So, it's been a while. I haven't posted anything on this site for almost three years. Three years! I still read a lot of fanfics, but most of my writing has been done for school. The work of a writing minor never stops, right? I need to find time to write for fun. Gosh, looking back on some of the old stuff I posted back in high school makes me cringe. My style has changed quite a bit.
Well, I've been obsessing over the missing scene in the "My Bloody Valentine" episode of Supernatural, and I felt I HAD to do something about it. I was devastated at the lack of brother bonding that took place between the detox scene and the start of the next episode. Here's my take on what happened with quite the healthy helping of limp!sam.
Disclaimer: I certainly don't own Supernatural or Sam or Dean. Just playing in the sandbox.
Dean leaned against the metal doorframe of Bobby's panic room. The door was locked tight, but his brother's nightmarish shouts cut through the heavy walls. He shut the porthole so that he could no longer see Sam thrash on the bed, tied down by padded handcuffs Dean had been forced to put on for Sam's own safety. With a weary gesture, Dean scrubbed his jaw with his hand, feeling the three days worth of stubble that had grown there since he, Sam and Castiel had arrived. Sam had already been feeling the withdrawal symptoms of the blood when they had pulled into the driveway, and it was all Dean could do to get Sam downstairs before he lost control. Now, three days later, Sam's symptoms persisted. His voice faltered, used up from three days of abuse. It cracked each time he called out to Dean, Bobby, Castiel, or anyone his fevered brain thought might be listening. Dean was sure Ruby might have been mentioned once or twice, and it certainly wasn't in a friendly manner. He rested his head on the cool metal of the doorframe and closed his eyes, listening to Sam curse and plead and moan while he was powerless to help him.
A sudden gust of wind stirred the dust of the old stairwell.
"Any change?" Castiel appeared beside Dean, who waved away the cloud and coughed.
"None yet," he replied opening the small window in the door once more as if a sight check on his brother might counteract the evidence from his ears that Sam was still suffering. No such luck.
"Your brother is strong, Dean."
Dean said nothing. He knew how strong Sam was. The willpower he had shown in the face of Famine surprised even him. He could have given into the lure, but he chose not to. Even if that temptation was unbeatable in the hotel room, he had resisted in the face of one of the Horsemen. Dean was just sorry it had cost him so much. Drinking the blood and using his powers had put Sam right back in the panic room detox situation he had faced before, except this time, he couldn't run away. He had to finish it.
Castiel's voice pulled Dean from his thoughts. "Bobby asked me to come get you. He says you haven't eaten in three days."
"You couldn't have just walked down the stairs to tell me that?"
The angel shrugged.
"Tell him I'll be up in a minute. And take the stairs this time like a normal person."
Castiel turned and mounted the stairs awkwardly. He tripped over two of them.
Dean waited a moment before shutting the porthole once more and following Castiel up the stairs.
Sam fought against the roots restraining his arms. He was in a forest… no a swamp, fighting the tree spirit the Winchesters had hunted when he was fourteen. The mud sucked him down as he struggled, but Dean was there to cut him loose and pull him free. But when Sam looked up, it wasn't Dean at all. Lucifer took the place of his brother and gripped his hand. But his hand wasn't a hand at all. Extending from his arms were tendrils of snakes, ensnaring Sam's wrist as he struggled to break free. "No!" he yelled. He screamed and bucked, trying in vein to escape. "Dean, help!" But his brother wasn't there. The swampy landscape had disappeared as well, morphing into a cityscape that Sam knew was Detroit. The snakes changed back into a hand, and the smiling man standing before him let him go. Sam tumbled backwards into darkness.
Bobby placed a paper plate full of spaghetti in front of Dean. The sight of food made his stomach grumble. He hadn't eaten much since they had arrived. He might be hungry, but that didn't mean he wanted to eat.
"You have to eat something, Dean," said Bobby as he scooted the meal closer to the younger hunter.
Dean pushed the plate back. "I'm good. Besides, I don't see you forcing your cooking skills on Cas over there."
"I think Castiel has had enough to eat over the past week to last him for a while," Bobby replied.
Castiel nodded his agreement. The angel had eaten since they'd arrived either. But then, several days of eating nothing but hamburger after hamburger would do that to anyone. Not that Dean would normally pass up a good burger. But over a hundred of them was pushing it, and right now, he didn't want anything to eat. Not even the world's best hamburger. He could still hear Sam's muffled shouts wafting through the house. It made both his stomach and head hurt. Dean massaged his temples as he just wished they would stop.
