A/N: This is it! The final chapter. I've finally finished my first ever multi-chapter story. As a final note I'd like to give a massive thanks to everyone who reviewed or put this story on alert or on their favourites list. You guys are amazing. An even bigger thanks to my fabulous beta The Tribble Master without whom I would never have been able to finish this story. I'd love to hear any feedback from you wonderful readers, and I hope you enjoy the last chapter!
"Dean?" Sam asked softly, his head still spinning. There was no reply and Sam feared Dean had lost too much blood until-
"S'm?" A soft voice called. Sam looked down to see Dean's eyes focused on him. A smile graced his lips.
"Hey Dean. You're gonna be fine," Sam said before his vision turned black.
Sam could hear a faint beeping noise near his ear. He turned his head away from it, attempting to sink back into the comfortable black oblivion he had been previously situated in. However, the beeping noise only got louder and Sam found himself being once more drawn to consciousness.
As he awoke, his memories slowly began sorting themselves out. The chamber, the witches, Bobby, Dean-
Dean! Sam sat up, his eyes wide. The last time he had seen his brother, Dean had been curled up, stabbed and bleeding badly. Sam looked at the various monitors surrounding him before reaching to take the IV line out of his hand. Before he could pull it out, a hand covered his own, stopping him.
"You do that and I'm going to knock you out," Bobby said gruffly. He was standing next to Sam's bed, a relieved but threatening look in his eye.
"Bobby, how's Dean?" Sam asked frantically.
"Your brother's in a serious condition," a new voice said from the door. Dr Terrence entered the room, clipboard in hand.
"How bad?" Sam asked, worried.
"He lost a vast amount of blood. We gave him blood transfusions, but after only receiving them a few days ago, we're not too sure how his body will take to them. Other than that, he's both physically and mentally wounded. The witch's constant attacks on his mind caused his brain to shut down and place him in a coma. Being slammed into walls and such hasn't really helped either."
"But he'll make it, right? He'll wake up from the coma and be fine, right?" Sam's voice was growing more frantic.
"I'm afraid only time will tell, Sam," Dr Terrence said sympathetically.
"Can I see him now?" Sam asked desperately. The doctor smiled sympathetically.
"I don't know if it's such a good idea for you to be wandering around in your condition. You suffered a serious concussion, it was a bit touch and go for a while there." Sam looked at Dr Terrence pleadingly.
Dr Terrence blinked. He could have sworn for a moment that he had seen puppy dog eyes and a pout. Blinking again, he shook his head slightly.
"Well, I suppose you can go-" Sam started yanking the covers off himself "-under the condition that you go in a wheelchair."
"Oh, doc-" Sam started to complain, but Dr Terrence held up his hand.
"No complaints. Its wheelchair or nothing," he said firmly before going to check on his next patient, feeling oddly like he had scolded a young child.
Sam didn't want to admit it but he wasn't sure he could have made it to Dean's room without the wheelchair. His head felt like it had been attacked by a sledge hammer and his legs felt all weak and shaky. Nevertheless, he tried to act nonchalant as he was wheeled into Dean's room, but any expression he had on dropped as soon as he saw his brother.
"Oh Dean," Sam murmured as Bobby pushed the wheelchair closer to Dean's bed. His protective older brother was currently lying still under the white sheets of the hospital bed. Dean's own colour was pale, with dark circles under his eyes. He looked small nestled in the middle of the bed surrounded by a variety of machines, and Sam immediately felt his heart sink.
"Sam?" Bobby asked gently from behind Sam. Sam didn't answer, his eyes never leaving his brothers unmoving form.
"Sam, Dean's going to be fine," Bobby said comfortingly. Sam choked back an angry sob.
"How can you that, Bobby? How can you be so damn sure he'll make it this time? Or next time? What if he never wakes up? I just… I don't know how much more of this I can take," Sam said desperately, angrily brushing away the tears pooling in his eyes. Bobby gripped Sam's shoulder comfortingly.
"I know it's hard, Sam. But you can't go blaming him this time. I don't think he intended for all this to happen. But the next time he does some kamikaze act, you feel free to knock some sense into him, okay?" Bobby said kindly. Sam laughed softly. A silence fell on the room.
Bobby looked at Sam. "For what?"
