By: Karen B.
Thank you so kindly for your time!
Be well and safe!
Sunshine, even in rain,
The ground was dry and dusty red. Where the hell was he now? Mars? At least weasel-guy was gone. Sam could think of only one thing to do. Get out of this place, before any other strange creatures showed up. Something told him he had to move fast. He started to run, but fell to his knees upon the cracked ground -- no, not ground, carpet -- red carpet. He tried to get up, scrabble to his feet. Something invisible seemed to have a hold of him, Sam struggled to break free, fear choking away his breath.
His eyes widened, turning his head, he saw a large rock to his left, beyond that a forest. No. wasn't a forest was a hallway.
"Uhhhh." Everything kept flipping back and forth.
Sam wished this crazy up-down, flip-flop world would figure out which -- he wasn't found of roller coasters
If he could shake the thing that held him and make it into the trees ---.
"Sam! Sammy, are you seeing me?"
Crap, green eyes was back.
Whoever or whatever this thing was, it tried to take on the shape of his brother, could time travel, jumping from place to place -- just like Sam. And right now Weasel-Dean had a stronghold on his arms, was keeping him from the shelter of the trees.
"Sam, do you hear my voice?"
Something else just occured to Sam -- the half-human creature knew his damn name.
For a second, Sam broke the hold and dropped back down to the ground. Wildly glancing around, he realized the forest had been replaced once again, by the four gray walls. Living walls that bellowed and puffed in and out with life. He took note of a clock, a picture of a cow, a swimsuit calendar -- 1999. What really held Sam's interest, however, was a door. Sam mustered up as much strength as he could, getting to his wobbly feet, and darting for the exit -- fleeing the Wonderland pages of the Lewis Carroll book he'd fallen into.
"Son of a bitch!" Weasel-Dean cursed in the usual tone, but still the voice did'nt fit the creepy looking face.
More words floated around, but Sam couldn't make them out. Just as Sam grabbed the doorknob, Weasel-Dean leapt on him, dragging him across the ground and plopping him down on something soft but lumpy.
Sam's jaw clenched as he stared up into the large green eyes. He wanted to try again to escape, but was too tired, and hot. No -- not hot -- cold. He was freezing cold, shivering even, and every inch of him ached, especially his stomach.
Realizing he was lying back on the bed, his right fist full of sheets, Sam groaned. Weasel-Dean leaned farther over him, hands clamped over his wrists, securing him in place. Sam's gaze shifted back to the door, readying himself to catch a breath, and run.
"Listen to me, bro. Just listen!" Weasel-Dean punctuated his demand, giving Sam's wrists a little jerk. "Sam." The thing's voice shook with fear -- that was odd. "Look at me, man! I mean it!"
What else could he do? Sam did as he was told, his eyes sliding back to look at the face lingering above him. The face wavered in and out of focus like he was looking through the bottom of a glass boat.
Sam shut his eyes -- blackness spinning, his body trembling -- slowly he reopened them.
Sam's fear quickly turned to surprise.
"D-Dean, it's you?"
"Of course it's me. Who'd you think? The friggin' Easter Bunny?"
"More…like…" Sam's breath caught in his throat as Dean morphed back into Weasel- guy.
"Like what?" Dean panted, still keeping Sam pinned to the bed, only slightly loosening his hold.
"You look…" Sam stared vacantly. " I don't know --
Sam shook his head. "No, weird. Long neck, pointy nose, bulging eyes -- weird, like a weasel."
"Sam," Dean huffed. " I see what I see, you see what you see -- see." Weasel- Dean looked half- hurt, half- amused.
"You're a weasel." Sam licked his dry, cracked lips, struggling to understand. Maybe he should trust Weasel-Dean; obviously, there was no getting away from him. He was too weak and he knew it. "What's…what's happening to me?" he asked.
"Dude, your brain is having a going out of business sale."
"What do you mean?"
