Jared's Birthday Fanfic Exchange:

This is for the gorgeous Blue Peanut

The Prompt:

John and Dean forget Sam's birthday and take off on a hunt, Sam doesn't go as he's really unwell. He has a vision that something bad has happened, and forces his weary body to go and help, stealing a car to get him there. He saves the day, but ends up worse than he was which results in a hospital visit where the Doctor just happens to mention that it's turned into a bad birthday for the boy, causing John and Dean to realize their mistake.
Bonus points for icy weather and crashed car be it the Impala or Sam's.

Just wanted to add that Sam's: 17, Dean's: 21

PART THREE

Dean stood staring out of the window lost in thought; his chest wounds were now clean and bandaged by a pretty nurse on his father's insistence. Though she flirted openly Dean couldn't reciprocate no matter if he tried or not. Not until he knew without a doubt that his baby brother was going to be alright.

The surgery was still going, Jenny Mead came out to give them updates throughout the procedure, Doctor Brown wanted to be sure that he was able to remove all of the infection caused scarring before he closed up. Sam was in a very serious condition, the infection was wide-spread in his lower abdomen and several abscesses had formed around the appendix area. She also explained to them that the surgeon will be leaving Sam's incision wound open for several days to allow the infection to ease and for the antibiotics to work. Apparently this was preferred over closing the wound and having to reopen it surgically to remove the infection. Because of the size of the infection Sam already had and the damage done with the perforation they were unable to use laparoscopic surgery which has less chance of infections forming.

Her last visit came with serious news, "yes Sam is out of theatre and is now in recovery," Jenny said rubbing the back of her aching neck, "but they are going to transfer him to the ICU"

"ICU why? If they got it all why?" John thundered.

"More precaution than anything else John, I can assure you," Jenny said calmly, "especially while his surgical wound is still open and while he is being treated for the sepsis."

"Sam has blood poisoning?" Dean felt his knees start to buckle and a buzzing sound drowned out the concerned voices of his father and the doctor. A cold sweat broke out prickling his skin as black dots swam dizzily in front of his eyes.

Gentle hands helped lower him onto a chair and he felt a hand push his head between his knees, the position made his own wounds ache but he did feel a little better after a few minutes. Once he was more aware a glass of sweetened orange juice was pushed into his hands with the order to drink all of it.

After he finished the juice, a plate of sandwiches was put in his hands with another order to eat, blinking Dean looked up to see the very pretty young doctor Jenny Mead giving him orders and handing him the food. "What happened?"

"Shock can play some nasty games with your body Dean plus not eating or drinking doesn't help either. The shock combined with low blood sugar … you were lucky not to be admitted."

"Where's dad gone?" Dean blinked again and stared around he was amazed to find himself propped up on a stretcher in a curtained cubicle.

"He wanted you to get some rest so he went to get coffee and something to eat." Jenny listened to Dean's heart beat and then gave him a wide smile, "now that sounds more normal."

"How's Sammy doing?"

"He's going to be moved to ICU in the next hour, he's a very strong young man."

"Yep that's Sammy, too stubborn to let anything like septicaemia and a burst appendix keep him down." Dean chuckled softly; resting his head against the pillows he yawned and gave the doctor a small smile. "Thanks for everything Doc."

"My pleasure Dean, so why don't you get some rest and when I get the word about Sam's shift to ICU I'll come and wake you." Jenny covered Dean with another warmed blanket, checked the IV and bag of saline giving him the much needed fluids before she turned the overhead light off and pulled the curtains around him. For a short time Dean was able to rest comfortably, he was able to sleep.

S—D

John and Dean stood just outside Sam's room in the ICU, while the doctors were in with Sam, as a precaution they had him on dialysis after his right kidney started to show signs of possible failure, one of the complications of the septicaemia, he was on pure oxygen to take the pressure off his heart and lungs, two different types of antibiotic cocktails running through separate IVs and his open incision needed constant cleaning and care.

It broke Dean's heart to see his brother lying so still, even when Sam slept he was never still, but in this almost death like state it was terrifying to see.

S—D

Damon Brown was aware of his patient's family hovering in the doorway, gowned and gloved ready to sit with Sam but he was not going to rush his examination for anyone. This young man had suffered through so much pain, invasive surgery and now complications that could still take his young life. No, this young man deserved the best care Damon could give him.

"Well what do you know," his registrar next to him muttered.