"I saw the bullet hole in the witch. Dean was too injured and I was unconscious, so it had to be you that killed her. So thank you. Dean and I would both be dead if it wasn't for you helping us." As Sam finished, Bobby was quiet for a moment.
"You know you and Dean mean a lot to me, kid. You both give so much and receive so little in return." Sam made a move to interrupt but Bobby held up his hand. "I mean it. So if I'm able to help out in any way, I'll be there. You got that?"
Sam grinned at Bobby.
"Yes sir." The two shared an affectionate smile before turning back to Dean and preparing themselves for the long wait.
It was a week later when Dean finally woke from his coma. Over the past 7 days, Dr Terrence had watched as Sam and Bobby both showed growing signs of sleep deprivation and fatigue. Neither hunter had left Dean's side for more than an a few hours tops, and Sam had eventually convinced Dr Terrence to move his bed next to Dean's.
Currently, both Bobby and Sam were snoozing, Bobby in the seat next to Dean's bed and Sam on the other side. A slight movement stirred Sam from his sleep and he shot up as he saw Dean's finger twitch slightly.
"Dean?" Sam asked in wonderment. "Bobby, he moved!" Bobby rubbed his eyes sleepily.
"You sure Sam?"
"His finger it- there, it moved again!" Sam's mouth was fixed in a permanent grin, his eyes shining. It only widened when Dean made an incoherent sound.
"Dean? Hey Dean, can you open your eyes?" Sam asked gently, hovering above his brother. Dean let out a slight moan.
"Wh're… 'm I?" Dean slurred from beneath the oxygen mask, eyes still closed.
"Dean, its Bobby. You're back in the medical facility. Had us worried boy, you've been in a coma for a week." Dean twisted his head towards the direction of Bobby's voice.
"…S'mmy?" He asked, confused.
"I'm right here, Dean," Sam said, voice shaking. Dean turned his head towards Sam.
"Dean, can you open your eyes at all?" Sam asked. He could see Dean struggling to lift his eyelids and shake off his previous state. It took a while, but eventually Dean's eyelids parted, allowing him to see his surroundings for the first time. He took in the cream walls, the beeping machine next to him, the uncomfortable feeling in his mouth, and finally the two people most important to him.
"Hey Dean," Sam said softly, beaming down at him.
"You 'kay Sammy?" Dean asked, his voice muffled slightly. He lifted a heavy hand and attempted to pull the oxygen mask off, but was too weak.
"I'm fine Dean. Leave the oxygen mask in," Sam reprimanded gently.
"But I'm awake!" Dean complained.
"And took your time at it!" Bobby shot back. Dean sighed heavily.
"Ah Dean, you're awake! How do you feel?" Dr Terrence entered the room, followed by a man Sam vaguely recognised.
"Peachy," Dean said. He gestured at the oxygen mask. "Take it off?" Dr Terrence complied. Meanwhile Sam was looking at the other man.
"You were there… you came in at the end," he said, thinking back. The man nodded.
"This is Mark." Bobby introduced him. "He's a hunter too, but I haven't seen him for an age and a bit."
"What were you doing down there?" Dean asked tiredly, mouth finally free to talk normally.
"I was looking for Bobby. Been some demon activity around, bit different to normal, so I tracked Bobby down, and found Dr Terrence who told me he'd been here with two young men."
"How did you know where to find us? Or even to look for us?" Sam asked Dr Terrence, confused.
"Dean didn't come back for his check up. So I went to your motel and found it empty. There was a list of names on the floor, so I went and checked each house but they were all empty too. Got a little worried so I dragged Mark with me and started to search for you. We were just about to give up when we passed an abandoned warehouse and everything around us started to shake."
Mark picked up the story. "At first we thought it was an earthquake, but in seemed to be focused only on the warehouse. So we went in and there you were."
"It was good timing. I don't know how else we would have gotten Dean out of there," Bobby said. Sam turned to Dr Terrence and Mark.
"Thank you," he said sincerely. The two nodded. Dean suddenly left out a gasp as he recalled something.
"What?" Sam asked, worried. Was there still another witch on the loose? Some equally powerful sorcerer intent on destroying the world? Dean's eyes flickered to his, wide in horror.
"The Impala! Where is she?"
Sam just groaned.
It was another week and a half later when Dean was finally allowed to leave the hospital, heavily bandaged and loaded with medication.