"Bobby -- he really did give you some wacky stuff, kiddo." Weasel-Dean looked sad. "You're having a bad reaction to the pain meds, not to mention the fever and infection."
"Uhhh." Sam moaned, the bed swaying back and forth like a stormy wind had whipped through the room.
"Sam what is it?" Weasel-Dean whispered, uneasily.
"Bed's moving," Sam informed, pressing further into the mattress
"I told you, you're hallucinating." Weasel-Dean let go of Sam's wrists. "You're such a sasquatch." He sat back, uncurling Sam's fingers from the sheet, curling his own around them instead. " Damn it, I shouldn't have given you that double dose, " he mumbled, a frustrated breath escaping his lips."Trust me, man." Weasel-Dean leaned in closer.
"Gaaa!" Sam arched away from the awful face.
"Sorry, sorry," Weasel-Dean said, quickly pulling back. "Look, pal, whatever it is you're seeing -- Sam, it's not real. You believe me?"
Sam wanted to believe, he was sick, weak, defenseless. At least if this was really Dean he could relax, rest, but something inside was telling him not to. He turned his head, glancing around, trying to pick up the scattered pieces of his jumbled mind. For a moment there was a blank page. A sort of emptiness that nearly choked him. Sam squeezed his eyes shut tight, quickly opening them again. He canvassed the area, and the blank page began to slowly fill -- one color at a time. Four gray walls. Mauve curtains. Thirteen-inch television. Scratched dresser. An over-stuffed sitting chair. Dean's half-eaten Gyro sitting on a small dinette table. All of which decided, once again to sprout arms, legs, teeth -- puffing up and floating around the room. The damn things were back
"Puffalumps," Sam mumbled, giving the monsters a name.
"I don't know. I don't know. Every thing in the room keeps coming to life, floating around"
"Sam? It's okay. Can you trust me on that?"
"Dean." Sam turned back, squinting, Weasel-Dean was gone -- morphed back into his awesomely handsome brother. "Trying," he mumbled.
"Good, keep trying," Dean sighed. "The drugs should be wearing off soon." Dean winced. "Sorry about that."
"Can't give you anymore of that shit. You'll be in a lot of…"
"Pain," Sam interrupted, barely clinging on to understanding.
"What do you remember before this?" Dean asked.
"I…I…" Memories swirled and churned, and Sam's head felt like it'd been mashed -- like potatoes, he shuddered with a groan.
"Take your time, Sam. Try to focus."
"Uh…I…a…" Sam spoke slow, careful, unsure. "A…poltergeist. An old barn, and…" Sam paused to think, eyes straying to the lamp sitting on the moving scratched dresser. The gold-based light puffed up, grew arms, legs, teeth, and floated toward the ceiling. Sam trembled hard. He knew one thing and one thing only. If something had teeth -- that something could bite you.
"Sam." Dean snapped his fingers close to his face. "Eyes up here. On me." Sam turned his head, blinking heavily. "And…" Dean nodded, urging him on.
"And a knife." Sam frowned, laying one hand on his bandaged abdomen.
"Pitchfork." Dean fine-tuned his brother's memory. "Lots of stitches, infection, fever. Bobby's newest high-powered pain meds," Dean filled in further. "Friggin' no paying jobs," he muttered just as his cell rang. "Speaking of." Dean nabbed his phone off the nightstand, narrowly missing the sharp, jagged teeth.
"Dean! Watch out it tried to get you!"
"Sam, I'm fine, I swear." Dean shifted, blocking Sam's view. "Bobby. Yeah, I'm here. Lousy." Dean patted Sam's shoulder and continued talking. "Yes, he's conscious right now. No, still wierding in and out -- mostly out."
Sam closed his eyes, exhausted, listening to the sounds of his heart whooshing in-between his brother's one-sided conversation.
"It's okay. It's not your fault, Bobby. You didn't know, besides, I'm the one who gave him the double dose. Don't scream at me! Because they were pin-sized pills and he's a big kid." Sam felt himself slipping back to sleep. "You think I should?" He heard Dean ask. "Right. If there's no change by then, I'll take him. Thanks, Bobby."
