Dirty Laundry

Summary: AU. Dean beats the local bikers at pool and refuses a rematch…to Sam's detriment, and an unlikely ally steps into the fray.

Set sometime in S2, just after Bloodlust.

Dedicated to my usual crowd of great readers and anyone else that doesn't mind being suckedin...to the LIMP SAM!

Warnings: Swearing. Blood, blood….oh, and more blood. Sam's obviously, but then I'm sure I don't need to point that out…

A/N: Not my best piece I'm afraid, and full of more holes than my socks, especially because it surely won't take you long to figure out who helps the brothers. But I was oncall last night and I thought I'd give my muse a shot. Pardon the pun. Best to say that this is purely for a spot of Sam bashing so don't expect much of a plot!

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Money was the key motivator, closely followed by Sam's desperation at being down to his last clean pair of jeans. The Laundromat at the last town they passed through had been closed due to a fire, but by the time they'd arrived in this particular middle of nowhere shithole they'd fast ran out of money. The Impala had drunk it, that was Dean's excuse and a pretty good one it had to be said. But the situation was far worse than that. Whilst Sam had one clean pair of jeans left, Dean had resorted to turning his last pair of boxers inside out to increase wear time. Just the thought of it had Sam's six foot four inch frame scrunched up against the passenger door, as far away from his brother as he could get.

Though he had to admit that despite Dean's disgusting eating habits, and non-existent table manners, he was usually quite the clean freak when it came to the actual wearing of clothes. After all, he had to keep the ladies happy.

And since there was no way Dean would be caught dead washing his own clothes in the motel room bath tub, and there was definitely no way Sam was touching his brother's dirty underwear either – call him old fashioned- a retreat to the local bar and a few games of pool was in order. They needed an injection of cash anyhow, and soon.

In truth it wasn't their only problem; though they were gradually dealing with their father's death Sam still often felt shut out by his brother, and the recent events with Lenore hadn't helped any. In fact Sam still found himself mourning the loss of his brother as well as his father.

He decided to just get on with things; at this stage it was the only way.

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"I believe that's Game, Set and Match gentlemen," Dean swept the cue to one side with a charming flourish and grabbed up the wad of cash from the table. "Sure has been a pleasure." He couldn't help but thumb through the notes with glee.

Sam grinned to himself, shaking his head slightly. It was on the tip of his tongue to point out that the term Game, Set and Match was usually applied during the more civilised game of tennis, or a half decent spy novel, but he figured Dean really couldn't care and this wasn't exactly the time. He'd been on a roll tonight, and apart from the initial setup had won every game. By Sam's calculations they had enough money to see out of the end of the month without having to run another credit card scam, so he wasn't about to complain.

The tall hairy biker snarled at his cocky opponent. "At least give me the chance to win my money back."

"Sorry man. I'm bushed; time to hit the hay." Dean grinned and glanced over at his little brother. "'Come on Sammy, move ya ass. Let's go."

Dean swung his gaze back to the disgruntled biker, a small smirk on his face. "Nother time maybe." He had no intention of coming back to this shitty bar and they knew it. It was little more than a shack of rotting wood consisting of one small room and should have been condemned years ago. Even Dean had standards when it came to drinking establishments.

Sam was sat in the corner of the bar, pretending to be engrossed in his laptop, but Dean knew better. His brother was very much aware of what was going on around him, and Dean could tell by the slight tense way in which he held himself that he'd already picked up on the changing atmosphere.

Dean turned when he suddenly felt crowded from all sides, as several large guys stepped into the dull light cast over the pool table.

"Ooookkaayyy, maybe you didn't hear me the first time…" Dean began, but he'd got it all wrong. Their focus was elsewhere.

"Oh I heard ya," the sound of a scuffle behind him followed by a weapon being drawn caught Dean's attention. "Pretty sure your friend did too."

Dreading what he'd see, Dean slowly turned back to find Sam being held tightly between two huge bikers that looked like they stepped straight off the front cover of Big Hairy Assed Bikers Monthly.

