This is my contribution to the "Summer of Sam Love" Fiction Exchange. The luck of the draw gave me three prompts from the awesome supernatraldh to consider. This is the one I chose
Disclaimer: The Winchester and everything Supernatural doesn't belong to me, I make no profit of them and I just borrowed them to play.
The University of Central Florida exists; I have no idea if they have an Alpha Sigma Fraternity there. I also don't intent any offense to the Alpha Sigma or any other Fraternity, the name was randomly chosen by me out of a list of many fraternities for the purpose of the story. I believe they are great organizations.
February had been unusually wet and cold at first, threatening to destroy a lot of the citrus crops with it's close to freezing temperatures. Yet finally temperatures returned to normal and then even to above normal, reminding everyone that this really was Florida. The campus of the University of Central Florida was buzzing with activity on this Friday afternoon. It seemed like every student was in a hurry to get away to enjoy the weekend. In all likelihood they probably were, after all the weekend was what everyone looked forward to, although for many different reasons.
The football team and cheerleaders and their many fans were looking forward to the game, student clubs to special events and the geeks to finally having time to study without interruption. And then there were the parties, something that almost everyone looked forward to.
In between the many students of different ages, the two young men leaning against the side of a sleek black car didn't really stand out. One of them was way too handsome for his own good, his sandy hair was spiked and his deep emerald green eyes seemed able to make any girl swoon with only one look from them. His button down shirt and tight jeans were doing little to hide the muscular frame that stood probably just above six food. The other, slouched to appear shorter and dressed in a hoodie over slightly more comfortable looking jeans, had to be at least three to four inches taller. His long chocolate colored mop was hiding most of his features right now, which seemed to almost be a trick to make girls look closer at the expressive face and hazel eyes, which at the time appeared bluish green but could go from anywhere from there to greenish brown or dark grayish green, depending on the mood of his owner.
Several of the female students walking by already gave the two men approving looks, which the shorter of the two returned enthusiastically and which made the taller one blush, a trade which seemed to make several girls give him a second look.
"You are such a geek." Sandy haired Dean Winchester teased his brother, "How in the world did you ever get to be a Winchester."
"Hey, there is more to life then girls." Sam defended himself.
"You're right, there is." His brother agreed, "There are mature women with lots of experience…" His face took on a look of appreciation.
"So you gonna talk to Professor Jetson?" The younger hunter questioned, trying to get the conversation to a different subject.
"Yeah, guess it's better than spending time in a stuffy library. That's more your gig."
"Shouldn't take you that long to talk to the guy, so why don't you find a motel and pick me up later. I call you when I'm ready." The younger man said, knowing his brother had driven all the way from Southern Missouri, where there last gig had been and was very likely tired.
"Sure, but don't get too wrapped up in those books. I like to have some fun tonight."
"Hey, wouldn't hurt you to stick your nose into one of those from time to time either." Sam teased.
"Well, I leave that up to you geek boy, after all, I have more important things on my mind than dusty old tomes." Dean responded, before leaving his brother without another look.
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The meeting with the professor went well for the older Winchester. It turned out the man had been teaching at the university for the last twenty years. On one occasion his paths had crossed with Bobby Singer, the salvage yard owner, who was a good friend of John Winchester and something of a second father to his boys. He was the one, who called the two young men and ask them to take over the case that looked like a haunting.
As Professor Jetson or "Jet" as he asked to be called explained, there had been several incidents in the science building, most of them involving flickering lights and sudden changes in temperature. But there also had been some minor injuries due to students falling down without apparent reasons, all of them reporting later it felt like they were being pushed and one more severe case, when one of the students fell down the stairs and suffered a concussion and two fractured legs.
Although strange, no one really gave the incidents too much thought, except Jetson, who had experience with the supernatural and refused to believe these occurrences were coincidences. He gave Dean all the information he had gathered, which consisted of exact dates and time of the incidences, details on all the students affected and even attempts to connect all of them.
The young hunter smirked at the attempts to find a connection between all of the hauntings, but certainly appreciated the detailed information. It would make things easier for them in the long run, as they already had the addresses of the injured and witnesses and of the exact places in the building were things happened. Glancing at the list, he couldn't find any obvious connections but was certain Sam would be able to, after all that's what his genius kid brother did best.
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It didn't take Dean very long to find a motel close to campus, which fit their needs. The "Graduate Inn" was a small place that advertised low prices and free Internet access and as it turned out made good on both promises. In addition it was cleaner than most places they stayed at in the past. Although the room was extremely small and didn't have a microwave, fridge or even a coffee maker, the two single beds had firm mattresses and soft pillows and the bathroom was in working order with a hair dryer hooked up to the wall. Deciding to make use of the bed first, the young man closed the curtains and turned on the twenty inch TV before letting himself fall on top of the bed. It didn't take more than a few minutes after that, before he was out for the count.
It was the sound of "We're all in this together" from 'High School Musical' that woke him from his sleep. Only slowly he realized the sound came from his phone. Picking it up, Dean looked at the caller id then answered, "Sammy, you're so dead for messing with my ring tone again."
There was a chuckle on the other end, before his brother said, "Pick me up in about half an hour, I'm almost done here." The line was disconnected before the older Winchester had time to respond.
Dean couldn't help but let out a chuckle of his own, also he wouldn't ever let Sam hear it. Knowing he had enough time, he moved into the bathroom and stripped off his clothes. Stepping into the tub, he turned on the water, letting the hot stream massage the last tiredness out of his weary bones. He demanded very little from their ever changing sleeping places, but a hot shower with a decent water pressure was one of those things that had made him change accommodations in the past, even when a filthy environment and poor climate control wouldn't.
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After picking up his brother from the library and running through a Chinese drive-through place just off campus, Dean stirred the Impala back to the motel. He was ready for an evening of fun before they started the hunt. It wasn't that often that they came to a place were the girls weren't just pretty but also could make conversation. Parking the car in front of their room, he jumped out and unlocked the room, before returning and taking the take out food from Sam's hands.
