Summary: After Dean is hurt on a hunt, John abandons him at the local hospital. Can Dean ever forgive him, and, more importantly, when John comes back for him, will Dean agree to go?
Disclaimer: I am a poor starving college student. I do not own Supernatural (damn you Kripke!) or anything related to it except my own, poor pitiful little plotline. Please don't sue. Comprende?
Rating: T for some colorful language
Author's Note: So, this is only going to be three or four parts. It's a little something that's been in my head forever. It's obviously AU, but, then again, that's all I've been known to write, right?
Enjoy, and please review. It makes my day.
Chapter One: An Offer
"Dean, you haven't touched your Jello."
He looked away from the window, eyes red-rimmed and cloudy from where he had been crying, resituating his sling on his chest so it wasn't as painful. His eyes traveled down to the untouched cherry jello, and he shrugged halfheartedly. "I'm not hungry," he stated, feeling his knuckles pop as he made a fist with his semi-good hand.
"Go away. I'm not sick, I feel fine…just leave me alone." His voice was soft, still laden with the drugs of sedation and pain medication and antibiotics and whatever else the doctors had pumped into his IV. When the nurse didn't move, Dean's jaw flinched and his hand grabbed the jello bowl, throwing it at her, watching with satisfaction as it slammed into the wall to the left of her. She gasped and hurried out, leaving Dean in peace again. Finally.
His eyes turned back to the window, and he waited.
His father would come back for him.
Sam would come back for him.
He just had to be patient and wait.
It was a couple of hours before the night nurse, Julia, entered the room, looking down at his chart. "You're being belligerent again, are you?" she called, watching Dean tense, then freeze as pain cascaded from his brain to his toes. "Dean, sweetie…"
"Go away! I just want you all to go away!"
She approached the bed, setting the chart down. "Dean, your father left you. I'm sure he…"
"Don't talk about him," Dean snapped, eyes opening, green bright and confused. "You don't know him. It's not your right!"
"I know that he left his seventeen-year-old son in the hospital while he was hurt, and didn't care that he was leaving behind someone who loved him so much. I know that he left during your surgery! You are extremely hurt, and you need family here, and he left. Just left you!" Julia replied tersely, looking at his IV. "You're still taking in a lot of fluids."
"I don't know what that means."
"How's the broken arm?"
"It hurts. Is it supposed to feel good or something?"
"I'll see if we can give you a sleep aid tonight-I know you haven't been sleeping well since your father left-"
"I'm sleeping fine."
She clicked her tongue softly, and he turned away from her again, focusing on the window. He would ignore her until she went away. He had done it for the past three days, and she had left him in peace after a few minutes. "Dean, you aren't sleeping fine. You aren't fine. You've been-"
"Why can't you follow the damn routine? We do this every night. You beat me up about my father, I yell back at you, and then I ignore you and you leave. There is no extra conversation, no more feelings and talking about feelings and being a sappy emotionalist. So, please, get out," Dean snapped, fingers in the good hand clinching again.
She sighed, but left, soft footsteps on the white tile the only reason he knew she was going. She didn't understand…none of them understood. His father hadn't meant to leave him, and Dean was sure he was coming back. Dad had to finish the job, and finishing the job did not mean waiting around in a hospital answering the questions of cops who were suspicious of all John's actions.
It was his fault he was here, anyway. He was careless, stupid, and in the end, it was his fault that his father was gone and he was in limbo.
His chest hurt. He knew they had opened him up, knew something had been sewed and something had been removed, but he wasn't really sure what. The doctor had tried talking to him, but the sedatives they had him on were strong and he didn't understand half the words he was told. He knew his arm was broken in three or four spots, but he didn't know what they had done to it.
"Dean?" It was a male voice, his doctor, so he spared him a look. "The nurse said you needed something to help you sleep, that you were uncomfortable."
"I'm fine." He winced though, blowing his cover. "Please don't."
"You need to sleep, Dean. You're body needs rest, and you aren't going to get it on your own while your thinking about your father and your brother, okay? So I'm just going to give you a dose of this and hopefully you'll be able to get a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep," the doctor explained, uncapping the syringe.
"I don't want it." Dean's head was shaking, his body trembling, but the doctor ignored him. "I don't want it."
"But you need it," the doctor whispered, inserting the needle into the IV line. "Just a few hours, Dean, and then you'll feel better. Now, do you need another blanket or anything?"
"Okay, then. I'll come back in a few hours and check on you." The doctor patted him on his shoulder, giving him a smile. "It will be okay, Dean. Just relax and go to sleep."
