The exhaustion had been pulled forth by cramps, spasms, tightening muscles, distended bowels, burning fullness and sharp-edged bodily waste. The pain had been debilitating and demeaning, but once the symptoms had died down it left him weak and shaking with quivering lips and a back soaked neck-to-waist with perspiration. It was at this point that his body pulled up the white flag and forced him into unconsciousness of a less sinister variety.
Sam watched his brother sleep, all twisted hands, bouncing knees and a furrowed brow from his position. The sink was still occupied by the vicious tube and empty plastic container and his large hands made no attempt to move it. He was not entirely sure of his motivations but knew that it was due in large part to his psyche needing to be able to prove to Dean that this had gone down and that it was all consensual. It was a blur even to him, and in the haze of the moment, Sam could barely make out whether he wanted Dean to wake up and remember.
Sam thinks that Dean has been asleep for eighteen hours. Nineteen hours would probably be closer, but then again, he hadn't been focused on the clock yesterday afternoon. Whilst sitting on the edge of his bed, fingers interlocked and twitchy, he knew that the events of the previous day would definitely get shoved behind the wall he built specifically for all the times he has touched Dean's ass, and that one other time where Dean thought his balls had shot through his stomach and through the whimpering, Sam had pushed his brothers hands away just to prove that his manhood was intact.
Dean looks pale and his hair is plastered to his forehead. Sam can tell that his brother's body is shaking beneath the bedsheets and he hopes that he manages to sleep out the worst of the recovery. Sam has never had it as bad as this, and he's sure that it has been a first for Dean too. All things considered, the situation had been damn near ridiculous and he will not talk about this unless Dean asks questions, vicariously or otherwise.
Dean is too-still as he sleeps, the lack of movement enough to force Sam into overdrive. Sam is so used to seeing the man tossing and turning, throwing his blankets off his body and snatching them back as the cool chill hits hard. The stillness is unnerving and it throws Sam off-course; he can't just sit back and read a book or use his laptop for research. He keeps thinking about yesterday. He keeps thinking back to the sink and the paper cup next to the toilet and the sight of Dean shaking beneath his hands. For Dean to be still, it means his body is exhausted beyond movement, and that is what worries Sam the most.
Sam's gaze flickers between his brother and the clock. The clock says one in the afternoon, but Dean remains silent. Sam still can't decide whether he wants Dean to remember, but he knows that that experience was too vivid. For Dean's mind to have eradicated the memory it would have had to have been a traumatic experience, and Sam is fairly certain that he hadn't traumatised Dean, he had only helped him. If he hadn't been the one accelerating the purging it would have been somebody else. If this sight was spun around, Sam watching Dean from the safety of an uncomfortable and unforgiving hospital chair, the pale face against stark hospital sheets, Sam knows that he wouldn't be able to take it. The idea of somebody else touching Dean in that way, even for medicinal purposes... This was better. Even if Dean remembered, which he would, this was better.
Sam knows that he gets twitchy and antsy and unable to sit still when he's nervous or worried, and this is a prime example. Unlike Dean, he can't just sit on his hands and set aside his concerns. So he decides to do something; go to a diner, get some coffee and pie. He knows Dean isn't going to want to eat pie, but as Dean has said on many an occasion: cold pie is better than no pie, and Sam just wants to do something for him. He just wants to help Dean to feel better. He didn't like the sound of his brother hissing in pain and the sight of the strong body hunched over to hold in the agony, and this will be his attempt to make up for notching up the pain before eradicating it.
As Sam pulls his own trembling body up to its full height, he hopes that Dean stays asleep until he gets back. He at least hopes that his big brother has enough sense to stay in bed and not attempt to stumble to the bathroom alone. Sam knows that Dean is going to be one sore son of a bitch today, and he wants to be here with him. He doesn't want to come back and find him unconscious on the bathroom floor again.
The paper cup from yesterday is deposited on the night stand with a trickle of still-coloured water. If Dean wakes, he can drink that. If Dean wakes, he can piss in it afterwards. No reason to get out of the bed.
Sam looks back towards the bed as he pulls open the motel room door, the cool air hitting him hard and fast. He is satisfied that Dean will be able to cope with another hour of rest while he goes to get pie.
Pie makes everything better. Or so Dean says. Sam hopes it's true.
