Disclaimer: The characters of "Supernatural" were created by Eric Kripke and are owned by the CW Network. No profit is being made.
Note to Readers: Thank you for the reviews, PM's and comments they are all appreciated. Sorry, for the delay in posting but I had a lot going on in real life. Here is chapter 10 and the final chapter. I had said I'd finish before the September 23 premiere of Season 7 and I have. I hope this final chapter is an enjoyable one. Happy Reading, I hope!
By Dawn Nyberg
"We should have heard something by now Bobby," Dean was leaned forward his forearms resting on the tops of his legs. His eyes scanned the trauma doors that went into the ER treatment rooms.
"Easy, son," Bobby tried to calm him before he ended up pushing his way in there to find out about his brother. "We'll know something as soon as they can come out, okay? I know you're climin' out of your skin boy, so am I, but we gotta be patient, you hearin' me?" Dean looked at the older hunter, his surrogate father and nodded.
Dean looked over at the double doors leading back into the ER just as they opened and saw Dr. Ryan following another doctor out. Dean assumed this was the doctor treating his brother. Dean was already walking toward them with Bobby at his side. "How's my brother?"
"You must be Dean," he said as he looked at the young man. "I'm Dr. Walker and I've been treating Sam. Dr. Frank has filled me in on Sam's PTSD treatment he's been receiving." Dean cast an undefined look beyond the doctor's shoulder at Gavin Frank.
"I told him that Sam has severe PTSD following a trauma," Gavin explained further making sure Dean understood he hadn't filled this physician in on Hell and hunting. Dean just nodded at the doctor.
"So, how is?"
"Well, his blood counts were a little low from the blood loss, enough that he's getting transfused as we speak and he's on some IV fluids, as well. Some of the lacerations on his hands and arms required stitches … about forty total and the rest of the cuts were superficial. I would have asked for a psych consult for self harm but after being filled in that Sam was most likely experiencing a flashback brought on by the PTSD I'll leave his psychological care in the hands of Dr. Frank. I'd like to keep him overnight here in the ER for observation but I suspect in a few hours once the sun is up you can take him home.
"Thanks doc, can I see him?"
"Of course, he's been awake a little but he's mostly sleeping which is to be expected. You can stay with him until he's discharged if you'd like."
"Well, feel free to page me if you need anything I'm on duty all night. I'll be back by to release Sam in the morning." Dean nodded.
"He's gonna be fine son, you heard the doc," Bobby cupped one of Dean's shoulders.
"Yeah," and then he looked at Gavin. "What happened tonight can't happen again," Dean's eyes were deadly serious. "He could have bled to death," Dean's statement was matter of fact. "If I hadn't woken up he could have died. Dammit he painted the panic room with sigils made of his own blood because whatever memory he was locked in he thought he was protecting me and Bobby. This can't keep happening…"
"You're right," Gavin agreed. "There is this treatment center…" he was cut off quickly.
"No way in Hell," Dean ground out under his breath. "The last thing Sammy needs is to be cut off from his family. I ain't lockin' my brother up somewhere. You said you could help him and if you can't then you find someone who can that won't think he's a nut job."
"I don't have to turn your brother's treatment over Dean. We'll figure something out, okay. All of us, including Sam, okay?"
Dean nodded tightly and left to go to his brother. Bobby waved him on, "I'll be along shortly." Dean offered a fraction of a smiled and left.
Dean settled into the chair quietly next to Sam's gurney. He thought his little brother was resting until a shaggy head turned toward him. "Sorry, man, I didn't mean to wake you," Dean lamented.
"You didn't," Sam replied. "I just had my eyes closed."
"Nauseous?" Dean asked as he looked at the bag of blood being infused into his brother. He remembered getting transfused once and it was all kinds of lousy.
"A little," Sam confessed.
"They can give you something you know to help with that," Dean offered and started to stand to find someone. Sam reached his arm over the railing on his gurney and snagged Dean's sleeve.
"No, don't. I'm okay. It's been worse with the flu. Just," he paused. "Just stay." Dean offered a small reassuring smile and sat back down.
"Sure Sammy, I'm not goin' anywhere." He reached through the guard rails and squeezed Sam's left bicep.
A moment passed and then Sam spoke again his eyes cast down not looking Dean in the face. "Sorry, for what I did."
Dean sat there stunned for a moment. "Sammy, you didn't do anything to apologize for. You were a little mixed up that's all. It's gonna be okay."
"I want to believe that Dean but …" he paused. "I know how messed up I am, do you?" Dean looked away and his jaw involuntarily flexed. Sam watched the internal struggle inside his big brother.
