A/N: Thanks again for all the reviews! I really appreciate them all ^_^
"I'm Dr. Harvey. I've been taking care of your son, and wanted to update you on his condition."
The hunters all turned towards the now cracked door, silently waiting for the doctor to let them know how their baby was. Dr. Harvey looked tired as he glanced at each of the worried faces of the family in front of him. He took a deep breath before launching into the details on Sam's condition.
"As you know, when your son was brought into the ER, he was struggling to breath due to smoke inhalation as well as his prior illness. The combination was putting too much strain on his lungs, so we were forced to go ahead and insert a breath tube for the time being. We're on the look now for the possibility of pneumonia. He's very susceptible to that at the moment."
"Ok," John mumbled.
"Now, he also has extensive burns to his right side, especially his leg. They are severe second-degree burns, but we luckily do not need to take drastic measures such as skin grafts or the like. We believe that with the right medicines and careful monitoring they should heal in time with minimal scarring. His hand also had some smaller burns to it. The rest of his body has a lot of bruising and cuts to it, especially along his feet. We have him on some antibiotics to ward off infection and the pneumonia I mentioned earlier."
"H-how long will he…how long will he have th-that tube down his th-throat?" Dean asked. He had a hard time getting the words out around the lump that had formed in his throat.
"We're not sure at the moment, Dean. It will depend on a lot of things. I don't want to keep him on it for too long, but I also want to give his lungs some time to adjust. Keeping him on it too long can also lead to infections such as pneumonia, which we are already worried enough about. I think it would be best to see if Sam wakes up in a day or so and then go from there. Hopefully we can remove it by then."
Dean nodded, not completely trusting his voice. John stepped closer to his oldest so that he could place his arm around Dean's shoulders. He pulled his son towards him; Dean leaned against his father, thankful for the support.
"Can we see him soon?" Bobby spoke up.
"We're moving him up to a room now, so shouldn't be much longer. Now, how old is your son here?" Dr. Harvey asked, pointing towards Dean.
"He's thirteen," John answered.
"Good…he'll be able to go into the room as well. Sorry, I just had to double check."
"I understand," John calmly replied. Dean on the other hand didn't like the idea that he could've been kept from his brother at all.
"Nurse Hodge will take you all up in a few moments. She's requested to be Sam's primary nurse. I'm assuming she's a friend…"
"I've known her for awhile," Bobby quickly said.
The doctor smiled at the family one last time. "If you all need anything else, just have me paged. I'll be up to check on Sam throughout the day." With that, the doctor left the family to themselves. None of them felt much like talking.
A few minutes later, Anne came in to take the hunters up to the pediatrics floor. Despite the somber feeling they all felt entering the area of the hospital, the walls were brightly colored with children's book characters and cartoons. When they rounded the corner and entered Sam's room, Dean had to smile a little at the fact that Sam's walls were decorated with pictures from The Chronicles of Narnia, one of Sam's favorites.
The smile soon faded though when he looked to the bed. Sam was practically lost in a sea of stiff white sheets and wirings. Gauze wrapped around his right hand and wrist. His other hand had a few smaller bandages covering cuts. Another bandage was taped to Sam's cheek.
The whir of the oxygen machine and the beeping of the monitors off to the side of the bed were the only sounds in the room. Bobby and the two Winchesters stood silently trying to take in everything. Dean couldn't help the few tears that escaped at the sight of his baby brother lying so still in the enormous bed. He finally blinked them away and moved closer to the bed. He was the first to do so. He pulled a small chair over to the bed so that he could sit beside Sam. He took his brother's hand. The IVs nearly tangled around his fingers as he tried to avoid the few bandages.
Dean startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"It's ok, Dean," John soothed.
Dean had been so focused on his brother that he had ignored his surroundings, even his own father. He couldn't help it. Seeing Sam this hurt was getting to him. Of course Sam had been sick and hurt during his childhood…what kid didn't though. He'd seen Sam laid up in bed with colds and flu. He'd even seen Sam sit in an exam room cradling a broken wrist before. But this was different…
"Sorry, dad," Dean said around a sniffle.
"You're ok, son. Nothing to be sorry for." John squeezed Dean's shoulder in reassurance. He understood completely. He was feeling the same emotions at seeing his baby boy look so small and fragile in the bed.
Bobby blinked his eyes against any tears that threatened to form. He tried to compose himself as he turned towards Anne. The nurse had been silently standing near the door, allowing all of them to handle this in their own way.
"Thanks for everything, Anne."
"Just doing my job…"
"You don't work pediatrics. You always said it was too hard to be around kids when they were in bad shape."
"Fine…I just really want to help Sam. I can tell he means a lot to you…to all of you."
"He does," Bobby said. His voice cracked a little on the words.
