A/N – Mlebayre: Yay! It's birthday fic time again. A big iHAPPY BIRTHDAY /i to lj user=gidgetgal9 ! lj user=sendintheklowns came up with the nifty idea, and we had such fun writing it. She's such a joy to work with. We hope you like it.
A/N – sendintheklowns: Happy birthday to the one, the only—Gidgetgal9! Mlebayre and I have concocted a little something to honor your day (thanks for cowriting Mlebayre!). I believe there's a certain something that you've always wanted in a fic and we're trying hard to give that to you. Can you guess?
Dean drained his coffee with a loud slurp and banged the cup down on the Formica table. "I'm gonna hit the head and then let's hit the road."
Sam rose to his feet at the same time as Dean did. It took every scrap of patience Dean had but he kept his voice smooth and his body loose; he was sick of tripping over Sam everywhere he went and he wanted to snap at him but he knew something was bugging his brother and had been since the whole trickster thing back in Florida. "Have a seat and finish your coffee. I'll be back in a few."
When Sam opened his mouth to argue, Dean put up his hand. "Really, Sam. I've been going to the bathroom by myself since before you were born so I think I can handle it."
Dean moved away before Sam could cause a scene. While he took care of business and washed his hands, he thought about what Sam had said before they left that friggin' Mystery Spot behind.
I had a weird dream.
Sam had always had weird dreams so that hadn't made much of an impact on Dean. His snappy retort had amused him at the time—Yeah? Clowns or midgets?
By the time they'd made it out of the panhandle, Dean had figured out that more than a weird dream was bothering his brother. It was in the desperate looks Sam threw his way when he didn't think Dean was paying attention. Not to mention that Dean had acquired a new shadow, albeit a white, tall one that never—and Dean meant never—left his side.
All while Sam kept up a stoic silence. Sure, he spoke at the right moments and said the right things but something was off. Sam wasn't volunteering any information which just wasn't Sam's way.
He exited the bathroom to find Sam leaning against the wall nearby. Sam's head was hanging low and he wouldn't meet Dean's eyes. Dean made a point to brush Sam's shoulder, giving him a nudge, as he walked by. It was the closest to a hug he was willing to dole out at the moment.
But Sam didn't need a damn hug. He needed to tell Dean what the hell had happened back in Florida with the trickster.
They silently made their way outside to the Impala. Dean thought maybe he had an icebreaker. "You want to drive, Sam?"
That used to work when Sam was younger. The kid had always wanted to drive. The problem was Dean always wanted to drive, too, and he was older and it was his car so he won. So letting Sam drive was sort of like a bribe. It put him in a good mood and then he usually spilled his guts.
It had worked after Sam's disastrous prom date with what's-her-face as well as any time John had been too hard on the more sensitive Sam.
"No thanks, I've got a bit of a headache." Sam paused, his face consumed with worry. "Although if you don't feel up to it then I can drive. Do you feel okay?" Sam's voice was hesitant, almost nervous.
Dean opened the driver's side door and slid smoothly on to the bench seat. "I'm good. Just thought you might want to take a turn. Since driver picks the music and shotgun shuts his cake-hole and you're always whining about my music…"
Sam slid into the passenger side, rubbing at his forehead, and shrugged. "Thanks, Dean. Whatever you want to listen to is fine."
Who was this pod person and what had they done with his brother? Dean bit his tongue while gunning the Impala to life. He wasn't giving up, just saving his energy for another line of attack.
Winding their way to the highway, Dean dialed up some classic AC/DC on the tape-deck. He couldn't help but notice the way Sam scrunched up his face in the bright sunlight and kept rubbing surreptitiously at his forehead.
The traffic ahead suddenly slowed to a crawl and Dean had to brake hard to avoid climbing up the tailpipe of the gray Prius ahead of them. When traffic came to a complete halt, Dean sighed irritably. He hated getting stuck in traffic. Ejecting the tape from the player, he glanced at Sam to find his brother staring at him with big eyes while chewing at his lower lip. The relentless staring was getting to him. "See if you can find a station that will tell us why the hell we're stalled out here, would ya?"