"You're not messed up Sammy," Dean started and looked at his brother. "I'm not livin' off in Fantasy Land, okay? Look we all got issues, both of us have Hell baggage, but you spent more time there than I did. I get that and maybe you need to not be so hard on yourself."
Sam heard his brother's words and the unwavering support behind them. "Yeah, I guess you have a point," Sam agreed quietly. Dean watched him a bit surprised at his brother's words. "I know what I have to do Dean…"
"What you have to do?" Dean asked confused. "You mean continue therapy?"
"That but…" Sam paused and Dean felt his chest tighten at the silence.
"But what Sam," Dean pushed.
"I gotta let it in Dean, all of it," Sam said looking into his sibling's eyes and his stare didn't waiver.
"What? You mean all the memories, no, no way in Hell," Dean stood abruptly. He lowered his voice. "You can't anyway Sam," Dean started. "You get random memories and the doc sparks specific ones sometimes when he asks certain question. You can't access it all."
"Dean," Sam's voice was patient and quiet. "The wall Death put up in my head may be broken to crap but maybe I got my own you know…"
"You mean blocking some of them yourself?"
"We all do it … you did it when Dad died. You didn't want to feel stuff," Sam watched Dean look down and turned his face away. Sam reached over and settled his hand on top of his brother's hand that lingered on the guard rail. "It's okay Dean, I get that's what you needed and you dealt with it in your own time. It's time Dean. I can't let these memories and flashbacks own me. It has to end now." Sam was taken aback when he saw his brother's eyes when they turned toward him … they were glassy with tears.
"It could be too much Sammy, I can't … I can't lose you," Dean said quietly. Sam let the plea behind the words settle over him.
"You're not going to lose me," Sam encouraged. "I can run for awhile Dean but sooner or later it's gonna bite me in the ass. Let me try with Gavin, okay? I need to do something to get more of a grip on this crap in my head. This can't happen again," Sam motioned to his bandaged cuts and the transfusion tubing. "I don't want to end up hurting you or Bobby, I couldn't live with myself."
"Sammy, you wouldn't," Dean said firmly.
"You're right I wouldn't but I'm not me in those flashbacks Dean. I don't see you, I don't hear you … I see Lucifer, Michael, the cage, Hell … I could hurt you both and not even know it until I snapped out of it. My treatments with Gavin have to go up a few notches. I have to get a grip on this stuff in my head."
"Look, we'll try it your way but only after we talk to Gavin, okay? I want his professional opinion … deal?"
"Yeah, okay," Sam replied. "Deal, I can live with that." He yawned and Dean offered a rueful smile.
"Get some sleep Sammy. The doc said he'll probably turn you loose in the morning. I'll be here."
Dean and Bobby waited outside in the waiting room of Gavin Ryan's office. The secretary was gone for the day and Sam was the final appointment. It had been two months since Sam had ended up in the ER with cuts and blood loss. He had been seeing Gavin and assimilating more and more memories. They'd had a couple set-backs but overall Sam was doing a lot better that Dean and Bobby could have hoped for. Sam wouldn't wake up screaming anymore at home but there were a few nights of gasping awake or wake up Dean because he was whimpering or crying in his sleep.
Dr, Ryan came out with Sam behind him. Dean and Bobby stood, "Sammy?" Dean looked at his brother and tried to gauge his state of mind. His brother nodded that he was okay.
"Well, Sam, you have my number, all right?"
"Yeah, I got it right here," Sam patted his pocket.
"Wait, what're you two talkin' about?"
"Gavin's gotta go home sometime Dean. He thinks I'm ready for the day to day on my own. I think he's right." Dean stood there frozen and Bobby decided to fill the speechless void.
"Have you both lost your ever lovin' minds? You're both idjits, certifiable idjits," Bobby clarified. "It was two months ago that you damn near killed yourself because of some flashback that had you writing on the panic room walls with you blood Sam. Look son, I'm damn proud of what you've accomplished, I am. But you're still havin' moments and your sleep ain't exactly hundred percent restful, ya followin' me?"
"Bobby I'm never going to be the same," Sam said, his tone even. "I know I'm still having problems, but at least I'm not keeling over with a seizure at every memory and I haven't had a flashback, so bad that I get lost in it, not since that panic room night. When I flashback you and Dean are able to reach me, it may take a couple minutes or so, but I'm not completely zoned out. I'm trying to get right Bobby …"
"I now you are son, I do, but are you sure, really sure? Is this something you and Gavin really decided together …"
"I can stop you there Bobby," Gavin started. "Sam didn't railroad me in anyway. In fact, we've been talking about this for about three weeks. We both decided he can call me once a week to check in no matter where he is just in case the boys are out hunting. If he doesn't touch base with me on any given week, I'll call Dean first to check on Sam and if I can't get him I'll call you. Sam and I have agreed to this. I've given him a prescription for some nightly medicine that will help with the PTSD nightmares. I'm going to have him take them every night for a month and then let him use them as needed. If his nightmares are getting better then he may decide to stop the meds, we'll see."
