Author's Note: Thank you to everyone who's been not only reviewing but reading this story as a whole. Thank you all so much for all the support you've been giving me as we've taken this journey. It was a pleasure writing this for you. And don't worry, there's more ideas in this crazy ol' head of mine, so I'll start writing any new ideas I have for you guys. In case you couldn't tell, this is the final chapter.
Warning: No warnings. Nothing. Just enjoy.
Mark walked out his mini-medical office with his heart heavy. He paced the floor in front of the room before wiping his brow with unsteady hands. He sighed heavily and shook his head-reluctant. A second later he took in air, puffed his chest and entered the living room where Bobby and Dean sat. Earlier, Dean had tried to get some rest but they all pretty much knew that was pointless. Dean wasn't going to sleep, not until he was completely sure in his heart that Sam was okay and going to stay okay. Mark swallowed as his eye went from Dean and Bobby who sat on the couch unknowing of his presents and then to the television. They were watching some show. This woman was yelling at a man, calling him a liar and a killer. Mark shrugged, it didn't catch his interest.
Clearing his throat, Mark drew attention to himself. Both Dean and Bobby's head whipped backwards to the sudden noise. They both smiled a little, being startled. Mark raised his hands in innocence then he smiled himself. He took hold of the papers he was holding, squeezing them tighter. Dean took notice of that and gestured to the folded papers in his hand.
"What's that?"he questioned, suspicious.
Mark bit the inside of his lip.
"It's the test results," Mark replies emptily.
Both Bobby and Dean exchange glances then they fix on Mark, their eyes eager to hear the news. Dean stands, already walking toward Mark. He can see Dean's anxious and he hadn't even heard a thing yet. It was apparent that this was eating away at Dean. His conscious and his worry was probably the main reason he wasn't able to sleep, if you asked Mark. From what he could tell, Dean was always the one to expect the worse, even when he told someone that everything was going to be okay. He had taught himself that at a young age. Hope for the nest, but expect the worse, he'd always said. And he'd carried that with him through his whole life. And now it was getting the better of him. He couldn't sleep. All he could think of is what if there's something horribly wrong with Sam? What if he doesn't make it? What if those bastards gave him something? Dean couldn't stop it.
By now, Bobby was too standing. He was also eager to hear the news. To be honest, Mark was a little surprised to see what good relationship Bobby had with the boys. When Dean and John was a sleep, he'd go into Sam's room and sit with him. He'd tell him to keep fighting, and that he'll aways he here for him if he ever needed anything. Mark always smiled at that. But his relationship with Sam wasn't the only thing that impressed Mark about Bobby. No, the way he interacted with Dean was also a shock. He was shocked the see the way Sam confided in him when he had no one else to talk to. He talked more about his feeling with Bobby than he did with his father. That was interesting to Mark. It was unusual, Dean and John's relationship. With them, it only looked like they were comfortable with each other when John was giving instructions and Dean was following them; or when they were in the room with Sam. Other than that, their relationship seemed strained. Sometimes it was like they struggled to find something to talk about that wasn't Sam or hunting. It was like they didn't know anything else.
"Your father is still in the room with Sam, right?"
Dean nodded. "Yeah," he answered. "He's been in there forever. He said I needed a break. I tried to tell him that he needed one, too. I mean, Sam's asleep. And we'd know if he was awake... but my dad's stubborn- kinda like Sam. He tells me to take all the rest, but doesn't take any for himself." Dean laughed at his father's actions, knowing he'd be doing the same thing if the roles were reversed.
Mark gestured with his head down the hall to where John, Sam, and Austin were.
"I think we all need to talk," was the only thing Mark said as he began for the door.
Without hesitation, Dean and Bobby followed, eager to hear the news; good or bad.
Dean somehow along the way, passed Mark and was the first one to the door. He didn't knock, but he peeked his head in to make sure everything was okay.
"Mark has the test results," they hear Dean say to his father, his brother and Austin. They can hear the nervousness in his voice even though he's doing all he can to keep it steady.
A second later, he's waving them in. Dean immediately went to Sam's bed. He sat next to him, put his hand on his shoulder and looked at Mark. Dean and his father exchanged glances, then nodded at each other. Austin sat up, toward the end of the bed. Dean looked back at Austin and his heart twisted. He was sitting alone. He didn't have his family here to support him right now. He needed someone. So Dean, waved his hand at him, telling him to join them on the bed. Austin was reluctant at first, but Dean stood, took his wrist and brought him to Sam's bed. He may not know Austin too well, but he did know this: Austin was there for Sam when Sam had no one, so the least Dean could do was return the favor. For that week, Austin was Sam's family. He was the one who looked after him the best he could, so Dean could do the same. Right now, for this moment, Dean and Sam were Austin's brothers, and for now, John was his father. Austin needed a family.
