Setting: The apocalypse has ended and Sam and Dean are back on the road fighting evil. Dean finds he has to fight a new evil this time within himself. Cancer. Will Sam stand by him in his time of need?
Warnings: Swearing, Wincest and brotherly schmoop. Medical terms and procedures described.
Disclaimers: I don't own any Supernatural character. All other characters are the authors invention and are unrelated to the living or dead. Cities and towns are used for reference only. No money is being made from this story.
Author's notes: This story is unrelated to any other story. Medical terms used are as accurate as possible. Please note that the treatment of cancer is different for everyone that goes through it and whilst all care has been taken no offense is meant.
Chapter 1 Blood
Sam grabbed Dean's arm as he swayed; only releasing him when he steadied and looked Sam in the eye. "I'm ok Sammy."
Dean moved away from his brother and toward the bathroom, but as neared the doorway his head swam again, and he was hit with another wave of vertigo. Dean lost his balance again and walked foot first into the door jam.
"Son of a bitch." Dean swore as pain drove up his foot.
The last two toes on his right foot burned with pain as he limped into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him. Dean leaned against the sink with his right foot behind him off the ground shaking it slightly to help push the pain away. Dean splashed his face with water then patted it dry with a towel. He looked at his face in the mirror. He was defiantly loosing weight and it showed in his sharp cheek bones sticking out more prominently than they ever had. Dean sighed and moved to the toilet, his destination when he had got up shakily from the bed, and almost fallen over. He hobbled on his foot feeling the swelling and throbbing of his smallest toe with distaste. Broken. Great. Sam would have a puppy or a kitten or whatever. He had been having minor health problems for the last month or so and Sam had been trying to get him to see a doctor but he was expecting he would throw it off and go back to normal soon enough. It was just a virus or something and he was just having trouble beating it. They had been very busy with back to back hunts for the last seven months so he just needed some time off. Dean finished at the toilet and moved to wash his hands, being very careful of his right foot.
Sam looked sadly at the door Dean had just slammed shut and let out a huge sigh. It had been seven months since Lucifer had been put away and the apocalypse ended but they were on clean up duty working from hunt to hunt ever since. They were now getting on the best they ever had with Dean treating Sam as an equal in their partnership but Dean still had his protective streak as the older brother and it troubled Sam to see him sick and not willing to let Sam help him. One of the things they had discovered during the apocalypse was that secrets would get them in trouble. It was better to have everything out front and have nothing that the enemy could use against them. They had promised not to hide anything from each other again. Dean had been progressively getting worse over the last few weeks and Sam was starting to worry about his health. They had only had a triple salt and burn that night and Dean had been wiped out after he had insisted on digging two of the graves himself. Of course he would never tell Sam that but Sam had been so close to him lately he could read him like a book.
Dean left the bathroom looking sheepish and limped over to his bed slowly before climbing in carefully. Sam walked over and pulled the covers off Dean's feet and picked up his right one.
"It's ok Sammy."
"No it's not Dean." Sam could see Dean's small toe was already quite swollen and very red.
The area round it to his next toe and down his foot was swollen and red to a lesser extent. Sam pushed his small finger in between Dean's smaller toes and saw him bite down on his bottom lip slightly. Sam moved quickly to the small freezer and gathered some ice in a cloth and went back to the bed placing it on Dean's foot. Dean tried to pull away but Sam had him by the ankle.
"It's broken Dean. We need to ice it now. It's that or you go to the emergency room."
"For a broken toe? No way."Sam almost laughed at Deans expression.
"Actually you might have two broken toes and if that's the case we will be going to the hospital."
"They don't do anything for broken toes Sammy."
"But this bone here could be broken." Sam had been looking at the outside of Dean's foot. "And if it doesn't fix properly you will have to have an operation."
"Re-break the bone and set it properly. You could be laid up for months."
Sam was laying it on very thick but it might be his only chance to get him to see a doctor.
"I still think only the little toes broken." At least he was admitting to that.
Sam chalked up his small win with a smile.
"Let's ice up for tonight and see how it looks in the morning. If it's bruised badly we should get it checked out.