"What is it Jenny?" Damon looked up and met her sad gaze, "what's wrong?"

"Oh sorry Damon I spoke aloud, it's just … I looked at Sam's chart and his date of birth." Jenny held the clipboard out to show Damon, "Today's Sam's birthday … what a shitty way to spend it."

"Poor kid, instead of partying with his friends, he's gone through five hours of surgery, two hours in recovery and now this." Damon inclined his head to all of the medical apparatus surrounding the head of Sam's bed. The two medics continued their conversation as they finished their examination and prepared to talk to Sam's family.

S—D

John and Dean finished gowning up and waited rather impatiently for the two surgeons to come out of Sam's room and to let them in. Listening intently to their conversation for anything that they may not have been told both father and brother to Sam felt they had been sucker punched.

"It's Sam's birthday?" John looked over at his son, "how could I … I did it again didn't I?"

"With all that's been happening dad …" Dean tried to excuse his dad but was failing miserably, because he had no excuse for himself either. We were both so involved in the upcoming hunt that neither of us gave the date a thought and then Sammy comes home from school not feeling the best and well the rest …

"Dean!" John squeezed his shoulder to try and get his attention, "where did you go son?"

"We did it again dad, we put the hunt ahead of Sammy and look what happened to him."

"This is not our fault Dean." John said trying to deflect the guilt screaming in his mind. "Sam could have opened his mouth and said something."

"Said what dad?" Dean shot back his anger needing an outlet, "ah sorry Dad and Dean but you can't go on the hunt because it's my birthday in a few days and oh by the way I think I might have appendicitis. Tell me dad what would've your response been?"

"Dean that's not fair …"

"Damn right it's not fair, Sam's been getting the raw end of the deal for way too long and our stubbornness, and arrogance nearly cost him his life."

John opened his mouth to continue the argument when movement came from within the hospital room and he acknowledged the two doctors approaching them. "How's he doing?"

"For all intents and purposes, Sam's doing fine, he's still not out of danger yet but he is definitely holding his own." Damon said as he faced John, "the wound is nice and clean and we'll probably take him back to surgery in about five days to close it. He will have to remain on dialysis for a while longer I'm afraid, Sam's right kidney is still failing we will continue to monitor that problem very closely. The good news is that the infections are not worsening and his temperature is not rising too fast."

"Why is he hooked up to a heart monitor?" Dean asked tired of basically being ignored by both doctors and his father.

"One of the symptoms of sepsis is tachycardia … an elevated heart rate," Jenny explained, "other symptoms he showed was an elevated body temperature and an abnormal white cell count, they are the classic symptoms of septicaemia and Sam exhibited all of them. The good news is that he does seem to be responding to the antibiotic cocktail we are giving him."

Movement from the patient silenced the discussion as both family and doctors hurried to his bedside. Dean pushed his way to the top of the bed and ignored the others as he took Sam's hand with his right and cupped Sam's cheek with his left. "Hey kiddo you gonna wake up for me bro?"

"Dean you need to let the doctors …" John tried to pry his eldest away from his sibling but failed miserably, the look Dean gave him made the hardened hunter actually take a step backwards.

"Just leave Sam and me alone for a minute alright," Dean growled menacingly, "Jenny?"

"I think that it's a good idea Damon, John how about we finish our discussion and leave them in peace for a few minutes."

"But Sam … don't you need to …?" John protested a little annoyed with his own slow response to Sam's needs and with Dean for making him appear less of a father.

"If anyone can reach Sam, I have a feeling that it is Dean." Jenny said giving the two brothers a warm smile. John shook his head but followed the two doctors out; at least he can get a clearer idea of Sam's prognosis and how long they can expect him to stay in ICU.

S—D

Dean sat by his brother's side in a self-imposed vigil; he rarely took his eyes from Sam, terrified that if he did then Sam would be gone. How could he forget Sam's birthday? Yeah their father often forgot both of their birthdays, though more often than not he would remember Dean's over Sam's. Though, this time it was Dean as well, he had actually forgotten his brother's birthday because he had a chance to go on a hunt with his dad alone. He could relish being a hunter without worrying about Sam.

"I'm nothing but a selfish bastard." He muttered aloud.

"De?" Sam's raspy voice startled his big brother.

"Sammy? You awake dude?"

"I- I think so …" Sam grimaced with pain when he tried to shift position slightly, "what's … wrong … with … me?"