Bobby walked over and posted himself behind John. He laid his hand on his shoulder, letting him know that he was there.
Mark shifted uneasily on his feet.
"Sam," he started. Just by that one word, everyone felt their heart speed up. Mark unfolded the paper in his hand, he clears his throat.
"As you know we're ran some tests on you..."
Dean and Sam glance at each other.
"...we tested you for STDs and HIV..."
John put his arm around Sam.
The doctor spoke in one fluent sentence, no stopping, but it seemed like every word he said lingered in the air.
"The result for your HIV test..."
Sam's hand found Dean's and held it tight.
"... the results came back negative. Sam, you don't have HIV."
Nobody moved. No cheer. Nothing. It was like they were all stunned. That was until John started crying. Then Sam. A and Dean shortly after. Dean turned,buried his head and Sam's shoulder and cried. "Thank God," was all he kept saying.
Mark cleared his throat. He wasn't finished.
"Although," he says a little loud, catching their attention.
Dean sat up.
"You did test positive for Sepsis."
Sam bit his lip. He didn't like the sound of that. Instantly, his eyes went to his father, then to Dean, trying to get a reaction out of their of them. But they didn't say anything. Their expression didn't change, so finally he spoke up.
"W-what's that?" he question, nervous about the answer.
"It's a blood infection," Mark stated. I can only assume that you got it from the bacteria on the whip that was used on you, or perhaps the chains and handcuffs that cut your wrist. There's a number of possibilities.
John wiped his eye, "Will he be okay? Is it life threatening?"
Mark was a little slow to answer. "It can be... but in his case, I don't think it is. Sam was only held there for a week, so it didn't really have time to set in. He's lucky."
"So... what do we have to do? How do we fix him?" Dean asked. He looked down, smiling at him quickly.
Approaching the bed, Mark took hold of Sam's arm. "See these?" he questioned pointed to the little red specks on Sam's arm. Everyone in the room seemed to nod. "Well, when I first saw them, I thought they were needle marks from the drugs he was given, but as time went on, I noticed that they were increasing, getting bigger- like Chicken Pox." He pointed to Sam. "Well, I went out on a whim and figured that it was most likely that he had Chick Pox already, so I ruled them out. And he wasn't scratching them. So along with the tests I ran for the STD's and the HIV, I checked for this. Y'know, just to be sure.
"Treating it should be simple, and easy," Mark continued. "I'd have to give him antibiotics for the rash forming on him. And some medicine for the fever. Alone with water, pain medication, and along with the IV and some few other medications to keep his immune system up, he should be good in no time."
Again, the small family rejoiced. John wrapped his arms around both his sons, smiling and crying at the same time. No one really knew how to feel.
"I do have one concern, though," Mark interrupted again. Dean looked at him.
"... Sam's mental state. I mean- a blood infection can be cured with some medicine, but he can't fix his mind that easily."
John shrugged, understanding where the doctor was coming from. That, too, had been on his mind for a while. All he and Dean wanted to do was get Sam back to the old him, but they couldn't do that if he was afraid to sleep, if his nightmares were at fool blast, if he's having flashbacks, and afraid of people to get close. He needed to be reassure again that not everyone is trying to hurt him.
"So what do you suggest?" John asked.
Mark was uneasy. "Find the best psychologist in the area."
"I don't need no shrink. I'm not crazy-" Sam cut in, his voice firm and strong.
"Sam," John says, his warning tone coming to life. "We know you're not crazy, son. Trust me, we don't think that of you. But we just want you to get better. We want all of you to get better."
Sam was hesitant, but he finally nodded, resting his head on Dean's shoulder.
A silence came upon the room before Sam finally said, "What about Austin? Is he okay, too?"
Mark stopped, took a look at his papers and then looked at Austin.
"Austin," he says. "I'm sorry, you're HIV test came back positive."
There was a gasp.
Austin fell forward, his face in the sheets on Sam's bed. They couldn't see his face, but his shoulders were shaking and his back was heaving.
Then a minute.
No one really knew what to do.
What do they say to this?
How do they even say anything?
Doing the first thing that came to his mind, Dean put his hand on Austin's back, rubbing small circles. Sam leaned forward, as much as his bruised ribs would allow and put his hand on Austin's shoulder.
"It'll be okay, Austin. I mean, we're here for you. Whatever you need. No matter what. You have us."
Austin didn't answer.
He couldn't speak.
But he sat up. His face was wet, soaked with tears, his eyes deep red, and his breathing was quick, he couldn't catch it.
Austin shook his head as he looked at Dean, then Sam, then John, then over to Bobby, and then finally at Mark. All of their eyes were watering, in fear for him, honestly worried for him. And that only made Austin cry more. He'd ever had that many people care for him before. It was just a great feeling - it was a shame that something this horrible had to happen for Austin to finally feel wanted.