Anne squeezed his hand, trying to offer some comfort with the small gesture. She let go after a few seconds so that she could head over to Sam's bed. She ran a hand over Dean's spiky hair before putting on gloves and leaning down to check Sam's vitals. Dean watched her every move and didn't even bother to fix his matted hair.
"Is he ok?" Dean asked in a small voice, as Anne busied herself with Sam.
"He's holding his own sweetie." Anne slid the gloves off and into the trash before once again running a hand through Dean's hair. "His temperature is up some, but with the illness and trauma the little guy's been through…that isn't surprising. His breathing is getting better though. His oxygen levels are climbing and have been staying strong."
"Sam's strong," Dean interjected determinedly.
"I can see that." Anne smiled at Dean before turning back to Sam with a serious look on her face. "Now, you all have to be very careful of the gauze cover the burns on his leg and right hand. The skin is fragile and it could really hurt him. So just be careful with them. I'll be back later to change the bandages and apply medicine to them. Should help him."
"Thank you," John said, a little breathless at the injuries Sam had. "I really appreciate all this."
Anne smiled once more. "Just call me if you need anything." With that, Anne left the family to tend to their youngest member, knowing that none of them would be leaving his side any time soon.
SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN
Anne was right…over twenty four hours had passed since Sam had been placed in his hospital bed and none of the boys had moved much since then. They went to get coffee and the occasional meal or snack, always making sure that someone was still by Sam's side in case he awoke.
Sam was still holding on strong, despite everything. His lungs were still feeling the effects of the smoke. Gunk coated the insides of them and pneumonia was already developing. Even with that working against him, Sam was fighting just like he had in the forest against Moloch. Dr. Harvey expected Sam to be awake and able to use a simple oxygen mask soon.
Which was why Anne was currently fighting to get Bobby, Dean, and John to get some rest of their own. None of them would budge from Sam's side; all were too worried he'd wake while they were gone. All of them had been on edge and worried, but Dean was the worst. He wouldn't leave Sam unless he was physically dragged away from his little brother. It wasn't a pretty sight and John had only done it a few times. He knew when to give in to his oldest son.
"Dean…let's go get something to eat really quick. Anne is going to be here changing Sam's bandages. You don't want to be in here for that buddy," John said calmly. He was pretty sure it was useless to try, but he wanted to give it a shot anyway.
Dean, who was always his perfect soldier, looked up defiantly at his dad. "Not leaving Sammy."
John sighed and looked up at Anne for help. She knew better than to get on Dean's bad side in this situation.
"He'll be fine John. He might even be able to help me a little."
John looked skeptically at the nurse. "But-"
"No real point in arguing," Anne laughed. "Pretty sure he's staying here unless you pick him up. Which I'm going to say will end up with you sporting a few bruises of your own so…"
"Fine," John sighed. He leaned down and brushed his hand over Dean's hair. "Bobby and I will be back kiddo."
With another sigh, John and Bobby left the pediatrics floor and headed down to the cafeteria for a quick bite to eat. Neither felt that hungry, but it was a distraction from what was going on in Sam's room. They had both stayed the first time Anne had changed Sam's bandages…neither felt much like seeing it twice.
A few other patients and visitors were milling about the cafeteria. The food wasn't great, but it could've been a lot worse.
"Bobby?" a sad voice called out as they entered the room.
Bobby turned and came face to face with Alec. The younger man looked exhausted. Dark circles ran under his eyes and his arm was strapped close to his chest. He still had scrubs and a robe on his thin frame. Bobby had been curious as to how Alec had been doing, but had been too focused on Sam's recovery to bother checking. He also had hoped to avoid having John and Alec in the same room…
"Alec," Bobby replied. "How are you?"
"Been better," he mumbled.
"Arm botherin' ya?"
"It's not so bad. Not really what's bothering me…you know…"
And Bobby did. He knew Alec felt awful for the events that had transpired the other day. He had just been trying to save his son.
For a few moments, Bobby forgot that John was still standing beside him. The other hunter bristled and tensed beside him as Alec started talking.
"So this is Alec," John grumbled.
Shit. Bobby didn't expect this to go over well. "John…meet Alec. Alec, this is John Winchester…Sam's daddy."
The already pale color to Alec's face drained even more. "Oh, God," he gasped. He didn't run or flinch, despite his obvious fear. He just stood there in front of John waiting. "Well…g-get on with it then…"
"Excuse me?" John asked in confusion.
"G-get on with it," Alec stuttered out. "Cuss me out…punch me…kick my ass…whatever. Just please get on with it."
John looked stunned and wasn't honestly sure what to say. He just glanced at Bobby who was equally as shocked.
"I won't fight back. I deserve it…hell I deserve worse than that."
The words were not what John had expected from the man in front of him. He'd expected a man who would make excuses and run at the first chance. Instead he had a man filled with obvious guilt ready to take his punishment.