Bobby set a beer in front of Dean's plate. "It's not doing Sam any good for you to be up here starving yourself."
Dean sat back in the chair and folded his arms. He knew it was true. Not eating was not helping Sam. It was only making Dean more agitated. He stood and took the beer. "I'll be outside," he said as he left the table. The screen door slammed behind him.
Thick chains bound Sam's hands and feet to the ground. He was on a concrete floor with a sigil drawn around him and surrounded by candles. A ritual? he thought. As he fought against the shackles, his knee knocked a candle. The flame sparked against the markings on the ground and caught them like a trail of gunpowder. As the fire spread, the room began to heat up. The flames licked at his frame as he struggled to break free, but he couldn't budge the chains. They were too heavy. Thick smoke made him cough as it swirled around him, but he couldn't tell if the black cloud was from the fire or something else. Sparks danced before his eyes as the blackness took him.
Dean nursed his beer slowly on the front porch. He could still hear Sam's screams buzzing in his ears, but he wasn't sure if the noise was actually from his brother or he had become so accustomed to the constant sound that his brain was playing tricks. When he had drained the last bit of liquid from the bottle, he slumped against the post and set the bottle carefully on the railing.
He wanted to be able to do something. So far, he hadn't been able to get inside the panic room for more that a couple of seconds before Sam's uncontrolled powers took over and slammed him against the wall. He could only watch from behind a thick door as his little brother suffered. And there was nothing he could do to help.
At least when Sam was little, Dean had been able to take care of him when he was sick. He remembered a time when Sam had come down with the flu while their father was out on a hunt. Dean had been fifteen, and Sam was eleven. He had kept him hydrated and the fever controlled, but most of all, he had been able to be close to Sam. The proximity aspect was a big factor when Sam was sick. It always had been. As long as Dean was close, his little brother was comforted.
Now, Dean couldn't even be in the same room as Sam. Not until the worst of the attacks were over. He took the empty bottle in his hand and chucked it as hard as he could into the salvage yard. Dean felt a ripple of satisfaction as the glass shattered against the side of a random car. The only thing he could do was wait. Waiting was the hardest part.
He was tied up again, and it was hot. Sam couldn't see anything. It was like his whole world was black. Black and hot and immobile. I must be blindfolded in the desert, he thought with a grimace at the logic of dreams. And he was thirsty. He tried to wet his lips with his tongue, but the moisture just wasn't there. They were as dry as the sand beneath his feet. Then, suddenly, there was light as the blindfold was removed.
"Hey, Dumbo." A dark-haired woman stood before him holding a red Solo cup.
"Ruby." Sam guessed that there was not beer in the cup. Much less, a chance of water.
Ruby kneeled down to sit beside Sam. "I know you're thirsty, Sam," she said. "It tasted as good as it always has back there didn't it? I can give you more. I can make the thirst go away. You'll be as good as new. Strong again." She pulled a knife from her boot and slowly cut a line down her wrist. Red liquid flowed from her veins into the cup, and she held it up to his lips. "Here."
Sam felt the urge to drink overcome him. He wanted the warm, red liquid. He wanted to drink the blood and reclaim his powers. He wanted to say yes and make the thirst go away. He wanted it to be over.
"No," he whispered.
Ruby lowered the cup and frowned.
"No. I can't. I won't." His response was stronger this time. His vision was graying at the edges, and he felt his strength slipping, but his will remained unbroken. "No." Ruby faded away, taking the red cup with her. Suddenly, the ropes were gone as well, and Sam pitched forward into the sand as it too dissolved into blackness. This time, the black was welcoming. It was sleep.
It was quiet. That was new. Dean listened from the porch for Sam's voice. He had been shouting a minute ago, but now, for the first time in three days, everything was silent. Dean rushed back into the kitchen to check if the others didn't hear the same thing he didn't hear.
In the small kitchen, everything was quiet as well. No cursing echoes drifted from the basement. No pleading cries. Just silence.
Dean grabbed a plastic cup from the counter and filled it with water from the sink before moving to the basement stairs.
"Dean, wait," Bobby warned. "It may just be a lull."
Dean didn't respond and descended the steps. He was more than willing to take the chance.
