Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue, wouldn't get anything.
Prompt: The boys are on a hunt and get attacked. It's up to Sam to finish the hunt and take a seriously injured Dean to Bobby's to get patched up. In order to not worry his brother and later Bobby, he hides his own injuries, which leads to serious complications later on.
Sam gasped as he was catapulted through the air and landed hard on a very unforgiving surface. A sharp jolt of pain shot through his side, and head and he was sure he heard some ribs crack but that was quickly pushed to the back of his mind when he heard Dean yell. Forcing his eyes open, he saw the wendigo advancing on Dean, who was curled up in an almost fetal position, clutching his shoulder. Thinking fast, he grabbed the flare gun and fired it at the creature.
The wendigo jerked before bursting into flames. Once he was sure that it was dead, Sam got to his feet and stumbled over to Dean was laying and knelt down beside him, "Dean?"
Dean groaned and Sam could see that Dean was in no shape to drive them anywhere; his shoulder was a mess. Sam gingerly helped him to his feet and pretty much carried Dean to the Impala and got him settled, grabbing their first aid kit and patching up Dean's shoulder as best he could before climbing into the driver's seat and starting the car up, calling Bobby to let him know they were on their way. Quickly checking to be sure Dean was all right, he ignored his spinning head and complaining ribs and focused on getting Dean to Bobby's before he woke up. His own problems could wait.
Bobby knew a lot of things in this world; demons were evil, a devil's trap could trap just about anything, there was nothing a good bowl of chili couldn't help ease, and that Sam Winchester would sooner bite his own tongue off than admit to being in pain. The signs weren't hard to see for someone who was well-versed in Sam Winchester, though Bobby would admit that he wasn't nearly as good as Dean was but then Dean knew Sam better than Sam did so that was expected.
At first Bobby had tried to write it off as Sam being worn out from caring for his injured older brother. Winchesters weren't known for being very good patients but Dean seemed especially pissed at being laid up by a Wendigo and was being an even bigger crank than normal. But as Dean began the long road to recovery, Sam seemed to be fading away. Bobby knew he wasn't sleeping or eating very well but also knew that Sam wouldn't allow himself to relax until Dean was 100%. So Bobby waited, hoping that Dean recovered before Sam's weakened body gave out or there was going to be hell to pay.
The whole thing came to a head about two weeks after the boys' arrival. Dean was pretty much fully recovered from his shoulder injury and had already headed out to tune up the Impala, Sam was sitting at the kitchen table, picking at the pancakes Bobby had made, hoping to tempt the youngest Winchester's almost non-existent appetite with his favorite meal.
"Sam, you need to eat something," Bobby chided as gently as he could, keeping his voice low due to the headache he could see Sam was suffering from.
Sam shook his head, "I'm fine, Bobby, just a headache."
Bobby sighed, "Sam, you've had a headache since you boys showed up." He gave the younger man a long look, "You sure you didn't hurt anything other than your ribs on that hunt?"
Sam shook his head, wincing as he did so, "I'm fine Bobby." He stood up shakily, "I think I'm gonna go lay down for awhile."
Bobby watched Sam carefully make his way to the living room, silently cursing the boy's stubbornness, and headed outside to talk to Dean.
He found Dean already hard at work on the Impala. "Dean, I think you need to talk to Sam."
Dean frowned as he peeked out from underneath the hood of the Impala, "What for?"
Bobby sighed, ever since John Winchester's death, Dean and Sam's relationship seemed to be disintegrating at an alarming rate. Bobby knew that Dean was having trouble dealing with whatever John had done to save his life and Sam was paying the price because Bobby knew that Dean would've noticed Sam's poor health and forced him to go to a doctor.
"He's sick, he's been sick since you boys got here, but he's been too busy taking care of you to worry about himself." Bobby said, hoping that the comment about Sam being sick would get Dean's attention.
Dean only shrugged before turning his attention back to the Impala, "He would've said something."
That did it. Bobby had tried to being gentle but his patience had run out, "Since when has Sam needed to say something for you to notice he's off his game? You used to know he was sick before he did!" He took a deep breath before he totally lost it, "I know you're upset about your dad dying, but Sam still needs you. Hasn't that always been your job: take care of Sam?"