"Ok." Dean was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep and he didn't bruise that bad generally so he thought he could get away with it.
Sam took the ice off Dean's foot after twenty minutes and gave the foot a thorough inspection. Sam let his hand travel lightly up Dean's leg almost to the knee. He had no idea what he was doing except that Dean's skin felt nice under his fingers. His legs weren't all that hairy for a guy and the feeling was almost sexy. He felt Dean sit up slightly like he was looking at what Sam was doing then lay back down. Sam flicked his eyes to Dean's face and noticed a drop of sweat tracking down his face in front of his ear and down to his neck. Sam had a sudden strong urge to lick the drop off Dean's neck and had to get up off the bed and flick the sheet back over Dean's legs being careful not to look at him. Sam made for the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Just what the hell was that about? Sam dried himself off and entered the room trying to look nonchalant. Dean meet his eyes for a split second but then they closed slowly again. Sam watched TV with the volume lowered, and then iced Dean's foot for a further twenty minutes before going off to bed. Dean barley moved when Sam iced him up making him concerned. He determinately faced away from Dean, keen to try not to think about what had happened earlier but unfortunately his mind kept returning there as he eased into bed. Dean slept badly that night, his broken toe giving him a bad time and he refused to get up and take anything for it.
When he woke in the morning Dean felt just as tired as he had been when he went to bed the night before. Something that had been happening quite a lot lately, he realized. When he sat up slowly Sam was sitting on his bed looking at his foot. Dean blinked at him sleepily then moved his foot experimentally to get shooting pains up his leg. Sam saw the twitch of pain and wasn't surprised. Dean's two small toes and the area around them on his foot, front and back were a dark black with spots of angry red. The toes were swollen and tight and the foot itself felt numb until he moved it. He looked at his foot in amazement then at Sam.
"What the hell? Did you paint my foot or somethin'?"
"Nope it's just that ugly color all on its own. Looks like we have a place to be this morning."
Dean argued the point lamely but Sam got him dressed and in the car driving him to the hospital where they waited an hour to see a doctor. While Dean was having his foot x-rayed, Sam pulled the doctor aside.
"Could I just have a quick word?"
"Well my brothers been sick lately. He will kill me if he finds out I said anything but he won't ask for help or see a doctor. I wondered if you could have a look at him."
"What specifically do you mean by sick?"
"Sweating easily, dizzy spells, tiredness, lethargy and interrupted sleep that kind of thing. We have been working pretty hard lately but he doesn't get sick very often."
"It sounds like he should be checked out but we should try to do it so we don't look like we are being overprotective."
Sam nodded. He liked this doctor already.
"His broken toe. Did he fall into the wall he says he kicked accidentally?"
"Yes he had a dizzy spell just before."
"Ok that's how I will bring it up."
When Dean came back he sat with Sam and waited until the doctor was ready to see him again.
"Well Dean. Your smallest toe is broken but the break is small and will repair ok by itself. The next toe has a very small crack which will heal ok and this part of your foot is badly bruised."
The doctor showed the damage on the x-ray she held out.
"So ice for the next couple of days, painkillers and rest for about a week should make it feel a lot better."
Dean moved to get up but swayed as his feet hit the ground and the doctor and Sam helped sit him back on the hard plastic chair.
"Room moving around to much?" The doctor frowned in concern.
"Just a little." Dean gulped as he felt like vomiting.
A bucket appeared under his nose but Dean refused to use it, gulping until the feeling disappeared.
"How long have you had the light headedness and nausea?"
"Couple of weeks".
Sam frowned knowing it was more like two months.
"Lost some weight?" Dean looked up sharply. He had been wearing extra layers of late so Sam wouldn't find out.
"You look like someone who's lost a lot of weight quickly. I'm a doctor remember?" She smiled kindly at Dean and he nodded back. "Under some stress lately?" Dean looked up at Sam quickly.
"You could say that."
"Well it looks like you could use a break if you can get one, maybe while this foot is healing. But I will take some blood if that's alright, just to make sure everything is ok. You could be fighting a virus and need some extra vitamins to help out."
Dean looked like he was going to balk but then rolled his sleeve up for the doctor to take the blood.