At the bottom of the stairs, Dean paused for a moment at the door to look through the small window. On the cot in the middle of the room, Sam shifted slightly. Dean opened the door and carefully crossed the floor to the center of the panic room. He pulled up a chair and sat beside his brother. The padded handcuffs still secured his hands and feet. Sam's hair was tangled and matted with sweat. His face was pressed against his arm and glistened with fever, and his breathing was heavy, but he wasn't shouting anymore.
Dean put a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Sam."
There was no response.
Dean tried again. "Sammy," he coaxed. "I brought you some water. Your throat must be killer. You've been at it for three days."
Dean gently lifted his brother's head and put the cup to his lips. Slowly, he let some of the cool liquid run in. "Drink this."
"No!" Sam arched his spine and couched the water back out. The cup fell from Dean's hand and bounced on the floor spilling its contents.
As the younger Winchester fought against the handcuffs, Dean did his best to gently restrain him. "Sam. Sam! It's okay. It's just me. It's Dean."
"D'n?" Sam grunted, confused. "No blood. I won't… won't."
"It's just water, Sam," Dean reassured him. "Just water. You're dehydrated. You need to drink it. Just a minute."
Dean mounted the stairs and refilled the cup and a pitcher at the kitchen sink.
"How is he?" asked Bobby.
"Confused. He thought the water was..."
Before Bobby or Castiel could say anything else, Dean was back down the stairs with cup and pitcher in hand.
Dean reentered the room and sat beside his brother putting the full pitcher at his feet. "Sam. Can you hear me? I need you to drink this." Sam grimaced as Dean lifted his head again. "It's water."
This time, Sam swallowed a few sips. When the cup was taken away, he sunk back into the pillow.
With a burst of wind, Castiel appeared behind Dean. "The worst has passed." The angel handed him a wet washcloth.
"Yeah." Dean placed the cold compress on his brother's forehead. "He's still burning up. Think I can undo the cuffs yet?"
"It would be prudent to wait. He may relapse."
Dean rubbed the back of his neck and surveyed his brother's slightly snoring form. His breath was coming out in short wheezes from his mouth, a habit Sam only reverted to when he didn't feel well. "I'll give it an hour. If he doesn't relapse by them, I'm taking those things off him."
Sam felt another fire, this time in his throat, and shifted uncomfortably as muffled footstep came closer. He felt a warm pressure on his shoulder.
"—am. Sammy………. Drink this."
Something was pressed against his lips. Ruby. The blood cup.
"No!" His back arched and the pain in his throat exploded, but he couldn't move. Where was he? Why was he tied down? Who?
"It's just me. It's Dean."
Relief flooded over him. He nearly fell back into oblivion, but the voice kept him centered. He tried to focus. He had to warn Dean about the blood in the cup. "D'n? No blood. I won't… won't."
"It's just water, Sam……" the voice… Dean… reassured him. "Just a minute."
Sam felt his brother's presence leave. He tried to reach out and grab his shirt, but his restraints kept him from doing so. He could tell he was lying down, but even with his eyes closed, the room felt like it was spinning. He couldn't concentrate, and Sam felt himself fading in and out. He was pretty sure he drank some of the liquid. He felt too weak to resist, and if Dean said it was water, he trusted him. Then, he felt something cold on his forehead. It was a welcome relief. He was so hot. Sam sank into a restless sleep, safe for the moment in Dean's presence.
"It's been an hour." Dean said to no one in particular as he checked his watch for the hundredth time. Sam had slept fitfully for the last sixty minutes, but there was no more yelling. The cuffs were coming off.
Dean retrieved the key from Bobby's desk in the study and undid the locks, starting at Sam's feet. Next, he unlatched the handcuffs chaining his hands to the bed frame. Dean had made sure to pad the restraints, but Sam's wrists were bruised nonetheless from three days of thrashing around. He gently draped his brother's hands on Sam's chest, who grunted weakly at being jostled.
"Sorry." Dean apologized. He rewet the washcloth and wiped it over Sam's face and neck before positioning it back on Sam's forehead. He was still running a moderate fever, but it had come down over the last hour.
Dean sat back in the chair and ran a hand through his hair. His brother looked smaller than normal lying on the cot, and his face was much paler than usual as he slept.
Dean must have dozed off as well, because the next time he opened his eyes, Sam had turned on his side toward him. One hand was off the cot, palm hanging limply near the floor. The washcloth had slid off his forehead and wedged itself between Sam's cheek and the pillow. Dean gently dislodged the cloth and wetted it again before pushing back Sam's bangs to dampen his forehead. Sam stirred feebly.
Hazel eyes opened to slits. They were unfocused and confused. "D'n?"