Dean stared at Bobby for a long moment before turning and heading for the house, leaving Bobby alone in the yard.
Dean walked into the house, looking for his little brother. Bobby's words had reminded him of his first and most important job, taking care of Sam, and that since their dad's death, he hadn't been doing it.
As he entered the living room, Dean spied his baby brother on the sofa, curled almost into a fetal position that would've been comical under any other circumstances for such a large man. He crept over and knelt next to the couch and took a good look at Sam and didn't like what he saw. Sam was pale with almost black circles under his eyes, indicating that he hadn't been sleeping again and he'd lost weight, not that he had a lot of weight to lose in the first place and his breathing was off
"Sammy?" Dean said softly, "Sammy, wake up." Sam moaned softly before carefully slitting his eyes open.
"Wha? Dn? Wha's wrong? You okay?" Sam's first thought upon waking up and seeing his brother was that Dean had re-hurt his shoulder.
The fact that Sam was so concerned about Dean when he was so obviously ill made Dean feel like the lowest scum on earth. "I'm fine Sammy, but you're not. What's wrong?"
Sam's face screwed with pain as he spoke, "Hit my head during the hunt."
The quiet confession shattered Dean, he'd known that Sam had hurt his ribs during the hunt but he hadn't known anything about Sam hitting his head. "Why didn't you say somethin' Sammy?"
Sam frowned, "You were hurt." As if that explained everything.
Dean sighed, "You're hurt too, Sammy, you should've said something."
Sam shook his head, "You needed help worse. Had head injuries before."
Dean sighed, "Come on, I'm taking you to a doctor."
Sam shook his head, "No. No hospitals."
Dean rolled his eyes, "Sam, you need a doctor." He lugged Sam into a sitting position and then helped him to his feet. Turning to yell for Bobby, he found the older man already moving to Sam's other side.
Between the two of them, they got Sam out to Bobby's car and in the backseat before Sam could really muster any real resistance and headed for the hospital.
***** Hours Later*****
Dean sat next to Sam's hospital bed feeling like the world's biggest idiot. According to the ER doctor and neurologist that had been called in to deal with Sam, they were damn lucky to have gotten him to the hospital when they did. Concussions like the one Sam had were nothing to laugh about. Even though MRIs and CT scans showed no signs of a hematoma, Sam was still lucky to not have suffered more serious damage. But that wasn't what was bothering Dean, it was the anger at not knowing his brother was so sick, of not noticing that Sam was obviously more injured than he'd let on. Bobby had been right; when they were kids, hell, even six months ago, he'd always known when Sam wasn't feeling well, sometimes before Sam knew. He'd dropped the ball big time, he should've looked at Sam and seen how bad he was feeling.
But he hadn't and that bothered Dean, he was Sam's big brother, it was his job to take care of Sam and make sure he was 100%. And now he was paying for his inattention by having to sit next to his brother, waiting for his brother to wake up. Sam had been given a mild sleep aid to help jump-start the healing process since Sam's insomnia hadn't helped him any. That had been twelve hours ago and he was waiting for Sam to wake up.
Suddenly, a low moan dragged him out of his critical musings. He looked up to see Sam looking blearily at him through his long bangs. "Hey kiddo, how ya feelin'?"
Sam shrugged, "The lumberjacks in my head have stopped for now. They might come back though."
Dean bit back a smile, Sam was a notorious lightweight when it came to mind-altering substances, be it booze or painkillers. He reached out and brushed Sam's hair out of his eyes, "Well, don't worry, the doc's gonna give you some feel good stuff to make them leave." Sam seemed to be pleased by the promise and drifted back to sleep, leaving Dean feeling a little better that his skills as a big brother were still there.
Bobby watched the exchange between the brothers with a small smile. It looked as though the Winchester boys were finally on the road back to where they'd been before John's death. He almost pitied whatever the boys would take on once Sam was fully recovered; on a good day, the Winchesters were some of the best hunters in the business, but with them back on the same page, Hell better watch out because you couldn't stop them.