"Can I call you if I have questions or I'm worried about him?" Dean chimed in. Sam looked at his brother and wanted to be annoyed but he saw the concern and love in Dean's eyes. He couldn't be angry for being loved, for being cared for.
"Of course, you or Bobby any concerns at all, please don't hesitate to call me," Gavin handed both me a crisp, baby blue business card with his home phone, cell number, medical pager number and even his email. Dean looked at the card and was put at ease a little more when he saw all the contact avenues.
"You're really sure Sammy?" Dean looked at his kid brother.
"I have to try Dean," it was an honest answer. Not a resounding 'yes' but not a 'no' … Dean recognized it as his little brothers own brand of being realistic. He reached over and dropped a hand on his brother's shoulder and squeezed.
"Okay, Sammy. I got your back."
"I know," Sam smiled softly and for once Dean saw unobstructed happiness in his brother's eyes. It was nice to see and he believed that Sam did in fact know wholeheartedly that his big brother had his back … always.
Dean looked over at his younger brother sleeping against the passenger window of the Impala and looked back to the asphalt ribbon in front of him. They had been on the road hunting for a couple months now having stayed at Bobby's to let his arms and hands heal and stitches to be removed and simply just to have some more time. They stayed for three more months after Gavin returned home from treating Sam. His little brother had healed physically from his lacerations and the scars were barely visible on his palm and arms. Sam had had a couple or so set-backs with some more violent flashbacks but he was working things through. Dean had made sure Sam kept up with his phone calls to the doctor and even now Sam still checked in at least once every couple weeks sometimes more. Sam wasn't healed, no quick fix miracles were in store for him and they both knew it. He zones out sometimes caught in a memory but a gentle touch or nudge from Dean always pulled Sam back. He had headaches sometimes after flashbacks but no more seizures and Dean hoped that his brother would never have to endure another one.
Sam's hand twitched slightly in his sleep and Dean looked over at him. Sam's brow was creased and his big brother understood. He pulled over on the empty back road the wheels of the Impala gently left the black asphalt and crunched onto the gravel shoulder. "Sammy?" Dean asked keeping his voice low.
Sam remained asleep and Dean could see a sheen of perspiration gathering on his brother's face. "Sammy, man, it's okay," Dean assured. He gently clasped his brother's forearm. Sam whimpered and Dean squeezed a little harder and gave a slight shake.
"Sam, wake up," his voice a little firmer and that worked. Sam jerked away from the window as his eyes darted around quickly. He looked like a caged animal, afraid and ready to fight for its life if anyone or anything came near it. "Sammy?"
Panicked eyes looked at Dean and there was a moment of no recognition in them. "Sammy, it's me … you know who I am? Where you are?" Dean had to ground him with questions make him think. Sam looked around for a moment and his eyes came back to his brother.
"Dean," his voice a whisper, a little unsure as his eyes looked back into his brother's, "Dean," the voice was firmer, more sure and Dean smiled.
"Yep, yours truly," he smiled.
"Just a dream? This is real," Sam stated more for himself than Dean but his big brother answered anyway, validating him.
"Yeah, Sammy, just a crap bad dream."
"Ready to get back on the road?" Dean questioned. Sam nodded tentatively but before Dean could put the car back into gear Sam's hand on his arm stopped him.
"I will be," Sam answered honestly. "I just…" he paused and looked out his window into the field they had parked by.
"Just what Sammy?" Dean kept his voice low. Sam looked at his big brother and saw the caring there, the love and he smiled dimples and all. Dean couldn't help himself he smiled, too.
"Just," Sam began, "you know thanks … for being there ya know."
"You'd do the same Sammy …" Dean reached over and cupped the back of his brother's neck. "I've always got your back Sammy."
Sam nodded, "I got yours, too, you know that right?" Dean shook his head with a chuckle of brotherly understanding … chick flick moment be damned.
"Yeah, I do," his voice was rough. "You ready?"
Sam nodded and Dean released his gentle hold of the back of his brother's neck and returned it to the gear shift. Sam pulled out the map and looked at it and then folded it back up.
"Another ten miles you can pick up route 202 to the interstate, we can be in West Virginia by nightfall." Sam said easily.
"Sure thing Mapquest," Dean smirked. Sam flipped him off but laughed anyway. Sam wasn't fixed. Probably never would be completely but he'd been through Hell and was coming through the other side. Dean couldn't be more proud … they were brothers, a united front.
"When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life" ~ Antisthenes