I have loads of fics I need to be working on right now but my brain is refusing to co-operate so yesterday I decided to write a prompt from the wonderful hurt/sick Sam comment fic meme over on LJ, just to get the muse working again. This is the result...
Blood Of My Blood
In the end, it all comes down to choice.
This is Sam's choice.
Sam chooses heroin, which he purchases from Mickey. Not the Disney mouse but a thickset dude with tattooed knuckles and a skinhead who says be careful as he drops the small baggy into the centre of Sam's palm. "This shit is primo so go easy, Sammy, okay?"
Only he gets to call me that.
Sam wants to smile at the irony but his lips won't move in that direction anymore and every time he tries it comes out wrong, all twisted up on his face.
In any case, concern doesn't come across as convincing when it's shining in a drug dealer's eyes.
The motel is little more than a doss-house, a decrepit mishmash of crumbling bricks and old wood. Sam's room smells of urine and stale BO, the windows are dark with grime and the bodies of dead flies litter the sill. Not that Sam cares or notices.
Wrapped in plastic, tucked safely inside his back pocket is his salvation. Sam as close to happiness as he gets these days.
The ritual is rushed because he's too strung out to wait much longer. He cooks up his drugs in a spoon held over a flickering candle flame. The candle is one that Sam lifted from a church just before morning mass; it serves a new purpose now.
His thumb sinks the plunger and pure bliss floods his veins, heat creeping through his body as his bones dissolve to liquid. He sinks down to lie on his back, staring up at a ceiling poxed with water marks but seeing something else.
Sam's blood is red, not Vulcan green, not black. It looks the same as the stuff he's seen leaking out of his father and brother on so many different occasions over the years—but looks can be deceiving.
Crimson fills the syringe dropper, a thin line escaping, snaking down Sam's forearm. Dripping steadily, it spots onto the carpet close to where his cheek is pressed flat against the floor.
Then reality dims, flickers out.
Bright golden light swallowing the dark shadows in the room and suddenly Sam's flying high in a place where everything is good and he is at peace.
Sam never wants to come down.
On a rare occasion Sam will hear Dean's voice and those are the trips that Sam treasures the most, tries to get back every time he shoots up.
Dean doesn't say, "Why couldn't you save me?" He says, "I love you, Sammy."
It's the only thing that Sam has ever truly wanted.
When the hit turns bad, that's when the spiders come out to play.
Sam watches them run across the floor, hundreds of them, thousands. Feels their tiny hairy feet scuttling across his skin, climbing over him until he's completely blanketed.
Sam screams and they scrabble over each-other in the rush to get inside his open mouth.
He can't breathe.
If the motel owner were to look inside room 203 he would find a dark-haired young man lying prone on the floor, as still as death as quiet as the grave. Eyes rolled so far back in his head that only the whites would be visible through wafer-thin slits. He'd see the slim belt tied off around the young man's bicep, the needle spike still stuck into the crook of his elbow.
The room would smell sweet, like burnt sugar and there would be blood on the man's face, trailing down from his nose, spilling over white cracked lips.
If...but not a soul goes in or comes out of that room.
There's no-one to notice when Sam's breathing turns dangerously shallow, no-one to put steady fingers to the pulse point at his neck and assess his sluggish heart-rate.
There's no-one to call for help.
"Sammy? Can you hear me? Fuck! FUCK!"
"Is he dead?"
"No, he's breathing...barely. Shit, Sam, what have you done to yourself? What the hell have you done?"
"I'm going to call the cops."
"You're going to call a goddamn ambulance! You're going to call a goddamn ambulance right the fuck now or I'm going to beat you to death with your fucking phone."
Sam wakes to white.
So much white that he feels like he's drowning in a sea of it but his brain supplies the word hospital before panic fully sets in.
His whole body hurts, stomach cramping, burning fire underneath his skin and he's tugging weakly at the IV port in the back of his hand when he notices Dean standing at the foot of his bed. It's the hollowness of Dean's green eyes which brings Sam crashing down to earth with a bone-breaking bump.
Everything that Sam normally sees when he looks at Dean is missing. There's no hint of cockiness, no biting humor curling up the corners of his mouth and there's nothing casual about the way Dean's worrying his bottom lip with his teeth or the way his fists are curled into tight balls.