He moved around to get comfortable, his eyelids getting heavier and heavier, even as he tried to keep them open. The doctor stood beside the bed, watching him finally get comfortable right before he dropped off. "Julia, how's he eating?"
"Not very well. He not doing much of anything but moping."
"If he doesn't start eating, we're going to have insert a feeding tube. Have you talked to Children Services?"
"They're backed up and still hoping his father's going to show," Julia answered, shaking her head. "It's a sad situation. If he gets better and no one shows up…"
"He's seventeen; he won't find another family to take him in."
"It's the way of the world, unfortunately, Doctor Cross. He's a strong kid; he'll get through it. Any special instructions for when he gets up?"
"He's still in a lot of pain, so keep him on his pain meds. Get him some food, and be sure to explain to him about the feeding tube. Page me when he wakes; I want to have another talk with him," Cross said, signing off on Dean's chart. "We'll see if we can get him…"
"He can't, doctor. His family just abandoned him. How is he supposed to recover from that?"
"I don't want to talk about it, Sam."
"We have to go back for him."
"We will, Sam. We have to plan first."
"He's been there three days! Three days by himself! He probably thinks-"
"He knows we're coming, Sam. He knows," John replied, looking over his weapons. "He was really hurt, though; we have to give him to recover because we can't take care of someone that is that sick."
"Dad, you can't just sit here! He's going to stop thinking-"
"Sam, no. He knows."
Dr. Cross was waiting in Dean's room when his eyes began opening. He put aside his charts, offering a smile to the surly teenager as he came out of his sleep. "Afternoon, Dean."
"Do you ever go home?"
"How are you feeling?"
"You drugged me. I'm feeling drugged," Dean snapped, wincing as his arm shifted in the sling. "Leave me alone."
"Not gonna happen. So, social services-"
"Call them and see if I'm here in the morning," Dean interrupted, and the doctor shook his head.
"Well, you're being kicked out tomorrow, but you can't be by yourself. These wounds need a lot of looking after and you are going to have no antibiotics, no pain meds, nothing. So, you're going to come home with me. I can look after you, and I'm off for the next four days. After a couple of weeks, you should be okay to go with a social worker-"
"My dad's coming back for me."
"Before he takes you anywhere, I'm having a big talk with him about responsibility and dumping your child at a hospital. And if he's not here before tomorrow, it's either with me or a foster home."
"Will come back for you. I got it the first fifty times you said it. But your father isn't here. He left you, so you have to deal with this by some other way than saying 'my father is coming for me'. Right now, he isn't and you need other options."
Dean wanted to tell him to shut up, to tell him that his father was coming and would rescue him, but there was a tiny twinge of pain and disappointment, a tiny nudging voice that was saying he's not coming back. He forced the voice back down, forced it back into prison, and looked with a smug confidence to the doctor. "I'm….I'm done talking."
"All right. The nurse has food; you eat it or we put a tube through your nose, down your throat and feed you like that, you understand me?"
"I don't respond well to threats."
The doctor rose from his seat, carefully piling the charts before picking them up. "It's not a threat, Dean; it's a promise. I'll check on you later."
Dean grimaced, watching the man leave, letting the tears fall while he was alone, just to get them out. That's all he needed-a way to release them, so there were none left when other comments about his family came into play. His father would come back for him, he would. He needed Dean, needed him to help with Sam, to look after his brother, and he wouldn't forget that.
Dean was a good hunter. He had just gotten caught up in the moment of protecting Sam, and things had gone too far…
"Dean?" A meek voice called, and he looked up, at the nurse. "I have food for you."
"I'm not going to throw anything at you," he promised, giving her a smile, the classic smile that got him in a lot of trouble at school. "I promise." She came forward with the tray, setting it in front of him. Applesauce, soup, some sort of jello…
What was with these people and their Jello? He hated Jello. It looked weird and bounced and would probably stick on a wall if he made it. He pushed his spoon in it, watching the light reflect off the blue substance and making it stare back at him.
He didn't eat anything. He couldn't take his eyes off the jello, and therefore didn't touch anything in close proximity to it, which meant no food. His stomach was growling, but he couldn't bring himself to touch the blue jello.
Who knew a hunter with his level of fearlessness would be so scared of something as stupid as jello.
"I wasn't lying when I said I'd put a tube in if you didn't start eating."
Dean looked up at Doctor Cross, then out to the night sky. "Jello's freaky."
