Sam's body bucked once more as the pads were pushed against his chest. Dean held his breath, awaiting the doctor's next words. The beeping of the machine brought Dean back to reality.
"We have a pulse!" Dean slumped against the doorframe, barely stopping himself from giving a sob of relief. He clamped his eyes shut, breathing heavily. Sammy was still alive. He felt Carrie's gentle hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes to look at her.
Dean looked awful. His skin was pallid and the shadows under his eyes were more pronounced than ever. One look and Carrie knew that Dean would flat out refuse to go back to his own room. Carrie's maternal nature won out once again and Dean found himself in a chair beside Sam's bed. He looked up questioningly, Carrie smiled sadly.
"If you're with him, maybe you'll get something similar to rest." Dean gave a weak smile; it was all he could muster in his worn state. Carrie draped a blanket over his shoulders, gave him a sympathetic pat and walked out. Just as he had before, Dean reached out and held his little brother's hand, rubbing his thumb against Sam's.
"If you ever scare me like that again, I'm gonna kick your ass got it?" Dean could have sworn he saw a flicker of emotion pass over Sam's stoic face.
"Bitch." Dean's voice was barely more than a whisper as his head drooped forward and he fell into another exhausted slumber.
The sun streamed through the windows, illuminating the room. But it wasn't the sunlight that had woken up Dean. It had been the tiniest, most wonderful sound he'd ever heard in his life.
"D'n?" Dean stirred in his sleep, before slowly opening his eyes. Sam was looking at him through two bleary hazel eyes that were barely more than slits.
"Sammy?" asked Dean in a breathy voice, hardly daring to believe it. Sam gave a tiny fraction of a nod.
"Wha've I mssd?" Typical Sam…
"The crucota found us and I crashed the Impala. I thought for sure you were dead, there was so much blood…" Dean mentally shook himself; Sam needed to know the basics and nothing else.
"Then I woke up here and they told me you were in a coma. They said you might not wake up, but I told them that you would." Sam scrutinized Dean; he believed the facts of the story, but the bravado thing Dean had going on? Sam wasn't buying any of it; the last two days just couldn't have been as easy as Dean was trying to convince him.
Dean fidgeted under Sam's gaze. He should have known that Sam wouldn't be fooled, but Dean wasn't really sure who he was trying to convince anymore. So Dean continued, still fidgety.
"Everything's fine, the crucotas are dead, and Dad and Bobby are ok." Sam continued to stare Dean down; that part he doubted for some reason. Dean cracked.
"Ok, Dad and Bobby had a fight and Dad told Bobby to leave, but they're physically ok."
"'ws bout me wsn it?" Dean met Sam's gaze, incredulous.
"Sam," he asked slowly, "could you hear us?" The memory of the fight came back, the yelling and angry words, the sudden look of distress on Sammy's face, it all made sense now. Sam nodded slowly, the hazy memory of hearing Dad and Dean fighting returning to him. He remembered focusing on Dean's voice, talking to him gently, calming him down.
"Sam, forget about everything Dad said. He was worried and stressed and we both know how he deals with that sort of thing." Sam's eyes widened as he remembered another time Dean's voice had stood out among all the others.
"Wht hppnd lst nght?" asked Sam, "I hrd you cllng me." Dean's mouth dropped open; he had forgotten that he had literally screamed Sammy's name when the doctors had said that there was no pulse. Sam had really heard that?
"You had a sudden reaction to something. You nearly died Sammy, for a couple seconds I thought you had…" Dean trailed off, suddenly aware of the extent of his caring and sharing.
"I dint know whr you were," said Sam, the memory becoming clearer, "I couldn't hear your voice anymore. It scared me." Sam finished, looking abashed. Dean just gaped, from what he could tell, Sam had gotten scared that Dean was gone and panicked, almost killing him. Sam really did depend on him, maybe too much, but for the moment, Dean didn't care; Sam was alive, speaking to him and apparently not the least bit angry with him.
"For the record kid, I'm not going anywhere, so quit worrying." Sam smiled, closing his eyes and leaning back into his pillows.
John arrived at the hospital at around ten o clock. Dean had grudgingly called him about an hour and a half after Sammy had actually woken up, but John didn't need to know that. When he walked into Sam's room, he saw that Sam was smiling and awake, listening to Dean rant about how while Sam had napped, Dean had been stuck watching the most disturbing thing he'd ever encountered: the Discovery Channel.
"Seriously, it was a documentary on hotdogs! I can never eat hot dogs again!" Sam's smile faded slightly when he saw his father.
Pretending that this didn't break his heart, John entered the room and sat down beside Sam's bed, opposite Dean. Dean didn't look particularly at ease anymore either; he gave no obvious signs of anger or disrespect but the tension was still there.
"Feeling better, tiger?" Sam nodded shyly,
"Yeah," he said thickly, tiredness and the tubes in his nose making it difficult to speak "the doctors want to talk to you and Dean, but they said I can go home in a day or two if everything goes right." John smiled in genuine happiness; it looked like his Sammy was going to be fine after all.