"Hospital?" Sam begged his eyes to open, but they wouldn't.
"Don't worry, Sam, just sleep."
As if Dean's command was a magic spell, everything faded quietly to black
Sam opened his eyes and sighed, staring at the motel room's ceiling. Everything looked normal, still and silent. He tried to sit up, but a wave of dizziness kept him from doing so.
"Still seeing pink elephants?"
"Not drunk, Dean -- Puffalumps." Sam turned his head toward his brother's voice. "They're away for now," he informed drowsily.
"Thank God." Dean set the magazine he was reading down. "Maybe we should get you to try and eat something."
"That's not gon…gona help much," Sam slurred.
A sudden whoosh -- not his heart this time -- drew Sam's attention back to the ceiling.
"What is it?" Dean's tone nervous.
"Not sure." Sam watched as a thick plum of black smoke swept through the room.
"Sure hope you're not seeing the word 'Red-Rum', kiddo."
"I think…" The ceiling suddenly burst into flames. "Dean!" Sam shot a terrified look at his brother. "The room's on fire!"
"That trumps those words and my awesomely handsome self looking like a ferret," Dean grumbled, jumping up from his chair and heading Sam's way.
"Out! Dean! We have to get out!" Sam gasped curling away from the flames. "Ahhh!" He shrieked as the fire continued to gain and spread throughout the room.
"Sam, stay in control." Dean reached for Sam. " It's just the pain meds. I want you to…"
Before Dean could finish his sentence, Sam unglued himself from his spot, clambering off the bed and breezing past Dean. He ran on wobbly legs toward the door, yanking hard on the handle.
"Sam!" Dean was on him trying to seize hold of Sam's arms, hands, anything, but Sam tugged away with surprising strength.
"We have to get out of here!" Sam grappled again for possession of the door handle -- Dean grappled for possession of Sam.
"I'm going to kill, Bobby, then me," Dean snarled, finally getting hold of Sam's biceps and spinning him around to face him.
"Dean! Dean! Stop!" Sam's body was stiff and rigid, every nerve on sensory overload. "Let me go. We have to go!"
"Sam, you're going to hurt yourself, ruin my stitch job." Dean's grip tightened. "You're flipping-out. Sam!"
"Of course I'm flipping-out, Dean, the room's on fire!" Sam's eyes went wide. "And your arm!" Frantic, Sam tried to slap at the orange-red flames engulfing Dean's left arm.
"Sammy!" Dean steadied his hold, shoving Sam back and fixing him to the wall. "Come on, man! Sam! Snap out of it." Dean gave a hard push, Sam's head thumping against plaster.
"Sorry. Sam, I'm sorry, but you have to listen to what I'm telling you. If I was on fire, don't you think I'd be screaming in pain? Rolling on the floor? Running for the door? Calling 911. Dude! It's…not…real!" Sam was glad Dean was yelling so loud, at least he could hear him over the roar of the flames. "Sam, trust me, take a deep breath."
"Do it." Dean gave the order, shaking Sam's shoulders.
"Yeah. Okay. Okay." Sam struggled to restrain himself, taking in a deep breath, all the while staring at Dean's flaming arm.
"Now say it with me, Sam. It…" Dean stopped and waited. No response. "Sam -- it," he repeated louder.
"It," Sam parroted, his knees growing weak.
"Is not real," Dean breathed out in a rush.
"Is not real." Sam strained to stay standing, dwelling on the facts as he poked at the orange flames surrounding Dean's arm with a curious finger. There was no horrible pain. No burning heat. Dean stood before him calm, collect, studying Sam like a bug under a microscope. "It's not real," Sam repeated, cocking his head to one side. "Not real." He glanced around the room trying to make sense of what he was seeing. "I'm losing my mind."