Where in hell did they come from? Christ sakes they moved fast!

Just like their leader, the guys had the requisite piercings, tattoos and long beards, and completed the image with the standard black studded leather clothing that smelled like they'd been wearing it since the day they were born, and probably had. Remembering that due to his own laundry issues he was wearing the same socks four days on the trot, Dean resisted the hypocritical urge to wrinkle his nose in disgust.

Above the smell of sweat and unwashed bodies, there was another scent; one Dean had come across only a few times before in his life, given that hunting tended towards being a more nocturnal activity.

Sun block cream? Dean shrugged it off. He had more important things to worry about as he noticed several things with some trepidation. Firstly, the men were both impossibly tall, taller than Sam in fact and not to mention broader; each seemed to emanate an unnatural strength as they easily manhandled the kid in their grasp. One of them had a cruel grip in Sam's hair, forcing his head back in almost neck-snapping proportions. Which led Dean on to his next worrying observation; Sam was clearly scared and equally clearly in a great deal of discomfort as he struggled uselessly against his captors. The bikers looked completely unconcerned about their prisoner's well being, and even tightened their already painful grip.

"Dean…" he rasped out and Dean's eyes narrowed in barely concealed anger.

"S'ok Sammy." Dean replied in a deceptively bored voice, "they wouldn't dare hurt …sonofabitch!"

A loud shot rang out and Sam screamed in pain, would have fallen if not for the tight hold of the two bikers.

Sam hung by his arms in their grip and everyone in the room heard him as he tried desperately to quieten his sobs of pain. Warm blood spilled down his leg as his body shook from head to toe, eyes blinking rapidly, and Dean could see he was already going into shock.

And who wouldn't? The bastard kneecapped him!

The hand was back in Sam's hair and once again wrenching his head back so that Dean could now see the pain and suffering in his eyes.

Another soft click and the pool guy almost casually crossed the room, this time to jam the barrel of his gun into Sam's good knee.

"What's it to be boy? Do I plug 'im again? Fill him slowly full of holes at point blank? Could be fun."

"Whoa, hold on a second…" Dean raised his hands in a placating manner, dread filling his stomach at the raw fear flashing through his little brother's eyes, but at the same time a small part of him was giving Sam a standing ovation; his kid brother now also looked angry as hell and was using that to keep his dignity intact by staying silent. It was only a matter of time before Sam exploded, and Dean would have his opportunity...except...

...the whole room seemed to erupt with laughter, the flash of white, and heat, and fangs, fangs growing in length as the laughter deepened, and Dean's heart plummeted. This was no ordinary bar, he decided as he glanced at his surroundings. This was a godamned vampire's nest.

State the friggin' obvious why doncha!

One glance at Sam's face, eyes clenched shut and frighteningly pale, confirmed his kid brother was in too much pain by now, which was probably just as well because one of the vamps holding him up was gently scraping his teeth and tongue along the side of Sam's neck.

They were outnumbered and, as Dean felt the loss of his weapon yanked from the waistband at the small of his back, completely outgunned. Even above the evil laughter, Dean could still hear his brother's breathing as he tried to meditate his way through the agony, just like Dean had taught him many years ago.

Way to go Sammy, Dean thought sadly, wishing he could see his sibling's eyes if only to offer what little comfort he could. Can't believe he's still fighting for me after all the shit I put him through.

Not quite ready to give up, Dean suddenly smiled brightly.

"You guys wanna rematch? No problem." And watched from the corner of his eye as the pool guy nodded slowly. Dean reached carefully for his cue once more, not entirely sure how far he was going to be able to take this before…

Dean wanted to tear him apart with his bare hands. He wanted to rip his throat out and force it up his ass. He wanted to do a lot of things...

...when a second retort barked out, wrenching another strangled cry from the youngest Winchester.

It was too much for Sam as he collapsed, panting and sobbing, and this time the men let him fall. Sprawled out face up on the bar room floor, blood pumping from both ruined knees, Sam rolled his head from side to side whimpering softly, tears running down the side of his face, and Dean prayed for Sam's own good that he'd just pass out.

