Warnings: Spicy words, plenty of upchuck and a pinch of angst.
Disclaimers: Ha, Me? Own the Winchesters? Only in my dreams *wink*
The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there.
There aren't many things that can bring a man to his knees weeping and begging for mercy. Sure there's agonising pain, brut force or even intense sexual pleasure, if you're into that kind of thing, but for Dean there's also puking, which he's been doing on and off for the last twenty four hours. Puking officially ranks high up on his list, a couple of notches below hell which lays claim to the number one spot. Most people would say the same; they'd rank hell right up there, but most people haven't actually experienced a fraction of what it's like. Those who have don't get to come back top side and live to tell the tale.
Dean's in the middle of heaving when he's interrupted by a firm knock on the door. Probably Sammy, he thinks, who's been hovering since the spewing started. His stomach long past empty; it's round after round of unbearable heaves turning out stomach lining and bile.
"Sam?" Dean hacks and spits into the bowl, wipes away strings of saliva and vomit from his lips and drags the hand down the front of his jeans, stained smear clear against faded denim. It takes him a few seconds to realise it's not Sam.
"Got ya some water." Bobby lowers a clear glass, half full towards him, cool to the touch. He does a quick rinse and spit before rolling it across his forehead.
"How you feeling, kid?"
"Like shit." Dean replies, chokes down a mouthful of water, waits to see if it's gonna stay.
"Guessed as much."
Bobby reads him silently for a moment.
He's answering the question on the tip of his tongue before its left his lips.
"Passed out on the sofa," Bobby announces, wearing a smug smirk when he says it. Dean has a feeling in his gut that tells him he's about to puke again. Also that Bobby has a part to play in Sam's afternoon snooze.
"I had to do it," he says, fessing up. "Boy hasn't slept for days. I only gave him three of my sleeping pills; he'll wake when his body's good 'n ready."
"Right," Dean pinches the bridge of his nose only just noticing the headache that slinked in from nowhere. "So that'll be sometime next week?"
Dean forces a smile that fades as quickly as it appears. He crawls towards the toilet bowl and retches zealously. Bobby doesn't leave this time; just keeps his distance and waits patiently in the corner for what feels like hours. After the second flush, the old man walks towards the sink and rinses a towel under the cold tap. Silently, he places it on Dean's neck, before stepping back to give him room. Dean's hands are hot and sticky against the cool porcelain. Vapours coming from the bowl, acidic and sour make his gut churn. He considers moving away but gags, feels the sting of bile at the back of his throat.
"You wanna talk about it?" Bobby asks. It's a question Bobby already knows the answer to; he's throwing it out there anyway. It's laced in sarcasm but Dean appreciates the concern so he plays along.
'Bout spewing?" Dean replies, around a belch.
"A heart-to-heart's not gonna stop me praying to the porcelain god, Bobby. Pepto on the other hand, I wouldn't say no to right about now--"
"Quit being an ass. We ain't stupid, Kid. Cold sweats, the drinking?"
Dean huffs, cracked lips curling into a smirk. "I see you've been lip wagging with Sammy."
"Knuckle-head, if you hadn't noticed, we both happen to give a huge damn about your sorry ass."
Bobby sits on the lip of the bathtub, he doesn't look like he's planning on going anywhere any time soon. Dean prepares for the rant that he doesn't receive. It's silent for a while, Dean on his knees, a clammy hand on his stomach and Bobby staring down at his shoes.
"So these dreams of yours been giving you hell?"
"Ah shit, I didn't mean…I meant—"
"I know, Bobby. I err… I've been having a hard time lately." Dean's rubbing circles into his stomach, over the whirl pool building inside. He's gonna hurl again, he knows it but he continues anyway. "The shit I've seen, Bobby? Things I've done? I just… I'm all knotted up inside--sick to my stomach. I close my eyes…" Dean shakes his head, cups a shaky hand on the back of his neck, and breathes heavily. "I'll spare you the details, Bobby… Don't think I'll ever sleep again..." He bites his lip, unable to continue.
"I'm sorry kid…I ain't gonna pretend I know what you're going through. But I am gonna make it clear that there ain't anything too ugly for my ears. You wanna describe it in detail, I'm here. You wanna sit silently and drink, I'm here too. So is that brother of yours. Just don't think you gotta do whatever you gotta do on your own." Bobby sigh's loudly, adjusts his cap.