Sam doesn't even particularly like pie, but leaning against the diner counter with sleep-deprived eyes and overwhelming thoughts, he forks a mouthful of hot apples and pastry into his mouth. He feels vaguely nauseous but would be a fool to admit that the sweet-tasting dessert didn't melt in his mouth and sooth away more than hunger pangs. As the combination of fruit and sweetness melted on his tongue, he felt a little guilty for eating alone. He could just imagine the ribbing he would get if Dean found out that he'd ordered a slice of pie just to find out if that motto had been true. Sam knows the motto is utter crap; just mere words spewed out of Dean's mouth in an attempt to charm his way to some pie, but he had to admit it: the pie did help. It was good pie too, so he picked up an extra slice for Dean. If Dean didn't want it, he sure wouldn't pass it up.
Pushing his way back into the motel room with an armful of coffee and pie, Sam was more than a little relieved to find that the bed at the far end of the room was still occupied. The silence still loomed and Dean did not appear to have shifted position, but Sam could breathe a sigh of relief to find his brother in one piece. Recovering, but in one piece.
Sam took position on the edge of his bed again, hands now occupied with a paper cup full of hot coffee and legs subdued enough to be bent but not bouncing. The pie had made him feel warm and fuzzy inside, and it was a good feeling. He just wanted Dean to wake up, eat pie with him and feel warm and fuzzy too.
Sam remembered yesterdays promise to Dean of the heat-pad, and after tipping the last of the strong liquid into his mouth, he pulled himself back up to take a trip to the car. The heat-pad was a fantastic invention and certainly a necessity for every hunter, Sam would vouch for that fact. It always amazed him that he only ever discovered the benefits during that second Christmas at Stanford, when he unwrapped the purple wrapping paper to find a Homedics box tied up in a purple ribbon.
Jess had said it was for his back. His back has always twinged with pain on bending, standing, laying down, moving, but that was just the bitter consequence of being so tall. Sam didn't even know Jess knew. At that moment, he was hit with the knowledge that she was the sweetest girl in existence and he wouldn't let her go without a fight.
Sam keeps the heat-pad in the car buried at the bottom of the trunk with his Stanford hoodie and Jess's notebook. Those are the three things that Dean knows not to touch, and to this day he hasn't. Sam only pulls out the heated-pad-of-awesome during special occasions: he's had it plugged in for his back a couple of times, for Dean's pulled groin and for that cold-ass night when the heating was non-existent, but other than that it rarely sees the light of day. It's still in that box and the box still contains the purple ribbon. He knows it's silly, but it's all that he has. His stomach clenches as he pulls out the pad and the extension cord and leaves the box in the car, and on the way back to the room he takes slow steps, hugging the pad close to his chest.
Dean is still pale, silent and unmoving and this time when he sees the sight, Sam is glad for the enema. He knows that if he hadn't suggested the relief yesterday afternoon then this afternoon would be a completely different picture.
"Dean." Sam speaks softly as he bends over the night stand and replaces the lamp socket with something far more functional. "Wake up, man."
Dean doesn't respond straight away, Sam knows this because he is hovering, both hands splayed across the pad as it begins to heat up. Sam has a bottle of over-the-counter pain pills in his pocket and he knows that the heat will barely take the edge off the pain, and later, once Dean is feeling good enough to sit, he'll press them into his palm and just smile knowingly.
It's Dean's voice that tells Sam that his words were enough to jerk him from sleep, lips that barely part enough to emit the sound. "Sam." He mumbles back, eyes slowly following suit and flickering open. "Mornin'."
Sam grins, a hand shooting to the back of his neck to fumble with his shirt collar nervously. "You don't need to move. I just..." He motions weakly to the heat-pad even though the arm is clearly out of Dean's vision. "Here."
As the pad reaches a comfortable temperature, Sam momentarily lifts Dean's sheets and slides it towards him, feeling it press against the stomach of the recipient.
"Thanks." Dean mumbles again as he closes his eyes, and Sam hears the sound of Dean's arm shifting across the mattress to press the heat closer to his torn stomach muscles. "'kay."
"You going back to sleep?" Sam asks softly, still hovering. "This is your twentieth hour, you know."
"Mm." Dean's voice is barely audible and little more than an incoherent whisper. "Later."
So Sam doesn't know what Dean meant by 'later' – See you later? We'll talk later? But with the heat-pad working its sweet function and Dean's arm moving again to tug it closer, Sam felt a sense of warmth and fuzziness of a different kind. A yawn pulled through his thoughts, and Sam smiled to himself as he realised that he should probably sleep to.
So he did.