"Your bag is still in the trunk" He said, handing the younger man the keys.
Shaking his head slightly, Sam walked around to the back and popped the lid, then took out his duffel bag. Knowing Dean wouldn't appreciate any mistreatment of his baby, he closed the trunk with care, then made his way to there newest 'home'.
"Foof if goof." The older Winchester informed him, talking around a full mouth.
"Gross" Sam turned away and threw the bag on the second bed before sitting down and starting to eat.
"Okay", Dean swallowed the last bite before continuing, "So I thought we could have some fun tonight. I saw that place down the road, looks like one of those joints where college kids hang out." He glanced at his brother and stopped, "What? Don't tell me you want to go to bed early or something like that."
There was a moment of hesitation before the younger hunter started to speak, "No, it's just…, well…, I found something and we really need to get on it tonight."
"That better be important, if I have to give up a night of relaxing for it."
"It is, well at least I think it is." Sam mumbled.
"Okay, so what is it?"
"I checked out the history of the science building and then I read the newspaper articles on the attacks. So I came across several more attacks that match the MO."
"And that can't wait until tomorrow?" Dean was slightly annoyed by now.
"No, those didn't happen at the science building and all of them took place at night in a wooded area used by several fraternities for meetings."
"I still don't know why it has to be tonight though,"
"Damn, Dean, I'm getting there!" The angry outburst from his brother made the older Winchester immediately back off. This was so not like Sam. Maybe like him, but definitely not like Sam. The kid was always thinking before he spoke and usually kept his temper under tight wrap.
It took a moment and several deep breaths before the younger man continued, "Sorry, it's just, it always happened on the second Friday of the month…"
"That's tonight; guess I see your point now." Dean agreed, still not certain this was the only reason for his brother's outburst.
"So you're up for it then?" Sam gave the other hunter a questioning look.
"Sure, so what's the plan?"
"Okay, so I thought we head out there before dark and check the area, find a place to hide and watch the gathering. If anything happens we will be ready to interfere." The younger man explained, already starting to check the weapons bag for any supplies they might need.
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By the time the brothers got to the site it was almost dark and to their surprise most of the participants were already there. As it turned out, it didn't matter though, as there were plenty of freshmen students attending and most of them didn't seem to know one another or the older students.
Dean was slightly confused by the purpose of the meeting until a tall kid stepped up on a boulder and blew a whistle. There was a sudden quiet after the chaos from before and everyone faced the young man standing above them.
"Friends and brothers, welcome to the initiation of the new members of the Alpha Sigma Phi Society. As you know it is a special honor for all of the applicants to even be chosen to be here. You all had a chance to read and memorize the rules and regulations of our society and now will have a chance to proof yourself worthy of becoming an Alpha Sig. Until then, have fun and get to know one another."
As soon as he jumped down and disappeared into the crowd, the organized chaos started up again, only this time everyone began to pool into the direction of the two largest trees. It became obvious in only a matter of seconds that this was were the beer was flowing.
"Hey, looks like a party." Dean smirked. He had heard about the Greek College Societies but wasn't quite up to date with what they really were about.
"Yep, it's a freakin' party alright." Sam responded, then turned and walked away, leaving a confused Dean behind.
It took the older Winchester a moment before he recovered and followed his brother. Something was definitely wrong with Sammy and sooner or later he would either figure out what it was or get his brother to open up to him. He hoped it would be sooner, because they had a hunt to focus on and he needed to make sure the kid didn't screw up.
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For the next two hours the Winchester mingled and talked, but more than anything, they watched. Well at least that's what Dean did. Although Sam did his share of watching too, he seemed to be more preoccupied with his own thoughts. With them and with the third beer he was working on, which once again was so not like his brother. Sam took hunts just as serious as he did and never touched alcohol when they were in the middle of one. So to see him like this really made all alarms go of in Dean's brain. He needed to get them both out of here before something could go seriously wrong.
The older Winchester was ready to walk over to his brother to drag him away, if he had to, when he was interrupted by the same young man from earlier stepping up onto the boulder again and starting to talk.
"Now that you all had time to get to know one another, it's time to get serious. We have twenty applicants this year but there are only nine openings. That means the challenges will be especially difficult. We have the assignments listed from one to twenty on the board leaning against the large oak over there." He pointed to a huge tree that looked like it had seen at least two centuries, "The name of each applicant is on a piece of paper in this box. The order in which the names are drawn will be the order of the assigned task. The rules are easy. Complete the task, you win; fail to complete it, you loose. You have the choice to back out before you start. If there are more than nine winners, there will be an elimination. Everyone understood that?"
There was a combined "yes" from all the wanna be Alpha Sigs before the leader continued, "Alright then, lets get started. The person to start is …" He put his hand in the box, pulling it out with a little white paper in his hand, "…Sean Sanders."
Unable to get closer to him because of the crowd blocking his way, Dean observed his little brother very carefully while the young man delivered his speech. He remembered only very few occasions on which he seen the kid as tense and shaky as he was right now and none of them had been good. Again he attempted to get through the human barrier, when the mass started to move, dragging him with them. Obviously the first task had been announced and it was now time to watch the performance.
Not knowing what to expect the older hunter moved with the crowd, hoping it would get him closer to Sam but in the end finding he was even farther away now, then earlier. To his surprise he saw the chosen applicant, a dark haired, slightly heavy set boy that couldn't be taller than about 5'7'', step up to a tree and lean against it, while another, older kid placed an apple on top of his head. About six feet from his own position was a table on which a bow and arrow were lying. Right now a young man of about the same size as the applicant but at least two years older stepped up to it and picked up the bow. Positioning it, he picked up the arrow also, positioned it in the boy and pulled it back.