"You had appendicitis and your appendix ended up bursting, or perforating something like that."

"So why … you … wearing?" Sam nodded his head slightly at his brother confusion shining in his green eyes.

"Hey how about I get the doc in here first huh?" Dean said as he leaned across and pressed the call-button and then he grabbed a cup of ice chips from the side table and slipped some over Sam's dry lips. Tears glistened in Sam's eyes as he stared at his brother; he did it he saved Dean.

"Sammy? Why did you, I mean what were you thinking coming out to me and dad? Snaking a car dude?" Dean couldn't help himself, but was stopped from saying anything else when he saw the tears falling down Sam's cheeks. "Ah Sammy don't … don't cry."

"Had to … had to … save you Dean."

"Save me?" Dean blinked owlishly at his little brother; this was getting weirder all of the time.

'I – I saw you … I saw you die …"

"You're not making sense Sammy," Dean put it down to the effects of the surgery but Sam's next words cut through his soul.

"I saw you leading … the Wraith … dad had – had his … knife ready … but you … you …" Sam couldn't get the words out, and his frustrations grew along with his breathing and heart-rate.

"Hey calm down Sammy please dude just calm down," Dean begged his little brother. "Where are those damned doctors?"

"Dean … please I'm sorry." Sam wept, he so wanted to get the words out before it was too late, "saw you … you fall … dad's knife … had to save you."

S—D

Dean paced the small anti-room just outside Sam's, it had been two days since Sam woke and told him that he saw Dean stabbed with dad's knife. How could Sammy possibly know that?

Their dad had disappeared the day before, after getting Dean to drop him off at the house to get the truck. They couldn't work out why Sam didn't hotwire his dad's truck instead of stealing one, in the end they both put it down to a healthy dose of fear of John and what he would do if anything happened to the truck and illness, Sam was simply not in his right mind and probably never gave the black beast a thought considering that it was in the garage waiting for a tyre change.

He never said where he was going or what he was going to do, he never really said goodbye just waved as Dean pulled out of the driveway and walked into the house without looking back.

So, now it was Dean who dealt with the doctors and therapists in charge of Sam's recovery process. The excuse was that John had to return to work now Sam was on his way to a full recovery, the job taking him out of state.

"You can go back in now Dean," Jenny smiled sweetly over the last week or so she had grown fond of the two very handsome young brothers. "He's feeling a lot better now the catheter is gone."

"I bet he is," Dean grinned back, "how much longer will ya keep him in ICU?"

"Tomorrow we'll be shifting Sam to a step-down unit and if all things keep going well he'll be in the general surgical ward in a couple of days and maybe home in a week."

"That's wonderful news Doc." Dean beamed under the mask, "do I need to wear this getup much longer?"

"When he moves into step-down you'll be right then, just one more day to give him every chance possible for a full recovery."

"Cool can I tell him?"

"Sure I thought you might be one who wanted to give him the good news so I didn't say anything."

"Thanks for everything Doc," Dean said sobering up slightly, "I-I mean it, we came so close to losing him I just want to say thanks."

"Wow never thought that you'd be a chick-flick type," Jenny teased lightly before she too became a little more serious as she accepted his thanks with grace.

Dean practically bounced into the room, as he headed over to the bed though he stopped and stared in saddened shock. "What's wrong Sammy? I thought you'd be over-the-moon now the catheter is gone."

"Dad's gone isn't he?" Sam whispered as he swiped at his tears, "he thinks that I'm a freak!"

"Why would you even think that?"

"How come he left without even saying happy birthday to me? He never even waited for me to get sprung from ICU." Sam picked at a loose thread on his blanket not wanting to make eye contact with his very perceptive brother. "The way he looked at me when I told him …"

"Told him what bro?" Dean asked though he could feel his chest tighten as he already knew the answer.

"I told him about seeing you die after you fell on his knife … he told me it was the high fevers and that was all. But it wasn't what he said it was the look he had when he said it, and then dad … left."

"He ah went to finish up with the hunt, ya know salt and burn."

"Dude that was days ago."

"Anyway speaking of your birthday, seeing as though you were previously occupied by getting your gut all sliced open and stuff, how about we celebrate it when you get sprung from here?"

"And do what?" Sam asked with a small shake of his head, "nah it's okay Dean, I mean it wasn't an important birthday or anything."

