Still don't own Supernatural. Not suing would be appreciated. I have no money, I promise, so please just let me use the brilliant characters.
As promised, the return of angsty Sam (and still injured Sam). I think i figured out why it's so hard to write John. The perspective we have of him is mostly Sam's...and not that John was a tyrant (i don't think he was obviously), but he and Sam were just never on the same wavelength. That's what i tried to do, just make them both unable to understand the other. Thankfully Dean understands them both.
Thank you all for reading and commenting, it really helped the story along and made me smile, so yeah.
Sam is 17, and Dean is 21
Dean watched the night turn gray, and then faintly pink as dawn approached. Clouds still covered thick, so the sun never really had much of a chance. He was still there as Sam's eyes opened again, bright with fear.
"Sammy?" He leaned forward.
It took him a few moments to remember where he was and let the panic fade. "Hey."
"How do you feel?"
Sam shifted up the pillows some and instantly knew it was a bad idea. "Like I was hit by a convoy of trucks." His voice was gritty and low, edged with pain.
"So, pretty good then?" Dean smiled.
He sighed, even smiled. "Jerk."
Slowly, painfully, Sam sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. His face blanched from pain and he gripped the side of the bed to keep from falling.
Dean was on his feet in a second. "Where are you going?"
"I have to pee." Sarcasm pushed out the pain in Sam's voice. "I've been able to do that on my own since I was two."
"Well…" Dean smirked.
Sam let that one go and pushed himself to his feet. He wavered as the blood left his head, nearly blacked out and felt Dean's hand on his arm. He focused on slow breaths.
"I'm okay." He muttered.
"Right." Two could play at the sarcastic comment game.
Sam pulled his arm from his brother's grasp and unsteadily walked to the door. Dean stayed a few feet behind until Sam closed the door in his face. He leaned on the counter for a few minutes to catch his breath and let his balance fall in sync with the stillness of the floor. He wasn't entirely surprised to discover that the small acts of peeing and flushing nearly made him black out.
When he emerged from the bathroom, both John and Dean were standing in the hall. Sam sighed and tried to escape to his room.
"Sam." John met his son's eyes.
He leaned against the wall. "What?"
"When you're ready, I want to talk with you."
"I can do it now" He sighed and went to the living room.
Sam eased his battered body onto the couch and winced as the pain sharpened. He was still very pale, but his eyes were only a little blurred by pain and confusion. Dean sat across from him and John sat near Sam. He looked from his brother to his dad and then back again.
"Sam." John leaned forward, elbows on knees. "We need to talk about yesterday."
Dean wondered if his dad saw the quick flash of fear of John's disappointment in Sam's eyes.
"About what, exactly?" His voice cracked.
He took a breath. "About what happened in the crypt, how you got hurt."
Sam paused, his eyes on the floor. "I'm not entirely sure what happened." He was missing things, remembered mostly trying to hang onto his own control.
"Why did you go in?"
His eyes shot up, shock and confusion and pain. "You wanted me to, I had to." The words had a sharp edge.
"I never wanted you in danger."
"Right." Sam scoffed. "You've never made me go on a hunt, or anything. Those aren't dangerous at all."
"Sam." This was not the direction he wanted the conversation to go.
He swallowed. "You knew how it got into your head. I'm pretty sure you can figure out what happened in the crypt. And I didn't need your help."
"You would have died in there without my help." John never was very good at separating worry and anger.
Sam's jaw was set hard. "Then I guess I'm grateful." He stood too quick and grabbed the back of the couch.
"We're not done here."
"Well, I am." He turned and opened the front door, one arm held protectively around his chest.
John started after him, but Dean intercepted. "Let me get him."
Dean slipped out the door and found his brother leaned against the siding. Sam's hands were clenched tight and his face drawn and pale.
"Here to defend him?" The words were thick.
He leaned his head back, exhausted. "It's okay if you do, he likes you better anyway."
"You're wrong." He didn't expect that.
Sam sighed. "Usually am. I messed it up, Dean."
He nodded slightly. "Didn't do it right." His voice grew softer. "You would have."
Dean stepped into Sam's view. "I was thrown against a headstone. If that's the right way, then hell, I'll go the wrong way." He was aiming for a smile, but didn't get one. "Sammy."
"Sam." He corrected in a whisper.
"Sammy." Dean rested his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Yesterday didn't go according to anyone's plans and that was hardly your fault. You did good."
He closed his eyes, fought against the dizziness. "According to you."
"Well, my opinion is the only one I care about." Dean saw a faint smile. "Let's go back in. You look like you're about to pass out."
He took Sam's arm, but he resisted.
"Don't know what to do." He muttered.
Dean sighed. "Let's start with pain pills and sleep."
The door opened and John stepped out. Sam glanced over before he locked his eyes on the ground.
"Sam." John's voice had lost the anger of a few minutes ago.
"M'sorry. I tried, I just…couldn't." He muttered.
Countless options of a response filtered through his mind, most of them were direct ways back into the conversation Sam walked out of. "Go back in the house, get some rest."
"Yes, sir." Sam slipped back inside.
John looked over at Dean. "I don't even know what happened."
"He thinks he failed you. That's what he always thinks."
Dean shook his head. "He never does things the way you want him to."
"No arguing there." John managed a grim smile. "Just don't know what to do with him."
"I can't tell you what to do. Give him a little credit, maybe." Dean went back inside.
He found Sam stretched out on his bed, already half asleep. Dean slipped his brother a pain pill and a glass of water. Sam took it gratefully and sunk into the pillow.
"You feeling okay?"
He smirked a little. "Just great." He paused. "Is there a truce?"
"For a little while." Dean smiled. "Dad just doesn't know what to do with girls."
Sam glared at his brother, but there was a smile under it. "Jerk."
"That the best you can do?"
He paused, then smiled wickedly. "In civility thou seem'st so empty." He paused. "Shakespeare, I'd tell you to look it up, but there are no pictures."
"God, you're a dork. You should be thankful I let you associate with me in public."
Sam was fighting sleep. "I could say the same." He muttered. "How'd you know it got me?" He asked with his eyes closed.
"Cause you willingly followed dad's orders." The 'duh' at the end of the sentence was implied in the tone.
He smiled. "I guess that was pretty obvious." He took a breath, serious. "Thanks."
"Shut up. We don't do chick-flick moments." He tossed a blanket over his brother. "Get some sleep, Samantha."
"'kay." He sighed and let himself disappear in unconsciousness.
At least things were close to normal. Sam was getting back his smart-ass remarks, he and John were at odds, and Dean was back in the middle of it. Maybe he didn't mind it so much, given the alternative that almost was.