From what Dean could tell, he knew how to use the old fashion weapon, but he also noticed that he was slightly shaking and unsteady on his feet, indicating that his alcohol intake had been more than it should have been for the task at hand to be successfully completed. Turning toward his brother, he noted that the tall young hunter had paled and if possible, become even more tense. He also realized that Sam was only six yard from the target.
"Dammit, Sammy, I hope you're not gonna do what I think you will." Dean silently pleaded, already on his way to try and stop the kid with the bow.
Bumping into another participant, he found the man's elbow being pushed into his stomach. Feeling the air rush out of him, he bend over in an attempt to control his breathing, at the same time as he saw out of the corner out of his eye, how the arrow left the bow.
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Sam was standing like he was frozen to the spot. His mind was reeling with pictures from the past and present and the psychological overload was making him tighter than a loaded spring. His head moved between the kid with the apple on his head and the swaying Alpha Sigma member with the bow. Despair filled him, as he struggled to clear his mind and grab on to a clear thought. But the only thing he could see was another kid, lying on the ground, lifeless eyes staring up to the sky, a shaft protruding from his chest.
As the arrow on the other side of the open area left the bow, any attempt to reach a decision was thrown out and pure instinct took over. Adrenaline pumping through his lean but muscular body, Sam let out a scream of pure anguish.
His legs taking over, he sprinted towards the tree, using both hands to push the kid out of the way. The force of the action propelled both of them forward, making Sam land on top of the smaller boy.
The instant Dean saw the arrow set free and his brother breaking into a sprint, he started running also, his mind telling him he would never make it, his heart spurring him on to at least try. His eyes never left Sam and he came to a dead stop midway, as he saw his brother fall on the kid he just pushed him out of the way. The yelling from the smaller man made his heart skip a beat but only for a moment, as he saw his baby brother roll over and off, struggling to get up. Seeing him finally stand on his feet, facing away from him, his head down and his arms pressed against his body, set the older Winchester back into action.
Walking the last few yards, although in an unbelievable fast pace, he put his hand on his sibling's shoulder, anger leaking out of every pore of his body. The response was instant, as Sam turned around without delay, yet the fear written in the wide open hazel orbs made the anger dissolve into nothing, turning it into worry in an instant.
Still fixed on the anguish in those eyes, he heard the gasp and sputter from the younger hunter's lips but wasn't alerted until he felt the wetness on his face, that's when he saw the frothy blood running from Sam's lips.
"Oh God, Sammy!" He reached out with both hands and it wasn't a moment to soon, as the kid's eyes rolled back and his head lolled backwards at the same time as his knees gave out and his body became limp. Only with effort was Dean able to prevent his giant brother from crashing to the ground, instead lowering him as slowly as possible, cradling his head in his lab.
For the first time he saw the arrow protruding from the right side of his rib cage. For a moment he felt like he was going to pass out himself, his breath speeding up and the blood draining from his face. Only the whisper from his brother brought him back to reality.
"M' s.s'ry…" The younger man gasped, visibly struggling to breathe, "c.c.c'dn't h'lp it."
A cough shook his body, increasing his struggle and making more blood bubble over his lips. His eyes widened even more, naked fear written in them, "H'd to" It was clear that the only think keeping him conscious was the desire to finish what he needed to say and even though Dean wanted to tell him to save his breath, he also needed to let his brother talk.
"Lied, no hunt, 'b't h'zin'.D'n't hate me, pl'se."
"Never kiddo!" Seeing his eyes starting to droop, he gently shook him, "Oh no, you don't. Stay with me."
For a moment it looked like Sam was pulling himself together, then another cough attack shook him, making his fight for oxygen even more frantic. In the end his lids slid closed and his body relaxed into his brother's hold. Sliding his fingers down to the carotid artery, the older man relaxed ever so slightly, when he felt a faint, way too fast but at least palpable pulse.
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The next few hours were a blur to the elder Winchester brother. They were filled with sirens, ambulance rides, emergency rooms, men and women in scrubs asking lots of questions, hurrying around and not giving him any answers. He remembered sitting for hours in a chair, unable to move, too dazed to think about what was happening. Then at some point someone came, he thought it was a young blond nurse, but it could have been a dark haired doctor as well, because in the end he didn't really look at the person or listened what he or she was saying. He just remembered finding himself sitting on a soft couch, sipping on a cup of coffee and swallowing bites from a sandwich he didn't even realized he was eating.
He must have fallen asleep, because the next thing he knew was Bobby Singer standing in front of him.
"Bobby, how did you get here?" Trying to clear his mind, he scrubbed a hand over his face.
"With a car, thought it would be faster than walking." The older man smirked but turned serious again, when he realized his attempt to lighten the mood fell on deaf ears, "Got a call from the Professor and happened to be not to far from here."
"How did he know?"
"Guy knows almost everything that goes on around here." The salvage yard owner acknowledged, "So how is Sam?"
"Wish I knew, they won't tell me anything." He looked at his watch, "It's been six hours."
"Sometimes no news is good news." The hunter stated, "What in the world were you doing there anyway? The Prof said something about an illegal hazing."
Dean rubbed his face again, "I wish, I knew. Sam said something about several incidences during meetings at the site. After he got hurt, he tried to tell me he was lying to me, that he knew about the hazing but had to do it. I really don't understand it myself."
"He'll explain eventually."
"Hope so!" The younger man mumbled as he stood up and started pacing, unable to sit still any longer.
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It took another half hour before a nurse came and took both men to the intensive care unit. Leading them into a small room, which was equipped with more medical apparatus, than the younger man remembered ever seeing in one place before, she told them, they could sit with Sam until the doctor would come and explain things.
It was only then that Dean took in the still outline of his brother lying in between white sheets and pillows.
"Sammy…" He gasped, moving closer to the bed, until he was able to touch his sibling's bloodless cheeks.