"If you want, I can give Missouri a call?" He shrugs. "See if we can suppress some of these memories… Sam was talking about hypnosis or something."
"I err…" Dean's stuttering, overwhelmed with feelings so transparent he wants to curl up into a ball or take off running in the opposite direction, a little bit of both. "That'd be..." he begins, "worth a shot." Bobby's hand is on his shoulder and his throat is bobbing so much he doesn't trust himself to speak. Instead he swallows the lump in his throat, nods a silent thanks then attempts to stand up. It's the knee-jerk reaction to a situation like this, it has 'run' written all over it and Dean doesn't want to wait around to see what happens if he doesn't follow his natural instincts. It's not even Sam who instigated it this time.
Damn you Bobby.
He's so fucking tired it hurts.
Crying like a baby takes it out of you. He was a walking zombie pre-bathroom-meltdown, blames his weakened state for his actions. Zonked out or not Dean's convinced Sam prompted the conversation that opened the dam no one knew existed.
Bobby is in front of him with another glass of water; probably for hydration but after all that balling and barfing he's gonna need more than a couple of sips of water. Red rimmed eyes are sore and puffy. His gut's aching, knees are grazed and his throat's raw and tender. There's nothing left inside him.
That was what he thought.
He remembers sitting on the porch with Bobby, a cool breeze washing over his face, filling his lungs. He remembers watching the sun melt into the horizon then nudging the older hunter to check on his comatose brother. Like an out-of-focused lens, the memories are there, yet not quite there - blurry. Bobby's hand brushes against his forehead, warm to the touch or maybe that's him? A blanket that appears out of nowhere, it's placed over his body before his eyes close.
Then it all goes to shit.
He goes to hell.
It's as if he never left. Every microscopic detail replaying itself like a fucked up documentary: an in depth investigation on the giving and receiving of suffering. True pain starring none other than Dean Winchester, guest starring hell's bitches.
This latest episode replays the hellfire twinkle in his eyes at the sight of fresh meat, a smile so wide it's threatening to slit his face in half. Sounds around him so chilling his ears bleed. The white noise he first thought were screams too high pitched and unnatural. It's all so vivid, so real, so jubilant and raw it scrapes at his very core, makes his scruples weep and beg for mercy just like the humans at his feet. They cry and they scream and then get torn to shreds. It begins bloody and ends bloody.
Bodies appear before him, one after the other, a massacre. Their fraught fingers dig into his skin, claw for any sign of leniency but there isn't any, there's just enjoyment, misery and suffering.
"Wake up, Kid." Someone has his shoulders gripped tight enough for him to take notice.
His body's shaking, the air feels tart and he tastes blood.
"Come on, Dean."
"Quit shaking me, Bobby." He gets out, manages to shove Bobby out the way before he drops to his knees, leans forward and hurls. There isn't much to bring up but that doesn't stop his stomach from trying. His nose is inches from his own mess when strong hands clasp his shoulders and pull him upright.
"Come on, let's get you inside." Bobby says. He feels Bobby hook his hands under his pits and yank him upwards to get him to stand, he grunts with the effort. "I'm strong, but I ain't that strong. Work with me here, kid."
"Bbbob…" Dean sags forward.
"Up." Bobby barks. He heaves him up; they sway awkwardly for a moment, gravity speaks loud and clear, there's an arm around his back and one holding his own around a supporting shoulder. The two move slowly, painfully so but he's glad for the warm of the house. They are both panting by the time they reach the couch.
Dean blinks a few times, scans the room.
"Still dead to the world." Bobby replies and comes into view with a mug of something steaming.
Dean rubs his eyes and hopes it's caffeinated. "Good. He needs it." He says voice hoarse, raw, like he's been screaming for days, months, years.
The hammering behind his eyes intensifies and he groans.
"So do you." Bobby states.
Dean frowns, "hey, Bobby?"
"You call Missouri yet?"
"She'll be here tomorrow."
Dean nods, looks into the mug and sniffs the contents suspiciously. Its definitely not coffee, possibly something herbal and likely to be caffeine-free. "Err, Bobby?"
This time Bobby just looks at him.
"Couldya…Don't let me sleep again, okay?"
It's Bobby's turn to frown and nod.
Good, Bad or Ugly, I wanna know. Thanks for reading.