A/N: This came to me after I read the title of someone else's fic on LJ (I forget who) and it reminded me of an incident, which inspired me to put Sam through the same hell. So it has unabashed, unapologetic Sam whump, and Dean being an awesome big bro. Shameless abuse of plot devices are also included. You've been warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural nor do I make profit from writing Supernatural fanfic. So please don't sue. I'm trying to support my convention addiction.
Warnings/enticements: Ickiness that involves vomit, and language (including a few F-bombs). That's about it. Set in the early days, but there isn't a specific time line.
Sam's been kidnapped. Again. Right out from under Dean's nose. Thankfully, he isn't missing long; three hours at the most. It's just enough time for Dean to panic, get the low down on a local gang/cult, and then hunt them down. According to the locals the cult's been attached to some seriously skeevy business in the past: vandalism, animal abuse, assault, ect. Legally speaking no one's been able to get any concrete evidence to have them charged, but Dean knows. He knew the second that he heard the world 'cult' because that'd be their luck. And it's safe to say that they now have something concrete enough to put the bastards behind bars, because he knows they took Sammy.
In the small town and with all the gossip, it isn't hard to track them down. Dean follows their trail to an abandoned house out in the country. It's a one and a half story town house painted a color that probably used to resemble blue, but is now gray and peeled. The porch is barely holding itself together. In fact, the whole house seems to be folding in on itself. Dean's fairly certain that if a bird landed on the roof the whole thing would buckle. Not that the decrepit state of the building is going to stop him from going inside. His brother's in there, in the hands of a psychotic group of humans. Again.
The porch creaks dangerously under his boots but he wastes no time slipping inside, gun drawn, senses alert. The house reeks of abandonment. Dust, shriveled leaves, and dead insects coat the floor and the surfaces of furniture; cobwebs blanket the walls. Dean grimaces at the disgusting mess, thinking of how satisfying it will be to send the place up in flames once he gets Sam out.
Finding them is easy. The house is small, near empty, and wooden, and sound travels like ripples in a pond. Dean just follows the noises. Chanting is the first thing he hears. It's Latin said in tandem, reminding Dean of a demented frat house initiation. The second thing he hears is Sam, who by the sounds of it, is in a world of pain. His little brother's agonized gasps and choked off whimpers echo through the stale air. Dean hears his sibling's distress and it makes rage and worry coil up in his belly like a snake.
Dean doesn't doesn't know what he's expecting when he creeps from the darkened hall, but for some reason, it isn't this. He rounds the corner, slinking into view of the sitting room through the oversized archway, and freezes. There are seven of them in classic black robes, standing in a circle. Inside the circle is a large black sheet with an inverted pentagram painted on it in white, and lying on that black sheet is Sam. Sam, who's curled into the smallest ball he can possibly manage, dripping with sweat, and damn near crying.
He takes one look at Sam and wants to open fire. The desire to just shoot the cult members like they're fish in a barrel is almost overwhelming, because Sam is in obvious agony and no one gets away with hurting his brother like that. But he can't hurt or kill them. He doesn't know what they've done to Sam or how to reverse it, so he needs at least one of them alive. That doesn't mean he can't crack a few skulls.
"Hey!" Dean barks, making a few of the cult members start. From the floor, Sam gasps a very relieved but still undeniably pained, "Dean."
Dean takes a few steps in the room but keeps his gun trained on the enemies, "Back off. Break the circle, now."
No one moves but Dean's not in the mood to play games, not with his brother still writhing on the ground and the threat still active.
The loud command spurs them into action, albeit slowly, and they space out, breaking the circle as they stare tentatively at Dean.
"What'd you do to him?" He focuses his attention on one of the members, keeping his weapon steady and his glare even steadier, "Answer me! What did you do?"
A few of the members trade uneasy glances but no one speaks. Dean's through screwing around. He moves the gun without warning and pops off a shot, hitting one of the members in the shoulder. The injured cult member goes down with a pained cry. His brethren gapes in shock –some in fear- before Dean forces their attention back to him.
"Last time, I'm not going to ask again. What did you do to my brother?"
His gun is focused back on the original man he had demanded answers from. The member glares under Dean's threat and presses his lips together in clear defiance. Someone else responds to the fear Dean's instilled.
"It's a ritual."
Dean's eyes snap to the side and lock on the speaker. He's a kid, Jesus, no more than fifteen, but Dean's doesn't let it affect his mission.
"Yeah, I'm getting that, what kind of ritual? How do you stop it?" Dean demands.
"Brother, no," one of the older members orders with a glare and an obvious threat, making the teen flinch.
Dean moves the gun to him, "You, shut. up. Or join him." He motions to the guy who's still on the ground, holding his shoulder.