Careful, as to not make contact with the tube sticking out of the kid's mouth, he moved his calloused palm up until he ran into the soft brown curls. Holding his hand there, he looked down, his eyes moist and his teeth digging into his lower lip.
"Why Sammy…? Why in the world didn't you trust me?" Sitting down he moved his hand to that of his brother and picked it up. They've been in this spot way too many times before. Last time it's been him in that hospital bed, after the raw head zapped him. At that time it had been his brother, who found the faith healer for him and although Dean resented being saved at the cost of another life, he had to confess, he would have done the same thing for Sam. Oh God! How he wished for someone to heal his baby brother right now.
Bobby sat down on a chair by the window, silently observing the scene. He knew Dean needed the time with his brother; try to come to grips with what was going on. Things surely didn't look good. Judging from the bloodless, almost translucent appearance of the younger Winchester's skin, the kid was far from safe. Adding to this the ventilator, the drain with bile and another with blood dripping into bags hanging on the right side of the bed and another tube coming from slightly higher on his chest leading into a water filled container, made the situation look even more serious.
He wasn't the praying kind, but for looking at the mess the youngest Winchester had gotten himself into, he just had to, "God, help that boy, you know his brother won't do well without him."
"Mr. Jordan?" The voice came from a tall blond man in his upper thirties, who stepped into the room without the two men noticing him.
Dean looked up but didn't move, "That's me." Pointing at the older man, he continued, "And this is Bobby Singer, our uncle."
"I'm sorry we had to meet under these circumstances. My name is Paul Simon, I'm Sam's doctor.
He smiled, yet it wasn't a happy smile. It was more one of those empathetic smiles medical professionals gave to anyone, who was in serious trouble or was the relative of someone in serious trouble.
"I wish I could say things went off without a hitch, but I can't. The arrow hit his eighth rib and shattered it, driving small pieces of it upwards deep into his lung, then continued its path slightly downwards through the lower part of the lung and into his liver, where the tip lodged itself into the hepatic vein. The only thing that saved him was that no one tried to remove the arrow and it didn't dislodge during transport."
"Wow," Dean squeezed his brother's hand a little tighter, like by holding on like this he could make sure Sam wouldn't leave him, "But you fixed it, didn't you?"
Pausing for a moment, while he was looking for the right words, the doctor finally continued, "We fixed the hepatic vein but had to remove a part of his liver because we couldn't stop the bleeding from some of the smaller vessels." He gave Dean an apologetic look, "I'm sorry, please believe me, we tried everything but finally didn't have a choice or your brother would have bled out."
It took the older Winchester a moment to digest the news. He made eye contact with his friend, than looked back at his brother.
"I understand, but what does that mean for him."
"Actually, after he had time to heal, he won't even know it. What worries us right now is the injury to his lung. It took us a long time to get all the pieces of bone out. His lung is badly damaged and your brother went into cardiac arrest during surgery. We were able to restart his heart relatively fast but because of the loss of blood and the extent of the injuries we will have to wait the next twenty-four hours out before I can tell you, if he is going to be alright." He actually looked truly distressed, when the last sentence came over his lips.
Bobby, who had stepped closer, put his hand on the younger hunter's shoulder, suddenly feeling the need to make contact with him.
"So what are his chances?" He asked.
"I wish I could tell you, but there is no concrete answer. The only thing I can tell you is that Sam is young and strong and that's something he has going for him. We are treating him with a combination of several different Antibiotics to prevent complications and keep him in an induced coma, so his body can recover. It's up to him now and to you. Talk to him, tell him you're here and encourage him. Believe me, I have seen families work wonders by doing so. I will make sure that both of you are allowed in here at any time"
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Even without Dr. Simon permission, there would have been no way to get Dean away from his brother's side. The only time he let Sam out of his visual field was when he had to relief himself and even then he was tempted to leave the door open. It was only due to the fact that Bobby was in the room also and that one of the nurses could walk in unexpectedly that he refrained from it.
Sitting with his baby brother while he was sick and telling him stories was something that had become a habit to the older brother, ever since they've been children. So by now it came easy to him. He talked about things they did together while they still were children, about their father and about school. Running out of other things, he started telling his brother how to fix various problems on a car engine and how to change the alternator and the carburetor.
After close to ten hours and gallons of coffee his voice finally started to give out. Bobby, who had been sitting on the other side of the bed, leaving on occasions to provide some more coffee and some snacks the stubborn Winchester could shove into his mouth and eat without stopping to talk, finally decided to interfere.
"Dean, why don't you take a break for a while?"
"Can't, he needs me." The pigheaded hunter insisted, "I have to stay with him."
The salvage yard owner sighed, but wasn't ready to give up yet, "Okay; now you listen to me, I didn't say a word about you leaving. For all I care, you can grow roots here, but you have to take care of your voice. If you don't take a break now, you won't be able to talk at all in while. So you better take care of yourself."
Although he already had another counter argument on his lips, Dean had to confess that his friend was right.
"Alright, but I'm staying right here!" he grumbled.
"Wouldn't expect anything less, now let me get you some nice hot soup from the cafeteria and you'll see, in a few hours you'll feel like a new man."
He left the room, only to return fifteen minutes later with a tray holding a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup and a sandwich. Setting it down in front of the other man, he once again settled in the other chair.
"There, now eat up. There are quite a few stories I can tell your brother while you rest."
At first Dean ate with reluctance, but after the first few bites he became aware how hungry he really was and that the hot soup felt soothing on his raspy throat. Taking a drink from the cup also on his tray, he sputtered, "Eek, what in the world is this?"
"Chamomile tea, it's great for your throat, so drink up."
He gave the younger man a look that would have made John Winchester proud, finding to his relief it was working and Dean drank the whole cup empty, even though he squeezed his nose shut while doing it.
"Next time warn a guy before you make him drink that stuff."