"Let's go outside," John finally replied.
"John," Bobby warned.
"We'll be back in a minute." John turned and led Alec out of the cafeteria towards the courtyard outside. Once outside, John pushed the other man towards the shadows and away from the windows. He then grabbed Alec by the hospital issued robe and shoved him against the brick wall.
Alec took it all, only gulping slightly. He'd screwed up and deserved whatever John would do to him. He closed his eyes and waited for the punch…but it never came. He barely opened them a few moments later and squinted up at John.
"What happened to your boy?" John's voice was calm but his hands never loosened their grip on Alec.
"L-leukemia," Alec choked out. "Had it for nearly…nearly two years. His b-body was too small…couldn't fight any more." A few tears leaked from his eyes, despite how hard he was trying to not cry in front of John.
John nodded his head. "You watched it all?"
"Yes." The word came out more as a sob.
John nodded again and let go of Alec. He nearly fell to the ground in his shock. "What?"
"I don't think I can ever forgive you for what you did to my son."
"Don't think I can forgive myself for it…"
"Good," John snapped. "But," he continued more calmly, " I can't say that I wouldn't have done the same. I…when I lost my wife…I didn't think straight and did stupid things. If it had been my sons…"
Alec could only nod.
"As long as Sam pulls through like they are thinking, I'm not gonna do anything to you. If my son," John's voice trailed off, not bothering to finish that sentence.
"I wouldn't blame you if you did something now…"
"Part of me wants to. And part of me understands." John swallowed down emotions that had started to build up. "But more importantly, I know my son wouldn't want me to."
With those words, John stalked back into the cafeteria, leaving Alec sobbing against the cold bricks.
SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN- SPN-SPN
"Does that hurt him?" Dean asked timidly.
Anne paused in applying the burn cream to Sam's small hand so that she could look at Dean. The boy looked as if he was trying hard not to cry in front of her and his unconscious brother.
"You see this IV line here?" Anne's hands glided over one of the lines feeding into Sam's uninjured hand.
Dean's spiky head nodded.
"This is giving Sam morphine to help with the pain. Right now, it gives Sammy a measured dose every so often. Once he wakes up, if things feel too bad, he can also hit this little button over here." Anne now held up a remote looking thing. "It can go ahead and give him the dose earlier if he needs it, but won't allow him to take too much or anything."
"Good," Dean muttered as his eyes trailed up and down Sam's limp form. He'd been twitching and fidgeting a little in his sleep, but had not woken up yet.
"You want me to show you how to bandage his hand? That way you can help when he gets outta here?"
"Please," Dean said hopefully.
"Go wash your hands over there and then grab some gloves from my cart here." She watched Dean diligently do as she had said. "Good! Now, you have to wrap it with this first." She held up a Telfa dressing. "You have to wrap this around the burn first because it won't stick to the healing skin." She took Dean's hand and guided it around Sam's. "Just like that," she said as she instructed Dean. "Then, you take this gauze here and cover the other with it to hold it into place and to help protect the skin."
"You're doing just fine hun." Anne smiled sweetly at Dean.
"Thank you ma'am."
"Keep doing that Dean. I'm going to run to the nurse's station for some more ointment for Sam's cuts. I'll be right back." Anne left Dean to his job, knowing that the big brother would be fine with taking care of his hurt sibling.
Dean finished wrapping Sam's hand and gently placed it back onto the bed. "There you go buddy. Wasn't too bad huh?" Dean wished Sam would wake and answer him. "At least…I hope I didn't hurt you."
Dean stepped away from the bed for a moment so he could discard the gloves. He sighed as he climbed back into the hard plastic chair that had been his for the last couple of days. He reached up and brushed Sam's bangs away from his face. His forehead still felt quite hot, much to Dean's frustrations.
"You know…you gotta get better Sammy," Dean said, nearly choking on the words. "I…I've gotta show you the new moves Dad taught me up in the mountains. They are pretty cool, dude. Bet you'll be kicking my ass in no time. You'll love that, won't ya?"
The only answer he got was the steady beeps of the heart monitor and the whooshing of the oxygen.
"And…I got you that new book you'll like. There was a little shop on the way up there that had bunch of books on the wildlife up through there. You'll love it!"
Once again, Dean looked to Sam, hoping he would suddenly wake up and smile at him.
"Y-you've just gotta wake up kiddo." A few tears leaked out of Dean's eyes. "You gotta wake up so I can read that book to ya and show ya those moves. You don't want to just sleep do ya? What fun is that…"
The tears flowed freely now.
"You've just gotta wake up…"
Suddenly, the steady beep of the monitors sped up. The peaceful whoosh of the oxygen was exchanged with a shrill sounding alarm.
Dean's eyes widened and his own heart began to race as fear flooded his veins. "Sammy?"