"Hey, kiddo." Dean put the cloth down. "Long time, no see."
"Wh… where?" Sam tried to sit up, but a firm hand stopped him.
"Don't worry. We're still at Bobby's. Just relax, okay?"
"Yeah," Dean took in their dingy surroundings. The sooner he could get Sam into a real bed, the better. "The worst part's over, though. You made it through."
One of Sam's hands went to his neck. "Ah… my throat…"
"You yelled for three days straight. Those must have been some cracked out nightmares."
"I don't really remember…"
Dean handed Sam a cup of water and helped him hold it steady as he drank. "Don't spill it this time. You hungry? I'm starved."
"I… uh…" Sam's strength was fading already. He sank back into the pillow, drained.
"I'll make you some soup. Tomato or chicken noodle?"
Sam was almost out again. "Not tomato," he managed to mumble.
Dean got the reference quickly. Tomato would look very familiar. Chicken noodle it was. He headed back upstairs to heat up something for the both of them to eat.
Bobby was surprised to find Dean in the kitchen, energetically stirring a pot of condensed soup, though he was certainly glad to learn that Sam was awake and not balking at the mention of a meal. The fact that the kid was hungry was a plus. Castiel on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. Apparently, he had sensed the improvement of Sam's condition and had gone to wherever angels go when they leave.
Fifteen minutes later Dean returned with two steaming bowls of chicken noodle soup. He found his brother the way he left him, resting on the cot.
"Don't say I never cook for you, Sammy," he joked as he set his own noodle-filled bowl on the ground and balanced the other on his lap. "Soup a la can." Sam's bowl was mostly broth. Dean doubted he would have the strength to chew much, and liquids were the most important things right now anyway. He laid his hand on Sam's shoulder and shook it gently. "Sam."
Sam roused slowly, but seemed more aware of his surroundings this time and rubbed his eyes with the back on one of his hands. "Hnnn…"
"Morning, Sunshine," Dean teased.
He helped Sam into a half sitting position, propped up by pillows and spooned him the soup. Sam was too tired to protest being fed like a toddler, like he normally would have, but he managed to get down half of the bowl before his head started to bob lower and lower.
"Alright, that's enough," announced Dean as he removed the bowl and scooted his brother back down into the covers. Dean put a hand on Sam's forehead. The fever was still there, meaning Sam's fight wasn't over yet, but at least now he could rest with a full stomach.
Dean picked up his own bowl and spoon and dug into his first real meal in days. Now that Sam was taken care of, he could finally eat without a guilty conscience.
After finishing the bowl, Dean set it back on the floor and watched Sam's chest rise and fall in rhythmic breathing. His breaths were deeper now, indicating his sleep was true and he was actually getting rest. Dean smiled, grateful that Sam was finally sleeping without the nightmares that had plagued him constantly for the last three days.
He sat like that for several hours, just watching. Just staying close by because he could. Eventually, Dean surmised that Sam was going to sleep like that for a very long time. He had stirred only slightly in the past few hours, readjusting to get as comfortable as he could on the narrow cot. Dean gathered the bowls and spoons and went upstairs, leaving the door to the panic room open. It didn't need to be locked now. Sam's symptoms were clearing and Dean doubted if his brother could even make it through the doorway in his present condition, much less mount the stairs unassisted.
Sam did sleep for a long time. For almost eighteen hours. Dean checked on him several times during the night, but each inspection demonstrated the same result. Sam's body was replenishing its sleep supply, and as long as his brother needed to do that, it was fine with Dean.
At around eleven the next morning, Dean descended the stairs expecting to see Sam's form still snoozing on the cot, but he was surprised to find Sam sitting upright looking slightly frightened of his surroundings. Dean agreed. The panic room was no place for a mental recovery. He needed to get Sam upstairs where he could sleep in a real bed. But with no Castiel to beam them to the ground floor, it was up to Sam to make it up the stairs. Even with Dean to help him, it was going to be an ordeal.
"Morning, " Dean greeted, pushing the logistics of the transport back into his mind to be dealt with at a later time.
"De--," Sam coughed, his voice still raspy from overuse. He tried again. "Hey, Dean."
"How are you feeling?" Dean asked as he sat in the chair next to the bed. "You were out for a while."
Sam wrinkled his nose. "Like I need a shower," he admitted.
Dean chuckled. "We'll get you one of those as soon as you can stay conscious for more than five minutes at a time. In the meantime, want some breakfast? And I can make you some tea. Help your throat."