Grinning, Bobby decided to ignore him and turned to Sam instead. Stroking a stray strand of hair out of his face, he started story time, beginning with the first time he had to change baby Sammy's diaper, an occasion that was still quite vivid in his mind and nose, as he had never done anything like it before. He had ended up getting his face and shirt wet because no one had found it necessary to warn him about the fact that little boys seemed to make it a habit to urinate right before their new diaper was being pulled over their front. It was a lesson Bobby had never forgotten and which at the time had Dean, who had been watching, rolling on the floor with tears in his eyes.
"You knew this would happen, didn't you?" He asked the younger hunter, who by now was sitting with his brother's hand in his beside the bed again.
"I did," He confessed laughing, "But I swear, I didn't do it on purpose, I just didn't think about it until it happened. It was funny though."
"It was, but only when I look back on it now, it sure wasn't at the time."
"Guess not." Dean yawned.
Smiling the older man went on with his reminiscing, finding his younger friend with his head on the bed, sleeping peacefully, only ten minutes later. What Dean didn't know was that Bobby had spiked the tea with a sedative he had received from the understanding surgeon. Getting up to pull Dean's coat from the back of the chair, he draped it over the sleeping man's shoulders, carding his hand through the spiked hair.
"Sorry kid, but it's for your best." He said, before returning to his station to resume his task.
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Three hours after Dean sank into his drug induced slumber, Bobby decided it was probably not in the young Winchester's best interest to continue to sleep sitting in an uncomfortable chair with his head lying on the bed. Especially not, because it prevented the nurses from getting to both sides of the bed to reposition Sam and provide cares. So he asked for a cot to be brought in, a wish that was gladly granted, particularly because the nurse he requested it from had taken a special liking to the young man, whose only focus was his injured younger brother.
It didn't take the older hunter long to transport a barely awake Dean over to the cot. His head hadn't even met the pillow yet, before his lights went off again, making the other man smile, as he spread a blanket over him.
After that it took the younger hunter another nine hours to wake up, a sign that spoke of his complete and utter exhaustion, as Dr. Simon had promised the grizzled hunter the sedative would wear off after five to six hours.
Sitting up, Dean scrubbed his hand over his face and looked around, trying to figure out what happened. Finding Bobby sitting in a recliner beside Sam's bed and reading a magazine, he started to put things together.
"You drugged me!" He said angrily.
Ignoring the outbreak, the other man smiled, "I just made sure you got some rest, the drug wore of hours ago, so you obviously needed the sleep or you would have woken up then."
Still not over his anger, Dean grumbled, "Yeah, but what about Sammy?"
"There has been no change. Your brother is holding his own. He is running a low grade fever, but it hasn't gotten worse. The nurse told me it's pretty normal for someone with major trauma to run that kind of a temperature, said something about the body had to absorb all the blood that leaked into the tissue and deal with the injury."
Feeling slightly better now, the young man had to acknowledge the sleep had done him good, although he would never say that out loud. Instead he just turned and walked into the bathroom, this time not even hesitating to close the door. He figured, if nothing happened to his brother during the time he was sleeping, than he would be okay for another minute also.
When he finally returned, he took up his spot by Sam's side, "I could use some food and coffee." He didn't even move his eyes, which now were once again fixed on his baby brother.
Hearing the chair move and Bobby walking out of the room, he added, "Thanks, Bobby!"
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Shortly after the older hunter left, Dr. Simon walked in to check on his patient. Acknowledging the older brother with a nod of his head, he proceeded to listen to Sam's lungs and watching the monitor for a while. After what felt like an eternity, he shoved is stethoscope back into his coat pocket.
"I'm not quite satisfied with his lung yet, but I don't want to keep him under for to long. So I think we slowly wean of the sedative and see how he is doing when he wakes up."
"What's going on with his lung?" Dean didn't really listen any longer after hearing the part of the doc not being satisfied with Sam's lungs yet.
"It sounds like he still has fluid in it and I don't like the way the air exchange sounds." The surgeon explained.
The older Winchester's eyes widened, as fear tried to put a tight band around his chest. Taking several deep breaths, he tried to control his anxiety.
"So why would you take him of the vent, if his lung isn't doing well?" He gasped at last.
"Dean, it's not unusual at this point that Sam's lung doesn't sound that great." The doctor said, "Granted, I wish it was better, but leaving him on the vent to long could cause worse problems, like infections. So we will let him wake up and see if he is able to inflate the injured lobe by himself. If he isn't, we will keep him on the vent, otherwise we take him off, start him on breathing exercises and get him moving around as soon as possible."
The young man rolled his eyes, still not convinced by the argument.
"Believe me; I know what I'm doing. I wouldn't risk your brother's life to prove a point. I take my oath as a physician very serious. So you think you can trust me?"
Locking eyes with the other man for a moment, Dean could see the sincerity in them. There was also something else that made him feel a little bit more at ease.
"I guess I'll try." He answered.
"Fair enough." The doc said, "So I'll turn the pump with the sedative off now and I'll send the nurse in to change the IV solution to one with a pain reliever in it. It still should be several hours before your brother wakes up. So get some rest." He instructed before leaving.
"No can do, doc, Sammy needs me now more than before." The older Winchester mumbled making sure Dr. Simon wouldn't hear him.
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Dean was smarter this time; he alternated his time talking to his brother with Bobby, although he once again refused to leave Sam's side. He was amazed how many memories the stories the older man told brought back, but also how much he found out about his father and brother he didn't know about. Several times he was actually glad the kid was unconscious, like when Bobby started talking about some of the things Dean had done.
Like the time, when Sammy was sick with pneumonia and John had insisted on taking the boys to some crappy motel with no working heater in the middle of winter. Twelve year old Dean had packed his little brother into blankets and hot wired a car, driving the hundred fifty miles to Pastor Jim's house to make sure his brother got medical care. Sam had been so out of it, he didn't even remember this happened.
"I had no idea you knew about this." Dean confessed.