"I wish our lives were that easy. I wish I could lock you up safe and sound, Sam. In one of those white, soft padded cells. Where no bitch poltergeist or anything else could ever hurt you again. Three squares a day, cute nurses, and a friendly game of Chess every Sunday." Dean gave a hint of a smile. "Sam, the fire, none of what you are seeing is real -- well…except this handsome brute." Dean's hint of a smile brightened. "It's the painkiller, bro," he reminded.
"What kind of painkiller?" Sam asked, trembling slightly.
"The kind you're never taking again. Come on let's just sit down, okay?"
"Okay." Sam's legs twitched and he sagged toward the carpet.
"Whoa there. Not here, man. Think you can walk over to the bed?."
"I think so." Sam cringed, he wasn't used to feeling so brainless -- so out of control. He didn't move, only pressed his back further against the wall -- eyes still wide and darting around.
"I think I should help," Dean said in a low voice. Seeming to recognize his brother's on going confusion, he peeled Sam's rigid form gently away from the wall. "Come with me." He wrapped an arm around Sam's waist. "My arm still on fire?" Dean cautiously asked.
"No." Sam tripped over his own bare feet. "But we just walked across a giant pit of snakes."
"Delightful," Dean growled. "Man, why can't you hallucinate about, big breasted women, wearing black fishnet stockings, having euphoric sex."
"Maybe you should take the pills next time," Sam deadpanned
"Maybe so." Dean forced a smile.
"That's sick." Sam staggered the last few steps.
"You good?" Dean asked, lowering Sam in slow motion to lay back on the bed.
"Good." Sam's arms fell limp at his sides.
He was done -- like a burnt dinner-- done. It was hard to keep his eyes open, but he tried. A swirl of black dots filled the room, like a swarm of tiny insects they hit and bounced off the walls
"What do you see now?" Dean stood over Sam -- on guard.
Sam mumbled something unintelligible even to him.
"You're going to have to be more specific," Dean said, placing the back of his hand to Sam's forehead.
"Can't!" Sam snapped. "Nothing makes any sense." He scrubbed vigorously at his eyes trying to clear away the sandstorm of swarming black spots.
"Easy, little brother. You're still sweating with fever," Dean explained.
The black dots ran away, replaced by the Puffalumps swirling above like a mad twister. Every now and again, one would dive bomb him, rush at Dean's head.
"Get away!" Sam flinched, reaching out a shaking hand to bat at the damn things. When he did manage to make contact with one, the Puffalump would burst -- bathing everything blood red. "Too many." Sam moaned, the fight requiring what little was left of his strength. "They won't go away."
"Close your eyes."
"Sam, take a break." Dean clutched at his waving hands stopping Sam's full-on attack. "Let me try," Dean offered.
"'Kay." Sam dropped his hands to the bed, happy for the help.
For a while Sam watched Dean's battle. Strong, sure hands connecting with every Puffalump that swooped their way; until his eyes grew so heavy with sleep he couldn't watch anymore, and they closed of their own accord. Sam could feel the breeze of Dean's efforts; hear him curse under his breath every now and again. Fighting Puffalumps -- sucked.
"You get 'em?" Sam asked as soon as he felt Dean still.
"Dude, I can't tell."
Sam slit open one eye, scanning the room, his gaze finally falling on Dean
"Did I kick ass?" Dean's brow furrowed.
Sam nodded affirmation.
"Nice job," Sam breathed out a long held breath, eye slowly falling shut.
"Nothing to it, little brother. Just try to sleep. I'll stand watch."
Dean had fallen asleep on duty, and the Puffalumps had returned. At least they were not dive bombing, only roaming through the smoke and fire -- probably looking for a way out. Sam was clearer now, knew this wasn't real, but still, he didn't like the hallucinations. They were making him dizzy, nauseous, and okay -- he was scared. Not wanting to wake Dean, Sam decided he'd do some roaming of his own. Maybe a little fresh hallway air would clear his drug-laden head.