Plan aborted in the wake of his brother's pain – they'll take him to pieces before they let him die - Dean held the cue pool out at arm's length, adopting a non-threatening posture, no longer cocky or self-assured. He reflected bitterly that it probably wouldn't have worked anyhow, but at least they'd have gone down fighting. He still could and maybe Sam would be safe...not a chance. Dean braced himself for the worst, whatever that may be…and was somewhat shocked when pool guy passed his gun to one of the men watching over Sam... then picked up his own cue.

He's serious about this!

Approaching the table and sweeping a hand gently, almost lovingly over the beer-stained felt, the guy grinned, showing every tobacco stained fang.

"Let's play," he growled.

And so the game began….again.

It was surreal; here he was playing pool with vampires, and his little brother was bleeding to death on the floor.

Whether he won or lost, the brothers weren't walking out of here alive.

Screwed?

Oh yeah I think so…

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He watched from the shadows of the parking lot as the brothers entered the bar. It had taken him a little over a few hours to work his way free from his bonds, anger fuelling his struggles against the ropes. Whereas before he'd felt sheer unadulterated fury, now he felt calm, composed. He'd tracked Lenore and her family as far as he could but they'd been quick to make their getaway, and he soon lost the trail. The bitch was too clever. But he'd caught wind of another nest holed up in the middle of nowhere, and the adrenalin rush had been too much to resist.

Life had thrown many surprises at him over the years, including his induction to the world of hunting, but when he caught sight of the famous Winchester brothers walking freely into the nest he was fucking stunned.

Surely they knew what this place was; surely they hadn't just waltz into a bar completely run by vampires without so much as a wooden stake or an axe to their name?

When he heard the first shot his sharp eyes snapped to the net covered windows. Someone almost went down and from the silhouette of familiar shaggy hair it looked like Sam; where was Dean? His anger at the boys warred with his guilt. They had saved his life once; and in spite of now being on opposite sides of the same fence, he owed them.

Just this once.

The sound of the second shot made up his mind and he slid out from behind the steering wheel, brought the crossbow up to his shoulder and stepped closer to the roadhouse. Keeping to the shadows, he sought out the best position as he expertly prepared for rapid fire. He wouldn't have much of a window and needed to act quickly. Taking aim with a soft, fascinated smile, held his breath…

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Dean ducked instinctively at the sudden sharp crack of breaking glass, a soft whoomph and pool guy pitched backwards, a wooden bolt protruding from his chest over his heart.

A split second later and in quick succession, two more went the same way. Then the vamps standing over Sam didn't react quickly enough and they soon followed, narrowly missing the fallen Winchester as they crumpled to the floor.

The carnage continued but was over within seconds. Not even stopping to consider the possibility that he might be next, Dean scrambled over dead vampires, careful of blood slicks, to get to his brother, calling his name as his went.

"Sammy?" Dean anxiously palmed Sam's face and gave it a gentle shake, breathing a sigh of relief when blue-green eyes bright with pain opened sluggishly. Sam blinked and nodded. Dean didn't have to say a word; the trust was all laid out for him to see. "Ok little bro, just take it easy."

Dean carefully examined Sam's knees and grimaced. This was bad. Both patellae were shattered and exposed, and there was so much blood Dean was worried Sam would die from shock. As it was his kid brother was trying hard to control the shivering, presumably because each jolt echoed downwards and hurt so damn much.

Dean ripped his belt out of its jean loops, tying it round Sam's left leg above the wound as a tourniquet, nearly faltering at Sam's harsh whimpers. He did the same to the other leg but this time using Sam's own belt, earning a groan from his brother.