"Who do you think was the first one to get a call from your dad at two in the morning, when he came back from the hunt and found you two missing?" Bobby asked, "Kid, there is very little about you guys I don't know."
"Well, let's not get into this any further." Dean decided, turning back to his brother, "I think it's time to change the subject, before this guy tells you some things about me that I'm not ready to share."
"You know, you should be proud of what you did that time. I think Sam really needs to know what you did for him." Bobby said thoughtfully.
"I don't think so." The younger hunter objected, "I just did what I had to and it would just make him feel worse about dad."
Getting up to stretch his legs for a while then sitting down again, he grabbed Sam's hand and held on tightly. After a while, he became so engulfed in talking to his brother, he didn't notice when his friend left the room, because he felt the younger man needed some alone time with his sibling.
"You know Sammy; you really need to wake up now, this sleeping beauty act of yours is getting old. You have no idea how tough it is to sit here and not be able to do anything. It's almost like when I watched you leave for Stanford." He let his head hang for a moment and carded his hand through his spiked hair, "Guess it's not totally like it, because at that time I could have held you back. Problem is I knew you needed to go. As much as I hated it, we have been protecting you so much you never had the chance to make any decisions on your own. You needed to learn to live with the consequences of your actions, no matter if they were right or wrong."
Again he paused, this time to move his hand through his brother's chocolate colored mop, something that he had done for years when the younger man was sick and once in a while only because Sammy had been sleeping and he couldn't resist the urge to do so.
"Dad and I, we watched you, but we never interfered. Believe me, sometimes it was difficult, but I'm really proud of how you managed. And to let you in on a secret, even dad was proud, I could tell, although he would deny it if you ever asked him."
Dean smiled, the memory of him and John hiding in a rental car and watching Sam from a save distance still seemed funny. He looked up, noticing the flicker of his sibling's eye lids.
"Sammy, you awake?" He stood and leaned over the bed, hoping he didn't just imagine the movement.
For a moment he held his breath then he saw it again, only this time there was actually a little bit of hazel gazing through small slits.
"Come on, open them all the way." Dean coached, excitement lacing his voice, "I know you're in there, I've seen you looking at me."
The lids struggled against the downward pull, but moved all the way up now and glazed orbs attempted to focus on the older brother. There was a sudden gasp telling Dean his sibling just became aware of the endo-tracheal tube sticking in his throat.
Putting his hands on Sam's shoulders, he calmed him, "It's okay Sammy; just take it easy, they had to put you on a vent. Let me get the doc."
He turned to walk away but was held back by a hand grabbing on to his forearm. Spinning back around, he saw the now huge, almost completely brown eyes pleading for him to stay.
"Alright, I use the call light."
Reaching for it, he pushed the button then waited for the voice coming through the speaker, to ask what he needed. Voicing his request, he looked back at Sam.
"It's okay little bro, help's on its way." He assured him, glad to see when the tension started to leave the younger man.
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Bobby started to run down the hallway the moment he noticed Dean leaning against the wall in front of the door. Only when he perceived the smile on the younger man's face did he slow down and finally came to a halt in front of him.
"He's awake." The older Winchester stated what the grizzled hunter already knew from the expression on his face, "Doc Simon is checking him out right now, making sure he can take him off the vent."
Putting his hand on Dean's back, Bobby pulled him into a short hug, "You Winchesters will be the death of me one day." He grumbled, but his expression betrayed the sentiment.
Dean smirked, he had no idea how often he heard those words coming out of the older hunter's mouth in the past. It seemed like it had to be at least once for every time they visited or met with him.
"You can come in again." A red headed nurse stuck her head through the door ,interrupting his thoughts.
The two men followed the invitation without delay, giving the doc an expectant look as soon as they entered. The surgeon smiled at them from his position at his patient's side.
"He's doing just fine." He assured them, "Well, considering his injury, he is. He still has a ways to go until he is fully recovered, but barring any complications, he should be all right."
The older Winchester looked with a doubtful expression at his still way too pale little brother.
"So what's with the mask?" He asked skeptically.
"He still has trouble maintaining his oxygen level above 90% with just a nasal cannula. The mask keeps the level right around 94%. So I'll keep him on the mask until tomorrow. It just will give him a little bit more time to recover without compromising his oxygen levels. Please don't worry about it." He tried to reassure the young man.
Still not quite convinced, Dean decided to let it go and at least try and follow the doctor's advice. Turning to his brother, he moved some of the stray hair out of his face. Taking in the way the younger man was fighting to keep his eyes open, his lids drooping more and more, he left his hand on his head and moved his thumb back and forth on his forehead.
Leaning closer, he said, "It's alright Sammy, you just sleep. I'll make sure you'll be alright."
It seemed like this was the only permission the kid had been waiting for, as he allowed his lids to close completely and his face relaxed in sleep. Straightening out again, Dean exchanged a glance with Bobby, who was once again amazed by the trust that existed between the two brothers.
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With all the luck, or lack thereof that the Winchesters usually going for them, it could be accounted as a miracle a miracle that Dr. Simon was proved right and Sam developed no complications. For the first forty-eight hours after the young man was taken off the ventilator, the two older men watched him like hawks, making sure nothing would escape their observation. Dean drove the nurses bonkers, constantly turning on the call light to let them know about something else he noticed and thought it had to be abnormal.
One time Sam's face was too flushed, the next it was too pale. He was too restless or he was sleeping too much, the IV drip was too fast or too slow, the temperature in the room was too hot or too cold. When he became short of breath when two nurses helped him sitting up at the side of the bed the first time after the O2 mask was replaced with a cannula, Dean insisted on Dr. Simon to be called. He demanded the same when Sam stated his breakfast tasted like nothing, afraid his brother was getting ill again. Bobby almost rolled on the floor laughing, when it turned out the aide just forgot to add the sugar to the oatmeal.