Cross looked up, surprised, his face smug. "Our badass patient is scared of Jello?"
"It's freaky. I'm not touching anything that's near it."
"All right. We'll get the nurses to get you something without the jello," Cross promised. "How do you feel?"
"Sore. Tired. Like you ripped something out of me…"
"We removed a portion of your liver; it's only natural that it hurts," the doctor explained. "Don't worry-it will grow back, but it was so badly damaged that it wasn't able to be saved."
"You took out my liver?"
"About…an eighth of it? You'll live, I promise. We'll have to watch to make sure it's healing properly, but there shouldn't be any lasting damage. You lacerated your large intestine, which was a little more severe, and you're kidneys are bruised. You're chest should feel like hell."
"I have a high pain tolerance," Dean answered, using his good arm to push himself up. "My liver, huh? So no more drinking."
"You shouldn't have been drinking anyways."
"Yeah, well, what did you expect? I mean, according to you, my father abandoned me. What makes you think he wouldn't let me drink?"
"Well, you won't be drinking anymore, will you?" Cross said, smirking, and Dean raised his eyebrow. "We're releasing you tonight."
"Good. Where's the nearest bus stop?"
"You aren't leaving-"
"You said I was being discharged!"
"And we've also had the conversation about this!" Cross snapped back. "You're too weak to do anything. You won't make it to the bus stop-you'll either pass out from the pain or bust some internal stitches or damage your body and the hours I spent putting it back together will go to waste! You might not care about it, about yourself, but I sure as hell do because I invested a lot of time in making you better!"
"You've got about six hours. I suggest you rest, Dean. It's going to hurt to get out of the bed, let alone down to a car."
"Why? Why do you care? I have a family. I don't need you." He wanted the words to hurt, to sting, to burrow as deep as his fears about being abandoned by the two people that meant the world to him.
Doctor Cross sighed, smiling at the nurse. "Can you get him another tray, without Jello? Seems our young patient here has a fear of our residential favorite dessert."
"Of course, Doctor," the nurse answered, taking the tray from Dean. "Mr. Winchester."
He waited until the nurse left before looking back at the doctor. "You didn't answer my question."
"I didn't answer your question."
"Are you ever going to answer it?"
"You know, you are getting on my ever loving nerves."
"I bet. Maybe it will do you good." And with that, Dr. Cross left, and Dean cursed.
Damn it all to hell.
John Winchester looked up from his journal, glaring at his son. "No. He has to get better before we can get him, Sam. We can't handle hurt."
"He's been there four days! How much longer are we going to leave him in the hands of people that could hurt him? He's probably thinking that we're never going to return!"
"HE WILL NOT BE FINE WHILE HIS FAMILY IS LEAVING HIM!"
"Samuel, I suggest you don't used that tone of voice with me! We will go when I say! Until then, your brother can figure out how not to screw up hunts while he's recovering because I won't always be there when he messes up!"
Sam laughed, shaking his head. "So that's why? You're teaching him a lesson? You left him hurt in an unfamiliar place to make him see something? He's going to forget us if you leave him there for too long."
"He'll be fine."
His good arm was wrapped tightly around his mid-section, as if he was holding his insides together. He just had to get to the wheelchair, but it required three or four steps that made his insides feel like falling out. "Just a few more steps," the physical therapist encouraged, keeping a hand on Dean's shoulder. "You're doing a good job."
"I bet. There-sit back," the man said, keeping Dean from falling into the wheelchair. "Are you comfortable?"
Dean bit back a reply, glaring at him. "I need you to be honest, Dean. If you aren't comfortable, we can give you a very light sedative that should take the edge off until Elijah can get you home," the therapist said, and Dean sighed, nodding. "Okay, let me get you the sedative. Don't move."
"Funny," Dean said, his eyes catching the doctor's. "I don't understand why you're doing this. Why you're taking me in…"
"Because you need someone to lean on, and I'm willing to do that for now," Elijah answered, offering a smile. "And I'll do it until you don't need me anymore."
"I don't need you now," Dean replied harshly, and Elijah gave him a small smile as the physical therapist reentered the room, a syringe in his hands.
"Here, I'll get that, Bill." The therapist nodded, handing over the syringe. "You do need me now, kid. If I wasn't here, and you were kicked out, you'd end up back here because you'd collapse again. Just let me take care of you, okay? Just don't argue."
Dean sighed, watching the doctor give him the shot. "Just…just until my family get's back."
Elijah nodded, smiling at the acquiescence. "All right, just until your family get's back."