"One…last piece of cl…clean laundry…" Dean's head shot up when he heard Sam's voice, rough and raw, words a little slurred. "And…I…I get bl…blood on it…" Sam swallowed slowly; his tongue felt covered in fur, his head throbbed in time with his knees and he closed his eyes. "N…never get th…that out…"

Dean grinned as he worked on his brother. "Yeah, I'd use my socks as bandages but you're in enough danger from blood poisoning as it is." And Sam managed a snort, catching it before it turned into a whimper. He stifled another moan of pain, becoming a low strangled noise in his throat when Dean gently raised his legs a little, sliding something soft underneath before lowering them again. But it was just too much...

"Sammy?"

Sam felt a light touch to the side of his face, and realised he'd passed out for a while. A warm blanket was now draped over him, for which he was immensely grateful as a strange cold was sweeping through him. He had no idea where his brother had found it and didn't care right now.

Dean's low voice washed over him and Sam's eyes flickered open.

"Ambulance is on its way, Sam; but I'm gonna go see if I can't find something clean to wrap your knees in." He smirked, that big brother cocky smirk. "Don't go anywhere!"

The words were in complete contrast to the hand that tenderly but briefly stroked the side of his injured brother's head and Sam couldn't help but smile sleepily up at him in spite of the rate at which the room seemed to be spinning.

Dean returned quickly, carrying a box with a green cross on the front. "Standard first aid kit, complete with sterile gauze…and untouched. No vampire cooties here."

Sam watched him through half open eyes as Dean gently cleaned and wrapped his legs, wincing now and then. Noting that something was missing or perhaps different about his brother, his increasingly muddled brain wouldn't let him figure it out. Dean was talking to him again but Sam couldn't hear, and his eyelids drooped lower defying his fight to stay awake.

Sam smiled as it came to him, eyes fully closed by now. Dean's leather jacket. That was it. He'd been wearing it when he first scooted over the floor to him, but now…yeah, he could still smell it, even above the vile stench of vampire blood, his own blood.

Sam now felt fairly certain what that subtle creak of leather was beneath his knees. He tried to tell his brother he'd paid to have it dry cleaned but the words wouldn't come; his mouth dried up and his thoughts tumbled together pushing him into darkness.

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As he sat in the waiting room, Dean mulled it over. He'd successfully played the part of frightened and innocent victim to the cops, though genuinely not fully understanding what had happened. He really had no come back for the dead bodies that littered the tiny bar, including that of the barman, so it was his only realistic option especially as the single weapon found was the hand gun, and that had only been used on Sam. Everyone else had been slaughtered with some kind of crossbow, which hadn't turned up.

A game of pool that turned nasty, his opponent a bad loser, Sam brutally and ruthlessly kneecapped in front of him, combined with Dean's excellent acting skills – Oscar worthy, without a doubt – and the law was totally sympathetic to Sam and Dean Singer. It also helped that it was too out of the way for the feds to yet become involved. And there came another blessing...

The cops, of course ignorant of the existence of vampires, came to the conclusion the brothers had become caught in the middle of some kind of local gang war. Their suspicions were confirmed when news came through from headquarters that the bar had been torched before forensics teams even got close, the bodies still inside. They assured Dean they'd be in touch once they found the crossbow and its owner.

Good luck with that, Dean snorted, feeling pretty sure the killer, their saviour, was long gone by now and he wouldn't mind betting had a hand in the investigation somehow.

He stared at a cracked floor tile, thoughts running amuck as he tried to figure it out.

Who?

Nothing was coming to his sleep deprived brain, and as soon as he clocked Sam's surgeon striding through the double doors of the surgical unit, he let it go. That kind of speculation could take a back seat until Sam was fixed up.

"Doc? How's he doin?" Dean got to his feet anxious to hear any news.

"Your brother's stable, and the first surgery went well." The doctor motioned for Dean to follow him and hurried along, talking rapidly, occasionally nodding to a passing colleague.

Along the way, Dean learned that Sam's kneecaps were indeed smashed but the bullets had been successfully removed. All they were waiting for was the go ahead to repair the damaged cartilage, but Sam needed to heal and replenish lost fluids which were now being provided by IV bags.