After static punctuated by loud garbled bursts of noise, Sam found a station. "So if you're sitting on West 78, you have toilet paper to thank. Apparently the semi carrying this precious cargo jack-knifed and spilled its load all over the road. It's going to be a looong morning for you all. Let's see if we can't make that time pass a little more quickly with some great music. Next up is our home-grown product, Saliva."
Dean's hand twitched forward to turn off the noise but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sam's fingers patting his knee in time to the music. The guitar riff was fine, maybe even better than fine, but when the singer started making noise, Dean couldn't keep from snorting.
In one moment I'm goin' all the way
I make my poetry everyday
And I'm frozen comin' right on time
I froze my mind with that serious rhyme
"What is this? Some sort of rap crap?" Dean couldn't help but ask. He appreciated many different genres of music but wasn't familiar with this one. Thank God.
Sam's fingers quite tapping and he reached forward to snap off the music but Dean's hand intercepted his and stilled it. "Just a question, Sam. I've never heard this before. I'm a little surprised that you like this. What is it?"
Sam relented with an answer while he jerkily wound his window down. "One of my roommates liked this band. He called it nu metal." Sam's hands twitched at his sides now that they didn't have anything to do.
After rolling down his window to let some cool air in, Dean found his own hands tapping in time with the music. It actually wasn't bad he supposed. The lyrics were even better than he would've expected in some places.
Will there ever be any peace for me
Even though I'm falling
Will there ever be any peace for meA furious squeal of tires in the distance was the only warning they had. Dean's whole body rocked forward with the force of the crash, his hands tightening on the steering wheel to prevent his ribs from behind smashed into the unforgiving leather covered plastic. His body sagged backward after the Impala bit the Prius in front of them.
And I wanna take you down but your soul cannot be found
It doesn't matter much you see 'cause your disease is killin' me
And you know it's only right 'cause it feels like paradise
And I know nothin' is for free 'cause your disease is killin' me
Dean's neck hurt but he couldn't complain because Sam hadn't faired so lucky, his forehead planting into the dash before his body snapped back against the seat.
Sam's eyes were open but dazed, his posture lazy against the vinyl. His brother looked like he was in shock and it didn't really surprise Dean when Sam actually groped for the door handle. Dean grabbed Sam's left arm, tugging on it. "Whoa there, Sam. Let's just take a breather for a moment. Can you tell me what hurts?"
All tension fled Sam's body as he followed the line of Dean's gentle tug, slumping sideways until his head rested in Dean's lap.
"Sammy? Hey, you with me?"
A tap at Sam's partially lowered window startled Dean as his hands were combing through Sam's hair, and rubbing at his neck lightly, assuring himself that Sam was fine while he checked for injuries. "Oh, excuse me! I didn't mean to interrupt," the high feminine voice paused, "whatever but I wanted to make sure you're okay. Some jackass back their started off a chain reaction."
The woman was a stunner. She had long, wavy brown hair that brushed against the two rounded mounds threatening to burst out of the red tank top. Her face was pretty, too. Except for the way her eyes were too large in her face while she tried to look anywhere but below Dean's face.
Glancing down at his injured brother, Dean understood the chick's strange behavior. Sam's face was buried in his lap and he was petting his Sam's hair. She thought Sam was giving him a—
"It's not what you think. My brother hit his head." Sam chose that moment to push weakly against Dean's thighs, sitting up. "Hey, take it easy, Sam. That was quite a smack you took."
There was a huge red mark riding high on Sam's right cheek and his eyes were still unfocused. He dimly heard the woman's voice but it wasn't until he heard her giving directions to someone that he realized the idiot had called 911. Although Sam wasn't looking so great at the moment.
"We don't need an ambulance," Dean tried stopping her, but it was no use. She was shaking her head, putting one finger in her free ear and turning away. He slumped back in the driver's seat, great. As if they didn't have enough to deal with now he was going to have to talk his way out of Sam going to a hospital.