The older Winchester was hovering like a mother hen over her chicks and only because of the high level of pain medications and his still weakened condition did the younger brother stay quiet.
The salvage yard owner on the other hand actually enjoyed himself. It was just too funny to see the usually so charming younger man go off on some of the hottest nurses he'd ever seen, just because after the first few times, they didn't take his complaints too serious anymore .
It was on the third day that he finally was ready to intervene and only because Dean had just made one of the young aides cry. The girl came in to pick up the lunch tray and one of the glasses dropped noisily to the floor, waking Sam from his sleep. The young man started up and cried out in pain, making his brother go off on a rampage and finally making the aid run out of the room in tears.
"Okay, that's enough!" Bobby put his hand on the younger hunter's shoulder.
Dean shrugged him off, "What you mean? She made Sammy hurt."
"She didn't mean to and that's not the only thing this is about."
"No? So what is it about then?" the older Winchester challenged him.
"It's about you treating these people like dirt." Bobby explained, "They are just doing there job and you bite their heads off for it."
"I wouldn't have to, if they would do their job right. Obviously nobody around here knows what they are doing." Dean complained, not ready to listen.
"So what makes you the expert here? When did you get your nursing degree?"
The older man silenced, when he heard a female voice coming from beside the bed.
"How can I help you?" The nurse had walked in without either of the two men noticing.
"Could you please check my dressing?" Sam inquired, "I think I might have pulled something, when I moved too fast."
"Sure, no problem let me take a look at it." She said, grabbing a pair of gloves from the wall holder, "You need to be careful, even with the tube removed, the wound still can tear open."
"I know," He agreed, "I was sleeping and got startled." He clenched his teeth, to keep a moan in, as she removed the dressing.
Probing the area surrounding the sutures, she moved over to the supply card, retrieving what she needed before cleaning and redressing the area.
"You pulled on a couple of the sutures and caused some minor bleeding, but none of them tore out." She explained, "It does look sore though and from your reaction I can tell you're hurting. You need me to get you something for the pain. I know Doc Simons ordered something for you after he discontinued the PCA." (Patient Controlled Analgesic)
She adjusted the pillow behind Sam's head and pulled the blanket back up, making sure he was as comfortable as possible.
"No, I'm alright, Peggy." He said, "But you could do me a favor." He smiled at the slim nurse with the short cropped black hair.
"Anything you want." She smiled back honestly.
"Please tell Christina that usually my brother isn't such a big jerk. He will apologize to her as soon as he crawled out of his own butt." He grinned, giving her a wink with his eye.
Winking back, she said, "Will do!" before leaving the room with a slight bounce in her step.
For several moments the two men stood with their mouths hanging open, disbelieving of what they just seen and heard with their own eyes and ears. There was slight amusement in Bobby's face though, while Dean wasn't sure what to think.
"Okay, are you guys just gonna stand there and try to catch flies with your mouths, or are you gonna sit down?" Sam finally broke the silence.
Following the injured man's suggestion both took a chair and sat.
"So what is all of your griping about?" The youngest Winchester looked at his brother.
"No idea, what you're talking about?" Dean responded.
"Oh yeah, how about I'll tell you then?" Sam asked, "Making girls cry, insisting on the doc seeing me for nothing, in general being a jackass…Do I have to continue?"
"Okay, fine…You really wanna know? Damn it Sammy, you scared the shit out of me. I thought you were gonna die." The older man pushed his hand through his hair, trying to keep his composure, "Seeing that arrow sticking out of your side…, man…, what the hell were you thinking?"
Dean stood up and started pacing around the room. His need to hit something increased to an almost unbearable level and he finally found release by punching his fist into the wall.
Turning, he stopped in his tracks, when he noted tears flowing from his sibling's eyes, his face marred by distress.
"I…I'm sorry." The younger man stopped, unable to control his voice any longer.
Turning his back to the older man, he groaned, as the movement increased the tension to his already painful wound. He buried his face into the pillow, ashamed of the pain and worry he caused Dean. Trying to swallow his sobs, he felt a hand gently moving his head around.
"Sammy, please look at me." Dean didn't sound angry anymore; rather his voice was filled with concern and tenderness. Only when the younger hunter opened his still tear filled eyes, did he continue, "It's alright buddy, I'm just upset because I almost lost you."
Not getting a response, he looked over to Bobby for help. The other man always seemed to have a knack for getting a reply out of his brother, even when he and John couldn't.
Stepping closer, the salvage yard owner said, "Sam, no one is mad at you, it's just that we don't understand what happened, why you did what you did."
The youngest Winchester swallowed, both men could clearly see, how he was fighting for composure. Knowing the signs from previous experiences, both of them understood they would have to give Sam time and not pressure him.
"It's alright, if you don't want to talk about it right now." Bobby assured him.
"Yeah," Dean hurried to add, "take all the time you need."
"No…, I mean, I do want to tell you, I just don't know where to start." Sam confessed.
"How about you start at the beginning?" Dean encouraged him.
It still took the younger brother several minutes before he finally found the right words to start.
"A few days after I got to Stanford, I met this kid, name was Jonathan Brisby. He was this great guy, funny, easy going and smart. He really helped me adjust and showed me around. He wanted to be a lawyer too and maybe that's why we hit it off so well. He came from old money, I mean really old. His great-grandfather brought it with him from England, but it really didn't seem to mean anything to him, because he never dressed or behaved like he had a penny more in his pocket than I did." He stopped and looked at Dean for support.
His sibling gave him a silent nod that told him it was alright to continue.
"Jon never wanted to be different, but his father expected him to join the same fraternity he had been a member off. I met the guy a couple of times and he really seemed to be alright, a lot like Jon actually. He really was hung up on that frat thing, though. Jon didn't want to but I encouraged him, because I thought his dad was cool and so I told him it was just a little give and take. It took a while, but he finally agreed, but only on the condition that I would join with him. He told me he would pay the dues for me." Again he looked at his brother before he carried on, "I really didn't want to, but he was stubborn and insisted…"
"Sounds like someone I know." Dean smirked.
