A/N: OK I know it's been a while since I updated and I'm so SORRY! Varsity has been crazy this year and I have exams coming up in 2 weeks' time (!) and then I'm going overseas for my brother's wedding, so yeah, busy busy busy. This chapter has been sitting uncompleted on my computer for months now and I finally decided that I had better just get down to it and get it written - I can't make any guarantees about when the next chapter will be up though, I'm afraid - probably not for a while:-( Thanks so much for all your awesome reviews - it totally makes my day whenever I hear from any of you and I really hope you enjoy this chapter!:-)

Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Butterfly Effect

Chapter 13

Dean burst through the hospital doors, bypassing reception and making his way directly to the doors leading to the wards. A guard, different from the one before, stepped in front of him and blocked his way with a raised hand.

"Sorry sir, you can't go in there. Visiting hours aren't till later. Only medical personnel can go in at this time of day….night."

Dean was straining his neck frantically, looking around the man to see if he could spot Sam anywhere. Turning back to the guard, he looked him up and down quickly and gave him the Dean Winchester patented death glare. When the man didn't back down, he switched tactics, adopting a pleading expression, eyes wide and earnest and lips trembling slightly, hoping that it would work for him as well as it always had for Sammy.

"You gotta help me, man. Some nurse phoned and said my brother was going into cardiac arrest or somethin' and he was calling for me and they didn't know how long he was gonna have and I don't even know if he's still alive and…." Dean sniffed slightly for good measure. "Please. He's my little brother. I gotta see him."

The guard's expression softened slightly and Dean thought for an instant that his plan had worked, but then the man seemed to mentally shake himself and all softness disappeared.

"I'm sorry sir. Orders are orders. I can't just let you in there without permission from above. I'm sorry."

Huh. So near…and yet so far. Dean didn't want to make a scene but the thought of Sam's voice, so desperate and vulnerable, pleading for his brother, hardened his resolve.

Sizing the man up, he made up his mind. "Screw this. I'm going in." Feinting to the left, he slipped around the guard's right and sprinted down the corridor, the sound of shouting and heavy footsteps echoing in his wake. Dodging trolleys and nurses, he raced towards the Step Down Unit, heart pounding in his chest. Glancing briefly behind him, he saw the guard, who was surprisingly fast for his size, steadily gaining on him. Putting on a last desperate burst of speed, he swung around a corner, only to crash into Sylvie who was coming from the other direction, carrying a tray. The tray and its contents went flying and Sylvie would have followed suit if Dean had not reached out a hand to steady her whilst simultaneously steadying himself against the wall.

"Woah, are you OK? Sorry, I didn't see you there!"

Sylvie knelt down to clean up the mess of scattered objects, glancing up at Dean with a look of confusion and shock. "Dean, what's the matter? Why are you running in the hospital – you know that's against regulations? Is everything OK?"

Dean could hear the guard's heavy footsteps getting louder and started to move past Sylvie, side-stepping the debris of various medical implements as he did so.

"I'm sorry Sylvie, I can't talk now. Sam needs me." And with that imperative still pounding through his veins, he turned his back on her puzzled expression and continued to run in the direction of Sam's room.

~ O ~ O ~ O ~

Even though Dean's life's work involved saving people from nasty things, never had he been greeted with such palpable relief as when he walked through the door into Sam's room, and never had he felt so murderous towards the people he was supposed to be saving. From the state of the room, it would seem that Sam had put up quite a fight before being overcome and behind the red haze that was currently blurring most conscious thought, he could still feel a twinge of pride. No Winchester went down easy.

That however, was truly at the very back of his mind right now, because the moment he entered the room the sight that greeted him drove all other thoughts into the darkest recesses. For despite the struggle that he had clearly put up, Sammy had eventually been overcome and was now lying, wrists and ankles restrained, in the bed, tears leaking out of his hazel eyes as they sought out his big brother. He had clearly been sedated shortly before Dean arrived, because his eyes were already starting to droop and the movement of his head as he turned it and his fingers as they twitched was sluggish.

Dean hurried over to the bedside, ignoring the sounds of the security guard arriving out of breath and the medical personnel explaining to him everything that had happened. Crouching down beside his brother, he took the hand that was twitching and squeezed it, a silent reassurance. Sam's restless fingers immediately relaxed.

"Hey Sammy, I'm here now and everything's gonna be OK. What happened?"

Sam swallowed convulsively, a few more tears trickling down his already wet cheek and catching on the new growth there. Dean made a mental note to help his little brother shave tomorrow; if it was him or Dad they wouldn't mind a bit of stubble, but Sam liked to keep clean-shaven.

"What happened, Sammy? You can tell me."

"I dunno, Dean. I just…woke up and I just knew that they wanted to hurt me and that something was wrong but you weren't here and I was scared."

It was Dean's turn to swallow convulsively as Sam's words sent guilt shooting through his veins like mercury. "I'm sorry Sammy. I should've been here; I shouldn't've left you. This is my fault."

Sam's brow crinkled in confusion. "Not your fault, Dean. Y'needed rest. N't your f…." His words faded into silence as his eyes drooped once again and stayed shut this time. A thin trail of drool trickled out of his half-open mouth onto the white starched pillow. Dean smiled down affectionately at his oversized little brother and then turned back to the medical staff who had remained, it would seem, to witness the reunion after sending the irate security guard back to his post. As his eyes met theirs however, the smile slid off his face like butter off hot toast.

"What. Did. You. Do. To. My. Brother?" Each word was cold and carefully enunciated. One of the younger nurses gulped audibly. After a moment of awkward and scared silence, the head nurse stepped forward.

"We had to restrain him sir, as he was hurting himself and was also a danger to others. He had a severe reaction to the morphine we gave him and started hallucinating. As it will take a while for the morphine to wear off, we had to sedate him in the meantime to help him calm down. I'm very sorry that this had to happen, sir. Once the morphine wears off, we will put him on different drugs which shouldn't cause an adverse reaction like this again."

Dean brushed off her explanation with a wave of his hand. "Look, I don't care what caused it, just get those things off him now! He's not hurting anyone now, is he?"

"No sir. We'll do that right away, sir."

Dean nodded and turned away so he could watch his brother be freed from his restraints. When it was done, he pulled up a chair by the bed and sat down.

"Sir, do you maybe want to sleep somewhere more comfortable? We have more comfortable chairs, if you want?"

Dean glanced up at the timid young nurse who had gulped earlier. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not leaving him again."

She nodded and left the room quietly. Dean leaned back with a deep sigh and closed his eyes, slowly drifting off to the soft, steady breathing of his little brother.

~ O ~ O ~ O ~

Over 100 miles away, in a small town off the reservation, John Winchester flew through the air and landed with a sickening crunch against a barn door. Through the steadily growing ringing in his ears, he could vaguely hear Joshua shouting something but couldn't quite make it out. His last thought before he lost consciousness was that he should have listened to Dean...

To be continued...

A/N: I would love to hear your thoughts!:-D