Summary: A tragic car wreck has left a seventeen-year-old Sam struggling to regain control of his life. An overprotective Dean wants to keep his kid brother safe, while an overzealous John pushes him back into the hunt. This is a continuation of the story - 'Adrift'.
Author's Note: Wow! I can't believe I forgot all about this story. Go figure, I was cleaning out my computer and ran across it, just decided what the heck, may as well finish it. Since it was written quite a while ago, I will be covering parts of 'Adrift' in my prologue and first chapter, just to set things up. To all my fan fiction friends, who asked for this story to continue, thank you so much for reading my stuff, it makes me smile each time I get a review from you and sorry this took so long.
Beta: Kokoda2007 and sometimes, no one. So blame me for all mistakes!
Dean heard the rustling of paper bags; he smelt the aroma of greasy hamburgers. Food? His stomach grumbled. He could open his eyes and look, but he wasn't quite ready to pull himself from his slumber. Man, my stomach is still queasy . His headache had eased to a dull throbbing, the cool rag his father placed on his forehead helping immensely. He listened as his little brother opened the bathroom door; the clean smell of steam wafting out and assaulting his senses. He heard his father's garbled greeting to Sam. Better wake up and eat now, it might make me feel better. He was about to ease himself up when he heard the light conversation between his Dad and little brother. He stopped his movements, and held his breath with each word. He listened as his father made the effort to be there for Sam, something he seldom ever did.
He heard Sam's nervous attempt to shrug his Dad off and the overwhelming relief in his brother's tone when he finally gave in and accepted his Dad's gesture. He listened attentively as they started reviewing the flashcards that Sam had not used in well over a week. His eyes never opened. He relaxed with their muffled voices and yawned.
He snuggled tighter into the pillow, their voices dimming into the background as exhaustion began to pull him under. He let their words roll over him; soothing him. He faintly heard Sam's giggles, and he smiled at the sound as he slowly drifted down toward sleep. Maybe everything would be okay.
So Life Moves Forward
Dean's mind was drifting toward oblivion, exhaustion at the last couple of months bearing down against him. The sleeping hunter moved restlessly on the bed, perspiration beading on his forehead. His eyes flitting hastily beneath his fluttering lashes; the memories of the night Sam had the horrific accident, the one that left him with a devastating injury, kept playing in his head
Dean leaned down into his brother's hair, whispering soft reassurances. "Sammy, help is coming…I gotcha, kiddo, you're gon'na be fine Sam, fine…." Dean's fingers held gently, but firmly, to the bloody scrap of fabric across Sam's forehead. He was watching the kid intently, as his chest struggled to pull in every single breath of air. He prayed he would see those innocent hazel eyes again. He was scared, more scared than he could remember. He continued cooing comforting words in his baby brother's ear, his own thoughts running amuck. Where the hell was that ambulance?
The doctor's words reverberated in Dean's lulling consciousness as his thoughts relieved every painful memory. He tossed and turned anxiously against the sagging motel mattress.
… a broken arm, wrenched shoulder, various cuts, and contusions, but the thing I am most concerned about is his head wound… a severe concussion from his impact with the windshield… a problem understanding speech, and expression… words are slurred. He knows what he wants to say, knows what he means, but he is having trouble getting the words out, his mind is not cooperating…
Dean jolted awake, wild green eyes darting around the motel room, then, finally falling to his sleeping sibling. His brother's head was lolling on the table, droll dripping slowly from his open lips. Sam's gangly body was bent over in the chair, and the flash cards that he had been using were resting in a jumbled mess against grimy motel rug.
"How's you're headache?" His father's curious voice queried at Dean and he tilted his head to look questioningly at his Dad. He blinked and attempted to pull awake his sluggish mind. He gazed at Sam's slouched form, and dropped his head back heavily against the stiff pillow, slow whispered words escaping across his lips. "I'm f...fine."
"You were mumbling in your sleep." John acknowledged with a slight smile. He pulled his lukewarm coffee cup to his lips and swigged down the last of the bitter liquid. He nodded gently toward Sam. "Seems your brother was a lot sleepier than he thought; just nodded right off in the middle of a sentence." John chuckled and sat the cup down against the table with a light resounding thud.
Dean watched as his father stood stiffly, reaching down with large, calloused hands to hoist his little brother up. The older man gave a slight grunt with the motion and pulled Sam up from the shaky chair. He moved in three quick steps to the opposite bed and released his precious burden.
Dean pushed against the tattered blankets, swinging his legs around the mattress and setting up on the double bed. He watched silently as his father snuggled the blanket up around Sam, and then brushed his sleeping sibling's forehead with a light and gentle kiss. Dean blinked, completely taken aback by his father's actions. Who was this guy and what the hell did he do with our Dad? Frustration rose in his chest until he had to look away from the image that this John was creating, one of love and understanding, one that he had a hard time grasping as of late. He stared blankly at the dirty rug.
"So, when we leaving on this new hunt?" Dean's piercing green eyes gazed directly at his Dad; fingers busily cleaning the weapons.
John Winchester stuffed garments into a duffle on the chair, eyes darting up to Dean and back to his work.
"You're not." he offered flatly, "I need you to stay here with Sammy." He looked hastily up and then away from his eldest stern glare. He moved quickly to his weapons bag.
Dean's fingers stopped their motions as he glared curiously at his father.
"Why?" He questioned, confusion darting across his features.
"Listen Dean, Sam's head is not in the game. He wonders off, loses focus. The attitude, I just don't want to deal with it. Not while I'm hunting this thing that killed your mother."
"Dad…come-on. He's just a teenager. No different than I was. He likes going with us." Dean dropped the shotgun he was cleaning to his lap, eyes imploring his father to reconsider his opinion.
"No Dean, he's different. Sam needs to take things more seriously." John's tone was abrupt, and Dean felt his own anger turning up a notch.
"Sammy is a liability….always whining, complaining…." His Dad's words faded down to silence, and Dean looked keenly at his face.
"What?" Dean furrowed his brow at his Dad's wide eyes. He felt the presence behind him, saw his father's face fall, and whipped his head around to see his younger brother standing in the doorway, eyes moist and large, mouth falling agape.
"Look Sam, I didn't mean…" His father stepped forward, eyes fixated on his youngest, his open hand reaching out toward him.
"NO, Forget it Dad, I …I understand." Sam whispered as he brushed past his Dad and stomped heavy footed toward the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
"Damn it, Dad." Dean snarled at his father. His concerned eyes followed his brother's hasty exit from the room.
John rolled his eyes and dug his hand through his messy hair. A pissed off look settled on his face. "He'll get over it." He said abruptly, his fingers grabbing the duffle bag from floor and slinging it to his shoulder. "I'll be back in couple of days. I left $150.00 on the kitchen counter. Watch out for your brother."
"Dad…wait." Dean stood, eyes darting from the closed bedroom door and back to his Dad's face. But John was gone, the apartment door slamming shut, his voice echoing behind him, "I'll have my cell phone, call me."
Dean released an angry breath, and slammed his hand down against the couch cushion. He was left once again to deal with the aftermath of his fathers harsh words.
He could still hear his father's harsh words as they reverberated in his head. Sam could not be trusted on a hunt. He was a liability to them both . Worst of all, he could still see the devastation and hurt that had washed across Sam's face that day, the sadness that rested in his bright, young, hazel eyes. That thought alone, it almost made Dean sick. He remembered Sam before the accident, the geeky smart brother who always had a smart retort. He missed that Sam. He blew out a shaky breath and prayed he got him back.