Standing, Austin went for the door. He didn't know why, but he felt like he had to go. He viciously wiped his tears away, pushed Mark out the way and exited the room.
Dean looked back at his father and Sam before going after him.
"Austin!" he called.
But he didn't stop running. It didn't take too much effort, Dean caught him in the hallway. Dean took hold of his shoulder, and spun him around.
"Stop running, Austin. We wanna help you!"
Austin shook his head. He was speechless.
Dean's eyes and voice softened. "Let us help you... please?"
Austin blinked several times as the tears began to form again. He into Dean's arms nodding and crying. He hugged Dean. And Dean hugged his back.
"You're gonna get through this, okay?"
Austin just cried.
"I... uh, I didn't want to tell you. I wanted it to be a surprise... but I don't know anyway to try to make you feel better," Dean says softly.
Austin picks his head off Dean's shoulder.
He waits for him to continue.
"Your family is coming. Your mom and you little brother. They're coming for you. They should be here for your birthday... which is in two days, right?"
Nodding, Austin fell back into Dean's arm and cried again.
But this time it was a happy cry.
Finally, something was going right.
-For Pleasure, For Pain-
2 days later...
The clock had just struck one o'clock in the afternoon. Austin sat on the couch, anxious. Dean was sitting right next to him. Sam had said he was feeling well enough, and John helped him to the living room,too. Bobby was outside waiting for Austin's family to arrive while Mark was in the kitchen, writing down everything that Austin will need to recover, hoping that everything will be alright.
Anxiously, Austin's foot tapped.
Sam shook his shoulder.
"You have nothing to be worried about, man."
Austin swallowed hard.
"What if they don't want me?"
Dean shook his head. "They wouldn't have said they were coming if they didn't want you. They missed you, Austin, just like you missed them."
"They're here!" Bobby called from outside.
Austin damn near jumped to his feet.
A minute later, a woman with dark hair and a boy who looked a little younger than Sam entered the house. Austin swallowed hard when he saw them walk in.
"Mom?" Austin says, talking a few steps toward them.
The woman nods, her eyes tearing.
"Mom?" Austin says again, but this time more sure of himself. He goes to her, wrapping his arms around her tight. Soon, he lets go and looks at his brother. They boy has a similar hair cut to Sam, except his hair was blond like Austin's.
"Jake, oh my God," Austin breathes, pulling the boy into a hug. "I've missed you so much."
Right after, all three were in a hug, crying, laughing, smiling, and gasping all at the same time. It was quite a sight.
Austin takes his mom and brother by the hand and walks them into the living room. He introduces them to everyone and they have a seat, but Austin calls Dean to the side.
Once they're alone in the kitchen, Austin holds out his hand for Dean to shake.
"I just wanted to say thank you," Austin says to him. "For... everything. You didn't have to get me out of that hell hole. You didn't have to take me here. You didn't have to give me shelter, or food and water, or give me medical treatment, but you did and I'll always be thankful for you and your family."
Dean nods at him.
"Right back at you, man. You didn't have to look after Sam like you did. But you chose to. You looked after him like it was your job or something. And for that, I'm always thankful for you. In more ways than one, I think you saved my brother's life. And... there's no way for me to thank you for that. There's nothing I can do to show you how appreciative I am of you. I can't thank you enough, really, I can't."
Austin shook his head. He looked back at his mom and brother sitting on the couch talking.
"You've given me all I could ask for."
"Hey, man, really, if you ever need anything- ever, just call. You know you have us, right?"
Austin nodded. "Of course."
Dean reached out, hugging Austin again. "Try not to go too far, okay?"
They both smiled.
"See you around, Dean."
Dean nodded. "You bet."
Then Austin walked away.
He watched as Austin rejoined his family in the living room. He watched as they all stood again and Austin began to hug everyone, thanking them for all they've done. But then he got to Sam, he could tell that it was the hardest goodbye. They talked for about a minute or so. But when Austin walked away, they both had tears in their eyes. In such a short time, they've really became good friends and it was hard to see him go.
Before he knew it, Austin and his family were out the door, reunited again.
Somehow, this ended in a way that Dean was okay with. For that whole week, Austin was pretty much Sam's big brother. He looked after him. But now Austin has his little brother back, and Dean has his.
It felt like they were starting over new. This whole tragedy had made them stronger as a family, and that was the greatest thing.
Dean smiled as he reentered the living room with his father, Bobby and Sam. He sat right in the middle, and he felt something. He felt warmth. He felt happiness. He felt hope.
And just by that, he knew that the worst was over, and somehow he knew that everything was going to be okay.
Okay, so thoughts? It's the last chapter, please review. I'd love to hear what you think.