"Yeah, well. Better out that in, right?"
Dean patted Sam on his chest and let him go. As his hand brushed over Sam's stomach, Sam gasped.
"Sam?" he widened his eyes to get a better view on his brother.
"Aw, God, Dean, what did you do!?" he collapsed on the floor, mere inches from his vomit and hugged his stomach with his hands, trying to hide the painful spot.
"'s my stomach."
Sam didn't even get a chance to reply when he felt his hands being removed, gently but persistently and turned around. He tried to get up but Dean's hands were pushing him down. He tried to fight them, but his brother shushed him: "Lay your skinny ass on the ground, Sam."
When his hand touched Sam's stomach, Sam flinched again.
"The thing held me under water." he muttered to the stars above his head.
"It touched you? On your stomach? I didn't see that."
"Yeah…well…it's enough that I felt it." he coughed some more and laid back down when Dean pushed him. He was exhausted. All he wanted to do was to crawl in his bed and never get up again.
The pebbles resumed their job and nagged him on his back, but all he could think about was doing some serious damage to the thing they were after.
He could feel Dean's hands tugging his hoodie up to his chest and then those semi warm hands were probing at his stomach. He reached for his hoodie and shirt and held them on his chest. He didn't know what else to do with his hands; if he held them by his sides, he was touching Dean's boots or his own vomit. So holding his hoodie…yeah obviously the best choice.
"'m fine Dean, really." he flinched when Dean's hand brushed his ribs again.
He tried to get up again, but Dean just pushed him down again: "Would you just stay down!" It was anger and panic mixed together to make frustration.
All he could do was to stare up at the stars and let Dean 'examine' him. He just fell into a living hell, while his brother was doing his 'doc act'. Frustrating.
"Aw, shit, Dean. Watch it!" he almost flew out of his skin, off the ground, when he felt Dean's hand brush against something on his stomach. It freaking hurt.
"Wow, what's this?" His hand skimmed along a wine red hand print. It was so small, that he didn't even notice it before. It looked like it was burned into Sam's flesh.
"Huh? What?" He tried to get up but Dean's hand pushed him down on the floor. Again: "Sam, for crying out loud…"
The look Sam gave him…all wide eyed and angry…almost knocked him on his ass.
"The thing left you a gift, Sammy."
"You have its hand print above your navel."
The red, small hand print above Sam's navel was a really neat addition to Sam's long history of weird injuries. Or was it a paw print?
Well, whatever the hell it is, it's not deadly, it's just gonna hurt tomorrow. Great, Sam in pain...fun times.
Sam groaned and closed his eyes. If nearly drowning wasn't enough now they have to worry about a stupid hand print. Infection? Maybe. Getting a freaking cold out of this? Very, very likely.
"Crap." He muttered and cowered his face with his hands.
"So it held you down?"
Sam looked a little to his right to see Dean staring down at him, crouching near his hip, his hand still on his stomach and he nodded: "Yeah." He could still remember the force the thing used…the pressure, the pain…he coughed again.
Dean could feel Sam's quivering stomach muscles, strung out like a piano wire, tense and warm. He pressed a little harder into Sam's stomach waiting to see, hear if he would be sick again. Nothing, not even a flinch. Good.
"O.K. Does it hurt or only if I touch it?"
"Only if you can't hold your fingers to yourself." He plopped his head back to the seaweed he knew was under his head. He could feel it, smell it, God even taste it.
"'s this all? How are you feeling? Anything more I should know about?" All seriousness now and Sam's heart sank. This tone of voice was reserved only for times when Sam was either in trouble or almost on the doorstep of death.
"That bad, huh?" he spoke through his hands that were once again shielding him from Dean's gaze.
"'s not bad, Sam. You're gonna be fine. It's just a simple question. You know that the things touch isn't deadly, you read that to me. Remember?"
"Yeah, I remember. And I feel fine." he coughed some more…it was like his body was not communicating with his brain.
"Yeah, Sammy, fine. Come on man, seriously."
"I don't know. 'm fine."
"Come on let's get you to a doctor." He let go of Sam's stomach and pulled down his hoodie. Standing back up he offered Sam his hand.
"Dean, we can't."
The tear streaked face Sam held at the moment and the shiny eyes told him everything he needed to know. He looked away from the look Sam was giving him and rested his eyes on the water. The moon was making a path on the black sea, a path from where their latest hunt came from. It was so bright, like they were in the middle of the day.
The stars? They were nothing but a few drops in the sky. If Dean was a poet, he would have described the stars shining on the deadly calm sea as Sam's eyes. He saw stars sometimes in Sam's eyes. Stars that cut and tore at his soul. Stars that told Dean, Sam wouldn't back away from a hunt. It was burned into him…injuries or no. Sam was just so much like their Dad...it hurt sometimes.
"O.K., let's go hunt that son of a bitch. Come on Sam, get up."
He pulled Sam up on his feet, supporting him throughout the process. When Sam swayed a little into the sound of another wave crashing, he extended his arm and grabbed hold of Sam's hoodie.
Sam was wet, dripping wet. And cold probably. Even if the air outside was freaking burning, he knew Sam was cold. The sea was cold, and almost drowning…that brings out a different kind of cold.
"Here Sam, take my jacket."
"You don't have to…"
"Sam, please just take it."
"Alright." He took the offered jacket, the leather enveloping him even though he was a little taller than Dean, but still…he hid himself in Dean's jacked and coughed some more. It wasn't enough to keep him from shaking, but the warm air in combination with adrenalin still surging through his veins would warm him right up.
"Don't even say it, Dean."
"Whatever you were about to say. Just don't." spitting on the ground.
"You…I wasn't gonna say anything."
"Sure Dean, whatever."
He pulled free of Dean's grasp and staggered down the beach.
"Come on, Granny," he came after Sam and got a hold of his elbow, "you'll be fine."
"Sure Dean, after I drank almost half of the sea, 'm just peachy."
"Don't be overdramatic, Sam."
"But you just said…"
"Let's go hunt the son of a bitch, yeah."
"My middle name, Sammy." smirk.
"Sure, yeah." smile.
They staggered down the beach, with the sea on their right and the rotten pier at their back.
And the stars? They were still in Sam's eyes in that never ending greenness.
And the moon? It settled in Dean, making him wanna kill that son of a bitch that hurt Sam even more.
And the dark sea? It swallowed the thing after Dean shot it…straight in the heart.
That's what it was and what happened later doesn't matter.