"Dude it was more than just the anniversary of your birth, you got reborn dude. Think about it you were dying literally and then the docs worked on ya, doing the old splice and dice and now you're back and nearly as good as new."

"Gee thanks dude." Sam smiled giving Dean a flash of his deep dimples. "Whatcha got planned or should I not ask?"

"Well wearing these gloves and mask gave me some ideas…" Dean winked at his brother and waggled his eyebrows gaining what he set out to accomplish, to get Sam to laugh. Well chuckling was close enough.

"I'm sorry Dean," Sam said once they had settled into a comfortable silence again.

"What for Geek boy?"

"Sending dad away, you should be hunting with him."

"I am right where I'm meant to be…"

"Dean?"

"Right here with you doofus."

S—D

John sat behind the wheel of his truck chewing absently on a hotdog, he hated surveillance but it was a necessary evil in the life of a hunter. As he watched the potentially haunted house his thoughts drifted back to his boys. His shame and guilt weighed heavily on his shoulders but when Sam admitted to him why he went after them in the first place it freaked him out. Everything that he was learning about the demon and Sam's connection to it was coming into eventuality. He had no idea on what to do to help his son, except to continue hunting and fighting to find the demon.

He knew that he couldn't avoid going home forever, and that Sam was going to be released tomorrow morning from the hospital ten days after that fated hunting trip and another forgotten birthday.

S—D

Sam had a stream of visitors to say goodbye to him, he had become a firm favourite with the nursing and cleaning staffs and even the doctors. Dean couldn't get over how his little brother did it but he had everyone falling over themselves to look after him.

"Thanks for everything Doctor Brown," Sam said sincerely as he shook the man's hand, "If it wasn't for you…"

"It was all you in the end Sam, it's good to see you up and going home, does this old doctor good to see one of his more challenging patients walk out the door."

"Ah doc you're not that old," Sam laughed before he turned to Jenny, "thanks Jenny for everything."

"Just look after yourself and that rogue of a brother of yours." Jenny hugged him just as Dean strode into Sam's room.

"Hey what's going on here?" he teased his blushing brother, "want me to go again?"

"Take care of your brother Sam I think he's gonna need all the help he can get." Jenny laughed. "Seriously take care Dean and look after that brother of yours."

"I will and thanks for everything Jenny," Dean gave the doctor a hug and then turned to thank and say goodbye to Damon. Finally, after all the goodbyes and packing of Sam's small overnight bag, Dean loaded his brother into a wheelchair and proudly pushed Sam through the hospital towards the exit. Calls of goodbye followed them as they stepped out into the sunshine.

"How do you do that Sammy?" Dean asked as he settled Sam into the front seat of the impala.

"Do what dude?" Sam asked while trying not to yawn.

"You had the entire staff of the hospital falling over each other damn it must be the dimples!"

"Dean!" Sam shook his head and settled back into the leather seat, the hum of the impala a soothing and familiar sound for Sam, he instantly relaxed; he was for all intents and purposes, home.

S—D

Dean had trouble hiding his grin as he helped Sam up the steps to their small home, though he was nervous about Sam's reaction. It could all blow up in his face.

"Dean?" Sam blinked as he stared around the room, a large happy birthday banner hung across one wall, and there were balloons scattered around the room, a table laden with food under the window, "Dean what did you do?" Sam smiled widely as he looked at the guests gathered in the small living room.

"Happy belated birthday bro, better late than never huh?" Dean shrugged blushing profusely.

"For sure," Sam nodded but also winced a little, his stomach still sore and ached from the short walk inside. Dean steered the 'birthday' boy to the couch and made sure that he was comfortable before the party could officially start.

"Happy birthday kiddo." Caleb grinned and shoved a small gift into Sam's hand, "open it later when you're on your own," he whispered in Sam's ear, "it's so good to see you well again."

"Thanks Caleb." Sam smiled up at the man and carefully slid the small gift into his pocket.

"Yer not wearing the boy out are ya? Ya idjit?" Bobby interrupted them to wish Sam happy birthday and give him the carefully wrapped book.

"You did good Dean," Jim Murphy said as he stood next to the younger man and watched Sam as he graciously accepted the presents and best wishes from the guests, all members of their small hunting family.

"Yeah but there is someone missing Jim, I really hoped …"

"Give him time Dean and I'm sure that he'll come around."

"I hope so for Sam's sake, so do you need a refill or anything?"