John ruffled his youngest son's hair affectionately before heading out to meet with Sam's doctor. Dean, without waiting for an invitation, also stood up and followed his father.
They walked down the hall in silence; John knowing that he ought to apologize to his son for his angry accusations, and Dean knowing if the doctor mentioned Sam's attack the night before, John was going to be even more angry at Dean for not telling him. Dean really didn't care at the moment, to be honest. He had been the one keeping vigil at Sam's bedside for days, not John. He had been the one terrified that he was going to lose his little brother while his father had been in blissful ignorance of that particular incident. He had deserved to know about Sam's condition first, although he doubted John would see it that way.
"Tell me , did your son have any previous medical problems before this?" The doctor, a thin reedy looking man with a comb over and large glasses peered at them from behind his desk.
"He gets really bad migraines every now and then." Dean answered before his father could. The doctor nodded,
"You must be careful of that; his coma was induced by a mixture of a toxin and heavy painkillers. If anything like that happens again, he might not be as lucky next time."
"So what do you suggest?" asked John coolly. The doctor regarded him before answering,
"Let him relax for at least three days or so after we release him, give his body time to build its immune system back up. And when he has his migraines use painkillers as a last resort. If possible, take him somewhere dark and keep a cool cloth on his forehead until it passes. If you must use painkillers, use the absolute minimum dosage necessary." Dean and John both nodded in understanding.
"Thank you, Doctor." They said at the exact same time. They turned to leave before the doctor added,
"I know we said he could leave soon, tomorrow possibly, but would you like us to notify you if we figure out the cause of his attack?" John froze, his hand hovering above the door handle while Dean cursed inwardly.
"His what?" John asked in his most dangerous voice
"The attack he had last night," replied the doctor, looking confused. "Didn't anyone tell you? Something caused your son's nervous system to overload and he had some sort of attack. We almost lost him."
"Yes," said John calmly, "that would be appreciated. Thank you again."
The minute the door closed behind them, John turned on Dean.
"Mind explaining why my son almost died and you didn't think to tell me?"
"I didn't see why it mattered." Dean shot back, just as angrily. "You weren't there when it happened Dad, I was." Their gazes locked, neither man willing to cave. "Sam's alive, Dad, can't you just be grateful for that instead of finding another reason to be angry?" John hated to admit it, but that had him stumped. The past few days had opened John's eyes to a fair few realities that he was not altogether pleased with.
"What did the Doc say?" asked Sam, his voice sounding less muffled.
"He said that everybody around here is sick of looking at you, so they're probably going to send you home tomorrow," said Dean, grinning and plopping down into his usual chair. Sam glared good-naturedly at his brother.
"I really get to go home tomorrow?"
"Hopefully, it's not a definite yet." John internally winced out how much of a mood killer he was.
"I'm looking forward to showering!" said Dean, stretching his legs, "And Sam, I'm really looking forward to you brushing your teeth!" Sam shot another glare Dean's way, but this one contained no more real anger than the first one. John was shocked to realize that his boys really were just happy that Sam was alive, no matter how stressful and scary the last few days had been.
Once again, John was forcefully reminded of his previous life, where he'd been able to handle anything just as long as he had Mary and Dean. He swallowed painfully as he remembered Mary. Fourteen years, and the pain of losing her still seared as though it had been yesterday. John looked as his boys again, the scene almost tranquil. He had already lost his wife, and he'd be damned if he didn't do every single thing in his power to stop his babies from suffering the same fate. And if they hated him for that…well, at least they'd be alive, thought John grimly.
Dean should have been ecstatically happy; Sam was recovering well that the doctors did in fact release him the next day, Dad, although he hadn't apologized for anything, was in a good mood and therefore not picking a fight. But when Dean saw the state of his car he almost cried. The entire front of his beautiful Impala was crumpled and spattered with blood, amongst other things. Dean patted the roof mournfully.
"I'm so sorry, Baby." Sam bit back a laugh; his big brother's expression was a borderline pout.
"If you're finished Dean, maybe we should take it to Bobby's?" Sam offered. John and Dean both stiffened at the mention of Bobby. John because he'd said such awful things to Bobby and was still unwilling to take them back, and Dean because he felt bad asking Bobby for a favour when he'd put up with so much already. In the end, John caved and let Dean take his truck and tow the Impala to Bobby's. John knew his friend well enough to know that Bobby had meant every word of his threat. He also knew that letting his boys spend a little more time together would probably be a good idea.
The drive to Bobby's was entertaining; Dean let Sam pick the cassette and they blasted it as loud as they could and sang along as they sped down the road. After a while, a nagging thought occurred to him. He wordlessly reached over and turned the radio down. Sam looked at him quizzically.
"Sammy," asked Dean slowly "when you were unconscious, did Dad say anything to you?" Sam turned away from the window to face his brother.
Dean, he'd do anything for you. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up dying trying to protect you. But you can't let it come to that, ok?
"Nope," said Sam, turning back to the window "he didn't say a thing."
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up dying trying to protect you.