Sam rubbed at his neck. "Yeah. Thanks."
Dean returned to the kitchen to find Bobby brewing a midday pot of coffee. "Sam's up," he announced.
"Glad to hear it," said Bobby. "You thinking of moving him up here?"
Dean got out some bread and put it in the toaster. "As soon as I can."
In the basement, Sam fingered a hole in his blanket. He didn't want to take his eyes off the bed for fear of reliving the memories of the past few days, chained to the bed with nothing to look at except for the sinisterly revolving fan in the ceiling. Not that he spent much time looking at that anyway. Most of it was spent in a hazy dream world of pain and confusion. He was considering making a run for the wooden stairs when he heard footsteps. Dean had returned with food.
Sam ate the dry toast with relish and savored the tea. He clutched the warm mug, glad just to have the strength to feed himself this time.
"You look better, Sammy." Dean felt Sam's forehead once he had finished. "And the fever's about gone. Want to get out of this room?"
Sam could have cried. A tear or two might have escaped, but he wiped them away roughly with the back of his bruised hand. "That would be great… yes."
"Figured. Cas has flown the coup, so you're gonna have to help me get you up the stairs. Think you're up to it?"
Sam didn't answer. He tossed back the covers, planted his feet on the floor and pushed off the bed to stand. But no sooner had he gotten upright, he started to waver. Dean rushed around the cot, barely managing to catch Sam's arm before he fell.
"Hold up there, buddy," Dean said as he got a better grip and took the majority of the weight. "Let's take it slow, alright?"
Sam nodded, not wasting any breath, and the pair shuffled to the staircase.
It seemed a lot taller to Sam than it had on previous occasions. Like the number and height of the stairs had multiplied. He kept his eyes on the ground as he and Dean climbed each step one at a time. It was hard work, and the staircase was narrow. They had to readjust several times, but finally, Sam's foot planted on the ground floor. He struggled to fight the dizzy spell that clawed at his equilibrium and would have tumbled backwards if Dean wasn't supporting him. He was just able to wobble down the hall to the guest bedroom before the grey lines of his vision crisscrossed into blackness.
Sam awoke slowly under a pile of soft blankets. The bed was wide, and his head was nestled deep in the pillow. He yawned and blinked away grogginess and confusion. How did he get here? Oh, right… Dean had helped him up the stairs. The blinds were closed in the guest bedroom, but harsh rays of Sun shone through the cracks. Sam calculated that it was late afternoon, meaning that he had passed out and slept for at least another five hours.
He ran a hand through his tangled hair. It was still damp from sweating out the last of his fever, and he shivered slightly. He couldn't remember the last time he had a hot shower, but he wanted one now more than anything. Slowly, he eased out from under the covers and grabbed a fresh change of clothes from his duffle. Using the walls to support himself, he shuffled to the hall bathroom and turned on the shower.
He took one of the longest showers of his life, scrubbing the last residue of the demon blood from his skin with a vengeance. At last, Sam finally felt that he was as clean as he could get without tearing off the skin that had come in contact with the blood. He turned off the faucet just as the hot water began to dwindle, dried off and donned fresh sweat pants and a thick shirt and slowly made his way to the kitchen.
"Thought we heard the water running." Bobby looked up from reading a newspaper. "Dean here was convinced you'd fall over and drown."
"Ten more minutes, and I was coming in to save your sorry hide." Dean was hunched over a bowl of Captain Crunch. "Your fever broke while you were out."
Sam let go of the wall and wobbled over to the table where he sat down heavily. "Think I can have some of that?" he asked and poured himself a bowl.
Dean balked at having the cereal box taken away from him. He was in the middle of reading the back, he said.
Bobby chuckled under his breath. "It looks like everything going back to normal."
After breakfast for dinner, Dean helped Sam get back to the guest bedroom. He was weaving by the time he made it to the side of the bed. The shower plus the trip to the kitchen was too much too soon for his weary body. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Dean surveyed his brother's sleeping form. The slight smile that curled the edge of his lips was a far cry from the Sam he had quarantined in the panic room a few days before. For now, just letting Sam recover was the priority. Dean walked quietly to the second bed and sat down, never taking his eyes off of his brother. Sam still had a long way to go before he was one hundred percent, and rest was what was going to benefit him the most. Rest and having Dean there to pick up the pieces. And Dean was right there.
K, glad I got that out of my system. Send me a review. Tell me what you think.