"How do you stop it?" Dean repeats, becoming more and more impatient, and more aware of the crescendoing noises Sam's making from the ground.
The young member swallows, "It…it's stopped already. You stopped it when you walked in."
Dean's about to snap. Rage and the need to help Sam is clouding his head, and he's getting to the point where he doesn't care what it takes to get answers, he just wants them.
"Then what the hell is wrong with him?"
The teenager jumps at Dean's loud voice, and then stutters, "Poison."
Dread sinks in Dean's gut and spreads until cold sweat tingles over his skin, "What kind? What the fuck did you give him?"
He's flat out screaming but he doesn't care. The situation just went from bad to worse, and all Dean's concerned about is getting answers so he can get Sam out.
With the single word Dean feels the world drop out from underneath him. His mind races as he frantically tries to remember all the facts and symptoms of Oleander poisoning from their dad's journal: nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, confusion, disorientation, dizziness, fainting, headache, weak heartbeat, death.
Oh God, no.
"How long ago?" Dean barks. His chest feels like it's seizing with panic and his heart keeps stuttering with unabashed fear.
"Half hour, maybe."
Not enough time, not enough time. The mantra runs through his head. The Oleander hasn't been in Sam's system long but by the time Dean gets him to the hospital, and they get him help…
There's not enough time.
"Here's how it's going to be," Dean says after he swallows down his panic, "I'm getting my brother and we're walking out of here. The second anyone tries to stop me, they're getting a bullet to the head. Understand?"
He doesn't wait for a response, just dives for Sam, who hasn't moved much through the whole ordeal.
"Sam? Sammy? You with me? Hey, look at me," Dean half pleads as he attempts to uncurl Sam, "C'mon bro, we need to get out of here, don't make me carry you."
Sam groans, whimpers, "Dean? Dean…shit, it hurts."
Dean pulls Sam into a sitting position, feeling his own stab of pain in his chest when the movement draws out a choked off cry from his brother.
"Hey, listen to me, it's gonna be okay, I promise. I know it hurts but we have to leave. Sam, come on," Dean presses as he lightly tugs at Sam, loathing that he has to push him, but knowing that if he doesn't that Sam could…would…probably die.
Sam responds with a sob but he nods, and slowly starts to push himself up. Dean grabs hold of him tightly, taking most of his weight as they straighten out. He glares at the cult members who are openly staring, feeling another flash of revenge driven rage rush through him. He'd take care of them later. Right now he just wants to get Sam help.
"Let's go, I gotcha, Sammy."
Dean stumbles from the barren house, tripping with Sam's extra weight, and almost making them kiss the porch. He tightens his hold around Sam's waist, trying desperately to keep his hurt sibling upright. It's hard though, with Sam only partially conscious, and trying to trying to curl away from the pain in his gut.
"C'mon, Sam, almost there, just hold on," Dean pants as they hobble down the decrepit porch steps.
"De…" Sam gasps, tears running steady rivers down his angular cheeks. He'll probably be concerned about his pride and Dean's teasing later, but right now it just hurts.
Dean winces, as if he can feel his brother's pain, "Shhh, I know, just…hang tight for me, man. We'll get ya to the hospital and they'll give you the good stuff, and it'll be fine."
He's not sure if he's reassuring Sam or himself at this point, because he knows this is bad. This is more than bad. Fucking humans.
Dean's learning to hate his own species more than he does demons, or spirits, or wraiths, or any other thing they hunt. Humans are unpredictable, cruel, and worst of all, Dean can't kill them. Or at least, not without facing legal consequences and getting grief from Sam. Morals aren't really a question. They hurt his little brother to the point of tears and Dean wouldn't feel even the slightest bit of guilt if he plugged them all with lead.
Dean's torn from his revenge fantasy when Sam stumbles and this time, goes down, unconscious.
"Sam!" Dean shouts, pitching forward as Sam's body goes lax, "Don't you dare to this. Don't even fuckin' think about it!"
He lowers Sam to the ground, right at the bottom of the steps, and frantically checks his pulse and breathing. Sam's heartbeat is slow, way too slow, and his breathing is coming out in short, spazzy puffs. Not good. So not good. And they just don't have time.
"You are not dyin' on me, do you hear me? You're not," Dean growls as he pulls Sam up and bends him forward. Then Dean settles next to him on his haunches and steels himself, "You are going to owe me big time for this." But really, Dean isn't the least bit disturbed with what he's about to do, as long as it keeps Sam alive.
Keeping a steadying arm behind Sam's head, Dean uses his free hand to pry open Sam's mouth, and he reaches two fingers into the back of his throat. He presses gently until he feels Sam's body tense up as he gags, but it comes out dry. Dean presses again, wiggling his fingers a bit as he does so. He immediately feels Sam tense up but once again, Sam does nothing but gag and cough.
