Okay guys. This is technically the same story that was first posted on this site a year and a half ago, but 'Bubbling Under' was my first real full-length Supernatural fanfic, and as such was very rough around the edges - basically it made me cringe everytime I looked at it.

So in between writing my other fics I have slightly re-jigged this fic and have given it a damn good editing. I have resisted the urge to completely re-write it, so there are still some things that aren't that great, but I'm much happier with this new version.

I hope I have improved as a writer since writing this fic, so please be kind when reading and remember that this was written when I had only seen a few episodes of Supernatural, so if you notice a few mistakes with the characters or anything that isn't really cannon, you'll just have to let it slide.

When I have posted all 12 new chapters I will be removing the original version of this story.

So hope you enjoy this again, and thanks for reading.

TTFN, Supernoodle x

24th Nov 08


Bubbling Under, Revisited.

By Supernoodle

Chapter 1

-o-

The icy water bit into his skin causing Dean Winchester to gasp in shock, drawing the murky river water deep into his lungs. The pain was like nothing he'd ever felt before. He'd once read somewhere that drowning was meant to be a peaceful way to go, but he felt anything but peaceful right now. In fact, that was the last word he would use to describe it.

"Dean!" Sam yelled frantically, wading in to the freezing water. The river was covered with a thin layer of ice and snow around the banks and Sam had to kick through to make his way to his brother.

It had all seemed so easy. They had been on the trail of the Demon for a couple of days as it went from one small town to another – Ash had called and given them the heads up and Sam had convinced Dean that they should check it out – certain that it was looking for another of the "Special Children." Kids like Sam – Kids who had received a childhood visit from the Yellow-Eyed-Demon.

They had caught up with it just outside of Ely, Minnesota and that's when everything had turned bad. As Dean frequently lamented; nothing good ever happened in Minnesota. They had followed it as it drove down one of the forest roads and came to the bridge, where it got out of the car and ran towards the river. Dean had brought the Impala to a screeching halt then took off after the thing; gun in hand. Only that's when things went bad, like things always had a habit of doing. Sam had watched in horror as the rickety old wooden bridge, which looked like it hadn't been used for a century or two, collapsed under Dean's weight and both he and the Demon plunged into the fast flowing river below. All part of the plan, no doubt. Some Demons didn't seem to like to kill you outright themselves, but they would happily tempt you to your death and Dean had taken the bait, hook, line and sinker.

"Dean?" Sam yelled again as he frantically waded his way through the river weeds and chunks of ice, ignoring the cast on his wrist that he had spent the last three weeks trying to keep dry. The water was so cold he could barely feel his legs and he had to force himself to go deeper into the middle of the river where Dean and the Demon had fallen in, gasping as the cold gnawed into him.

Under the water, Dean frantically clawed at the Demon's face – it was using the body of a pretty young dark-haired girl - what else? Maybe it was a deliberate attempt to lure Dean by using a body that was just his type, but this wasn't going to stop him from trying his hardest to kill it and he grabbed the thing by the throat as his lungs screamed for air. But no matter how hard he fought, he couldn't break free of its death grip. The Demon held him under, its face peering down at him, smiling. It seemed like hours, but he had only been under the water for less than twenty seconds and as his body began to go into shock and his brain began to shut down, he remembered the gun. Somehow he was still holding the Glock in his left hand, despite being so cold he could barely feel it, but it was okay, his hands were well trained - they knew what to do with guns. After all these years on the job Dean didn't need conscious though to be able to use a weapon.

-o-

Sam flinched unconsciously as the sound of gunshot broke the silence of the cold winter afternoon. Three shots in all - he saw one of them smash through the ice, then a moment later the Demon rose from the river as curling black smoke, soaring high above him before disappearing back into the ground with an ear-splitting screech. Sam watched the thing disappear then took a few steps further into the water, ready to help Dean out when he surfaced, but there was no sign of his brother.

"Dean?" he yelled, teeth chattering madly. It was so cold it hurt but he took another few steps into the river anyway. Dean had been under the water a long time now, well over a minute and a horrible dread was balling in the pit of Sam's stomach.