He sat up, and swung his legs out of bed. His perspective was still screwed up, but he stood anyway ignoring the vertigo that wanted to take him down -- ignoring the fire that didn't burn. Bravely using the flaming walls as a crutch, he made his way soundlessly to the door, unlocking the latch, and quietly pulling on the handle; he stepped out into the hallway, closing the door softly behind him.
Sam took two steps, turned and leaned his back against the adjacent room, slumping slowly down to his ass onto the dizzying multicolored carpet. He stretched his legs out before him, arms falling limp at his sides -- palms up. It didn't feel as hot here, a cool breeze floating in through a large open window at the end of the short hall. At least nothing too crazy was happening out here. Sam watched the number three on their motel room door dance about, changing into an M… a W…an E… then back into the number three. Harmless, compared to the room catching fire or inanimate objects puffing up, and growing teeth -- your brother going weasel on you.
Suddenly, the motel door was whipped open and the happily morphing number three was replaced by a very scared, and then very quickly relieved, rumpled older brother.
"Sam, what the hell?" Dean spat, the relieved look turning thunderbolt mad.
Dean stepped barefoot out into the hallway and stopped, glancing first one way, then the other.
"Dean!" Sam called out loudly, peering up through his wet bangs that hung down to cover his eyes.
"Tiny hallway, Sam. You don't have to yell," Dean said, taking one small step, and crouching down next to Sam. "The room was on fire again -- wasn't it?" Dean asked sadly.
"Let me look at this." Dean's tone full of serious business.
He leaned forward, fingers tenderly feeling the area around Sam's bandaged wound.
"Mmmm." Sam's face twisted.
"Sam?" Dean quickly pulled away. "Pain starting to break through?"
"Just a…" Sam breathed. "…Little."
"Not to me." Sam bit into his lower lip.
"Means you're back on the bus."
"Yeah, that damn field trip you took is finally coming to an end."
Sam's heart beat hard against his chest. He looked around the rotating hallway, then back at Dean, frowning and cocking his head.
"I still look like a ferret, pal?" Dean smiled.
"Weasel." Sam smiled back.
"And no, Dean., you look scrumpdiddleumptious," Sam giggled.
Dean's brows arched high on his forehead. "That is so beyond gay."
"I love gay." Sam tilted his head back against the wall, blowing puffs of air out the side of his mouth trying to get his bangs out of his eyes.
"Oh, for the…" Dean sat down, angling toward Sam and helping to brush the damp strands of hair away from his eyes. "Man, little brother, first hallucinations from somewhere over the rainbow, and now you're stoned out of your Cro-Magnon skull." Dean felt Sam's forehead. "You're still hot."
"Not as hot as you, Dean. Chicks all say so," Sam giggled again, his head lolling to rest in the niche under Dean's chin.
"I hate to break up this love fest, Sammy boy, but don't you think we should get you back in the room?"
"No!" Sam stopped giggling, struggling to raise his head only to plop back down. "Dean, please," he whispered. "Don't like the room," Sam slurred. "You go back… I'm fine here. Hallway's safe. No fire. No…"
"Puffalumps and weasels?" Dean smiled, settling down further on the carpet.
"We staying here?" Sam asked, urgently.
"That what you want?"
"Then yes, Sammy, we're staying right here. All night." Dean squirmed. "In this tiny, uncomfortable, crappy hallway."
"Thanks," Sam sighed, and reached up to rub a hand over the top of his brother's head. "Your hair feels like a cotton swab," he giggled, rubbing some more.
"Dude, get off me!" Dean gently smacked Sam's hand away.
"I'm so tired." Sam suddenly got serious, nestling his head more comfortably against Dean's chest.
"Me, too, Sam, go to sleep."
"You know…" Sam mumbled a long string of unintelligible words, his body going slack.
"You're such a marshmallow," Dean drawled, laying a protective arm across his brother. "I know, Sammy, and you're welcome."