Dean looks like a ghost, a faded photograph of the person Sam used to know. Most of all, he looks beaten. Dean's been to hell and back, he's been the tortured and the torturer but it's Sam who has done this. It's Sam who is responsible for breaking his brother this time.
The hospital gown leaves Sam's arms bare, exposing too-pale skin besieged with bruises and cuts only just starting to scab over. All his sins out in the open for everyone to see. There are fresh track marks covering older, less recent, ones and on each arm Sam has a crowd of purpling small round bruises which perfectly match Dean's fingertips from where he had frantically tried to shake life back into Sam's unresponsive body.
Dean's barely left his side in two days. They haven't talked, not properly. Every time Dean starts to open his mouth his eyes grow moist and he hurries out through the door, only to return a short while later with whiskey on his breath and his clothes smelling of cigarette smoke.
His expression betrays nothing. Since the hazy first few minutes when Sam woke up, Dean's managed to rein in his features into forming a blank brick wall.
Sam wants Dean to shout at him, hit him, something because all Sam has right now is withdrawal pains which feel like they're eating up his insides and a sense of being utterly alone.
Dean chooses the middle of a monster movie marathon for a heart to heart.
Sam's good and sick. Feverish, sweat running down his face in rivers and Dean's perched on the edge of the bed.
He's not paying any attention to the small television hanging from a bracket on the wall even though he's a fangirl for Godzilla. He's too busy running a damp cloth over Sam's face with a tenderness not normally openly expressed.
"You could have died. You almost did die and I don't understand—I'm back now, Sammy. You have me back and you were sneaking off to...."
"It's not always about you." Sam's throat is desert dry, words slicing up the inside of his mouth like shards of broken glass and he hisses through his teeth as another tremor wracks his frame. "It was my choice."
"You want to die? Is that what you want?"
"I don't...I...When you were in hell I felt like I was there with you. Food was ash in my mouth, water was acid, breathing hurt. I thought I could control it—I guess I couldn't."
Dean covers his face with his hands and doesn't say anything for awhile. Sam can see his shoulders shaking. Finally Dean moves his hands away, running them repeatedly through greasy hair which is sticking up in gel-stiff spikes, "You're going to have to go into rehab, get clean."
"We can't afford..."
"We can't," Dean tugs out his wallet and rifles through the contents until he retrieves a brand new credit card. "But Mr. Layne Staley can."
Sam doesn't appreciate his big brother's taste in music enough to get the reference.
Dean reaches for the remote and flicks the television to mute, fetches a plastic cup and works an ice chip between Sam's lips, "You're going to be okay."
For the first time in his life, Sam doesn't know if he can let himself believe Dean but he knows one thing.
He's willing to try.
~Three months later~
When Sam steps outside the old redbrick building its early in the morning, birds singing a dawn chorus above his head. The air smells crisp, cold and clean. Fresh green apples with a sweet sharp bite.
He walks towards the main gate feeling oddly detached, feet carrying him forwards mechanically.
When he reaches the sidewalk, there's a 1967 Chevy Impala parked up with a figure sitting on the hood.
Dean's leaning back, weight braced on his elbows. He's got a half-eaten donut in one hand, powdery residue all over his fingers and he looks relaxed—Sam knows he's anything but relaxed. He's probably been hanging around outside the clinic since daybreak.
"You couldn't wait for them to release you officially?"
"I've been good, thought I should have at least one act of Winchester rebellion. Maintain the family reputation."
"So you jimmied the lock and escaped? Four whole hours before they were going to release you anyway?"
"I learned from the best." Sam smiles, it fractures across his face like ice breaking on a frozen pond. It feels stiff and unfamiliar but also good, like he's been waiting to do it for a long time.
They're standing feet apart, a river of lies still flowing between them. "Christ, I'm freezing my gonads off, will you get over here already." Dean grunts.
Sam shoves the hands he didn't realize were shaking, deep into his pockets and nods woodenly. He covers the distance in two long strides and all his fears melt away when Dean's arms wrap around in him in a bear-hug.
He's going home.
When I was eighteen I had a boyfriend who was an ex-heroin addict. When I met him he was working at a rehab clinc, helping other people beat their addictions. The spider scene in this story is one of his own experiences.