By the time the ambulance arrived in all its flashing glory there was a crowd around the Impala. Sam was sort of—not really—functioning and focusing alright. Though, Dean was relieved to see him moving all his limbs, and turning his head side-to-side. No spinal cord injury if the kid could do that.
It probably wouldn't hurt for Sam to have a real doctor look at his pupils anyway, or at least the paramedics. If Dean followed the ambulance, and if where they were going was typical of hospital emergency rooms in general then Sam would be low priority as long as he could make semi-coherent noise and walk under his own steam. Dean could get to the hospital, find a fairly close place to park that wasn't in the hospital lot, snatch Sam out wherever he was being kept waiting and they'd be gone.
The plan could work. It probably would have too had it not been for the paramedics arriving and one guy reaching in the car, gently trying to ease Sam out of it so he could examine him.
That's where Dean's fun started.
Sam came to life with a bang. Actually it was more like an elbow to the paramedic's face and a garbled out, "Let go of me, I'm not going anywhere."
Now he decided to speak real words.
"Crap." Dean was out of the car and running around the other side in seconds, wedging himself between the paramedic and Sam and the car. "Shit, I'm sorry, let me—" He tried backing the stunned, but not significantly hurt, paramedic back, yanked a rag from his pocket and pressed it to the guy's nose. As he moved the paramedic away, he moved away.
"Dean!" Sam lurched at the car door, falling out and landing on all fours on the ground.
"Sam, what the hell? Sit still," Dean snapped. The paramedic, whose head he was holding, tried to nod.
A second paramedic appeared, grasping Sam by the shoulders, trying to sit him on the ground and lean him against the car. "Sir, please, do as your brother asked and sit still, I just need to check—" The small penlight the fool shone in Sam's eyes went sailing in a nice little arc into the road when Sam swatted it away.
"If you would just let me handle this." Dean was getting seriously annoyed now. "We do a lot of extreme sports, trust me, we're pretty good at this sort of stuff."
"Your brother could have a concussion." Paramedic number two had produced a second penlight from somewhere and was going at Sam again.
Dean grabbed the man's arm, stopping him from shining another light in Sam's eyes before his brother stopped him with his fist. "Yes, I know. What you don't know is he can get pretty worked up pretty fast when he does. It might be safer if you let me—"
Paramedic number one crouched beside Sam, trying to get between him and Dean, easing a gurney closer with his free hand. The moron paramedic deserved the black eye he was going to have after Sam belted him. Dean sighed and dropped his head until his chin hit his chest.
Scrambling to his feet, Sam whirled around and latched onto Dean's arms shouting nonsense about hellhounds and demons coming at them, begging Dean not to go away and leave him. There were no hellhounds or demons on the roadside. This was bad.
Then it got worse, the cops showed up.
"Your brother is seriously injured, he needs to go to the hospital," The paramedic Sam punched was picking himself up off the ground as he spoke.
"Okay, agreed, but let me take him. If you put him in there," Dean pointed at the ambulance. "And I have to follow in our car, he's going to freak out. Do you really want to restrain him and risk hurting him further?"
Sam's fingers tightened on Dean's sleeve, yanking on him. "Don't go, please, Dean, don't leave. I won't go with them. Don't leave."
"No, we can't do that, liability," the other paramedic said, looking from one brother to the other, obviously not wanting to deal with a distraught patient having some sort of panic attack in the back of their ambulance.
"How about," A pretty blonde girl in a police uniform who looked as if she hadn't gotten out of middle school quite yet stepped into the group, "I drive your car and you ride in the back of the ambulance with your brother. We're really not supposed to do that, but I think this is one of those times we have to be creative."
Dean wasn't thrilled with the idea of a cop in the Impala, but it was that or leave the car here, not a good idea. These people weren't allowing Sam to just get back in their car and drive away with Dean. Too many people in the crowd were telling him it was for Sam's own good to be checked out and honestly considering the words coming from his brother's mouth, maybe they were right.
Begrudgingly Dean let them both be loaded into the ambulance. It wasn't like he had a lot of choice, the kid wasn't letting go of his arm anytime soon, that was for sure.