"I finally gave in," He ignored the comment, wiping his hand over his face, "God, I wish I wouldn't have!"
For a moment there was silence, as once again Sam was clearly fighting for self-control. Waiting for the young man to continue, Bobby gave Dean a knowing look, which the hunter returned.
"We had through this application process and then there was this meeting where we were going to meet everyone else. There was one last test before we could become full fledged members. Turned out they had this hazing…" He swallowed hard before being able to talk again, "…I can't believe, I was so stupid."
No longer able to control the sobs shaking his body, he wrapped his arm around his injured rib cage. Dean gently put his hand on his baby brother's shoulder and laid his head down on Sam's.
"It's okay Sammy, we all made mistakes we regretted later on." He whispered into the younger man's hair.
"You don't understand, it was just like here, only we all were totally wasted by the time they started the "test". Jonathan was the first one to go. They made him stand against a wooden board, while one of the others was supposed to shoot six arrows into the board without hitting Jon." He stopped for a moment, then continued, "Kid was an expert marks man, he was just as drunk as everyone else but his first four arrows were right on target. It was the fifth, which…"
His voice trailed off and he buried his face into Dean's shoulder. Only after several minutes he continued, "I remember seeing the shaft stick out of his chest, his eyes were staring at me, but they were empty, he was already dead. He must have died instantly."
The silence, which followed Sam's last words laid heavy in the air, filling the room with an atmosphere so oppressing that the two older men felt like they couldn't breath.
Fighting for the right words, yet knowing they would never come, Dean at last broke the stillness, " Sammy, you didn't make Jonathan participate in that hazing and you didn't kill him."
"Maybe not, but I was the one you talked him into joining the fraternity in the first place."
Staring into Sam's hazels, which were still brimming with moisture, he averted his eyes, instead looking over to Bobby for help again.
The old hunter sighed, feeling the heavy weight of guilt lying on the younger kid. Why did those Winchesters have to make everything their responsibility? Why could they just not give a damn, like all the other people around? He immediately threw the thought out again, because he knew this was part of who those boys were and he wouldn't want them any other way.
"Hey kiddo, can I ask you a question?" He tried to get Sam's attention, relieved when the red rimmed eyes looking at him proved his success, "Did Jonathan love his father?"
"Yeah, his dad was his hero." The younger man gave him a questioning look, confused by the question.
"Did he usually follow his advice?" Bobby continued.
"As far as I know, he said they got along really well. His dad took a lot of time out of his busy schedule to spent time with him when he was growing up."
"So you mean, if they ever had an argument or a misunderstanding, they resolved it pretty fast, right?"
"I guess so." Sam still looked confused, while Dean started to smile, understanding where the older man was going with this.
"So I guess, even if you wouldn't have been there and talked him into joining for his dad's sake, he sooner or later would have given in any way." Bobby watched the injured man closely for a reaction.
There was a long pause and it was visible from Sam's expression that he was trying to come to term with what his friend was saying. At last his eyes moved from his brother to his surrogate father and back.
"Yeah, I think he would have. But his dad didn't know what would happen."
"Neither did you Sam." This time it was Dean, who spoke the words.
"Yeah, but I was there I should have stopped him, as soon as I saw what they were going to do."
"I don't think your judgment was more than just impaired at the time and so was your friend's. He had the option to pull out and he didn't. Whatever happened, kiddo, it wasn't your fault. What those frat boys did was illegal.
Once again tears edged the younger brother's eyes, yet his voice was steady this time, "I guess you're right." He looked up at Dean, "He was my friend and I stood by, while he died, I just couldn't let that happen to anyone else, I rather would have died myself. I'm sorry Dean, you think you can ever forgive me."
For a moment the older man took on a serious expression, then he smiled, "Nothing to forgive little bro. Just promise me one thing…"
"Promise me, the next time; tell me before you get into something like this. We could have done this a whole lot easier and without anyone getting hurt, especially not you."
"I promise." For the first time there was a small smile on Sam's face.
"Good, because if you ever complicate an easy hunt again, I'll kick your butt into the next county, do you understand?" The older man made sure to smirk so his brother would see how his words were really meant.
"Yes Sir!" Sam smiled back, then added, "By the way, what happened to the hunt?"
"Bobby called another hunter in. Guy had no trouble finding the cause. Some old maid, guess she was the sister of the guy, who donated the land for the science building, wasn't happy that she didn't get to inherit it. So she swore she would haunt the place for one year every twenty-five years for as long as it would stand. Guess no one was hurt the first four times, so there was no record of it. Her body was buried in the family vault at the local cemetery, no problems for the other guy to salt and burn her, so it's over now." Dean ended his story.
"Sorry again for messing up. I'm just glad at least the spirit is gone."
"Alright, now that this is settled, get some sleep, you look like shit."
"Have you looked in the mirror lately?" Sam retorted, yet settled deeper into the pillows; his eyes already closing in the knowledge his brother would stay in close proximity and keep him save.
"I don't have to, can't improve on perfection." Dean smirked, happy when he heard a giggle coming from his brother, before the younger man's breathing evened out in sleep.
Bobby Singer took one last look at the two young men before he turned and walked over to the window, his own eyes brimming with tears now, preventing him from seeing the view outside clearly. Those boys would be the death of him one day, yet he knew he wouldn't mind giving his life for either or both of them. Blood wasn't everything; they were his boys just as much as John's, maybe even more.
This was the actual prompt - S1 fic in which Dean discovers something about Sam's college life. A college hazing that ends badly puts Sam in the hospital and Dean searching for answers.
Well Denise, I sure hope you like it and are not too disappointed in how this turned out. You are an awesome writer and it's an honor to write for you. Hugs, Vonnie