A post-operative Sam was still heavily sedated but Dean was thankfully allowed to sit with him. He sat quietly in the chair next to the bed and studied his brother's face. Still a little too pale but definitely looking healthier, and Dean was sure the oxygen tube hooked under Sam's nose was largely responsible for that.

It finally slammed into him for the first time.

I nearly lost you...

"Aw Sammy." Dean breathed out his kid brother's name and brushed a hand through the boy's chestnut mop. He kept seeing the pain on Sam's face when he was shot, watching him fall time and again in his own head. "I'm so sorry kiddo."

"Whafor?" A sleepy croak startled Dean out of his morbid flashbacks. "Whayadonethisstime?"

Sam's head rolled slowly towards him but his eyes remained closed. Dean grinned, feeling ridiculously on top of the world just for hearing his brother's slurred, drunken voice.

"Hey!" He called softly. "How you feelin Sammy?"

"Uhuhmok." Which Dean took to mean 'yeah I'm ok'. "whabayou?"

"Same here, but without the aerated kneecaps." Dean answered with a chuckle; his grin faded as he asked gently. "Seriously dude, you in any pain?"

"Nuhuh." Sam's eyes cracked open a little. "dinansamqeston."

Dean frowned trying to figure that one out. He ran it through his head a few times before his Stoned Sammy Translator threw up a flag.

"Oh." I didn't answer his question? Dean shook his head and paused, staring at his brother. Sam just stared back, blinking heavily as though desperately trying to focus.

"I shoulda checked that place out properly. Hell," Dean ran a frustrated hand through his spiky hair. "I nearly got you killed! I shoulda known it was a vamp nest!" He didn't realise just how loud he'd become on that last sentence until he spotted Sam's wince.

Sam gazed up at him; eyes suddenly steady for the first time. "YouaintpsychicDean." He widened and squinted his eyes a few times as exhaustion tried to claim him once again. "Noyafault."

Dean ignored that. Of course it was his fault; he was supposed to protect Sam, and yet he'd gone blindly into a strange bar, dragging his brother along for the ride. How come he hadn't spotted the signs?

"Cozeyrodebies…"

Dean eyed Sam wearily as the translator worked overtime on that one.

Because they rode bikes…?

Huh? The bikers had shown up at the bar shortly after Dean and Sam, which had been early evening – broad daylight?

What kind of fruitcake vamps rode around on motorbikes during the day? Sure, they wouldn't explode into flames, unlike in some of the more imaginative movies he'd seen over the years, but sunlight was still painful to them.

Like a bad case of sunburn a familiar voice echoed in his head.

Something came back to him at that point, like a trigger. Sunburn?

"Sun block cream! Talk about vain!" Dean suddenly announced. "There was a strong smell of it all over that bar." He glanced at the amused smile on Sam's face. "Geeze! Don't they know that stuff attracts blood sucking insects….ohhhh. I get it. Vampire fast food." He grinned, rather proud of that one.

Sam let out a slurred giggle of agreement. "Yeeeaahh, foodonthego." And promptly fell into a deep slumber as suddenly as he'd woken up.

Laughing softly at that, Dean tucked the upper blanket around his sleeping brother. "Get some rest kid. Ya gonna need it."

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"So, you figured it out yet?" Came a tired voice from the kitchen doorway, and Dean smiled cautiously as he glanced up at his brother.

"Nah. But Bobby thinks it's another hunter." He shrugged. "I'm inclined to agree."

"Except you're wondering why we got out alive, right? How could they know we weren't vampires too?" Sam finished off for him and smiled back at Dean's chuckle.

"Yeah. I'm thinking it's someone who knows us, but why not show themselves?"

Sam raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

Dean soon got the message. "Doubt it Sammy, not with what we did to him after Lenore."

Seeing his little brother stifle a yawn he pulled out a chair. "Sit. I'll fix you some lunch then you're taking a nap."

"Dean..." Sam tried hard not to whine but in truth he was tired.

"Hey! No bitchin', bitch!"