The party started to wind down as they all noticed that the guest of honour was nodding off to sleep on the couch, with large dark smudges under his eyes and twin patches of pink on his extra pale cheeks.

"Yeah time for bed kiddo," Dean shook his head as Sam pouted and mumbled something sleepily, "say goodnight to everyone Sammy."

"Goodnight everyone Sammy," Sam repeated as he let Dean guide him upstairs.

"I'll be back down soon." Dean told the others.

"We'll be fine, think it's time for coffee anyway," Jim grinned as he snatched Caleb on the way, "he can help!"

S—D

"Thanks for my party dude, it was great." Sam said sleepily as he sat on the side of his bed and let Dean undo his runners, "so good to see everyone."

"Yeah it was though …" Dean glanced up at Sam who sat fumbling with the zipper on his hoodie. "Hey its okay Sammy let me do it."

"Can't do … why didn't dad come today Dean?"

"I'm right here Sammy." John's baritone filled the small bedroom.

Turning Dean stood up and placed himself between his brother and father, "Dad?"

"It's okay Dean, I'm sorry I'm late." John stated softly his gaze never leaving his youngest son. He was looking so much better than what he did in hospital. "I'm sorry Sammy."

"That's okay Dad," Sam mumbled.

"Ah dad no offence but how did you get past Bobby and the others downstairs?" Dean asked mischievously.

"I have my ways," John chuckled, "can I come in?"

"Yeah sure dad," Dean said when he glanced down at Sam and saw his little brother nodding yes. "I'll just get him into bed." He finished helping Sam change into his soft sweatpants and T-shirt, then busied himself by settling Sam into the bed, propping him with pillows and added another blanket thinking it was too cool in there for him.

"So dad what did you want to talk about?" Sam asked yawning widely and blinking owlishly at his father.

"I want to apologise for everything Sam, while I've been gone I've had a lot of time to think and hell I wouldn't blame you if you hated me."

"Nah don't hate ya dad," Sam yawned again as his eyes finally closed and he drifted off into an exhausted but happy deep sleep.

"Dean I want to apologise to you too," John said looking down at his boots unable to meet Dean's glittering gaze.

"How did you find out about Sam's birthday party?" Dean asked a flicker of guilt wavered in his gut, he hadn't even invited his father, not too sure why but he knew that his anger ran deep where his ragtag family was concerned. It ran side-by-side with his love for them, an unconditional love born out of necessity and family.

"Not a hunter for no reason son." John winked at his son as they made their way downstairs to the others.

S—D

The next morning Sam carefully made his way downstairs, he could smell freshly brewed coffee and bacon sizzling on the grill making his mouth water. "Dean?" He called out but was greeted with silence. Confused Sam stood for a moment at the bottom of the stairs and listened intently though he couldn't hear any voices or anything that would indicate a living presence in the house besides him.

The front door slammed shut startling Sam, spinning around he faced a grinning Dean with a red flush colouring his cheeks and a sparkle in his green eyes, it had been a long time since he had seen Dean so happy. "Hey Sammy you're up?"

"Yep … where's everyone?" Sam asked peering around the living room.

"Caleb and Bobby will be back in a little while they stayed at the motel down the road last night," Dean said as he led Sam into the kitchen, "Pastor Jim just left, he didn't want to wake you but said that he will catch up with you very soon for your next chess challenge."

"Cool … where's dad?"

"New hunt … he left during the night."

"Oh … that's okay."

"You sure Sammy? I mean it's okay to be mad at him for leaving again."

"Nah it's okay Dean really, I mean I got the best birthday present ever …"

"What? Getting so sick is the best birthday present ever?" Dean asked confused.

"No Dean, I got you here with me alive and well, dad wished me happy birthday Dean and he apologised to me." Sam smiled shyly showing off his full slash-dimples, "and gave me this."

He handed the leather bound book to Dean, "it's for my own journal, said that I'm good enough with research and that it's time I had my own journal."

"That's great Sam, it really is great," Dean enthused handing the precious gift back to his brother. "So how about some bacon and eggs for breakfast?"

"Sounds good … Dean?"

"Yeah dude?"

"Do you think … I mean umm do you think that it was a vision I had?"

"Honestly? I don't know Sammy, but I do know that it's not gonna make a difference to me. You're still my little geeky little freak …"

"Who is an inch away from getting taller than you…" Sam laughed as Dean spluttered indignantly into his coffee. "Bite me bitch."

"No thanks too tough … jerk."