Come on… Come up, Dean… Please come up…

Suddenly out of the corner of his eye, he saw something break the surface and throwing himself fully into the water, Sam struggled to the middle of the river. It seemed to take an eternity, the cold sapped his strength with every second that went by, but he eventually reached his brother and grabbing hold of him by his jacket, Sam pulled Dean face-up and dragged him towards the riverbank. His hands were so cold and numb that he kept losing his grip but eventually he made it to the side and using the last ounce of strength he had in his body, Sam dragged Dean's wet, dead weight out of the river and back onto dry land.

"Dean... Dean?" He yelled, wiping the water and river weeds from his brother's face, shaking him roughly. "Bro, come on… Don't do this to me. Wake up!" But Dean's face was grey, lips completely blue, eyes half-open – unseeing and glassy.

Sam bent over and put his ear to his brother's face, desperate to hear breath being drawn into his lungs, but there was nothing. Dean wasn't breathing. Dean was dead.

"No. Dean, Please… " he gasped through chattering teeth as tears began to blur his vision. Shock and borderline hypothermia beginning to rob him of the ability to think straight. All he could do was stare at his brother's dead face and he would have stayed like that until the cold took him down if he hadn't suddenly heard a voice speak quietly in his ear.

Help him!

Sam spun around. The words had been spoken by someone just over his shoulder but there was no-one around. He turned back to look at Dean, wiping the tears from his eyes with a badly shaking hand, then the voice came again, like an echo from his past.

Save him, Sam. Godammit!

And this time it the command was loud enough to jump start him to action - breaking the hypothermic daze that he'd begun to slip into.

John Winchester had taught his sons many skills over the years – skills that he himself had learned during his time in the Marine Corps. When most kids were learning to ride their first bikes, the Winchester boys were learning hand-to-hand combat, hand-to-knife combat, gunmanship, bow hunting - Sam and Dean could both drive as soon as their feet could reach the pedals, could both shoot as soon as their hands were strong enough to pull the trigger. John had taught them everything they might need to survive the life of a hunter but one of the most important skills he had taught them was first aid. Both Sam and Dean knew how to stem blood flow, dress and stitch wounds, remove bullets and most importantly, both knew how to perform CPR.

Leaning over his brother, Sam tilted Dean's head back and pinching his nose closed, he placed his lips over his brother's and blew a desperately needed breath deep into Dean's waterlogged lungs, quickly followed by another and then another.

"Don't do this, Dean. Please!" Sam yelled, pulling away, watching his brother's face intently for any sign of life - But there was nothing. Dean remained unresponsive and Sam pressed his fingers to the cold skin of his throat, feeling for a pulse and finding nothing. Then interlacing his fingers, Sam placed them over Dean's breastbone and began CPR.

He wasn't going to let his brother die.

Not like this.

-o-

The Impala sped down the main road of Buttfuck, Minnesota or whatever the town was called. Sam knew the hospital was around here somewhere, they had called in a day or so ago, looking for clues when hunting down the Demon. Why were there no road signs? It wasn't like anyone would ever need to find a hospital in a hurry, was it?

After several minutes on the riverbank, Sam had managed to get Dean breathing again. Mashing his sodden wrist cast to pieces, and maybe a few of Dean's ribs, he thought grimly, as he pounded on his brother's chest until he took his first desperate, gasping breaths and threw up about a gallon of river water. Then somehow, Sam had managed to gather the last of his remaining strength and get Dean into the back of the car where he now lay, barely conscious and shivering violently, with his lungs rattling noisily every time he took a breath. He sounded terrible, but at least he was breathing.

"Come on, Dean. Stay with me!" Sam yelled, glancing worriedly in the rear view mirror. The only time Dean would ever tolerate riding in the back seat of his beloved car was when he was unconscious or was so badly hurt he couldn't sit up straight, and that had happened more times than Sam would like to remember. They had a hard life, there was no denying that, and it was taking its toll on both of them - Dean especially. It had only been a few weeks ago when he had let his little brother in, just for a moment, but that moment had been enough for Sam to see how much Dean was hurting, to see how much their Dad's death had affected him.

Sam had been attacked by a girl carrying some sort of Demon Virus - they thought he'd been infected, thought he'd turn into some sort of Demon and kill everyone around him like the rest of the town's inhabitants, but instead of leaving to safety as Sam had begged him to, Dean had stayed.

"It's over for me… It doesn't have to be for you!" Sam had insisted tearfully. "You can keep going!"

"Who says I want to?" Dean had replied, looking at him then with an expression Sam had never seen in his eyes before – a mixture of exhaustion, defeat, regret – it had stopped Sam in his tracks.