"-!" the retort would have been 'jerk' but it was cut off by another yawn and Dean eyed him with a frown.

"Pushing too hard again Sam."

"Yeah I know, but dude..."

He broke off when Dean fixed him with a sharp yet concerned gaze. "Just give yaself more time Sammy. No point in hurtin' yourself; it'll only take longer for you to heal."

Sam had undergone some long and painful surgical reconstruction to his knees since he was shot and the physical therapy had been just as hard on him. Bobby had performed a few minor healing spells also, and they seemed to be helping. Under Dean's watchful eye, he'd kept up the exercises on a daily basis but big brother soon stepped in when he pushed himself too hard. As it was, Sam was healing impressively fast but both knees were still held in tight metal braces and he managed to drag himself around on crutches. His muscles and tendons had suffered considerable damage and would take even longer to repair, but both Winchesters were fairly confident that it wouldn't be long before Sam was back riding shotgun in the Impala. Once he could bend his longs legs into the front seat without wincing of course.

They were staying at Bobby Singer's once again, and the grizzled hunter had been a huge help for Sam, keeping his colossal brain occupied in between therapy sessions with translations, spells, research and a host of other jobs to ensure Sam didn't go out of his mind.

Dean had called Bobby pretty much straight away after the shooting, and the older guy had immediately headed on out, driving through the night to get to the boys. When Sam was finally released from 'Hell's kitchen' as he dubbed it after having suffered weeks of food so terrible that even Dean turned his nose up at, Bobby had borrowed a friend's people carrier, folded the rear seats down and set up a comfortable bed for the kid.

Sam, sleepy on pain meds, knew hardly anything about the long journey back to Singer Salvage until Dean slid an arm under his shoulders and gently roused him just enough to get him to the house, whereupon he spent the next forty eight hours asleep in the library. Bobby had figured that was where Sam would be most comfortable whilst he recovered and moved a spare bed in under the window, but he hadn't counted on Dean sleeping there too. In retrospect Bobby should've guessed and soon set up a small camp bed in the same room.

It often amused Bobby to hear Dean waking up sneezing as a result of sleeping around the dusty old books, which was usually followed by some considerable cursing as he stumbled around bleary eyed, desperately searching for the kitchen or bathroom, depending on which call of nature was needed more at the time: coffee or a leak.

But what impressed Bobby the most was the way the brothers were reconnecting after John Winchester's death, re-learning how to read each other. It had always been a work in progress, but this latest crisis of Sam's had sped things up somewhat.

I guess something good came out of it, he'd thought privately, as he watched Dean indulge his injured brother with such patience and tenderness, never letting him give up whenever he became despondent, and alternatively stopping Sam from injuring himself further when he grew too impatient and enthusiastic to rest.

Bobby secretly agreed with Sam about that night and who had bailed them out. But Bobby also knew it was a one off, a payment of a debt. And now that debt was clear there would be no more last minute reprieves. But the boys had learned a lesson from that night, from each other in more ways than one. Dirty laundry wasn't meant to be left festering; it was meant to be cleaned right up.

He watched the brothers now, out the corner of his eye through the kitchen window. Dean was helping an exhausted Sam over to the kitchen table, one arm curled around his back, the other gently relinquishing Sam of the crutches so he wouldn't trip and hurt himself. The act of sitting down could be particularly painful for Sam at times, so Bobby wasn't surprised when Dean shifted his hold so he had both hands under Sam's arms, lowering him to the seat, allowing his legs to slowly slide out in front of him.

Ya did a good job with those kids, John.

Even if you were an asshole.

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Author's notes:

So, you figure it out? Please tell me you did since it was more than obvious. I was just too tired to make it any more of a mystery. And the guy is supposed to be an excellent hunter. I'm just exploring whether or not he had some honour. Pretty sure he did; it was just heavily misguided.

Like I said, I know I could've done better with this, but it's just my usual 'oncall oneshot', the result of boredom during a twenty four hour shift. Hope you liked it. If not...please don't tell me.