1It had been due to Dean's insistence that they had stopped at McGregor's Fine Irish Seafood House.

"Come on, Dude. I'm not missing out on all-you-can-eat clam night!"

Two hours had passed since then and while Sam was himself pleasantly full, he never stopped being amazed at just how much food his bottomless pit of a brother could put away. Dean was indulging his other appetite too, hitting on not one but two pretty blondes at the bar. Just as an abdominal pain was starting to give Sam the idea that eating here had not been a good idea, Dean came back to their table.

"Oh man! Do you see those two! Tonight is our lucky night!"

"I'll pass"

"Are you nuts?"

" Nah, I'm just not feeling right. I think the clams may have been bad."

"I feel fine."

"'Course you do. I'm just going to walk back to the motel and call it a night."

"Fine. I'll just have to take care of the Barbie twins myself." Dean flashed a mischievous grin to Sam as he headed back to the girls.

Sam walked back to the motel feeling suddenly bone tired and more than a tad queasy. Once inside he removed his jacket and carelessly flung it onto the chair in the corner. With a heavy sigh, he flopped across the bed and fell into a restless sleep.

Four hours later, Sam woke up feverish, nauseous, and with an increased pain in his belly. There was one thought in his head. Get to the bathroom NOW! He lurched to his feet and nearly doubled over in pain. He dragged himself into the gaudy pink bathroom just in time to vomit every single half digested clam he had eaten. After wiping the spittle from his lips with a wad of toilet paper and giving the toilet a good flush, he wearily sat down on the floor. Lacking the energy to get up, he slid over until his feverish head was pressed against the cool tile of the floor. That feels better. With that he fell asleep.

The sun was coming up when Dean sauntered back into their motel room with the look of a cat that had eaten the canary on his face. He noticed that Sam was not in his bed.

"Must've went to get coffee. That'll give me time to get a quick shower."

He pulled out some clean cloths and headed toward the bathroom. He went to push open the door but was stopped short when the door barely moved then hit a large object.




"Sam, are you hurt?"

"Don't feel good."

"Can you move away from the door and let me in?"

After a long pause, just as Dean was contemplating going outside and breaking in the bathroom window to get to his brother, there was a shuffling on the other side of the door then it swung open. He quickly threw an arm under Sam's arm and around his shoulders to lend support to Sam who was doing his best impression of a tree about to go down in the forest.

"You look like shit."

"Feel worse."

"Let's get you over to your bed."

After helping Sam get over to his bed and seeing him grimace and hold an arm protectively around his side, he asked, "What's wrong, Sammy?"

"Don't know. I'm hot and nauseous and my stomach hurts more now than before I threw up."

Dean touched the back of his hand to Sam's forehead and his own wrinkled with concern. " I think it's time for a trip to the ER."


"Look I know you hate hospitals, but you can't walk on your own and your pain is getting worse instead of better."

He was going to resist again but the concerned look on Dean's face silenced the objection. "Sure, OK. I want to change my shirt first though. This one stinks!"

"All right."

Dean grabbed a clean t-shirt and turned around to see Sam struggling to get out of the dirty one as he favored his right side.

"Let me help you."


With that Dean gently pulled the dirty shirt up over Sam's head and replaced it with a clean one, reminiscent of when they were little. Once that was done, he helped Sam into his coat then Dean guided his "little" brother into the Impala and they headed to the ER.

After breaking a land speed record, the Impala came to a screeching halt outside of the local ER. Dean was ready for an argument when he stated, "I'll be back in a minute with a wheelchair. Wait here." When all he got was a shrug and a "fine", he worried more.

Dean hustled into the waiting room, grabbed a wheelchair, and hurried back to the car and his waiting brother. Once there, he swung open the passenger side door and helped Sam get out of the car and into the chair. He then maneuvered them into the waiting room and up to the front desk. The receptionist lifted her gaze and met Dean's worried expression.

"How may I help you?"

"It's my brother here. We thought he had something bad to eat last night but now we're not sure."

While he was speaking, the woman was looking past him at Sam.

"What's the patient's name?"

"Sam Winston."

"OK, fill out these forms and take a seat over there. Someone will be out to get your brother soon."

Dean was gearing up for another fight, about to tell the woman behind the desk what she could do with the paperwork, when a pretty young nurse came out to the desk, denying him his verbal battle for the second time that day by saying to Sam, "Hi I'm Jenny. I'll take you back."

Having seen the worried crease in Dean's brow, Sam was quick to

offer reassurance even if he himself didn't feel it. "You stay here and fill out the paperwork. I'll be fine."

"No way. I'm coming with you."

"Is that OK with you?" Jenny asked Sam.


With that they went behind the heavy doors and into a cramped exam room that smelled strongly of disinfectant. After helping Sam onto the exam table, Dean watched as the nurse took Sam's temperature, blood pressure, and asked how he was feeling.

"Nauseous, cold, and my stomach is killing me."

"OK, you are running a fever so that could be why you feel cold. I need you to put on a gown and then the doctor will be in to see you. Do you want me to help?"

Seeing Sam's already flushed cheeks go a shade darker at the thought of having this woman help him undress made Dean smirk, but he quickly intervened.

"I can help him."

" All right then. I'll leave you to it and the doctor will be in soon."

After the nurse left, Sam started to sit up but the pain in his belly quickly stopped him and he lay back down. Seeing this worried Dean but he downplayed it, going over to help Sam.

"Hey, I think she wants you."

"What are you talking about?"

"She wanted to get you out of your cloths."

"That's part of her job."

"I'm telling you, she looked upset that I was here to help you."


By the time this exchange was over, Dean had helped Sam out of his shirt.

"Come on, lean on me."

"This is so embarrassing." Sam stood, leaning his weight on his brother with one arm while undoing his fly with the other hand and wiggling out of his jeans. He got into the blue hospital gown, making sure the opening was on the backside then he took off his nderwear. Sam winced again as he got back on the exam table.

Just as Dean was going to comment, the door opened and in walked a middle-aged man in scrubs.

"Hi, Mr. Winston. I'm Dr. White," he said, extending his hand to Sam first. "And you are?"

"I'm his brother, Dean."

The doctor then shook Dean's hand.

"Tell me what brings you here," he said with his head in the chart.

After recounting his symptoms for what felt like the millionth time, Sam waited for the doctor to respond.

"Well, you did the right thing by coming in. Let me take a look at your abdomen."

With that Sam rested back on the table and the doctor started pressing his hands into various spots asking if it hurt. Sam answered no to all, except when the doctor pressed on the lower right side.


" All right. It seems that you have an acute appendicitis, Mr. Winston. We'll have to take you to surgery now and remove it. Do you have any questions?"

"Wait. Is that really necessary?"

"If we wait, your appendix could rupture and you could die. If we do the surgery now you should be good as new in a couple of weeks."

At the word die, Dean had felt his gut clench.

"What are we waiting for then? Doc, you get in there and fix him."

"I'll do that, Mr. Winston. I'll leave you to say your goodbyes." With that he was out the door.

Having seen his brother's clenched jaw , Sam attempted to hide his own fears.

"I'll be fine, Dean."

"Damn right you will, or I'll kick your ass."

"I know," Sam said with a small smile.

Just then the orderlies came in and wheeled Sam out of the room. Dean followed behind feeling helpless as they wheeled Sammy down the hall and through the doors marked OR - Do Not Enter.