"I'm tired, Sam." Dean had continued, smiling at him with that dazzling, megawatt smile of his that never quite reached his eyes anymore and shrugged.

"I'm tired of this life, this job – this weight on my shoulders, man. I'm tired of it."

Sam knew Dean missed their Dad. He did too, of course, but not like his brother. He'd never been as close to their Dad as Dean had. Sam and John had spent most of their lives butting heads over one trivial thing or another, but it was different with his brother. John had been more than just a Father to Dean; he had been his idol, his drill Sergeant and his anchor. John said jump and all his life, Dean had jumped. But now John was gone and his brother seemed kind of lost.

Sam suspected that Dean was suffering more than he would ever let on and it worried him deeply.

-o-

It was nearly ten more minutes before Sam found the hospital and leaving Dean in the Impala outside the foyer, he burst groggily through the doors screaming for help until a flurry of medical staff followed him out to the car. He barely had the strength to hold himself upright, let alone drag his brother out of the car.

"What happened?" One of the doctors asked him, as they gently slid Dean out of the backseat and on to a gurney.

Sam barely registered that someone was speaking to him and the doctor had to ask him again before he replied. The adrenalin that had been shooting round his system since they caught up with the Demon had all but worn off and he realised that he was just about on his own last legs as he followed his brother into the hospital.

"Straight into trauma room one." The doctor ordered, and Sam tried to follow his brother into the room but a nurse stopped him.

"You can't go in there." She said firmly, and tried to steer Sam away towards one of the chairs in the corridor.

"But he's my b-brother!" Sam replied, shrugging off her hand. He could see through the window in the door as they began to cut Dean's sodden clothes off and hook him up to half a dozen different monitors.

The nurse took Sam's arm and this time she was more forceful in her efforts to get him away from the room and a moment later, Sam found himself sitting down anyway. He was beyond cold, not really even shivering anymore and although he desperately wanted to be in the room with Dean, now he was sitting, he honestly didn't think he had the strength to get back to his feet.

"Are you okay, Honey? Are you hurt?" The nurse asked him, wrapping a warm blanket around his shoulders.

Sam shook his head, looking up at her. "I'm j-just c-cold."

"I bet you are. How about we get those wet clothes off and have someone look at your wrist? You've made a fine mess of that cast, haven't you?"

Sam frowned, not quite following what she was saying to him. He was so tired and nothing was really making much sense any more. All he wanted to do was be with Dean, make sure he was okay but he just couldn't muster the strength to get up. "He was under the w-water for a couple of minutes, I c-couldn't reach him. He wasn't breathing when I got him out… I think I b-broke his ribs when I did CPR."

The nurse nodded and gave him a sympathetic smile. "You did good, Honey. You got him here breathing. That's always a good start. Now can you tell me your names?"

Sam nodded, "I'm Sam - That's m-my brother Dean."

Normally they came up with fake names, but Sam could barely think straight, let alone come up with some amusing pseudonym. Beside, it was Dean who usually thought of their alias's – in the last two weeks alone they had been reporters John Bonham and John Paul Jones, FBI agents Simmons and Stanley and Doctors Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay. If Sam ever got to choose the names, he usually went for something a little more highbrow, but that usually resulted in Dean getting pissed off. For some reason that Sam would never understand, Dean seemed to get a weird kick from signing a credit card receipt in the name of D. Hasslehoff. A fake ID in the name of E. Schrodinger or Carlos Sagan didn't quite hold the same appeal for Dean as one in the name of Santos. L. Helper did.

The nurse smiled down at Sam. "Okay Sweetheart. Now your brother is in good hands. Dr Miller is the best doctor we have and she's going to take good care of your brother, but we need to get you fixed up too." And reaching down, she took hold of his ruined plaster cast.

Sam winced in pain, although the fracture wasn't a particularly bad one, it was far from healed and now he was warming up slightly some of the feeling had returned.

"Don't!" He snapped, pulling away from the woman and clutching his injured wrist to his body. She was smiling a patient smile, trying to comfort him, but Sam didn't care. All he wanted to do was make sure Dean was okay then fall down somewhere and sleep for a week.

"Please tell me he's going to be okay…" He gasped, voice breaking as tears filled his eyes. "I can't lose him. He's all I have left."

-o-