"C'mon," Dean mutters, feeling his heart start to race with anxiousness. If he can't do this then he knows that Sam won't make it to the hospital. Honestly, he doesn't even know if Sam will make it even if he manages to vomit.
Dean presses a third time, a bit firmer, and this time it works. Dean barely manages to pull his hand out of the way before Sam starts to puke. The induced vomiting rouses Sam from unconsciousness, and he curls to the side, fingers clenching in the grass as he violently heaves. Dean's a steady presence behind him, keeping a supporting arm around his chest so he doesn't face plant.
"Don't fight it, Sammy, you need to get it out. Just let it out," Dean soothes as Sam makes a wounded sound when another bout of vomiting takes over.
Soon, but not soon enough, Sam's stomach stops seizing. His energy spent, he leans forward, only to have Dean pull him back into his chest. He puts one hand on Sam's forehead as his other arm braces Sam's back to his chest, "You with me? Stay awake, we need to go to the hospital."
Sam makes a noise, could've been one of protest or agreement, Dean's not sure and he doesn't care. They're going to the ER whether his brother wants to or not. Sam's face is still scrunched with pain and he's barely lucid, and who the hell knows what kind of damage the Oleander did.
Getting Sam back on his feet is hard, mostly because Sam's passed out again (but breathing better, thank you God) and maneuvering six plus feet of unconscious little brother is a bit like trying to pick up a small tree. It takes some Herculean effort but Dean gets him into the car. Dean then settles his brother's head on his thigh and keeps a hand on his chest, keeping track of Sam's breathing. Little brother situated, Dean puts the pedal to the metal and guns it to the hospital.
They tell him everything he already knows and a few things he doesn't. Oleander poisoning. Slow heartbeat. Slightly erratic breathing. Intense stomach pain. All of which Dean was very much aware of. The other part, the saving Sam's life part, Dean isn't too clear on.
"Sorry?" Dean asks after the doctor explains Sam's condition to him, "What do you mean, antidote?"
The doctor sighs, takes his glasses off and meets Dean's gaze unwaveringly, "I'm not going to sugar coat it, son. If you hadn't done what you did -induced vomiting- your brother would've died. It seems they made the plant into a tea and that's how it entered his system. There was still a lot left in his stomach. If it had been broken down, he never would've made it. Normally we use active charcoal to purge remaining toxins from the system but it wasn't going to cut it with Sam. We had to give him Ovine, it's an antidote. Do you understand? You saved your brother's life."
That's how he ends up at Sam's bedside in a god awful plastic chair, waiting not-so-patiently for him eyes to open. They've been in the hospital for the better part of twelve hours and Dean's moved on from panic and fear, to relief, to just wanting to see his brother awake.
One thing's for sure, Sam's not going anywhere alone until he's like, thirty. Sam obviously has some sort of neon sign over his head that says, "Potential kidnap victim. Please take advantage and scare the living hell out of my older brother." And Dean's pretty much over bat shit insane humans and Sam being used as their punching bag.
Sam finally stirs, shifting in bed, before he blinks awake. Dean sees confusion flitter over his face before realization settles in. He smiles affectionately when he sees Sam's classic bitch face emerge, the one he reserves for hospital visits only.
"Hey," Dean says softly, drawing Sam's attention to him, "How you feelin'?"
Sam grimaces as he swallows, "Sore...my throat and stomach muscles."
"Yeah," Dean huffs as he rubs the back of his neck, "Sorry. You, uh, you did a lot of puking."
The pieces click together in Sam's memory and he groans, "You stuck your finger down my throat, didn't you?"
"Had to, Sammy, you were…it was bad."
Sam doesn't miss the way Dean's eyes gloss over or how red they already look, or the fear that hasn't quite left his brother's shoulders. He knows what kind of bad it was, hell, he felt how bad it was, and he can't bring himself to tease Dean for what he had to do. Not yet, maybe not ever. Not this time.
"Thank you," Sam says with sincerity, making sure to lock eyes with his sibling.
Thank you for saving my ass again, for not hesitating.
Dean's lips quirk briefly, his expression softening, before he looks down at his hands, "Yeah, well, next time you get kidnapped, try to make sure it's by something I can kill, ok? Or better yet, don't get kidnapped at all."
"Sure. I'll work on that," Sam says with an equally soft smile, internally chuckling at Dean's avoidance of the chick flick moment. Doesn't matter. Sam knows that his brother would do everything he did over again in a heartbeat, just like he knows he never has to say thank you for Dean doing it. It's just what Dean does. Sam's ok with that.
A/N: You like? No joke, this was inspired by a true story. A friend of a friend –let's call her Kate- got alcohol poisoning at a party. Kate's best friend stuck a finger down Kate's throat so she'd throw up. Why they didn't call 911, I'll never know.