Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural.
"All right, Mr. Winchester, just tell me one more time. How did your brother get this injury?"
Sam grits his teeth, rubbing at the bridge of his nose, "We were just washing the dishes and we were kind of – kind of playing around and then the pan just slipped from my hand and it fell on his head."
The doctor nods slowly, running a hand through his hair with a shake of his head, "Mr. Winchester. Are you aware of the fact that your brother has suffered a very severe skull crack? Did you drop this pan from three stories up?"
Sam lets out a bark of laughter. Doctors like these, that interrogated their mouths dry even though they didn't really care, are what makes going to the hospital after serious injuries practically impossible. "It… it was a heavy pan, sir. Thick metal."
The doctor nods slowly again, but not before he sends Sam a slightly suspicious look. Sam folds his hands in his lap and smiles at him innocently.
"All right then," the doctor mumbles underneath his breath, "injury by… cooking materials." He adds the last part with a sigh of disbelief and a slightly irritated scribble on his clipboard. He looks at Sam like he wants to ask him if he likes lying to people who want to help his family, but Sam challenges the doctor silently by sending him a wordless glower.
"From the looks of it, Mr. Winchester, your brother will be up soon, but his state is unknowable at this point. He could have a headache, he could be in agonizing pain, or he may not even remember who he is."
Sam closes his eyes, praying that the outcome isn't the latter. Explaining to a man suffering from amnesia all about demons, spirits, ghosts, reapers, and all things supernatural is giving the young hunter shivers down his spine. Their hunts would be on hold for weeks, maybe even months.
"Thank you doctor." Sam mutters darkly, setting his elbows on his knees as he sits restlessly on his chair. His gaze doesn't leave his motionless brother the whole time, his fingers tapping meaningless rhythms on his skin.
"I'll… just leave you to him then," the doctor clicks closed his pen and heads for the door, his grip hesitating on the doorknob, "oh, and Mr. Winchester? Next time, just order takeout."
Sam ignores the doctor as he leaves the room with a heavy sigh, his stony gaze still firm on Dean. The machine beeps profusely along with the ticking of the clock. Sam sighs.
And he waits.
Why is Dean always the one getting in aggressive fights with demons and spirits and ending up in dire situations at the hospital? Sam is tired of being so overly protective and possessive of his accident-prone brother, but what else does he have other than worrying about the last remaining bit of family he had? He remembers the incident with the spirit vividly.
Sam had stayed at their motel room to restock some of their rock salt guns, Dean assuring Sam that he could handle this hunt on his own. He had called his brother's cell phone half an hour later, his voice breathless and urgent and oh-so-in-trouble, pleading for Sam to come and help him because he was not fighting the expected single demon, but a whole team of them. Sam had arrived at the scene just to see Dean being telekinetically thrust against the wall, his head taken the major force from the blow.
Sam wants to tell himself that Dean has been through worse, and that Sam is just worrying himself dead again like always, and that if Dean could see him now he'd be laughing his ass off.
The machine is suddenly speeding up.
Sam shoots up from the chair, immediately to his brother's side and pushing the ALERT button to summon the hospital staff hard enough to break it. Two nurses burst through the door to witness the scene before they rush forward and knock Sam out of the way.
And just as the nurses are yelling commands at each other and tossing equipment back and forth, chargers in one hand and gloves secured on the other, Dean wakes up coughing violently.
Sam pushes the nurse out of the way, grabbing one of his brother's shoulders and massaging it swiftly. "Dean!" he shouts, kneeling down at his bedside. "Oh, thank god, I thought I was going to lose you–"
Dean's coughing promptly turns into vomiting, and before anyone can grab him a bag, Dean has effectively ruined the scratchy hospital sheets. The nurses gasp, hurriedly carrying it off the bed and leaving Dean clad in his crinkly hospital gown.
"Dean, don't worry about the demons, I took care of them–" Sam rambles, blinking through the tears that had threatened to fall earlier.
"Can I get some painkillers over here, doc? My head is throbbing like a friggin' construction site!"
Sam takes a step back. It wasn't the statement or the sudden exclamation of pain, but the way that Dean's eyes had made contact with Sam's when he had asked imploringly for medicine that worries Sam.
"Dean…?" he attempts hesitantly.
"Can't you hear me? I need some meds!" Dean rubs soothingly at his scalp, cracking his neck with a groan.
Sam puts a shoulder on the older man's shoulder, staring into his eyes, "Dean, who am I?"
Dean stops his whining, his eyebrows furrowed at the unorthodox question, "Who are you?" he repeats puzzlingly. Sam nods urgently and Dean looks him up and down, "Uh… from the way you're dressed, I'm guessing hospital janitor."
Sam feels his insides drop about two hundred miles, his brain shriveling up. He sinks back down onto his chair, rubbing his palms into his eyes and mumbling the word no in a litany of despondence.
"Uh… uh, sir? I'm guessing from that little meltdown you're not the janitor, but look, no offense meant–"
"Dean. Dean, stop it." Sam finally mumbles, taking a deep breath and rubbing at the nape of his neck.
"Dean?" the older man repeats perplexedly.
Sam wants to bang his forehead repeatedly against the wall. And then maybe he wants to do the same to Dean. This is not what they needed right now.
"Your name, your name is Dean!" Sam explains hastily, "You've been in an accident and you've had a head injury, but don't worry, it'll be all right, okay?"
Dean furrows his eyebrows. The way Sam is talking sounds a lot like Sam is trying to comfort himself out of this nightmarish situation, and Dean is still very, very confused. And goddamn hungry, too.
"Come again?" he asks calmly, tilting his head a bit towards the stranger.