"Oh baby, I'm so sorry for leaving you all by yourself," Dean said sorrowfully as he stroked the Impala's hood.
"I'll just leave you two alone, shall I?" Sam asked, with his eyebrows raised at the scene before him. Dean just huffed.
"Don't listen to him baby, he just doesn't understand," Dean crooned as he slid into the driver's seat.
"Damn right I don't understand," Sam muttered before standing in front of the driver's door. "Dean, out."
"You're injured, drugged, and in no state to drive."
"I'm fine, Sam!" Dean protested. Sam rolled his eyes.
"Dean, if you don't let me drive then I'm taking you right back to that hospital and making you stay there for another week."
"And just how do you intend to get me back to the hospital?" Dean asked.
"Forgotten about me?" A gruff voice sounded from behind them. Dean turned around to see Bobby's truck next to them. He groaned.
"This is so not fair! You can't gang up on a wounded man!" Dean said with a pout.
"You just said you weren't injured!" Sam exclaimed, half amused half frustrated.
"Stop living in the past, Sam!"
Unfortunately for Dean, neither Sam not Bobby would give in, resulting in him slumped in the passenger seat, scowl playing on his lips. The scowl soon disappeared when he realised just how much pain he was still in, and he was almost thankful that he wasn't driving.
Not that he would admit it.
The two drove in silence, having parted with Bobby a few minutes previously. Sam slowed the car as they passed the warehouse and the two stared at it for a moment.
"Glad it's over?" Sam asked softly. Dean hummed in response.
It was a few blocks away when Dean spoke again.
"Now do you see why I don't like witches?" Sam just chuckled. A silence filled the car. Dean looked at Sam pitifully. Sam sighed as he caved in.
Grinning at his victory, Dean switched on the radio and let the music blare out. Satisfied, he leaned back in his seat and enjoyed the rare occasion of relaxing while Sam drove.
It was only once they had stopped for the night at a cheap motel and were reclining comfortably on the beds while the TV screen lit the room that Sam brought up the issue that had been playing on his mind.
"Hmm?" Dean asked, eyes closed as he lay back on his bed.
"We need to talk."
Dean's eyes flew open.
"You're not breaking up with me, are you Sam?" He asked in mock horror. Sam threw a pillow at him.
"I'm serious Dean." Dean raised his hands in surrender.
"Okay, shoot." He said, acknowledging the serious tone of Sam's voice. Sam took a short breath.
"I… when you… at the hospital, I…" Sam stumbled over his words, unsure how to phrase them.
"Sam. Just take a deep breath," Dean coached gently. Sam took a deep breath and let it out.
"Okay. I realised when you were in hospital that… God, this is going to sound so sappy," Sam groaned. Dean just watched, eyes urging him on.
"It's just…. You need to take more care of yourself, Dean. The number of times you've been seriously hurt and close to death, I don't know how long you and I are going to last!"
Dean's eyes widened. "You and I?"
"Look man, you always do your best to protect me. You've kept me safe since I was six months old. But you always forget about yourself, and that's going to be the death of you. And of me. I know this hunt wasn't your fault and you didn't intend to be kidnapped by witches, but I'm not only talking about this hunt. I just don't know how many more times I can sit beside your bed in a hospital trying to convince myself that you're going to be alright when I know you're going to get back up and do the same thing all over again!" Dean flinched at Sam's accusing tone.
"Sam… I'm sorry, I didn't realise that me getting injured affected you so much," Dean finally said. Sam sniffed.
"Yeah, well, it does." Sam said. Dean sighed.
"I promise I'll try and tone down the crazy acts, but I can't stop myself trying to protect you Sam." Dean said firmly. "It's my job to keep you safe, has been ever since we were kids, and I'm not about to stop now. I can't."
There was an unspoken conversation between them, when Sam eventually sighed and backed down.
"Fine. But no more crazy suicide hunts, okay?" Sam stressed. Dean laughed.
Sam huffed and turned off the TV. The two got under their blankets, each quiet.
"Hey Dean?" Sam called from his bed.
"I'm glad we made it out of there." Sam said. There was a pause.
"Yeah. Me too Sammy. Good night."
"Good night Dean."
The only noise that could be heard in the room was the soft breathing of the two brothers as they sunk into a deep peaceful slumber, lost in an abyss of dreams.