"An accident, Dean! You hit your head and you can't remember anything anymore!" Sam explains heatedly.
Dean scratches his head, letting out a low whistle, "Wow, never thought something like that would happen to me, it's like winning the lottery or finding a friggin' ghost in your attic."
Sam cringes, "Look, why don't you get dressed and use the bathroom and sort yourself out?" he suggests, helping Dean off the bed. It isn't until Dean is shuffling over to the curtain-enclosed bathroom in the corner of the room that Sam realizes that the hospital gown his brother is donning is not very concealing in the back.
"I – hello." Sam mumbles, his hand sliding over his mouth as his eyes fall upon the unhidden patch of skin deep down Dean's back.
"Something wrong?" Dean asks, his head cocking over his shoulder slightly with raised eyebrows.
"Uh – uh, just watch your skin, Dean."
The older man peers down his back, chortling when he sees the situation. "Oops," he laughs good-heartedly before he disappears behind the curtain. Sam shoves some of Dean's clothes underneath the curtain helpfully.
A minute passes, and Sam shoots up to the curtain once he hears the toilet flush to help Dean back onto his bed. The rings on the curtain rod screech noisily as Dean hobbles away, cracking his neck and rubbing at his head.
"So, my name really is Dean."
Sam raises his eyebrows as he settles his brother back onto the bed. "How did you confirm this?"
"Well, I seem to be the type of person to write their name on their underwear!" Dean states with a bark of laughter.
"Look," Sam begins urgently, brushing off the comment of Dean's underwear, "we have got to get you your memory back. Dean, do you remember anything? Do you remember my name?"
Dean groans as he adjusts himself on the mattress and frowns as Sam looks urgently into his eyes. "Nope." He says bluntly, throwing his hands up, "All I know is that my head hurts."
Sam puts a hand on his brother's shoulder's comfortingly, "Your head will be taken care of in time, all right? Just listen to me, we need to get you your memories back! My face doesn't ring any bells?" Sam sticks his face into his brother's like a bee buzzing around someone's eyes infuriatingly, craning his neck in the process.
Slowly a smile forms on Dean's lips, "Let me take a guess here. Jack?"
Sam furrows up his eyebrows. "What? No!"
Dean snaps his fingers, "You looked like a Jack. Uh – Mark?"
"Okay, that's enough!" Sam says hurriedly, rubbing at his temples, "My name's Sam."
"As in Samantha?" Dean inquires with a crooked smile. Sam smiles through his teeth, somewhat pleased that Dean at least still has his childlike cheekiness. He may not remember his name or what he and his brother ate for dinner last night, but right now, Sam's all right with just Dean's quirky annoying habits.
"No, as in Sam." Sam grits out, nodding curtly towards his brother.
The older man chuckles, playing with the mattress. "As in Sammy?" he cocks his head with a grin.
"It's Sam." Sam repeats firmly, but their conversation is interrupted by an abrupt ringing from his pant's pocket. "One second." He mutters to Dean and gropes around in his pocket to retrieve his cell phone.
"Hey, Sam," Bobby's voice sounds through the receiver, "I tried calling Dean's phone but he didn't pick it up."
"Yeah…" Sam's gaze wanders over to Dean, who's staring around at the hospital room interestedly. "Yeah, Dean doesn't have his phone with him."
"Well, at least I got one of you. There's a real promising hunt down in Alabama, just in case you two wanna check it out–"
"Uh, Bobby?" Sam mumbles, shuffling towards the corner of the room and out of his brother's earshot, "We're, um, we're not in any condition to be taking hunts right now."
"What's wrong?" Bobby asks immediately.
Sam runs a hand down his face with a deep sigh, "Dean's… Dean got attacked by some demons and had a small… a small head injury."
Bobby's silent for some time on the other line, breathing quietly into the receiver before he finally growls, "How small?"
"It's… it's just… it's complicated, Bobby."
Sam sighs, "He can't remember anything anymore," he tells him quietly, "Bobby, everything that's happened here is so overwhelming and I could really use some help."
"I sure as hell am not running over to wherever you may be right now! If you want help, Sam, then come see me, all right?"
"I… fine. Dean and I'll be over soon… as least as soon as this hospital lets us."
He frowns when he hears Bobby tut sharply from the other side of the line, "Breaking out of a hospital never seemed to be an issue to you before."
"Maybe not for me and the old Dean, but I think the new Dean is so – so innocent and peaches and cream that breaking out of a hospital is like stealing from a homeless man." Sam barks.
"Well, it's 'bout time the new Dean learns the ways of hunters or you'll never be a hunter again. Amnesia is not a cold, Sam! He won't just… get over it."
Sam sighs, looking at Dean from the corner of his eyes, "All right. We'll get out."
The younger man hangs up the phone instantly, stuffing it in his pocket and sitting on the edge of Dean's bed awkwardly. Strange as it was, Dean in his current state is practically pure. If he wants to, Sam knows that he could meld his brother into the infallible sibling that every man dreams of, but he knows that Dean deserves to at least know what and who he was down to even the most gruesome and annoying detail.
"So," Dean begins, shrugging, "are you my boyfriend or whatever?"
"What?!" Sam repeats, eyes widening, "why the hell would you think that?"
Dean huffs, "Well, you kept on touching my arm!"
Sam rubs at his forehead, "No, we're not boyfriends. Drop the boy, all right?"
The older man winks flirtatiously, "It's a shame," he tells him, "you're not that shabby looking."
Sam freezes. So Dean's already making himself into his old, flirt-with-everything-that-breathes self, and as relieved Sam is that he doesn't have to teach Dean how incredibly coquettish he is, the purity sure hadn't lasted long. And then there was also the fact that they were related.